ADRN to MN Distance Graduate Education

Graduate education leads to exciting career opportunities and prepares students for a bright and fulfilling future. The MN graduate degree allows successful graduates to make important contributions to nursing through advanced clinical expertise, leadership, and teaching. 
Successful graduates with MN degrees have become:

Nurse Managers
Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs)
Magnet Status Coordinators
Clinical Instructors
Quality Improvement Coordinators
College Faculty

MN degree graduates from MSU are eligible to take the certification examination as a Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNL). A Certificate in Nursing Education can be taken concurrently with the MN degree.

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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 (

Synopsis: All nursing courses are taught by College of Nursing faculty using distance delivery methods. Students complete their clinical education in or near their home locale when possible. MSU College of Nursing faculty are recognized nationally for their broad and wide-ranging expertise. Successful ADRN applicants will be recommended for provisional admission to The Graduate School. Full admission as an MN degree-seeking graduate student will be granted upon completion of the undergraduate portion of the ADRN to MN curriculum (see below) with a 3.0 GPA or better. 

Professional Project: Each student completes a MN Professional Project developed in collaboration with a faculty chairperson and committee. Examples of exciting and innovative student projects include: assessment of medical errors on a medical surgical unit, improving communication between patients and care team – the foundation for patient satisfaction, and developing a cardiac services nurse residency program. An oral defense of the Professional Project is required for the MN degree.  

Distance Graduate Program: Two ADRN to MN courses plus all graduate courses are offered online with teleconference and video conference used to supplement content. See teaching methods for more information. Travel to Bozeman is required at the beginning of each Fall semester. 

Technical Requirements: Proficiency with and access to a computer with Internet capabilities is required for graduate students who are admitted to the program: refer to Technical Requirements (pdf).

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To Apply

  • Complete and submit an application online to the MSU Graduate School at  Note: after creating an account, at the bottom of page 1 of the application, click “Masters Degree” for Educational Goal, then, on page 2, click “Masters of Nursing – ADRN to MN”.

  • Application Deadline is December 15.

  • CORE 2.0 requirements will be provided in the admissions letter from the Graduate School after the application is complete and transcripts are reviewed by the university
  • Please note that we are not able to admit students living in California at this time. 

Admission Requirements

Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.

  1. ADRN earned from a nationally accredited institution of higher education, which included supervised clinical practice in a variety of nursing settings.
  2. Current unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse. If clinical education is to be completed in Montana, licensure in Montana is required.
  3. Minimum of two years of clinical experience as a registered nurse that demonstrates increasing leadership in nursing.
  4. Favorable recommendation from the College of Nursing admissions committee.
  5. TOEFL score of 580 or computer equivalent, if applicable.

ADRN to MN Curriculum

  • Undergraduate Portion (1 year, 2 semesters): 
    1. Complete Montana State University CORE 2.0 general education (12 credits) and 
    2. Complete two ADRN to MN courses in nursing (NRSG 489 – Research and Statistics to Support Evidence-based Practice, 6 credits, and NRSG 479 – Population Health and Leadership, 6 credits) with a 3.0 GPA or better.

  • Graduate Portion (2 ½ years, 5 semesters): 

An overall 3.0 GPA is required for graduation with a Masters of Nursing degree.

Course Descriptions

Program Costs

  • Estimated Expenses
    • Current MSU Graduate Tuition – scroll down to Graduate Cost of Attendance.
  • MSU Fee Schedule
    • Graduate Nursing Program Fee: $55.10  per credit hour for Academic Years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

      This fee is used to offset additional costs inherent in clinically-based graduate education such as teaching models, simulation equipment, specialized computer programs, and travel to arrange and supervise clinical education across the state. Fees also are used to replace and upgrade the interactive video equipment used for distance delivery of graduate courses.
  • International Students

Financial Assistance

Teaching or research assistantships may be available to selected graduate students. Nurse Faculty Loan Program funds may be available to students willing to commit to four years of teaching fulltime upon graduation. Additional information can be found in the Graduate Scholarship Information (PDF).  

Interested in Non-degree Graduate Coursework?

Facts to consider - Non-degree Graduate Coursework Information Guide