Graduate Catalog 2010

Graduate Studies in Nursing


Jack Williams, Dean, College of Health Sciences
Leslie J. Higgins, Director, Graduate Studies in Nursing

Faculty: Chris Algren, Sharon Dowdy, Leslie Folds, Beth Youngblood.

Master of Science in Nursing

The MSN offers two distinct role options: advanced clinical practice, specializing in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) role, and nursing education, with an emphasis in Adult Health. Nursing education at the master's level builds upon baccalaureate nursing preparation. Program courses and content are organized to facilitate the progression of student learning from that of baccalaureate generalist to that of a specialist. The curriculum has two dimensions: core and specialization. Core courses are taken by all students and include Theory, Research, Statistics, Clinical Information Systems, and Issues, Policy, and Economics. Specialty courses are based upon the area of specialization.

Affiliation

Belmont University School of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Southern Council on Collegiate Education of Nursing. The graduate program is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. In addition, the School of Nursing holds the charter for the Omicron Phi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and is a member institution of the Nightingale Society.

Academic Policies

Policies and Procedures for Admission

A. Requirements for Admission to Graduate Program

To be considered for acceptance as a graduate student, the applicant must submit the following items and/or meet these requirements:

1. A completed application form.
2. The $50 application fee.
3. One official transcript indicating a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) from a nationally accredited degree-granting institution should be mailed directly to the Belmont University Office of Admissions from the originating institution.
4. One official transcript from all institutions attended should be sent directly to the Belmont University Office of Admissions from the originating institution.
5. A student may transfer up to 6 graduate hours with a grade of "B" (3.0) or above from another institution upon the recommendation of the Graduate Admissions Committee. No hours earned more than 5 years earlier will be accepted for transfer.
6. Proof of a current RN license from the student's state of residence and/or practice. A Tennessee RN license is required for clinical experiences in Tennessee.
7. Official scores for the Graduate Record Examination taken within the last five years should be sent to the Office of Admissions. GRE scores are not required for application to the Post MSN options.
8. The applicant must have at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate grade-point average on a 4.0 scale for full admission.
9. Two references are required. One should be from a faculty member who is familiar with the applicant's undergraduate nursing work, and one should be from a current nursing supervisor. Both letters should be on company letterhead and should be mailed directly to the Office of Admissions.
10. Applicant's interview with faculty.
11. Narrative statement of 1-2 pages in length describing the applicant's interest in Belmont's graduate nursing program, education goals, and career goals. Additional writing samples may be requested.

B. Departmental Screening

After a student submits an application form and undergraduate transcripts and meets all requirements for admission as defined in the admission guidelines, the applicant's file is forwarded to the Graduate Admissions Committee for review. The committee can make one of the following recommendations:

1. Full admission when the applicant has a B.S.N. degree and meets GPA and GRE requirements.
2. Conditional admission with individually determined stipulations.
3. Denial of admission.

C. Admission to Courses for Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students currently enrolled in the Belmont RN-BSN program, and who are within six (6) hours of completing their degree, are eligible to take graduate courses as non-degree seeking students. These courses may not be used as hours toward the undergraduate degree. These students may take up to six (6) hours of graduate coursework prior to completion of the BSN degree. Students with a BSN degree are eligible to take 6 hours of graduate coursework as non-degree seeking students.


D. Financial Aid

All students taking four (4) or more hours are eligible for graduate scholarships. In addition, students taking six (6) or more hours are eligible to apply for Professional Nurse Traineeship funding which is requested each year. Application forms for scholarship and traineeship financial aid may be obtained from the School of Nursing. Information on federal loan programs is listed under "Financing Your Education" in the catalog.

E. Limitation on Completion of Requirements

A graduate student in the master's program must complete all degree requirements within a six (6) year period. Time limits shall be computed from and will include the first semester of credit applied to the degree program.

F. Graduation Requirement - Comprehensive Exam for FNP track

All FNP students are required to take a comprehensive exam during the final clinical semester they are enrolled in the MSN program. The comprehensive exam includes questions on all content areas in the MSN program. Students who are not successful on the first attempt may take the exam one additional time. Students who are unsuccessful on the exam two times will have their file reviewed by the Admission Committee. The student must complete any remedial work or retake any courses required by the Admission Committee prior to being approved to retake the comprehensive exam. Passing the comprehensive exam is required for graduation from the FNP track or FNP post-master's certificate.

Readmission

Students who fail to register for courses during a given semester are required to apply for readmission in the subsequent semester in which they expect to enroll for courses.


G. Post Master's Options

Post-MSN options are available for those students who have already earned a MSN and desire additional specialized preparation. Post-master's students must make at least a "B" (3.0) in all courses to remain in the program.

FNP: Students who have an M.S.N. and desire specialty certification as a family nurse practitioner may take a 24 -credit hour post master's option. Students are awarded a certificate upon completion of their course of study and are eligible to sit for a national Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam.

The post-MSN specialty certification as a family nurse practitioner consists of the following courses:
N5010 Advanced Pathophysiology 3 hours
N5140 Clinical Pharmacology 3 hours
N5300 Advanced Health Assessment 3 hours
N5310 Primary Health Care I 4 hours
N5311 Primary Health Care II 4 hours
N5320 Intensive Practicum 4 hours
N5700 Issues, Policy & Economics 3 hours


Nursing Education: Students who have an M.S.N. and desire preparation in nursing education may take a 12 credit hour post master's option. Students are awarded a certificate upon completion of their course of study and are eligible to sit for the NLN Certified Nurse Educator Examination.

The post-MSN preparation in nursing education consists of the following courses:
N5340 Perspectives in Nursing Education 2 hours
N5431 Instructional Strategies 3 hours
N5432 Curriculum Processes 4 hours
N5440 Practicum I for Nurse Educators 1 hour
N5441 Practicum II for Nurse Educators 1 hour
N5442 Practicum III for Nurse Educators 1 hour


MSN Program of Study

All students enrolled in the MSN program will take the core courses listed below. Following the core courses, the specialty courses are listed for the Clinical FNP track and the Nurse Educator track.

Master of Science in Nursing Hours
Core 23
NUR 5010, Advanced Pathophysiology   3  
NUR 5020, Theoretical Foundations of Graduate Nursing Practice   3  
NUR 5040, Advanced Nursing Research   3  
NUR 5041, Research Applications   3  
NUR 5050, Statistics in Health Care Research   3  
NUR 5100, Transitions to Graduate Nursing   2  
NUR 5700, Issues, Policy and Economics   3  
NUR 5710, Clinical Information Systems   3  
Choose One Track:      
1) Family Nurse Practitioner Clinical Track     18
NUR 5300, Advanced Health Assessment   3  
NUR 5140, Clinical Pharmacology   3  
NUR 5310, Primary Health Care I   4  
NUR 5311, Primary Health Care II   4  
NUR 5320, Intensive Practicum   4  
2) Nurse Educator Track     20
NUR 5430, Educational Perspectives   2  
NUR 5311, Instructional Strategies   3  
NUR 5410, Adult Health I   3  
NUR 5432, Curriculum Processes   4  
NUR 5411, Adult Health II   3  
NUR 5421 and 5422, Adult Practicum I, II   1,1  
NUR 5440 (1), 5441 (1), 5442 (1), Education Practicum   3  
Total 41-43

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  Course Descriptions


NUR 5010. Advanced Pathophysiology (3). The course is designed to provide the post-baccalaureate nurse with the opportunity to utilize undergraduate science background and clinical experiences in the examination of pathophysiologic mechanisms of certain disease processes. Selected client case studies will be utilized.

NUR 5020. Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice (3). This course focuses on the analysis and utilization of nursing, family and other related theories and conceptual models and their relationship to research and practice as a graduate-prepared nurse.

NUR 5040. Advanced Nursing Research (3). Prerequisite: NUR 5050. Methodology including design, sampling, data collection, and data analysis is explored in depth. Quantitative and qualitative methods are studied. Application of knowledge is evidenced by synthesis of the current nursing and health-related literature into a written state-of-the-science review.

NUR 5041. Research Applications (3). Prerequisite: NUR 5040 and NUR 5050. In this course students have the opportunity to apply research principles learned in NUR 5040 Advanced Nursing Research. This course will include participation in data analysis, critique of research articles, and application of strategies for utilization of research findings to enhance evidence-based practice. The course is designed to help students learn how to use research principles to evaluate and manage their clinical practices.

NUR 5050. Statistics in Health Care Research (3). This course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential statistics used in health care research. Emphasis is placed on how and when to use statistical techniques as well as interpretation of statistics. Computer applications also are explored.

NUR 5100. Transition to Graduate Nursing Practice (2). This course will provide a common knowledge base for all students pursuing graduate study in nursing. Emphasis will be placed on the roles of advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, and nurse administrators. Areas such as role development, scope of practice, credentialing, and scholarly activities will be examined.

NUR 5140. Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice (3). Pharmacokinetics, dynamics and therapeutics of major drug classifications in current therapeutic use are discussed. Principles and prescribing practices for advanced practice nurses are emphasized.

NUR 5300. Advanced Health Assessment (3). This course provides an opportunity for students to explore and practice advance health assessment techniques utilized by nurse practitioners. Students participate in class laboratory and clinical activities to enhance assessment skills. Health promotion and maintenance activities throughout the life span are discussed.

NUR 5310. Primary Health Care I (4). Prerequisites: NUR 5300. This course encompasses both didactic and clinical content. Health promotion and disease prevention throughout the life span are discussed. Students explore the management of acute and chronic illnesses throughout the life span. Emphasis is on diagnosis and management of clinical problems. Clinical situations are provided for students to begin integration and synthesis of the didactic component of the course.

NUR 5311. Primary Health Care II (4). Prerequisites: NUR 5300, NUR 5140, NUR 5310. This course is a continuation of the concepts of health promotion, disease prevention, and disease management begun in NUR 5310 (PHCI). In addition to didactic content and clinical experiences, students will participate in a clinical conference designed to encourage peer feedback. Emphasis is placed on continuing synthesis and integration of content in the classroom and in the clinical setting.

NUR 5320. Family Nurse Practitioner Intensive Practicum (4). Prerequisite: NUR 5311. This course integrates the knowledge and skills acquired in NUR 5310 and NUR 5311 in an intensive clinical semester. Students are expected to demonstrate significant synthesis of diagnostic, management, and evaluation skills in the clinical setting, as well as in clinical conferences.

NUR 5410. Advanced Nursing Management of Adults I (3). This course focuses on evidence-based practice for the advanced nursing management of adults with acute and chronic health problems.

NUR 5411. Advanced Nursing Management of Adults II (3).
This course focuses on evidence-base nursing practice for the prevention of disease and maintenance and restoration of health in culturally diverse adult patients with acute and chronic health problems.

NUR 5421. Adult Health Care Practicum  I (1). This course provides an opportunity for students to aquire and demonstrate advanced knowledge and clinical decision-making skills in the care of adult patients with acute and chronic health problems in various clinical and community settings. Emphasis is placed on teaching of patients and staff in the clinical settings. Clinical sites for the course are negotiated individualy with the MSN program faculty. A total of 120 clock hours or its equivalent is required for the one hour of academic credit.

NUR 5422. Adult Health Care Practicum  II (1). This course provides an opportunity for students to aquire and demonstrate advanced knowledge and clinical decision-making skills in the care of adult patients with acute and chronic health problems in various clinical and community settings. Emphasis is placed on teaching of patients and staff in the clinical settings. Clinical sites for the course are negotiated individualy with the MSN program faculty. A total of 120 clock hours or its equivalent is required for the one hour of academic credit.


NUR 5430. Perspectives in Nursing Education (2). This course provides an overview of nursing education including hallmarks of nursing education, education in clinical settings, educational philosophy, learning theories, roles of nurse educators, and recent trends in nursing education.

NUR 5431. Instructional Strategies for the Educator (3). This course provides an introduction to adult learning theory, educational theory, methods, and strategies for nursing instruction in classroom, clinical, and on-line education.

NUR 5432. Curriculum Processes in Nursing Education (4). This course examines the process and issues of curriculum development, revision, and evaluation in healthcare education settings. It examines the nursing faculty role in a variety of settings, including schools of nursing, clinical settings, and the community.

NUR 5440. Practicum I for the Nurse Educator (1). This course provides the student with the opportunity to apply theory, methods, and strategies for nursing education in classroom, clinical, or other settings. Students will become active participants by engaging in a practicum experience supervised by faculty and precepted by nurse educators.

NUR 5441. Practicum II for the Nurse Educator (1). This course provides the student with the opportunity to apply theory, methods, and strategies for nursing education in classroom, clinical, or other settings. Students will become active participants by engaging in a practicum experience supervised by faculty and precepted by nurse educators.

NUR 5442. Practicum III for the Nurse Educator (1). This course provides the student with the opportunity to apply theory, methods, and strategies for nursing education in classroom, clinical, or other settings. Students will become active participants by engaging in a practicum experience supervised by faculty and precepted by nurse educators.

NUR 5510. Nursing Administration I (3). Concepts and theories related to nursing, organizational structure, leadership, and management are used to examine the domains, roles, and responsibilities, of the nursing manager in the context of health care settings. The Scope of Practice and Standards for the Nurse Administrator will direct the content. Note: This course is not currently offered.

NUR 5511. Nursing Administration II (3). This course will enable the student to explore leadership skills necessary to manage change in complex healthcare delivery systems. Students will examine a problem from multiple perspectives (financial, policy, legal, ethical, etc.) and provide in-depth analysis with specific recommendations for change or improvement. This course is not currently offered.

NUR 5520. Financial Management for Nurse Administrators (3). This course focuses on financial management in healthcare organizations. Students will learn how to prepare budgets as well as interpret and use financial data to improve performance, operational efficiency, and patient safety. This course is not currently offered.

NUR 5530. Healthcare Informatics for Nursing Administrators (3). This course focuses on information system concepts and technologies used in the processing of nursing information to arrive at clinical decision-making. Analysis of healthcare information systems in clinical management, nursing administration, education, and research will be explored. This course is not currently offered.

NUR 5540. Practicum in Nursing Administration (3). This course offers students the opportunity to apply theories and management strategies in leadership/administrative roles in selected healthcare settings. Students will be active participants by engaging in a practicum experience supervised by faculty and precepted by a nurse administrator. This course is not currently offered.

NUR 5700. Nursing and Health Care Issues: Trends, Policy and Economics (3). This course provides a forum for the exploration and evaluation of current major issues and problems in health care. It prepares a student for efficient stewardship of resources and organizational management within diverse health care settings, with an emphasis of financial, economic, operational, and strategic planning as it relates to the economics of the health care delivery system.

NUR 5710. Clinical Information Systems (3). This course focuses on the application of informatics technologies that support information management within the health care setting, including the dissemination of health care data, health care decision support, clinical systems and guidelines, and emerging patterns and trends.

NUR 5910. Independent Study (1-3). This course provides opportunity to pursue study to meet individual student needs.

NUR 5920. International Health Care Delivery Systems (3). This course examines the health care delivery system of a selected country, its philosophy, and technology of the country (countries) visited. The system of the selected country is compared to the health care delivery system of the United States. Learning activities include immersion into the selected country, lecture, small group discussion, pertinent readings, and clinical practice.

NUR 5930. Independent Study: Clinical Practice (1-3). This course provides the opportunity to pursue additional mentored clinical study to meet individual student needs.


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