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Nursing - MSN

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program offers a dual track for the baccalaureate prepared nurse, emphasizing the application of theoretical knowledge in the development of Nursing Education and Leadership competencies. We combine the benefits of a cohort model and faculty mentoring in combination with a hybrid curriculum and the convenience of online learning.

Pursuing my MSN degree at Vanguard University was one of the most impactful decisions of my life."

Maryam Gorciak, Class of 2017  
Master of Science in Nursing  

Since launching the program in 2012, Vanguard has been a center of excellence in Christian Nursing Education, committed to promoting a culture of compassion. Our graduate nurse educators, leaders and researchers are prepared for advanced roles in both clinical and academic settings and are making a difference in their communities and in the overall trajectory of healthcare. 

Education and Leadership

The purpose of the Master of Science in Nursing Degree is to offer a dual track program for the working nurse. Emphasis will focus on the development of both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the areas of nursing/patient/staff education and leadership. The program consists of 38-41 units that can be completed in a minimum of six semesters.


RN to MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) Nurse Educator*

Vanguard’s RN to Master of Science in Nursing Program is designed for registered nurses whose highest degree is an associate's degree in nursing and are seeking a master's of science degree in nursing. Graduates may teach in academic nursing programs or assume positions in allied health programs as nurse educators in staff development or serve in roles related to population health education.


Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate

Vanguard’s Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program graduates are qualified to apply for NP licensure from the California BRN, and take the national certification exam for the Psychiatric/Mental Health specialty from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The purpose of the Psychiatric Mental Health NP Certificate program is to prepare the master’s level nurse for Advanced Practice in providing mental health care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults experiencing psychiatric and mental health disorders. The program seeks to add to the supply of psychiatric advanced practice clinicians and to help address the current shortage of mental health providers in the State of California.


MSN Education and Leadership Program Learning Outcomes

1. Advocate for health policy changes that enhance population health and promote professional nursing practice.

2. Utilize emerging technologies to provide credible health information to clients, nurses, and students.

3. Perform assessments focusing on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of culturally diverse individuals.

4. Develop curriculum/teaching plan.

5. Support legal and ethical guidelines in all aspects of nursing practice.

6. Develop a thesis project using research, critical thinking, and evidence-based practice principles.

7. Prepare to assume a senior leadership/management position and/or the role of educator in a health care agency or college setting.

8. Integrate faith and lifelong learning in personal and professional life.

MSN Program Curriculum

View program requirements in the Academic Catalog

Meet the Director of Graduate Nursing

Annette Callis, PhD, RN, CNS

Dr. Annette Callis, Professor and MSN Program Director at Vanguard University, has published research related to moral distress and empowerment in critical care nurses in the American Journal of Critical Care. Her current research focus is: (1): nurse well-being related to Care Programs for nurses, in particular Tea for the Soul, a hospital-based program addressing the emotional needs of nurses related to bereavement and stressful/traumatic workplace experiences and (2) current moral injury in hospital nurses.

Dr. Callis’ primary teaching interest is graduate student research. As thesis advisor, Dr. Callis mentors MSN students conducting research, endeavoring to improve patient care outcomes and the quality of nursing practice.

Program Highlights

Education and Leadership

Vanguard’s Master of Science in Nursing Program integrates the excellence of a Christ-centered, academically challenging and intimate learning
environment with the convenient location and scheduling needed to further your education while furthering your career.

Convenient Schedule

Intentionally designed for your busy schedule, the MSN program can be completed in two years. Focus on one class at a time, in a hybrid format, with occasional Saturdays. Integrate online courses and blended online class activities.

Financial Aid

86% of Vanguard Graduate students receive financial aid. Visit vanguard.edu/financialaid for more information


View all Vanguard Nursing program offerings:

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Professional Advancement Tuition Discount

All 2022-2023 MSN program applicants are eligible for a 10% discount throughout enrollment. Programs included: MSN, RN to MSN, and PMHNP Post-Master's Certification. 

In addition to the 10% Professional Advancement Discount, there is an additional 10% discount for bringing in a colleague who applies to the PMHNP Post-Master's Program.

Quick Facts

Total Units: 38-41
Cost Per Unit: $685*
Length of Program: 2 years
Start Terms: Spring, Fall

Emphasis in Education & Leadership

*Tuition is based on the 2022/2023 academic year and is subject to change.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Vanguard University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Quick Facts

PMHNP Post-Master's Certificate

Total Units: 24
Cost Per Unit: $725*
Length of Program: 5 semesters
Start Terms: Spring, Fall

*Tuition is based on the 2022/2023 academic year and is subject to change.