MSN Leadership/Education | Saint Francis University
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MSN Leadership/Education

The online MSN program at Saint Francis University prepares registered nurses for advanced roles that require increased accountability, expertise, and leadership. Graduates of Saint Francis University’s MSN program are prepared to assume roles as administrators and nursing educators. The MSN curriculum is founded on the Franciscan mission, values, and goals. The small cohorts of students, dedicated professors, and strategically planned sequence of courses prepares graduates to lead through educating others.

    • About the MSN Leadership/Education Program
    • Overall Degree Plan
    • Admissions
    • Costs & Financial Aid
    About the MSN Leadership/Education Program

    This is an asynchronous online program, with the exception of the clinical/practicum components and residency requirements.  The unique aspect of our program is personal attention.  The small classes enable faculty to provide individualized   guidance to students as they complete the coursework.    

    All students are required to attend two campus residencies in Loretto, Pennsylvania.  Each residency lasts 1 day.  The first residency provides an orientation to the program, the University, and student resources.  The second residency occurs during the last semester of the program, when students showcase their accomplishments to the faculty and the University.

    Overall Degree Plan

    The Leadership/Education track of the MSN program can be completed in 26 months. Courses vary in length from 7 to 15 weeks and are offered online. Most MSN students will take approximately 6-7 credits per semester (including summers).

    Two residencies are required. Each residency is one day in length and takes place on the Saint Francis University campus in Loretto, Pennsylvania*. Each residency has a specific purpose, including networking, project presentations, and collaborative learning. Residencies take place prior to beginning the program (orientation) and during the last practicum course. 

    Three major clusters of courses comprise the MSN curriculum:

    Core Courses (15 credits)

    • Advanced Nursing Practice: Emergence, Theory, and Leadership, MSN 500, 3 credits

    • Research for Evidence-Based Practice, MSN 501, 3 credits

    • Leadership for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, MSN 502, 3 credits

    • Inter-professional Communication & Collaboration, MSN 510, 3 credits

    • Application of Ethics in Advanced Nursing Practice and Health Policy, MSN 515, 3 credits

    Leadership & Education Specialization (11 credits)

    • Advanced Core Concepts in Health & Illness for Leadership/Education, MLE 509, 3 credits

    • Leadership in Measurement & Outcomes Evaluation, MLE 619, 3 credits

    • Economics & Fiscal Management for Nurse Leaders, MLE 520, 2 credits

    • Leadership for Excellence in Professional Development: Adult Development & Learning, MLE 624, 1 credit

    • Leadership for Excellence in Professional Development: Learning in Theory & Practice, MLE 626, 2 credits

    Immersive Courses for Nurse Leaders & Educators (7 credits)

    • Leading Quality Initiatives in Service & Education (2S/2C), MLE 630, 4 credits*

    • Leadership Practicum (over 14 weeks max), MLE 640, 3 credits*

    *Students are responsible for transportation, and costs associated with transportation, to and from residency days and the clinical/practicum experiences.

    Course Catalog Major Requirements


    MSN Leadership/Education Program Admission Criteria

    1. Unencumbered current license as a Registered Nurse in the United States within the home state of residency.

    2. Official transcripts verifying the conferral of a baccalaureate (bachelor's) degree in nursing from an ACEN, CCNE, or CNEA accredited program.  This includes all transcripts with transfer credits to the degree granting institution.

    3. A BSN GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

    4. Evidence of qualification and capacity for graduate study as reflected in the following:
      a) Application Essay - compose a 500 to 700 word essay that discusses your professional and educational goals as they relate to the Master’s Program for which you are applying;
      b) Two professional references;  
      c) Minimum grade-point average (GPA) 3.0;
      d) Professional activity (e.g., community, organizational, and volunteer service, and creative professional accomplishments.

    5. A minimum of one year of full-time work experience as a registered nurse is required prior to registration in clinical or specialty courses.

    6. Interview with program faculty (in person, online, or by phone).

    7. Willingness to attend the on-campus residencies.

    8. Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission.

    9. Proficiency in English 
      a) All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, ;
      b) The minimum overall TOEFL score is 84 (Internet-based test); 24 is the minimum score in the speaking section, and 24 is the writing section minimum score.

    10.  Applicants must meet the following prerequisites: 
      • Completion of an introductory college-level course in statistics (200 level preferred);
      • Completion of an undergraduate physical assessment course ;
      • Demonstrated computer literacy (including the ability to send and download attachments) or completed courses in word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and presentation graphics.

    Required Orientation

    Before beginning course work, new MSN students are required to attend a one-day on-campus orientation (first residency day).

    Advanced Standing

    A maximum of six (6) graduate-level credits from a regionally accredited university and approved program may be transferred toward completion of the requirements for the Master of Science in nursing (MSN) degree. Transfer credit will only be accepted for courses in which a grade of “B” (GPA = 3.0 on 4.0 scale) or its equivalent has been received. These credits cannot have been applied to a previous degree. Courses taken over five years prior to admission will not be accepted. Official transcripts certifying graduate-level courses completed at another institution prior to admission to Saint Francis University are to be submitted at the time of application and will be evaluated for transfer of credits.

    Procedure for Requesting Transfer Credits

    Contact MSN Program Director for transfer credit evaluation.

    Readmission Policy

    After voluntary withdrawal, students may request readmission by submitting a letter to the MSN Program Director stating the reason for the request and the anticipated date for readmission. Previous program enrollment and a request for readmission do not guarantee acceptance for readmission to the program. If readmission is granted, current MSN program policies will apply (not those of the first admission to the program). 

    Please note:  All submitted materials become the property of Saint Francis University

    Costs & Financial Aid


    • 33 credits of MSN course work @ $650/credit (subject to change)

    • One time graduation fee $195 (subject to change)

    Total tuition and fees for MSN program in 2019-2020: $21,450 for 33 credits + $195 graduation fee (payable whether or not the student attends commencement)

    Currently there are no other fees associated with admission as a student in the Leadership Education track.  Students will be required to purchase course text books.

    These estimated costs do not include any costs associated with travel/lodging to and from residency days and clinical/practicum experiences, required clinical clearances and background checks.

    Financial Aid

    Please contact Financial Aid for student loan options at or (814) 472-3010.

    View all Graduate Tuition and Fees