WCSU 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog : SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING

Master of Science in Nursing

Mary Nielson, Graduate Coordinator, WH 220X Phone:  (203) 837-8888
nielsonm@wcsu.edu
Terri-Ann Tilquist, Department Secretary, WH 107 Phone: (203) 837-8556
tilquistt@wcsu.edu
Fax: (203) 837-8550
Website MS in Nursing
Faculty:  E. Abate; D. Bennett; K. Bridges; D. Brown; S. Burger; E. Campbell; P. Cumella;  L. Dalessio; M. Doherty; D. Graham; T. Hanlon; J. Lupinacci; J. Mazurak; M. Nielson; J. Ort; B. Padykula; B. Piscopo; T. Puckhaber; C. Rice; M. Sousa; L. Warren.

 

Program Overview and Mission

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing program prepares nurses for leadership positions in the nursing practice. The program requires completion of 41 to 47 credits of specialized professional course work, with courses organized into three components:

  • a foundational core (theory, issues, research, foundations of practice)
  • a role component specific to the selected role
  • a role support component that provides a concentrated practicum experience in the selected role

Students may prepare for either the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner role. All students complete a sequence of clinical and role component courses, including a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practicum experiences under the guidance of a preceptor, and an evidenced-based research project. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the certification examination for their chosen role.

The program is designed for part-time study, with courses offered On-line/Hybrid and on ground in the evening. Part-time study requires approximately four years for completion of the degree, although students are granted up to six years to complete all degree requirements.

The program is accredited by the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle NW, Washington, DC 20036 (phone: (202) 887-6791; fax: (202) 887-8476)

Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Conceptual Framework and Organizational Structure

The program of study leading to the M.S. in Nursing degree prepares nurses for roles as advanced practice nurses, with an option to prepare for certification as an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Each role requires completion of a foundational core, representing content common to the advanced study of nursing practice; a role component, representing content specific to the selected role; and a role support component, providing practicum experiences for transition into the selected role.

The curricular design assumes that education for the advanced practice of nursing requires substantial clinical experiences in aspects of the selected role supervised by professional health care providers who have education and experience in the role, and occurring in a variety of settings. Clinical practicum experiences in the program enable students to develop clinical experiences that meet course objectives as well as their own specific learning needs and interests. The approach to clinical practicum allows for flexibility in the time and places in which clinical experiences occur.

Foundational Core

Preparation for the advanced practice of nursing rests on a foundation of generalized knowledge and practice common to all roles. The M.S. in Nursing program addresses the following content areas as foundational to the advanced study of nursing: the theoretical bases of nursing practice; issues encountered by the master’s-prepared practitioner within the nursing profession and the broad health-care field; critical thinking in the application of knowledge and skills to the identification and analysis of patient problems and their resolution through the development of clinical expertise and diagnostic-reasoning ability; and the utilization of research and the appropriate application of the research process to the identification, analysis, and resolution of practice problems. The approach to these areas of study is eclectic, offering students alternative conceptualizations of the field as a basis for the analysis and critique of extant practice, theory, and research; the generation of creative alternatives to present approaches to practice; and the formulation of personal conceptual interpretations of nursing as a guide to practice, all within the context of a rapidly changing health care environment.

Advanced Practice Roles

The advanced practice of nursing may proceed through direct care or blended roles. Direct-care roles involve management of the health care of a caseload of clients, for example, as an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Blended roles combine elements of the direct care and a mediated-role approach, as with the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Role Support

As students move toward completing the M.S. in Nursing program, they are helped to synthesize and apply curricular content to fulfilling their selected role. All students complete a substantial clinical practicum in which they enact all aspects of the selected role under the guidance of a qualified clinical preceptor. Seminar sessions address common places in each of the roles and promote sharing the experience and perspective of students engaged in these different roles.

Program Outcomes

Working with individuals and groups, the graduate of the master’s in nursing program will

  • Use evidence-based nursing interventions to generate research for the purpose of expanding nursing science.
  • Demonstrate expertise in the provision of care to individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds across the health spectrum.
  • Function in a variety of roles collaborating with other disciplines in the attainment of improved patient care and outcomes.
  • Continuously evaluate their nursing practice in relation to professional standards and assume accountability for practice.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of policy formulation and how it impacts nursing practice and health care delivery.
  • Analyze ethical issues as they affect communities, society, the health professions, and their own practice.
  • Use technologies to integrate and support safe nursing practice, promote health information communication, teach patients and families, mange knowledge and mitigate errors.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to the M.S. in Nursing program are made through the Office of Graduate Admissions. Online Graduate Application. Applicants must submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work with the graduate application fee. Admission to the M.S. in Nursing program is selective. Candidates must have earned a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree from a recognized accrediting agency, achieve a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test (required for those applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0); and hold a current RN license. Applicants must have at least 1 year of nursing experience before starting the program and a minimum of 2 years nursing experience before starting clinical practice. At the time of application, candidates must provide an application, transcripts, resume, one letter of recommendation and a one page writing sample. Writing sample needs to answer the following: What motivating factors influenced your decision to pursue a degree as an advanced practice nurse. Submission should be one page in length and no more than 500 words. As part of the admission process, the candidate must meet with the program coordinator to develop a plan of study.

Students must have an Advanced Pharmacology Course and an Advanced Health Assessment within five (5) years of graduation. If the Advanced Pharmacology Course time frame extends past five (5) years due to leave of absences, the student will need to retake an Advanced Pharmacology course at the discretion of the Program Coordinator and / or the Master of Science in Nursing Committee.

Students who are a post certificate applicant or have taken an Advanced Health Assessment course elsewhere need to achieve an 85% on a health assessment exam administered by the Nursing Department. Students who do not achieve an 85% or better will need to retake the Advanced Health Assessment course.

Because of the nature of the clinical experiences and regulations of various clinical agencies utilized in the nursing program, all nursing students are required to adhere to departmental policies in addition to the immunizations required of all university students. This information may be obtained directly from the department.

In addition to the above-stated health requirements, students must meet any additional requirements identified by a clinical-affiliating agency, including a criminal background check. Clinical agencies reserve the right to refuse clinical placement to students who do not pass the background check.

All students must be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as a health-care provider prior to entering clinical course and must maintain current certification to be eligible to attend clinical experience. In addition, students are required to carry an advanced practice student malpractice insurance policy while in clinical courses.

Bridge Option: Registered nurses who have an earned non-nursing baccalaureate degree and are interested in pursuing a Masters of Science in Nursing without completing a second bachelor’s degree may consider “bridging” into the M.S. program. The bridge is designed to fill the gaps in the nursing educational experiences that would ordinarily be addressed in a B.S. in Nursing program. The bridge involves completion of the following undergraduate courses: Physical Assessment, Undergraduate Nursing Research, Undergraduate Statistics, Principles of Community Health, and Transition to Professional Nursing Practice. These courses may be completed in the WCSU RN/BS Program or elsewhere. Courses transferred must meet University requirements. Interested applicants first must make a formal application to the M.S. program and meet requirements for the M.S. program as detailed above. Upon receipt of a completed application, applicants will be contacted by the graduate coordinator for further evaluation and advice. Admission to the Bridge courses is competitive, by approval of the graduate coordinator, and on a space-available basis only. All Bridge courses must be completed prior to starting the MS program.

Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete the requisite course work, the clinical component, and an evidence-based research project within six years in order to be eligible for graduation.

Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner

Curriculum Structure Foundational Core Components                                   

These courses are required of all M.S. in Nursing students and are intended to serve as prerequisites for remaining program requirements.                               

NUR 501 Theoretical Basis of Nursing Practice   3 SH                      

NUR 507 Diagnostics for Advanced Nursing Practice   2 SH                      

NUR 504 Evidenced Based Research for Advanced Nursing Practice    3 SH                      

NUR 511 Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice, Health Care Policy and the Health Care System   3 SH      

Advanced Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner (Adult Gerontology and Acute Care):                                 

NUR 515 Advanced Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice   3 SH                      

NUR 570 Advanced Clinical Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice   3 SH                      

NUR 575 Advanced Health Assessment  for Advanced Nursing Practice   3 SH                         

NUR 580 Advanced Practice Nursing Management of the Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology Populations   2 SH                      

NUR 585 The Advanced Practice Nursing Management of the Chronically Ill Adult-Gerontology Populations   2 SH               

Clinical Practice: Nurse Practitioner                         

NUR 582 The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners Management of the Acutely Ill Adult Populations (180 clinical practicum hours)   5 SH                      

NUR 588 The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners Management of the Chronically Ill Adult Populations (180 clinical practicum hours)   5 SH      

– Or –                                  

Clinical Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist                                              

NUR 583 The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialists Management of the Acutely Ill Populations (180 clinical hours)   5 SH                      

NUR 587 The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Management of the Chronically Ill Adult Populations (180 clinical hours)   5 SH      

Clinical Practice: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

NUR 584 The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Management of the Psychiatric Mental Health Conditions Across Lifespan Populations   5 SH

NUR 589 The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Management of the Psychiatric Mental Health Conditions Groups and Families   5 SH

Clinical Practice:  Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

NUR 576 The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners Management of Acutely Ill Complex Populations   5 SH

NUR 577 The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Management of The Chronically Ill Complex Populations   5 SH

Role course for all students                                        

NUR 590 Professional Role Enactment (180 clinical hours)   7 SH

Post-Master’s Study

The department of nursing also offers post-master’s course work that prepares adult nurse practitioners to be eligible to take the adult nurse practitioner certificate exam. Admission to the program requires the following:

Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

M.S. in Nursing with a significant clinical component

NUR 515, Advanced Pathophysiology, or equivalent.  (This course can be taken at WCSU with in the program)

NUR 570, Advanced Clinical Pharmacology, or equivalent; completed within the last five years. (This also may be taken at WCSU within the program.)

NUR 575 Advanced Health Assessments. Or equivalent (This can also be taken at WCSU with in the program); completed within the last five years, along with a basic skills in health assessment, as evidenced by obtaining an 85% on a health assessment exam prior to entry into the program.

Students are required to take the following courses:

NUR 580 Nursing Management of the Acutely ill Adult

NUR 582 The Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Acutely ill Adult Practicum

NUR 585 Nursing Management of the Chronically ill adult

NUR 588 The Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Chronically ill Adult Practicum

NUR 590 Professional Role Enactment

 

Post-Master’s Study: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

M.S. in Nursing with a significant clinical component

NUR 515, Advanced Pathophysiology, or equivalent.  (This course can be taken at WCSU with in the program)

NUR 570, Advanced Clinical Pharmacology, or equivalent; completed within the last five years. (This also may be taken at WCSU within the program.)

NUR 575 Advanced Health Assessments. Or equivalent (This can also be taken at WCSU with in the program); completed within the last five years, along with a basic skills in health assessment, as evidenced by obtaining an 85% on a health assessment exam prior to entry into the program.

Students are required to take the following courses:

NUR 516 Psychopathology

NUR 571 Psychopharmacology

NUR 581 The Advanced Nursing Management of the Psychiatric Mental Health conditions Across Lifespan Populations – Therapeutic Modalities I

NUR 584 The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Management of the Psychiatric Mental Health Conditions Across Lifespan Populations

NUR 586  The Advanced Nursing Management of the Psychiatric Mental Health Conditions – Groups and Families – Therapeutic Modalities II

NUR 589  The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Management of the Psychiatric Mental Health Conditions Groups and Families

NUR 590 Professional Role Enactment

Grading criteria:

Graduate nursing students must maintain a B average in order to graduate from the program. Should a student achieve a grade below a B- in a course, that course must be repeated and the student must achieve a grade of B or better to progress in the program.  

Department of nursing grades are assigned as follows:

A  = 92 – 100 B-  = 80 – 82 D+  =  68 – 70
A- = 89 – 91 C+ = 77 – 79 D    =  64 – 67
B+= 86 – 88 C   = 74 – 76 D-  =   63 – 60
B  = 83 – 85 C-  = 71 – 73 F    =   Below 60