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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 the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) 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.
To achieve the Master of Science in Nursing degree, all students complete nursing core courses and clinical core courses. Students select one of the following specialty areas:
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
- Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG-CNS)
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-PCNP)
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Nursing Education (NED)
- Nursing Management and Leadership (NML)
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
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.
The objectives of the Master of Science in Nursing 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.
Graduate Studies Admission Criteria and Application Process
Refer to the Admission section of the bulletin for information about Graduate Studies admission criteria and the online application process.
MSN Program Admission Requirements
The MSN program offers admission for fall, spring, or summer. Refer to www.usi.edu/online-learning/online-programs/master-of-science-in-nursing for application deadlines. Applications are not reviewed until all materials have been received. Both full-time and part-time study options are available based upon course availability. MSN-specific admission requirements include:
- 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;
- One year of full time employment or equivalent as a registered nurse is strongly recommended.
Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: Primary (42 hours)
The adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner acquires a broad base of knowledge and experience to provide direct healthcare services to those age 13 through the oldest old. The degree focuses on health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, and management of common acute and chronic illnesses for these age groups. To meet the needs of an aging population, the adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner functions primarily in ambulatory care, including clinics, veteran services, home care and other primary care settings. There are a total of 42 credit hours in the specialty with 665 clinical hours. Following program completion, graduates will be eligible to sit for national certification.
The adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner graduate is prepared to:
- synthesize knowledge from nursing theories, 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 from age 13 through oldest-old;
- design and implement a mutually agreed upon management plan and therapeutic interventions with patients and families;
- evaluate and revise the documented management plans;
- apply assessment methodologies and research findings to improve and evaluate the care of older adolescents and adult patients throughout their lifespans;
- 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 adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.
Nursing Core Courses (18 hours)
Clinical Core Courses (9 hours)
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (15 hours)
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