Apr 18, 2024  

School of Nursing

Associate Dean of Nursing and Chief Academic Advisor   Kristina Henry, RN, DNP, NE-BC, CNE                                       
Graduate Nursing Program Director         Barbara Ludwig, EdD., MSN, RN
Nursing-RN to BSN Program Director   Melissa Lawson, MSN
Student Services Coordinator   Jordan McKinney, BA
MSN Mission

Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Rockhurst University graduate nursing programs focus on developing compassionate thoughtful leaders, accomplished scholars, and lifelong learners with a passion for advance nursing practice that meets societal needs with diverse populations in diverse settings.

MSN Program Goals:
  • To prepare advanced practice nurses as leaders who provide safe, competent care to diverse populations in primary and/or acute care settings.
  • To prepare nurse leaders who are innovative experts in leading change and improving quality of carefor diverse populations and settings.
  • To prepare nurse educators as nurse leaders who facilitate learning and are competent in teaching, curriculum development and evaluation.
MSN Program Outcomes:
  • Students will successfully graduate within their cohort time frame.
  • Students express satisfaction with the MSN program.
  • The MSN faculty maintain subject matter expertise.
  • Students successfully pass their specific certification examination.
  • Students will obtain employment after graduation.
MSN Student Outcomes:

At the completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Incorporate scientific and theoretical concepts from nursing and other relevant disciplines to improve nursing practice in a variety of settings.
  • Exhibit organizational and system leadership skills to promote ethical, safe, high quality patient care.
  • Contribute to improvement and safety in healthcare organizations using validated instruments, methods and quality improvement measures.
  • Incorporate research to guide clinical decisions, patient education, and professional practice.
  • Use appropriate technology while engaging in care management, collaboration, education, and decision making.
  • Advocate for consumers and inter-professional health team members through policy development and implementation.
  • Collaborate effectively as an inter-professional team member or leader to facilitate care for individuals and populations in a diverse of settings

Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC): 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500 Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411  info@hlcommission.org

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791 (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).


The BSN degree program at Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. Completion of the Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences BSN degree may not guarantee issue of licensure. In compliance with the Missouri Nurse Practice Act (Chapter 335 of the Missouri Statutes, section 335.066), nursing program applicants should be aware that the Missouri State Board of Nursing may refuse to issue a license for specific reasons related to moral turpitude, intemperate use of alcohol or drugs, or conviction of a crime. Admission to and graduation from the BSN program does not guarantee eligibility for state licensure. Any candidate for licensure who has been charged or convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony will be required to submit documentation of the court proceedings for that charge or conviction to the State Board of Nursing of the state in which licensure is sought. The Missouri State Board of Nursing determines who is eligible to take the licensing examination. Questions may be directed to:

Missouri State Board of Nursing

3605 Missouri Blvd Jefferson City, MO 65102

573-751-0681 | www.pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp

Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences must comply with a state’s regulations before any educational activity can occur within that state. Those regulations determine whether the College may offer you a place in a course or program.

All MSN students must contact the Board of Nursing in the state where they are completing their clinical rotations to learn requirements. Students desiring the opportunity to complete clinical rotations in a state other than Missouri or Kansas, must obtain special permission, and not all requests can be granted. Additional fees may apply.

Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences participates in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NCSARA). Missouri became a SARA state in December 2014. Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences became a SARA institution in July 2015. This allows students from NC-SARA approved states to enroll in:

  • Online degree programs, certificates and endorsements that include internships, externships, co-ops, field experiences, student teaching, and clinical placements; and
  • Campus-based courses with out-of-state internships, externships, co-ops, field experiences, student teaching and clinical placements.
General Requirements for a Degree

Responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements rest with the student. Through faculty, advisors and administration, Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences makes every effort to advise students well. All candidates for a degree must meet the total credit hours requirement for their degree. Undergraduate students require a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and graduate students are required to have a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average in order to graduate. The minimum satisfactory grade for all graduate nursing courses is a B or higher.

The total hours for the MSN degree are 45 credit hours for the Nurse Educator (NE), or 49 total credit hours for the Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) and the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), or 37 credit hours for the Nursing Leadership degree, or 62 credit hours for the dual track combined AG-ACNP and FNP degree.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Admissions Process
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Nurse Educator (NE)
  • Dual Track (Combined FNP and AGACNP)
  • Nursing Leadership (MSN-L)
Step One

You may start an application if you:

  • Have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from a Commission on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognized institution nursing program accredited by CCNE or ACEN.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Have an active unencumbered nursing license in the state where you practice.
  • AG-ACNP/NE Post-Graduate Certificate or FNP Second MSN Only: Master of Science in Nursing degree from a nursing program accredited by CCNE or ACEN and regionally accredited institution of higher learning.
  • AG-ACNP Post-Graduate Certificate Applicants Only: Must also have a current board certification as an advanced practice nurse.
Step Two
  • Apply at https://onlinehealth.rockhurst.edu/online-programs.
  • The following items are required to complete the application:
  • $50 application fee required to complete application.
  • Official transcripts are required from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended.
  • Current resume/CV including detail of responsibilities and specific job experience.
  • Two professional letters of recommendation sent directly to the admissions office from current or previous supervisors, prior nursing faculty, or other individuals who can address your clinical knowledge, skill and prospective aptitude for success within a graduate program of study. Letters may not come from direct peers or family members.
  • Personal statement (400 to 800 words) addressing the following:

»    Discuss why you want to pursue your specialty of choice.

»    Describe how your past and/or ongoing work experience will enhance your experience in this program.

»    State your goals/plans upon completion of the degree.

Step Three

If you are accepted, you must adhere to the clinical readiness requirements for the graduate nursing program.  See the Clinical Readiness Admissions and Progression Requirements catalog section for complete details.

Clinical Readiness Admissions and Progression Requirements

Given the nature of clinical programs, access to patient information and providing care to patients, some programs have additional requirements. Please refer to the requirements listed in the admission section specific to your program of the catalog.

Immunization Documentation

CastleBranch is the clinical readiness document tracking service for the graduate program. Incoming students must complete all requirements before the first day of class to complete the enrollment process. We encourage you to initiate this process immediately upon acceptance. Failure to obtain clinical compliance by the first day of classes could result in your admissions offer being rescinded or a registration hold being placed on your account. Please note that it may take CastleBranch seven to ten business days to review your documentation. If any documents are not approved by CastleBranch, and you are asked to repeat or complete additional requirements, it will take longer.

Students are required to create an account with CastleBranch and are responsible for the approximate $160 cost (or possibly more depending on the individual clinical site requirements) that includes the background check and drug testing costs. Once an account is created, students will upload the required documentation, maintain the account, and remain in compliance through the completion of the program. It may take several days to schedule an appointment with the laboratory where you will complete your drug screen, so plan accordingly. The student and College are notified anytime a student is out of compliance. There are no exceptions to the requirements and the due dates.

Alcohol and Drug Testing

It is the College policy to maintain an alcohol and drug-free workplace. Students will be tested for illegal substances after an admissions offer is made. Students must complete tests at a LabCorp location. Students who test positive on their drug screenings are not allowed to participate in any clinical rotations at any Saint Luke’s Health System affiliated institutions and their admissions offer will be rescinded and no refunds will be given.

Students who test positive for an illegal substance and are therefore not allowed to start the MSN program may reapply for the next available start date. A new drug screening will be administered after an admissions offer is made.

Applicants who provide an abnormally diluted sample will be required to repeat the drug test [retest]. The College and clinical sites reserve the right to reject admission and participation of any student based on the results of the screenings and the immunizations or the background check.

Criminal Background Check Information

The background check is conducted by a qualified agency. All costs related to the background checks are the responsibility of the student.  The background check shall include the following:

  • Family Care Safety Registry
  • Nationwide Federal Criminal
  • Caregiver Background Screening [which authorizes a criminal background check from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a DMH Employee Disqualification Registry Report and DHSS Employee Disqualification List Report] or another clinical partner, which completes the three-agency check.
  • Missouri Highway Patrol Criminal Background Check
  • Kansas Criminal Background Check
  • Other State Criminal Background Check [previous residences other than MO/KS in the past ten years]
  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Employee Disqualification List
  • Missouri Department of Mental Health Disqualification Registry Report
  • Office of the Inspector General
  • General Services Administration/Excluded Parties List System
  • Missouri Sex Offender Registry Nationwide Record Indicator Alias with SOI
  • Kansas Bureau of Investigation Registered Sex Offenders List Nationwide Record Indicator Alias with SOI
  • Other State or National Sex Offender List [previous residences other than MO/KS] Nationwide Record Indicator Alias With SOI
  • Name, Social Security Number and Address Verification Social Security Alert
  • United States Treasury - SON and Blocked Persons List Web Site
  • Employment Verification Separation and Re-Employment Verification Employment

After conducting the background check, students who have been involved in any of the following activities in the seven years before applying for the MSN program may not be allowed access to clinical sites. Consequently, the prospective student’s admissions may be rescinded, and no refunds will be given if:

  • The student has been convicted of any felony or
  • The student has been convicted of any misdemeanor involving violence, sexual misconduct, theft or computer crimes, fraud or financial crimes, drug distribution, or crimes involving unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon.

The College can initiate a criminal background check for any student at any time. Refusal by the student to submit to the background check may result in the student’s dismissal from the program. Students who have a misdemeanor and felony conviction on their record should contact the state board of nursing in the state they hope to practice in to find out if their record will preclude them from advanced practicing nursing license and any other applicable professional license or certification.

REQUIRED Immunization Documentation

All immunization documentation must show your name, date, and be verified by a medical provider.

Can’t find your records? In general, both children and adults will need to repeat some vaccines. Although this is time- consuming and inconvenient, it is not harmful to receive additional vaccine doses. For a few vaccines, blood tests can help determine if you are already immune to certain diseases.

Measles (Rubeola), Mumps and Rubella

  • Submit one of the following requirements :
    • Vaccination series: Two vaccinations at least 28 days apart OR
    • Serological proof of immunity: Positive (+] lgG titers for Measles (Rubeola]. Mumps and Rubella
      • If your titer is negative or equivocal, you will need to complete the vaccination series . See vaccination series information in the first bullet.

Varicella (Chicken Pox)

  • Submit one of the following requirements:
    • Vaccination series: Two vaccinations at least 28 days apart OR
    • Serological proof of im munity: Positive (+] lgG titers for Varicella
      • If your titer is negative or equivocal, you will need to complete the vaccination series . See vaccination series information in the first bullet.

Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (TDaP)

  • Submit the following requirement :
    • Documentation of a TDaP within the past ten years.

TB Skin Test

  • You must submit proof of the absence of active Tuberculosis (TB]. Either by completing two TB skin tests (TST] (see description below of a two-step process] or IGRA (blood test for TB] will be required before starting the MSN program. TB testing is required annually, and students must remain in compliance throughout the MSN program.
  • TB testing for incoming students:
    • Complete an IGRA (blood test for TB] OR
    • Two-TB Skin Tests are as follows:
      • A first TB skin test and then a second TB skin test completed one to three weeks later. If the second TST is completed more than three weeks after the first TST, the student will have to restart the two-step-screening .
      • If the first or second TST is positive (+]. an individual is considered infected.
      • You will then need to have a chest x-ray and complete the signs/symptoms questionnaire (provided by the College] to rule out active Tuberculosis.
  • Note:
    • Be aware if receiving a live virus immunization {such as Varicella, MMR or Flu}, you will need your TST done the same time or wait four weeks.
    • TB Screening compliance must remain current throughout the nursing program.
    • A chest x-ray is not permitted instead of TB Screening.

Hepatitis B

  • Submit one of the following requirements:
    • Documentation of Immunization: A series of three vaccines over six months followed by a post­ series surface antibody titer at least 4-8 weeks after the last vaccine is given.
      • If Hepatitis B Titer is positive after the initial series, no further action is needed
      • If Hepatitis B titer is negative after the initial series of three vaccines:
        • Receive one additional vaccine
        • Complete a surface antibody titer within 4-8 weeks.
        • If the titer is positive, no further action is needed.
        • If the titer is still negative, receive the 2nd and 3rd vaccines in the second series and receive a Hepatitis B surface antigen test to determine if an infection is present.
      • After the 3rd dose of the second series, re-titer within 4-8 weeks, and if still negative, an individual is considered a “non-responder.”
    • Hepatitis B Declination Waiver: Although not recommended, you have the option to decline Hepatitis B. The declination is available to download from the Castle-Branch website. The signed declination form must be submitted to CastleBranch.
      • If you are in the process of Hepatitis B series vaccination, you may be asked to submit the Hepatitis B Declination Waiver.

Influenza and COVID Vaccinations – Nursing Students do not have the option to decline the flu or COVID vaccine.

  • Documentation of a flu shot must be submitted yearly by the due date defined by the College   .
  • Documentation must be dated and signed by a medical professional.
  • Flu vaccination is required annually, and individuals must remain in compliance throughout the nursing program.

Other REQUIRED Documentation

  • CPR Certification:
    • Submit documentation of Basic Life Support [BLS] for Healthcare Professionals through the American Heart Association.
    • Courses for lay rescuers such as “Heartsaver” are not acceptable.
    • Certification must be renewed every two years. Individuals must remain in compliance throughout the nursing program.
    • Please note eCards are acceptable.
    • To find an American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Professionals course, go to www.cpr.heart.org, and click on “find a course.” Then select “courses for health care professionals,” and choose BLS.
  • Color Blindness Screening:
    • Submit documentation of a color blindness screening dated and verified by a medical professional.
    • Screenings must be completed using a color blindness test that is approved by an Ophthalmologist [i.e., Ishihara Test].
    • This can be performed free at our Westport Campus, 624 Westport Road, anytime Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. - please call ahead at 816-936-8700

For the requirements below, the documents are in the Learning Management System (Canvas) in the MSN SPI course which you will be granted access to after admission to the Graduate Nursing Program. Once you are given access to the course, you must complete the documentation legibly with your name and date. Then download, print, sign and upload to CastleBranch.

  • CNE Clinical Examination
    • To take the clinical examination go to Canvas>MSN SPI>Content section, then:
      • Read the clinical orientation manual.
      • Take the CNE/KCANE quiz and receive a 90% or above.
      • Generate the CNE award certificate and upload it to Castle Branch.
      • This must be completed upon admission and again each academic year [open July and August] while enrolled in the nursing program.
  • CNE/KCANE Confidentiality Statement
    • Download from the Castle Branch website, print, read and submit a signed copy of the CNE/KCANE Confidentiality Statement.
    • This must be updated annually while enrolled in the nursing program.
  • Health Insurance Acknowledgment
    • Download from the Castle Branch website, print, read and submit a signed copy of the health insurance acknowledgment form.
    • Submit documentation of your health insurance.
    • All students are required to maintain health insurance
  • Latex Allergy Form
    • Download from the CastleBranch website, print, read and submit a signed copy of the Latex
  • Allergy Policy Form
    • Must be updated annually during each academic year while enrolled in the nursing Program.
    • Preceptor and Clinical Site Initial Requests Form
    • Download from the CastleBranch website, print, read and submit a signed copy of the Student Clinical
  • Site Consent Form
    • This must be updated annually while enrolled in the nursing program.
  • SLHS Confidentiality Statement
    • Download from the CastleBranch website, print, read and submit a signed copy of the SLHS Confidentiality Statement.
  • Confidentiality Statement
    • This must be updated annually while enrolled in the nursing program.
  • Student Clinical Site Consent Form
    • Download from the CastleBranch website, print, read and submit a signed copy of the Student Clinical Site Consent Form.

**Graduate Nursing Program Clinical Readiness Requirement Disclaimer: Certain clinical sites may require additional requirements not listed in this document; contact the clinical readiness coordinator for more information.  The student will be responsible for any costs associated with any additional items required by the clinical site.  The College and clinical sites reserve the right to reject the participation of any student based on the results of clinical readiness requirements.

Graduate Nursing Program Academic Dismissal:

A student may be dismissed from the Graduate Nursing Program for the following reasons:

  • Failure to maintain continuous enrollment in the graduate nursing program without an approved leave of absence.
  • Failure to complete the graduate nursing curriculum in seven calendar years.
  • If a student receives an unsatisfactory grade of C or lower in any two courses throughout the graduate nursing curriculum.
  • If a student receives an unsatisfactory grade of C or lower in a graduate nursing course, the course may be retaken one time. The original unsatisfactory grade will still be counted in the dismissal policy.
  • Failure to achieve a satisfactory grade of B or higher in a repeated course, including electives.
  • A student may withdraw from a maximum of three courses throughout the entire curriculum.
Graduate Nursing Program Leave of Absence:

A student who is in good standing at the time of departure may request a Leave of Absence.  A leave of absence will not exceed two consecutive semesters, including summers. Students requesting a military leave of absence will be granted until completion of service. Military students must register for the fall or spring semester immediately after completing military service. Students requesting a Leave of Absence should contact their academic advisor for directions.

Graduate Nursing Program Transfer Credit:
  • A maximum of twelve credit hours may be transferred into the Master of Science in nursing degree program
  • Courses must be equivalent to the required courses in the MSN degree program.
  • Consideration of transfer credit must occur as part of the admissions process and will not be considered after a student has begun the program.
  • The student must have an earned a grade in the course of B or higher (or equivalent) to be considered for transfer.
  • The transfer course must have been completed from a CCNE / ACEN accredited graduate nursing program and must have been completed within 5 years of admission.


MSN Graduate Degree Admission Requirements

To be accepted into any MSN program, students must first complete a three credit hour, level 5000 or higher, statistics course. Prior to MSN admission, students may enroll in Rockhurst’s NUA 6960 - Applied Statistics for Advance Nursing Practice  as a non-degree seeking student to meet this admission requirement.


Graduate Degree Requirements:

Master of Science in Nursing students must complete the following requirements:

  1. Complete the prescribed credit hours for the chosen MSN track
  2. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  3. Repeat any course in which a grade below a B was earned. Students may repeat a course only one time. Students are allowed to repeat a maximum of one course.


Master’s Degree Time Limitation
  • All requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing degree must be completed within a period of seven consecutive calendar years from the date of first enrollment in courses applicable to the degree.
    • If necessary, a written request for extension must be submitted by the student and approved by the faculty advisor, the director of graduate nursing program, and the academic dean.
    • A plan of study will be developed for the student by his or her academic advisor. Students will be notified by their academic advisors of the date they should expect to graduate. It is up to the student to know that date and plan enrollment around it. Student progression will be tracked by the registrar and graduate nursing faculty.


There are five distinctive tracks for the Master of Science in Nursing degree. 

Adult Gerontology–Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP): 49 Credits  -  see MSN: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner   

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): 49 Credits  -  see MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner   

Dual Track (Combined FNP and AGACNP): 62 Credits -  see MSN Dual Track Program: FNP/AGACNP  

Nurse Educator (NE): 45 Credits -  see MSN: Nurse Educator  

MSN in Nursing Leadership (MSN-L) 37 Credits - see MSN: Nursing Leadership  

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