Graduate Program and Admission

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Online Application Deadlines


Preferred Deadline

Final Deadline


June 15
July 15


October 15November 15


March 15April 15


Graduate Chair's Message

Welcome to the website of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW).

As Chair of the Program, I am delighted that you have chosen to continue your education at Georgia Southwestern State University.

Dr. Bonnie Simmons, PhD, RN

GSW has a long-standing commitment to nursing education that began in 1953. In the Fall of 2012, Georgia Southwestern joined a collaboration offering MSN degrees with tracks in nursing education and leadership/management. Currently, the GSW School of Nursing is in partnership with Columbus State University as The Georgia Intercollegiate Consortium for Graduate Nursing Education (GICGNE) offering tracks in nursing education, leadership/management, and informatics. Students in this program receive their degree from the institution in which they enroll, although they are able to enjoy the resources from both schools.

The mission of GICGNE is: (1) to prepare safe and competent professional nurses, who in collaboration with others, provide or facilitate high quality patient-centered care in a global society and achieve academic excellence in nursing education through learner centered teaching, evidence based practice, creative inquiry and student engagement; and (2) to prepare competent and caring individuals for a life of success and leadership in professional nursing through intellectual, personal and social growth and to contribute to the communities in which they live and work.

The faculty and staff of the MSN Program at GSW are committed to preparing nurses with advanced education to meet the challenges of an ever-changing healthcare environment. Further information and links are provided on this website that will assist you in becoming more familiar with the GSW School of Nursing. I hope you will choose to join us as we pursue excellence within graduate nursing education.

Bonnie J. Simmons, PhD, RN
Graduate Program Chair



Graduate Program Description and Requirements


Program Description

The Master of Science in Nursing is an online degree offered cooperatively by Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) and Columbus State University (CSU), both fully accredited institutions in the University System of Georgia. This consortium allows students to enjoy resources from both schools. The 36-38 hour program prepares professional registered nurses for advanced practice nursing roles as culturally competent educators, leaders and informaticists.

All students enrolled in the program are required to take graduate core courses. The educator and leadership track have six (6) core courses and the informatics track has five (5) core courses. Additionally, students are required to select a concentration of nursing education, nursing leadership, or nursing informatics. Eighteen (18) credit hours are required in the education and leadership concentration and twenty one (21) in the informatics concentration. Included in each of these tracks is a 3 hour thesis or focused project.

The nursing education concentration focuses on preparing nurses to facilitate learning in various environments through the application of knowledge in instructional design, curriculum development, technology utilization, and evaluation of learning.

The leadership concentration focuses on developing nursing leaders who are able to influence, design, mange, transform, and evaluate the evolution of nursing services and care delivery.

The informatics concentration focuses on preparing nurses to become proficient in health information technology and essential informatics competencies to function within patient care environments.

Admission Requirements

The completed application packet, including all supporting documentation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline for each term. Completed applications that are received by the preferred deadline will be given priority review. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for additional information. Applicants may apply for admission any semester. The procedure of application consists of:

  1. Graduate application for admission.
  2. $25.00 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  4. Three references. (Please use the MSN Reference Form provided at the bottom of the page)
  5. Official Graduate Record Examination. (GRE) scores. (Scores must be within five years prior to application)
  6. Immunization form. (before enrollment)
  7. Documentation of Lawful Presence. (before enrollment, if applying for in-state tuition)

Regular Admission (without conditions)

To be admitted without condition a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Completed application for admission and a $25.00 processing fee.
  • Two official copies of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work previously taken.
  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN) from an regionally accredited college or university and a nationally accredited nursing program (NLNAC or CCNE) with a  minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Official copy of scores earned on the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with an acceptable score. The GRE requirement may be waived for applicants who have earned an advanced degree.
  • Three (3) professional letters of recommendation that comment on the applicant’s potential for success in a graduate academic program.
  • Current unencumbered RN license in the state where clinical course requirements will be met.

Regular Admission (with conditions)

A student failing to meet one or more of the standards required for admission without condition may be eligible for admission with condition for up to one semester under conditions specified at the time of admission, if space in the program is available. Students who fail to make progress under provisional admission will be withdrawn from the program.

Application Procedure and Deadlines:

Applications must be made through the Office of Graduate Admissions.


Preferred Deadline

Final Deadline


June 15
July 15


October 15November 15


March 15April 15

Program Learning Outcomes

The degree offers graduates the opportunities to:

  1. Implement the selected advanced nurse role-leader, educator or informaticist- within health care.
  2. Develop and nurture interprofessional collaborations by communicating and consulting with other health care professionals, including administrators, community leaders and regulators.
  3. Evaluate the influence of ethical principles on personal and organizational decision-making.  
  4. Utilize nursing research for the promotion of quality nursing education, safe client-centered health care, and evidence based practice.
  5. Employ critical thinking in the application of nursing and multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to foster optimal client health outcomes.
  6. Exemplify cultural competence and sensitivity to diversity in dynamic academic and health care environments. 
  7. Demonstrate competence in leadership roles and a commitment to ongoing professional development for the provision of quality, cost-effective client-centered health care and the advancement of nursing practice.
  8. Utilize informatics to improve client outcomes and to promote the health and safety of individuals, groups and communities.


Academic Standards

Students pursuing a master’s degree must adhere to the following standards:

  1. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained.
  2. Only two courses with grades of C can be applied to the degree.
  3. No course with a grade below a C will be applied toward a degree.
  4. The MSN program can be completed in two academic years, or four semesters of full-time study (9 credit hours per semester). Part-time students are expected to complete their program of study within a seven (7) year period, but are encouraged to complete all courses in their selected track as quickly as their schedule allows. All requirements, including course work at Georgia Southwestern State University, transfer credit and transient credit course work, must be completed within seven (7) calendar years from the date of initial enrollment in course work, without regard to the initial admission status and without regard to credit hours earned.

Students under Review

  1. Graduate students who fail to maintain academic standards will be placed under academic review at the end of the semester in which their status falls below the required standards.
  2. Students who have been placed under review will have early registration cancelled for the following semester. These students will not be able to register online and must report to their graduate advisor.
  3. The registrar will send the names of students under review to the Dean of the School of Nursing and the graduate advisors.
  4. A student under review must meet with his or her graduate advisor to develop an Individual Remediation Plan (IRP) to demonstrate how the student can be returned to good standing. The plan will be forwarded to the Dean of the School of Nursing to sign before placed in the student’s file. A copy of the form will also be sent to the Registrar’s Office.
  5. At the end of the probationary semester, if the student is not successful in returning to good standing, the Dean of the School of Nursing will send a certified letter of dismissal to the student with a copy to the student’s graduate advisor and the Registrar’s Office.
  6. Graduate students who are dismissed from the graduate program may write a letter of appeal within ten (10) days from the receipt of the dismissal letter to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students re-admitted on appeal will have one additional semester to return to good academic standing.
  7. Re-admitted students who do not return to good standing after the initial probationary semester will be dismissed from the program and the University.
  8. Dismissed graduate students may re-apply for admission to the program after three calendar years. If the student is readmitted, he or she must meet all requirements for the degree program at the time of re-enrollment. The years completed prior dismissal will count towards the total seven (7) years to complete the degree. Readmission is not automatic. Each application will be considered individually.

Application for Graduation

Each student admitted to the MSN program must make application for graduation one semester prior to completing degree requirements. Application deadlines are as follows and application forms are available in the Registrar’s Office as well as under “Student Forms” on RAIN and the GSW Homepage. Students should contact their graduate advisors to initiate the application process.

Graduation TermApply no later than the date below of the prior semester.
FallMay 1st
SpringAugust 1st
SummerJanuary 1st



MSN Fact Sheet (printable)

MSN Recommendation Form (printable)

MSN Model Plan of Study - Educator (printable)

MSN Model Plan of Study - Informatics (printable)

MSN Model Plan of Study - Leadership (printable)

MSN Curriculum Sheet (printable)


Office of Graduate Admissions (link)

GSW Graduate Bulletin (link)