Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Program Description

Our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program offers eight advanced practice registered nurse majors and three non-clinical majors. You also have the option of adding a specialty to your course of study.

The master's degree in nursing at the Duke University School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


All of the following majors are offered as distance-based or online programs. All majors will have required on-campus activities for a few of their courses. In these courses, students will be required to come to campus at least once every semester for two- to five-day intensives with faculty and other experts where face-to-face interactions, simulation and hands-on activities will be conducted.

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Health Informatics
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing and Health Care Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Core Courses and Clinical Residency

Each major requires you to complete 11 credit hours of clinical core courses. As a final synthesis experience, students are required to complete a final clinical residency under the mentorship of an experienced clinician in their respective area of expertise. The minimum number of credit hours required for completion of the MSN degree varies by major, ranging from 42 to 49 credit hours.

Clinical experience requirements for the MSN degree in all majors meet or exceed the requirements of national credentialing organizations such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP), American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), National Certification Corporation (NCC) and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). Upon graduation, students are qualified to sit for the appropriate certification examination.

Specialty Certificates

Groupings of courses pertaining to an advanced practice specialty are available within certain majors. If you wish to include a specialty in your course of study, you should consult your advisor in order to determine if the specialty is appropriate for and available in your major. The following specialties are currently available:

  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • HIV
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Palliative Care
  • Pediatric Behavioral and Mental Health
  • Veterans Health Care (for AGNP-primary care students)
  • Pathway to a DNP Degree
  • Post-BSN to DNP 
Last updated Sep 2020

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About the School

The Duke University School of Nursing or DUSON, as it's called by many, is an organization and community of scholars committed to providing the best educational environment for the development of nurs ... Read More

The Duke University School of Nursing or DUSON, as it's called by many, is an organization and community of scholars committed to providing the best educational environment for the development of nursing leaders. Established in 1931, we are a center of excellence that is committed to the advancement of nursing science, the promotion of clinical scholarship and the education of clinical leaders, advanced practitioners and researchers. In addition to educating the nurses of tomorrow, critically important research that is changing the future of health care is also being carried out here. Many of our faculty conduct cutting edge research and test interventions to improve the health of those with chronic illness or test innovative models for clinical care. Many others are actively involved in practice in their specialty area, such as care for those with heart disease, diabetes and at-risk neonates. Read less