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Program Overview

Registered Nurses with an Associate’s Degree or Diploma in Nursing are eligible to apply directly to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing’s Master’s Program.

Master of Science in Nursing Tracks

  • Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (includes an oncology focus)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Health Care Systems
    • Administration
    • Clinical Nurse Leader
    • Education
    • Informatics
    • Outcomes Management


Registered nurses must complete 51 college-level credits including specific pre-nursing courses prior to enrollment in the master’s program. (Beginning with the application for Fall 2017 matriculation, applicants must have completed all prerequisites by the January application deadline.)

Applicants must meet admissions requirements of the University’s Graduate School as well as the School of Nursing’s requirements for master’s applicants. Due to course sequencing, RN-MSN applicants are only admitted for fall term matriculation.

Registered nurse applicants will complete the integrated online Graduate School/MSN Application, having a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (using only courses that comprise the 51 pre-requisite course credits) is expected. Additionally, applicants must also have minimally one year clinical experience as a Registered Nurse prior to enrollment.

Course Requirements

The pre-requisite academic courses (51 college-level credits) which follow may be taken at any accredited college or university. To verify prerequisite coursework please follow the steps for transcript evaluation found here: http://nursing.unc.edu/admissions/transcript-evaluation/

English Composition 3 credits
Humanities (e.g., history, fine arts, literature, philosophy) 9 credits
Biological Sciences, including Anatomy and Physiology 12 credits
Other Sciences (e.g., chemistry, physics) 6 credits
Social Sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science) 15 credits
Statistics (must NOT be older than 10 years of the application deadline to the RN-MSN Program) 3 credits
Elective (humanities, science or social science) 3 credits
TOTAL 51 credits

RN-MSN Specific Curriculum

RN-MSN students will complete the following three undergraduate level courses following admission to the RN-MSN Program but prior to enrolling in a master’s level clinical course. Note: admission priority will be given to RN-MSN students who commit to full-time study, thus able to complete full program in three years. For detailed information about the Nursing Leadership advanced practice area and a listing of the master’s-level courses required, refer to the MSN program site.

* A total of 35 advanced placement credits will be granted to registered nurse students by the School of Nursing following successful completion of NURS 491 and 492.

NURS 491 Improving Nursing Practice: Application of Concepts, Theories and Research (3 credits)
This course emphasizes analysis of clinical problems which affect the nursing care of selected populations. Students also apply the nursing process, therapeutic communication skills, and teaching-learning principles in clinical situations.

NURS 492 Conceptual Bases of Professional Nursing Practice (3 credits)
Selected concepts and theories are explored as a basis for making judgments and decisions in nursing practice. Critical thinking skills are developed as an essential component of professional practice.

NURS 494 Community Health Nursing for the Public’s Health (6 credits)
Prepares RN students for population-focused practice in community health nursing. Analyses and applications of selected theories, and health promotion/protection.

For additional details, please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions and check back soon for more information.

For general information on the School of Nursing, please fill out our inquiry form. For application materials, please see the School of Nursing Applications Page. You may also direct questions to:

Office of Student Affairs
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing, Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460
Ph: 919-966-4260; Fx: 919-966-3540
Email: son_gradnursing@unc.edu; Website: nursing.unc.edu

RN Option Leader 
Jennie Wagner, EdD, RN
(919) 966-0579

Office of Multicultural Affairs
(919) 966-7767