Nov 15, 2018  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, MSN

Program Description

The Master of Science in Nursing degree program enhances and expands the clinical competence of baccalaureate nurses. The focus of the program is to prepare nurses for advanced nursing practice in nursing leadership, as family nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists. Emphasis is placed on facilitating health care delivery within a multicultural framework. The graduate nursing curriculum includes four core courses and specific courses related to role specialization. Three minor areas of study are also available for students seeking to refine their skills as leaders/managers, researchers, or educators. The variety of learning opportunities and the flexibility of options provided by the curriculum will accommodate the diverse clinical and functional interests of students who enroll in the program. All of the graduate nursing courses are offered online. See the semester class schedule for details.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Critically analyze, interpret and utilize appropriate knowledge, research and theories to meet the health care needs of diverse urban and rural client populations.
  • Collaboratively plan for the delivery of culturally consistent health care within the context of client social structure and world views.
  • Employ leadership, management and teaching skills to foster change and continual improvement in health care in order to meet changing societal and environmental needs.
  • Evaluate theory and research findings for integration into professional nursing practice.
  • Develop competence and accountability in an advanced practice nursing role.
  • Model caring, sensitivity and respect in the delivery of health care to culturally diverse populations.
  • Value commitment to the advancement of the profession and discipline of nursing.
  • Operationalize principles of ethical, legal, financial and economic theories as applied to health care delivery systems.

The expected outcomes for the Master of Science Degree in Nursing are also published in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Student Handbook and at

The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036-1120, (202) 887-6791 for a term of ten years until June 30, 2016. The goals of the program are published in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Student Handbook found at

Texas Board of Nursing (BON) requires disclosure of criminal history or disciplinary action and an FBI background check before licensure is granted. In order to promote the safety of the clients in their care and to meet the requirements of the BON and affiliated clinical agencies, students will complete the background check before acceptance to the program is granted. See the BON website for the statutes and rules regulating licensure. Students must also complete and submit the results of a five panel non-chain of custody urine drug screen before admission to the college. The CONHS can provide students with information about procedures to meet these admission requirements.

Admission Requirements

Registered nurses have three entry options to the Master of Science in Nursing program. Individuals who have earned a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree but would like to acquire a new specialty area of practice may apply to the College post-master’s certification programs. For admission to any of the College programs all applicants must:

  1. Complete an application to the University for admission to graduate study and to the MSN Program for degree student status. Application should be made through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for admission to the university. (See the “Admissions ” section of the catalog.) The application to the MSN program is available on the web at
  2. Provide evidence of a current valid unencumbered Texas licensure as a registered nurse.
  3. Have earned a satisfactory grade point average (4.0 scale): 3.00 GPA on the last 60 semester hours.
  4. Must write an original essay describing professional goals associated with graduate nursing education. Guidelines for this essay are available at
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can address their potential for graduate study.
  6. Provide a current resume that delineates an applicant’s professional contributions and work experiences and contains sufficient information to represent the applicant’s accomplishments in nursing .  Guidelines are available at

All information provided by an applicant will be considered by the College Admission, Progression, and Graduation (APG) Committee in admission decisions.  After due consideration the APG Committee may permit a student who wishes to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing degree, but does not meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate Nursing Program, to enroll on a conditional status. Progression through the program requires a student meet the conditions associated with admission.

Studens who request to transfer into the TAMUCC MSN program from another program must submit evidence that they left their former institution in good standing before an admission decision will be made.

Except in rare situations applications for the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty area of study will only be reviewed for a fall semester admission.

Program Options

MSN Degree. Registered nurses who want to earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree may enter the graduate program through one of three entry options. These options include the BSN (also referred to as traditional), RN-Bridge, and RN-MSN options.

Applicants who have earned a BSN from an accredited program can start graduate course work upon admission to the MSN program. Applicants who are registered nurses with baccalaureate degrees in disciplines other than nursing can enter the MSN program through RN-Bridge option, students must complete undergraduate level courses before they can begin graduate courses that lead to the MSN. The 18 hours of RN-Bridge undergraduate courses include:

  • NURS 3435 Health Assessment 4 sem. hrs.
  • NURS 4318 Nurse as Research Consumer 3 sem. hrs.
  • NURS 4560 Nursing Care of Community 5 sem. hrs.
  • NURS 4671 Leadership/Managment 6 sem. hrs.


Registered nurses who have earned a diploma or associate degree in nursing from an accredited program and who meet all other requirements for admission into the MSN degree program are eligible to apply for this the RN-MSN entrance option. Students who enter the MSN program through this option will not earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing at any stage of their course work. 

Articulation agreements exist between A&M-Corpus Christi and associate degree nursing programs to support student access to this MSN entry option. The RN-MSN student must complete 58 credit hours of designated general education and support courses in accordance with the A&M-Corpus Christi University Core Curriculum transfer policy requirements and the Baccalaureate in Nursing Degree requirements for prescribed support courses, as specified in the Undergraduate Catalog. Equivalency tables are available showing which general education and nursing courses will be accepted for transfer to meet these required hours.

Prior to beginning master’s level course work, the RN-MSN student must complete the following prescribed course work:

  • NURS 3435 Health Assessment (may complete through Challenge Examination) 3 sem. hrs.
  • NURS 4324 Nurse as Caregiver (may complete through Challenge Examination) 3 sem. hrs.
  • NURS 4560 Nursing Care of Community 5 sem. hrs.
  • NURS 4671 Leadership/Management 6 sem. hrs.
  • NURS 4318 Nurse as Research Consumer 3 sem. hrs.


Course work completed by students in the RN-MSN program may transfer to the undergraduate RN-BSN track when students decide they are unable to maintain the accelerated pace of the RN-MSN track. Students may not reenter the RN-MSN track once they have withdrawn from this option.

Post Masters Certification. Post-masters certification is available for students that have earned their MSN Degree. Certification will allow registered nurses to expand their scope of practice beyond the role or population focus currently possessed. Post-Masters-Certification-Only students automatically will be considered to have completed the MSN core courses based on the completion of the master’s degree. See Role Specialization Section for available list of minor or post masters areas of study.

Non-degree-seeking students. Non-degree status is designated for the student who wants to enroll in graduate course work to meet unique personal or career goals that do not lead to a graduate degree or certification. Colleges may place restrictions on the enrollment of students admitted in this status. Students must see a nursing advisor and the graduate nursing department chair to discuss their educational career goals.

Program Requirements for all Nursing Graduate Students

The following program requirements apply to all nursing graduate students upon admission and throughout program of study. Students must:

  1. Have completed an undergraduate nursing program or earned a diploma from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited school of nursing.
  2. Hold current unencumbered Texas licensure as a registered nurse.
  3. Upon admission to the College, complete a criminal background check.  
  4. Complete a five panel non-chain of custody urine drug screen.
  5. Purchase professional liability coverage through the University. Fees for this coverage are included in the fees paid at the time of registration at the beginning of each academic year.
  6. Meet Texas Department of State Health Services immunization requirements for students involved with direct patient contact. Students who are not in compliance with these requirements will not be allowed to attend clinical laboratories. These requirements, as stated in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 97, Subchapter B, Rule 97.64 include the following:

a)“Students may be provisionally enrolled for up to one semester to allow students to attend classes while obtaining the required vaccines and acceptable evidence of vaccination.”

b)“Students cannot be provisionally enrolled without at least one dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine if direct patient contact will occur during the provisional   enrollment period.”

c)“Polio vaccine is not required. Students enrolled in health-related courses are encouraged to ascertain that they are immune to poliomyelitis.”

d)“One dose of tetanus-diphtheria toxoid (Td) is required within the last ten years.”

e)“Students who were born on or after January 1, 1957, must show, prior to patient contact, acceptable evidence of vaccination of two doses of measles-containing vaccine administered since January 1, 1968.”

f)“Students must show, prior to patient contact, acceptable evidence of vaccination of one dose of rubella vaccine.”

g)“Students born on or after January 1, 1957, must show, prior to patient contact, acceptable evidence of vaccination of one dose of mumps vaccine.”

h)“Students shall receive a complete series of hepatitis B vaccine prior to the start of direct patient care or show serologic confirmation of immunity to hepatitis B virus.”

i)“Students shall receive two doses of varicella vaccine unless the first dose was received prior to thirteen years of age.”

7. Complete of a series of hepatitis A vaccine or serologic confirmation of immunity to hepatitis A virus before enrollment in courses with clinical laboratory experiences.
8. Provide results of tuberculosis screening annually.
9. Successfully complete (with a grade of “C” or above) a course in statistics.
10. Hold a Current American Heart Association CPR Type C certification.


Rule 97.65 lists the following exceptions to the immunization requirements:

a)“Serologic confirmations of immunity to measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or varicella are acceptable. Evidence of measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or varicella illness must consist of a laboratory report that indicates either confirmation of immunity or infection.”

b)“A parent or physician validated history of varicella disease (chickenpox) or varicella immunity is acceptable in lieu of vaccine. A written statement from a physician or the student’s parent or guardian, or school nurse, must support histories of varicella disease.”


For additional information, please see the Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 97, Subchapter B, which is accessible at Please note that some agencies where you may choose to complete clinical experiences may have stricter requirements than the state minimum standards.

Health insurance coverage is highly recommended as neither the university nor clinical agencies are held responsible for emergency/health care arising from a laboratory assignment. (See University Student Handbook.)


Graduation Requirements

  1. Course work
Semester Hours

Core Courses
Nursing Specialty Courses
Thesis Option



Total: 35-57 credits required
  1. Thesis

Students may negotiate to complete a thesis in lieu of a capstone course in some majors the Leadership in Nursing Systems specialty area of study. Other students may choose to enroll in an additional 6 semester hours in order to complete a thesis. Each student in the thesis track must take a final oral exam during the last semester. The student’s graduate committee will administer the exam. It will cover topics related to the thesis as well as broad aspects of nursing. The student is responsible for scheduling the exam with the faculty involved. A student who fails the final oral exam may repeat it once, but may not repeat the exam until after an interval of four months or more. If a student fails the second oral examination, she/he will be terminated from the program.

The TAMUCC Office of Graduate Studies Recency of Credit rule requires that all credit earned for a graduate degree must be completed within seven years of the first semester in which a student is enrolled in a graduate program.  This requirement means that students are expected to complete their MSN program in seven years. In rare situations, an exception to this seven-year policy may be granted from the Dean for Graduate Studies when a student is unable to complete courses in this time period.  The student must complete a request with an explanation as to why the exception should be made as soon as the student determines that Department Academic Advisor and the Graduate Nursing Department Chair.


Progression, Retention, and Dismissal

All students must meet the standards for minimal performance and progression established by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Office of Graduate Studies. (See catalog section on Graduate Academic and Degree Requirements.)

1. When a grade lower than a C is earned the student:

a. Must repeat a course in which a grade of D, F, or W (Withdrawal) was earned.

b. May be placed on scholastic probation if the GPA falls below 3.0 because of the D, F, or W.
c. Will be removed from scholastic probation in accordance with university policy. (See Scholastic Probation and Enforced Withdrawal in this catalog.)
d. May not progress to courses for which that course is a prerequisite when a grade of D, F, W or I (Incomplete) was earned.

2. If the student earns a third C or below in the program, the student cannot progress further and is required to withdraw from the program even when the GPA does not fall below 3.0. (Grades earned in the RN-Bridge or RN-MSN program count in the total number of grades earned below a B for progression decisions.)
3. The student cannot progress to next course after withdrawing from two courses in the program unless approved by the APG Committee. A plan to complete the program must be submitted to the Committee before a progression decision can be made.
4. The student may be dismissed from the program without previous warning for unsafe and/or unprofessional behavior identified by College administrators and faculty. The conduct of nursing students should meet ethical standards as defined by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in the Code for Nurses. Personal integrity is reflected in professional judgments. Consequently, the College reserves the right to dismiss students from the program for unprofessional or unsafe behavior. (See College of Nursing and Health Sciences Student Handbook for examples:
5. The student may reapply to the MSN program after 12 consecutive months following withdrawal or dismissal. Readmission is competitive and based upon availability of space in the program.


Students admitted conditionally to the College must earn a B or better in each of the four core MSN courses to remain in the MSN program. If a grade of less than B is earned during the period the student is classified as a conditional student, the student will be prohibited from further enrollment in the MSN program. Students pursuing the RN-Bridge or RN-MSN options are not eligible for enrollment under the conditional admission status.

Students in the RN-Bridge and RN-MSN program must complete all of the undergraduate course work before beginning graduate classes. In order to progress in these entrance options, students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average. Students may earn credit for NURS 3435 and NURS 4324 through a challenge examination process when a score of 83% or better is earned. If the challenge examination results are not successful, the student may move to the RN-BSN track and take the course in question. The student may not reenter the RN-MSN track. The student may not progress through the RN-MSN track if the challenge exam score is less than 83% and the student does not want to enter the RN-BSN option.

Admission to the CONHS is highly competitive. Students who drop a course or do not enroll in a semester in which they are eligible to enroll will only have access to subsequent courses in their area of study when space is available. Therefore it is highly recommended that students consult the graduate nursing academic advisor or the graduate nursing department chair before withdrawing from any course.



Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information in this catalog. Students are advised, however, that such information is subject to change without notice. Therefore, students should consult with their Nursing faculty advisors each semester prior to registration. Students should be aware that on campus, teleconferenced, and web courses are offered upon sufficient demand and faculty availability.

A student is assigned an academic advisor and together a program is planned according to the student’s academic, occupational and family needs. The faculty member and student work together until the student graduates. If for any reason the academic advisor-student assignment is not effective, either one can request that the dean assign another academic advisor.


Core Graduate Nursing Courses (12 sem. hrs.)

The core nursing courses consist of graduate-level study of the scientific knowledge that comprises the discipline and profession of nursing, and prepares the student for advanced nursing practice.

Total: 12

Role Specialization

The student selects role specialization in advanced nursing practice or nursing leadership. A capstone course (identified below) is required for each specialization. The following courses are required for each specialization:

Total: 25

Total: 25

Roles in advanced nursing practice include the family nurse practitioner.

Minor Area of Study

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers three minor areas of study that provide students with a secondary specialization focus. The courses that constitute the minors are taken in addition to the courses required for the role specialization.

Thesis Option

The thesis option is available for those students interested in pursuing scholarly investigation of a research proposal topic.

For Additional Information


Campus address:

Island Hall, Room 322, phone 825-5893

Mailing address:

College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas A&M
University-Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus
Christi, Texas 78412-5805