MSN Nursing Program

Courses

Graduate Core Curriculum Taken By All MSN Students

Examines philosophical foundations and knowledge development in nursing. Explores knowledge from the sciences, humanities, and nursing and its application to advanced nursing practice. Critically analyzes theories, concepts, and research related to the promotion, protection, and restoration of health across the lifespan. Presents the components of research design, methodology, and statistical analysis. Investigates the interaction of theory and research, and its impact nursing practice, education, and leadership.

Emphasizes the necessity of research as the basis of scholarly nursing inquiry which produces evidence-based practice. Students evaluate research design, scientific merit, findings, and potential applications to practice. Evaluates systematic reviews, evidence-based practice guidelines, meta-synthesis, and meta-analyses, and discusses strategies for the application of findings. Examines the interrelationships among theory, practice, and research as integral components of evidence-based practice. Emphasizes the utilization of scientific evidence to improve nursing practice and ultimately patient outcomes. Students demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate the evaluation of research findings for the development of evidence-based practice.

Prepares graduates with the knowledge necessary to assume leadership roles in the management of human, fiscal, and physical health care resources. The organization of health care delivery systems and the resulting impacts are evaluated from historical, political, ethical, and economic viewpoints. Healthcare reimbursement and potential changes in payment structures are explored. The procedures and processes for policy development at the national through facility level are analyzed. The students are challenged to explore their personal value systems and to analyze how these values shape their professional practices.

Identifies and explores the influence of biologic, environmental and societal factors on health and wellness of individuals, families and communities. Emphasizes the study of personal and community-based interventions and strategies to influence the goal of health promotion and disease prevention. Considers the use of theory, research, resources, social policies and regulatory requirements as avenues to promote health from a personal, community and global perspective. Included in this course is the role of spirituality as a component of health promotion and holistic nursing practice. Students are introduced to practical applications and tools for spiritual formation, while exploring the idea of professional nursing as ministry through vocation. The student is encouraged to appreciate a multi-faceted workforce in health care organization and delivery to stimulate positive societal and global outcomes. Related issues associated with the rapidly expanding aging population, human diversity, cultural sensitivity and global awareness are also included.

Integrates the knowledge, skills, and expertise gained throughout the MSN course of study in a cumulative research project that examines evidence-based practice in the student’s area of MNS specialization, documents how this best practice could be actualized in the practice setting, and how its implementation and results would be measured and analyzed. Provides students with the opportunity to evaluate this evidence-based practice to gain a broader worldview and vision within the area of specialization. This course includes a mentored practicum experience in the student’s selected specialty area. This course is taken during the last semester of the MSN program and is a prerequisite for NURS 6983, Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing.

Integrates the knowledge, skills, and specialty expertise gained throughout the MSN course of study to culminate in the practice experience designed to further advance the graduate’s role and skill set. The faculty and mentor provide support and guidance to help plan and implement learning experiences, to gain a broader worldview within the specialty study area. Emphasis is on the implementation of evidence-based practice, effective communication, and the demonstration of the skills necessary to enter the specialty arena. Students negotiate a project to be completed during the practice experience. This course includes a mentored practicum experience in the student’s selected specialty area. This course is completed during the student’s final module of the MSN matriculation.

Direct Care Core Curriculum Taken by Nursing Education and Public Health Track Students

Provides a systematic and holistic approach of advanced assessment skills to evaluate physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental, and spiritual conditions of individuals across the lifespan. This course builds upon basic health assessment knowledge and skills, emphasizing advanced assessment skills, laboratory work interpretation, validation, documentation, and analysis of assessment findings.

Focuses on the development of an in-depth scientific knowledge base relevant to selected pathophysiological conditions across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on linking this advanced knowledge base to the formulation of clinical decisions needed in primary health care management as related to diagnostic tests, pharmacotherapeutics, and the initiation of therapeutic regimens.

Nursing Education Functional Area Content Courses

Explores the roles of both educator and student in the creation of an effective learning environment. Frameworks for analyzing pedagogical philosophies, adult learning theories, ethical/legal issues, research, and professional values related to nursing education are examined. The incorporation of Christian teachings into nursing education and various other teaching strategies are explored. Also presented are the influences of accreditation and/or certification requirements, as well as the implementation of innovations and technologies in nursing education.

Emphasizes curriculum development, outcomes, and competencies while focusing on effective teaching strategies. Evaluates the faculty role, the social responsibility of program curricular design, and pedagogies in meeting consumer and community needs, as well as professional nursing standards. Presents best practices and research-based strategies to promote various learning styles and encourage the creation of active learning environments that increase student retention and learning success for diverse student populations.

Provides students with an opportunity to compare, question, and analyze various assessment and evaluation concepts, models, and frameworks for their applicability in the quality assurance process of curriculum and program development. Explores techniques to evaluate learner knowledge and competence. Methods of curricula and program evaluation are explored. Students consider innovations in the area of evaluation based on current theories and practice.

Explores the unique aspects of clinical teaching, as well as theories and trends that support the use of technology for the enhancement of learning. Focuses on developing the education specialist’s skill set to be able to select and implement appropriate instructional technologies, including simulation and the electronic health record, to enhance learning in a variety of settings.

Public Health Functional Area Content Courses

Explores the history, philosophy, and evolution of current public health practices, including the organization of public health systems, organizations, and practices in the United States. Presents public health requirements and statutes, and laws that affect public health agencies. Identifies opportunities for public health growth and the development of interface between public health and other health-related systems.

Presents the foundations for understanding and applying the basic principles and methods used in epidemiology including disease measures, association and causation, bias, confounding and modification effects, and susceptibility. Explores effective methods to design and conduct epidemiologic studies used to address public health problems. Prepares students to become a critical reader of epidemiologic literature, by evaluating study design, data collection methods, study limitations and applicability to additional populations.

Provides an overview of healthcare informatics and its current use by both public and private healthcare agencies. Teaches students to navigate and enter data into complex healthcare databases using the principles of database management including the ability to conduct population studies through the use of databases. Explores the interpretation and evaluation of quality indicators within databases to maximize reimbursement in a variety of settings.

This course discusses and gives a broad overview of food and waterborne diseases. Focus is on, diseases, disease processes, manifestations, reservoirs, transmission, epidemiology of microorganisms and chemical agents responsible for food and water-transmitted diseases and how surveillance is utilized to develop or improve policy. The ability of public health programs to regulate food and waterborne illnesses and to organize safe food and water supplies will be examined for both industrialized and developing countries.

Explores the theoretical and practical approaches of changing health behaviors of individuals and communities across populations.  Utilizes evidence-based practice to develop interventions and applications for both communities and individuals, and explores the impact of positive health behavior changes.  Theoretical concepts are integrated with practical applications such as screenings, counseling, behavioral changes and immunizations.  Methods of communicating with diverse communities and culturally-specific communication are examined.

Healthcare Administration Functional Area Content Courses

Presents leadership concepts and theories, as well as an orientation to organizational structures and dynamics in health care delivery systems. Students examine theories and analyze environmental and societal determinants that influence an organization’s capacity for change and quality improvement. The complementary qualities of leadership and management are examined and their impact on organizational effectiveness and corporate success is analyzed. Interventions that advance and strengthen the organizational mission and vision are explored.

Analyzes leadership roles in relation to decision-making with particular emphases on human resource management. Evidence-based staffing models are developed for the purpose of projecting and accurately documenting human resource requirements. Interviewing, hiring, orientation, and competency rubrics are examined and developed while the guidelines and statutes governing these human resource issues are explored. Conceptual aspects of control, problem solving/decision-making, effective communication, conflict resolution, progressive disciplinary action, delegation, and team building are applied to a variety of situational contexts.

Introduces the concept of a strategic plan and the importance of linking this with an organization’s mission and ethos. Basic principles associated with program, project, and service line fiscal management, price-setting, budget preparation, return on investment, cost-benefit analysis, managed care contracting, and value-based purchasing are discussed and applied. Emphasis is placed on acquiring a financial vocabulary to communicate with various stakeholders. Financial reports such as balance sheets, budget forms, and expense reports are studied and formulated.

Integrates the concepts of outcomes management and research as the basis to improve the quality and effectiveness of health care organizations. Program evaluation, performance improvement, and other methods of measuring outcomes are examined for their utility within the health care setting. Systematic approaches for analyzing and evaluating processes of care delivery and their impact on client populations, organizational processes, and communities are considered. National quality data bases and national benchmarking is explored. Accreditation and/or regulatory requirements will be presented. Through readings, projects, and various interactions students develop an informed basis for leading quality improvement efforts in various healthcare settings.

Provides an overview of healthcare informatics and its current use by both public and private healthcare agencies. Teaches students to navigate and enter data into complex healthcare databases using the principles of database management including the ability to conduct population studies through the use of databases. Explores the interpretation and evaluation of quality indicators within databases to maximize reimbursement in a variety of settings.

Examines laws associated with healthcare facility operations in the 21st century including those that directly impact governing boards, physicians, directors/administrators, investors, and the public. Methods to assure compliance with corporate auditing accountability regulations, financial disclosures, investor protection statutes, anti-kickback laws, healthcare provider self-referral, and governing board legal responsibilities are explored. Investigates Omnibus Reconciliation Acts; their content and stipulations affecting the provision of healthcare.

Healthcare Quality Management Functional Area Content Courses

Presents leadership concepts and theories, as well as an orientation to organizational structures and dynamics in health care delivery systems. Students examine theories and analyze environmental and societal determinants that influence an organization’s capacity for change and quality improvement. The complementary qualities of leadership and management are examined and their impact on organizational effectiveness and corporate success is analyzed. Interventions that advance and strengthen the organizational mission and vision are explored.

Provides an overview of healthcare informatics and its current use by both public and private healthcare agencies. Teaches students to navigate and enter data into complex healthcare databases using the principles of database management including the ability to conduct population studies through the use of databases. Explores the interpretation and evaluation of quality indicators within databases to maximize reimbursement in a variety of settings.

Integrates the concepts of outcomes management and research as the basis to improve the quality and effectiveness of health care organizations. Program evaluation, performance improvement, and other methods of measuring outcomes are examined for their utility within the health care setting. Systematic approaches for analyzing and evaluating processes of care delivery and their impact on client populations, organizational processes, and communities are considered. National quality data bases and national benchmarking is explored. Accreditation and/or regulatory requirements will be presented. Through readings, projects, and various interactions students develop an informed basis for leading quality improvement efforts in various healthcare settings.

Examines the legal aspects of law as it relates to healthcare entities at the federal, state and local level. Methods to assure compliance with multiple regulatory agencies such as structural codes, wage and hour laws and medical billing will be explored. Specific attention will be paid to those statues that only mandate requirements for healthcare agencies.

Examines the history and trends of risk management in the United States. Provides education on achieving a risk-intelligent enterprise including oversight of regulatory requirements, compliance risk, understanding financial/business risk, advising organizational leaders on the management of new and existing risk, and assisting leaders with value protection and value creation. Presents methods of risk mitigation such as risk management, risk retention, risk modification, risk transfer, and error recovery to reduce risk. Incorporates the requirements necessary for healthcare organizations to achieve high reliability status.

Defines interventions, and their employment, to drive change to proactively maintain patient safety within healthcare organizations. Identifies themes and patterns while examining organizational systems and processes for potential points of failure. Presents plans to implement guidelines and goals from national organizations including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Quality Forum (NQF), and The Joint Commission (TJC) to enhance and assure patient safety throughout the care continuum.

MSN Elective Courses

Introduces students to the field of educational technology. Explores the historical and recent forces impacting educational technology and addresses the social and ethical issues surrounding acquiring, implementing, and evaluating technology in the learning environment. Best practices for distance education and alternative delivery modalities, which may be used in nursing education, are examined.

Explores selected ethical theories related to health care and nursing practice. The history of ethical models in healthcare are examined as is the potential paradigm shift in ethical theory due to limited healthcare resources. Both institutional and broader health care policies related to ethical issues will be examined.

Emphasizes the importance of providing spiritual care as a component of holistic advanced nursing practice. Nursing’s historical foundation for the provision of spiritual care, as well as the vital and expansive role of spirituality/spiritual health promotion, will be explored. Students will be challenged to articulate their own spiritual philosophy, as well as identify the impact of and resources for personal spiritual renewal as a basic necessity in their current nursing practice. Practical applications and tools for spiritual formation will also be presented.

Provides critical analysis of major social, economic, and political issues of growing old in America. Examines social policy in the public and private sectors including health, income, and social services and considers prospects for social change and political movements.

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