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Graduate Nursing Overview

The Graduate Nursing program at Austin Peay State University offers a supportive learning environment to prepare students for advanced practice roles in various health care organizations and settings. Both the FNP and NE concentrations are flexible and designed to meet the needs of Registered Nurses in various stages of their careers. All graduate nursing classes are primarily delivered in an online format. 

Both the FNP and NE concentrations offer students access to a collaborative academic community with low student-to-faculty ratios, direct and frequent access to faculty, personal advising, and an interactive approach to learning. Students attend FUN and INTERACTIVE on-campus intensives to practice hands-on skills, participate in simulation, and interact with peers, faculty, and experts in the field. Prior to graduation, students in both concentrations develop an evidence-based project that demonstrates integration of the knowledge gained from their concentrations.

More information can be found about the Graduate Nursing programs in the APSU Graduate Bulletin.

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There are many reasons a student should consider the APSU Graduate Nursing Program. Here are just a few:

  • Low faculty: student ratios--from the time students are admitted, we get to know them by name. The Graduate Nursing Faculty at APSU are committed to the success of our students.
  • High Value/Low Cost Education--tuition at APSU is very competitive and students graduate with low debt and quality outcomes. APSU has the LOWEST graduate tuition per credit hour than any other Tennessee state institution ($450/credit hour in state/2020-2021)--a student can earn their MSN for less than $30,000 (in-state)
  • No GRE Required for Admission.
  • Student Involvement--from their first semester, graduate nursing students have opportunities to participate in graduate nursing committees.
  • On-Campus Intensives (OCIs)--opportunities for on-campus learning: we believe that advanced assessment and procedures are best learned when they can be practiced in a fun, supportive and hands-on learning environment.
  • Synchronous videoconferencing--these opportunities provide students with real time experiences and participation from any location.
  • Asynchronous classes--classes are set up to be primarily onilne. Students watch lecture content, take quizzes, submit assignments, and participate in online discussions asynchronously.

On-Campus Intensives (OCIs) are required visits to the Clarksville, Tennessee, campus. Students will receive dates and times well in advance for planning purposes. These "Intensives" are intended to provide a fun and supportive learning environment to practice and assess the skills and techniques learned in the online classroom. During the intensive, students have opportunities to socialize with their peers and members of the School of Nursing Graduate Faculty.

  • The MSN Program (FNP and NE concentration) requires two visits to the APSU campus for intensives. FNP students will also complete a virtual advanced skills intensive.
  • The Post-Graduate Certificate Program (FNP and NE concentration) requires one visit to the APSU campus for an intensive. FNP students will also complete a virtual advanced skills intensive.

ASSESSMENT: The Assessment OCI occurs at the end of the Advanced Health Assessment (NURS 5008) clinical/lab course. The Assessment OCI gives students a chance to meet classmates and Graduate Nursing faculty in person and strengthen existing professional relationships. In small groups led by Graduate Nursing faculty, students will practice the skills acquired in class and participate in open labs, lab practice, lab check-offs, and the white coat ceremony.

CLINICAL: The Virtual Advanced Skills Intensive for the Graduate Nursing FNP students occurs during the NURS 5801 course, which is at the start of the clinical hours. This Virtual OCI is intended to practice advanced practice office procedures (i.e:suturing, biopsies, x-ray interpretation, nail removal, incision and drainage, and complex wound care management). Students complete this OCI virtually.

FINAL: The Final OCI occurs towards the end of the final semester before graduation. Both MSN concentrations will participate in the presentation of their final Capstone projects. The Final OCI also involves a celebration for the accomplishments of all graduate students as they complete their final Graduate Nursing courses.

High Value/Low Cost Education--tuition at APSU is very competitive and students graduate with low debt and quality outcomes. APSU has the LOWEST graduate tuition per credit hour than any other Tennessee state institution ($450/credit hour in state/2020-2021)--a student can earn their MSN for less than $30,000 (in-state)

The most current graduate tuition and fee information can be found at the Austin Peay State University Student Account Services and Cashier's Office website.

Students can find more information about financial aid options and veteran benefits at the Austin Peay State University Office of Student Financial Aid website.

The APSU Graduate Nursing Program welcomes out of state applicants. We have many graduate nursing students who live and complete clinical out of the state of Tennessee, but there are some states that prohibit graduate nursing students from completing clinical experiences in their state. The APSU Graduate Nursing program is unable to accept students residing in New York for the FNP program.

Current or potential nursing graduate students who fall into any of the following categories should email graduatenursing@apsu.edu to discuss their individual needs:

  • Out of state students interested in applying to the Graduate Nursing Program.
  • Any graduate nursing student who is interested in completing clinical in a state that is different than TN.
  • Students who are considering a move to a different state after entering the program. The APSU Graduate Nursing Program cannot guarantee placement of students for clinical practicum in all 50 states.

STATE LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS

The APSU Graduate Nursing Program cannot guarantee licensure eligibility outside the state of Tennessee. Applicants are encouraged to contact the applicable licensure board(s) in their state of residence or in the state where they intend to obtain a license before beginning an academic program that results in licensure and prior to beginning any internship/practicum. For more information visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing www.ncsbn.org

  • The APSU Graduate Nursing Program has determined that its Graduate Nursing program curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure and/or certification for the following states.: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia. PLEASE NOTE: Additional curriculum may be still be required for prescriptive authority in these states
  • For all other states, the APSU Graduate Nursing Program has not yet made a determination whether the Graduate Nursing Program curriculum meets state specific requirements for licensure and/or certification. These states include: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming

*Austin Peay University is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to conduct practice experiences in the state of Washington for the MSN FNP program.

Graduate Nursing Program--Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Each student is assigned a Graduate Nursing advisor who will review each student's program sequence outlining which courses to take in the various semesters.

Yes. Students are required to be on campus 1-2  times throughout their program. Each On-Campus Intensive (OCI) is 1-2 days and the date is published well in advance. The OCIs are FUN. There are opportunities for learning and socialization with peers and faculty.

Many of our students continue to work while in our program; however, each student has varying needs related to study time, work-life balance, and clinical practicum availability. Students who choose to complete the FNP concentration full time typically do not work, or work part-time/PRN minimally.

No. The MSN program (both concentrations) accepts applications from nurses once they receive their BSN degree and pass the NCLEX. Though we do not currently require any work experience for a specific time, each student should carefully consider their ability and desire to take on advanced level of education at the same time they are beginning a new profession.

Students can apply to the Post-Graduate Certificate Program right after they earn their MSN or DNP degrees.

Nurse Educators enjoy careers in instructional or administrative positions as faculty in schools of nursing or in medical facilities in areas of staff development. A MSN or Certificate in Nursing Education enables experienced nurses to combine their clinical expertise  with a passion for teaching.

End of Program Student Learning Outcomes (EPSLOs) are measurable statements that express what a student will know, do, or think at the end of the learning experience. The following EPSLOs are consistent with the identified standards of professional practice and professional standards.

Graduates of the MSN FNP and Post-Graduate FNP Certificate programs will be able to:

  1. Use evidence and practice guidelines to create a safe, quality, and effective care environment.
  2. Apply effective clinical reasoning in the management of Patient-Centered Care.
  3. Practice ethical decision making in patient management.
  4. Apply patient advocacy and effective communication in diverse clinical settings.
  5. Demonstrate evidence-based decision making in the clinical setting. 
  6. Formulate the ability to use scientific inquiry as a basis for clinical decision-making and quality improvement in clinical practice.
  7. Assess community and population health in the clinical setting. 
  8. Demonstrate advanced role development, professional behaviors, and leadership competency, including effective communication and collaboration in the care of diverse patients across the lifespan. 
  9. Integrate appropriate technologies for knowledge management to improve health care.

Graduates of the MSN Nurse Educator and Post-Graduate Nurse Educator Certificate programs will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate competence in developing, implementing, revising, and evaluating nursing curricula among individuals and groups using relevant theories of nursing, teaching and learning, evaluation, and technological innovation. 
    2. Apply educational theory and research to the development and evaluation of nursing and healthcare curricula. 
    3. Analyze the impact of societal and technological changes on nursing education. 
    4. Analyze evidence-based research to guide decisions in selecting educational interventions to improve nursing practice, patient outcomes, safety, and population health. 
    5. Demonstrate knowledge of the tripartite role in educational environments of higher learning. 
    6. Demonstrate advanced role development, ethical and professional behaviors, and leadership competency, including effective communication, collaboration, and advocacy in the care of diverse patients across the life/span 
    7. Demonstrate graduate level clinical knowledge and expertise to execute safe and effective patient care.

Galen College Online RN to BSN Receives CCNE AccreditationThe master's degree program in nursing and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

APSU Nursing Scholarships: There are several scholarships available to APSU Graduate Nursing students. Applications can be submitted from October 1- March 1. Students must be admitted to APSU in order to apply. Awards are decided each spring for the following academic year starting in fall semesters.

Tennessee Graduate Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program: The Graduate Nursing Loan-Forgiveness Program is designed to encourage Tennessee residents who are registered nurses to become teachers and administrators in Tennessee nursing education programs. For more information, please go directly to the TN website:

Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarships: scholarships to support nursing education for graduate nursing students. For more information, please go directly to the ANCA website:

Veteran's Benefits: Thank you for your service! Please contact the APSU Office of Veteran's Education Benefits directly for information regarding educational benefits and services.

 

National Graduate Nursing Scholarship Opportunities

  • Federal HRSA Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs provide funding to help students offset the cost of their education. Scholarship programs provide tuition, fees and living stipend assistance to students enrolled in a qualified nursing program. Loan repayment programs provide funding to graduates employed full-time at a critical shortage facility with qualifying educational loans.
  • Faculty Loan Repayment Program provides up to $40,000 to health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds in exchange for two years of service on the faculty at an accredited health professions college or university.
  • U.S. Public Health Services’ SRCOSTEP Program provides pay and benefits to selected applicants in the final year of full-time academic study in exchange for work for the sponsoring agency as a Commissioned Corps Officer after graduation. The service obligation is equal to twice the time sponsored; that is, for 9 months of financial support, a SRCOSTEP participant commits to 18 months of employment with the division or organization that provided the support.
  • Best Nursing Degree.com--$1,000 Honor's in Nursing scholarships available for BSN or MSN students.
  • GradSchools.com is offering a $2,000 scholarship for minority nurses to help fund their graduate school degree.
  • MinuteClinic awards up to 40 Nurse Practitioner Scholarships at $2,500 each and up to 20 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarships at $2,500 each.
  • National Health Service Corps, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers a scholarship program to Nurse Practitioners students (post graduate degree with clinical practice focus) at an accredited U.S. school.
  • Nurse Practitioner Health Association offers a variety of scholarships ($1,000 to $4,000 awards) to students in Nurse Practitioner graduate programs for outstanding research, leadership and academic achievements.
  • GradSchools.com is offering a $2,000 scholarship for minority nurses to help fund their graduate school degree.
  • MinuteClinic awards up to 40 Nurse Practitioner Scholarships at $2,500 each and up to 20 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarships at $2,500 each.
  • National Health Service Corps, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers a scholarship program to Nurse Practitioners students (post graduate degree with clinical practice focus) at an accredited U.S. school.
  • Nurse Practitioner Health Association offers a variety of scholarships ($1,000 to $4,000 awards) to students in Nurse Practitioner graduate programs for outstanding research, leadership and academic achievements.
  • American Assembly for Men in Nursing Foundation is sponsoring a five student scholarships to male students pursuing undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees.
  • American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) offers a series of scholarships for eligible American Indian and Alaskan Natives.
  • American Red Cross awards the Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship to both undergraduate nursing students and graduate nursing students who are a volunteer or employee of the American Red Cross Unit.
  • DiversityNursing.com, a niche website for Nurses from student Nurses up to CNO's, is offering a $5,000 Education Award. You must be enrolled as a full-time or part-time student in an accredited School of Nursing in a professional registered nurse program (baccalaureate, graduate, associate degree or diploma) OR work Full-Time, Part-Time or Per Diem as a Registered Nurse, LPN, Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Leader/Administrator at a U.S. based organization.
  • ExceptionalNurse.com offers scholarships to both graduate and undergraduate nursing students with disabilities.
  • Indian Health Service (IHS) offers scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native health professions students in both undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) members enrolled in accredited undergraduate and graduate nursing programs are presented scholarships based on their demonstration of professional contributions to the nursing profession and have the potential to be role models to aspiring nursing students.
  • NURSE Corps Scholarship Program (NCSP), helps students complete their nursing education by paying tuition, fees, other education costs, while providing a monthly living stipend. The program is open to full-time nursing students accepted or enrolled in diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate nursing programs at accredited schools located in the U.S. Upon graduation, scholarship program members fulfill a service commitment at a Critical Shortage Facility.