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One academic quarter is 3 months. You will have a 3-week break between each quarter.

Field Experience Requirements

Minimum of 100 practice immersion hours. In addition to your online courses, you will complete a hands-on Practice Immersion, allowing you to put the evidence-based methods acquired throughout your program into practice. Hours logged in the Practice Immersion will be time spent under the guidance of an approved preceptor, at your chosen site, meeting the MSN program outcomes and competencies.

Core Courses

32 course quarter credits

Advanced Physical Assessment for Nurses (4 quarter credits)*
Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology (4 quarter credits)*
Advanced Pharmacology for the Nurse Professional (4 quarter credits)*
Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice (4 quarter credits)*
Advanced Leadership for Contemporary Nursing (4 quarter credits)*
Nursing Technology and Evidence-based Practice (4 quarter credits)*
Nursing Capstone Project (4 quarter credits)*

Specialization Courses

25 course quarter credits

Physical Aspects of the Aging* (4 quarter credits)
Gerontology Nursing Field Experience 1: Physical Aspects of the Aging (1 quarter credit)†*
Psychological and Psychopathological Care for the Aging*(4 quarter credits)
Gerontology Nursing Field Experience 2: Psychological and Psychopathological Care for the Aging (1 quarter credit)†*
Caring for the Aging Across the Lifespan*(4 quarter credits)
Gerontology Nursing Field Experience 3: Caring for the Aging Across the Lifespan (1 quarter credit)†*
Social, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Aging*(4 quarter credits)
Gerontology Nursing Field Experience 4: Social, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Aging (1 quarter credit)†*
Behaviors and Quality of Life of the Aging*(4 quarter credits)
Gerontology Nursing Field Experience 5: Behaviors and Quality of Life of the Aging (1 quarter credit)†*

*This course has a prerequisite. Contact an enrollment counselor or refer to the course descriptions for more information.

This Specialization is not designed to prepare graduates for entry-level or advanced practice licensure as a nurse.

North Carolina residents are advised that nurse educators must be National League of Nursing certified as a nurse educator or complete nine graduate credit hours of educational content coursework before they can teach.

† Learners in the RN-to-MSN bridge specializations are required to complete MSN5000, MSN5003, MSN5005,and MSN5007 before registering for any other MSN course. Upon successful completion of the RN-to-MSN bridge courses, learners pursue the program requirements for any Master of Science in Nursing specialization. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree will not be conferred.

What Can I Expect?

Most students take 1 to 2 courses at a time. One course typically requires 10 to 12 hours of study per week.

Courses are divided into 10 weekly units. Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 12 credits into this specialization.

Sign Up for a Free One-Week Mini Course

Learn more about our online learning experience with a free one-week mini course.


If you have elective courses in your specialization, you may be able to use them to fulfill both your degree and concentration requirements at the same time. However, completing a concentration may extend your total credits beyond the requirements of your degree. Concentrations available for this specialization include:

  • Health Policy and Management
  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy and Management