RN to Master’s


The University of Connecticut RN to Master’s (RN to MS) program is designed for self-starting, self-paced RNs who have earned a diploma or associate degree from an NLN accredited program in nursing. Upon admission to the program, the student is advised by the RN-MS track director. The student will change the advisor upon admission to the graduate specialty.


Coursework for the RN to MS program is completed in three Groups: 1) University General Education Requirements; 2) School of Nursing Course Requirements; and 3) RN to MS Program Requirements.

Required courses in Groups 1 (General Education Requirements) and 2 (School of Nursing Course Requirements) need to be completed PRIOR to coursework in Group 3. Students should note course prerequisites in planning course schedules. Courses in Group 3 (RN to MS Program Requirements) are taken after Group 1 and 2 are complete and according to the schedule published by the School of Nursing.

Transcripts are evaluated for admission on an individual basis. Applicants may request evaluation of their records for award of credits for standardized examinations and experiential background that are part of the curriculum.


Registered nurse graduates of associate degree or diploma programs who hold a license to practice in Connecticut may apply for admission. To be eligible to receive advanced placement credit, registered nurse graduates must meet the following requirements: hold a valid license in Connecticut as a Registered Nurse (RN); fulfill the admission requirements for the University; and be accepted by the University. The minimum number of credits to be awarded for nursing content from an associate degree or diploma nursing program is 30 semester credits. The School awards an additional 30 credits to RN students demonstrating required competency and consistent with the state articulation agreement. The number of credits transferred cannot exceed the number of credits earned.

All previously-completed coursework is eligible for transfer review. The University of Connecticut accepts general education credits for courses in which a grade of C or above was earned. Please note that the School of Nursing has a minimum C grade requirement in numerous courses, is specified under the Scholastic Standing Requirement, which follows.

Scholastic Standing Requirement

All students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.7 in the School Requirements course sequence (group 2) and a grade of C (2.0) or better in the following courses or their equivalent: BIO 1107; CHEM 1122; MCB 2410 or 2400; PNB 2264, 2265; MATH 1020Q, 1030Q or 1040Q; STAT 1000QC or 1100QC.

Students must earn a C (2.0) or better in all nursing courses (those with NURS designation) in order to earn credit toward graduation. No student may take a course in the School of Nursing’s curriculum for which another course in the curriculum is a prerequisite unless the student has earned a grade of C (2.0) or better in the prerequisite course. No nursing course may be repeated more than once (for a total of two times). Students may be dismissed from the School of Nursing if they earn a cumulative grade point average below 2.5.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above in all required nursing courses is required for graduation.

Applicants holding a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing do not need to meet the University of Connecticut Undergraduate lower division general education requirements. However, if an individual is unable to complete the full graduate level curriculum and wishes to earn the bachelor’s degree in nursing, he/she must be accepted into the undergraduate program and fulfill the University of Connecticut General Education Requirements.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Upon the recommendation of the faculty the degree of Bachelor of Science (BS) in nursing is awarded by vote of the Board of Trustees to students who have met the following requirements:

  1. earned the appropriate number of degree credits,
  2. earned at least a 3.0 grade point average for all calculable Upper Division course work,
  3. met all the requirements of the School of Nursing (see Scholastic Standing Requirement above).

During the final year of the Bachelor’s degree coursework, RN students are encouraged to apply to the Graduate School.

Admission Requirements
(for RNs with a diploma or associate degree)

By enrolling in this program you will work toward both a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS) degree in Nursing.

Students may apply by going to admissions.uconn.edu/content/transfer.

When making application to RN-MS program you would apply as a transfer student and the application deadline would be February 1st for the upcoming Fall semester.

When preparing your personal essay you will need to specify that you are applying to the RN-MS program in the School of Nursing. Admitted RN students will be assigned a faculty advisor to assist them.

After completing the requirements for the BS degree, students in this option apply for admission to the Graduate School. A 3.0 GPA in the undergraduate degree is required for admission to the Graduate School.

Requirements for clinical practice in five areas of motor, sensory, communication, behavior and critical thinking skills

The clinical setting presents unique challenges and responsibilities for nursing students caring for patients in a variety of health care environments. In addition to academic qualifications, UConn nursing students must possess the ability to consistently demonstrate a proficiency in five core areas for nursing students. Specifically: motor, sensory, communication, behavior and critical thinking skills. These areas reflect the reasonable expectations of a nursing student performing the common functions of a registered nurse and/or an advanced practice nurse. In adopting these standards we are mindful of the patient's right to safe and quality health care.

The ability to consistently demonstrate these personal and professional competencies are essential from admittance to graduation. Students must be capable of performing the skills of a nursing student.

Therefore, each nursing student must have the ability to learn and perform the following competencies and skills:


Motor: The student must possess sufficient motor capabilities to execute the movements and skills required to provide safe and effective nursing interventions. These include, but are notlimited to:

  1. Coordination, speed and agility to assist and safely guard (protect), with safe and proper body mechanics, patients who are ambulating, transferring, or performing other activities.
  2. Ability to adjust and position equipment and patients, which involves bending or stooping freely to floor level and reaching above the head.
  3. Ability to move throughout the classroom/clinical site, sit and stand for long periods of time to carry out patient care activities.
  4. Ability to perform patient care duties for up to 12 hours at a time, day or night;
  5. Ability to move or position patients and equipment, which involves lifting, carrying, pulling, up to and including 30 pounds.
  6. Ability to guide, resist, and assist patients, or to provide emergency care, which involves the activities of standing, kneeling, sitting, or walking.
  7. Ability and dexterity to manipulate the devices used in giving nursing care.
  8. Ability to administer CPR without assistance.


Sensory: The student must possess the ability to obtain information in classroom, laboratory or clinical settings through observation, auscultation, palpation and other measures, including butnot limited to:

  1. Visual ability (corrected as necessary) to recognize and interpret facial expressions and body language, identify normal and abnormal patterns of movement, to read or set parameters onvarious equipment, to discriminate color changes, and to interpret and assess the environment.
  2. Auditory ability (corrected as necessary) to recognize and respond to soft voices, auditory timers, equipment alarms, call bells, and to effectively use devices for measurement of blood pressure, breath sounds, etc.
  3. Tactile ability to palpate a pulse and to detect changes or abnormalities of surface texture, skin temperature, body contour, muscle tone, and joint movement.
  4. Sufficient position, movement and balance sensations to assist and safely guard (protect) patients who are ambulating, transferring or performing other activities.


Communication: The student must be able to utilize effective communication with peers, faculty, patients and their families, and other health care providers. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Ability to read at a competency level that allows one to safely carry out the essential functions of an assignment (examples; handwritten chart data, printed policy and procedure manuals).
  2. Ability to effectively interpret and process information.
  3. Ability to effectively communicate (verbally and in writing) with patients/ families, health care professionals, and others within the community.
  4. Ability to access information and to communicate and document effectively via computer.
  5. Ability to recognize, interpret, and respond to nonverbal behavior of self and others.


Behavior: The student must be capable of exercising good judgment, developing empathic and therapeutic relationships with patients and others, and tolerating close and direct physicalcontact with a diverse population. This will include people of all ages, races, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, as well as individuals with weight disorders, physical disfigurement andmedical or mental health problems. This also includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Ability to work with multiple patients/families and colleagues at the same time.
  2. Ability to work with classmates, instructors, health care providers, patients, families and others under stressful conditions, including but not limited to providing care to medically oremotionally unstable individuals, situations requiring rapid adaptations, the provision of CPR, or other emergency interventions.
  3. Ability to foster and maintain cooperative and collegial relationships with classmates, instructors, other health care providers, patients and their families.


Critical Thinking: The student must possess sufficient abilities in the areas of calculation, critical problem solving, reasoning, and judgment to be able to comprehend and process information within a reasonable time frame as determined by the faculty and the profession. The student must be able to prioritize, organize and attend to tasks and responsibilities efficiently. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Ability to collect, interpret and analyze written, verbal and observed data about patients.
  2. Ability to prioritize multiple tasks, integrate information and make decisions.
  3. Ability to apply knowledge of the principles, indications, and contraindications for nursing interventions.
  4. Ability to act safely and ethically in the college clinical lab and in clinical placements within the community.

If a nursing applicant or student is unable to meet one or more of these areas, due to a disability (long or short term), s/he may request consideration for an accommodation through the Center for Students with Disabilities.  Prompt notice is essential for full consideration.  The statement will be on the website for prospective and current students and shared at open houses and other information sessions.  The requirements for clinical practice apply for all programs which include a clinical component.

The School of Nursing is located at:

University of Connecticut School of Nursing
231 Glenbrook Rd
Storrs, CT 06269-2026

Campus Map

For program-specific questions and information, please contact:

Denise Bourassa, DNP, MSN, RN, CNL
Assistant Clinical Professor
RN-MS Track Director
P: (860) 486-0876
E: denise.bourassa@uconn.edu

Related Links

Cost of Graduate Program
Graduate School
Academic Calendar

Drop us a line: