Nursing (MSN)

Graduate Program (MSN)

Xavier's graduate nursing program is for nurses who not only want to serve—they want to lead. Graduates are prepared as holistic healers and leaders in the delivery of health care with an educational foundation grounded in Jesuit ethics and value. Be the best provider of nursing care today and a health care leader forever.


Applicants to the program must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Be a licensed registered nurse in the United States and licensed in the state where practicum experiences are performed
  • Have completed an undergraduate statistics course, minimum grade of 'C'
  • Required of applicants to the Family Nurse Practitioner program:
    • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from a regionally accredited college or university with degree from a nursing program accredited by NLNAC or CCNE
    • A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is required for the FNP post master's certificate and DNP programs.
    • One year of experience as a registered nurse within the last five years

See Entry Points for your point of entry to graduate nursing as determined by your previous academic preparation and your length of experience as a registered nurse.

Application Requirements and Materials

FNP applicants: See below for additional application and admission information specific to this track.

MSN, and FNP post master's certificate admission

  • Graduate Application
    • NOTE: Current MSN students wishing to change their track do not complete the online application. Contact Marilyn Gomez further information.
  • Resume
  • Essay (instructions provided at time of application) in the form of a:
    • Goal statement (applicants with a BSN or MSN)
  • Unencumbered current RN license (School of Nursing will verify)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Three professional recommendations (provide contact information for recommenders in online application. Electronic form will be sent to them via email).
    • NOTE TO FNP applicants: One recommendation must be from a current supervisor. The other two must be from health care professionals prepared at the master's or doctorate level.
  • Additional instructions and documents will be provided at time of application.

International applicants must submit additional documents for admission as required by the University. Contact the Office of the Graduate School for further information.

A personal interview may be required.

Although there is no admission test for registered nurses applying to a graduate nursing program, dual degree programs require official scores from an admission test (see next 2 bullets).

  • Dual MSN/MEd or MSN/MSCJ: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • Dual MSN/MBA: Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

Additional Application and Admission Information for MSN, FNP, and Post Masters FNP Applicants

Admission is available for the fall semester of each academic year. Due to high interest in the program and limited clinical sites, the priority deadline for application to the MSN FNP program is February 15. Admission is competitive. Applicants will be reviewed and notified of their status by March 1. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed based upon space availability for the fall semester. Post Masters FNP application deadline is November 1 and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Application questions:

Mrs. Betty Rosenacker
Administrative Assistant
Phone 513 745-3134

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International Admission


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The MSN curriculum for registered nurses consists of a minimum of 36 semester credit hours.

The core MSN 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, 17 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 (FNP and 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 770))
  • NURS 864 Epidemiologic Methods in Health Care (3)


Tracks (Minimum of 10 semester hours)

  • Administration - 10 semester hours
  • Education - 17 semester hours
  • Family Nurse Practitioner - 28 semester hours/600 clinical hours
  • Forensics - 10 semester hours (includes NURS 779 in track courses)
  • General Studies (Customized MSN) - 10 semester hours
  • MSN MIDAS pre-licensure incorporates CNL track - see curriculum

Synthesis and Application

Synthesis and Application (6 semester hours )

  • NURS 703 Graduate Nursing Practicum I (1 or 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, 779, 797)

Sample Courses

NURS 500: - Health Care Ethics for Nursing Leaders (3)

NURS 501: - Health Care Ethcs-Nurse Leaders - 3 Credit Hours: This course examines ethical frameworks, such as theories of justice, rights-based ethics and virtue ethics and their significance to the delivery of health care. Analysis of ethical dilemmas focuses on differentiating what are called traditional and modern ethical frameworks for decision-making. Application will be made within the parameters of nursing\2019s metaparadigm (person, nursing, caring, healing, health, environment) using personal and professional processes of valuing, unconditional acceptance and deciding in the preservation of wholeness and dignity.

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 & Fees

Tuition, per credit hour Cost
MSN $670
Student Fee, per semester
Graduate Student Association Fee, degree seeking full-time $8
Graduate Student Association Fee, degree seeking part-time $4

The amounts listed are for the 2020-2021 academic year, and include classes from Summer 2020 though Spring 2021. For the full, official listing, please visit Xavier University reserves the right to correct any computational or clerical errors.

2018 Among the best master's programs in the US by US News & World Report for 2018.


Among the best master's programs in the US by US News & World Report for 2018.


entry point

The Master of Science in Nursing program is open to nurses with bachelor's or associate degrees or diplomas at an entry point customized to your particular level of preparation. RN with BSN.

non-nurses program

Even if you are not a Registered Nurse and don't have a nursing degree, you can earn your Masters' in Nursing, no matter what kind of bachelor's degree you have. The MSN: Direct Entry as Second Degree—MIDAS Program is a 20-month full-time pre-licensure MSN program offered on site.

specialize in what interests you

The MSN program offers a total of five tracks. Applicants who are registered nurses can choose from four of those tracks: administration, education, family nurse practitioner, forensics or they may customize their course of study to suit their particular interests via general studies.

Our Reputation

Xavier nursing graduates practice nursing throughout the Greater Cincinnati region and across the country. Our graduates are well-respected in the health care community as knowledgeable, professional and ethical and prepared to excel in meeting current and future challenges in health care delivery.

Related Stories

Nursing Entry Points

We offer several entry points to help you find the right program:


Undergraduate Program


First, the prognosis: the demand for skilled, well-trained nurses is expected to increase at a nearly 20% level through 2022. Plus nurses continue to be the largest single component of hospital staff as the primary providers of patient care. But beyond the numbers, our unique Jesuit philosophy of caring for the whole person not only develops your intellect but also your sense of empathy—a quality that goes beyond a resumé.
» Go to the Undergraduate Program

MSN Entry Point for RN's

Currently the MSN for RNs is offered on-site at the main campus and via video conferencing at partner sites throughout Ohio and, for VA employees, Lexington, Kentucky.

Non-Nurse with Bachelor's

Non-nurses with a Bachelor's Degree

MSN: Direct Entry as Second Degree - MIDAS Program - This is a 20-month full-time pre-licensure MSN program offered onsite at the main campus.

Accelerated BSN - Connect with your true calling in as little as 16 months.


Doctor of Nursing Practice in Population Health Leadership

Graduates are prepared to be leaders in addressing the complexity of 21st-century health care and health care outcomes.


Post-master's Certificate Option for RN's with MSN

Offered on campus and video-conferencing at partner sites for: