Masters of Nursing Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs and Resources: Master of Science in Nursing

The Mary Black School of Nursing offers the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with concentration areas of Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).

Clinical Nurse Leader

The Clinical Nurse Leader is a relatively new role in nursing. In practice, the CNL is an advanced generalist who oversees the care coordination of a distinct group of patients and actively provides direct patient care in complex situations. This master’s degree-prepared clinician puts evidence-based practice into action to ensure that patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery. The CNL evaluates patient outcomes, assesses cohort risk and has the decision-making authority to change care plans when necessary. The CNL is a leader in the health care delivery system. The implementation of this role will vary across settings. Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be eligible for CNL certification through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Becoming a CNL

Those interested in becoming a Clinical Nurse Leader are encouraged to visit the AACN website to find out more about this nursing career option. Detailed information is available online including frequently asked questions, the white paper on the CNL role and a directory of web links to programs enrolling students. Access the online CNL Resource.
This program is for registered nurses who are graduates of an accredited Bachelor of Science program in nursing. Students in the MSN program have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills for leadership roles in professional nursing practice in a wide variety of settings. Registered nurses who meet the admission requirements for the program may complete the program in two calendar years of full time study. The program of study is primarily online except for clinical courses. 

Nursing Education
This program is for registered nurses who are graduates of an accredited Bachelor of Science in nursing program. Graduates of the masters in nursing education concentration will have the opportunity to serve as academicians to educate current and future nurses. Prepared to teach in academic and clinical settings, including staff development. Registered nurses who meet the admission requirements for the program may complete the program in two calendar years of full time study. Students selecting part-time study may take three years to complete the program. All coursework is delivered online with 375 clinical practicum hours completed in your own clinical settings.

Nursing Leadership
This program is for registered nurses who are graduates of an accredited Bachelor of Science in nursing program. Upon successful completion of the masters of science in nursing leadership degree. Students will be prepared to assume leadership roles in academic and practice settings. Preparing
budgets, scheduling, developing and implementing policies and procedures, advocating for patients, and serving on interprofessional teams are all
encompassed in the nursing leadership role. Registered nurses who meet the admission requirements for the program may complete the program in two calendar years of full time study. Students selecting part-time study may take three years to complete the program. All coursework is delivered online with 187 clinical practicum hours completed in clinical settings.


The masters degree program at the Mary Black School of Nursing at the University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). If you would like to submit a third-party comment you can mail comments to: 

Graduate Student Handbook