MSN Online Program

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Course Descriptions

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Core Courses

This course is designed to assist the registered nurse with a non-nursing bachelor's degree to develop the knowledge and skills to transition into the Master of Science (M.S.N.) program. The student will build upon current nursing experience and knowledge as well as previous baccalaureate education in order to demonstrate recommended competencies in baccalaureate nursing prior to beginning the M.S.N. coursework. (6 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Articulate the role of the professional nurse in the global healthcare environment
  2. Examine the relationship of selected nursing, sociological, behavioral, biochemical, learning, health promotion, and family theories in evidence based practices in nursing
  3. Discuss the use of information technology in improving patient care outcomes and safety
  4. Explore strategies to address political, cultural, legal and ethical issues facing nurse leaders within the health care system
  5. Use inter-professional communication and collaborative skills to improve patient care outcomes
  6. Utilize evidence-based practice and leadership skills in the decision making process to improve patient care outcomes
  7. Apply knowledge of health promotion, risk reduction and disease prevention interventions to improve population health

This course introduces the RN to the advanced nurse role as leader, collaborator, change agent, advocate for population health and scholar. Theories of leadership, change and decision making are explored and applied to health care delivery situations. Issues affecting population health, including communication, collaboration, information management, diversity and ethics are examined. Students are introduced to the importance of scholarship in the advanced roles of nursing. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Articulate essential components of the role of the advanced nurse.
  2. Apply leadership, change, and decision-making theories to improve health care delivery and outcomes.
  3. Examine influences that affect population health.
  4. Employ communication and collaboration strategies to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  5. Discuss the importance of scholarship to the advanced roles of nursing.

This course examines the relationship of theory to research and practice and the use of data as a basis for decision making. Various approaches to the research process are explored. Ethical considerations in research are presented. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Analyze the relationship between theory, practice and research.
  2. Examine various approaches to the research process
  3. Explore the use of evidence in nursing practice
  4. Assess ethical implications related to conducting research.
  5. Examine the relationship between data/findings and clinical decision making

This course focuses on the development, acquisition, and evaluation, and use of interdisciplinary evidence in nursing practice while incorporating strategies for protection of human subjects. Methods of disseminating evidence to improve practice outcomes are explored. (3 credit hours)

Course objectives:

  1. Formulate researchable nursing problems.
  2. Evaluate interdisciplinary evidence for translation into practice
  3. Develop a proposal for a change project based on evidence.
  4. Explore the process for implementing a change project within an institution
  5. Develop a proposal for a change project based on evidence

This course focuses on providing the present and future nurse leaders with an understanding of health policy, finance, and legislation on health care. Political advocacy and the health policy change process will be explored. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine the evolution of health care policy's impact on the current health care system.
  2. Appraise the nurse leaders' role within today's public health care policy environment.
  3. Analyze current policies impacting the nursing profession.
  4. Examine the impact of legislation on health care policy.

This course provides the student with an opportunity to examine various healthcare informatics theories and policies related to the entire implementation process of information systems in a complex health care system. During the course students will apply concepts learned to the ethical use of data, information, and knowledge in clinical practice and research. Students will also analyze the critical elements in the life cycle of information and patient care technology systems. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine healthcare informatics theories using the concepts of data, information, and knowledge to describe information systems.
  2. Analyze legislation, public and organizational policies related to information management in the health care system.
  3. Evaluate critical elements necessary in the selection, use, analysis, and evaluation of healthcare information systems and patient care technology.
  4. Critique emerging patterns and trends in electronic information processing and the ethical/legal issues that arise from technology.
Nursing Education Courses

This course focuses on the process of curriculum development. Accreditation standards, trends in professional nursing practice, economic, and policy issues are analyzed within the context of curriculum development and program evaluation. Selected nursing and educational theories, educational research, principles and techniques of curriculum development are explored. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Explore educational theories and their implications for curriculum development.
  2. Analyze the impact of health care, social, economic, educational, and professional and policy trends on curriculum development.
  3. Evaluate a curriculum using current evidence, theory, professional, regulatory, and accreditation standards
  4. Construct a curriculum revision plan based on analysis of educational research of learners, the community, health care trends and accreditation standards

This course examines the conceptual basis and evidence based educational research for teaching and learning. The relationships between learning outcomes, learning styles, instructional strategies, assignments, activities in educational environments are identified. Strategies for promoting student success and classroom management are examined. Various educational environments are explored. Ethical considerations of instruction are included. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Apply evidence based educational research to the teaching learning process within a nursing curricula .
  2. Identify the relationships between learning outcomes, learning styles, instructional strategies, assignments, activities in educational environments.
  3. Discuss the similarities and differences between various educational environments.
  4. Examine strategies for classroom management.
  5. Explore strategies to promote student success.
  6. Incorporate ethical concepts in instructional practice

This course builds on the educational concepts introduced in NSG 5370. Students apply principles of evaluation to the learning outcomes developed in NSG 5370. Methods to assess and evaluate learning outcomes in various educational environments are explored. Evidence based educational research that supports evaluation is explored. Legal and ethical concepts impacting evaluation are discussed. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine evidence based educational research that supports evaluation.
  2. Analyze subjective and objective methods to assess and evaluate learning outcomes.
  3. Determine appropriate strategies for assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes in various educational environments.
  4. Discuss legal and ethical considerations impacting nurse educator evaluation decisions.

This course assists students to utilize available technologies for teaching in a variety of educational settings. Legal and ethical issues surrounding the virtual learning environment are explored. Evidence to support the use of technology in the educational environment will be examined. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine strategies for handling legal and ethical issues in the virtual learning environment.
  2. Evaluate the use of technology as support for achievement of learning outcomes.
  3. Develop a course plan incorporating technology.
  4. Analyze current evidence supporting the use of technology in nursing education.

This course builds on basic concepts of health assessment, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics. Physiologic changes, clinical manifestations and drug therapy are integrated. Emphasis is on critical analysis of collected assessment data to support clinical decision-making. This course provides the educator with the knowledge used when teaching learners clinical decision making

Course Objectives:

  1. Integrate knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology to interpret changes in symptoms indicative of illness.
  2. Examine medication classifications, actions, adverse drug effects and pharmacological applications.
  3. Explore the potential impact of genetic components in selected conditions.
  4. Incorporate concepts of health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacotherapuetics in clinical decision making.

This course provides an opportunity for students to analyze, synthesize and utilize all prior courses in an educational environment. Students are mentored by preceptors who are experienced in educational roles in various settings. (3 semester hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Utilize evidence in educational design, implementation, and evaluation.
  2. Employ instructional strategies that recognize the diverse learner.
  3. Implement assessment and evaluation methods in a variety of learning environments.
  4. Analyze the teaching, scholarship and service roles of the nurse educator.
Health Systems Leadership Courses

This course provides the student with an opportunity to utilize models, processes, and theoretical frameworks of decision making as a foundation for leadership activities in complex health systems. Internal and external factors impacting decision making will be explored and analyzed. The influence of Systems thinking, trend analysis, data, evidence quality and interpersonal collaboration is examined. Ethical considerations of decision making are evaluated. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Employ a theoretical framework or model for decision making processes in complex healthcare systems.
  2. Investigate the influence of systems theory, evidence, quality, and safety in the decision making process
  3. Evaluate the impact of inter-professional collaboration in healthcare outcomes.

The course focuses on the perspective of nursing governance from a global to a unit level. Governance models, human resource management, work environments and best practices related to health systems leadership are explored. Self governance models and human resource strategies in the practice environments are designed and applied. Ethical and legal issues related to governance and resource management are included. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Utilize governance models, processes and theoretical frameworks to provide leadership in complex healthcare systems.
  2. Explore a nursing governance models in a complex healthcare system.
  3. Examine principles of resource management in a complex healthcare system.
  4. Evaluate legal and ethical issues related to nursing governance and resource management.

This course focuses on fiscal management impacting nursing practice and healthcare delivery. Students will develop foundational knowledge applicable to fiscal management and develop strategies to improve decision making. Students will apply fiscal management principles to a current issue. The relationship between fiscal and ethical responsibility is examined. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Analyze the effects of fiscal management on the nursing practice in the health care delivery.
  2. Incorporate accounting principles to fiscal decision making.
  3. Design strategies for managing a fiscally sound nursing environment.
  4. Examine the relationship between fiscal and ethical responsibilities.

This course focuses on nursing leadership roles within a complex healthcare system. The student will apply leadership, change, and organizational theories within a framework of systems thinking. Students will develop strategies for introducing and sustaining change. Ethical and legal concerns related to the nursing leadership role are explored. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Articulate the role of the nurse leader in complex health system.
  2. Relate a nursing theory consistent with a leadership style.
  3. Analyze the impact of healthcare trends on nursing leadership.
  4. Examine ethical and legal concerns related to the nursing leadership role.

This course prepares the student with the knowledge and skills to promote safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable, culturally responsive patient centered care. The course will focus on trending of patient safety, quality and risk management data over time by the use of performance improvement tools that provide analysis and assist with the future direction of the health care organization.

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine quality improvement, patient safety and risk management initiatives that support safe and effective care
  2. Analyze strategies promoting quality initiatives based on a culture of safety
  3. Design a quality improvement plan addressing a practice for which outcomes fall below national benchmark.

This course introduces the student to basic economic concepts, principles and theories used to analyze and evaluate a variety of health care issues. Students will utilize knowledge and skills to evaluate US and other international health care systems.

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine health care economic issues from national and international perspectives.
  2. Apply tools of economic analysis to examine the features of health care as a commodity.
  3. Appraise the implications of government regulation and market competition on the operation and performance of the health care industry.

This course provides opportunity for the student to analyze, synthesize and utilize all content from prior courses in a nursing leadership environment. Students are mentored by preceptors that are experienced in leadership roles in complex health systems. (3 credit hours)

Course Objectives:

  1. Integrate leadership and systems theories to promote quality and safety within complex health systems.
  2. Utilize technology, evidence, and inter-professional collaboration to improve patient outcomes in complex health systems.
  3. Apply business principles and practices within a healthcare delivery model.
  4. Design change strategies to meet regulatory standards based on analysis of current trends and data.
Nursing Informatics Courses
This course covers from basic to intermediate knowledge of the concept, the design and the implementation of database applications in healthcare. Students will study tools and data models for designing databases such as E-R Model and SQL. The course also covers Relational DBMS systems such as Access, SQL Server, Oracle and my SQL. Besides, database connectivity design (essential in data-driven web development), database administration, XML and data warehouse (support for decision-making) will also be introduced. Students will practice designing, developing and implementing a test relational online medical informatics database application (part of a recent federal research grant) through a comprehensive project that contains the above topics.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Posses the knowledge of database management system and applications in healthcare
  2. Plan, document and design a medical informatics database application
  3. Identify and model healthcare database application using ER Model and query against the database with SQL
  4. Understand and use Access, SQL server, Oracle or mySQL DBMS systems to build up a data-driven web application
  5. Have the knowledge of database administration and data warehouse for decision support system (DSS)
With the increasing complexity of clinical medicine, clinical decision support systems have evolved to become essential cognitive prostheses for diagnostic and treatment purposes. Clinical decision support systems have been utilized in many areas of clinical medicine, nursing, pharmacy, healthcare administration and research. This course introduces students to statistical and theoretical concepts underlying modern medical decision making, including Bayesian analysis. It then proceeds to review the multiple methods for knowledge generation for CDSS systems. The course provides �hands-on� experience to students in performing Bayesian analysis of clinical problems and building and annotating computer-interpretable guidelines (CIGs). Current implementations of stand-alone and integrated CDSS will be evaluated. Techniques for planning and evaluation of CDSS implementation will be reviewed. Human factors, including work-flow integration, and the ethical, legal and regulatory aspects of CDSS use will be explored.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Compare and contrast the types of CDSS Systems available in commercial and research implementations
  2. Describe the scope of clinical decision support systems
  3. Describe the kinds of decision support systems which have been implemented for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes
  4. Apply the statistical methods and logic concepts underlying medical decision making
  5. Define methods of knowledge generation for CDSS, including decision trees, neural networks, and Bayesian analysis
  6. Explain supervised vs. unsupervised learning methods in data-mining applications and ideal applications of each of these strategies
  7. Describe the adaptation of practice guidelines for clinical decision support, including commonly-used formalisms and authoring tools for computer-interpretable guidelines
  8. Describe techniques for content management and collaboration processes, including life-cycles of different types of content and knowledge event management
  9. List the characteristics of successful CDSS implementations and common challenges to successful CDSS implementation
  10. Outline the legal, ethical and regulatory issues involved in design and implementation of CDSS systems
  11. Describe the opportunities for use of CDSS systems in personal health records and shared decision making
The dynamics of human-computer interaction (HCI) directly impacts health care. This course will introduce the student to usable interfaces and the study of social consequences associated with the changing environment due to technology innovation.

Course Objectives

  1. Examine the need for evaluating health care information system user interfaces
  2. Analyze the roles of stakeholders in designing health information user interfaces
  3. Determine appropriate measurement methods to evaluate interfaces and interaction from the prospective of individual end users isolating your know knowledge from the evaluation
  4. Appraise ongoing evaluation barriers and facilitators at various phases of design and provide the necessary insight regarding interface integration
  5. Determine appropriate HCI measurement methods for various evaluation projects
  6. Examine the need for evaluating health care information technology systems and the impact of HCI in error prevention and real time applications
This course introduces the fundamental principles of project management from an information technology perspective, but with an emphasis on health care industry applications. Fundamental aspects of project management are covered, including project integration and the management of scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, and risks. Discussion also includes project management software as well as organizational management aspects, such as project planning, team building, organizational structure, and control mechanisms.

Course Objectives

  1. Understand the genesis of leadership theory and project management principles related to improving the success of information technology projects
  2. Appraise how decisions made by health care leadership impact data management and health information systems.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of leadership and project management terms and techniques such as
    1. The triple constraint of project management
    2. Leadership challenges related to an organizational wide project and settings
    3. The project management knowledge areas and process groups
    4. The project life cycle
    5. Tools and techniques of project management such as
      1. Project selection methods
      2. Work breakdown structures
      3. Network diagrams, critical path analysis, and critical chain scheduling
      4. Cost estimates
      5. Earned value management
      6. Motivation theory and team building
  4. Apply project management and leadership concepts by working on an individual or group project as project manager or active team member.
  5. Appreciate the importance of project management and leadership skills learned in class
  6. Develop leadership strategies to identify options for health information organizations to adapt to change in their environment.
This course provides an introduction to consumer health informatics and Web 2.0 applications used in healthcare. It explores the development of consumers as ePatients and tools such as patient-controlled electronic health records as well as the fluid nature of Web 2.0 in medicine. Students will learn from a combination of lectures and a hands-on approach of interacting directly with the tools and technologies discussed.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the roles of Web 2
    0 applications for consumers and healthcare professionals
  2. Navigate social media and networking applications
  3. Utilize emerging tools such as RSS readers and podcasts to access and manage information
  4. Determine beneficial uses of the collaborative toolbox
  5. Delineate healthcare risks inherent to consumers with Web 2
This course provides students the opportunity to perform the role and function of a professional informatics nurse specialist (INS) in healthcare setting. The students develop their own-field based projects or participate on an ongoing project as approved by course faculty. Students apply nursing informatics principles to enhance healthcare outcomes. Students are mentored by preceptors that are experienced in nursing informatics in complex health systems.

Course Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the role of the nurse informatics specialist in a health care setting.
  2. Develop and or support an existing nursing informatics project in a complex health care system.
This course provides the student the opportunity to review the ANCC nursing informatics certification requirement and learning materials.

Course Outcomes

  1. Review the current ANCC nursing informatics certification learning material