Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Online Program

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of North Alabama is a post-baccalaureate degree program consisting of two tracks: Nursing in Teaching-Learning Environments and Nursing Leadership in Organizational Environments. The program is completely online.

The Teaching-Learning track will equip registered nurses with tools that will enable them to facilitate the education of nursing students, health care clients, and health care colleagues. The graduate will be qualified to serve as a faculty member in an institution of higher learning and serve as an educator in the clinical environment. The program will allow students to select a clinical area of interest (adult health, women’s health, pediatrics, etc.) upon which to focus during his/her matriculation.

The Leadership track will prepare registered nurses who will function at an advanced level in the health care environment regarding politics and legislation, budgeting and economics, and leadership and management, such that these nurses may positively impact the management aspects of nursing and health care in society.

There are two clinical courses for each option. Clinical experiences with approved preceptors may take place in the student’s geographical location. Students must hold a current unencumbered license to practice nursing in the state in which the clinical experiences occur.


The Teaching-Learning option seeks applicants who wish to assume teaching positions in both collegiate and non-collegiate academic settings, as well as in clinical settings (hospitals, home health, clinics, hospices, etc.). Students will receive education with a theoretical basis in teaching methodologies, learning assessment, evaluation of learning, and other components of effective education. Additionally, students will learn to develop curricula and create other teaching projects. Clinical practice will take place in both academic and health care settings with approved preceptors in the student’s geographical area. Clinical courses will focus on a particular area of nursing (adult health, pediatrics, psychiatric, etc.) chosen by the student.

The Leadership option seeks applicants who are currently in management, administrative, or executive positions in health care or those who wish to seek such positions. Students will learn sound, theoretically based economic and management principles that will allow them to function efficiently in the business aspects of the health care system and make informed, evidence-based decisions. Clinical practice will take place in health care settings with an approved preceptor in the student’s geographical area.


Admission to the MSN program occurs each fall semester. A small number of applicants are accepted for the spring and summer semesters.


Unconditional Admission

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from a professionally accredited institution in the U.S.
  • Unencumbered license to practice nursing in the United States
  • Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater
  • 1 year full-time experience as a registered nurse (Required for Nursing in Teaching-Learning Environments track only)
  • Three references from professional sources
  • Completed College of Nursing admission application (see "How to Apply" below).
  • Written statement of professional goals and the role of graduate education in achieving those goals
  • For international students, a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended

Conditional Admission
Conditional admission may be considered on a case-by-case basis for the applicant who does not fully meet admission requirements. The conditionally admitted student must have three years of full-time experience as a registered nurse.

Please note:
The University of North Alabama (UNA) is a National Council State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) approved institution. The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.
This online program does not lead to any professional licensure or certification that would be regulated by your state board of nursing.  Our program does include clinical requirements which are completed in your community under the supervision of a preceptor who you will secure with assistance from the course instructor. If your state Board of Nursing (BON) requires approval of a supervised field experience, such professional approval requirements remain in effect. Please contact your BON if you have any questions about this requirement. If you or your state’s BON have questions about the program, please contact dr. Linda Austin at
Currently, we cannot accept students from the following states and regions:
  • Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin


1. Apply online here.

2. Send to UNA Graduate Admissions (UNA Box 5011, Florence, AL 35632):
  • All official transcripts
  • Three letters of reference from professional sources (on letterhead) mailed by persons supplying the recommendations.
  • Essay (Goals statement)

Clinical Health Requirements

All students are expected to have a physical examination, proof of hepatitis B and other immunizations, current tuberculosis screening, a current Basic Life Support card, a notarized felony affidavit, and current student liability insurance prior to beginning clinical courses. Students must also hold current licensure (unencumbered) in the state(s) in which clinical experiences will be completed. The appropriate forms with these items documented are to be submitted by a specified deadline date.

For additional information contact:

Mrs. Cindy P. Mashburn
Administrative Assistant, Online Program
UNA Box 5127| 223 Stevens Hall
Phone: 256.765.4936


Ms. Lauren Shell
Online Nursing Enrollment Coordinator
UNA Box 5127 | 227 Stevens Hall
Phone: 256.765.4931
MSN Student Handbook 2015-2016 (Word Version)
MSN Student Handbook 2015-2016 (PDF Version)