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Nursing (M.S.N.) and Certificate Programs


Family Nurse Practitioner-Post Master's Certificate
MSN Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist
MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
Nurse Educator Certificate
Post-Master's Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Cert
Time Schedule
Course Descriptions
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Nursing (MSN) and Certificate Programs

Marston Hall


At a time of unprecedented change and challenges in health care, it is increasingly important that nurses provide the vision, talent, and leadership necessary to serve individuals, groups, and communities.

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, with emphasis in leadership and advanced practice pathways, prepares you to serve as a leader in nursing. The degree provides you with the opportunity to expand your career opportunities.

At SPU, several pathways may be incorporated into the Master of Science in Nursing. Students who focus on roles in nursing education, nursing administration, clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner complete a 48- to 59-credit program designed to be completed in two to three years of study.

The MSN program integrates theory, research, and evidence to prepare graduates of the highest quality within a Christian worldview.


Two certificate programs are also available:

  • ARNP Certificate (Post-Master's). Available to nurses who have earned a Master's Degree in Nursing. This program has a variable number credits depending upon previous coursework completed and current professional certification standards.  This certificate is designed to be completed in three to six quarters.
  • Nurse Educator Certificate (Post-Baccalaureate/Post-Master's). Available to students who have obtained or are in the process of obtaining a bachelor's degree in nursing.  This certificate is designed for individuals interested in clinical staff development, clinical education, or in an academic setting as faculty.  Coursework taken as part of the Nurse Educator Certificate may be applied to coursework for the MSN program.


  • Online application and $50 application fee.
  • Personal statement of professional and leadership goals as related to the specific mission statement of the School of Health Sciences and a statement of the applicant's expectations of graduate education. This includes a description of the applicant's potential for success in a master's level, leadership-focused program of study and addresses all seven components listed on the application.
  • Official college/university transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Undergraduate Nursing degree with GPA 3.0 or better in the last 45 quarter nursing credits.
  • Proof of undergraduate statistics course with 2.0 or better.
  • Professional résumé reflecting education and employment history. Résumé must include documentation of a minimum of two years active, professional practice in the RN role (with organizations and supervisors identified). 
  • Recommendation forms: two professional letters of reference (one of which must be from a supervisor).
  • A Washington state RN license with no practice restrictions.
  • In-house writing requirement.
  • Graduate admission interview.
  • Matriculation into the program is contingent upon national background check including Washington or resident state.


The School of Health Sciences admits students into the MSN program for Autumn Quarter. Students may enroll in courses as a non-matriculated student prior to admission. Non-matriculated coursework requires approval from the MSN program and that students hold a current license.

There are several steps in the MSN admissions process that begin with a review of application materials by an Admissions Committee. This review process is intended to screen for minimal acceptable requirements versus exceptional qualifications. The MSN program is completive and often receives more applications than can be accepted. The Admissions Committee will contact applicants using the email provided on the application to clarify questions and to facilitate review of the applicant.



Once all application materials are received, the administrative assistant for the graduate program coordinates the remaining steps of the application process.  Applicants who have not completed the GRE will be required to complete a brief writing exercise. An in-person interview will be conducted by the Admissions Committee with selected applicants. Applicants are notified in writing of the Admissions Committee's decision.


The MSN program operates on a cohort model beginning with nursing theory and leadership coursework. Coursework is separated into specialty areas and clinical internship experiences begin only after the completion of all prerequisite courses. All graduate coursework must adhere to specified levels of scholarship before progression can occur.


Program Concentrations

The MSN program consists of the following concentrations:

  • Nursing Administration
  • Nurse Educator
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner


Degree Requirements

The general requirements for a master’s degree are consistent with those listed for the University. All courses must be completed within a six-year limit. A scholarly clinical project is conducted within three research courses and must be approved by a faculty member. Students electing to complete a thesis for their scholarly project must register for additional thesis credits.

To graduate, all students must demonstrate beginning proficiency within their professional role as put forth by professional standards for practice.


The Graduate Center

Beth Van Camp, Admissions Counselor or 206-281-2888 or 800-601-0603 (toll free)

Apply online at

Graduate Program, School of Health Sciences

Katie Bennett, Graduate Administrative Assistant or 206-281-2616

Dr. Susan Casey, Associate Dean, graduate Nursing or 206-281-2649


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