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Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus

    Northern Illinois University
  Feb 21, 2018
2007-2008 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Nursing

Specialization in Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization in Adult Nurse Practitioner Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner Specialization in Nursing Education Community Health Nurse Specialist 

A minimum of four semesters is required for completion of the M.S. in nursing program. Graduates are prepared for the nurse educator role or for an advanced practice role as either a nurse practitioner or a clinical nurse specialist in a selected field of specialization and are eligible to sit for national examinations for certification as a family nurse practitioner, an adult nurse practitioner, an adult clinical nurse specialist, a nurse educator, or a community health nurse specialist by completing the program with the appropriate specialization.

Current licensure with no encumbrance as a registered nurse in Illinois is prerequisite to enrollment in all nursing courses unless otherwise specified. Registered nurses who hold the baccalaureate in nursing may enroll in graduate nursing courses as students-at-large. With the approval of the student’s graduate adviser, a maximum of 9 semester hours of student-at-large credit may be applied to degree requirements. Exceptions to this 9-hour limit may be made only for students who are required to complete up to 15 semester hours of graduate work in order to demonstrate an acceptable GPA. (See “Admission” below.) Enrollment in the internship courses (NURS 577, NURS 578, NURS 579, and NURS 595) requires that planning be completed with appropriate faculty during the semester preceding each internship experience.

Students must have completed an undergraduate statistics course and an undergraduate research course prior to enrolling in NURS 513. An undergraduate health assessment course must be taken prior to enrolling in NURS 517, NURS 518, and NURS 519. ETR 521 or a graduate-level intermediate statistics course must be taken prior to or concurrently with NURS 513.

To maintain enrollment in the graduate program, evidence of current registered nurse licensure, professional liability insurance, CPR certification, and absence of active tuberculosis is required. Graduate students must be in compliance with all clinical requirements prior to enrollment in the first nursing course.

All internship courses are permit courses. In order to receive a permit for the course a student must complete the appropriate prerequisite courses and submit documentation of compliance with clinical requirements to the College of Health and Human Sciences, Wirtz 227F. Clinical requirements include evidence of current registered nurse licensure, professional liability insurance, appropriate CPR certification, and required immunizations.

The graduate faculty committee may determine that a student not continue in the master’s program in nursing for failure to maintain professional standards.

Graduate students plan their program of study in consultation with an assigned adviser. With the advice and consent of the adviser, a student may elect a thesis option, which requires completion of an additional 3 semester hours. A maximum of 6 semester hours of credit may be transferred from another college or university.


Admission to graduate study in nursing requires compliance with the following standards of the School of Nursing.

    Current licensure with no encumbrance as a registered nurse in the U.S. (Prior to beginning course work, students must hold or have applied for licensure in Illinois.)

    A baccalaureate degree from a school accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission, or from a program seeking initial accreditation which includes an upper-division major in nursing equivalent to the undergraduate nursing major at NIU. If the applicant is a graduate of a nongraded baccalaureate program in nursing, CCNE accreditation or National League of Nursing accreditation is required. The applicant must provide documentation of course work which is essentially equivalent to that required in the nursing major at NIU.

    A minimum 3.00 GPA (based on a 4.00 system) for the last 60 hours of the baccalaureate program, or completion of 9-15 semester hours of graduate work in nursing at NIU with a GPA of 3.20 or better.

    Each applicant must provide a writing sample to be administered by the School of Nursing.

    Two letters of reference from employer, supervisor, or professor which provide supportive evidence of the applicant’s professional qualifications.
    The approval of the School of Nursing Graduate Admissions Committee.

The applicant may be required to have a personal interview with the university and/or the School of Nursing Graduate Admissions Committee.

Admission decisions are normally made within three weeks of receipt of the complete application.

Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screening

Students are required to undergo criminal background checks and drug screening. The School of Nursing may be unable to place students in a clinical setting if they have a positive drug screen or criminal background check, therefore, the student may not be able to complete the program of required courses.


Non-Thesis Option

One of the following specializations

Thesis Option

Same requirements as non-thesis option, except 3 semester hours of NURS 599, Master’s Thesis, must be included.

With the approval of the School of Nursing, a student may substitute an alternative field of clinical study, of 12-18 semester hours in nursing, appropriate to the student’s professional interest.