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The VCU School of Nursing is happy to announce a newly enhanced Master's curriculum effective Fall 2020 that was approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The modifications include a highly efficient and effective curriculum and cost savings through a reduction in the number of credit hours for each of the four concentrations, as well as a name change to one concentration; now called Nursing Leadership and Organizational Science.

The VCU School of Nursing prepares graduates for nurse practitioner and nursing leader/administrator roles. All students complete 12 credits of core course work in foundations for evidence-based practice, epidemiology and population health, health policy, leadership and advocacy, and teamwork in complex clinical situations.

The Master's program educates students on the theory, methods and use of evidence-based practices in the critical decision making required for the care of individuals, populations (e.g. pediatrics, gerontology, community health) and systems (e.g. health care systems, clinical organizations, community health departments, nursing homes). Graduates will be able to apply generalized and population specific knowledge to the assessment, diagnosis, and management of the specific population to which they are trained. Through the use of improvement science, interprofessional collaboration, and technology, graduates will be able to lead change in health care systems to improve and transform health care delivery. 

Why Choose VCU’s Master’s Program?

  1. No GRE required
  2. We're ranked among the top 50 master's nursing programs nationwide by U.S. News and World Report
  3. We facilitate clinical placements for our students
  4. Our faculty stay current by maintaining their own clinical practice as APRNs and serving as health care leaders in addition to teaching
  5. Our NP Concentrations give you the opportunity to work closely with faculty in the classroom setting while taking advantage of the convenience of online learning opportunities
  6. We have excellent IT, library, and wellness support for students.  You can receive individualized guidance and assistance in all of these areas

SON's Master's Concentrations

The purpose of the Adult-Gerontology Care concentration is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills for clinical practice to provide direct acute care to the entire spectrum of adults including young adults, adults and older adults. The focus of the courses is on the care of adult patients who are characterized as physiologically unstable, technologically dependent, and/or are highly vulnerable to complications. 

The purpose of the Family Nursing Practitioner concentration is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to provide primary care services including wellness/preventative, episodic and chronic care to children, adolescents, adults, pregnant and postpartum women, and older adults. The focus of the courses is on episodic, comprehensive, chronic, and continuous care characterized by a long-term relationship between the patient and the Family Nurse Practitioner. 

The purpose of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration is to prepare students with knowledge and skills to provide primary mental health care to individuals, families, or populations across the life span in a wide range of settings. The focus of the courses is assessment, diagnosis, and management of mental health problems including the promotion of optimal mental health, and prevention and treatment of psychiatric disorders. 

Graduates from our NP concentrations are prepared to:

  • Diagnose and manage common health problems through comprehensive physical and psychosocial assessments
  • Use decision-making/diagnostic reasoning processes
  • Perform advanced skills and procedures
  • Implement evidence-based treatment strategies
  • Provide holistic care including health promotion and disease prevention strategies.  

NP face-to-face courses are offered on the VCU campus. Practicums are located across the state and we work with our students to find the best preceptors to meet students learning needs. 

The purpose of the Nursing Leadership and Organizational Science concentration (NLOS) is to prepare nurses for leadership and management roles in health care settings. The courses for the NLOS concentration focus on financial management, human resource management, performance improvement, and leadership at the unit or organizational level. The required NLOS courses focus on skills for creating safe, healthy environments that support the work of the health care team, contribute to patient engagement, and improve the patient experience. NLOS students are educated to lead individuals and teams. 

This program is offered online with a short 1 or 2 day face-to-face component each semester at VCU. Complete the NLOS in only 4 full-time or 7 part-time semesters. 

Additional Program information

Master's FAQ's


Who to Contact?

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Rachel Cloutier, M.S., RN, ACNP-BC 

Family Nurse Practitioner 

Allison Gregory, M.S., RN, FNP-BC

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner  

Lyons Hardy, M.S., RN, P-MHNP

Nurse Leadership and Organizational Science 

Terry Jones, Ph.D., RN

Advanced Practice Programs Director

Shelly Smith, DNP, APRN-BC

Please contact Shelly Smith with questions regarding the Master’s program.

Admissions Specialist

Kevin Bailey 

Please contact Kevin Bailey with questions regarding the admission process, NursingCAS, and your application status.


To apply to the Master's Program, see the application instructions.

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