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Frequently Asked Questions - MSN Degree

The University of Saint Mary makes it easy for online students to ask questions and find the answers they need. Below are many of the most frequently asked questions about the online Master of Science in Nursing program. You are encouraged to ask many more questions, and the answers are always a phone call or email away.

Call 877.307.4915 to speak with an Admissions Advisor or request more information and someone will contact you shortly.

What are the admissions requirements for the online MSN?
The online MSN program at the University of Saint Mary is open to licensed nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a baccalaureate nursing program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The school must also be a regionally accredited institution. Please see the MSN Admissions page for further details.

Is this program accredited?
Yes. The Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of Saint Mary is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Information related to this accreditation may be obtained by contacting CCNE at One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791. Additionally, the University of Saint Mary (USM) is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools & Colleges, one of the six regional accreditation agencies in the U.S.

Am I required to take the Graduate Entrance Exam (GRE) to apply to this program?
No, we do not require a GRE score to apply to the online MSN program. For more information about the admissions process, please see our Admissions page.

How do online classes work?
As an online student at the University of Saint Mary, you'll log on to a powerful online learning system to complete assignments and learning assessments, just like you would in a traditional graduate course. Through lively discussion forums, you'll also interact frequently with other students and professors. Coursework can be accessed online anytime, day or night, but assignments must be completed by the due dates set up by each professor.

How much time should I allow for doing homework and completing assignments?
Most students spend about 15-20 hours per week on their online studies. Of course, study time required per week and the time it takes to earn the online MSN will vary based on your own study habits. Don't forget, the online MSN at the University of Saint Mary is designed for busy, working nurses so you can adapt it to your current schedule.

Can I complete clinical hours at my present job?
Yes! The practicum can be completed at your place of work, so long as the project you select is outside your normal job duties. The setting of the practicum should allow you to demonstrate high-level communication, professionalism, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and Sister Simone Roach's 5 C's of Caring: commitment, conscience, competence, compassion, and confidence.

How will my field placement be arranged?
It is your responsibility to secure a site and preceptor for your field placement, as you know your community better than we do. Your student services coordinator will be available for assistance, should you need it. If you have questions on how this placement will be arranged, please call us at 877.307.4915.

Is there a residency requirement? What if I hold a nursing license in another state/country?
There is no on-campus residency requirement and your current, unrestricted RN nursing license can be from any US state. International students can apply as long as they have their BSN and a current & unrestricted US RN nursing license. Their transcripts will also need to be reviewed by Registrar's office.

Do I need work experience before beginning the program?
No, this program allows for BSN nurses to transition directly into the online MSN program as long as they hold a valid RN license.

What type of support is available to me? What if I have a question about homework or need help with a technical issue?
All of the support systems available to on-campus students at the University of Saint Mary are there for online learners as well. From academic support to career counseling, a team of advisors is ready to assist. Professors are just a phone call or email away, and every online University of Saint Mary student is paired with a dedicated student services coordinator who will make sure your educational and professional goals stay on track. Technical support is also available to online students 24/7.

What is the tuition rate for online courses?
Tuition for the MSN is $595 per credit hour. Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change.

Is financial aid available?
Absolutely. Many different types of financial aid are available to those who qualify. To discuss tuition rates and a number of different financial aid options, call 877.307.4915 to speak with an Admissions Advisor.

How do I get started?
It's easy! Your journey to a better career starts by calling 877.307.4915 to speak with an Admissions Advisor. Or, you can request more information, and we'll reach out to you. If you already know the University of Saint Mary is the right place to earn your online Master of Science in Nursing degree, go ahead and begin the Online Application Process.