School of Nursing


Graduate studies at the master's level place primary emphasis upon advanced professional nursing practice, theory, research, and health care delivery systems.  Students may select one of three specialty tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner for family, or Nursing Education.

Master's level study provides the student with a basis for further study at the doctoral level.  The graduate program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850. Atlanta Georgia, 30326; 404-957-5000).

  • Graduates of the Family Nurse Practitioner option are eligible to write the national certification examination for advanced professional practice as a family nurse practitioner from the American Nurses Association (ANA) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
  • Graduates of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option are eligible to write the national certification examination for advanced practice as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner-family.
  • Graduates of the Nursing Education track, who have had two years of full time academic teaching experience, are eligible to take the NLN Certified Nurse Educator Exam.

Graduate Certificate and 2nd Master's in Nursing

For individuals who already have a Master's degree in nursing and are licensed nurse practitioners but want to expand their scope of practice, the School of Nursing offers a graduate's certificate for the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialties. The school also offers a graduate certificate for Nursing Education (with this option, you just need a Master's degree in nursing). There are also special provisions for those seeking a second Master's degree, including a slightly different application process. If you are interested in either option, please see the UAA Catalog and School of Nursing Graduate Handbook for more details.

MS Nursing Program Graduate Outcomes:

The graduate is prepared to:

  1. Engage in scholarly inquiry and critical thinking, including evaluation and application of evidence based research to advanced nursing practice or nursing education.
  2. Practice in a manner that incorporates ethical, legal, & professional standards for advanced nursing practice or nursing education.
  3. Collaborate across disciplines and in partnership with communities, groups, families and individuals incorporating culturally sensitive principles.
  4. Demonstrate competence and caring in the role of the advanced practice nurse to serve as a leader, provider, and educator in the health care system.
  5. Articulate a plan for self directed, life-long learning, and professional development.

UAA Admission Requirements

Refer to the current UAA Course Catalog for UAA graduate admission requirements and deadlines.  The following application submission deadlines are recommended to ensure full processing of application and transcripts:

  • November 1st for March 1st applicants
  • July 1st for November 1st applicants

SON Admission Requirements

The School of Nursing's application is different than the University (although there are similarities). Applications must be submitted directly to the SON. Candidates must provide documentation of the following:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  2. Have a minimum undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  3. Have a minimum grade of 2.0 ("C") or higher in an undergraduate or higher research methods course and a statistics course that covers descriptive and inferential statistics.
  4. Provide a copy of unencumbered licensure as a registered professional nurse in the State of Alaska.
  5. Submit the SON graduate admission application directly to the SON (this includes a portfolio and writing sample).
  6. Submit 3 letters of professional recommendation. Letters must be submitted directly to the SON from the person writing the reference (not the student). References may be contacted by a member of the SON Admissions Committee. 
  7. Proctored Writing Sample
  8. Admission Interview
  9. Have a minimum of one year of half-time clinical experience as a Registered Nurse.

Application Deadline

  • November 1 - Graduate Study and/or Clinical Specialty*
  • March 1 - Graduate Study and/or Clinical Specialty*

*FNP applicants are admitted in Spring semester, PMH-NP applicants in Fall, and EDUC appplicants are admitted in either Fall or Spring

Applicants who meet the above criteria are considered for program admission on a competitive basis. Meeting all admission criteria does not guarantee admission. Nor does prior acceptance into Graduate Study status guarantee admission into the clinical nursing tracks. Special consideration may be given to candidates with clinical expertise and a proven record of professional contributions.  This information should be put into the portfolio (this is part of the application). To the extent that there are limited seats available in the program, preference may be given to residents of the State of Alaska as defined by the University's policy on residency for tuition purposes.

Academic Progress  

Students enrolled in the Graduate Nursing Program (MS or Graduate Certificate) must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in all required course work.  Students must earn a grade of B (3.0) or higher in all specialty courses.  If a student earns less than a B grade in a specialty course, that student may apply to retake the course the next time it is offered (on a space available basis and with instructor recommendation).  A specialty course may be retaken only once.  A student's Graduate Nursing Program may include a maximum of one "C" grade in a core course or an elective.  Grades below a "C" will not be applied to degree requirements.  Non compliance with this policy will result in academic probation, and possible dismissal from the program (see current Graduate Handbook for detailed information).

Graduation Requirements

Refer to the current UAA Course Catalog for master's level graduation requirements.

Computer Requirements

Graduate students will need a good computer with internet connectivity. Click on the following link to see what types of systems the University recommends:

Knowledge of MS Word and typing skills are also critical. You can find tutorials here for MS Office Word 2003, MS Office Word 2007 and Basic Typing. The NRC Computer lab is equipped with Microsoft Office 2007.

The School of Nursing does not provide support for Mac computers. Students who have Macs can use them, as long as they learn how to save files in a format that can be opened by faculty. IT services can provide some help with this (786-4646).

Program Requirements

1.  Complete the following required CORE courses (18 credits)

Course Title Credits
NS A620 Nursing Research Methods 4
NS A621 Knowledge Development for Advanced Nursing Practice 3
NS A625 Biostatistics for Health Professionals 3
NS A618 Roles for Advanced Practice Nursing 2
NS A619 Health Policy for Advanced Practice Nursing 2
NS A696 Individual Project (4 credits must be taken over two semesters. 2+2) 4

2.  Complete one of the following options (27-32 credits):

A.  Family Nurse Practitioner (32 credits):

Course Title Credits
NS A601 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
NS A602 Advanced Health Assessment in Primary Care 3
NS A610 Pharmacology for Primary Care 3
NS A660 Family Nurse Practitioner I 4
NS A661 Family Nurse Practitioner II 5
NS A662 Family Nurse Practitioner III 5
NS A663 Family Nurse Practitioner IV 6
Elective (Advisor approved) 3

B. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (32 credits):

Course Title Credits
NS A601 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
NS A602 Advanced Health Assessment in Primary Care 3
NS A610 Pharmacology for Primary Care 3
NS A670 Adv Psych/Mental Health Nursing I 5
NS A671 Adv Psych/Mental Health Nursing II 5
NS A672 Adv Psych/Mental Health Nursing III 5
NS A674 Adv Psych/Mental Health Nursing IV 5
Elective (Advisor approved) 3

C. Nursing Education (27 credits)

Course Title Credits
NS A601 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
NS A602 Advanced Health Assessment in Primary Care 3
NS A610
Pharmacology for Primary Care
NS A640 Teaching and Learning in Nursing 3
NS A641 Curriculum Development and Evaluation 3
NS A643 Assessment and Evaluation in Nursing 3
NS A644 Distance Education in Nursing 3
NS A647 Teaching Practicum in Nursing Education 3
Electives (Advisor approved) 3

3. A total of 45-50 credits are required for the degree, depending on specialty option selected. 

Project Credits:

Four project credits are required for the degree.  See the graduate handbook for more information on rules regarding the thesis or project.

Part-Time/Full-Time Study:

The program is designed to be completed in six to eight semesters of part-time study, although students can take longer. Students may select one of three specialty options. Two options focus in clinical studies: FNP and PMH-NP. The EDUC specialty option prepares nurses to be educators in academic and service settings.

The FNP option is offered beginning each Fall semester, with a cohort of ten to twelve students. The PMH-NP option begins a new clinical cohort every two years. The next cohort will start clinical courses in Spring 2014. The Education specialty courses will be offered annually.

Prior to being formally admitted to graduate study, students with a Bachelor's or higher degree in nursing may complete up to nine credits of degree applicable course work. Students admitted to the graduate nursing program will have priority in registering for classes. Students who are not yet formally admitted (e.g. non–degree seeking status or NODS) will be allowed to register on a space available basis and with instructor permission.  For part-time students, admission to Graduate Study only is recommended, with formal admission to a specialty track being delayed until core course requirements have been completed.  Enrollment in any clinical course requires formal admission to graduate study and to the specialty track.

Additional Requirements:

All students enrolled in UAA nursing programs must provide documentation of continuous and current certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for adults, infants, and children; meet certain health requirements; and have a School of Nursing sanctioned background check. Specific details of these requirements can be found in the School of Nursing Graduate Handbook.

Scheduling of Courses:

Graduate nursing courses are offered in different formats. Core courses (NS A618, NS A619, NS A620, NS A621, NS A625), and some specialty courses (NS A601, NS A610, NS A640, NS A641, NS A643, NS A644), are all done on line (via distance delivery). The EDUC specialty is completely online with the exception of the NS A602, Advance Physical Assessment course. For other classes an alternative scheduling format is utilized, consisting of intensive classroom sessions presented in short time blocks on the UAA campus followed by periodic class meetings throughout the semester that are available via computer and audio-conferencing.  Students may be required to attend a 2-3 day seminar at the start of the semester and another 1-3 day seminar at the end of the semester in Anchorage. This makes it possible for students who reside outside of Anchorage to take advantage of clinical learning opportunities throughout the State, including both urban and rural settings.