College of Nursing
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Alternate Entry MSN Option Phases

The AE MSN Phase 1 requires 39 credits.  For Phase 2, the credits required are 39 to 50 credits.  Thus the total credits to complete the MSN are 78 to 89 credits.

Phase I: Pre-licensure

The first year of the option, consisting of one complete academic year (including both summer sessions), is an intensive, full-time series of traditional pre-licensure courses. These courses are specially designed graduate courses that include:

  • content and experiences that are required to take the Registered Nurse Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), and
  • preparation required for advanced study in nursing at the master's level.

The NC Board of Nursing has approved the Alternate Entry Phase I curriculum as meeting the educational requirements needed to establish eligibility for licensure in North Carolina All Phase I courses must be satisfactorily completed before the student is eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. The sequence of Phase I courses begins only in the Fall. During this time, full-time enrollment, in a traditional classroom setting, is required. Below is the curriculum plan link for Phase I.

Phase I Curriculum Plan

We recommend using Internet Explorer to open the curriculum plans, which are in pdf (Acrobat Reader) format.  If you are having trouble viewing them in Firefox, you might try right-clicking the link and choosing “Save as” to save them to your computer.  You could then try to open the file by double-clicking it.  Regardless of your choice of browser, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to view the curriculum plans.  It is a free download from:

Phase II: Nursing Concentration

Phase II, the nursing concentration component of the option, includes the coursework required for the remainder of the degree requirements for the MSN. The student may choose from the following concentrations:

Some concentrations require one to two years of clinical experience in a selected setting prior to taking specific clinical courses; however, during the time the student is gaining this experience, the student can take selected core courses which are available online.

Phase II Curriculum Plan varies depending on the concentration selected.