Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Nursing student observing patient.



Nursing – Advanced Practice, Master of Science

Nursing

Our Nursing – Advanced Practice, Master of Science plans prepare you to deliver primary care to underserved rural populations. You will also be eligible for state certification in Arizona, for application for prescribing and dispensing privileges in Arizona, and for application for national certification as a family nurse practitioner or a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (across the lifespan).

This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion48 – 51
Major GPA3.0
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Fieldwork Experience/InternshipRequired
Arizona Endorsement

Prepares student for Arizona Endorsement.

ThesisThesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
ResearchIndividualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended courseworkRequired
Progression Plan LinkView Program of Study
Licensure

This program may lead to licensure.

Purpose Statement

The philosophy of the School of Nursing at Northern Arizona University is based on an ethic of caring that embraces students, faculty, staff, and the university community and the global community within which we live and work. We also believe that caring is a conscious, intentional discipline that is part of nursing’s unique body of knowledge and is practiced in interdisciplinary contexts. Caring includes the creation and nurturing of an environment that recognizes that students, staff, and faculty have unique ways of viewing the world. This philosophy promotes excellence in nursing education and practice in an environment of constant change and emerging healthcare trends.

The faculty believes the transition to the role of competent professional nurse is a major developmental achievement. We believe that nursing is an art and science that is an integral component of healthcare. Applying the discipline of nursing to practice depends on a foundation of natural and human sciences, humanities and arts, the application of research, and the diverse backgrounds of learners. Societal influences in the evolving healthcare system challenge all involved in nursing education.

Education is a dynamic, life-long collaborative process by which an individual pursues life goals, broadens human potential, develops thinking, and clarifies values. The faculty believes that learning is the intentional acquisition, application, and integration of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Learning is shaped by the environment and developmental level of the learner and is ultimately the responsibility of the learner. Faculty plan, guide, and facilitate learning while supporting the learning needs of a diverse community of students. We believe that learning-centered experiences with rigorous expectations and actively engaged students results in higher-level thinkers and graduates prepared for real-world practice. We value incorporating rural and global healthcare into a variety of educational experiences. Thus, education not only expands the thinking of the learner but increases opportunities for application.

The faculty has developed a philosophy that values diverse persons, environment, health, and nursing, and their interrelatedness. The following meta-paradigm concepts guide the implementation of the organizing framework for the curriculum.

The Family Nurse Practitioner track was designed for nurses with a BSN degree and a broad base of experience who want to expand their skills to provide family primary care in rural settings.  The advanced practice nursing role as a primary care family nurse practitioner includes the components of knowledge and management of client and family care, professional relationships, and healthcare delivery systems. Upon completion of the Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science, FNP track, or the Post-Master’s FNP Certificate, the graduate qualifies for seeking both national and state certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track was designed for the BSN nurse with a broad base of experience who wants to expand their skills to provide advanced practice care to people experiencing acute and chronic mental health issues. The graduate of the Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science, PMHNP track will be prepared with the skills and knowledge to mitigate the disparities that many people with mental illness living in rural areas may face. The advanced practice nursing role as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner includes the components of knowledge and management of mental healthcare for the client and family, professional relationships, and healthcare delivery systems. Upon completion of the Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science degree, PMHNP track, the graduate qualifies for seeking both national and state certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan).

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with Standards from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
 
All Students with MS Nursing Degrees will be able to

  • Critical reasoning
    • Integrate theory, evidence, clinical judgment, research, and interprofessional perspectives using translational processes to improve practice and associated health outcomes for patient aggregates.
  • Leadership
    • Analyze how policies influence the structure and financing of healthcare, practice, and health outcomes.
    • Examine the effect of legal and regulatory processes on nursing practice, healthcare delivery, and outcomes.
  • Professionalism and Professional Values
    • Advocate for patients, families, caregivers, communities, and members of the healthcare team.
    • Incorporate core scientific and ethical principles in identifying potential and actual ethical issues arising from practice and assisting patients and other healthcare providers to address such issues.
  • Global Health
    • Global Engagement transforms healthcare systems to address health equity and social justice thus reducing health disparities in vulnerable populations.
      • Diversity Education
        • Assume leadership and/or research roles in developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally reinforcing nursing and other healthcare services from local to global perspectives.
        • Prioritize the social and cultural factors that affect health in designing and delivering care across multiple contexts.
      • Environmental Sustainability
        • Create partnerships that promote sustainable environmental health policies and conditions.
        • Analyze and promote social, political, and economic policies that influence sustainable environments and reduce human health exposures in a global society.
Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science degree, Family Nurse Practitioner Track
This emphasis is designed for the registered nurse (RN) who has a broad base of experience and wants to expand his or her skills to provide family primary care in rural settings. The advanced practice nursing role as a primary care family nurse practitioner includes the components of knowledge and management of client and family care, professional relationships, and healthcare delivery systems. Upon completion of the MS-FNP Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science degree FNP track, or the Post-Master’s FNP Certificate, the graduate qualifies for seeking both national and state certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
 
Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track
This emphasis is designed for the registered nurse (RN) who has a broad base of experience and wants to expand their skills to provide advanced practice care to people experiencing acute and chronic mental health issues. The graduate of the Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science degree, PMHNP track will be prepared with the skills and knowledge to mitigate the disparities that many people with mental illness living in rural areas may face. The advanced practice nursing role as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner includes the components of knowledge and management of mental healthcare for the client and family, professional relationships, and healthcare delivery systems. Upon completion of the Nursing—Advanced Practice, Master of Science degree, PMHNP track, the graduate qualifies for seeking both national and state certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan).


In addition to the NAU MSN Program Outcomes & the PMH Registered Nurse’s Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance (ANA, APNA, & ISPN, 2022), the PMHNP graduate of NAU will:

  • Clinical practice and prevention
    • Design patient-centered comprehensive psychiatric mental health evaluations that are consistent with cultural competency, trauma-informed care, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the patient, family, community, and populations.
    • Integrate theoretical knowledge and clinical expertise in the prescription and implementation of evidence-based treatment modalities.
    • Promote mental health resilience, recovery, and positive outcomes for the patient, family, communities, and populations.
  • Communication
    • Role-model interpersonal skills, self-reflection, and trauma-informed communication skills in the development of therapeutic relationships to promote holistic well-being of the patient, family, and interprofessional teams.
  • Critical reasoning
    • Critically appraise psychological, social, biological, and nursing theories and research to develop an understanding of mental health problems from the individual to the systems level.
    • Design holistic interventions for patients, families, communities, and systems informed by the integration of theoretical frameworks.
  • Leadership
    • Evaluate the impact of social systems, legal, and regulatory processes on the mental health well-being of vulnerable populations.
    • Design an evidence-based innovative strategy to improve mental health outcomes of vulnerable populations and influence decision-making bodies.
  • Professionalism and professional values
    • Examine personal values, their influence on behavior and decision-making, and the effect of alignment or misalignment of values and behavior on patient outcomes and systems.
    • Engage in routine self-reflection, education, and mentorship to promote well-being and resiliency for self and others.
  • Global Health
    • Examine the influence of society and culture on mental health, mental illness, and mental health services.
    • Practice consistent introspection about the intersectionality between the patient/family/population and self on:
      • Perception of health and health needs
      • Culture-bound health behaviors
      • Culture-bound communication
      • Covert and overt biases
      • Culturally influenced barriers to health (i.e., health disparities and social determinants of health).
    • Role-model advocacy for diversity, inclusion, equity, justice, and belonging in clinical practice and within systems through personal awareness, cultural humility, unconditional positive regard, and therapeutic cross-cultural communication.

Graduate Admission Information
  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (“A” = 4.0), or the equivalent.


    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program or an associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited program with a bachelor’s degree in another field.
    • 3.0 GPA in all nursing coursework
    • Current RN license in good standing to practice as a registered nurse in Arizona, or eligibility to obtain an Arizona license, or meet the Arizona Board of Nursing regulations regarding multistate licensure.
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • Completion of an undergraduate introduction to statistics course from a college or university with a grade of “C” or better, or a Pass. 
      • Another option is completion of a graduate course in statistics, passed with a “B” grade or higher, and completed prior to enrollment in NUR 530. 
      • Completion of undergraduate courses in nursing research (didactic) and public health nursing (didactic and clinical) with grades of “B” or better.
    • Responses to specific essay questions
    • IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card
    • Clinical Health Requirements
Master’s Requirements
  • This Master’s degree requires 48 – 51 units distributed as follows:

    • Core Requirements: 23 units
    • Emphasis Requirements: 25 – 28 units
      • Family Nurse Practitioner Emphasis: 25 units
      • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Emphasis: 28 units


    Take the following 48 – 51 units:

  • Emphasis Requirements – Select One (25 – 28 units)
Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.

Additional Information
  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $60 per credit hour has been approved for this program.