Master of Science in Nursing

The College of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree with two areas of study: Leadership and Education or Family Nurse Practitioner.  The MSN Leadership and Education program is designed to allow you to start when you are ready and to complete the program at your own pace.  An individual study plan is designed at the start of the program to meet your professional and personal needs.

The Master of Science in Nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Program Mission and Outcomes


The Master of Science in Nursing program at Northwest Nazarene University fosters intellectual, professional, and spiritual growth in the context of Christ-like behavior in all areas of advanced nursing practice. The program focuses on evidence-based practice, transferring research findings to clinical practice, development of communication and leadership skills, and delivery of care to diverse populations.  NNU's Master of Science in Nursing program prepares graduates of distinction in nursing leadership, education, and evidence-based clinical practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

The College of Nursing subscribes to the university's core Values - Transformation, Truth, Community, and Service which are integrated into each individual course. 
By completing the Master of Science in Nursing, graduates will:

  • Role model Christ-like ethical behavior; be exemplars of integrity and honesty in the role of a nurse with an advanced degree.
  • Describe the foundations of care and the art and science of the nursing profession and practice as it relates to self, individuals, families, and clinical populations across the lifespan.
  • Demonstrate scholarly activity in utilizing evidence-based practice and transferring research findings to clinical practice to deliver quality care. 
  • Role model clinical, leadership, and educational expertise to improve health outcomes of communities served in diverse healthcare settings.

The graduate nurse advocates for diverse populations and demonstrates social justice in healthcare delivery, which promotes and preserves healthy communities through collaboration with the interprofessional healthcare team.

Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) 

General Description

The College of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing (FNP).   Offered online with residency hours required, the program utilizes a cohort model where students progress through the program with a cohort of their peers.  The FNP area of study consists of 48 graduate credits and can be completed full-time in two years.  The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner area of study is fully approved by the Idaho Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 


The Master of Science in Nursing FNP program at Northwest Nazarene University prepares advanced practice nurses who are leaders in their community and who practice autonomously while utilizing interprofessional collaboration to improve the health and wellness of the population served. The NNU FNP graduate embraces the skills needed to assess, diagnose, and treat clients of various backgrounds and cultures throughout their lifespan. The FNP also advocates for the populations served by utilizing skills in health policy, health promotion, and translational science. Furthermore, the Master of Science in Nursing FNP program provides accessible graduate education in nursing that meets the profession's demands while maintaining the highest degree of academic rigor and integrity.  


Bethany Mello DNP, MSN, FAAMM, NP-c, - Professor and Program Director
Linda Valenzuela, DNP, MSN, MPH, RN - Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing

Adjunct Faculty
Christine Bayes DNP, FNP-c
Carol Bett, PhD, RN
Amy Beam MSN, NP-c
Colleen Campbell DNP, ANP-c
Jo Cote, DNP, FNP-c
Michael Horne MBA, DNP, AGNP-BC
Michelle Hunt, DNP, MSN
Abraham Kimeli, MSN, NP-c
Melanie Nash, DNP, FNP-c
Kattie Payne, PhD, RN
Sara O'Connor MSN, MNN, FNP-c
Joshua White MSN, FNP-c


The Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner is 48 credits

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Applicants

Admission to the Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner program at Northwest Nazarene University is highly competitive and based on evaluating all portions of the application. In addition to meeting the requirements of the University as described in the Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below. 

BSN Admission Requirements:

  1. Submission of a graduate application for admission with a nonrefundable application fee by the established deadline. All applications must be received by:
    1. May 15th for admission into the fall cohort.
    2. September 1st for admission into the spring cohort
  2. Submission of official transcript(s) with all nursing courses from a regionally accredited institution.
  3. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for all nursing courses completed. 
  4. Verification of current unencumbered licensure to practice nursing as a registered nurse within the United States. 
  5. International students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  
  6. If English is not the student’s native language, see the University requirements in the Graduate and Professional Studies catalog.
  7. Successful completion of (minimum grade of "C") an undergraduate or graduate statistics course.
  8. Successful completion of (minimum grade of "C") an undergraduate or graduate pathophysiology course.
  9. One year of clinical practice as a registered nurse (preferred but not required).
  10. Submission of a personal goal statement
  11. Submission of three academic or professional recommendations (e.g., supervisor, colleague, professor) to be completed online. 
  12. The FNP admission committee may request a pre-admission interview.  Video interviews may be arranged for applicants residing greater than 100 miles from the university campus.

Transfer of Graduate Credits

A maximum of nine (9) credit hours required for the Family Nurse Practitioner area of study may be transferred from another regionally accredited institution. All transfer credits must have received at least a "B" letter grade and be approved by the program director. Credits must have been earned within five years preceding the date of admission.

May not transfer credits for the course listed below:

  • NURS7110, Advanced Health Assessment for Advanced Practice Nursing

Graduate Nursing Satisfactory Progression

  • Satisfactory progression in graduate nursing programs requires: 
  • Maintenance of cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater 
  • Achieve a grade of 82% or higher in each course 
  • Pass all clinical or practical educational experiences 
  • Pass all course and program competency exams, practical and written 
  • Adherence to Professional Conduct and Behavioral Standards 

Students will be dismissed from the graduate nursing program if they:

  • Earn a letter grade of lower than a 82% in a repeated course*
  • Fail to uphold Professional Conduct and Behavioral Standards

*Students will not be allowed to repeat more than one course during their program of study

Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Leadership and Education

General Description

At Northwest Nazarene University, we believe all graduate nurses are leaders and educators, regardless of the roles assumed in practice. The Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership and Education prepares the graduate nurse to a) provide clinical leadership in a variety of settings and b) educate nurses, patients, and nursing students.  The course of study allows both Baccalaureate and Associate degree nurses to earn the MSN Leadership and Education degree. Offered fully online, the MSN: Leadership and Education program utilizes an individualized plan of study designed for each student based on professional and personal needs. Students progress through the program at their own pace, completing it in 4 semesters or taking a more personalized timeline of 6 or 7 semesters.  The program is designed to fit your needs and your timeline.  The course of study consists of 36 graduate credits. 


The goal of the Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership and Education area of study is to prepare graduate nurses to meet the challenges of an ever-changing population healthcare environment and to provide accessible graduate education in nursing that meets the demands of the profession while maintaining the highest degree of academic rigor and integrity.


Linda C. Valenzuela, DNP, MSN, MPH, RN– Professor and College of Nursing Dean

Adjunct Faculty

Georgianna Ainslie, DNP, RN
Carol Bett, PhD, RN
Julie Hawkinson, PhD, MS, MA, RN
Phyllis Morris, MSN, RN
Kristyn Martin, MSN, FNP
Rebecca Martin, MSN, RN
Kattie Payne, EdD, RN
Leonie Sutherland, PhD, RN


The Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership and Education is 36 credits

Admission Requirements

Applicants with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

  • Nursing degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Current RN licensure in the United States/US Territory or the equivalent for international licensure.
  • Good standing with the licensing body.
  • Current employment as a registered nurse (RN) and one year experience preferred.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) for all nursing courses completed
  • Required prerequisites:
    • Statistics  (or may be taken during the program)
    • University Writing/Research (or equivalent)
    • Intro to Psychology
    • Intro to Sociology

Required nursing baccalaureate content for an MSN program:

  • NURS4100. Concepts of Leadership and Management in Professional Nursing 
  • NURS4113. Introduction to Evidence-based Practice/Nursing Research
  • NURS4114. Nursing of Diverse Communities and Populations

 *All applicants with a GPA of 2.75-2.99 may be admitted provisionally and are required to:

  • Submit a professional reference that addresses their ability and potential to complete a graduate study program.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the first three graduate courses.  If the student does not earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all MSN courses, he or she will not be permitted to progress in the MSN program. 

The MSN Program Director must approve exceptions to regular admission requirements.

Application Process:

Baccalaureate prepared students.

  • Submit an online MSN application with a non-refundable application fee.
  • Submit official transcripts from the college or university where the nursing degree was granted and all institutions from where the applicant seeks to transfer credit(s).
  • Provide evidence of current RN licensure.
  • Provide a Personal Goal Statement:

The Admissions Committee will evaluate the goal statement for content and writing ability (grammar, spelling, word use).  A significant amount of communication in an online program is written, and writing skills are essential.  The goal statement allows you to tell the admission committee about yourself.  In a 300–500-word essay, please address the following:

    • Brief background of your nursing career.
    • What is motivating you to attend NNU, and why now?
    • Explain why this program is the best fit for you.
    • What are your goals after completing the degree?
  • Complete an interview with the admissions committee.

If English is not the applicant's native language, see the International Students section under the Admissions section of the GPS catalog.

Transfer of Credits

A maximum of 25% of the degree's required credit hours may be transferred from another regionally accredited institution. All transfer credits must have a "B" or higher letter grade and be approved by the program director. Credits must have been earned within five years preceding the date of admission.

Academic Standing and Dismissal in the Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership and Education Program

  1. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in good standing in the Master of Science in Nursing Program at Northwest Nazarene University.  If a student drops below a cumulative GPA of 3.0, the student will receive a warning letter from the program director and be placed on academic probation for one semester.  Academic probation includes an academic plan for improvement created collaboratively and signed by the student and the program director.  The student must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the semester of probation.  If the cumulative GPA still falls below the required 3.0, or if the student fails to meet the requirements of the academic improvement plan, the student may be academically dismissed from the program.  Students are notified of academic dismissal by the program director in writing.
  2. Students must pass all MSN courses with a 2.0 (C) or better grade.   Students who fail to meet this expectation must re-enroll and pass the class with a 2.0 (C) or better in order for the course to contribute toward graduation requirements for the program.  Students may only repeat a course one time.

Enrollment Status

Active Status - A student who has been admitted to a program in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies and is enrolled in at least one course has active status.

Inactive status - A student who does not register for a course applicable to the degree for three consecutive semesters will be removed from active status and must make arrangements with the program director to regain active status.  This policy does not apply to students who are not enrolled due to disciplinary reasons.

Continuous Enrollment – Those students who have completed all course work but have not completed all requirements for a program must be continuously enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit hour to retain access to university and faculty services.

Provisional Status – Students who do not meet enrollment requirements may be provisionally admitted to a program with an approved academic plan and a positive vote of the admissions committee.

Degrees and Certificates