Graduate Nursing Programs

MSN & Post-Graduate Certificates

Earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a post-graduate certificate through Augustana University's online program to advance your career while continuing your important role of caring for others.

  • Earn your degree or certificate while balancing work, life and school with our online curriculum. 
  • Complete your MSN in two years or a post-graduate certificate program in one year. Classes start in June.
  • Attend two, 4-day immersion sessions on campus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, throughout your studies. These immersions provide students with hands-on experience and more opportunities to connect with faculty.
  • Choose your specialty track: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) or Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS).
  • Collaborate with faculty to find clinical preceptors for practicum experiences.


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Information Sessions

Specialty Tracks

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Latest News

Augustana University students have more than double the amount of simulation equipment at their fingertips thanks to support from a federal grant provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) through the Economic Adjustment Assistance Program. Announced in the fall of last year, the grant enabled the nursing program to replace aging equipment with the purchase of nearly $440,000 in additional manikins and laboratory equipment for simulation education.

Augustana University alumnus Grayden Melick ‘18 formally received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty during the Augustana Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony on Dec. 16, in the Chapel of Reconciliation.

Augustana University is excited to announce that its nursing program has been awarded a federal grant (No. 05-79-06256) to purchase nearly $440,000 in equipment and supplies for simulation education.

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At Augustana University, we offer one MSN with the option of two specialty tracks and two post-graduate certificates:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN):
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
    • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS)
  • Post-Graduate Certificates:
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
    • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS)

If you're not certain which MSN track is the best option, you have time to decide. During the first year of courses, students complete classes that are needed for both tracks. In the second year, your studies will be specific to your track of choice.

Visit our Speciality Tracks page to learn more about each option for the MSN and post-graduate certificates.

At Augustana, we strive to provide support to those who care for others. We are the first university in South Dakota offering these specialized tracks. Graduates of our program will excel in their careers by practicing at an advanced level and being a clinical leader. The work and service our graduates will provide each day include:

  • Holistic care for patients, families and communities.
  • Collaboration with stakeholders to promote equitable and fiscally responsible health outcomes.
  • Leadership for interprofessional teams to optimize care delivery in complex health care systems.

    Specialty Tracks

    Augustana’s online graduate nursing programs offer two speciality tracks. We are the first university in South Dakota to offer these options to nurses. These tracks are available for the MSN and post-graduate certificate programs.


    The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) specialty prepares students to care for patients ages 13 and older with complex, acute medical conditions in the inpatient health care setting.

    • An ACNP provides care from disease prevention to acute care management
    • Graduate students in this specialization develop multi-faceted treatment plans
    • Clinical hours will involve direct patient care in acute care units, including critical care and a variety of specialty areas

    Graduates of this specialty track are eligible to take the AG-ACNP certification exam.



    The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS) specialty prepares students to impact patient outcomes through a leadership role that provides advanced care for adult and geriatric patients from wellness to acute care as a clinical practice expert, educator, researcher and consultant.

    • This advanced practice nurse is an expert clinician who provides expertise and support to nurses caring for patients at the bedside.
    • CNS also provides education and support for nurses, leads practice changes at the system level and ensures best practices and evidence-based care to achieve optimal patient outcomes.
    • Clinical hours will focus on management of patients in acute or primary care settings and leadership to facilitate practice changes within the healthcare system.

    Graduates of this specialty track are eligible to take the AG-CNS certification exam.