At A Glance

The MSU College of Nursing is:

  • the only publicly supported, generic baccalaureate nursing program in Montana.
  • the largest supplier of baccalaureate-prepared nurses for service in the state.
  • Montana’s sole provider of graduate nursing education, offering a Master’s of Nursing (MN) degree that prepares students for certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader and a rurally-focused Doctor of Nursing Practice degree for certification as family nurse practitioner (FNP) and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).

The College of Nursing reflects MSU's core mission and intentional focus in three areas: 

The MSU-Bozeman College of Nursing was founded in 1937 and has received continuous national accreditation since 1949. Since its inception, the College has been a multi-campus program, making effective use of educational and clinical resources in the state. The College's administration is located on the main campus of MSU-Bozeman. Once accepted into the nursing major after three semesters of course work, students complete the major on one of the College’s campuses located in the state's major population areas: Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula. With their greater population concentrations, these communities possess health care facilities that provide the degree of complexity, size and diversity of patient population needed for clinical nursing education. 

As a multi-site program in a rural setting, the College meets a number of challenges related to maintaining program identity and quality in each location.  At the graduate level, for example, accessibility is balanced with close supervision by combining distance education, "face-to-face" classes and on-site clinical supervision.  Each of the College's campuses has resident faculty who serve both undergraduate and graduate students.  

Mission, Vision, Core Values, Planning

Our mission is to enhance the health of the people of Montana, our nation, and the global community by providing leadership for professional nursing through excellence in education, research, practice and service.

MSU College of Nursing will be internationally recognized for innovation, discovery, excellence and leadership in education, research and practice.

• Inspire baccalaureate and graduate students, within a diverse, challenging, and engaging learning environment, to become leaders in the practice of professional nursing.
• Create an interactive environment in which faculty and students discover, learn, and integrate knowledge into nursing practice.
• Serve as leaders in nursing by generating, translating, and disseminating knowledge through research and scholarly activities.
• Promote health and wellness through professional practice, collaboration, consultation, civic engagement, education, and leadership.

The MSU College of Nursing strategic plan is currently being revised to be consistent with MSU’s Strategic Plan ( “Choosing Promise” which was adopted in 2019.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Montana State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (


Quality Indicators of Nursing Programs

Two major indicators of the quality of a nursing program are:

• Pass rates on national licensing or certification examinations by graduates of a program; and

• National accreditation and state board of nursing approval of the academic programs of the school.

Graduates of the MSU-Bozeman College of Nursing undergraduate (BSN) program historically have passed the national licensing examination (NCLEX-RN) on the first try - well above national or state pass rates. Graduates who have earned the Master of Nursing (MN) degree or the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree have passed their respective national certification exams at rates close to 100%. The undergraduate program has had continuous approval by the Montana State Board of Nursing since 1937 and has received continuous national accreditation since 1949. The graduate nursing program has been nationally accredited since its inception in 1957. The accreditation process evaluates the college in relation to national standards of excellence in nursing education. It is important to consider quality indicators when selecting a nursing program. Graduation from a nationally-accredited nursing program is preferred by employers and is required by graduate programs preparing students for advanced practice nursing.