The College of St. Scholastica

Graduate Catalog

Master of Science in Nursing

Master of Science, Advanced Practice Nursing

Purpose

 The Master of Science in Nursing Program educates professional nurses for advanced practice in nursing either as clinical nurse specialists in adult nursing, adult/gerontological nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (family or adult) and provides a foundation for doctoral study in nursing. Students can opt for a dual track of study by adding a gerontological specialization to any of the advanced practice tracks.

Post-Master's options are available in all tracks.

The curriculum has, as a basis, the integration of nursing science, concepts and theories from related disciplines, along with practice and research. Opportunity is provided to pursue individual interests with respect to clientele and health care settings.

Learning Outcomes

Expected outcomes of the program are designed to prepare graduates who will:

  1. synthesize knowledge from nursing and related disciplines as a basis for advanced nursing practice across the lifespan;
  2. implement roles of advanced nursing practice responsive to changing environmental forces;
  3. integrate leadership skills, teaching and collaborative strategies to facilitate policy changes that augment health;
  4. integrate and apply evidence based research to advanced nursing practice with individuals and populations across the lifespan;
  5. utilize knowledge of political, economic and social issues in ethical and legal decision-making to resolve dilemmas of practice;
  6. demonstrate a commitment to the advancement of professional nursing and to the professional growth of self and peers.

General Information

The Graduate program is designed for baccalaureate-prepared RNs, particularly those who live in rural or medically underserved areas of the upper Midwest. Whenever possible, clinical experiences are arranged at appropriate sites near the student's home. Eligibility for the master's degree requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 42 semester credits for the Clinical Nurse Specialist track, 52 for the Adult/Gerontological and Family Nurse Practitioner tracks; and 55 for the psychiatric mental health tracks. All program requirements must be completed within seven years. Students who begin the program in the summer and who carry approximately 9-13 credits per semester can complete the program six semesters. Informational materials detailing aspects of the program is mailed to all applicants.

Format

The program accommodates working professionals and can be completed in two to three years depending upon the track chosen. Classes are conveniently scheduled and may be offered in the late afternoon, one full day format, or weekends. Some course assignments are done through innovative learning formats such as on line and other web-based technologies. It is recommended that students who wish to pursue a full time academic schedule work no more than 0.6 time.

Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (ANP/GNP) Track

The ANP/GNP track prepares advanced practice nurses who are qualified for advanced practice in adult and geriatric health care across the health continuum. This practice includes independent and interdependent decision making and direct accountability for clinical judgment. Graduate preparation expands the comprehensiveness of the adult nurse practitioner's role to include participation in use of research, development, and implementation of health policy, leadership, education, case management, and consultation. Nurse practitioners, primary care or specialty physicians serve as preceptors. A minimum of 54 semester credits are required for graduation: BIO 5125, Bio 5777, NSG 6605, NSG 6610, NSG 6614, NSG 8215, NSG 6633, NSG 6635, NSG 6639, NSG 6671, NSG 6677, NSG 6683, NSG 6687, NSG 8200, NSG 8675, NSG 8680.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Track

The CNS track prepares nurses to be leaders who are clinical experts in adult nursing, provide direct patient care, and work in consultation, research and education. CNS practice focuses on three spheres of influence: the client, staff and organization. Clinical Nurse Specialists practice in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, private practice and other community based settings such as industry, home care and HMOs. In the CNS option, students have the opportunity to pursue individual interests with respect to adult clientele or health care settings. A minimum of 44 semester credits are required for graduation: BIO 5777, NSG 6605, NSG 6610, NSG 6614, NSG 8215, NSG 6671, NSG 6677, NSG 8200, NSG 8210, NSG 8211, NSG 8212, NSG 8675, NSG 8680
Program offered only when there are a sufficient number of students.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Track

The FNP track prepares nurses to be leaders who manage the primary health care needs of families, from infancy through adulthood. A family-centered approach to health promotion, disease prevention, and intervention in illness responses of individuals is emphasized. Nurse practitioners, primary care or specialty physicians serve as preceptors. A minimum of 51 semester credits are required for graduation: BIO 5777, NSG 6605, NSG 6610, NSG 6614, NSG 8215, NSG 6629, NSG 6633, NSG 6671, NSG 6677, NSG 6681, NSG 6683, NSG 6685, NSG 6687, NSG 8200, NSG 8675, NSG 8680

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): Family Track

The PMHNP track prepares advanced practice nurses who are qualified to address the psychiatric and medical health needs of adults with serious mental illnesses, substance abuse problems, and/or common medical conditions related to those psychiatric and/or substance abuse problems. Community mental health promotion, as well as disease prevention and intervention are emphasized. Nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, psychiatrists, and other licensed mental health professionals serve as preceptors. A minimum of 57 semester credits are required for graduation: BIO 5777, NSG 6605, NSG 6610, NSG 8215, NSG 6662, NSG 8535, NSG 8540, NSG 6671, NSG 6677, NSG 6678, NSG 6691, NSG 8200, NSG 8510, NSG 8675, NSG 8680

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist (GNP or Gero-CNS) Track

Due to changes in the certification requirements, CNS students wishing for Gero certification need to submit an application no later than 12-31-13.  Nurse practitioners wishing for Gero certification need to complete coursework and submit an application by 12-31-14.

Admission Requirements

Current Admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.

Acceptance Categories

Full Acceptance: granted to those students who meet all admission requirements. 
Provisional Acceptance: granted to those students who have not submitted all required materials but who otherwise have met the admission requirements. Students are allowed one semester to submit remaining credentials and are not eligible for Financial Aid until receiving Full Acceptance into the program. 
Probationary Admission: granted to those students who do not meet the GPA requirements but who otherwise exhibit reasonable evidence to indicate their ability to do satisfactory graduate work. Students will be removed from probationary status after completion of 6 semester credits of satisfactory work in graduate courses. Students are not eligible for Financial Aid until receiving Full Acceptance into the program.

Transfer Credits

Students may apply transfer graduate credits they have earned from an accredited college or university toward completion of their St. Scholastica degree. A maximum number of six transfer credits can be applied. The transfer credit must have been completed no more than seven years prior to the date the St. Scholastica degree is completed. Forms to request transfer of credits can be obtained from the Graduate Studies Office. The College of St. Scholastica will consider transfer credits from students who:

  • Submit a Credit Transfer Application form. 
  • Submit an official transcript sent from the accredited institution. 
  • Submit the course syllabus, catalog or other pertinent descriptive information. 
  • Demonstrate course content is applicable to the enrolled program. 
  • Have earned course grade of 3.0 or better. 
  • Completed the course seven years prior to applying to the St. Scholastica program. 

Degree-seeking students planning to enroll in courses at another institution with the intent to transfer the credits to The College of St. Scholastica will need to send a written request and supporting course documentation to the Chair, Department of Graduate Nursing prior to enrolling in the course. Written approval will be provided if the course is acceptable for transfer.

Course Descriptions

NSG 6605: Theorizing Nursing Practice
4 credits
A critical investigation of concepts, middle range theories, and family theories used by advanced practice health care providers in health promotion and disease prevention interventions with clients and families to achieve health outcomes.

NSG 6610: Theories of Human Development Across the Lifespan
2 credits
This course explores theories of human development across the life cycle from psychoanalytic, relational, interpersonal, sociocultural, cognitive, biological, and evolutionary perspectives.  Emphasis is placed on the application of these theories to health promotion in advanced nursing practice in a multicultural society.

NSG 6614: Health Care Policy  
2 credits 
Role of the nurse in influencing health policy is investigated. Application of change and systems theories to the process of health policy development is explored. Web-based course.

NSG 6627: Health Assessment Adult  
3 credits 
Advanced physical, psychological, social and developmental skills necessary for primary care practice with adult clients. Principles and techniques of data collection, communication and physical examination are emphasized. Basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures are explored. Web-based course on campus seminars, 45 laboratory hours.

NSG 6629: Health Assessment Pediatric  
2 credits
Advanced physical, psychological, social and developmental skills necessary for advanced practice nursing with pediatric clients. Principles and techniques of data collection, communication and physical examination are emphasized. Basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures are explored. Web-based course on campus seminars.

NSG 6633: Health Assessment and Promotion of the Older Adult  
2 credits 
Analysis and application of theory and research related to health assessment and health promotion of older adults. Implementation of evidence-based advanced physical, psychological, social and developmental assessment techniques necessary for health promotion and illness prevention activities along with diagnosis of acute, chronic and functional health challenges with the older adult. Web-based course on campus seminars: 15 didactic and 45 independent clinical hours. Prerequisite: Post-Master's status or enrolled in master's program at CSS. Pre or Co-requisite: NSG 8215.

NSG 6635: Advanced Pharmacology: Older Adult 
2 credits 
Application of theory and research related to advanced gerontological pharmacotherapeutics. Includes pharmacologic and non pharmacologic interventions in the management of acute, chronic physical and mental health disorders for the older adult. Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in relation to the physiological changes in the older adult are stressed. Assessment, decision-making processes and client education for appropriate drug use are addressed. Pre- or Co-requisite: NSG 6605, NSG 8200, NSG 8675, N6633, N6677.

NSG 6639: Health Care Management II: Older Adult  
6 credits 
Intensive clinical experience focusing on the application of evidence based guidelines in care management of the older adult with complex health needs in a variety of settings. Nursing care and the influence of support systems are evaluated for their impact on client outcomes. Includes monitoring and support of client physical and behavioral changes; modification of care for acute and chronic conditions in accordance with assessment, test findings and client responses; and assessment of adherence to pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions. Web-based course on campus seminars. 190 clinical hours.

NSG 6662: Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing  
2 credits 
Introduction to theories, concepts and models, ethics relevant to the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner's role in the care of persons with mental illnesses and persons/populations at risk for mental illness. Emphasis is placed on neurobiological theories of mental illness as well as developmental and psychodynamic theories.  Pre- or co-requisite: NSG 6605, 6610, 8675.

NSG 6671: Rural/Global Health
2 credits
Focuses on rural health and rural health issues related to health care and health care delivery. The role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in the delivery of health care to rural populations is explored. Issues and trends in rural health and rural health care delivery are investigated.

NSG 6677: Advanced Pharmacology  
4 credits 
Principles of drug therapies commonly used by advanced practice nurses. Includes pharmacological action of drugs, assessment issues and a decision making process for appropriate use and client education.  45 hours supervised practice for CNS students.

NSG 6678: Advanced Psychopharmachology  
2 credits 
Builds on the advanced pharmacology content of NSG 6677. Focuses specifically on the pharmacology of psychotropic drugs used with adult populations, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, psychostimulants, cognition enhancers, and miscellaneous agents commonly prescribed for the management of acute and chronic psychiatric conditions. Pays particular attention to the practical issues of starting, stopping, switching, and monitoring psychotropic medications, as well as managing medication side effects and providing the psycho-education necessary for successful psychopharmacologic management. Lays the foundation for safe, successful, collaborative, prescriptive practice for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners. Web-based course on campus seminars. Prerequisite: NSG 6677 or equivalent.

NSG 6681: Primary Health Care Management I:  FNP
6 credits 
Knowledge and skills necessary for prevention and management of common acute and chronic illnesses in infants, children and adolescents. Aspects of assessment, diagnosis, management and evaluation derived from pathophysiologic, psychosocial, spiritual and developmental data bases are addressed. This course must be taken the semester immediately following NSG 6629, or requires faculty approval. Web-based course, on campus seminars. (Remove the above lines)  Prerequisites: NSG 6605, 6627, 6629, 6677, 8200, 8675, BIO 5777; 145 clinical hours.

NSG 6683: Primary Health Care Management II  
6 credits
Knowledge and skills necessary for prevention and management of acute and chronic illnesses in adults and older adults. Underlying pathophysiologic and psychosocial bases for occurrence and detection are addressed with emphasis on management of common acute and chronic illnesses. It is required that NSG 6627 be taken within one year of this course, otherwise remedial work will be required Web-based course on campus seminars. 180 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6605, 6610, 6627, 6677, 6681 (FNPs only), 8200, 8675, BIO 5777.

NSG 6685: Prenatal Health Care  
3 credits
Introduction to the role of a family nurse practitioner in the promotion of healthy pregnancy and lactation, and the management of frequently encountered problems in a pregnant or lactating woman. Web-based course on campus seminars. 45 clinical hours. Co-requisite: NSG 6683.

NSG 6687: Nurse Practitioner Preceptorship  
6 credits 
Intensive clinical experience with a focus on prevention, health promotion, client education and illness management of individuals and families. Web-based course on campus seminars. 200 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6683, 6681, and 6685 (FNP).

NSG 6691:  PMHNP Preceptorship  
5 credits
Exploration of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner role as primary mental health care provider. Role components include integration of medical, nursing and psychiatric interventions into a holistic plan of care, interpretation of results of care, modification as appropriate and utilization of appropriate referral sources Web-based course on campus seminars. 135 clinical hours. Pre- or co-requisite: NSG 6665.

NSG 6999: Independent Study  
1-2 credits
With faculty guidance, the development of objectives and implementation of a protocol for independent work related to the practice of advanced nursing. Prerequisite: consent of faculty.

NSG 8200: Outcomes Research
3 credits
Knowledge development in areas such as the translation of research into practice, the evaluation of practice, the design of activities aimed at improving the reliability of health care practice and outcomes, and the participation in collaborative research. The course emphasizes the use of analytical methods to develop best practices and practice guidelines and to facilitate the evaluation of systems of care that will improve patient outcomes.

NSG 8210: Clinical Specialist: Role and Leadership  
4 credits 
Examination of the component roles and theories relevant to clinical nurse specialist practice, e.g., clinical expert, teacher, consultant and researcher within the context of spheres of influence (client, staff and systems) and leadership. Study of major variables influencing health care which impact on clinical specialist component roles of consultant to peers and/or colleagues and teacher to staff and/or health care consumers. Web-based course on campus seminars. 12 class hours, 145 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6605, 8200, 8675.

NSG 8211: Phenomena of Nursing Practicum  
5 credits 
Application of the four defining characteristics of nursing (phenomena, theory application, nursing action, and effects of action) to the care of clients with actual and potential health problems. A holistic approach within the 3 spheres of CNS influence (client, staff, organizational system) is used in health promotion and illness intervention activities. Seminars focus on management of the health status of adults with emphasis on the independent dimension of nursing and clinical diagnostic reasoning. Web-based course on campus seminars. 180 clinical hours. Prerequisite: BIO 5777, NSG 6605, NSG 6610, NSG 6627, NSG 8200, 8675. Pre- or co-requisite: NSG 6621; 6677.

NSG 8212: Practicum: Clinical specialization in Adult Nursing  
5 credits 
Emphasis on clarification of the adult nursing clinical specialist role functions within the 3 spheres of CNS influence (client, staff, organizational system) and their effect on client outcomes. The component sub roles of the clinical nurse specialist (clinical expert, teacher, consultant and researcher) are synthesized as the student gives direct and indirect care to adults with complex and multifaceted health problems under the preceptorship of a CNS. Web-based course on campus seminars. 180 clinical hours. Prerequisite: NSG 6621, 6625.

NSG 8215: Lifespan Health Assessment
4 credits
Advanced physical, psychological, social and developmental skills necessary for advanced nursing practice with adolescent and adult clients. Principles and techniques of data collection, communication and physical examination are emphasized. Health promotion concepts based on patient's age, culture, setting will be explored and applied. Basic laboratory and diagnostic procedures are explored.  Prerequisites:  BIO 5777

NSG 8510: Assessment and Management of Psychiatric Disorders in Adult Clients
6 credits
Clinical and didactic course that explores the diagnostic criteria and treatment modalities for major categories of psychiatric illness. Articulates and develops the content areas and clinical skills necessary for entry level advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing, including psychiatric interviewing and assessment, DSM-IV differential diagnosis, and holistic management of individual, adult clients with acute and chronic psychiatric disorders and/or common mental health problems. Develops additional competencies in mental health promotion/disease prevention and psychoeducation, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacologic treatment. Meets the professional standards of ANA and AACN, as well as CSS graduate program outcome #4. (See the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook, page 4.) Prerequisites NSG 6662, NSG 6677, NSG 6678.

NSG 8535:  Assessment and Management of Psychiatric Disorders in Children
6 credits
Development of skills necessary for holistic management of common and recurrent psychiatric symptoms/conditions of child/adolescent/family clients. Emphasizes initial contact and comprehensive, coordinated and continuous care based on pathophysiologic, psychotherapeutic, spiritual, and developmental data. Includes assessment of community mental health needs and psychoeducational as well as psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic approaches with child/adolescent/family clients.  Examination of the knowledge base, roles, diagnostics and psychotheraptutics employed in advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing with child/adolescent/family clients. Diagnostic classification systems and treatment modalities related to psychiatric illness are explored. Aspects of health promotion and disease prevention in advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing are also explored. 135 clinical hours.

NSG 8540:  Advanced Practice in Psychiatric Nursing
6 credits
Development of skills needed to function as a beginning advanced practice group leader/therapist with multicultural clients in a variety of socio-cultural contexts. Includes application of theoretical principles of group psychotherapy with clients experiencing psychiatric and mental health problems. 135 clinical hours.

NSG 8675: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
4 credits
Course description: Epidemiology and Biostatistics introduces key concepts to identify causes of disease, examines study designs used in the field with SPSS program analysis to provide solutions for relative risk, odds ratios, survival analysis, and logistic regression. Epidemiology examines clinical infectious diseases encountered in primary care settings and offers an epidemiologic perspective on cardiovascular diseases with emphasis on prevention and management in the elderly in a clinical setting.

NSG 8680: Leadership Seminar
1 credit
Facilitates the transition of graduate nursing students to advanced clinical practice. Emphasizes the concrete goals and tasks of the transition to practice as well as the transformation of identity from student to independent professional. Identifies the nature and scope of professionalism in the discipline. Provides an opportunity for networking with student colleagues statewide and for the creative visioning of an independent, nurse-run, multispecialty outpatient clinic for the delivery of collaborative primary care. Prerequisite: Enrollment during the semester in which graduation is scheduled. 

BIO 5125: Biology of Aging
2 credits
Biology of Aging is a course designed to allow study and understanding of the principles of aging applied to the anatomical and physiologic systems of the body. The course is divided into three portions; (1) Examination of the basic principles of aging from the population level; (2) Events of aging seen at the cellular level; and (3) Events of aging observed at the system level of the body.

BIO 5777: Advanced Pathophysiology
4 credits
Advanced Pathophysiology is a course intended to broaden and deepen the students' knowledge of the normal and abnormal functional processes of the human body. The subject of study assumes a prior understanding of basic physiologic principles that is, in turn, built upon knowledge of cellular function and biochemical mechanisms. The ultimate goal of the course is to prepare students to visualize the mechanical functioning of the body in health and disease so that they may better understand the principles of prevention and treatment.

Electives:
NSG 8410: Global Health Perspectives for DNP Practice
2 credits
International service learning elective course for graduate nursing. Web -enhanced course with required on-campus meeting and 60 clinical hours. Emphasis on family, pediatric, and women's healthcare in a selected developing country. Course culminates in a health care mission trip to a third world site. Students prepare by participating in online learning modules and discussions, course projects, and on-campus class meetings.

NSG 8685: Primary Care Procedures
1 credit
Elective skill development course with online and face-to-face didactic and lab for graduate nursing student. Addresses knowledge and skills necessary to perform primary care procedures including suturing, splinting, incision, and drainage (I&D).