Master of Science
B.S. in Nursing to M.S. in Nursing

Total cost:

$11,930 View Tuition Details

Application due date for April 12, 2021 term: April 9

Estimated time to completion: 15 Months

Take your career further.

Earning your Master’s in Nursing means you’re ready to become a leader in the healthcare field. If you’re a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, this is the next step on the path to be a nurse educator or nurse manager. With an MSN from ACE, students gain greater knowledge and expertise, potential for career advancement or extension through a different role, and more variety in career options.

CCNE Accredited

What you can expect.

  • CCNE Accredited This designation means you can be confident you’re getting the highest-quality nursing education.
  • Flexible Our program is built around you. The online format allows you to plan your coursework around your busy schedule and home life. Courses are typically five weeks long with a week off in between, so you have regular breaks built in.
  • Expanded Knowledge Our program consists of coursework that aligns to nursing professional standards while including simulations and interactive technology. You’ll also work closely with faculty and a qualified preceptor in your local area to complete a unique practice experience that allows you to meet your individual learning goals and program outcomes. You can choose from two Focus of Study options: nursing education and nursing administration.
  • Built-In Support High tech doesn’t mean hands off. Our nursing students have support at every step of their journey. A designated Student Success Coach is with you from enrollment to graduation. We also offer small course sizes to engage with peers and faculty members and involved faculty who personalize their courses, share their expertise and collaborate with students in real time using online tools that create an engaging learning environment. Outside the classroom, you’ll experience a strong community of students and faculty, with opportunities to share experiences, collaborate and participate in meaningful ways.

Department of Nursing

The mission of the ACE Department of Nursing is to educate and inspire nursing students to become exceptional healthcare providers, educators, and leaders who use forward thinking, evidence-based innovation, and collaboration to transform health outcomes, organizations, and systems within a global society. We have highly qualified and experienced staff and faculty to support our nursing program. An assistant provost of health care professions, department chair, curriculum director, and several faculty members oversee the department.

Choose your focus of study.

Sixteen of your semester credits will specialize in a focus area of your choice. View the College Catalog for full descriptions.

  • Nurse Administration
  • Nurse Educator

A few of the classes you'll take.

  • NUR5043 Nursing Leadership: Organizational Systems 3 semester credits
  • NUR5053 Quality Improvement and Safety 3 semester credits
  • NUR5063 Patient-Centered Care 3 semester credits

A Degree You Can Count On

We are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This accreditation guarantees our programs meet certain levels of quality standards.



Total Tuition

31 semester credits
x $380 per credit**



$50 Application Fee

$100 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost*


**With BSN to MSN New Student Grant, cost will equal $380 per credit hour, plus fees. Without the grant, cost will equal $515 per credit hour, plus fees.

Let’s find a plan that fits your budget.

Even without federal loans, there are plenty of ways to finance your education at ACE. When you’re ready to invest in yourself, explore our flexible payment and financing options. Our Student Services reps are available to help you create a workable plan whatever your financial circumstances.

View Payment Options Talk to an Enrollment Counselor


A 200-hour practicum is embedded in the program and required for program completion.

*This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program credit hours, receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

**$515 per credit hour - $135 BSN to MSN New Student Grant = $380 per credit hour.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

Admission Requirements


ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, including the enrollment agreement, and payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements


  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing ​​
  • Minimum Grade Point Average cumulative 2.75 on a 4.0 Scale for full admission
  • ​Minimum Grade Point Average cumulative 2.50 on a 4.0 Scale for provisional admission
    • ​Applicants whose overall GPA, or GPA in the last 60 credits is below 2.50 will not be admitted to the program
  • Applicants for the above program must provide documentation of active unencumbered RN license
  • ​Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements
  • Proof of current employment as a RN or access to a practice environment 
  • Acknowledgement of the requirement to have a clinical/practicum setting to complete the program. Applicants must also acknowledge these sites may require ​​additional documentation (such as drug screening, criminal background checks, etc.) that applicant will be responsible for providing and costs associated with the requirement.  ​

International Transcript Requirements

All applicants must submit to the Admissions Office official, sealed college transcripts from each institution attended.

  • Transcripts that are international and/or not in English must be evaluated through an NACES-recommended agency.
  • Texas applicants may only submit evaluations from agencies approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • International applicants must request the course-by-course evaluation. The evaluation report must show that the non-U.S. education is equivalent to the education/accreditation level required for the program.

English as a Second Language Applicants

All applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in the English language as demonstrated in one of three ways:

  1. Submission of an official transcript showing a degree from a United States secondary school or regionally accredited college/university.

  2. Submission of an official minimum score on the paper or internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams.
    • The minimum TOEFL score required for the internet-based version is 80, and the paper-based version requires a minimum TOEFL score of 20 for each of the three skills: Reading, Listening, and, Writing.

    • The minimum IELTS score required is 6.5. Note: IELTS is not acceptable for Texas programs leading to certification.

    • The testing agency must send test scores directly to American College of Education.
  3. Applicants to the Texas Educational Leadership program whose first language is not English must submit a minimum scaled score of 24 for speaking, 22 for listening, 22 for reading, and 21 for writing from the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) or evidence of an undergraduate or graduate degree earned at an institution of higher education in a country outside of the United States listed in Figure: 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(C).



Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 31 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Nursing Courses (15 semester credits)

In this course, the student examines multiple theories from nursing and related fields to explore value and application to research and evidence based practice. Specifically, the course explores the use of theory in the design of research and development of nursing knowledge. Knowledge and skills to critique quantitative research studies are developed. Emphasis is placed on applying four criteria for critique: construct validity, internal validity, statistical conclusion validity, and external validity. Students focus on principles of evidence-based practice and synthesize the evidence from studies and arrive at a conclusion. 
This course focuses on qualitative research traditions and the critique of qualitative studies for trustworthiness. Criteria for evaluating qualitative research include credibility, dependability, confirmability, and transferability. The purposes for qualitative research approaches, to include theory development, are explored. Students are introduced to the interpretation  and critique of mixed-methods research as well as systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Students integrate evidence from both quantitative and qualitative studies for evidence-based practice and developing patient- centered care guidelines. The relationships between evidence, quality, and outcomes are analyzed.  The impact of health policy is explored. 
Focusing on leadership and management theory, students prepare to lead organizations from a systems perspective. Systems of care and organizational behavior are examined. Students learn to base practice on evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost effectiveness of patient care. Students analyze leadership to effectively apply ethical and critical decision- making skills to lead healthcare teams. Students will explore practice issue or concern and plan for intervention. Practice experience is part of this course 50 hours required. Note: Practice experience part of this course.
The focus of this course includes information, skills and processes required to improve quality and patient safety utilizing the Graduate QSEN competencies. Students learn to use health informatics and to base practice on research and evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost effectiveness of patient care. Students acquire the skills to select the methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality and apply quality principles within an organization to improve outcomes. 
This course focuses on knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to design, implement, and evaluate patient- centered, culturally appropriate care for individuals or populations. Students analyze the multiple dimensions of patient-centered care to include patient/family/community preferences, values, culture, communication, and health literacy. Students are prepared to intervene at the systems level through policy development and advocacy to influence healthcare. Additionally, students will evaluate use of information systems and technology in nursing practice.

Focus of Study

Customize this degree by choosing a five-course Focus of Study to fulfill the remaining 16 semester credits.

Nurse Administration (16 semester credits)

The Capstone/Practicum course is a culminating experience that provides students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of program and focus of study outcomes. This course emphasizes the application of leadership and management theories and concepts in the role of nurse executive. The student will demonstrate the competencies essential to a nurse leader. The role will be applied and analyzed in a healthcare organizational setting, in collaboration with a nurse-leader mentor. Evidence-based leadership and management strategies will be developed and implemented in the selected organizational environment. Practice experience of 150 hours is required.Note: A practice experience component is present in this course.
Effective nurse leaders learn and apply leadership and strategic management theories to guide their actions and transform evidence into quality practice. This course prepares students to serve in key positions to participate in decision making, advocacy, strategic planning, and to manage change that affects patient care.  Operations, marketing, informatics, and decision-making strategies are explored to increase understanding of the strategic business aspect of nursing.
In this course, students connect caring and quality patient care delivery with efficiency and effective financial strategies. They learn to apply evidence-based decision making as it relates to the financial responsibility of the healthcare facility, utilizing resources available to them through the private and public sector and related to the development, delivery and evaluation of patient-centered care. Students learn to apply financial principles to budget forecasting and managerial oversight, capital budgeting and variance analysis. The economics of the US healthcare system will be considered. 
This course teaches students how to build relationships in the community, in a clinical setting, and in an academic environment through effective oral and written communication. Students acquire conflict resolution skills and behavior management techniques by translating data-driven research into practical communication strategies. Emphasis is placed on inter-professional communication, cultural competency, and communication with diverse populations. The course is based on human resource principles, including hiring, separation, and conflict management, team building. 
In this course, students demonstrate understanding of the healthcare system and the environment in which healthcare administrators function and serve. The use of strategy management tools to create operational goals and objectives and to identify and leverage marketing opportunities is emphasized. Students investigate transformational thinking as it refers to the changing healthcare environment. They also apply technology as an innovation that impacts practice.

Nurse Educator (16 semester credits)

The Capstone Practicum course is a culminating experience that provides students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of program and focus of study outcomes. This course emphasizes the application of teaching and learning theories and concepts in implementation of the nurse educator role. The student will demonstrate the competencies essential to the nurse educator. The role will be implemented, applied, and analyzed in an academic or clinical practice setting, in collaboration with a nurse educator mentor. Students must complete a scholarly project which synthesizes advanced knowledge and skills to address an area of relevance to professional nursing in education. Practice experience of 150 hours is required.
This course provides an intensive and comprehensive foundation of advanced pathophysiological knowledge and physical assessment skills. Students will learn to apply this knowledge and skill in working with students and teaching the content and competencies required for effective practice. Students will learn to discern between normal and abnormal findings, develop treatment plans, and develop teaching plans to promote health and education. Informatics and use of technology will be discussed.
This course focuses on advanced pharmacotherapeutics and effective teaching methods for nurse educators in this content area. Pharmacological mechanisms, medication management, treatment of side effects and drug reactions are studied. Drug interventions and nurses' role in educating patients about medications will be covered. Technology related to safety, delivery and education will be explored.
Guided by theoretical foundations of learning, students examine the tenets of andragogy modeled in practice. Emphasis is placed on understanding and applying principles of teaching and effective instructional strategies, ways to establish an effective learning environment, and reflective practices as a means to advance professional nursing skills. Strategies to support the learning environment in both face to face and online classrooms will be considered. The course will integrate ethical and professional collaboration with colleagues to promote patient outcome attainment. 
By surveying various curricular designs and assessment models, this course integrates aspects of theoretical frameworks with differentiated curriculum, instructional and evaluation strategies delivered in academic and clinical settings. Students analyze assessment and evaluation data to determine effective approaches for supporting effective educational programming and patient-centered health while developing skills as nurse professionals and nurse educators.  Use of technology in program assessment and evaluation is discussed.