Master of Nursing Program

Health care needs registered nurses—it’s projected that more than a million new RNs will be needed in the next decade. If you have a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to make a difference as a registered nurse, consider Vanderbilt’s new Master of Nursing (MN) program. Our fast-moving, comprehensive master’s program prepares highly motivated students to be registered nurses who deliver high-quality, comprehensive care in our changing health care environment. The MN program of study will equip you to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse in just four semesters.

At Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, your education is grounded in principles of sound clinical judgment and evidence-based knowledge. You will master the skills and knowledge required of registered nurses as well as introductory clinical teaching skills and advanced competency in interprofessional teamwork, nursing leadership and nursing informatics.

But what makes the Vanderbilt MN different from other MN, BSN or even MSN programs is its focus on health equity and health justice.

Vanderbilt MN students see their patients through a holistic and health equity lens. They recognize and incorporate respect for each patient’s uniqueness into that patient’s care. They consider not just a patient’s current health needs but the influence of social determinants of health (the non-medical socio-economic, cultural, political, environmental and educational circumstances of an individual that impact their health and well-being) on their current circumstances. As the nurse part of an interprofessional health care team, the Vanderbilt MN registered nurse uses that perspective and knowledge to help provide the best treatment and care.

MN program courses are offered full time in a face-to-face format, which means you will need to live within daily commuting distance of Vanderbilt’s campus. The integrated, clinically-focused, accelerated curriculum consists of 65 credit hours and 1,300 clinical hours across multiple spheres of care and with patients of all ages and within multiple populations.

Why Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt is known internationally for its excellence in graduate nursing education, practice and research. The school’s success-based philosophy encourages students to achieve high academic and professional expectations. Faculty facilitate student learning with evidence-based teaching strategies and exceptional coaching and advising. VUSN fosters an inclusive learning environment and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, dedicated to being a school where students can belong. Peer engagement and opportunities for interprofessional learning foster the development of communication and collaboration skills essential to the registered nurse’s role within the interprofessional health care team.

Completion of the MN program does not prevent students from pursuing continued education, but prepares them first as registered nurses. As master’s prepared registered nurses, they are equipped to provide patient care in a variety of settings to a wide variety of patients. They can provide care in providers’ offices, hospitals—including ICUs and acute care units—long-term care facilities, schools, clinics, imaging centers and anywhere an RN is needed. 

Comparing Vanderbilt’s MN and PreSpecialty Programs

While the Master of Nursing program is designed for those who wish to enter the discipline as registered nurses, the PreSpecialty entry to VUSN’s Master of Science in Nursing program is for people who want to move directly into an advanced practice specialty as a nurse practitioner or nurse-midwife. Upon completion of the baccalaureate-equivalent component of the MSN in the PreSpecialty program, those students take the NCLEX-RN, but progress directly to their advanced practice specialty education, and graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing. The chart below outlines the differences in the two prelicensure programs.

 

PreSpecialty Entry MSN

Master of Nursing

Prerequisites

Bachelor degree in any field

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Lifespan Development, Human Growth & Development or Developmental Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Nutrition

Bachelor degree in any field

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Lifespan Development, Human Growth & Development or Developmental Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Nutrition

Program start date

August

January

Nursing role after graduation

Advanced Practice (Nurse Practitioner or Nurse-Midwife)

Registered Nurse, Master’s prepared

# of semesters

6 (minimum; depends on the advanced practice specialty)

4

Hours

83 credit hours (minimum; depends on the advanced practice specialty)

65 credit hours

Credits apply to doctoral degree program

No

Yes