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Master of Science in Nursing

The master of science in nursing (MSN) program is designed to prepare students in adult-gerontologic or family health nursing to assume leadership roles in advanced professional nursing. Students are prepared for roles in nursing education or nursing administration. The graduate program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Students pursuing the nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist or nurse executive role preparations need to apply to the post-baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN-to-DNP) degree option in keeping with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) decision to transition advanced practice nursing preparation to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree level.

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Contact Info

Catherine "Kitty" Kenney, DNP, RN, Nursing
Nursing 203
5 Roosevelt Avenue

Department website

Prepared for success

The MSN program will help students achieve expertise in the following areas:

  • Analyze, synthesize and apply knowledge from nursing science and other disciplines related to the health of adults, older adults, and families.
  • Synthesize, critique, evaluate and utilize theory to guide advanced nursing roles.
  • Synthesize, evaluate, and utilize research to improve client outcomes for adults, older adults and families.
  • Demonstrate expertise in ethically based, advanced clinical decision making of human responses in diverse populations.
  • Integrate leadership and management theories into advanced nursing roles.
  • Analyze and synthesize current nursing and health care issues and policies within the context of advanced nursing roles.
  • Integrate knowledge and theory of health policy, organizations and health care financing as a basis for the provision of quality, cost-effective care.
  • Assume beginning advanced nursing roles across health care settings demonstrating effective advocacy for diverse populations.
  • Engage in lifelong learning and scholarship for the advancement of professional nursing.

Why UW-Eau Claire

Research Opportunities

Education and health science graduate students gain hands-on experiences and research opportunities while working with clients in on-campus clinical facilities with state-of-the-art technology.


The graduate program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Course Work / Pre-Professional Courses

After admission to the program, the student must compete approximately 40-41 graduate credits to prepare for the educator or nurse administration roles. Completion of the program usually requires four semesters and a summer session. For full time students, the first year of courses generally are on Mondays and the second year of courses are on Tuesdays on campus, with role courses being hybrid (face-to-face and online). The summer course tends to be online with an immersion (on-campus) day. Students choose an adult-gerontologic or family health nursing population focus in addition to the role preparation.

Preparation requires specific nursing courses that build on a core of nursing knowledge. The course work includes a scholarly project and/or thesis with a public presentation.

Together, students and their advisers select cognate courses to augment the student’s core knowledge, population focus, and functional role preparation. Post master’s degree options also are available.

Graduate students must earn a grade of C or better in course work ad practicum to successfully complete a course.

The second-year educator or administration role preparation courses are offered on an alternate year basis.


  • Conceptual and Theoretical Foundations, 2 cr.
  • Nursing Research: Methods, 4 cr.
  • Nursing Research: Application, 2 cr.
  • Leadership and Health Policy in Nursing, 3 cr.
  • Scholarly Project or Thesis, 2-3 cr.
  • Population focus Human Responses; and Advanced theory & Practice of Adults/Older Adults 1 & 11, 8 cr. or Individual/Family and Community Responses; and Advanced Theory & Practice of Family Health, 8 cr.
  • Functional role preparation Nursing Education I and II, 13 cr. or Nursing Administration I and II
  • Advanced Physiological and Pathophysiological, 3 cr. (for nurse educators)
  • Advanced Clinical Concepts for Nurse Educators, 3 cr. (for nurse educators)
  • Cognate, 6 cr. (nurse administration)

Program Options

UW-Eau Claire offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree option for individuals pursuing education in advanced practice nursing. The DNP is a clinical doctorate designed to prepare nurses to assume leadership roles in the areas of advanced practice nursing (nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist) or nursing administration. Both MSN-to-DNP and BSN-to-DNP options are offered.

Special Admission Guidelines

Clinical Requirements

Seven credits of clinical (approximately 525 hours) are in the population focus area (adult-gerontologic or family health) and part of the educator role preparation courses. These clinical experiences are accomplished under the guidance of a faculty member and a preceptor.

To apply to the MSN program, an applicant must contact Dr. Catherine “Kittly” Kenney and submit the following documents by the priority date of January 4 for consideration for the following summer term:

  • A complete application for graduate admission to the University along with the application fees.
  • Official transcripts from postsecondary institutions.
  • An undergraduate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited (CCNE or NLN) nursing program, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Evidence of course work in statistics at the undergraduate level.
  • Three references from individuals who are knowledgeable of the applicant’s clinical ability and/or potential for graduate study.
  • An essay.
  • A complete Demographic Data Form.
  • Wisconsin Registered Nurse licensure (U.S. license at application, with WI by July 1).
  • Resume or C.V.

Send materials to:

Graduate Admissions
UW-Eau Claire
Schofield Hall 111
Eau Claire WI 54702-4004

Practice experience, choice of population and role preparation, and residency in an underserved area also may be considered in admission decisions. To apply for a graduate assistantship, fellowship, or the Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP), please also complete the online Graduate Assistantship/Fellowship/ AOP Application, which can be found on the UWEC website under Academics-Graduate Programs. Applications completed by March 1 will receive priority consideration for assistantships, fellowships, and AOP grants; however, applications completed thereafter will continue to be considered on a rolling basis.

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