Nursing

Description

The Master of Science in Nursing is designed to help meet the significant national and state need for more nurses prepared at the graduate level, with a special focus on education, leadership/management or population-based care coordination. Graduates will earn a Master of Science degree with a major in nursing.

Designed as a part-time, accelerated, online program, the program is offered to registered nurses who already have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Graduates gain the theoretical and analytical knowledge required to contribute to the nursing profession as educators, leaders/managers or population-based care coordinators. All students participate in a practicum experience, partnered with experienced nurses in their chosen specialty, to have the opportunity to learn and demonstrate new knowledge and skills.

Program Highlights

  • Multiple Starting Points - Students can choose to start their program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. This gives students the opportunity to begin when they are ready.
  • One Course at a Time - Designed for working nurses, the program allows students to focus on one course at a time, building a foundation for future coursework as they progress.
  • Flexible Schedule - Students can choose the pace that works best for them, allowing a balance of work, school and life events.
  • Accelerated Format - Courses are offered in accelerated 8-week formats. The only exception is the capstone course, which is offered over a full 16-week semester.

Areas of Concentration

Students will choose to focus on one of the following areas of concentration:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Leadership/Management
  • Population-Based Care Coordination

Nursing Education

This area of concentration is designed to help meet the tremendous need for nurse faculty – a shortage that is limiting enrollment in nursing schools nationwide. Education is practiced by all nurses in formal and informal settings. This concentration recognizes the changing practice of nursing education, whether in the academic or clinical setting. From the increasing use of simulation to online courses, nursing educators in today’s healthcare environment must be able develop, implement, and evaluate courses using multiple teaching strategies, including online course delivery.

Nursing Leadership/Management

This area of concentration recognizes that all nurses, regardless of position, can be called on to serve in leadership roles. This area also addresses the key workforce need for more nurse managers, as many existing nurse leaders in hospitals and healthcare organizations will retire in the coming years. In challenging economic times, leadership is critical to the success of healthcare institutions.

Population-Based Care Coordination

This area of concentration is designed to prepare nurses for roles that have increased in demand since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nursing professionals will gain appropriate skills that enable them to make ongoing changes in the health systems they serve, as well as acquiring the knowledge and abilities to adapt to future challenges in nursing. Graduates of this program may work in a variety of roles, such as case managers with hospital systems, nurse community liaisons with third-party organizations, nurse navigators within hospitals or community coordinators within health departments.

Objectives

The objective of the program is to prepare registered nurses with a Master of Science degree with a major in nursing who will practice in advanced roles as nurse educators, leaders/managers, or population-based care coordinators. Master's-prepared nurses are professionals with specialized knowledge and skills that are applied within a broad range of patient populations in a variety of practice settings.

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Nursing, graduates will be able to:

  1. Advance the scholarship and discipline of nursing through the acquisition and dissemination of new nursing knowledge.
  2. Demonstrate advanced mastery of nursing theory, evidence-based practice, service, and research based upon a multidisciplinary theoretical foundation.
  3. Analyze advanced roles in nursing as educators, leaders, and managers in a variety of settings: academic environments, health care agencies, political systems, and in the public and private sectors.
  4. Advocate for the nursing profession through demonstration of personal accountability, responsibility for advanced nursing practice and professional role modeling and mentoring.
  5. Synthesize knowledge of decision-making skills and change theory to promote excellence in nursing practice within a dynamic and global health care system.

Education Concentration Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, a graduate in the education concentration will be able to:

  1. Analyze trends in nursing science to promote best educational practices.
  2. Examine learning theories and curriculum design models related to educative processes in nursing.
  3. Analyze significant issues arising between clinical nursing practice and nursing education.
  4. Develop curriculum designs appropriate to the educational setting and relevant theory and research.
  5. Use teaching-learning theories and concepts of health protection, promotion and maintenance to address the needs of relevant cultures.
  6. Integrate teaching-learning theories and educational objectives in nursing education and clinical settings.

Leadership/Management Concentration Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, a graduate in the leadership/management concentration will be able to:

  1. Analyze trends in healthcare and health administration and promote best business management practices that improve the health of our citizens.
  2. Synthesize leadership theories and principles of human resource management to improve and promote nursing care in a variety of environments.
  3. Analyze significant issues between clinical nursing practice and health care administration and provide leadership in the pragmatic resolution of conflicts.
  4. Synthesize and apply theories, models, and research relating to nursing management and health systems.
  5. Analyze managerial problems in healthcare and provide resource solutions.
  6. Critique concepts and theories of nursing, health care delivery, financing, and regulatory issues related to health care organizations.

Population-Based Care Coordination Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, a graduate in the population-base care coordination concentration will be able to:

  1. Conduct needs assessments within communities and health care systems, engaging multiple stakeholders.
  2. Design a plan of care for specific populations incorporating knowledge of community resources, health care law, and regulations.
  3. Evaluate quality and safety outcomes within community healthcare systems.
  4. Implement care management projects based on target population need assessment and evidence-based standards of care.
  5. Evaluate culturally-competent community care management strategies through the examination of inter-professional collaborative relationships, social networks, and organizational systems.

Policies

The grade of "C" is the lowest acceptable grade, and only one can be awarded during the program. A student may repeat one course in a graduate program one time. Once a student has repeated a course, the student will not be permitted to repeat any other courses. If a student repeats a course, only the latter grade is used in computing the grade point average. However, all courses taken become a part of the student's academic record. Further, a student may withdraw from each graduate course one time only. A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average on all graduate work attempted is required for graduation. Only one grade of "C" may be applied toward the GPA requirement. Degree requirements must be completed within seven years after the first course applied to the degree was completed.

Requirements

Core courses give all master's degree-seeking students a strong foundation in nursing research, essential for the implementation of evidence-based practice and to effectively utilize data for problem solving. Additional core courses provide advanced knowledge in the legal, ethical, political, and social forces impacting the global health care environment. The core courses, plus the courses within the areas of concentration, provide a foundation for doctoral education.

All students must successfully complete the following core courses before moving into courses in their area of concentration.

Core Courses:

NURS 515Concepts of Nursing Informatics

3 credits

NURS 520Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research

3 credits

NURS 530Qualitative Inquiry in Nursing

3 credits

NURS 547Global Health Care Perspectives

3 credits

NURS 557/HCM 557Project and Resource Management

3 credits

Education Courses:

This area of concentration includes courses in pedagogy, curriculum design, educational assessment, and a teaching practicum.

The following courses must be completed sequentially:

NURS 610Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology

3 credits

NURS 615Advanced Health Assessment

3 credits

NURS 632Curriculum Design and Innovation

3 credits

NURS 635Teaching and Learning Strategies/Evaluation

3 credits

NURS 642Instructional Media in Education

3 credits

NURS 740Nursing Education Capstone

6 credits

Leadership/Management Courses:

This area of concentration includes courses on organizational behavior, health care finance, quality management, and a leadership practicum.

The following courses must be completed sequentially:

NURS 650/HCM 650Organizational Behavior in Healthcare

3 credits

NURS 652/HCM 652Health Care Finance: Challenges

3 credits

NURS 660/HCM 660Planning for Evidence-Based Practice

3 credits

NURS 662/HCM 662Quality Management in Health Care

3 credits

NURS 750Nursing Leadership/Management Capstone

6 credits

Elective Approved Health Care Management course or course from the Population-Based Care Coordination or Education Concentration

3 credits

Elective: Approved Healthcare Management course or course from the Education or Population-Based Care Concentration

Population-Based Care Coordination Courses:

This area of concentration includes courses on communication, coordination, vulnerable populations, epidemiology, and a Population-Based Care Coordination practicum.

The following courses must be completed sequentially:

NURS 600/HCM 600Managerial Epidemiology and Statistics

3 credits

NURS 670Communication and Conflict Resolution

3 credits

NURS 672Population-Based Care: Vulnerable Populations

3 credits

NURS 674Professional/Legal Issues in Population-Based Care

3 credits

NURS 760Population-Based Care Coordination Capstone

6 credits

Elective Approved Health Care Management course or course from the Population-Based Care Coordination or Education Concentration

3 credits

Elective: Approved Healthcare Management course or course from the Education or Leadership/Management Concentration

Residency Requirements

The Master of Science in Nursing has a residency requirement at the end of the program. The residency component supports the interactive nature of the profession, which requires students to demonstrate not only knowledge, but the increased ability at the graduate level to articulate and discuss nursing issues and challenges. Further, the residency allows students to demonstrate those skills and competencies they will need in their professional positions. Students unable to come to campus for this component of the program will be able to participate through the use of synchronous online software capabilities already available at the university.

Certificate Option

Population-Based Care Coordination

Course Descriptions

See NURS-Graduate Nursing Courses

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