Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, MSN

School of Nursing

Julka Hall 238
(216) 687-3598

Tonya Runner, DNP, RN, Graduate Program Director

Programs of Study

  • MSN Degree
    • Population Health: Specialized Population
    • Population Health: Forensic Nursing
    • Population Health: Clinical Nurse Leader
    • Population Health: Nursing Education


The MSN program is based on the principles of population health and is designed to prepare graduates with advanced knowledge, competencies, and skills in the nursing care of populations (aggregates). The graduate will have in-depth skills in population assessment, demography, epidemiological assessment and data analysis, evaluation of research, survey research, data projections, cost-benefit analysis, and the ability to apply nursing theory, population theory, ethics, cultural awareness, and political strategies to design, implement, and evaluate population health programs. Students may select from five tracks available, according to their interests and professional goals. In keeping with the rules and regulations of the Ohio Nurse Practice Act, the program does not prepare nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists; graduates are not eligible to apply for a certificate of authority in the State of Ohio.

Membership & Accreditation

The School of Nursing is a member of the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The graduate program in Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Faculty Research

Program faculty members have research specializations in a wide variety of areas, allowing them to help graduate students explore many potential research topics. The many partnerships in which the School of Nursing is involved also provide opportunities for collaboration with practitioners in community settings.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Admission to the School of Nursing

Applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing program must meet the minimum requirements established by the College of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing. Requirements for admission include:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in nursing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher*
  2. Successful completion of an undergraduate or graduate-level statistics with a grade of C or better
  3. An active license as a Registered Nurse in the applicant’s U.S. state of residence
  4. Submission of a Cleveland State University graduate Admission Application
  5. Submission of official academic transcripts from all postsecondary schools attended
  6. Provide two (2) professional letters of recommendation
  7. Identification of a population on which the student will focus during his or her program of study.
  8. Submission of a 2-3 page typed essay identifying your population of interest; how to you plan to use your MSN degree to enhance your professional growth and development; and skills you hope to acquire during the program.

*An applicant who does not meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement may still be considered for admission as a non-degree graduate student. See below for more information.

Applicants must submit the Cleveland State University application for Graduate Admission. All application materials should be submitted to Campus 411 All-In-One Enrollment Services. The office will forward materials to the School of Nursing.

Priority consideration is given to applications received by March 15 for fall enrollment. After March 12, applications will be considered on a space-available basis.

Students may pursue the program on a full- or part-time basis. The University mandates a six-year time limit to complete master’s degree requirements.

Non-Degree Status

A total of twelve credits of graduate nursing coursework may be taken as a non-degree graduate student. No nursing course may be taken beyond this limit. Students who wish to progress in nursing coursework must apply for admission as a degree-seeking student to the College of Graduate Studies. Students may use this non-degree status as an opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory graduate-level academic performance in order to be considered for degree-seeking status.

In order to take graduate-level nursing coursework as a non-degree student:

  1. The student must apply to the College of Graduate Studies as a non-degree student.
  2. The student must meet the College of Graduate Studies’ admission requirements for a non-degree student.
  3. The student may take NUR courses on a space-available basis only.
  4. The student may be required to meet SON requirements in order to register for the nursing courses (BSN/RN).
  5. The student must request permission to register for courses each semester through the School of Nursing Recruiter/Advisor.
  6. Students from other disciplines or who have not been admitted to the Master of Science Degree (MSN) degree program are only permitted to take the following courses with course instructor approval:

A maximum of 12 credit hours in the MSN degree program are permitted to be taken as a non-nursing graduate student.

No students will be permitted to take any Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program courses who have not been admitted into the DNP program with a status of “full-admit” or “admit with conditions”.

Clinical Practica

Students admitted to the Graduate Nursing Program take 600-level courses which include a clinical component. NUR 505  has 100 clinical hours devoted to a group population health project. In the clinical component, students develop competencies enacting the roles of the population health nurse expert with their population of focus in several different care environments. During these learning experiences, graduate students interact with members of their population, health care professionals, interest groups, and others who are involved with their population. These opportunities enable the student to use the Neuman Systems Model and other population health models, nursing theory, and other concepts, theories, and frameworks to promote the health of aggregates.

Program and Health Data

All degree-seeking students are required to have current and complete program and kept current health data on file in the School of Nursing. This includes documentation of licensure as a registered nurse, professional liability insurance, CPR certification, current immunizations, and background checks. This information is required by clinical sites, as well as accrediting agencies.

Program and Health data are due within 60 days of admittance into the Graduate Nursing Program. No 600-level Nursing course may be taken unless all Program and Health Requirements are met. If this requirement is not met, a hold will be placed on the student’s registration for classes until all requirements are met and appropriate documentation has been received by the School of Nursing.

Exit Requirements

Graduation is based on the successful completion of the required courses and clinical experiences, submission of required artifacts into an electronic portfolio system. Students are expected to plan and implement a clinical project to address the needs of their population of focus. Each student is expected, at minimum, to make an oral presentation of his or her project. NUR 606 - Capstone Practicum  is the capstone course in the program.

Programs of Study

Required Coursework - Specialized Population

35 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree.

The focus in population health prepares graduates to practice in the evolving health care delivery system. Currently, managed care puts all decisions in the context of population-based data. Nursing activities-designed and implemented according to care maps and critical pathways-are grounded in aggregate data analysis. Graduates are prepared to function collaboratively in acute care settings or community-based settings, to manage the health care of population groups, and to work with populations to plan programs to address health concerns. The program enables graduates to practice with populations across care settings, to assume leadership roles in the healthcare delivery system, and to pursue doctoral education.

Required Coursework - Forensic Nursing

38 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree

The forensic track allows students to choose victims or perpetrators of crime or traumatic events as their population of interest.  Students will apply the principles of population health to nursing strategies required for the scientific investigation, treatment, and health care of victims/perpetrators due to violence, criminal activity, or traumatic events across care settings.  Students will acquire the in-depth knowledge and skills required to interface the law, forensic science, law enforcement, mental health, and the health care and judicial systems.

Required Coursework - Clinical Nurse Leader

32 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree.

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) track is designed to meet the Ten Assumptions for Preparing Clinical Nurse Leaders (AACN, 2007). This track prepares nurses to be leaders in the healthcare delivery system across all settings in which health care is delivered. Courses prepare students to design, implement, and evaluate client care by coordinating, delegating, and supervising direct care provided by the healthcare team. 

Note: The CNL role is not one of administration, but rather a provider and manager of care to individuals or cohorts within a unit or healthcare setting.

Required Coursework - Nursing Education

38 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree

The nursing education track prepares Registered Nurses to teach and supervise nursing students and professional nurses in clinical settings, with a focus on the care of specificially identified populations or a cognate area. Coursework focuses on curriculum development and implementation, faculty and student roles, and the evaluation and supervision of nursing students. Graduates of this program may seek employment in schools of nursing, continuing education programs, and in organizational and leadership education programs in health care facilities. Graduates may also choose to pursue doctoral studies in Nursing Education.

Students who complete the MSN in Nursing Education have completed the educational requirements required to apply for the National League for Nursing’s Certification for Nurse Educators.