2008-2009 Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Family Nurse Practitioner | Admission | Progression in the Program | Probation and Suspension | Graduation Requirements | Program Requirements | MSN Plan of Study | FNP Certificate | Course Descriptions

Dean, Sheryl Steadman

Mission

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at Westminster College offers an education to prepare nursing professionals for the advanced practice role of family nurse practitioner (FNP) or Nurse Educator. Both MSN programs are grounded in a philosophy that identifies an excellent practitioner as one who thinks critically, communicates effectively, understands personal values and respects the values of others, and incorporates ethical principles into practice. The program enhances students understanding of theoretical, empirical, and practical knowledge related to advanced practice nursing and nursing education.

The Master of Science in Nursing builds on baccalaureate nursing preparation to prepare advanced practice nurses in the areas of primary health care or nursing education. Students in the FNP track will be prepared to provide a holistic, caring, health-promoting focus and to address concerns in todays health care systems. Students in the Nurse Educator track will be prepared to teach nurses in health care, community, and educational organizations.

After graduation, MSN students in the FNP track are eligible to take the American Nurse Credential Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) certification exam and apply for Utah licensure as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) with prescriptive authority. Students in the Nurse Educator track will qualify to take the Nurse Educator Certification Examination offered by the National League for Nursing.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Program Goals

The graduate of the FNP program will be prepared to:

  1. Establish therapeutic nurse/client relationships while providing primary care.
  2. Use a holistic approach to assess, diagnose, prescribe therapies, and consider ethical issues in managing the clients health over a period of time.
  3. Provide culturally sensitive care through the synthesis of a liberal education with advanced practice nursing knowledge.
  4. Articulate, integrate, evaluate and promote the advanced nurse practitioner role in the changing health care system.
  5. Collaborate on research projects and provide clinical expertise for research and theory development.
  6. Apply critical thinking skills in personal and professional transitional situations.
  7. Apply teaching skills in the area of health promotion and disease or injury prevention when in the teaching/coaching domains of practice.

Admission to the FNP Program

Admission to the program is based on an evaluation of demonstrated academic ability and professional experience. Successful completion of undergraduate courses in pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment, statistics, and research will be evaluated during the review of applications. Students enter the program at the beginning of fall semester and may complete the 42 credit requirements within five semesters, including one summer.

A candidate for admission must submit the following materials to the Office of Admissions:

  1. A completed application for Graduate Admission with a $40 application fee.
  2. Evidence of a completed BSN from an accredited school of nursing (CCNE or NLN Accreditation) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. GRE scores on file (this requirement is waived if you have a masters degree or higher).
  4. Official copies of transcripts sent by the registrar of each college or university attended.
  5. Personal résumé or vita (including current position) detailing professional and educational history. A minimum of 2 years RN experience is required.
  6. Three letters of recommendation from professional colleagues who can describe your nursing/clinical practice.
  7. Personal statement of nursing which addresses:
    a. career goals encompassing Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) role;
    b. a statement of perceived differences between the RN and FNP roles;
    c. the strengths the applicant brings to the FNP role.
  8. Copy of current unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in Utah (must be in good standing).
  9. Students will be required to provide proof of state and federal background checks at time of application. Both state and federal background checks must be free of criminal arrest history. If there is a criminal arrest history expungement must be completed prior to submission of the application.
  10. Students will be required to provide negative drug testing results from an approved laboratory at time of application.

Upon completion of these steps, the individuals application materials are submitted to the MSN Admissions Committee. A personal interview with nursing faculty will be arranged. The student will be asked to provide a writing sample at the time of the interview. Once accepted to the MSN Program, applicants must submit a $250 tuition deposit, which guarantees a place in the entering class.

Progression in the FNP Program

The student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  2. Receive a grade of B or higher in all courses.
  3. Cumulative test/quiz scores must average 80% or higher in clinical courses, or the student will not be able to progress into the next clinical course. If a student does not achieve an 80% or higher, the course grade will reflect only the average test/quiz scores achieved by the end of the course.
  4. Complete the program in 4 years from time of admission.
  5. Maintain current Utah RN license in good standing.
  6. Complete all masters project requirements according to identified time schedules.
  7. Maintain no history of arrest and a negative drug screen.

Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

Students in the Master of Science in Nursing Program are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. Students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must earn a semester GPA of at least 3.0 the next semester in which they enroll. Academic probationary students who fail to earn a semester GPA of at least 3.0 that semester will be dismissed from the Master of Science in Nursing Program.

Academic probationary students whose semester GPA is 3.0 or higher but whose cumulative GPA still remains below 3.0 will be continued on academic probation. Academic probationary students whose cumulative GPA reaches 3.0 or higher will be returned to good academic standing. To qualify for graduation, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/classroom warning of program probationary status at any time during a clinical or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the students performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students who have been placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to successfully meet the objectives by the end of the course. Students must be removed from program probation to progress to the next course. However, any program probationary status will be documented in the student record.

A student will be dismissed from the nursing program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Violations of the academic honesty policies.
  2. Violation of the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses guidelines for ethical practice, or the National Student Nurses Association Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct.
  3. Failure to maintain a grade point average (GPA) appropriate to the program.
  4. A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
  5. Unsafe practice during the clinical experience.
  6. A grade of B- or below in a second nursing course OR a repeated nursing course during the entire program.
  7. Failure to notify the School of Nursing of changes in a criminal arrest history.

Appeals for Readmission

Students dismissed from the nursing program related to clinical/classroom deficiencies must petition the Admission and Progression Committee for readmission if they wish to reenter the program. Matters of personal concern to the student will be considered at this time. The Admission and Progression Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences regarding readmission to the nursing program.

Students have the right to appeal decisions of academic evaluation or dismissal through the Academic Grievance Process of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. The procedure for appeal is outlined in the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrars Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a masters degree, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Earn a grade of B or higher in all graduate courses.
  • Participate in a required certification review course.

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the student.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 42 semester hours is required for graduation. The acceptance of transfer credit, up to 9 hours, is individually evaluated. The total clinical practice hours for the program are 504 hours.

Requirement Description

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

42

MSN 500 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
MSN 501 Advanced Pathophysiology
MSN 532 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice
MSN 540 Theoretical Found. of Advanced Practice Nursing
MSN 550 Health Care and Health Promotion of Adults And Older Adults/Clinical Seminar
MSN 570 Research in the Practice Setting
MSN 581 Health Care and Health Promotion of Young Adults/Clinical Seminar
MSN 582 Health Care and Health Promotion of Infants through Adolescents/Clinical Seminar
MSN 584 Ambulatory Care Procedures
MSN 601 Role and Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing
MSN 610 Master Project/Thesis
MSN 639 Advanced Nursing Practicum/Clinical Seminar
MSN 670 Synthesis: Practice in Context

4
3
3
3

4
2
4

4
3
2
3
5
2

TOTAL HOURS REQUIRED FOR THE PROGRAM

42

MSNFNP Program Plan of Study

A full-time student may complete the program within 5 semesters, including one summer. Many courses are taught in the evening and as weekend seminars. A part-time plan of study may be available on request, with the exception of the first semester.

Fall

Spring

Summer

Year 1

MSN 500 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning (3/1)

MSN 532 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice (3/0)

MSN 584 Ambulatory Care Procedures (2/1)

MSN 501 Advanced Pathophysiology (3/0)

MSN 550 Health Care and Health Promotion of Adults and Older Adults/Clinical Seminar (2/2)

MSN 581 Health Care and Health Promotion of Young Adults/Clinical Seminar (2/2)

MSN 540 Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing (3/0)

MSN 570 Research in the Practice Setting (2/0)

 

Year 2

MSN 582 Health Care and Health Promotion of Infants through Adolescents/Clinical Seminar (2/2)

MSN 670 Synthesis: Practice in Context (2/0)

MSN 650 Advanced Nursing Practicum Continuing Registration (0) [if needed]

MSN 601 Role and Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing (2/0)

MSN 639 Advanced Nursing Practicum/Clinical Seminar (0/5)

MSN 699 Masters Project/Thesis Continuing Registration (0) [if needed]

MSN 610 Masters Project/Thesis (3/0)

MSN 699 Masters Project/Thesis Continuing Registration (0) [if needed]

Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Option

An FNP certificate option is available to individuals with a Master of Science degree and certification as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. The focus in the certificate program is in the pediatric and adolescent areas.

Permission to complete an FNP certificate may be granted after evaluation of the previous course of study and development of a current educational plan.