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Application to the MSN and certificates must be made through the university office of Graduate Admissions

This site is only for additional information regarding the consortium (GICGNE) between Georgia Southwestern and Columbus State University and how it is related to the curriculum and requirements of the degree. 

Best Online Colleges 2016 (AC Online), leading resource for online learning college affordability information, has released its third annual ranking for the 2015-2016 Best Online Nursing Programs.
 Affordable College has also recognized our MSN program on their 2016 ranking of quality and affordable Master's programs across the country. We are proud that our online MSN program has been included on these lists!

The degree of Master of Science in Nursing consists of four tracks and two certificates - all online programs of study. The 36-44 hour programs prepare professional registered nurses for advanced practice nursing roles as culturally competent educations, leaders, informaticists, or family nurse practitioners. The Georgia Intercollegiate Consortium for Graduate Nursing Education (GICGNE) is a consortium between Georgia Southwestern State University and Columbus State University offering the master’s programs in nursing.  The consortium allows students to enjoy resources from both schools by use of faculty for instruction and university resources each semester.  A student who applies and is accepted to Georgia Southwestern will receive their degree from Southwestern; and vice versa for CSU. 

Accreditation: Both the baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Georgia Southwestern State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

All theory (didactic/lecture) courses are offered online via GOVIEW online platform.  The clinical requirements (preceptorship, practicum internship) in the curriculum will not be online.  Preceptors for these experiences will be arranged in the student's locale whenever feasible.  The student and preceptor in a clinical course must hold licensure as a registered nurse in the state in which the clinical experience will be provided and will comply with the Board of Nursing's regulations regarding placement.

The MSN tracks can be completed in two academic years, or four semesters of full-time study (9 credit hours per semester).  Students are expected to complete the program of study within a seven (7) year period, but are encouraged to complete all courses in their selected track as quickly as their schedule allows.  All requirements including course work at GSW and CSU, transfer credit and transient credit course work, must be completed within 7 calendar years from the date of initial enrollment in course work without regard to the initial admission status and without regard to credit hours earned.  To remain in good academic standing, degree candidates must maintain a "B" (3.0) average.  Only two courses with a "C" or better will count toward the degree.

Nursing Education - Degree or Certificate Option    The nursing education concentration focuses on preparing nurses to facilitate learning in various environments through the application of knowledge in instructional design, curriculum development, technology utilization, and evaluation of learning. The education track has six (6) core courses and six (6) courses concentrating in nursing education. Included in the track is a 3 hour focused project. Fulltime students may complete the program in 22 months.

Nursing Leadership/Management   The leadership concentration focuses on developing nursing leaders who are able to influence, design, mange, transform, and evaluate the evolution of nursing services and care delivery. The leadership track has six (6) core courses and six (6) courses concentrating in nursing leadership. Included in the track is a 3 hour focused project. Fulltime students may complete the program in 22 months.

Nursing Informatics - Degree or Certificate Option   The informatics concentration focuses on preparing nurses to become proficient in health information technology and essential informatics competencies to function within patient care environments. The informatics track has five (5) core courses and seven (7) courses concentrating in nursing informatics. Included in the track is a 3 hour focused project. Fulltime students may complete the program in 22 months.

Family Nurse Practitioner  The focus of the Family Nurse Practitioner program is to provide the academic knowledge and clinical skills necessary for health promotion, disease prevention, assessment, and management of common acute and chronic illnesses. The family nurse practitioner program consists of a total of 44 semester hours, all online. It also requires 765 clinical hours, which will be completed in facilities and with preceptors that have been approved by the FNP Program Coordinators. The clinical sites will be located as close to the student’s geographic residence or local community as possible. Fulltime students may complete the program in 22 months.  (See application deadlines below for NEW admission schedule.)

The APRN Loan Repayment Program (APRNLRP) was created to increase access to high quality, advanced nursing care in underserved, rural communities in Georgia.  The program repays the APRN education student loan debt for those who agree to practice full –time in a rural community in Georgia. The program provides up to $10,000 a year in student loan repayment in return for a 12-month commitment to practice in a rural community. Recipients may receive a maximum of four loans and a maximum total student loan repayment of $40,000. Details are in the link below. Please encourage APRNs practicing in rural areas to review the materials and if eligible, APPLY!

 Application Deadlines for MSN (Education, Leadership, Informatics) program:    

Fall admission- June 15      Spring admission-October 15


Application Deadlines for FNP program:

Fall Admission (full time or part time study)        Jan 15----EXTENDED March 15

Summer Admission (full time study early entry)   January 15

Spring Admission (part time study only)                October 15

Application requirements:

  • Graduate application for admission (found on graduate admissions website)
  • $25.00 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Three completed recommendation forms from professional or clinical associates
  • Current resume
  • RN license
  • Immunization form (before enrollment)
  • Documentation of lawful presence (before enrollment, if applying for in-state tuition)


GSW Distance Education Programs - Each of the states has its own approval processes for out-of-state institutions offering distance education. While Georgia Southwestern State University endeavors to offer all of its programs to as wide an audience as possible, all Georgia Southwestern State University distance education programs may not be available in all states. States in which GSW is authorized to offer online programs may be found at

If you would like to know more about any of the MSN Education, Leadership, or Informatics please contact: Dr. Bonnie Simmons at or call 229-931-2281.  For more about the FNP track, please contact: Dr. Mary Anne Shepherd at or call 229-931-2241.




2018 FNP Clinical Planning Forms

FNP Orientation YouTube video links

CastleBranch Information for FNP students

  • CastleBranch order instructions
  • FNP Immunization Form
  • FNP TB Questionnaire Form
  • FNP Physical Exam Form

    FNP Fall Admission Schema (Full Time Study)
    FNP Fall Admission Schema (Part Time Study)
    FNP Spring Admission Schema (Part Time Study)
    FNP Early Entry Schema (Full Time Study)

    MSN Education Full Time Schema
    MSN Education Part-time Schema
    MSN Education Post Masters Certificate
    MSN Informatics Full Time Schema
    MSN Informatics Part-time Schema
    MSN Health Care Informatics Certificate Schema
    MSN Leadership Full Time Schema
    MSN Leadership Part-time Schema

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