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|The M.S.N. program currently offers two tracks: the Family Nurse Practitioner (NP) Track and the Nurse Educator (NE) 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 track offers courses 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 and part time 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 level statistics course with a grade of “B” or better within five years prior to matriculation into the MSN program. (Example EPY 721 or KIN 751.)
- 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 curriculum vita.
- Current valid RN license in state of residence. Students should submit a copy of their Nursing License with the word “copy” printed over the top.
- Accepted applicants must, prior to enrollment, show evidence of current health and malpractice insurance, proof of completion of the Hepatitis B Vaccine series, or a titer indicating presumptive immunity, proof of varicella or 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 and background check. 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 track must submit a resume or vita that demonstrates a minimum of one year clinical experience as a registered nurse.
- 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 (NURS 733 ).
- 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 UNLV Graduate College.
- If a student fails two courses or has withdrawn from two courses or received a grad less than B in two courses he/she is ineligible for readmission unless approved by the Graduate College.
- Complete a minimum of six semester hours in each calendar year.
- Continuously register for a minimum of three (3) semester hours of credit each semester while working on the thesis, capstone, professional paper, or research utilization project.
- In order to maintain clinical competency the FNP student must continuously register for at least three (3) semester hours of NURS 773 (clinical practicum) each semester while working on the thesis or capstone project if all required clinical courses are completed.
- Residency Credits No more than three courses (maximum 7 credits) may be transferred into the program. The MSN Coordinator and the Graduate College must approve transfer credit.
- Credit by Challenge Examination: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.
- Graduation Requirements: Students have a choice of the catalog under which they wish to graduate. They may choose between: 1) the year of official matriculation, or 2) the year of graduation. Students are encouraged to meet the requirements of the current catalog.
- Comprehensive Examination: Students in all tracks will be formally evaluated by an Examination Committee for their thesis, utilization project, professional paper or capstone project. (More detailed information is provided in the MSN Handbook.)
Students may complete the Nursing Education track on a part-time basis. Nurse Practitioner students may complete 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.