Master of Science in Nursing Degree Online


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The online graduate nursing pathway continues the long history of A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies’ delivery of an “anywhere, anytime” model, providing a quality, accessible, and affordable education. The M.S.N. and D.N.P. degrees bring a new disciple to A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' comprehensive offerings of health professions degrees and contribute to the nursing profession by preparing nurses to assume teaching, executive, and leadership roles.

According to the most recent statistics (2018 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses), 17.5% of RNs in the US hold a master's degree and 1.9% a doctoral degree as their highest educational preparation. It has been noted that the current demand for master's- and doctorally prepared nurses for advanced practice, clinical specialties, teaching, and research roles far exceed the supply.


Potential Themes

Within the curriculum, there are several important concepts that make the A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies graduate degrees distinctive. 

  • Global health: Broadening the perspective to “think local and act global” in care delivery promotes A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' mission and strengthens sensitivity to the many diverse communities and populations nurses work with. 
  • Whole-person healthcare: another example of supporting A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' mission and nursing’s values, is deeply threaded in curricular assignments and application. Emphasis is on body, mind, and spirit which promotes personalized care and wellness. 
  • Reflective practice: which is integrated into every course and accomplished through journaling and submission of a Strategic Practice Narrative retained in an electronic portfolio. Reflection is essential to the best nursing practice. The ability to consider and be mindful of daily nursing actions enhances clinical reasoning, encourages growth, and raises the standard of care.

A unique offering from A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies, M.S.N. may be earned along a pathway to achieving the D.N.P. This is not always the case at other colleges and universities where students entering B.S.N. to D.N.P. programs must complete the pathway to its end to earn a degree. At A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies, students can opt-out of the D.N.P. pathway after achieving the M.S.N. or enroll just to pursue the M.S.N. Should students, at a later date, want to continue on or pursue the D.N.P., they may. In either case, if the M.S.N. is earned at A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies and students want to pursue the D.N.P. they are considered alumni and can take advantage of the 20% tuition discount.

There are 4 terms (10 weeks/term) per academic year in which students may take 1 – 2 courses per term. Depending on how many courses are taken per term, students can complete the M.S.N. in as few as 5 terms or it may take up to 10 terms if they opt to go slower. 

Expert faculty have been recruited from across the country who have outstanding academic and practice-based experience. 

Online Nursing Degree

Take your first step today. Earn your graduate degree in nursing at A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS).

The master of science in nursing (M.S.N.) is a learner-centered, achievable, 100% online degree program. It is your entry point to A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' unique graduate nursing pathway (G.N.P.). The G.N.P. offers you an opportunity to earn your M.S.N., and then continue on to a doctor of nursing practice (D.N.P.), if desired. 

A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' “anytime, anywhere” model does not require residency, saving travel time, and expense. You have the freedom to work at your own pace from a minimum of one course per term.

If entering the G.N.P. with a BSN, you will be required to successfully complete 9 courses and a professional practice portfolio (a total of 33 credit hours). If you are entering with a BSN and a non-nursing master’s degree, you can earn the M.S.N. by completing 30 credits.

A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' M.S.N. provides many opportunities. You can develop and enhance your knowledge and skills to expand or enrich your current position. The M.S.N. also helps you attain skills to assume other nursing roles. These might be teaching, leading, or directing care or programs in a variety of healthcare and community systems.

Become a nurse leader! Help influence and achieve positive health care outcomes. Make a difference in the future of healthcare and nursing.

Career Advancement

Potential career advancement opportunities are boundless with an M.S.N. from A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies:

  • Director of a hospital service line
  • Director of health services
  • Director of patient quality and safety
  • Director of professional practice
  • Manager of local, state, and federal government health agencies
  • Manager in a community-based health organization
  • Administrator and/or faculty in a college
  • Director of staff development
  • Program manager in the insurance company
  • Healthcare outreach coordinators or managers
  • Health educator for governmental agencies or non-profit organizations
  • Health program consultant
  • Health services project manager
  • Grant funding coordinator
  • Manager or specialist in a professional or advocacy organization


Learning Outcomes

A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies G.N.P. program graduates from the M.S.N. are expected to demonstrate competence in the following learning outcomes:

  • Integrate nursing science; its theories, models, and system-based concepts with related sciences as needed foundations for practice.
  • Select appropriate health care assessments to gather data and diagnostic information needed to improve and enhance the health and well-being of diverse patients, communities, and populations across the lifespan.
  • Interpret statistics and evidence-based data using clinical judgment and reasoning to determine best practice, improve individual and population health, and to enhance practice environments.
  • Apply organizational theories to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness, and safety outcomes of practice decisions and organizational initiatives.
  • Evaluate processes and programs that focus on outcomes of care, care systems, and quality improvement.
  • Use communication, consultative, and leadership skills to guide interprofessional teams and to improve quality and safety in health care.
  • Evaluate legal and ethical issues within healthcare systems to achieve appropriate resolutions.
  • Apply knowledge of informatics to monitor, evaluate, and improve outcomes, programs, and systems of care as well as to promote effective communication among patients, staff, and colleagues.
  • Demonstrate leadership and engagement skills at the organizational, professional, and community levels to improve healthcare and practice.
  • Choose self-care strategies that can be used daily to strengthen personal and professional whole-person health and wellness.
  • Assess practice regularly to become more self-aware and to reflect on and build personal and professional skills.

Master of Science in Nursing Curriculum Overview

The M.S.N. features leading-edge information contributed by nurses in advanced practice, and from those who are nurse administrators, managers, leaders, and educators. Student learning is enhanced by using the A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies approach of providing broad training, integrated online instruction, directed readings, email, and chat room interactions.

The curriculum is grounded in research and designed to ensure competency achievement through authentic embedded assessments. These are driven by the M.S.N. learning outcomes and applied clinical skills and a foundational competency framework built from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing and AACN’s Graduate-Level Quality and Safety Education in Nursing Competencies (QSEN).

Courses include content in nursing science, evidence-based practice, planning and evaluation, health assessment, policy and ethics, managing healthcare systems, leadership and interprofessional collaboration, and healthcare information systems. In addition, students build skills in whole person self-care, resilience, and reflective practice.

Course content is enriched with 500 hours of the required master’s-level G.N.P. applied clinical skills earned through the completion of specific assignments found in all M.S.N. courses. Examples of applied clinical skills include advocacy, consultation, coaching, employee engagement, mentoring, and population health management.

M.S.N. students complete a professional practice portfolio. In this culminating course, students assume a leadership role as they respond to a needed change within a healthcare system, in practice, in an educational setting, or advocating for a health policy locally or globally. In the portfolio, students also assess how well they demonstrated expected competencies including those in whole person self-care and reflective practice.

  • DNPP 7000 – Fundamentals of Graduate Nursing Study (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5100 - Nursing Science and Best Practice (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5200 - Evidence-Based Practice, Planning, and Evaluating Quality Care (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5300 - Comprehensive Health Assessment (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5400 - Health Law, Policy, and Ethics (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5500 - Managing Healthcare Systems (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5600 - Leadership, Interprofessional Collaboration, and Teamwork (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5700 – Critical Issues in Strategic Nursing Leadership (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 5800 – Healthcare Information Systems (3 Credits)
  • MSNP 6000 – Professional Practice Portfolio (6 Credits)


Master of Science in Nursing Degree Admissions

A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies admits nurses into the M.S.N. program who have a BSN or a BSN and a non-nursing master’s degree and who meet the requirements.

Prospective students are selected by considering the overall qualities of applicants through a thorough review of application content, academic record, prior experience, and personal motivation.


  1. Application:
    • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Academic:
    • An accredited degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (bachelor’s degree for masters programs and a master’s degree for doctoral programs). Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States may have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
    • Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
    • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
    • Evidence of a current unencumbered RN license held in the state in which the attainment of applied non-clinical skills hours will occur.
  3. Elements of success:
    • A current resume.
    • Completion of a brief essay.
    • English proficiency **
    • Meet A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies technology requirements.***

*Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

  • World Education Services P.O. Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087 p: (212) 966-6311 f: (212) 739-6139
  • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 (414) 289-3400
  • American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135 (202) 293-9161
  • Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami FL 33173 p: (305) 273 -1616 f: (305) 273 -1338
  • Intl. Education Research Foundation, Inc. PO Box 3665 Culver City, CA 90231-3665 (310) 258-9451

**Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet-Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:

The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, 609.771.7100

***A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies technology requirements

  • Option 1 - English is your first language.
  • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four-year college/university in the United States with a BA/BS or graduate degree.
  • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are:

  • CBT - minimum total score of 213 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 26/Writing Skills section
  • iBT - minimum total score of 80 Minimum of 22/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 24/Writing Skills section
  • PBT - minimum total score of 550 Minimum of 57/Reading Skills section | Minimum of 61/Writing Skills section


Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Become an innovative healthcare leader with A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' advanced online degrees and certificates specifically designed for working individuals. A.T. Stil ... Read More

Become an innovative healthcare leader with A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' advanced online degrees and certificates specifically designed for working individuals. A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies' students and faculty are part of a distinguished heritage of humanistic healthcare. Our whole-person approach begins with a belief in body-mind-spirit interactions and continues with an understanding of how these dimensions can be treated holistically. At A.T. Still University, College of Graduate Health Studies you’ll experience a rich heritage coupled with innovative thinking to give you the skills and education necessary to succeed. Read less