Master of Science in Nursing Program and Options

The Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) program prepares nurses at an advanced level to contribute to evidence-informed practice and to provide leadership in nursing in a variety of practice settings.


The MScN program is based on the belief that advanced practice in nursing requires graduate level preparation that provides students with the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge and competencies in nursing.

MScN Program General Objectives:

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an integration of advanced knowledge from a variety of sources and application to nursing practice, research, education and administration.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to access, critically appraise, synthesize and use theory and empirical evidence from a variety of sources to plan, implement and evaluate solutions to health and health system challenges.
  • Collaborate in research, evaluation, and quality improvement related initiatives.
  • Apply principles and methods of change, knowledge translation and policy development to practice issues.
  • Communicate, verbally and in writing, nursing knowledge and evidence to nursing colleagues, members of the interprofessional team, policy makers, patients and families.
  • Demonstrate initiative, autonomy, sound judgment, advocacy, professional responsibility, and accountability to address complex issues in an advanced nursing role.
  • Engage in reflection about their knowledge, skills and practice, and implement strategies for their own professional growth.
  • Coach, mentor, and teach nurses, nursing students, and other members of the healthcare team.
  • Promote a culture of learning and of respect.

Curriculum Design:

The curriculum fosters the interrelatedness of knowledge and practice and includes:

  • A theoretical component that enables students to critically examine development of professional nursing practice;
  • A research component to develop beginning research skills and enable students to critically evaluate research in nursing and other health-related fields as a basis for evidence-informed practice; and
  • A practice component, which involves either a project (practicum option) or clinical practice (nurse practitioner option), both of which enable students to develop advanced nursing competencies and provide leadership in nursing.

Practicum option

The practicum option of the MScN program offers a unique and practical learning opportunity for students, many of whom are employed as staff nurses, nurse educators and nurse managers.

Students draw from real situations to identify issues that can be addressed to form the basis of a practicum project.

Throughout the program students develop a sound knowledge base to implement and evaluate evidence-informed practice. During their course work and practicum projects, they learn to integrate and synthesize philosophical perspectives, theories, research and skills. The practicum project, conducted over two terms in N6660 and N6661, allows students to consolidate their learning and demonstrate advanced practice nursing practice competencies.

Practicum-specific objectives:

In addition to meeting general objectives of MScN program, graduates of the practicum option will be able to:

  • Plan, implement and evaluate a project to meet the needs of a target group;
  • Disseminate project-specific knowledge to improve nursing practice; and
  • Facilitate integration of program-specific knowledge into practice. 

Nurse Practitioner options

The nurse practitioner (family/all ages) and post-master's nurse practitioner graduate diploma options prepare nurses at an advanced level to practice as nurse practitioners (NPs). NPs work in a variety of settings such as in acute care, community clinics, emergency departments, out-patient clinics, family-physicians' offices, long-term care facilities and remote nursing stations. NPs are in high demand, and have an important role in helping to ensure the health and well-being of people in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The major thrust of the NP options is to build on a foundation of graduate nursing education. The role of the NP in advanced nursing practice is grounded in knowledge of theory and expanded practice skills in areas of advanced clinical decision-making, research, consultation, collaboration and leadership. Nurse practitioners have advanced knowledge and decision-making skills in health assessment, diagnosis and health care management of common and complex conditions.

NP option-specific objectives:

In addition to meeting general objectives of the MScN program, graduates of the NP option will be able to:

  • Work collaboratively and act as a consultant to members of the health team in clinical practice
  • Refer and accept referrals from members of the health team in clinical practice
  • Demonstrate evidence-informed care to individuals, families and communities within a given stream of practice; and
  • Practice advanced nursing within the domains and competencies of NP practice

Post-master's NP graduate diploma specific objectives:

Graduates of the post-master's NP graduate diploma will be able to meet the NP option specific objectives listed above.