Direct-Entry Master of Science in Nursing (DEMSN) Program Overview

The DEMSN program is currently only available at our New Braunfels location.

Make a difference and start your career as a leader in nursing with our 75-credit Direct-Entry Master of Science in Nursing (DEMSN). As a master’s prepared nurse, you’ll gain the expertise to promote health and make positive changes to elevate patient care. In addition, you’ll stand out in the job market having advanced knowledge and skills. Through our emphasis on excellent clinical preparation and expert faculty mentorships, you’ll graduate with the experience you need to excel and the opportunity for promotion into advance specialties.

Our DEMSN program features small class sizes and 990 hours of hands-on training that includes clinical experience in a range of care settings including medical-surgical acute care, geriatrics, surgery, behavioral health, pediatrics, OB-GYN, emergency room nursing, intensive care units (ICU), intermediate care (IMC) and community health settings. Upon graduation, you’ll earn both your BSN and MSN and be prepared no matter what direction your career takes you.

Program format – how you will study

The DEMSN is a hybrid program; while most of the instruction is held on campus in New Braunfels, Texas, 12 of the 21 courses are hybrid, including a mix of in-person and online instruction. Four classes are given fully online. The DEMSN track is designed for applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in any academic major looking to make a career change to nursing. It can be completed in as few as 20 months of full-time study and will prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse.

Your courses will combine:

  • In-person learning – Master fundamental and advanced academic concepts in engaging classes led by our expert faculty.
  • Training in state-of-the-art simulation labs – Learn patient assessment and clinical treatment skills through hands-on practice with advanced patient simulators and in-person healthcare environments.
  • Clinical rotations – Partnering with a number of healthcare organizations with a variety of care settings across the lifespan, our clinical placements for our students are critical to support opportunities for hands-on, skill-based training to meet course requirements and provide challenging learning opportunities.
  • Research opportunities – Working under the guidance of a faculty member, you will gain an understanding of how scholarly research is conducted and apply independent thought and judgement in arriving at solutions to problems while contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the nursing profession.

DEMSN Course Schedule

The graduate curriculum will include opportunities for students to develop advanced clinical knowledge, conduct independent research, and develop appropriate professional skills.

Semester 1 – 16 credits

NURS 520 Pharmacology 1 (2 credits)

NURS 531 Age Span Health Assessment I (3 credits)

NURS 533 Comprehensive Pathophysiology (3 credits)

NURS 534 Evidence-Based Professional Nursing I (3 credits)

NURS 550 Fundamental Nursing Concepts (5 credits)

Semester 2 – 16 credits

NURS 521 Nursing Informatics (2 credits)

NURS 541 Behavioral Health/ Psychiatric Nursing (4 credits)

NURS 536 Nursing Research I (3 credits)

NURS 528 Promoting Health in Older Adults (2 credits)

NURS 551 Complex Nursing Concepts & Practice I (5 credits)

Semester 3 – 16 credits

NURS 624 Nursing Research II (2 credits)

NURS 630 Age Span Health Assessment II (3 credits)

NURS 650 Nursing of Childbearing Families (5 credits)

NURS 662 Complex Nursing Concepts & Practice II (6 credits)

Semester 4 – 15 credits

NURS 620 Pharmacology II (2 credits)

NURS 639 Evidence Based Professional Nursing II: Leadership, Theories, and Roles (3 credits)

NURS 646 Population & Community Health Nursing (4 credits)

NURS 663 Complex Nursing Concepts & Practice III (6 credits)

Semester 5 – 12 credits

NURS 636 Quality Improvement & Safety in Healthcare (3 credits)

NURS 629 Power, Policy, and Politics in Nursing (2 credits)

NURS 670 Transition to Practice and Clinical Practicum (7 credits)

Total 75 credits

Our DEMSN Positions You for Success

After graduating from our DEMSN program, you will be prepared sit for the NCLEX to earn your RN license. Your credentials as a master’s prepared nurse will help you stand out in the marketplace and position you for faster entry into post-master’s certification programs to become an advanced practice nurse. It will also help you build the foundation to purse your DNP or Ph.D. in the future.

TLU’s DEMSN will also equip you to:

  • Provide exceptional patient care with knowledge from a general graduate education.
  • Offer an advanced knowledge of nursing and science to provide patient-centered care within culturally diverse populations with various healthcare needs.
  • Use leadership skills to advance standards of care with an emphasis on organization and fiscal accountability.
  • Foster greater quality improvement and safety within healthcare organizations.
  • Create research and conceptual ideas while using critical thinking to translate evidence into nursing practice.
  • Manage information systems and patient care technology within a rapidly changing environment.
  • Evaluate and respond to the effects of health policies and their relationship to disparities in patient care and health outcomes.
  • Demonstrate effective interprofessional collaboration to promote team-based care, therapeutic communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
  • Develop a professional identity supported by positive self-care, resilience, life-long learning, and servant leadership in the professional nursing community.

Learn more today!

Make the change and start making a difference as a master’s prepared nurse. Contact us today to take the next step toward earning your DEMSN from TLU.

Upcoming CCNE Visit

The Texas Lutheran University Department of Nursing will host an accreditation visit for the new Direct Entry MSN program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) on March 6-8, 2023. Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, CCNE contributes to the improvement of the public’s health by ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

The 2023 accreditation of the Department of Nursing’s new DEMSN program is officially underway, a process that includes a structured self-study evaluation designed to address CCNE’s Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs (2018)and an on-campus site visit designed to further engage faculty, staff, students and communities of interest in offering the best nursing education possible. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment and improvement of collegiate professional education and entry-to-practice nurse residency programs.

When evaluating whether to award accreditation, the Commission takes into consideration comments submitted by third parties. These comments are to focus on whether a program should receive CCNE accreditation based on the quality of the program. In accordance with CCNE procedures, the Commission provides the opportunity for program constituents and other interested parties to submit, in writing, third-party comments concerning our program’s qualifications for accreditation. We invite you to submit comments to CCNE at:


Via mail:
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Attn: Third-Party Comments
655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001

All third-party comments must be received by CCNE no later than February 13, 2023, and must be written in English, consistent with CCNE’s policy on Conduct of Business in English. Only signed comments are accepted by CCNE. If you have any questions about this process, please contact CCNE staff at 202-887-6791 x268