Nursing (MSN)

Program Features

Xavier's graduate nursing program is for nurses who not only want to serve — they want to lead. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN degree) prepares graduates to be holistic healers and leaders in the delivery of health care with an educational foundation grounded in Jesuit ethics and value. Note: The MSN degree is available for pre- and post-licensure students on our campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

The second-degree pre-licensure MSN (MIDAS program) is designed for individuals with a bachelor degree in another discipline who wish to be registered nurses.


The MSN degree curriculum for registered nurses consists of core, track, synthesis and application courses for a minimum of 36 semester credit hours

The core MSN degree courses include theoretical and practical knowledge, which serve as the foundation for advanced nursing education in a variety of roles. Core courses focus on three major themes which are consistent with the philosophy for the graduate program: critical systematic inquiry, professional and personal development, and management of information and resources in a rapidly changing health care environment.

The MSN MIDAS pre-licensure curriculum consists of the Nursing Core (except for NURS 690) and courses designed specifically for MIDAS students.

Nursing Core

Nursing Core (20 semester hours, 11 semester hours FNP, MIDAS)

  • NURS 500 Health Care Ethics for Nursing Leaders (3)
  • NURS 501 Theoretical Bases for Nursing Practice (3)
  • NURS 502 Nursing Research (3)
  • NURS 505 Health Care Informatics (3) OR
  • NURS 854 Advanced Informatics (MIDAS students)
  • NURS 690 Health Care Policy for Nursing Leaders (2) - (not required for MIDAS)
  • NURS 754 Nursing Leadership & Management Concepts (3) - (not required for FNP - covered in NURS 532)
  • NURS 864 Epidemiologic Methods in Health Care (3)


Tracks (Minimum of 10 semester hours)

  • Education - 11 semester hours
  • Family Nurse Practitioner - 28 semester hours/600 clinical hours
  • Forensics - 10 semester hours (includes NURS 779 in track courses)
  • MSN MIDAS pre-licensure incorporates CNL track - see curriculum

Synthesis and Application

Synthesis and Application (6 semester hours )

  • NURS 703 Graduate Nursing Practicum I (2)
  • NURS 705 Graduate Nursing Practicum II (2)
  • NURS 797 Scholarly Project (2)

Synthesis and Application Variations

Synthesis and Application Variations

  • FNP: NURS 777 & NURS 778 are required instead of NURS 703 & NURS 705
  • MSN MIDAS: See curriculum (do not take NURS 703, 705, 797)

Sample Courses

NURS 500: Health Care Ethics for Nursing Leaders (3 Credit Hours): This is a foundational course that examines ethical frameworks, such as, the theories of justice, rights-based ethics, and virtue ethics and their significance to the delivery of health care. Analysis of ethical dilemmas will focus on differentiating what are called traditional and modern ethical frameworks for decision-making. Application will be made within the parameters of nursing’s metaparadigm (person, nursing, health, environment) using personal and professional processes of valuing and deciding. 

NURS 501: Theoretical Bases for Nursing Practice (3 Credit Hours):  Preparation for professional nursing practice requires more than a basic understanding of theory—what it is and how it is used in nursing. Professional nursing practice requires familiarization with the historical development of the discipline, the science of nursing, as well as how disciplinary knowledge evolves. Further, to enhance advanced education, it is necessary to become familiar with tools and techniques used to develop, analyze, and evaluate concepts, models, and theories so that they can be applied in nursing practice, research, management/administration, and education.

NURS 854: Advanced Informatics (3 Credit Hours): The focus is to improve clinical and administrative decision making through an in-depth understanding of healthcare informatics. Emphasis is on technology-based health applications which support clinical, administrative, research, and educational decision making enhancing the efficacy of nursing endeavors. Current trends and issues in using, designing, and managing heath care information systems will be examined.

NURS 690: Healthcare Policy-Nurse Leader (2 Credit Hours): This course provides an overview of processes and issues in health care formulation in the private sector, and at local, state, and federal levels. Consideration will be given to selected issues in nursing and health care as they influence health policy within socio-cultural, economic, political, ethical, and historical context. Attention is given to the role of advance practice nurses in policy decisions in the public and private sectors with the intentionality of improving health care delivery.

NURS 754: Leadership/Management Concepts (3 Credit Hours): This course focuses on leadership and management concepts that are essential for holistic nurse leaders at various levels throughout the healthcare organization. The focus is to prepare holistic nurse leaders for collaborative practice in complex healthcare organizations through examination and application of effective leader behaviors.

Tuition and Fees

All For One

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Wellness-based Approach to Patient Care

Student earning their MSN degree discussing a paper with a professor

Students earning their MSN degree are steeped in the emerging health care concept of Population Health, a wellness-based approach that reimburses providers and hospitals for keeping people—and populations—healthy in order to improve the country’s health outcomes at a lower overall cost.

Explore Population Health

The College of Nursing At Xavier University

Students in the MSN degree program presenting a poster at a conference

At its May 2019 meeting, the Xavier University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to establish an independent College of Nursing. It is Xavier’s fourth college, joining the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Professional Sciences and the Williams College of Business.

Xavier College of Nursing Homepage

MSN Degree Brand New Learning Facilities

Exterior of the Health United Building, home to Xavier's nursing MSN degree program

The Health United Building embraces the health and well-being of all students on campus and is a significant advance for the College of Nursing, whose academic programs, including the MSN degree, are largely based within the $54 million structure.

Health United Building Details

Xavier Graduate Nursing Programs

Nursing (MSN) Program at Xavier University

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) for registered nurses provides the opportunity to obtain advanced level preparation in nursing science. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume professional leadership roles that encompass educational, consultative, and managerial functions. They are prepared to design and establish delivery services and practice in response to current health care policy changes. The MSN for registered nurses requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of which at least ten are elective credits. Students may customize their course of study or select their electives from a focused track of study.

Xavier University’s College of Nursing prepares undergraduate and graduate students as professional nurses to meet the needs of diverse populations in an ever-changing, highly technical health-care environment. Graduates have the skills to practice nursing today and to be nurse leaders tomorrow in holistic health-care delivery with an educational foundation grounded in Jesuit values. Our graduates are well-respected in the health-care community as knowledgeable, professional, and ethical and prepared to excel in meeting challenges in health-care delivery. Xavier’s Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."