College of Nursing


Course Delivery
100% online
Total Credits
Approximate Tuition Cost
$20,000 - $24,000
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
*Total credit hours dependent upon the concentration chosen.

Nursing Program Master’s Degree Program Overview

The Master of Science in Nursing degree meets the educational eligibility requirements for national certification in the respective area of study. The degree program can be completed in four to five semesters (two full academic years) for full-time students. Part-time students typically take three to four years to complete the program. Completion of a thesis is optional.

The MS in Nursing prepares nurses for advanced clinical roles while making them eligible for national certification as clinical nurse specialists (CNS), nurse practitioners (NP) or to serve in nurse educator, health care management or leadership roles.

U.S. News Rankings:
Kent State’s online master’s in nursing program, offered by the College of Nursing, is ranked in the top 100 in the country by U.S. News. Read more.

Accreditation: The Master of Science in Nursing degree at Kent State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

It is also recognized by the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. COE designation: Advance the Science of Nursing Education 2013-2022.

Online Concentrations: The MS in Nursing degree comprises the following online concentrations:
Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
The Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist concentration fosters acquisition of the needed competencies to care for patients spanning the entire adult to older-adult spectrum. Class and clinical experiences focus on providing advanced nursing care across the health continuum, from wellness to acute care. Students develop competencies in direct care, consultation, systems leadership, collaboration, coaching, research, ethical decision-making, moral agency and advocacy.
Nurse Educator
The Nurse Educator concentration gives students advanced nursing knowledge in curriculum development, instruction, and evaluation for traditional and online learning in academic and staff development settings. It also develops in-depth knowledge and expertise in an area of clinical specialty. Emphasis is placed on application of educational theories and principles in curriculum development and evaluation and acquisition of skills in role development as a nurse educator. Students engage in individualized practicum experiences with master educators to gain experience in their desired field of nursing education.
Nursing Administration and Health Systems Leadership
The Nursing Administration and Health Systems Leadership concentration integrates management, leadership and nursing knowledge for students to develop skills and competencies in administration, systems leadership and advanced nursing.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration builds on core advanced practice nursing knowledge and focuses on knowledge and skill development in mental health assessment and diagnostic reasoning, prescribing and medication management, and advanced therapeutic modalities such as individual, group, and family psychotherapy.

In this role, you may be employed in a variety of settings, including community mental health centers, private practice, primary care, emergency settings, correctional facilities, and on consultation/liaison teams in hospitals.
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner concentration prepares students to provide the highest level of primary nursing care, health promotion and disease prevention for women. Students gain competency in advanced nursing management of common acute and chronic conditions. Students practice in direct care and in collaboration with other healthcare professionals. Practicum experiences foster development of clinical judgment and primary care skills through faculty mentorship and clinical preceptors in a variety of ambulatory care settings and specialty clinics.

Dual Degree: Students also have the opportunity to complete a dual degree program with the MBA degree and the MSN degree. A separate application must be submitted for each program. Students can view admissions requirements for each program on their respective catalog page.

The dual degree is for experienced nurses whose career goals include assuming middle or executive management positions in health services agencies or in health-related companies, or who are interested in starting their own businesses. It combines the strengths of advanced nursing preparation with the practical management knowledge needed to develop significant leadership capabilities.

MSN Program Structure

  • 35-42 minimum credit hours depending on online concentration
  • 13-18 courses depending on concentration
    • 4 major requirement courses
    • Online concentration requirements: 23-35 credits
    • Minimum 300-600 clinical hours, depending on concentration
  • Graduate in as few as 2 years/4-5 semesters; maximum 6 years of study. Under selected circumstances and upon the consent of the advisor, petitions for extensions of an additional one year to completion may be submitted to the concentration director

MBA/MSN Dual Degree Program Structure

  • 57 minimum total credit hours
  • 25 courses
  • Graduate in as few as 3 years

Nursing Admissions Master’s Degree Program Requirements

  • Bachelor’s and/or graduate degree from an accredited registered nursing program1
  • Minimum 3.000 undergraduate/graduate GPA2 on a 4.000 point scale
  • Completion of an undergraduate statistics course with a minimum C grade
  • Active, unrestricted registered nurse license in the state in which clinical coursework will be completed
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae (including activities such as national nursing certifications, professional organizations, clinical ladder, PI/QI projects, research, publications and military experience if applicable)
  • Essay (2 pages double spaced, 500 words) describing professional preparation and rationale for seeking the master’s degree in the identified specialty along with professional goals and any experience as a nurse caring for the under-served, high risk or vulnerable populations.
  • Three professional letters of reference from healthcare professionals; letters should be from a supervisor and/or an advanced practice nurse who can speak to the applicant’s professional capabilities
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 560 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
    • Minimum 83 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
    • Minimum 78 MELAB score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 55 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 Duolingo English Test score

1Applicants with an RN license and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field will be considered based on a faculty review of a portfolio submitted with the application.

2Applicants with a lower GPA may be considered for conditional admission according to the University’s Graduate Student Admission Policy.

Admission to the M.S.N. degree is competitive and never guaranteed. Priority will be given to candidates with:

  • Strong academic record
  • Strong references
  • Demonstrated experience in the area of interest
  • Holds a national certification in a specialty as a nurse
  • Members of a professional nursing organization or military
  • Documented community service
  • Participated in an agency’s Clinical Ladder, PI/QI Projects, research, publication or similar programs/projects
  • Experience as a nurse caring for underserved, high-risk or vulnerable populations

An additional interview video may be required.

Students selected for admission to the nursing program must meet the College of Nursing’s Clinical Compliance Policy.

Since this program is only offered in select states, please see the College of Nursing website for more information.

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission website.

View Frequently Asked Questions

Important Dates

Classes Begin
Spring Semester
Classes Begin
Summer Semester
Classes Begin
Fall Semester

Nursing Master’s Degree Program Courses

Courses for the online MSN cover a range of topics relevant for nurses who wish to move into advance and/or leadership roles within the profession. The four core courses for this degree (12 credit hours total) cover nursing informatics, health policy and advanced nursing practice, theories of nursing practice, and methods of inquiry used to design and manage research within a clinical setting. Students will also complete between 23 and 30 credit hours of coursework in their chosen concentration, including 5-9 credit hours of practicum experience, depending on their concentration.

View MSN Course Requirements

Dual Degree Courses

Students pursuing the MBA/MSN dual degree will complete 25 total courses (58 total credit hours) comprised of informatics, policy, theory and clinical skills associated with nursing practice and business fundamentals that include operations, supply chain management, leadership, business strategy, marketing, human resources and more. Included among these are four culminating requirement courses—two seminar courses (4 credit hours) and two courses (4 credit hours) of practicum experience.

View MBA/MSN Dual Degree Course Requirements

Nursing Master’s Degree Program Tuition and Fees

Ohio Residents

Per Credit Hour Per 3-Credit Course Approximate Tuition Cost
$571.90 $1,715.70

$20,000-$24,000 part-time1

$18,800 full-time2

Non-Ohio Residents

Per Credit Hour Per 3-Credit Course Approximate Tuition Cost
$581.90 $1,745.70

$20,400-$24,400 part-time3

$18,900-$19,000 full-time4

1The $571.90 per-credit-hour tuition rate applies to part-time Ohio resident graduate students taking fewer than 11 credit hours per semester. The tuition range listed is based on which concentration the student chooses.

2The flat-rate semester fee of $6,277.40 applies to full-time Ohio resident graduate students taking between 11-18 credit hours per semester.

3The $581.90 per-credit-hour tuition rate applies to part-time non-Ohio resident graduate students enrolled in a fully online degree program and taking fewer than 11 credit hours per semester, PLUS a surcharge of $10 per credit hour. The tuition range listed is based on which concentration the student chooses.

4The flat-rate semester fee of $6,277.40 applies to full-time non-Ohio resident graduate students enrolled in a fully online degree program and taking between 11-18 credit hours, PLUS a surcharge of $10 per credit hour of actual credits taken each semester (between 11-18 semester credits or $110-$180).

Program fees/semester; a one-time, non-refundable program admission fee; an Academic Partner Onboarding fee; and a Practicum Fee (all graduate degree programs with clinical practicums) are figured on an actual cost basis.

An additional Distance Learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $15 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change.

Actual tuition costs may vary based on a student’s chosen academic plan. For a complete listing of tuition rates for approved online programs, please contact Kent State’s Financial, Billing & Enrollment Center at 330-672-6000 or via our website Contact Us link.

The total program costs are estimates and are not final or binding. Program costs are based on standard fees, but fees may vary based on the actual classes taken.  Kent State University disclaims any liability arising from the use of or reliance upon these program cost estimates by any person.  Program costs are subject to change without notice.

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Related Reading from the Kent State Online Blog

Check out one of our featured blog posts below
U.S. News & World Report has named five Kent State programs as U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2023. Kent State is recognized in the Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs, Best Online Master’s in Nursing Education Programs, Best Online Master’s in Business Programs, Best Online MBA Programs, and Best Online Master’s in Education Programs rankings.
For the third consecutive term, the National League for Nursing (NLN) has designated Kent State University’s College of Nursing as a Center of Excellence in the category of Advancing the Science of Nursing Education. This new cycle of designation will extend from 2022-2026.

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