Course Descriptions

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

NRS 502 - Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives in Nursing

(Credits: 3.00)

This course will assist students to gain an understanding of philosophies, theories, and concepts relevant to the nursing profession. Students will examine and critique theories and philosophies that have influenced contemporary nursing and education. Students will explore philosophical and conceptual knowledge as it pertains to nursing, empirical, ethical, aesthetic and personal knowing, and advanced practice. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 503 - Advanced Health Assessment

(Credits: 2.00)

Building upon foundational health assessment education, principles of interviewing, data interpretation, diagnostic reasoning, advanced biopsychosocial, lifespan and environmental assessment skills are presented. Students will engage in discrimination and analysis of common abnormal assessment findings and the process of differential diagnosis development. System specific health promotion and disease prvention strategies will be examined. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 504 - Seminar in Contemporary Health Care

(Credits: 3.00)

The focus of this course is to examine and analyze current issues in health care. Access, quality and economic issues are evaluated in relationship to health care and health care delivery systems. Major stakeholders, including consumers, providers, payers, the government and regulators are considered. Federal, state and local policies and political structures are studied in relationship to nursing and health care. Ethical issues are explored within the context of current health care policy and decision making. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 505 - Advanced Pharmacology

(Credits: 2.00)

This course will focus on pharmacotherapeutics of broad categories of drugs used in the treatment of selected major health problems. Students will study the principles of pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics. Emphasis will be on client education and decision making related to the safe and effective management of drug regimens. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 509 - Advanced Pathophysiology

(Credits: 2.00)

This course will promote a more in-depth understanding of pathophysiology, cellular physiology and genomic theory as they relate to disease management, interpretation and nursing care delivery. Research theory from various disciplines will be used to evaluate the inter-relational patterns associated with course-specific physiologic systems. Emphasis will be placed on the nurse’s interprofessional role associated with collaboration and consultation. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 511 - Nurse as Leader

(Credits: 3.00)

This course focuses on nursing leadership and related leadership strategy models in the complex healthcare systems of the 21st century within a Franciscan perspective. Students will analyze the development of today’s leaders through the investigation of leadership theories and models. Leadership and the effects of leadership on organizational change, work environment and educational initiatives will be analyzed on individual, group and system levels. Students will examine their personal leadership style, investigate student leadership, develop a plan for style growth and refinement, reflect on their personal and organizational core values and examine their leadership perspective as it relates to their organization. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 512 - Curriculum Development and Program Evaluation

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, the student explores, analyzes, and evaluates the process of developing a curriculum using an evidence-based approach. The student will design the framework for a nursing curriculum. Combined with microteaching opportunities, the student will develop and refine program outcomes and a course within a curriculum framework. In addition, the student will identify learning opportunities for a course that are congruent with the course outcomes. The student will identify evaluation strategies that provide data regarding the learner’s achievement of specific outcomes. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 513 - Evaluation in Nursing Education

(Credits: 3.00)

This course builds upon the theoretical components of NRS 512 Curriculum Development and Program Evaluation. The student will be introduced to evaluation models. Evaluation of programs and learners in a variety of settings will be addressed. Students will become familiar with different types of evaluation tools and be able to develop tools and tests that measure learning outcomes. Evaluation standards of various accrediting bodies will be discussed and applied to programs of instruction. Prerequisite: NRS 512.

NRS 519 - Teaching and Learning Strategies

(Credits: 2.00)

This course will emphasize the application and evaluation of multiple technology tools related to instructional design. This course will assist the student in developing a pragmatic approach to the mechanics of providing learning opportunities and resources that are needed for instruction. The student will develop and implement a plan that identifies and differentiates teaching and learning activities appropriate to adult learners that fosters learning in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. The student will design a variety of strategies to be used to facilitate learning for adults that is aimed at specific objectives. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 520 - Technology and Nursing Education Practicum

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is designed to assist the student with the development of the ability to use technology as an effective teaching method and modality. The students will select an emphasis area such as human simulation technology, e-learning, self-directed online learning, etc., that they wish to learn to use. Students also will select an educational area, staff development, formal education or client education in which they wish to develop their skill using technology for nursing education. They will practice using technology under the guidance of an expert preceptor for the majority of this experience. Prerequisite: NRS 519.

NRS 521 - Principles of Project Management

(Credits: 2.00)

In this course, the student will be introduced to the fundamental concepts and tools for project management. Strategic project planning techniques and alignment of projects to the organizational and nursing strategic plans will be emphasized. The course highlights the primary steps used in planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating projects that improve outcomes and are sustainable. Use of data to support, measure and evaluate the project also will be emphasized. Prerequisite: NRS 511.

NRS 522 - Leadership in Nursing Practicum I

(Credits: 2.00)

In this practicum, the student will work with a selected nurse leader to identify an organizational project in a designated setting with the leader identified in NRS 521. The student will explore the organizational, environmental, economic, and personnel issues that influence the success of a project. The student will identify areas and competencies for leader development and gain practical knowledge and skills necessary to lead an organizational project. Prerequisite: NRS 521.

NRS 523 - Introduction to Organizational and Systems Leadership

(Credits: 3.00)

Building on knowledge of leadership and systems theory, the student will learn to analyze an organization’s readiness for change using a four frames perspective including: structural, political, human resource, and symbolic frames. The student will complete an organizational assessment and explore the impact of various leadership styles on group dynamics. Prerequisite: NRS 521.

NRS 524 - Healthcare Systems Leadership

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, students will examine contemporary leadership theories, frameworks and practices for leading change within the contexts of health professions and health policy. Transformational and adaptive leadership theories as well as characteristics of personal and professional leadership will be explored in relation to expectations for successful nursing leadership and performance in today’s dynamic health care environments. Prerequisite: NRS 511, NRS 523.

NRS 525 - Financial and Human Resources in Healthcare

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course students will learn about the business of healthcare through the processes and principles of strategic planning, budgeting, human resource development, staffing and managing healthcare delivery. Nurse manager specific accountabilities, processes and principles for leading the business of healthcare will be emphasized. Prerequisite: NRS 523, NRS 524.

NRS 526 - Nursing Research

(Credits: 3.00)

This course provides the student with an overview of the nursing research process. Critical analysis, utilization, implementation, and communication of research will be discussed. Emphasis is placed on development of qualitative research processes and designs; however, quantitative research design also will discussed. The student will be prepared to read, interpret and critique the methodology and design techniques used in qualitative nursing research. To better understand this research process, student assignments can be explored from either a nursing education or nursing leadership perspective. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

NRS 532 - Data Analysis Applied to Research Design

(Credits: 2.00)

The essentials of quantitative inquiry will be examined as applied to nursing. Data analysis procedures and selected analysis methods are used to demonstrate different approaches to understanding statistics. Issues related to interpretation of quantitative findings will be discussed. The course prepares students to examine research for the quality of evidence provided. Prerequisite: NRS 526.

NRS 540 - Practicum - Educational Setting

(Credits: 3.00)

Through working with experienced faculty preceptors in the setting of the student’s choice (nursing education, staff development, or client education), the student will plan, implement and evaluate a unit of instruction. Students will be active members of the instructional team in their focus area furthering their development as a nurse educator. Prerequisite: NRS 512, NRS 513, NRS 519.

NRS 541 - Leadership in Nursing Practicum II

(Credits: 2.00)

This practicum provides the student with an opportunity to work closely with a manager or administrator in a formal mentorship arrangement in a health care setting. The student has an opportunity to demonstrate management and leadership skills in a selected health care organization. The role of a leader is explored in the context of the changing health care environment. In addition, the student will lead an agency-designated project under the guidance of a nurse preceptor. The student will analyze the project based on AONE Nurse Leader competencies. This practicum builds on skills and experiences attained in NRS 522 Leadership in Nursing Practicum I. Prerequisite: NRS 523, NRS 524, NRS 525.

NRS 552 - Evidence-based Nursing Project

(Credits: 4.00)

In this course, the graduate student will explore, synthesize and analyze current literature related to a question or issue in nursing education or nursing leadership. The final project is an integrative review of the literature with evidence tables on a student-selected topic. The work will be conducted under the guidance of an assigned academic reader. The student will develop and explore a research question, guided by a conceptual framework, and use published research in both nursing and related disciplines. The student will formulate and rate recommendations for nursing education or nursing leadership based on the strength of the evidence examined in the review. The final written paper will reflect an understanding of the research process through a review, critical appraisal, and analysis of the current evidence on the topic identified with recommendations for nursing education or nursing leadership. The course will culminate with a student presentation of the process used in data collection and analysis and the resultant recommendations and conclusions. Prerequisite: All nursing core and concentration courses.