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|The M.S.N. program currently offers three tracks: the Family Nurse Practitioner Track, the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Track, and the Nurse Educator Track. The role of the nurse practitioner (NP) is that of direct care provider. NPs practice in clinics, long-term care facilities, hospitals, physician offices, managed care corporations and private industries. NPs perform health histories and physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic tests, diagnose and manage acute and chronic diseases, prescribe medication and treatments, provide patient and family counseling and education regarding lifestyle behaviors and self-care skills and participate in research projects and integrate research findings. The NP blends some aspects of medicine with nursing, using a nursing perspective. When required by state law, as it is in Nevada, NPs have collaborative relationships with physicians. Credentialing examinations, designed by specialty area, are available and required prior to practice in most states. The nurse practitioner tracks offer courses year round with the option for full-time and part-time study.
The nurse educator track prepares the graduate for a faculty position within a program of nursing or a nurse educator position in a clinical setting. The student will increase mastery related to teaching and learning and evaluation strategies, curriculum design, and the use of educational technologies. Via directed study and mentorship with experienced faculty, students will enhance clinical expertise in a selected specialty area. Graduate students will have the opportunity to supervise basic nursing students in clinical practice areas and/or work with nurse educators in clinical settings in the preparation, delivery and evaluation of educational programs for nurses. The nurse educator track is a year round program featuring full time, part time, and accelerated options for program completion.
Program Outcomes of the Master of Science Degree
Upon completion of the program the graduate will complete the following core outcomes:
- Evaluate the principles, personal values, and beliefs that influence ethical decision making, which provides a framework for nursing practice.
- Communicate effectively as a health care professional, creating collaborative interdependent relationships and act as advocates for the nursing profession and client population.
- Incorporate nursing theory and evidence based practice in advanced nursing roles.
- Understand the influences of human diversity and social issues in providing culturally sensitive health promotion and disease prevention strategies in a global society.
- Assume a leadership role in the management of human, fiscal and physical health care resources to improve nursing practice and health care delivery.
Program Outcomes: Nurse Practitioner Track
- Competently assess, diagnose, prescribe, evaluate and create a holistic plan of treatment.
- Articulate the professional role, which includes the ethical code of conduct and scope of advanced practice.
- Develop and monitor comprehensive, holistic plans of care that address the health promotion and disease prevention needs of diverse client populations.
- Assess and monitor teaching/learning needs in a diverse client population.Practice ethically in the conduct of research, management and clinical professional practice.
Program Outcomes: Nurse Educator Track
- Utilize education research to continually improve teaching strategies/skills.
- Develop a teaching-learning style that facilitates learner development that meets the educational outcomes of the learner.
- Assess and evaluate at both the course and program level
- Function as a leader and change agent in nursing education settings.
- Participate in scholarship to further knowledge and abilities in nursing education.
Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester of each year based upon competitive selection. Students may enroll in selected (NURS 705, 706, and 713) classes as a non-degree student, but no more than seven credits of course work as a non-degree student will be accepted toward the degree.
Students make simultaneous application to the Graduate College and the School of Nursing.
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 or a GPA of 3.00 in the last two years of undergraduate work. (Submit one copy of official transcripts from all previous college and professional schools to the Graduate College and one copy to the School of Nursing). The undergraduate nursing course work must have been completed at a nursing program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
- Completion of undergraduate courses in nursing research, physical assessment (as currently taught in the undergraduate program of nursing at UNLV), and a course in introductory statistics. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C (2.00) or better. It is expected that students possess basic computer word processing skills. If not, the student should seek that content prior to enrollment.
- Completion of a graduate statistics course within the last three years prior to enrollment in NURS 707.
- Two letters of recommendation from former instructors or employers that speak to the applicant’s potential to complete the graduate program must be submitted to the school. The evaluators should speak to the student’s professional nursing competency, including application of theory, quality of patient care, independent judgment when appropriate; relationship with team members such as nurses, physicians, and others; leadership skills; and personal responsibility and accountability.
- A current resumé or vita.
- Current registration to practice as a professional nurse in Nevada. Students should submit a copy of their Nursing License with the word “copy” printed over the top.
- Evidence of current health and malpractice insurance. Accepted applicants must, prior to enrollment, show proof of completion of the Hepatitis B Vaccine series, a titer indicating presumptive immunity, or a statement from a health care provider indicating that vaccination is contraindicated for health reasons and validation of a negative drug screen. Other immunization and health data requirements are identified in the student handbook.
- A statement of approximately 300 words describing the student’s professional goals and reason for seeking graduate education.
- Students seeking admission to the FNP or PNP track must submit a resume or vita that demonstrates a minimum of one year clinical experience as a registered nurse within the three years immediately preceding admission to the program. It is recommended that the most recent year of practice be in an area directly related to the student’s proposed pathway of study.
- Students seeking admission into the Nursing Education Pathway are required to have completed one year of clinical practice prior to enrollment in the first nursing education practicum course.
- Selection into one of the approved pathways is based upon the applicant’s qualifications (academic and professional), applicant’s strengths as compared to other applicants, and upon the number of available openings.
Progression: To progress in the M.S.N. program students must:
- Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
- Receive a grade of B (3.00) or above in all required cognate and nursing courses. If less than a B, for example a B- (2.70), is earned, the course must be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course and any required course may be repeated only one time. A student may register for a course only two times. A student who has registered for the same course twice and has withdrawn or received a grade less than B is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the SON Academic Council.
- Complete a minimum of six semester hours in each calendar year.
- Continuously register for a minimum of three semester hours of credit each semester while working on the thesis until completion. The three credits may be nonthesis credits, but a student must have a minimum of six credits of thesis credit prior to graduation.
- Continuously register for three semester hours of credit each semester while completing the non-thesis option.
- Residency Credits No more than three courses (maximum 7 credits) may be transferred into the program. The Graduate Admissions Committee must approve transfer credit.
- Graduate courses with a 700 number or above may not be challenged for credit.
- Six-Year Completion Rule All degree requirements must be completed within six calendar years from the date of matriculation. No credit may be used in an advanced degree program for course work completed more than six calendar years immediately preceding the term in which all degree requirements are completed. Nurse Practitioner students must complete the degree requirements within one year after the final clinical practicum is completed. If the student does not complete all degree requirements within the one-year time frame, he or she will be required to enroll in:
NURS 773 - Clinical Practicum each semester until graduation to maintain clinical skills.
- An examination, oral or written, will be held following completion of course work for students enrolled in either the thesis, research utilization, professional paper or capstone options. The final examination must be held at least three weeks prior to the last day of instruction in the term in which the student plans to complete the degree requirements. Students completing a thesis will be required to hand in the final copy early in the semester in which they plan to graduate. More detailed information is provided in the student handbook.
Students may complete the Nursing Education track and the courses prior to the clinical sequence of the NP tracks on a part-time basis, but must be cognizant of the six-year completion rule. Students entering the clinical sequence of the NP tracks must enroll as full-time students. Due to the heavy clinical commitment in the NP tracks, it is recommended that students work no more than two shifts per week.