Graduate tracks offered through the College are focused on preparing advanced practice nurses in direct care provider roles as a family nurse practitioner, acute care nurse practitioner, adult clinical nurse specialist, or in an indirect care provider role as a leader in health care systems. The Master of Science degree is awarded upon successful completion of one of the five tracks.
Advanced practice nursing is distinguished by autonomy of practice and characterized by both increased complexity in clinical decision making and skills in managing organizations and health care environments.
Comprehensive health assessment skills provide a foundation for the critical thinking used in diagnostic decision making and treatments of complex human responses of diverse individuals, families and communities to health problems. Advanced practice nursing students are guided in classroom and clinical experiences to formulate clinical decisions to manage common health problems, acute and chronic illnesses and promotion of wellness.
Theory and research form a central core of knowledge for all tracks in the master's program. Building on content in these areas, all students integrate education, management, leadership, and consultation into their clinical experiences as they practice in a variety of settings. Practice sites for clinical courses are individually arranged with the student. Classes are usually offered one day per week and may be offered on campus, or through web-based courses.
Students who successfully complete their program of study are eligible to sit for the national certification examination in their area of expertise.
Graduate Program Objectives
- Demonstrate clinical decision making skills in the delivery and management of care for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
- Utilize theoretical bases and scholarly inquiry to intervene therapeutically to improve patient outcomes.
- Utilize leadership, communication and political skills in augmenting optimal health care outcomes and policies.
- Incorporate human, fiscal and technology resources in providing and managing advanced care.
- Successfully complete national certification appropriate to areas of specialty.
- Continue life-long learning including pursuit of doctoral education in nursing.