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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

MSN 5000 - The Art and Science of Nursing - 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the central concepts of professional nursing practice. Building on a previous bachelor’s degree, the student is introduced to the historical evolution of nursing as a profession and discipline. The future roles of nurse as provider and manager of patient care and healthcare leader are emphasized. This course explores evidence for practice, nursing informatics, safety, quality improvement, teamwork, including interdisciplinary collaboration, and the inherent value of patient-centered care. The student integrates theory, assessment skills, and clinical reasoning to design evidenced based nursing care plans with tailored interventions. The student prepares to use effective communication when providing basic care and comfort, which encompasses ethical decision-making and appreciation of human diversity, across the lifespan.  

MSN 5010 Concepts and Competencies Across the Lifespan I - 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the concepts and skills that serve as a foundation for professional nursing practice. The student acquires the knowledge, skills, and techniques necessary to accurately collect data in order to promote, maintain, or restore health and to ensure physical, emotional, cognitive, social/relational, and spiritual health. A clinical decision-making framework is used to develop individualized care interventions for clients with diverse cultural backgrounds and varied health care needs in a variety of settings. 

 MSN 5020 Pathophysiology Pharmacology I  - 3 credits

This course combines two related nursing concepts: pathophysiology and pharmacology. Based on each major body system, concepts include cellular growth and adaptation, and mechanisms of normal and disease processes. Major drug classifications, drug metabolism, mechanisms of drug actions, side effects, their application to clinical practice, and relation to nursing care are incorporated throughout the course. 

 MSN 5030 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan  - 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the principles and concepts of health promotion and disease prevention using a developmental, lifespan approach, including pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations. Emerging issues, trends, frameworks, and theories are examined as they relate to health promotion of individuals, families, and communities. Primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies are explored. Topics include determinants of health, sustainable healthy environments, cultural competence, and the nurse’s role as advocate for health promotion. Leading health indicators and the national goals of reducing preventable disease and injury, disability, and premature death, while achieving health equity are discussed.  

MSN 5035 Clinical: Healthy Populations  - 3 credits

This clinical course introduces the student to the nursing care of generally healthy populations across the lifespan through application of basic concepts, strategies, and methods of health promotion and disease prevention. Key determinants of health are addressed based on findings of physical and behavioral health assessments and screenings to prevent disease, promote health, and reduce risks. The student applies comprehensive health assessment skills and uses therapeutic communication skills to build rapports with patients and families during care experiences. 

MSN 5040 Evidence-Based Research, Theory & Practice - 3 credits

This course focuses on the acquisition and evaluation of evidence to support best practices of clinical nursing care. The student conducts critical analyses of nursing and allied health literature for scientific merit. Synthesis of research findings to solve clinical problems and the evaluation of evidence for translation into practice are discussed. The student examines evidenced-based guidelines and evaluates the effectiveness of research-based interventions on clinical outcomes. Theory-guided research, ethical conduct in research, and the value of both qualitative and quantitative research designs to nursing practice are emphasized. Statistical software application to analyze health related data is introduced. The student explores the role of the nurse as an evaluator of research and a participant in developing evidence-based policy and procedures. 

MSN 5050 Management of Chronic Disease Care: Top 10 Health Problems - 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the nursing management of patients diagnosed with the most commonly occurring chronic disease conditions, both physical and behavioral. The multifocal etiologies of disease are examined within a socio-ecological context.  Both upstream and downstream approaches to chronic illness care are proposed and evaluated.  Evidence-based clinical interventions are identified, including case management strategies to reduce fragmentation during transitions in care.   

MSN 5055 Clinical: Developmental Conditions and Chronic Disease Care  - 3 credits

This clinical course integrates the student’s knowledge and skills for use in the care management of patients with developmental based conditions and chronic illness, with the goal to promote a return to baseline and prevent long-term complications or negative sequela. Students engage in patient care experiences across the lifespan in laboratory, simulation, and off-site settings. 

MSN 5060 Quality Improvement and Risk Management for Nursing Practice - 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the principles and concepts related to quality improvement and patient safety within complex healthcare organizations. Historical perspectives, regulatory requirements, accreditation standards, and reimbursement strategies are evaluated for effectiveness in improving quality, patient-centered care. Utilizing a clinical microsystem-based approach, the tools, techniques and methods of quality improvement and safety are analyzed. Communication strategies that promote patient safety are explored.    

MSN 5070  Family-Centered Care  - 3 credits

This course provides an integrative, family-centered approach to the care of mothers, newborns, and children. This course also facilitates the application of the nursing process in the care of families during childbearing years, and individuals from birth through adolescence to promote optimal health and development at any stage of the health continuum. Emphasis is placed on normal and high-risk pregnancies, growth and development, family dynamics, common physical and behavioral pediatric disorders, and the promotion of healthy behaviors in individual patients and family units. 

MSN 5080 Complex Care  - 3 credits

This course utilizes theoretical concepts to prepare the student to develop clinical judgment, reasoning and decision-making skills when providing critical or complex care to adults with comorbidities, acute exacerbations of illness, or unstable physical or psychological conditions. Patient-centered care includes considerations of social, physical, psychological, and spiritual factors in the management of complex medical-behavioral health concerns. Interdisciplinary collaboration and the nurse’s role as care coordinator are emphasized. The topics of delegation, prioritization and management strategies needed when caring for acutely complex and/or multiple patient assignments are addressed.  

MSN 5085 Clinical: Acute-Chronic- Complex Care - 3 credits

This clinical course focuses on patients who present with acute illness, exacerbations of chronic conditions, comorbidities and complex health problems across varied clinical settings. This clinical experience integrates higher level knowledge and skill sets to support patients during unstable physiological and/or psychological states. This clinical utilizes simulation and acute-complex site care settings to manage critically ill patients requiring regenerative or restorative care.  

MSN 5090 Population Health - 3 credits

This course focuses on the health of communities and populations utilizing an ecological framework with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. The impact of health disparities, poverty, stigma, and mental health concerns in the community are examined. Public health science such as epidemiology, communicable disease, environmental science, disaster management, genomics/epigenetics, and global health are discussed. Community assessment data is used to develop, analyze, and evaluate community-level interventions.  Principles of teaching, learning, and health literacy are applied in developing a community health education project. The role of the nurse caring for vulnerable populations in the community is examined within a social justice lens. 

MSN 6000 - Advanced Assessment and Clinical Reasoning - 3 credits

This advanced assessment course builds on basic physical assessment concepts and addresses comprehensive health assessment. The course applies clinical decision-making models while integrating assessment skills and techniques. Emphasis is placed on techniques of complete history taking and systematic physical assessment utilized by the master’s prepared nurse in the identification of health needs in differing care environments.

MSN 6020 Pathophysiology-Pharmacology II   - 3 credits

This course builds upon the two concepts of pathophysiology and pharmacology emphasizing current evidence-based knowledge in the care of complex patients. A broader understanding of physiological functioning informs an ethical approach to patient care. 

MSN 6030 Concepts and Competencies Across the Lifespan II  - 3 credits

This course builds on basic physical assessment concepts and addresses comprehensive health assessment. The course applies clinical decision-making models while integrating advanced assessment skills and techniques. Emphasis is placed on techniques of complete history taking, systematic physical assessment, and evaluations of risk utilized by the master’s prepared nurse in the identification of individual and population-based health needs within differing care environments.  

MSN 6035 Clinical: Palliative/Supportive Care - 3 credits

This clinical course provides the student with an opportunity to provide supportive nursing care to patients and families experiencing life-limiting or progressive illness, emphasizing respect for patients’ and families’ beliefs, values, and choices. The student will apply evidence-based practice using the philosophy and principles of hospice and palliative care that can be integrated across settings to improve symptom management and quality of care at the end of life. 

MSN 6040 - Advanced Evidence-Based Research and Statistical Analysis - 3 credits

This course examines research design, analysis, and strategies for incorporation into nursing practice. It focuses on methods of using research findings to solve identified clinical problems, and in developing questions appropriate for population-based research. The course prepares students to conduct analytic critiques of the research literature for scientific merit, and to synthesize these critiques for application to practice. Students examine evidenced based guidelines and articulate how evidenced-based research is used to implement and evaluate outcomes. The course emphasizes research-based nursing practice in clinical population management.

MSN 6050 - Informatics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics for Nursing Practice - 3 credits 

 The course emphasizes the use of informatics, epidemiology, and other healthcare research to manage diverse clinical populations. Information technologies used to monitor, educate, and improve organizational and clinical performance are emphasized. Building on previous statistical knowledge and discernment of evidence, this course explores how nurses use analytics to inform clinical decisions, improve workflow, and advance nursing science. The use of secondary analysis, and big data science principles to predict risk, analyze patterns of care, and evaluate outcomes for clinical effectiveness are discussed. Multiple data sources including electronic health records and aggregated health data sources are included. Methods for how nurses integrate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom into nursing practice for improved healthcare outcomes are explored. 

MSN 6060 - Leadership and Management   - 3 credits

This course focuses on the role of the nurse as leader in contemporary healthcare environments. Using a systems perspective, course content includes leadership, chaos, and complexity theories, and the relationship of these theories to error and innovation in healthcare. Business management content focuses on organizational performance and financing, and nurse leader accountability in quality and safety outcomes. Characteristics of high reliability organizations and the principles of a just culture are analyzed. Concepts of conflict, change, interprofessional communication, advocacy, vision and creativity are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the development of individual leadership abilities through reflective activities. 

MSN 6070 - Transitions to the Advanced Generalist Nurse Role - 3 credits

This course provides the student with a forum to consider professional practice expectations and current issues and trends as the student transitions into professional nursing practice, in the role of a master’s prepared advanced generalist nurse. Major topics include practicing within the scope of the nurse practice act guided by the ANA standards of practice. Use of ethical frameworks as a basis for practice decisions and the principles of horizonal and vertical leadership are discussed. Advocacy to promote professional identity, positive nurse image, and involvement in professional nursing organizations is emphasized. Promotion of healthy work environments; through self-care, civility, interprofessional collaboration, and coaching of others is a focus. Professional issues including labor, employment issues, and legal aspects of care are discussed. Strategies to foster life-long learning and the use of reflective practice throughout one’s career are highlighted. Self-assessment of NCLEX-RN readiness, including predictor exit examination(s) and utilization of structured test preparation strategies are components of this course.  

MSN 6100 - Leadership - 3 credits

This course focuses on the history, development and integration of the role of the master’s prepared nurse as a reflective practitioner. Course content includes leadership, chaos, and complexity theories, and the relationship of these theories to error and innovation in health care. Concepts of conflict, change, communication, coaching and mentoring, advocacy, vision and creativity are discussed. Emphasis is placed on understanding and fostering development of individual leadership abilities by creating an opportunity for students to assess and reflect upon their own approaches to leadership.

MSN 6200 - Advanced Pathophysiology - 3 credits

This course emphasizes utilizing knowledge of physiological alterations as a framework for clinical decision-making. Includes novel and break through scientific gains in pathophysiology using the most current literature and evidence.

MSN 6300 - Nursing Theory, Science and Evidence Based Practice - 3 credits

This course focuses on nursing science, nursing theorists, adjunctive discipline theorists, and the use of evidence-based information to advance nursing knowledge. Learners discuss and analyze conceptual and theoretical perspectives specific to advanced nursing practice. The processes of creating theory-based practice guidelines are explored. Emphasis is on creating strategies for the master’s prepared nurse to incorporate theory into the clinical and educational practice environments.

MSN 6450 - Health Policy Systems and Financing - 3 credits

This course provides the student with an overview of development, implementation, and evaluation of health policy on local, national, and global levels. The student considers the impact of health care policies on a variety of stakeholders including patients and families, care providers, insurers, and governmental regulators. A discussion of the impact of health policy financing and reimbursement within both public and private health care delivery organizations allows the learner to develop insight into considerations for individual nursing practice.

MSN 6460 - Curriculum Theory, Design, Frameworks Development, and Evaluation Methods - 3 credits

This course provides the student with practical applications in nursing and health-related curriculum design, including the development of a teaching/learning philosophy, evaluation of mission statements, programmatic goals, learning objectives, individual courses, and teaching plans for diverse learning populations. The course explores various curriculum frameworks and models. A selected curriculum model will be analyzed identifying successes and opportunities for improvement. This course will also incorporate opportunities to apply curriculum assessment and methods for systematic program evaluation within the classroom setting.

MSN 6470 - Organizational Leadership in Healthcare - 3 credits

The course defines interventions, and their operation to proactively build a culture of patient safety. The course identifies themes and patterns within organizational systems and places for potential improvement. Guidelines and goals from national organizations and regulatory agencies are analyzed including the Joint Commission, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Quality Forum (NQF), the National Academy of Medicine, National Patient Safety Goals, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Students explore the use of data and analytics essential to advancing organizational performance. Students develop the business, financial management and human resource management skills used by nurse leaders and administrators to improve health care outcomes. The course focuses on the collaboration, consultation, communication and leadership skills necessary to assure patient safety throughout the health care system and over transitions of care.

MSN 6500 - Advanced Pharmacology - 3 credits

This advanced pharmacology course builds upon a basic understanding of the concepts and principles of pharmacology. Advancing knowledge of drug actions, clinical usage of drugs and rationales for drug therapy are included. Physiological factors of disease processes are related to drug mechanisms.

MSN 6600 - Informatics and Health Information Management - 3 credits

This course uses classroom and online approaches for class content. TIGER (Technology Informatics Guiding Educational Reform) competencies guide course content. Students assess systems that underlie all information technologies and change theories. Students utilize informatics to assess the care environment to improve patient care outcomes and demonstrate a beginning competency in informatics to monitor, educate and improve organizational and clinical performance. The role of the master’s prepared nurse as a participant in the design and implementation of information technology systems in departmental and hospital-wide initiatives are understood in the context of current workplace environments.

MSN 6760 - Teaching Strategies and Evaluation Methods - 3 credits

This course explores adult learning theories; social, legal and ethical considerations; teaching strategies and evaluation methods related to nursing education. The course incorporates practical applications in assessment of learning outcomes, test construction, and test item analysis. Learning style needs of students as a basis for developing appropriate learning environments and instructional methods that promote critical thinking are introduced. Various teaching modalities are examined in a variety of settings that include classroom, clinical, online, laboratory, and simulation in order to develop essential skills required as a nurse educator.

MSN 6770 - Quality Improvement Science and Risk Management in Healthcare - 3 credits

This course reviews the history and growth of quality improvement science for modern applications in nursing and health care. Models from other high reliability disciplines including the airline industry are used to analyze the current healthcare delivery system, regulation, compliance, the intersection of finance and budgeting, and judging future risk. Risk management tools including Failure Effects Mode Analysis (FEMA) and Root Cause Analysis (RCA), along with other system outcome measurements, benchmarking techniques and regulatory reporting are analyzed. Theoretical and research bases for effecting change in healthcare systems to improve patient outcomes is a major focus.

MSN 6982 Capstone - 3 credits

The capstone seminar provides the student an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills acquired in all previous course work. This culmination course is taken alongside the final clinical immersion experience. The student collaborates with faculty and agency stakeholders to design a clinically related quality improvement project for the capstone clinical immersion practice setting. Following a needs assessment, the student uses theory and evidence-based strategies to develop, implement, and evaluate a scholarly project aimed to improve healthcare outcomes of a select population. Through faculty and peer review the final product includes a scholarly abstract and poster. The student will disseminate the capstone project findings and related recommendations within the practicum setting and within the school of nursing.  

Corequisite: MSN 6985.

MSN 6985 Capstone Clinical Immersion - 3 credits

This clinical immersion experience taken concurrently with the capstone course allows the student to build upon baccalaureate level knowledge, skills and attitudes and to achieve the practice expectations of the advanced generalist nurse role. During completion of 112.5 hours of experiential learning in one of the clinical practice spheres, the student demonstrates readiness for professional practice through integration of master’s level nurse competencies.

Corequisite: MSN 6982.

MSN 7863 - Practicum in Nursing Education - 3 credits

This practicum experience expands and refines the analytical and organizational competencies necessary for the nurse educator role. Paired with a preceptor and under the direction of faculty, the student obtains a fuller perspective of what nurse educators achieve in academic and clinical settings. Assignments from earlier courses create a basis for an education project within the agency. Learning opportunities provide the student with access to selected settings, clinical exposures, laboratory exercises, simulation, faculty/agency meetings and organization activities. As part of the practicum experience students are expected to develop clinical proficiency through the use of focused and sustained clinical experiences (130 hours).

MSN 7873 - Practicum in Nursing Administration - 3 credits

This practicum experience expands and refines the analytical, leadership and organizational management competencies related to the nurse administrator role. Paired with a nurse leader acting as a manager/administrator in a selected care environment, the student focuses on gaining a full perspective of the current and evolving organizational leadership role, with a focus on quality, risk management and processes of managing health care delivery. The student attends agency organization and management meetings and takes responsibility for the design, coordination and management of a health care project appropriate to the student’s chosen population and practice setting (130 hours).

MSN 7982 - Capstone Seminar - 2 credits

The capstone seminar allows students to apply skills acquired in their master’s course work and collaborate with faculty to design a specific clinically based administrative or educational project. Using critical analysis of the practice setting needs, students use theory and evidence-based strategies to develop and implement a scholarly project. The final product, appropriate to the advanced practice role focus, includes an abstract, a presentation and a poster suitable for a conference. Students present their capstone projects in their practicum settings.