Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a MSN in the Leadership & Management?

Nursing is rapidly evolving as a profession along with health care in general. Graduates of a master of science in nursing leadership and management program will find jobs in the following areas:

  • Unit managers in hospitals
  • Supervisors or directors in public health, long term care or other agencies
  • Specific roles in institution- such as safety, infection control or patient education
  • College level teaching in nursing at an associate or baccalaureate level. If at the baccalaureate level, you will need to consider a PhD in the future.

Why should I consider an MSN?

As noted above, the nursing profession is changing rapidly. Health care systems are complex and multifaceted. Basic clinical knowledge is not sufficient to meet the demands of the system. Deepening your understanding of the system and how it affects patient safety and health is necessary for continued growth. Pressure is increasing for hospitals seeking or maintaining magnet status to increase the percentage of MSN prepared students.

I want to teach nursing. I thought I needed a master’s in education to teach.

You can teach nursing at some levels with a master’s degree in nursing. If this is a long term goal it will be important to continue on to a DNP or PhD in nursing. There is an education course in our program to help you prepare to teach clients, coworkers or students.

How do I apply to the program?

  • complete the online application
  • have all official college transcripts sent to Eastern Mennonite University, Attn: MSN Program, 1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg VA 22802.
  • please notify persons listed as references that EMU will be contacting them
  • complete FAFSA (for financial aid if applicable)

What are the steps to starting at EMU?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year. Apply online through the website.

Application questions: Contact , administrative assistant for the master’s program

Program or course questions: Contact , professor of nursing and the coordinator of the master’s program.

I am an AD RN, but have a bachelor’s degree in another area. Can I apply?

The nursing profession has sanctioned several levels of academic preparation for entry into practice. Consequently, until the governing bodies in nursing create a single pathway to practice, a variety of degrees and means toward a degree will continue to exist.

The goal of the admissions policy for the Master’s in Nursing at EMU is to facilitate the process whereby registered nurses can advance their education. EMU faculty avoid placing undue roadblocks in this path. Our aim is to accept qualified students while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the program by ensuring an appropriate educational preparation of all accepted candidates.
Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. All candidates must show evidence of completion of courses or mastery of content in the following content areas:

  • Research Methodology – a non-nursing focus is acceptable
  • Care across populations and settings – a non-nursing focus is acceptable
  • Professional role development – a nursing focus is required. These courses typically include nursing theory or history.

If the applicant lacks these courses they can be taken via bridge courses at EMU or another institution prior to beginning the master’s program. Applicants who believe they have equivalent experience or knowledge may present evidence in a portfolio and interview with EMU faculty.

About our program

Is the EMU MSN accredited?

EMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036, (202)887-6791.

How many total credits are required?

The MSN program consists of 37 credit hours, 10 credit hours of core nursing and 27 credit hours of leadership and management courses.

Is there a thesis required?

EMU’s online MSN program does not require a thesis. The Capstone leadership course includes 150 clock hours in a clinical setting and combines research, writing, and implementation of a project in that setting.

Is there a residency requirement?

Currently, there are two residency requirements. While the majority of the course work in the MSN program uses an online format, students must attend two residency sessions. The first session is a day and a half orientation at the Harrisonburg campus. The second mandatory session is a two or five day residency for the conflict course, depending on the course selected. (See curriculum plan.)

The remainder of the program is delivered via the internet using a learning platform called Moodle. This powerful educational technology allows you to get course assignments, ask questions to faculty and other students, and participate in critical analytical discussion with colleagues around the world. There are also synchronous sessions from time to time throughout the semester.

Technical requirements

Do I need a computer?

General Requirements

1. Any computer or laptop purchased in the past three years will meet the minimum specs suggested by our IS Department.

2. Mobile devices such as an iPad or Android tablet are currently not recommended for regular use through the entire online program. They may be used in a pinch (travel, for instance) – but they are not fully supported by EMU’s help desk and do not allow for the uploading of documents to Moodle, our Learning Management System.

Specific Details

  • Operating System: Windows 7 or 8; or Mac OS X Version 10.8 (Mountain Lion). Version 10.10 encouraged.
  • Processor: Minimum: Dual-core processor at 2gHz; Recommended: Intel Core i5 or i7, or equivalent.
  • RAM: 4 GB or more recommended.
  • Webcam and one-piece headset with “noise-cancelling microphone” (for synchronous class sessions)
  • Microsoft Office software:
    • MS Office (including MS Word, PowerPoint, & Publisher) preferable Office 2010 or 2013.
    • For MAC users, Office 2008 or 2011 are sufficient.
    • Office 365 is available for free with an email account. Office 365 is an array of Microsoft Office products accessed and updated online. Sign up at:
  • Broadband/high speed Internet access: A corporate office or hospital internet system is sufficient for speed, however firewalls might prevent the student from accessing certain software such as Moodle. Recommended home-based Internet services are DSL or cable (ideal). Satellite or cellular-based services are not recommended especially for videoconferencing. Satellite can work for accessing Moodle and forum discussions.

Is there technical support?

You will have technical support available 13 hours a day, five days a week through the Information Systems HelpDesk. The HelpDesk hours of service are 8:00am to 9:00pm Monday through Thursday, and 8:00am to 5:00pm on Friday.

Textbooks and resources

Will I have contact with professors?

Yes. Each student will be assigned an advisor whom you may contact at any time. Also, professors in each course will communicate when and how they may be contacted.

What about textbooks?

Most courses will have a textbook but many of the resources will be online articles. Faculty recommend you purchase textbooks online or, in some cases use interlibrary loan for short term access to a text.

How can I access library resources?

The EMU library may be accessed online. They are very responsive to distance learning students via a chat line or email or phone. There are extensive databases available via the webpage, many with full text access.