Aug 08, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Nursing Information


The Whitson Hester School of Nursing offers the Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN), Post certification programs, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP) which is a joint program between TTU and ETSU.

The Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN) is delivered following the standard protocol established for the delivery of online courses and programs. This program will prepare nurses to:

  • Teach in a variety of academic and practice settings;
  • Provide advanced nursing care to rural, urban, and underserved populations;
  • Practice in collaborative and interdisciplinary relationships;
  • Assume positions of leadership in the health care delivery system;
  • Contribute to the current and evolving body of nursing science; and
  • Continue study at the doctoral level.

The purposes of the MSN Program are:

  • To increase access to graduate nursing education, especially for those nurses aspiring to teach in entry level nursing programs, manage professional practice work settings, and practice as advanced clinicians in a changing health care delivery system.
  • To maximize the effective use of technology for delivery of graduate-level instruction. Distance delivery through the use of technology will increase access to graduate education, especially in remote areas of the state and for practicing nurses for whom time flexibility is a critical resource.
  • To provide student access to web-based courses and degree programs. Web-based courses will reach populations not currently enrolled in graduate education, and will also permit students who are currently enrolled in on-campus courses to take additional courses, thus completing their programs sooner.

Admission Requirements Master’s and Certificate Programs

  • Applicant must possess and maintain an unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee or the state in which the clinical assignments are completed.
  • An earned Bachelor’s degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Official transcripts from previously attended colleges and/or universities.
  • Successful completion of a 3 semester hour or quarter hour undergraduate level Statistics course.
    • For provisional standing admission:
      • an overall undergraduate quality point average of 2.75 - 2.99 on a 4.0 scale, upon completion of a baccalaureate degree program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all previous graduate studies.
  • TOEFL score of 600 (250 CBT) if native language is not English OR IELTS score of 6.0.
  • A written document prepared by the applicant that includes a resume, a discussion of prior professional experience, future career goals, and reasons for pursuing graduate study.
  • Letters of recommendations from at least three (3) persons (a minimum of one [1] academic) familiar with the applicant’s academic and professional background and experience in nursing practice, specifying in detail the applicant’s capabilities for graduate study and for future practice as an advanced practice nurse.

Admissions - DNP

Admission requirements for the joint DNP program are as follows:

  • a completed application with payment of nonrefundable application fee;
  • official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • a written essay.

There are different levels of admission depending upon prior credentials of applicants and whether or not they hold a BSN, MSN, or a BSN and a master’s in another discipline. Additional requirements for admission to the DNP program include:

  1. BSN-DNP applicants:
    1. A bachelor’s degree in nursing is required;
    2. For international applicants, a bachelor’s degree in nursing or equivalency (for BSN to DNP applicants), or a non-nursing master’s degree or equivalency (for MSN to DNP applicants) from a nationally accredited nursing program or comparably recognized non-U.S. institution, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale;
  2. MSN-DNP applicants (4 options)
    1. Certification in the selected nursing specialty for the concentration.
      For example: Certified FNP for FNP concentration, Certified WHNP in the WHNP concentration, etc.;
    2. Master’s in Nursing in a specialty different than the intended concentrations (WHNP, PNP, ACNP, PMHNP, FNP, Executive Leadership) will require a longer program of study adapted to the previous Master’s specialty and nursing experience;
    3. Non-nursing master’s with a BSN from a nationally accredited nursing program will require a longer program of study adapted to the previous Master’s specialty and nursing experience;
    4. For the General (No Concentration) MSN-DNP, Master’s in Nursing with advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certification (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, or Nurse Anesthetist) or master’s level nursing administration/ healthcare systems leadership concentration;
    5. NOTE: All four MSN options for the Executive Leadership in Nursing concentration require at least one year of experience in a nursing administration role.
  3. All applicants with a cumulative GPA less than 3.2 as reported by their BSN or MSN institution will be required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE);
  4. Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the United States and eligibility for licensure in Tennessee or equivalency for international students;
  5. All applicants are required to have at least two years of full-time work experience (or equivalent) in nursing as a registered nurse;
  6. Three letters of recommendation are required: one from the applicant’s current (most recent) supervisor, one from a faculty member who has worked directly with the applicant during previous academic study, and one from an individual selected by the applicant;
  7. All applicants will participate in an interview;
  8. All applicants will be required to complete a writing sample at the time of the interview describing a problem the applicant has identified in practice that the applicant might explore in the DNP program;
  9. All applicants must submit a cover letter expressing the applicant’s personal goals for doctoral study; and
  10. All applicants must submit a current resume or vita.

The completed application form and fee, official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work, essay, documentation of nursing licensure in the United States, MSN certification(where applicable), letters of recommendation and resume or vita must be submitted to the ETSU School of Graduate Studies or the TTU Graduate College, depending upon the applicant’s home school. International students must also forward the additionally required documentation to the appropriate home school.

The personal interview and time for completing the writing sample will be scheduled by the Joint DNP Admissions Committee. Factors given consideration in the admission decision include: previous grade point average (GPA), clarity of the applicant’s selected problem as stated in the writing sample and during the interview, writing ability, professional work experience and achievements, professional honors and awards, interest in rural and underserved population groups, and quality of references/recommendations. The Joint DNP Admissions Committee may recommend admission of a promising applicant who has not met all the admission standards on a conditional basis.

Change of Status

Students must report the following to the Dean of the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing (WHSON) within 72 hours of change of status or requirement:

  1. Any adverse action taken against their RN licensure (i.e. probation, termination, suspension, limiting scope of practice, any change in activity);
  2. Placement in the Tennessee Peer Assistance Program (TNPAP) or any other peer assistance program;
  3. Admission to a substance abuse rehabilitation program;
  4. Any legal issues that may result in a change in their ability to pass a criminal background check, including but not limited to arrests or convictions (see University’s Arrest and Conviction Self-Disclosure form (link)) or change of status legal status with regards to probation or parole.

Failure to disclose to the WHSON could result in automatic dismissal from the MSN program. In addition, student must disclose the same information to preceptors and clinical agencies and provide appropriate documentation of this disclosure to WHSON.