2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Nursing (MSN)

Program Director: Helen Papeika, MSN, RN, CMGT-BC
Email: Helen.Papeika@VermontState.edu

Program Description

The MSN nursing program allows the qualified licensed registered professional nurse a flexible adult learning experience to complete master’s degree requirements with online coursework and in-person practical experience.

Upon successful completion of all degree requirements, graduates are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing and are prepared to further their careers as a Clinical Nurse Leader or Nurse Educator. 

Students in the MSN program are admitted directly into the major.  

All courses required for completion of the MSN program are offered online, with indirect and direct “hands-on” practicum hours within the student’s local community.  Practicum hours occur under the guidance of qualified and approved mentors with faculty and agency guidance and support. Practicum hours are specific to the MSN track - education or leadership - and are designed to showcase student competencies in the application of advanced practice knowledge, skills, and attitudes. 

Program Outcomes

All MSN graduate will:

  1. Identify and integrate scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings (Essentials I: Background for practice from Sciences and humanities) 
  2. Identify that organizational and systems leadership are critical to the promotion of high quality and safe patient care (Essentials II: Organizational and systems leadership) 
  3. Demonstrate leadership skills that are needed to make critical ethical decisions, to build effective working relationships, and to understand a systems-perspective (Essentials II: Organizational and systems leadership) 
  4. Articulate the methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality, as well as apply quality principles within an organization (Essential III: Quality improvement and safety) 
  5. Apply research outcomes within the practice setting, resolves practice problems, work as a change agent, and disseminates results (Essential IV: Translating and integrating scholarship into practice) 
  6. Use patient care technologies to deliver and enhance care and use communication technologies to integrate and coordinate care (Essential V: Informatics and healthcare technologies) 
  7. Intervene at the system level through the policy development process and implement advocacy strategies to influence health and healthcare (Essential VI: Health policy and advocacy) 
  8. Communicate, collaborate, and consult with other health professionals to manage and coordinate care (Essential VII: Interprofessional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes) 
  9. Apply and integrate broad, organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management and evaluation of evidence-based clinical prevention and population care and services to individuals, families, and aggregates/identified populations (Essential VIII: Clinical prevention and population health for improving health) 
  10. Intervene therapeutically for individuals, population or system (Essential IX: Master’s Level nursing practice) 
  11. Demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of nursing and relevant sciences as well as the ability to integrate this knowledge into practice (Essential IX: Master’s Level nursing practice) 

Clinical Nurse Leader Concentration (MSN.CNL)

In addition to the general MSN Program Outcomes, Clinical Nurse Leaders will:
  1. Integrate knowledge from social and physical sciences, policy, economics and historical issues to influence healthcare processes, systems and quality (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential I) 
  2. Demonstrate a leadership role in the delivery of quality health care within complex organizations and systems (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential II) 
  3. Collaborate within systems in the ethical implementation of business and economic concepts (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential II) 
  4. Promote a culture of safety and continuous quality improvement within healthcare systems, based on evidence-based data (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential III and Essential IV) 
  5. Design effective business plans, including a budget, for the implementation of a quality improvement project or initiative (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential III) 
  6. Facilitate an evidence-based change project within an ethical framework that will result in the improvement of practice or standard of care (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential IV) 
  7. Use information systems and technology to enhance the cost-effectiveness, accessibility, delivery or dissemination of healthcare with diverse audiences (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential V) 
  8. Describe the relationship between policy, regulatory agencies, quality and fiscal indicators within care systems (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential VI) 
  9. Facilitate that understanding, appreciation and integration of the clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) as an essential member of the interprofessional healthcare team (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential VII) 
  10. Provide leadership in the design, delivery and evaluation of population-based health care, ensuring the inclusion of health promotion, patient teaching and clinical prevention (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential VIII) 
  11. Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration with members of the healthcare team (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential IX) 
  12. Prioritize the integration of evidence-based care across diverse settings (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential IX) 
  13. Demonstrate the ability to coach, delegate, and supervise within healthcare systems in the promotion of lifelong learning and advocacy (AACN CNL Competencies, Essential IX) 
In addition to the Program Core, students graduating with a concentration as a Clinical Nurse Leader require the following courses:

Nurse Educator Concentration (MSN.NED)

In addition to the general MSN Program Outcomes, Nurse Educators will:
  1. Create an environment in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings that facilitate student learning and the achievement of desired cognitive, affective, and psychomotor outcomes (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency I: Facilitate learning) 
  2. Integrate and model the values and behaviors expected of those who fulfill that role. (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency II: Facilitate learner development and socialization) 
  3. Use a variety of strategies to assess and evaluate student learning in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings, as well as in all domains of learning (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency III: Use assessment and evaluation strategies) 
  4. Formulate program outcomes and design curricula that reflect contemporary health care trends and prepare graduates to function effectively in the health care environment (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency IV: Participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes) 
  5. Function as change agents and leaders to create a preferred future for nursing education and nursing practice (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency V: Function as a change agent and leader) 
  6. Recognize that the nurse educator role is multidimensional and that an ongoing commitment to develop and maintain competence in the role is essential (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency VI: Pursue continuous quality improvements in the nurse educator role) 
  7. Understand the commitment to and the engagement in scholarship (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency VII: Engage in scholarship) 
  8. Distinguish how political, institutional, social and economic forces impact their role (NLN Core Competencies for Nurse Educators competency VIII: Function within the educational environment) 
In addition to the Program Core, students graduating with a concentration as a Nurse Educator require the following courses:

Credits required for the program: 40

Approval & Accreditation Bodies


The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at Vermont State University is approved by the Vermont Board of Nursing (BON).

Email: SOS.OPRLicensing1@Vermont.gov.

Office of Professional Regulation, 89 Main Street, 3rd Floor Montpelier, VT 05620-3402. Phone: 802.828.2396



The master’s degree program in Nursing (MSN) at Vermont State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).