Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions

This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Laura M. Harrison Hall

Mission and Vision

The Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions (ACONHP) vision is to improve health in the community by effecting change in systems and policies, and to promote research and scholarly activities that advance nursing and health care knowledge. The ACONHP mission is to graduate nurses and other health professionals who are prepared to assume professional roles in diverse health care environments.

The Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions (ACONHP) offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with three options for registered nurses:

  1. Family Nurse Practitioner Option - Students in this option will receive educational preparation that will enable them to provide patient-family centered evidence-based health care for individuals across the lifespan.
  2. Leadership in Organizational Environments Option - students in this option will receive educational preparation that will enable them to function at an advanced level in the health care environment concerning politics and legislation, budgeting and economics, leadership and management, such that these nurses may positively influence the management aspects of nursing and health care in society.
  3. Teaching-Learning Environments Option - students in this option will receive preparation related to the direct care role of nurse educators and advanced teaching methodologies that provide graduates with tools necessary to facilitate the education of nursing students, health care clients, and health care colleagues.

All options are available online and each course is asynchronous in nature. All MSN courses are subject to online learning fees (See Expenses section). There is no mandatory campus-based component to the Teaching-Learning Environments option and the Leadership in Organizational Environments options.  The Family Nurse Practitioner option has two mandatory on campus intensives.

The Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions retains the right to make modifications in its program/policies based on recommendations and mandates from the Alabama Board of Nursing and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education. Students currently enrolled in the nursing program will be required to adhere to any modifications made during their enrollment as a nursing major.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree program in nursing at the University of North Alabama are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

A Message from the Dean

Dr. Vicki Pierce

Dr. Vicki Pierce

As Dean, I extend this welcome message on behalf of the faculty and staff of the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions (ACONHP) at the University of North Alabama. We are here to support and assist you in your transformational student experience.  Our faculty and staff have a reputation for being supportive and taking time to get to know their students by fostering a culture of respect for all. In the ACONHP, you will not be just a number. We care about you! 

The ACONHP has been known for academic excellence and innovation since the first pre-licensure nursing program began in 1973. Hundreds of nurses have successfully completed the program and the college has established a reputation of maintaining exceptionally high NCLEX pass rates. In 2002, the RN-BSN track became the first online program offered at UNA.  The online master of science in nursing program followed in 2006, and the family nurse practitioner track was added in 2019. The online BS in Applied Health Science degree with a track in Health Administration also began in 2019. This is the first non-nursing program offered in the college. Each of these programs strives to maintain a student-centered and personalized learning environment.

In October 2020, the ACONHP moved into Laura M. Harrison Hall.  The building is a bright, pleasant place to learn and work and was designed to accommodate growth. The third floor of the facility is dedicated to experiential learning through simulation.  The Simulation Center is an 8-bed hospital style unit with state-of-the-art medical equipment and high-fidelity simulation mannequins of various ethnicities, ages, and gender.

As you navigate our website, I hope you will find the resources helpful.  Please feel free to contact me or our faculty and staff with any questions you may have.  We are here to help you Roar with Excellence!

Degree Programs


All students will receive advisement from graduate nursing faculty or the Coordinator of Online Nursing Enrollment. Students must seek to confer with a ACONHP advisor prior to preregistration each semester.

Undergraduate Programs (UP) and Graduate Programs (GP) Departments Goals

Category Department Program Goals
1 ACONHP Provide high quality, innovative nursing and health related programs
UP Offer high quality Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing and health related programs
GP Offer high quality MSN and Post-Master's Certificate Programs
2 ACONHP To build and maintain student-centered nursing and health related programs
UP/GP Graduate nurses and other health professionals who are prepared to practice in global healthcare environments.
3 ACONHP Provide a culturally diverse environment for students, faculty, and staff
UP/GP Promote a culturally diverse learning environment designated to eliminate barriers to learning
4 ACONHP Develop partnerships with community agencies to expand healthcare to the community
UP/GP Develop and nurture a strong relationship with community health facilities and health professionals
5 ACONHP Promote research and scholarly activities that advance nursing and health care knowledge
UP/GP Foster scholarly activities, research, teaching, service, and practice that advance the knowledge base of nursing and other health care professions

Program Outcomes

Graduate and Post-Master's Certificate Student Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, competencies, and skills in advanced nursing practice, teaching, and/or leadership.
  2. Serve as a leader and change agent in nursing and health care delivery systems to ensure quality care across the lifespan.
  3. Utilize ethical decision-making, technology, and communication skills to provide culturally competent care.
  4. Effectively practice advanced nursing roles in collaborative relationships, across diverse disciplines to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  5. Synthesize nursing knowledge through translation, integration, and application of evidence-based practice. 


All students admitted to the MSN program must meet all UNA graduate admission requirements (see General Regulations and Procedures). All required admission material must be submitted by the deadline date. Additional requirements for admission to the MSN program are:

  1. A completed application to the ACONHP graduate program (available online at 
  2. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.
  3. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a professionally accredited nursing program in the United States.
  4. A written statement of professional goals and the role of graduate education in achieving those goals.
  5. A current registered nurse license with no restrictions or reprimands.  Nurses with any restrictions or reprimands on their license, including participation in a voluntary disciplinary alternative program cannot be admitted. 
  6. Clinical practice is preferred, but not required.
  7. All MSN applicants must complete a criminal background check and drug screen.
  8. All Family Nurse Practitioner tract applicants must have a minimum of two completed recommendation forms.

Conditional admission to the Leadership and Teaching-Learning option is considered for applicants who meet the admission criteria in part. A student admitted conditionally must have a minimum of one year of full time clinical experience as a registered nurse.

Conditionally admitted students must earn a grade point average of 3.0 or greater after the first nine hours of study. Conditionally admitted students who fall below 3.0 after nine hours of study may not continue in the program.

International students must meet all University and ACONHP graduate admission requirements and must have a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a minimum score of 213 on the computer- based TOEFL.

All applications for admission undergo review by the graduate nursing faculty. Admission decisions will be made by the ACONHP graduate administration and faculty.  Admission to the MSN major is competitive.  Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the nursing program.

A student currently meeting the requirements for the post-masters certificate and graduate studies at UNA can enroll in a Graduate Certificate Program in the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions.  Students are limited to enrolling in only the courses required for the certificates. 


Students who desire reinstatement to the graduate nursing program must write a letter of petition to the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions (ACONHP). The letter is to be sent to the Chair of the ACONHP Graduate Programs and must include any extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to the failure to be successful in the previous attempt in the MSN program. The letter must also include a plan for successfully completing the program, including specific strategies to ensure success.

After the graduate faculty and chair reviews the requests for readmission, recommendations are made to the Dean of the ACONHP who will notify students of the decision(s). Readmitted students must follow any recommendations or stipulations proposed by the dean and faculty as conditions for readmission.

Unclassified Students

Students who wish to take courses without enrolling in the MSN program of study may take a maximum of six hours as an unclassified (non-degree seeking) student with permission from the director/chair of the MSN Program. Students must complete the MSN application form and have transcripts sent to UNA. Permission will be granted only if space is available in the requested course(s). Students must be enrolled in the MSN program in order to take more than six hours.

No assurance is given that credit earned while in unclassified status may subsequently be applied to the MSN degree program or be transferable to another institution. Satisfactory completion of MSN courses while in unclassified status does not assure the student of admission to the MSN program.

Transfer Credit

See Special Regulations in the General Regulations and Procedures section of the catalog. Any course submitted for transfer credit will undergo evaluation by the graduate nursing faculty who will determine the granting of transfer credit. The maximum number of transfer hours is six and only grades of B or above will receive transfer credit.

MSN Academic Requirements

  • Graduate students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 on all valid work attempted in the MSN program.  Additionally, a grade of "A" or "B" is required for NU 508, NU607, NU 614, and all practicum courses. (NU 641, NU 642, NU 643, NU 644, NU 645, NU 680, NU 681, NU 682, and/or NU 683)
  • A MSN student may make a grade of "C" or below in no more than six semester hours on non-clinical coursework within the MSN program.  A student who has earned a grade of "C" or below in no more than six semester hours of coursework is ineligible for graduation, may not take any additional courses, and will be dismissed from the program.  If a course is repeated, a grade of "B" or higher must be earned in the course that is repeated. 
  • Students who fall below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students will remain on academic probation until their cumulative GPA is restored to a 3.0 or above. However students must maintain a 3.0 in each probationary semester until the student’s overall GPA is 3.0.
  • A student whose final GPA is less than 3.0 is not qualified for graduation.
  • If a student earns a grade below "C" (D or F) in any required MSN course, the student must repeat that course. If the subsequent grade is below C, the student may not continue in the program. If the subsequent grade is C or above, continuance in the program is contingent upon the MSN Academic Requirements as stated above. A student may repeat a maximum of three semester hours.  Repeating a course does not delete the previous grade.
  • A student who has a GPA below 3.0 after completing all courses in his/ her program of study is ineligible for graduation. However, this student may enroll in a maximum of six additional hours in order to reach the required GPA. Students may enroll in MSN courses not previously taken, or may retake courses in which they earned a grade of C or less. No other courses will be accepted. Students must complete the six additional hours within two semesters of completing the program of study. Repeating a course does not delete the previous grade.
  • A student must complete all coursework within seven years from the date of initial enrollment. Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances. A written request for extension should be sent to the director/chair of the MSN program explaining the reason for the extension. If granted, the extension will be for one calendar year.
  • MSN students who receive restrictions or reprimands on their license, including participation in a voluntary disciplinary alternative program will not be able to continue in the program.  Admission can be denied based upon verbal disclosure of substance use or abuse.  


The UNA Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions Master of Science in Nursing degree builds on the preparation of students at the BSN level with the following assumptions:

  • students have experience in professional nursing practice
  • students have background knowledge of nursing theory and research
  • students understand and use the nursing process
  • students are able to communicate effectively
  • students are involved in professional activities
  • students have leadership abilities
  • students can use technology effectively

The above assumptions are expanded throughout each option of the graduate program as the student prepares to assume their new role as a nurse educator, nurse leader, or advanced practice clinician.

Clinical Requirements

All students are to have submitted all of the following documents prior to beginning clinical practicum courses:  

  • physical examination
  • proof of required immunizations or titers
  • current tuberculosis screening
  • proof of BLS for Healthcare Providers
  • health insurance
  • a COVID waiver
  • OSHA/HIPAA training
  • proof of liability insurance with student coverage
  • current nursing license
  • confidentiality statement

An Intent of Relationship form, Practicum Application, and Professional Profile for the approved preceptor are required clinical documents.  Some facilities may require an additional Urine Drug Screen/Criminal Background Check within the past 12 months.  Students must hold a current registered nurse license with no restrictions or reprimands (unencumbered) in the state(s) in which they complete clinical practicum experiences.  All clinical practicum forms should be submitted a minimum of eight (8) weeks prior to registration for a clinical course (NU 641, NU 642, NU 643, NU 644, NU 645, NU 680, NU 681, NU 682, and/or NU 683).  Students not meeting these requirements may be withdrawn from the registered clinical practicum course.