Master of Science in Nursing
The College of Nursing and Health Professions at USI strives to ensure our graduate students are successful in their professional, personal, and academic careers. Graduates of our Master of Science in Nursing program are able to integrate critical thinking, independent judgment, provide leadership, synthesize knowledge, and promote the essential values of caring in their professional and personal lives.
The graduate nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 530, Washington D.C. 20036, 202/887-6791.
The Graduate Nursing Program offers the following specialty areas:
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP)
- Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS)
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Nursing Education (NED)
- Nursing Management and Leadership (NML)
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
The College of Nursing and Health Professions offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree. The objectives of the program are to prepare nurses at an advanced practice level who demonstrate professional leadership and foster a research climate in the practice of nursing. The graduate of the master’s degree program is a clinician, administrator, or educator who can:
- Synthesize knowledge and concepts from nursing, the sciences, and humanities as a foundation for advanced nursing practice;
- Integrate critical thinking and independent judgment to manage and provide advanced nursing practice with diverse populations;
- Participate in systematic inquiry and applied research to improve nursing care and enhance nursing as a profession;
- Integrate knowledge of the legal, socioeconomic, political, cultural, and ethical forces that affect patient care and the healthcare environment into the role of the advanced practice nurse;
- Function as an advocate, leader, and change agent to plan, implement, and evaluate healthcare in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, consumers, and policy makers; and
- Provide leadership in maintaining and promoting the professional values of caring, integrity, accountability, competence, collegiality, and lifelong learning.
- Integrate data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and use improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems.
- Integrate information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making.
Each student submits an application to both the Office of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Nursing Program. Application must be submitted by February 1 for fall or spring admission. Applications are not reviewed until all materials have been received by the Graduate Nursing Admissions and Progression Committee. Applicants must be admitted to graduate study before their materials can be reviewed by the Graduate Nursing Admissions and Progression Committee. (See Office of Graduate Studies, Admission to Graduate Studies.)
Both full-time and part-time study options are available based upon course availability. The minimum criteria for admission to the Graduate Nursing Program are:
- a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited school;
- minimum baccalaureate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
- satisfactory completion of a course in undergraduate statistics;
- unencumbered RN license;
- non-native speakers of English must provide an official report confirming a TOEFL score of 525 (paper test) or 71 (Internet based), or ILELTS score of 6.
- successful completion of the application process to both the Office of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Nursing Program.
- One year of full time employment or equivalent as a registered nurse is strongly recommended.
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
The family nurse practitioner acquires a broad base of knowledge and experience to provide direct healthcare services to people of all ages for the purposes of health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, and management of common acute and chronic illnesses. The family nurse practitioner focuses on care of patients and families, and functions primarily in ambulatory care settings. The population in primary care family practice includes newborns, infants, children, adolescents, pregnant and postpartum women, adults, and the elderly. There are a total of 42 credit hours in the specialty with 665 clinical hours.
The family nurse practitioner graduate is prepared to
- synthesize knowledge from nursing theories, the humanities, and evidence-based scientific clinical guidelines to guide assessment of health status for patients of all ages;
- demonstrate advanced practice clinical decision making, integrating critical thinking, to interpret patient and diagnostic test data and formulate differential diagnoses and a plan of care for patients and families across the lifespan;
- design and implement a mutually agreed upon management plan and therapeutic interventions with patients and families across the lifespan;
- evaluate and revise the documented management plan based on patient/family findings, problems, and expected outcomes of treatment;
- apply family assessment methodologies and research findings to improve and evaluate the care of adult patients and families across the adult lifespan;
- advocate for patients and families to provide cost-effective, culturally competent, ethical, quality care in and across healthcare settings; and
- model responsibility for continued professional development, integrity, accountability, competence, and credentialing as a family nurse practitioner.
To achieve the master’s degree, all students complete the nursing core courses. Students choosing the AG-ACNP, AG-PCNP, AG-CNS, FNP, PMHNP, and NED options also complete clinical core courses. Additional courses required in each specialty are indicated.
Graduate nursing clinical practice requirements may be completed in the student’s own geographic area. Each student is responsible for identifying preceptors and clinical sites. Approval of each preceptor and clinical site must be obtained from faculty prior to beginning clinical hours. A written agreement with each agency is required prior to initiating clinical experiences. Students may be required to visit campus in order to demonstrate clinical competency. Faculty also will validate clinical competency through site visits and/or conference calls with preceptors and students.
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Nursing Core Courses (18 hours)
Clinical Core Courses (9 hours)
Family Nurse Practitioner (15 hours)