Master of Science in Nursing FAQs

This section is designed to help answer some of the questions you may have about our nursing program.

What is the MSN Graduate Admissions Process?

For MSN applicants, admission to the Graduate Nursing program is on a rolling basis.
Applicants must have earned a BSN degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and must be ready to participate in an online environment. Admission is based on:

  • A qualitative evaluation of the applicant’s undergraduate educational work from a regionally accredited college or university. An undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 is recommended to be successful in the program.
  • A qualitative assessment of the applicant’s personal statements, essays and two (2) letters of reference.
  • Relevance of work experience and career objectives to the program objectives.  Two (2) years of work experience is recommended. A resume is required.

Applicants to all programs offered by the School of Nursing must:

  • Have a current RN license valid in the United States

IMPORTANT:  For your application to be processed, the College must be able to validate your RN license. If your state does not have an online RN license validation process, you must submit a notarized copy of current RN license valid in the U.S. to Office of Admissions, Thomas Edison State College, 101 W. State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608-1176.

  • Have proficiency in using a computer, browsing the Web and sending and receiving email, including attachments.
  • Have minimum system requirements to access an online course:  access to the Internet, an Internet browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or newer, or Firefox 2.0 or newer. Additional requirements that may apply to nursing courses are specified in the College Catalog and School of Nursing Student Handbook.  Some courses require access to PowerPoint and/or Excel software and a webcam.
  • Submit a completed application with a nonrefundable fee.
  • For more information, visit the MSN Admission Requirements page.

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What are the different specialty areas?

The MSN program offers three specialty areas including Nurse Educator, Nursing Administration, and Nursing Informatics.

The Nurse Educator program prepares graduates for teaching roles in healthcare and academic settings.

The Nursing Informatics program prepares graduates to function as a nursing informatics specialist.

The Nursing Administration program prepares graduates for the role of nurse administrator in healthcare settings.

A certificate in the student’s selected area of specialty is awarded along with the MSN degree.

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What is the MSN Credit Distribution?

Core Courses (12 credits)
NUR-531:  Nursing Informatics:  Concepts and Issues
NUR-529:  Health Policy
NUR-530:  Evidence-Based Nursing Practice
NUR-600:  Nursing Leadership in a Global Community
All students take the Core courses

Direct Care Core Courses (9 Credits)
NUR-516:  Advanced Health Assessment
NUR-640:  Advanced Pathophysiology
NUR-650:  Advanced Pharmacology
These courses are required for Nurse Educator Students

Specialty Courses:  Educator, Informatics, Education (9 credits)
Practicum Courses:  Educator, Informatics, Administration (6 credits)
Electives:  Administration and Informatics students only (9 credits) 
Students may take any alternate specialty or direct care courses to satisfy electives.

Total credits: 36

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Can I take more than one master’s course at a time?

Most students enrolled at Thomas Edison State College work full-time, and take one or two courses a term. Graduate students may register for up to nine (9) credits per term. For students wanting to take more than nine (9) credits per term, please contact the graduate nursing advisor.

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How long will it take to complete the MSN program?

The MSN degree requires a minimum of 36 credits consisting of different combinations of courses: core, direct care core, electives, specialty and practicum. Courses are offered during four (4) terms a year, which begin in January, April, July, and October. Each student progresses at their own pace. Many students are able to arrange their work and family schedules to take two (2) courses a term. From AY 2010-2013 the average length of time to completion of the MSN was 33 months. Some students complete the MSN in as little as one and a half years, and the maximum time allowed is seven (7) years. Factors that influence the time to completion include:  tuition assistance, family obligations, and work responsibilities.

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Can I take a master’s course before I complete my BSN?

Keep in mind that three courses in the BSN program at Thomas Edison State College are graduate level courses. You will take these courses as part of your BSN degree. These courses are: NUR-516: Advanced Health Assessment, NUR-529:  Health Policy, and NUR 531:  Nursing Informatics: Concepts & Issues.

RN’s who have completed their degree requirements for the BSN degree but have not been awarded the degree may apply for admission to the MSN degree program on a provisional basis and register for a graduate nursing course. 

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Can I transfer credits from other colleges and universities into the master’s program? How do I know whether or not you’ll accept my previous graduate credit?

At the time of enrollment in the MSN program, courses from other accredited colleges and universities can be evaluated for transfer credit. Courses for transfer must have been completed within the past seven years at a regionally accredited institution with an earned grade of B or higher. A maximum of 12 graduate level credits will be accepted in transfer toward the MSN degree. A maximum of 6 graduate level credits will be accepted in transfer toward the Nurse Educator and Nursing Administration certificates. A maximum of nine (9) graduate level credits will be accepted toward the Nursing Informatics certificate. It can take several weeks for transfer credit to be reviewed and updated to academic evaluations.

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When are nursing courses offered?

Nursing courses are offered four times a year: July, October, January and April. Non-nursing courses are offered every month. View the updated registration dates for these terms. Graduate electives are offered as per the online schedule.

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When should I register for a course?

Please review your academic evaluation and make an advisement appointment online if you are unsure of what course to register for. Be sure to check the prerequisites prior to registering for courses. Find your course and click. Be sure the course is not one you have taken before. 

Please visit online registration. You can also register for a course by calling (609) 633-9242 Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please note that late registration does incur a fee.

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How do I make an advisement appointment?

It is recommended upon enrollment that each student schedule an advisement appointment. You can do so online by visiting the myEdison® Student Portal. Log in and then click Make an Advising Appointment on the left hand side of the myEdison homepage.

Appointments can take place by telephone or in person. You may also submit your nursing advisement questions via a Help Desk ticket. Logon to myEdison using the link above, then select Help, College Support Portal and Submit a Ticket. Then select Academic Advisement only and Nursing.

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How do I order books?

Students are responsible for obtaining textbooks and course materials in a timely manner. Required textbooks for all nursing courses will be listed on the MBS website. You may purchase from MBS or any other site but first check on the MBS site for correct edition and ISBN number to ensure ordering the correct textbook and version. Visit the bookstore.

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How can I learn to use Moodle?

The College has prepared Moodle orientation videos for your convenience.

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What library resources are available to me, and how do I get a library card?

An affiliate of Thomas Edison State College, the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) offers access to many special services and resources as well as specially licensed databases that are available to students. Students may register online as borrowers with the NJSL.

Visit NJSL for more information.

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What is the e-Portfolio?

All MSN students are required to create an electronic portfolio (e-Portfolio) that is submitted in the final nursing course. The purpose of this e-Portfolio is to showcase the work that you have completed during your educational program. The e-Portfolio supports your professional development, documents your clinical competence, and maps course assignments to your program outcomes. The content of your e-Portfolio are artifacts such as your papers, presentations, and other documents that provide evidence of your progress through the program.

There are two e-Portfolios in use in the MSN program as of October 2013 term.

For students enrolled in the program prior to July 2013, and who have taken NUR-500 Seminar in Clinical Competence prior to the July 2013 term, you are using the CURVESHIFT eFolio, which can be accessed at the site www.efolioglobal.com. The helpdesk is [email protected]. You purchased this program through MBS Direct and subscriptions are renewed annually.

For students beginning the program July 2013 or after, the e-Portfolio is available through the College sponsored Google site and is initiated in the first course that you take in the graduate program, and then completed in the final nursing practicum course. The portfolio, with artifacts from each course throughout the program, is used to validate achievement of the MSN program outcomes. The content of your e-Portfolio are artifacts such as your papers, presentations, and other documents that provide evidence of your progress through the program. These artifacts are mapped to the MSN outcomes. Students completing the new curriculum should follow the directions on the e-Portfolio page to establish their Google e-Portfolio.

Graduate Nursing Certificate students do not complete an e-Portfolio.

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Where can I find information about the Practicum?

Two (2) Practicums are included in each area of specialty offered in the MSN degree. To prepare for the Practicum, students must read and access the information contained in the Practicum Packet in the year prior to the anticipated start date of the Practicum. The Practicum Packet information must be submitted beginning six (6) months (24 weeks) prior to the start of the Practicum for which students wish to register. To be permitted to register for the first Practicum, students must meet specific requirements. Health and criminal background clearance and all other requirements outlined in the Practicum Packet must be submitted three months (12 weeks) prior to the start of the first Practicum course. Visit the Practicum page for more information.

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What if I do not pass a graduate course?

Students enrolled in the MSN degree program may repeat two (2) nursing courses, one time each.

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How do I stay actively enrolled?

In order to remain actively enrolled all graduate students must complete a minimum of three (3) credits (1 course) at Thomas Edison State College every 12 months. Online nursing courses are offered in January, April, July, and October. Students can expect to receive a reminder notice from the College when they are approaching their 12 month expiration. If a student becomes inactive they will be required to reapply to the college. If your state does not have an online validation process, you must submit a notarized copy of your license to Thomas Edison State College, Office of Admissions, 101 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608-1176. In order for your re-enrollment to be processed, the College must validate your license.

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What GPA do I need to graduate with my MSN?

Students enrolled in the MSN degree program must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of B (3.00) or better to graduate.

Students enrolled in a graduate certificate program must earn a grade of B (83) or better for the course to be applied to program requirements.

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How do I apply for graduation?

All students in the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing degree programs will submit the Request for Graduation form with graduation fee according to College guidelines.

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How do I apply for Financial Aid?

Thomas Edison State College participates in a number of federal and state financial aid programs. Eligible Thomas Edison State College students may receive Pell Grants or Federal Education Loans, such as the Subsidized Stafford Loan and the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, for courses offered by the College.  In order to receive Financial Aid, students must complete the Thomas Edison State College Financial Aid Forms and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Any graduate student who is awarded aid must maintain part-time enrollment which is equivalent to 5 credits (2 courses) per term.

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How do I contact the School of Nursing?

You can submit a Help Desk ticket via MyEdison as explained above or email us at [email protected]. Graduate students may also use [email protected]. It is important to keep the College informed if you change your home or email address so we can stay in contact with you. Update your personal information.

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