Master's Program

The School of Nursing offers several programs leading to the Master of Science degree.  There are three roles available.  A student may choose between the advanced nursing practice roles of administration or education or the advanced practice nursing role of nurse practitioner.  Education and administration students will also choose a clinical specialty or population focus of advanced adult nursing, community health nursing, or community health/psychiatric nursing.  Nurse practitioner students will choose between family, pediatric primary care, and women’s health clinical specialties. 

The education area of role development prepares teachers for collegiate programs in associate or baccalaureate degree nursing education.  The administration area of role development focuses on management of nursing positions in various service agency settings.  The nurse practitioner programs are designed to develop advanced practice nursing skills in professional nurses who will be able to function in accordance with jointly promulgated medical and nursing protocols as specified by state laws.  (The availability of a role and specialty is dependent upon the number of students available to start a cohort in that role and specialty.)

All graduates are prepared in advanced nursing practice with proficiency in evaluating the health care needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities.  Graduates over the past ten years have earned doctoral degrees in their specialty areas, assumed top leadership positions in nursing service and education agencies, and served with distinction in collaborative roles as they developed new delivery systems.  The terminal objectives for the Master of Science degree program in nursing emphasize the synthesis of knowledge and the responsibility of graduates to participate in, evaluate, or conduct circumscribed research.

Research is an integral aspect of the curriculum in the Master of Science degree program in nursing.  Application, utilization, and critical evaluation of the research process and resultant finding are emphasized as the body of evidence for the improvement and advancement of nursing practice and positive patient outcomes.

Nursing Administration

The Master of Science degree with an advanced nursing practice role of administration and a clinical specialty in Advanced Adult Nursing, Community Health Nursing, or Community Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing offers preparation for nursing service management-level positions in community agencies designed to deliver health care.  Hospitals, out-patient facilities, home care agencies, mental health centers and other health care agencies are areas for learners’ clinical placement to facilitate their acquisition of skills in analysis, application of concepts useful in value judgments necessary for cost-effective accounting, and responsible solutions to administrative problems.

Nursing Education

The Master of Science degree with an advanced nursing practice role of education and a clinical specialty in Advanced Adult Nursing, Community Health Nursing, and Community Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing provides graduate preparation for entry-level faculty positions in baccalaureate and associate degree programs in nursing.  The program is designed to prepare faculty for both classroom and clinical instruction by enabling them to acquire cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills in the teaching and learning process in higher education.  It is also designed to enable faculty to teach the nursing process and clinical content utilizing a systems approach.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

The Master of Science degree with an advanced nurse practitioner role provides graduate education for nurses preparing to become a Family, Pediatric Primary Care, or Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.  The curriculum is designed to develop advanced practice nurses who will be able to function in accordance with nationally recognized scopes of practice and individual state laws.  Graduates will be advanced practice nurses proficient in evaluating and meeting the health care needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities.  Graduates of the nurse practitioner program are eligible to sit for board examination and certification in their respective clinical specialties.

Master of Science Degree Program Terminal Objectives

  1. Test theories derived from nursing, the sciences, the arts, and the humanities for improving advanced nursing practice and role development.
  2. Use the graduate nursing process in a specialized area of clinical nursing practice that incorporates the three levels of prevention, advanced nursing knowledge, and theory for the purpose of quality health care.
  3. Maintain collegial relationships with peers in own and other disciplines for the purpose of improving the practice and delivery of health care.
  4. Collaborate with members of health professions and other citizens in promoting community and national efforts to influence health care policy and meet the health needs of persons.
  5. Implement nursing's evolving leadership roles in various settings by continuously evaluating a broad range of change, leadership, teaching-learning, and management strategies for improving nursing practice and health care systems.
  6. Practice nursing in a multicultural environment based on an articulated philosophy which reflects a personal value system, the value system of the profession, and the value system of the client.
  7. Implement the role of a beginning administrator, educator or nurse practitioner, utilizing appropriate theoretical bases.
  8. Participate in or conduct research directed towards refining and extending nursing science.
  9. Assume accountability for self and responsibility for others in the delivery of quality health care.
  10. Acquire increased self-awareness as a basis for promoting interpersonal relationships that facilitate lifelong personal and professional growth.

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