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Nursing: MSN

Female USF student practicing on another student in the classroom.

Advance your nursing career, boost your earning potential and prepare to become a family nurse practitioner — while still working in the field.

Why a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are in unprecedented demand. The U.S. Department of Labor projects the need for NPs will double between now and 2029, making it the #2 fastest-growing occupation in the country (surpassed only by wind turbine technicians). Nurse practitioners can specialize in several areas; one of the most common paths is to become a family nurse practitioner, or FNP.

FNPs serve more than 800 million patients a year. Because they can offer a full range of primary healthcare services (including prescribing medications and ordering diagnostic tests) to patients of all ages, they fulfill an especially urgent need in rural and underserved areas with limited access to physicians. In addition to clinical services, FNPs focus heavily on patient education, disease prevention and health promotion.

If you’re passionate about patient care and want to expand your nursing career, a master of science in nursing is an ideal next step to move into an advanced practice role.

Take the first step:
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Career Outlook & Success


employment rate for MSN graduates within six months


growth rate predicted for nurse practitioners through 2029 (


median annual salary for nurse practitioners in Indiana (, 2019)

Why USF for Nursing?

The University of Saint Francis has a strong reputation for preparing competent, caring healthcare professionals. Our MSN program builds upon your existing nursing experience with:

  • A holistic, person-centered focus on care
  • High-quality academics rooted in Franciscan values
  • Engaged, inspiring faculty members, including practicing NPs
  • Enriching hands-on learning opportunities in high-tech facilities

Once you earn your MSN degree, you’ll be eligible to take the family nurse practitioner certification exams through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Additionally, you can choose one of two MSN programs, based on your background and future goals:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track: the traditional master of science in nursing option for students with a bachelor’s degree
  • RN-to-MSN Transition track: provides associate degree nurses with the necessary bachelor’s-level courses before transitioning into MSN coursework (additional clinical hours required). This program has additional requirements for admission.

Flexible & Convenient Schedule

You have professional obligations, and family always comes first. That’s why USF offers its  nursing/MSN programs in a hybrid format with a flexible and convenient schedule:

  • Full- and part-time options
  • Evening classes, every other Tuesday
  • Remaining coursework completed online, on your time

Learn By Doing:
Simulations and Clinical Experience

You will learn and collaborate with your classmates in a state-of-the-art science center, which features:

  • a simulation lab (with life-like patient simulators)
  • a resource lab with exam rooms and patient units

Plus, as you work to become a family nurse practitioner, you’ll gain more than 600 hours of supervised clinical experience at healthcare facilities such as:

  • DeKalb Medical Group
  • Fransican Health Partners
  • Lutheran Health Physicians
  • Parkview Health

The University of Saint Francis gave me the tools I need to provide the kind of care I want for my patients. I have the foundation from my nursing background, but the building blocks for becoming a nurse practitioner are all right here. They definitely set you up for success.

Brett Burns ‘20
MSN major

Group of four female family nurse practitioners smiling.

Family Nurse Practitioner Career Opportunities

Once you’ve earned your MSN, pass your certification exam and officially become a family nurse practitioner, you can work as an FNP in a broad range of healthcare settings, including:

  • Community health centers
  • Home health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Physician’s offices
  • Private practice
  • Schools
  • Urgent care centers

With additional training and experience, you could move into supervisory roles or even into administrator positions.

100% Placement Rate: Where You’ll Find Our Graduates

After completing their MSN programs, USF graduates find advanced practice nursing positions at places such as:

  • Adams Health
  • Allendale
  • Allergy & Asthma Center
  • Cardinal Family Medicine
  • Clean Slate Outpatient Addiction Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine of Indiana, LLC
  • Family Healthcare of Northwest Ohio, LLC
  • Fertility and Midwifery Center
  • Fort Wayne Neurological Center
  • Heart City Health Care
  • Indiana Ear
  • Kroger – The Little Clinic
  • Lutheran Health Physicians
  • Marion General Hospital
  • Mercy Health Ohio
  • Northeast Internal Medicine Association
  • Parkview Health
  • Select Specialty Hospital
  • St. Vincent Health
  • Summit Pain Management
  • Veterans Affairs Northern Indiana Health Care System

This partial list of employers demonstrates the versatility of MSN programs and the many places an FNP can take you.

Additional Educational Opportunities

Some students use the master of science in nursing (MSN) as a stepping stone into a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) or Ph.D. program, with the goal of working in research, education or public health.

Additionally, you may earn certification in more than one NP speciality. Between the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) you can find certifications in areas such as:

  • Acute care
  • Adult health
  • Gerontology health
  • Neonatal health
  • Oncology
  • Pediatric/child health
  • Psychiatric/mental health
  • Women’s health


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

Our Mission

Rooted in Franciscan Values, faculty engage a diverse community of learners to serve society holistically as compassionate, professional nurse leaders.

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Vist USF

Whether you know what you want to see, who you want to meet or are just exploring your options, we will personalize your campus visit to fit your needs.

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

View RN-MSN Transition Plan