Entry with BSN Degree

Do you have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) and want to pursue advanced practice nursing? The Vanderbilt MSN program offers numerous areas of specialty. Most specialties can be completed in one calendar year, and many offer flexible course delivery formats so you can learn from where you live. You can also choose to progress seamlessly to the DNP program after completing the MSN degree.

For more than a hundred years, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has been providing innovative educational opportunities for its students. The School’s proudest tradition is educating nurses who are impassioned professionals capable of meeting – and exceeding – the demands of a constantly evolving profession. 

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program.
  • It is recommended that applicants have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • An undergraduate course in statistics, which includes inferential statistics, with a grade C or better.
  • Completed application including a statement of purpose. Before writing the statement of purpose, applicants are encouraged to review information about the specialty on our website so that you clearly indicate that your career goals are a fit with the specialty.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended regardless of whether or not a degree was earned.
  • Responses to application essays. 
  • Three letters of academic or professional reference from persons who can evaluate your potential for success in a graduate program. It is required that at least one of your recommenders hold a master’s or higher degree.
  • Unencumbered RN license in the state(s) in which you will be completing your clinical training. Documentation of RN licensure is required by July 1 prior to registering for fall courses. Applicants completing BSN degree for initial licensure June, July or August will not hold an RN license by July 1 so they must wait until the next year to apply. Students admitted contingent upon NCLEX–RN examination results who do not pass the exam will have the admission offer rescinded. The student is eligible to reapply for admission in a subsequent fall term after RN licensure is obtained.

See admission details on the MSN Admissions page. If you have questions, please e-mail the admissions office at VUSN-Admissions@vanderbilt.edu.

Master of Science in Nursing Program

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), the first professional degree in nursing at Vanderbilt, prepares nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, nurse informaticists and nurse leaders.

Program Goals/Outcomes

The goals of the MSN program are to prepare students

  • For advanced practice roles including nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, nurse informaticists, and nurse leaders who have expertise, advanced knowledge in a specialty area, and can function in complex situations independently and/or collaboratively with health care teams;
  • To evaluate and apply advanced knowledge by means of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, ​ethical principles, and the use of current and emerging technologies in relation to advanced nursing practice;
  • To engage in quality improvement initiatives and the delivery of safe, culturally responsive, high quality nursing care of individuals and populations using leadership skills;
  • To evaluate and/or advocate for policies that improve the health of the public and the profession of nursing incorporating ethical principles.

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is awarded on a minimum of 35 credits which can be completed in one calendar year (fall, spring, summer semesters) of full time study. (Note: Nurse-midwifery and dual specialties may take 4-5 semesters.).

Distance Learning

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) uses leading edge online and distance technologies and techniques to enrich student learning experience for all programs. Courses and education formats vary among the various degree programs and advanced practice specialties offered at VUSN. Visit the page of your program of interest for further details regarding the program schedule and whether RN work experience is required.

All programs require a personal computer with high speed Internet connection. Technology requirements vary by advanced practice specialty.