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Nursing, M.S. (Accelerated)

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing offers a 21-month, five-semester direct-entry accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program that will prepare you to become a clinical nurse leader (CNL).

SLU’s direct-entry accelerated Master of Science in Nursing (AMSN) is the first and only of its kind in Missouri. This 21-month, five-semester program is designed for individuals who are not registered nurses but have already earned a baccalaureate degree in another field. By completing the program, you will graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing and be prepared to sit for both the nursing licensure exam and certification as a clinical nurse leader.  This in-person, hands-on program is high touch, located in St. Louis on the campus of Saint Louis University at our nursing school.  

SLU's School of Nursing is renowned for excellence in nursing education. In 2022, our AMSN National Council Licensure Examination pass rate was 100%. U.S. News and World Report's Best Graduate Schools survey consistently ranks our graduate programs among of the top in the nation. The AMSN program provides a seamless transition for those graduates interested in becoming a nurse practitioner upon the completion of their master’s program.

Students who are reviewing our AMSN program may also consider our one-year accelerated B.S.N. program

Curriculum Overview

The master’s-level coursework of SLU's direct-entry accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program focuses on the competencies and role development you need to become a clinical nurse leader (CNL). Clinical nurse leaders coordinate the care of a distinct group of patients and actively provide direct patient care in complex situations. They focus on outcomes measurement, risk assessment, quality improvement, interprofessional communication and application of evidence-based practice.

Graduates initially work as staff nurses, with their CNL skill set later allowing them to pursue advanced roles in health care.

Program Highlights

The increasing number and range of opportunities available in nursing today make the accelerated Master of Science in Nursing the perfect second degree option. Unique features of this program include:

  • Nearly 1,000 hours of clinical experience throughout the program
  • Excellent clinical experiences at major St. Louis-area hospitals and health care facilities
  • Clinicals begin in the first semester of the program
  • Minimum (4) prerequisite course requirements (Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Microbiology and Statistics)
  • Faculty who are nationally recognized for teaching, research, leadership and student mentorship
  • State-of-the-art classroom and simulation laboratory facilities


Graduates of our direct entry accelerated Master of Science in Nursing often initially work as staff nurses, with their CNL skill set later allowing them to pursue advanced roles in health care.

This is not an advanced practice role. Graduates of this accelerated master’s program will not be prepared for certification as a nurse practitioner but may pursue a post-master's certificate in that area.   

Admission Requirements

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing adheres to the principles of a holistic admission process in which selection criteria are broad-based and linked to our University’s and school’s mission and goals. While we do consider academic metrics, we also look at applicant experiences, attributes, potential for success, and how applicants may contribute to the school’s learning environment and to the profession.

  • Previous completion of a prior baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or an internationally equivalent degree. WES, ECE or equivalently translated transcripts are required for international courses.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.20 or higher on a 4.00 system in previous college work.
  • Completion of the following prerequisite coursework (science coursework preferably completed within the last five years):
    • Microbiology (3 credits)
    • Human Anatomy (3 credits)
    • Human Physiology (3 credits)
    • Inferential Statistics (3 credits)

Contact for an unofficial transcript review.

Licensure Disclosure

The curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a registered nurse in the State of Missouri. Note that the Missouri Board of Nursing may impose additional requirements on candidates prior to granting a license; we encourage you to investigate these requirements.

The School of Nursing has not determined whether the curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for nursing licensure in any other states or territories. We encourage you to investigate the requirements in your state or territory before accepting an offer of admission from SLU.

Requirements for International Students

Due to the rigor of this accelerated program, international students are recommended to have a 100 on the computer-based TOEFL (iBT) or a 7 on the IELTS to demonstrate English proficiency.

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • Courses taken and/or lectures attended
    • Practical laboratory work
    • The maximum and minimum grades attainable
    • The grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations
    • Any honors or degrees received.
  • WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.
  • In order to be issued an I-20 for your F-1 visa application, students must submit financial documents. Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of the student's study at the University

Application Process

Applying for the direct entry accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program requires careful planning to ensure that all admission requirements are met. You may experience a significant delay in processing if the application instructions are not followed exactly as listed. 

Please follow the four steps outlined below to apply:

  • Step 1: Application
    Submit the application form and pay the associated fee through NursingCAS. Select Saint Louis University. 
  • Step 2: Transcripts
    Please submit your official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended directly to NursingCAS. They will provide details when the application is initiated. If you have completed college coursework outside the U.S., you must submit: 
    • The official evaluated transcript needs to come from an accredited credential evaluation service (WES or ECE).
    • The official foreign transcript.
  • Step 3: Resume
    Attach your professional resume within the NursingCAS application. 
  • Step 4: Professional Goal Statement
    Attach your professional goal statement within the NursingCAS application. The goal statement should outline your anticipated nursing career trajectory for five years after graduating and include an explanation of why you've decided on that path. The statement should be one-to-two pages and double-spaced.
  • Step 5: Letter of Recommendation
    Attach one letter of recommendation within the NursingCAS application. 

Application Deadline

The priority deadline for applications is April 30, and applications are accepted through July 15.

Review Process

SLU's School of Nursing admits students on a rolling basis. A completed application will be reviewed and a decision will be made within four weeks.


Tuition Cost Per Credit
Accelerated Generalist Master's in Nursing $1,300

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

Net Price Calculator

Information on Tuition and Fees

Miscellaneous Fees

Information on Summer Tuition

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans.  For price estimates, please review the SLU Cost Calculator.  

The Saint Louis University Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing offers scholarship and graduate research assistantship opportunities to eligible graduate students.  Additionally, most nursing students will participate in a tuition assistance program provided through their employer.

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at


The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing is fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at the Valentine School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. To achieve its educational objectives, the school uses the hospitals within SSM Health and many health care organizations in the greater St. Louis area.

  1. Graduates will be able to relate to people as unique individuals possessing worth, dignity and potential for self-actualization.
  2. Graduates will be able to synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge from the humanities and natural, social, behavioral and nursing sciences to provide safe, effective nursing care.
  3. Graduates will be able to establish relationships based on understanding of self and others and of interpersonal and group dynamics.
  4. Graduates will be able to use the nursing process to design, coordinate, implement and evaluate the care given to individuals across the lifespan, families, groups, communities and populations with particular emphasis on health promotion and the assessment and reduction of risk.
  5. Graduates will be able to use knowledge of political and regulatory process, evidenced based practice and sociocultural diversity to advocate for high quality health care for individuals, families and communities.
  6. Graduates will be able to synthesize systems data, information and evidence based and theoretical knowledge to reduce risk, improve safety, and achieve optimal client adaptation and outcomes.
  7. Graduates will be able to utilize appropriate information and health care technologies to improve health care outcomes.
  8. Graduates will be able to serve as a leader and partner in the interprofessional health care team.
  9. Graduates will be able to manage human and fiscal nursing team resources.
  10. Graduates will be able to use appropriate teaching/learning principles and strategies as well as current information, materials and technologies to facilitate learning of clients, groups and other health care professionals.
  11. Graduates will be able to provide leadership in the application of the professional code of ethics and professional standards of practice to nursing clinical practice.
  12. Graduates will be able to demonstrate personal and professional responsibility, accountability and self-direction in nursing practice and life-long learning.
NURS 4600Pharmacology in Nursing3
NURS 5010Nursing Strategies in Physiological Health Alterations6
NURS 5015Nursing Strategies in Psychosocial Health Alterations4
NURS 5020Health Care Systems & Policy3
NURS 5025Informatics and Quality Improvement3
NURS 5035Foundations in Nursing Care3
NURS 5080Advanced Pharmacology3
NURS 5115Advanced Health Assessment for the Generalist Nurse3
NURS 5145Nursing Strategies for Health Promotion3
NURS 5170Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 5205Evidence-Based Practice for the Advanced Generalist Nurse3
HCE 5500Ethics in Nursing& Health Care2
NURS 5601Clinical Studies I4
NURS 5602Clinical Studies II3
NURS 5603Clinical Studies III4
NURS 5604Advanced Clinical Studies4
NURS 5605Practicum in Clinical Leadership5
NURS 5606Clinical Nursing Leadership for Advanced Generalists3
NURS 5607Advanced Synthesis of Nursing Concepts1
NURS 5608Physiological Adaptations of the Complex Client2
Total Credits65

Non-Course Requirements

Students will complete 1000 clinical hours.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
NURS 4600 Pharmacology in Nursing 3
NURS 5115 Advanced Health Assessment for the Generalist Nurse 3
NURS 5170 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
NURS 5035 Foundations in Nursing Care 3
NURS 5145 Nursing Strategies for Health Promotion 3
NURS 5010 Nursing Strategies in Physiological Health Alterations 6
NURS 5015 Nursing Strategies in Psychosocial Health Alterations 4
NURS 5205 Evidence-Based Practice for the Advanced Generalist Nurse 3
HCE 5500 Ethics in Nursing& Health Care 2
NURS 5601 Clinical Studies I 4
NURS 5602 Clinical Studies II 3
NURS 5020 Health Care Systems & Policy 3
Year Two
NURS 5603 Clinical Studies III 4
NURS 5604 Advanced Clinical Studies 4
NURS 5025 Informatics and Quality Improvement 3
NURS 5080 Advanced Pharmacology 3
NURS 5605 Practicum in Clinical Leadership 5
NURS 5606 Clinical Nursing Leadership for Advanced Generalists 3
NURS 5607 Advanced Synthesis of Nursing Concepts 1
NURS 5608 Physiological Adaptations of the Complex Client 2
 Total Credits65

Licensure Examination

Graduates are eligible to apply to take the professional licensure examination; however, the Missouri Nurse Practice Act, Chapter 335.066, states, “Completion of an educational program leading to a degree or diploma in nursing does not guarantee eligibility to write the licensure examination.” Background checks are required of applicants for clinical rotations and again to apply for licensure.

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions, please contact the School of Nursing's recruitment and enrollment staff:

Undergraduate Inquiries

Graduate Inquiries