RN-to-MSN Program

The RN-to-MSN Track of the graduate program in the School of Nursing enables students who are registered nurses without a BSN to obtain a MSN degree within one of four specialty areas: nurse-midwifery, family nurse practitioner, health systems management, and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner. The graduate will have the competencies taught in their chosen specialty and, upon completion, will be eligible to take the appropriate national certification exams, if applicable. Students in the RN-to-MSN program take 13 credits of undergraduate nursing bridge courses and between 37-48 credits of graduate courses.

Admission Criteria:

To apply to Shenandoah University click here>>.

To view the Graduate Nursing Program Admission Guidelines click here.>>


RN (up to 69 credits from previous nursing program)

Prerequisite Courses (May be those included within the RN degree)

General Education Courses Credits
Introductory Psychology 3
General Education Elective 2
College Chemistry 4
Statistics 3
Introductory Sociology 3
Religion/Philosophy 3
Public Speaking 3
Humanities 3
Total General Education Prerequisite Credits 24

Bridge Courses

Course Name of Course Credits
N 414 Nursing Leadership 3
N 306 Theory, Reasoning and Research in Nursing 3
N 401 Human Health Across the Lifespan: Communities 5
N 404 Reflections on the Art of Nursing II 2
  Total Bridge Course Credits 13

Upon completion of the prerequisites and bridge courses, students will take the following MSN Core Course Credits. The number of these credits are dependent on the following specialties: Nurse-Midwifery (NM), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Health Systems Management (HSM),  and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

N 506 Applied Data Analysis 3 3 3 3 3 3
N 512 Theory Research & Reasoning I 3 3 3 3 3 3
N 521 Theory Research & Reasoning II 3 3 3 3 3 3
N 532 Roles and Issues in Advanced Practice 3 3 3 3 1 3
N 550 Advanced Pharmacology & Therapeutics 3 –* 3 3 3 3
N 560 Advanced Concepts in Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 3 3 3 3
N 580 Advanced Health Promotion and Assessment Across the Life Span 4 4 4 4 4
  Total Core and Pre/Co credits 22 12 22 22 20 22

* Not required for this specialty track.


Nursing N 201 Health Assessment Challenge RN-MSN

Shenandoah University’s School of Nursing offers to students admitted to the RN-MSN program the option to  challenge the N 201 Health Assessment course for credit. Students may take and pass the Health Assessment NLN Standardized exam for advanced placement. Students will pay the examination fee of $75 to the Shenandoah University Business Office and must also meet the 30 credit residency required to graduate from Shenandoah University.

Purpose: Evaluates understanding of the general health assessment and physical examination techniques used to evaluate the health status of adults and children. Reflects nurse-client encounters in a variety of healthcare setting, using a body systems approach for evaluation physical data-gathering techniques. Includes items on interviewing , obtaining health history, general screening, and documentation. Health status and developmental stages of clients are also considered.

Format: 102-item, four-option multiple choices.

Administration:  Can be administered in two hours.

Scoring: A total score (decision score) is provided to be used when awarding credit for advanced placement in an RN nursing program. A decision score of 78 or 50th percentile is a passing score. To register, please print this form and follow instructions.