Nursing student talks with a patient

Ball State’s master of science (MS) in nursing gives you three directions to follow, depending on your career aspirations.

Offered entirely online, our program lets you choose one of three concentrations to fit your career path: nurse educator, nurse administrator, and family nurse practitioner. Also, we offer an RN to MS option if you have an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor's degree outside the nursing field.

COE Badge

Designated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing

Accreditation Logo

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Ranked 23rd Best Online Graduate Program in Nursing by "U.S. News and World Report"

Quality Matters Implementation Plan Seal

Granted Quality Matters Implementation Plan Designation

Why Ball State’s Online Master’s in Nursing?

We are:

  • a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence – This honor is bestowed to only a handful of programs in the nation.
  • accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing (CCNE) – This ensures that our curriculum and other program requirements meet the professional standards of quality and integrity that future employers and other academic institutions expect from our graduates.
  • ranked as the 23rd best online graduate program in nursing by “U.S. News and World Report” – This is thanks, in large part, to our faculty’s extensive training and credentials, the services and technological assistance we offer, and our student engagement, among many other factors the publication uses to compare universities nationwide every year.
  • recognized for having a Quality Matters implementation plan – This confirms our commitment to ensuring that we establish clear goals, benchmarks, reviews, and other important steps to assure the quality of our program. 

Ball State nursing faculty are dedicated to the belief that every individual has the right to holistic and nondiscriminatory health care that is based on the worth and dignity of all people.

Our faculty have led the way in online classroom innovation by creating one of the nation's first online master's programs in nursing.

Plus, faculty have access to ongoing professional development by working with Ball State's Integrated Learning Institute, which provides consulting and training for the creation of online courses that meet and surpass national best practices in online learning.

Program Faculty Members

Online courses are offered in an asynchronous format, meaning there is no specific sign-on time each week. You will have weekly assignments and deadlines that you complete at times and places most convenient to you.

As an online student, you will have access to a whole host of student services. And we start all online students with an online orientation to help you become familiar with the university-wide resources available to you. Plus, as a nursing student, you will have a program-specific orientation.

While the online format makes your degree more accessible, it’s critical that you make it a priority in your weekly schedule.

Concentrations

Nurse Educator

Nursing - Academic ProgramsNurse educators take their experience in nursing and their talent for teaching to the classrooms of colleges and universities, trade schools, and community colleges; plus some opportunities are found in general medical and surgical hospitals. Common job responsibilities include:

  • planning a curriculum for undergraduate courses
  • lecture on various topics
  • prepare class syllabus and other course materials
  • encourage and moderate class discussions
  • assign and grade homework while also overseeing students’ lab and clinical work

If this sounds like you, Ball State’s nurse educator concentration can lead you in this direction.

General Requirements

Our educator role courses provide a foundation in curriculum and program development; teaching and learning in nursing; and evaluation methods. All of the course work for this concentration can be completed online.

During the last semester, you will take a 180-hour practicum in an associate or baccalaureate on-campus nursing program in your geographic area. Students will have the opportunity to work with an experienced nurse educator both in the classroom and clinical setting.

Courses

Total Credits Required: 36

  • NUR 607 Data Analysis in Nursing Research (3 credits) or EDPS 641 Introduction to Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • NUR 604 Research (3 credits) 
  • NUR 603 Nursing Theory (3 credits)
  • NUR 605 Nursing Information Technology (2 credits)
  • NUR 610 Nursing Concepts in Health Promotion/Disease and Injury Prevention in Populations (3 credits) (45 clinical hours)
  • NUR 611 Concept Analysis 2, Decision Making (3 credits) 
  • NUR 620 Curricular Designs in Nursing (3 credits)
  • NUR 622 Teaching in Nursing (3 credits)
  • NUR 626 Program Evaluation (3 credits)
  • NUR 608 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Clinical Practice (3 credits)
  • NUR 609 Health Assessment for Clinical Practice (3 credit) (45 clinical hours)
  • NUR 672 Practicum of Role Expectations (4 credits) (180 clinical hours)

Nursing - Academic ProgramsNurse administrators play a critical leadership role as they lead teams and units of nurses while also factoring in the costs of delivering patient care. As a part of that role, nurse administrators work with policy, management, finance, and human resources in settings such as hospitals, laboratories, and long-term and nursing care facilities.

Common job responsibilities include:

  • manage and supervise work of nursing personnel
  • work to raise level of care and efficiency of care
  • create budgets, approve expenditures, manage costs
  • supervise hiring of new staff
  • document use of facility services and resources

If this sounds like you, our nurse administrator concentration will prepare you for this role.

General Requirements

This program prepares you to develop management and leadership skills in preparation for higher-level management and leadership positions within healthcare. In addition to the instruction portion of the course, students will complete 180 practicum hours in an approved healthcare environment focusing on nursing administration.

All of the course work for this concentration can be completed online. You will select your own master’s or doctoral-prepared registered nurse preceptor and clinical supervisor in your geographic area to help supervise the details of your project.

Courses

Total Credits Required: 36

  • NUR 607 Data Analysis in Nursing Research (3 credits) or EDPS 641 Introduction to Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • NUR 604 Research (3 credits)
  • NUR 603 Nursing Theory (3 credits)
  • NUR 605 Nursing Information Technology (2 credits)
  • NUR 610 Nursing Concepts in Health Promotion/Disease and Injury Prevention in Populations (3 credits) (45 clinical hours)
  • NUR 611 Concept Analysis 2, Decision Making (3 credits)
  • NUR 640 Nursing Administration in Complex Organizations (3 credits)
  • NUR 642 Administrative Management for Nurses (3 credits)
  • NUR 643 Financial Management for Nurses (3 credits)
  • MGT 500 Managing Organizational Behavior (3 credits)
  • MKG 505 Survey of Marketing (3 credits)
  • NUR 672, Practicum of Role Expectations (4 credits) (180 clinical hours)

Nursing - Academic ProgramsIn an advanced practice role, nurse practitioners practice in private practices, schools and colleges, hospice centers, community clinics, Veterans Affairs facilities, and private and public health departments.

Common job responsibilities:

  • diagnose and treat acute illnesses, infections and injuries
  • write prescriptions for medications, including dosage and frequency
  • order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • educate patients about managing their health and design patient treatment plans

And our family nurse practitioner concentration is designed to put you in this setting.

General Requirements

This program prepares you to provide health care across the life span in a family practice setting. In addition to the classroom requirements, you will complete 690 supervised clinical hours in primary care settings caring for adults, children, women, and families.

All of the course work for this concentration can be completed online. You will find your own preceptors and clinical supervisors in your geographic area.

You will be eligible to apply for the FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) certification exam (ANCC and/or AANP) on completion of the program.

Courses

Total Credits Required: 47

  • NUR 607 Data Analysis in Nursing Research (3 credits) or EDPS 641 Introduction to Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • NUR 604 Research (3 credits)
  • NUR 603 Nursing Theory (3 credits)
  • NUR 605 Nursing Information Technology (2 credits)
  • NUR 610 Nursing Concepts in Health Promotion/Disease and Injury Prevention in Populations (3 credits) (45 clinical hours)
  • NUR 630 Advanced Practice Nursing and Role Theory (3 credits)
  • NUR 632 Pathophysiology and Nursing Practice (3 credits)
  • NUR 634 Advanced Health Assessment (3 credits) (60 clinical hours, 1 day per week average)
  • NUR 638 Advanced Clinical Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • NUR 681 Primary Care of the Adult 1 (4 credits) (120 clinical hours, 1 day per week average)
  • NUR 682 Primary Care of Children (4 credits) (120 clinical hours, 1 day per week average)
  • NUR 683 Primary Care of the Adult 2 (4 credit) (120 clinical hours, 1 day per week average)
  • NUR 684 Primary Care of Women (4 credits) (90 clinical hours)
  • NUR 673 Practicum—Family Nurse Practitioner (5 credits) (180 clinical hours, 1.5-2 days per week average) 

State Authorizations

Prior to applying, you need to read the information on our state authorizations website. Regulations regarding state authorizations for distance programs might impact whether you can enroll in our program. Information on this site is updated as situations within states change.

In addition, all of your clinicals must be completed in a state where the Ball State School of Nursing is authorized to offer its programs. View our map to determine whether your state is authorized.

Once in the program, if you move to a state where Ball State or the School of Nursing is not authorized, you will need to complete your clinicals in an authorized state in order to complete the program.

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Ready to Apply?

To enroll in our MS in nursing program, you will need to be admitted to both the Ball State Graduate School and the program itself. Please review our admission criteria and instructions to apply.

More Information

If you would like to learn more about this program please download the program information packet (PDF). After reviewing the packet if you have additional questions please contact the Graduate Advisor.

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