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Requirements* for admission in good standing for the MSN degree include:

  • BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution, equivalent to the one offered by the UAB School of Nursing;
  • Possess a nursing license to practice in the state where you plan to conduct your clinical practicum;
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or on the last 60 semester hours (graduates of baccalaureate degree programs in countries other than the United States must have their baccalaureate degree transcripts evaluated by the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. organization www.ece.org OR the World Education Services www.wes.org);
  • A combined score of 1,000 or a combined score of 297 (new exam) on verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE, or a score of 410 on the MAT or score of 480 on the GMAT. Test scores submitted to UAB from the GRE, GMAT, or MAT must not be more than five years old. International students must achieve a TOEFL examination score of at least 500. Click GRE/GMAT/MAT Waiver Process for degree seeking MSN students for more information;
  • Three Letters of professional reference attesting to the applicant's potential for graduate study;
  • One official copy of all transcripts from previous educational programs (mailed directly to UAB School of Nursing);
* Individual specialty tracks may have additional experience requirements, please review the specialty track application information listed under MSN Specialty Tracks.

Please note: Applicants who are not admitted for a specific term may reapply to be considered for a later term. The same is true for an applicant who is admitted for a particular term but fails to enroll that term. For test information and registration, please visit the sites below.


Distance Accessibility

Applicants to any of our distance-accessible programs should become familiar with the regulations governing distance accessible programs in their state. Prospective students residing in states other than Alabama should contact their state’s Board of Nursing and Department of Education for specific rules and regulations pertaining to completion of clinical learning experiences in that state when enrolled in a distance accessible program. The ability to conduct course work is only guaranteed for student is Alabama and in states with an established agreement.

*** State Approval Website for Online Degree Programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham ***   

International Students

Along with the requirements listed above, international students will also have to 

  • Prospective international students are asked to first contact International Recruitment and Student Services at isss@uab.edu , (205), 934-3328, FAX 934-8664 to determine eligibility in order to submit an application into any academic program
  • Have all foreign transcripts evaluated by the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc www.ece.org OR the World Education Services www.wes.org, sent from the evaluators directly to the School of Nursing
  • Have earned a degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited educational institution in the United States
  • Score of 500 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL
  • Achieve a standardized test score of at least a minimum combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Possess a nursing license to practice nursing in the state where you plan to conduct your clinical practicum
  • Submit a notarized copy of your nursing license



Core Performance Standards for MSN Admission and Progression

Issue Standard Some Examples of Necessary Activities (not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment
  • Identifies safety issues in clinical situations
  • Identifies cause/effect relationships in clinical situations, develops, evaluates, and revises nursing plan of care as appropriate
  • Has the ability to make safe judgments when planning and implementing all psychomotor nursing prescriptions
  • Manages multiple priorities in stressful situations
  • Responds instantly to emergency situations
  • Exhibits arithmetic competence that would allow the student to read, understand and perform accurate calculations for computing medication dosages and intravenous flow rates
  • Analyze theories for application to advanced nursing practice
  • Identify cause/effect relationships in clinical judgement in clinical situations, develop clinical notes, employ diagnostic reasoning
  • Synthesize reading assignments, able to write course assignments
Interpersonal Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds
  • Establishes appropriate rapport with clients and colleagues
  • Has the ability to work in groups on course activities
  • Maintains therapeutic relationships with clients and colleagues
  • Respects cultural diversity and rights of others
  • Works effectively in small groups as a team member and as a team leader
  • Practices verbal and non-verbal therapeutic communication
  • Recognizes and attempts to resolve adverse events for both clients and colleagues
Communication Communication abilities (hearing, speaking, reading, and writing) sufficient for interaction with others in verbal, written, assisted, and electronic form.
  • Writes and speaks English effectively so as to be understood by the general public
  • Has the ability to complete written assignments, participate in classroom discussion/activities, and complete group projects
  • Has the ability to focus in class without making disruptive interruptions
  • Communicates therapeutically with clients, families, and groups in a variety of settings
  • Documents client data and nursing care completely and accurately
  • Provides health teaching information for clients, families, and/or groups based on assessed needs, available resources, age, lifestyle, and cultural considerations
  • Has the ability to use a variety of computer programs and platforms
  • Must be able to give and receive constructive feedback, process feedback, and utilize it to conform behavior to expected professional standards
  • Explain treatment and diagnostic procedures in verbal and written form, initiate health teaching, document and interpret patient/client responses to acute and chronic illness
Physical Mobility Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.
  • Able to attend and participate in class
  • Has the ability to push, pull and/or lift a minimum of 30 lbs. of weight
  • Has mobility and stamina sufficient to function for up to a 12-hour clinical experience in various settings
  • Lifts, moves, positions, and transports clients without causing harm to client or self
  • Has the ability to move around client’s room, work spaces and treatment areas, in all clinical settings
  • Has the ability to stoop, bend, squat, and reach overhead as required to deliver care safely in emergent and non-emergent situations
  • Performs cardiopulmonary resuscitation according to recommended procedures and professional standards
Gross and Fine Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care
  • Performs physical activities necessary to accomplish nursing skills, including but not limited to: putting on sterile gloves, donning mask and gown, operating a manual and electronic blood pressure cuff, using sterile technique and performing essential client care
  • Performs correct hand washing technique
  • Provides or assists with activities of daily living
  • Administers all routes of medications to maintain client safety
  • Has the ability to use computers and other electronic devices
  • Performs electronic keyboarding/documentation and/or extensive writing
  • Calibrates and uses equipment correctly (e.g. syringes, vials, ampoules, medication packages)
  • Has the gross and fine motor ability to grasp small objects (e.g. IV tubing, syringe, dropper)
  • Utilize instruments specific to the clinical specialty
  • Perform physical and developmental assessment maneuvers
Auditory Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs
  • Has the auditory ability to participate in class lectures and contribute to discussions
  • Hears verbal exchanges among health care personnel and clients
  • Has the auditory ability to monitor alarms, emergency signals, and cries for help
  • Has the auditory ability to hear and distinguish changes in tone and pitch for example when listening to a client’s respirations, cardiac, and abdominal auditory characteristics when using a stethoscope
Visual Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment
  • Has the visual ability to observe audio-visual aids and client, peer, and faculty responses.
  • Has the visual ability to read medical documents; see small calibrations on sphygmomanometers, syringes, and thermometers; observe patient responses to interventions or health problems; and detect color changes
  • Performs nursing skills such as inserting urinary catheters and IV devices, counting respirations, and preparing or administering medications
  • Has the visual ability to discriminate colors, changes in color, size, and contour of body part
  • Has the visual ability to identify, prepare, and administer medications accurately and safely by all routes
  • Has the visual ability to observe patient responses
  • Has the visual ability to assess client visual acuity
  • Has the visual ability to inspect skin and body structures
Tactile Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment
  • Performs palpation functions correctively for physical examination and therapeutic interventions such as pulses, temperature, texture, firmness, softness, and physical landmarks
Emotional Stability Emotional stability sufficient to tolerate rapid and changing conditions and environmental stress
  • Establishes therapeutic interpersonal boundaries
  • Provides clients with emotional support and respect differences in patients, families and other students
  • Complete all responsibilities in the assessment and implementation of nursing care for patients in a timely, safe and effective manner
  • Adapts to stressful situations and changing environments while maintaining professional conduct and standards
  • Have adequate environmental awareness and emotional stability to remain calm and function effectively in multiple, complex settings that may be stressful, noisy and may be potential harmful
  • Take responsibility for their own actions
  • Poses no threat to self or others
  • Performs potentially stressful tasks concurrently
Professional Behavior Behave in a respectful, ethical and professional manner with others
  • Interacts respectfully with peers, faculty, superiors, clients, and families
  • Strives to provide quality client care
  • Applies knowledge and clinical reasoning
  • Reflects on own behavior and clinical performance with clients; engages in self-evaluations
  • Has the ability to interact with peers and colleagues appropriately
  • Has the ability to collaborate with clients, families, and others in nursing situations
  • Integrates ethical behavior in nursing practice
  • Performs activities safely, so as to not injure or harm others or self
  • Recognizes that all students represent the nursing profession and must behave accordingly
  • Respects and adheres to the policies and procedures of the School of Nursing and clinical agencies