If you are ready to take the next step in your nursing career, our master of science in nursing program will prepare you for an advanced professional role. Whether you are interested in a leadership administration or educator role or a nurse practitioner track, this program can help you achieve your dream of becoming the best nurse you can.

You will begin your studies with an introductory course that focuses on the use of information technology in nursing practice, administration, education, and research. Next, you will complete the courses in the nursing core. Finally, you’ll progress through the nursing core courses required for the master’s as well as the focus area courses for the track you have chosen.

All courses are completely online. For classes that have clinical components, we will provide you with the requirements needed for each clinical course. It is your responsibility to arrange clinical experiences with qualified preceptors and clinical supervisors in your community based on the requirements provided.

As you enter the master’s program, the graduate advisor for the master’s program will work with you on an individual basis to develop your plan of study for the chosen track. You will then work with the graduate advisor as you progress through the course sequence to ensure that all requirements are met. Your plan of study is flexible within certain limits and you have up to six years to complete the program.

Advisor 

Shantelle Estes, Graduate Advisor 
School of Nursing 

We are excited to announce, starting with the Spring 2017 application cycle, we are offering two new program options you may want to consider applying for. These options include: 

  • Nurse Educator + FNP Certificate
  • Nurse Administrator + FNP Certificate

These unique options allows individuals who are interested in becoming a Nurse Educator or Nurse Administrator, but who also has interest in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program, the ability to pursue both interests.  Additionally, for those interested in the FNP program but feel their overall undergraduate GPA may not be as competitive as they would like, these options may be worth considering as an alternative pathway to becoming a FNP.

By substituting courses required for the Nurse Educator or Nurse Administrator concentrations with pre-requisites needed for the FNP clinical courses, students can earn a master’s degree, with a concentration as a Nurse Educator or Nurse Administrator, along with an FNP Post-Master’s Certificate in 10 semesters of part-time study. Information about the new options is located in the Information Packet.

Center for Excellence in Nursing Education


Designated a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, an honor bestowed to only a handful of programs in the nation.

CCNE accreditation
The MS in nursing at Ball State University is accredited by the 
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 

Top Ranked

Ranked No. 24 in 2015 among online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Quality Matters Implementation Plan Seal

Granted the Quality Matters Implementation Plan designation that ensures that the online components of our courses promote learner engagement and provide students with all the tools and information they need to be successful learners.

Learn more about recognitions and rankings for Ball State University.

Course Requirements

Ball State’s master of science (MS) in nursing gives you three directions to follow, depending on your career aspirations. In other words, you can choose from paths as a nurse educator, nurse administrator, or family nurse practitioner. 

Imagine where these paths can lead!

Nurse Educator

Nurse educators take their experience in nursing and their talent for teaching to the classrooms of colleges and universities, trade schools, and junior colleges, although some opportunities are found in general medical and surgical hospitals. Job description includes:

  • 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

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 for the Nurse Educator Concentration (7 Semesters)

Research Core (6 credits) 

  • NUR 607 Data Analysis in Nursing Research (3 credits)
    or EDPS 641 Introduction to Statistical Methods (3 credits) 
  • NUR 604 Research (3 credits)   

Nursing Core (11 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) 

Educator Role Core (19 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 credits) (45 clinical hours)
  • NUR 672 Practicum of Role Expectations (4 credits) (180 clinical hours)

Total: 36 credits required for this concentration.

Nurse 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. Job description includes:

  • 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

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 for the Nurse Administrator Concentration

Research Core (6 credits)

  • NUR 607 Data Analysis in Nursing Research (3 credits)
    or EDPS 641 Introduction to Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • NUR 604 Research (3 credits)   

Nursing Core (11 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)

Administration Role Core (19 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)

Total: 36 credits required for this concentration.  

In 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.
 
Job descriptions include:

  • 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

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 for the Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration 

Research Core (6 credits)  

  • NUR 607 Data Analysis in Nursing Research (3 credits)
    or EDPS 641 Introduction to Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • NUR 604  Research (3 credits) 

Nursing Core Courses (8 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)   

Family Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Courses (33 credits) 

  • 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 credits) (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) 

Total: 47 credits required for this concentration.  

If you are an RN with an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor's degree outside the nursing field, you may pursue a Ball State master of science (MS) in nursing. 

Because your bachelor’s degree is not in nursing, in addition to the required nursing courses, you will take 16 credits of upper-division nursing courses at the baccalaureate level.   

The RN to MS option is available for all three of our concentrations: nurse administrator, nurse educator, and family nurse practitioner.

This program is completely online with clinicals being completed within your geographic area. 

Upon completion of the RN to MS, which typically takes nine to 11 semesters to complete, you will have earned a master’s degree. A second bachelor’s degree is not awarded as part of the RN to MS option.


Additional Indiana Requirements

In addition to earning a master’s, the state of Indiana mandates that building leaders must have completed a minimum of two years of teaching experience prior to serving as a principal. Also, the state of Indiana—like most states—requires that applicants for a principal’s license pass a leadership assessment administered by the state.


Ready to Apply?

To be admitted into the program you must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School.
Applicants are not required to take the GRE.

  • Have graduated from a National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) now referred to as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited bachelor's program in nursing.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Have earned a grade C or better in at least 2 quarter or semester credits in an undergraduate research course.
  • Have an unencumbered license as a registered nurse in state of practice.
  • Admitted students will need to meet all required health clearance, criminal background checks, and other requirements for clinical practice. Required forms must be submitted to Certifiedprofile.com before starting classes in the master's program. Non-submission of all required documentation will result in admission offer being rescinded.
  • Students who have been admitted before completion of the bachelor's degree must submit the final transcript and RN license before the first day of class the semester admitted. Students who do not have a valid RN license or transcript will have the admission offer rescinded.

Please see the School of Nursing for more information.

Applications

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

GET STARTED

Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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