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Graduate Programs

The Kent State University College of Nursing offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), the Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)*, the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.), several post-master’s certificate programs and two dual-degree programs in combination with other non-nursing master’s programs at Kent State University. The dual-degree programs offered are the Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration and the Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Public Administration.

The Ph.D.  in Nursing is offered jointly with The University of Akron College of Nursing. The purpose of the program is to prepare nurse scholars who will conduct research that advances nursing science. This purpose is realized through a curriculum focused on developing and testing theories and models of nursing science; on the dissemination of scientific nursing knowledge; and on health care and nursing policy and leadership. Graduates are characterized by the excellence of their leadership, research, teaching, and application of nursing and health care policy.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)program, effective spring 2011, prepares advanced practice nurses to lead in applying research evidence to clinical practice, and to contribute to improved health care outcomes via direct practice, policy change, systems evaluation and practice scholarship. Program emphasis is on the interplay among advances in scientific knowledge, technology, and information systems in support of quality patient care outcomes and their impact on human health. Six of 12 courses are offered cooperatively with the University of Akron College of Nursing.

The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) incorporates concepts of advanced practice nursing throughout the program. Students are prepared to function in clinical, managerial or leadership roles as dictated by their concentration and role specialties, and to be eligible for doctoral study. The program’s graduates hold leadership positions in a variety of roles in urban and rural settings in Ohio and nationally. Graduates of the advanced practice concentrations at Kent State University are eligible for national certification examination.

The M.S.N. program includes concentrations in the focal areas of acute care, the adult, family, geriatric, health care management, nursing educator, psychiatric-mental health, women’s health and pediatric nursing. The roles of Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Nurse Practitioner (NP) exist in all the focal areas except health care management and nurse educator; and in acute care, family, and women’s health, only the NP is available. The two roles can be combined or separately pursued in psychiatric-mental health nursing. Psychiatric mental health nursing CNS role is further subdivided into adults or child-adolescent.

The dual-degree programs of the Master of Science in Nursing and the Master of Business Administration (M.S.N.-M.B.A.) and the Master of Science in Nursing and the Master of Public Administration (M.S.N.-M.P.A.) are designed for experienced nurses whose career goals include assuming middle- or executive-management positions in health services agencies or companies, or who are interested in starting their own businesses. Practical management knowledge and skills are concurrently integrated with nursing courses and relevant management experiences in the form of practical and internships. Both curriculae are cost and time effective for nurses with clear goals and demanding schedules. Clinical courses are not required but may be added if desired.

A BSN-MSN Bridge Option is available for qualified undergraduate KSU nursing students seeking to expedite the transition from undergraduate to graduate studies in nursing. Qualified undergraduate students may take up to 12 credit hours at the master's level and apply those hours toward completion requirements for their undergraduate degrees. Applying for the Bridge Option just prior to junior year of undergraduate studies will give students the greatest opportunity to use up to 12 credit hours of substitute MSN coursework. The college/department determines the undergraduate coursework for which graduate credits may be substituted.

The College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Persons seeking additional information on graduate study in nursing should consult the College of Nursing, Graduate Office at 330-672-2234 or

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