The Clinical Nurse Leader Track
As a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), you’ll bring a high level of clinical competence and knowledge to the point of care, serving as a clinical resource and a lateral integrator for the health care team as you facilitate, coordinate and oversee care. Through your coursework, you’ll develop a solid foundation in heath policy application and finance, clinical outcomes management, nursing leadership and cost effective management of the environment of care … and you’ll understand the impact of global health issues on a health care delivery system. The integration of evidence-based nursing practice into today’s clinical environment is a major focus.
CNL graduates bring to their organizations improved coordination of patient care, enhanced team communication, and better unit-wide quality of care outcomes. The design of this program is sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). CNL graduates will be eligible to sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) CNL National Certification Examination. For more information about the Clinical Nurse Leader role, go to the AACN website.
Nursing Education Track
Nursing educators are in very short supply. Upon completion you'll be qualified to teach in nursing programs that require a master's degree.
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Common Nursing Core
All courses in the student’s chosen nursing track are required to complete the 36 hour MSN degree. No courses are elective.
Scholarship for Advanced Nursing Practice
This course focuses on the relationship between theory and evidence based practice for advanced professional nursing practice. Students develop critical skills essential to the interpretation and application of evidence. Prerequisite: Math 341 Biostatistics
Leadership and Decision-Making
This course will examine leadership and decision making in its organizational context. The emphasis will be on exploring the role of cognitive processes, developing problem diagnostic skills and developing an understanding of the challenges involved in implementing decisions. The course will continually emphasize the students acquiring the skills necessary to apply concepts from decision making theory to their areas of professional practice.
This course will develop the role of the master’s prepared nurse as educator. The focus will include teaching and learning principles and strategies, current resources and technologies, teaching/learning theories and research. Program planning, design and evaluation will be explored
Interpersonal Workplace Dynamics
This course will examine roles, role expectations, and social systems in the workplace. Human motivation theories, group dynamics, and strategies for building community and a shared vision will be studied. Students will learn how to connect theory and practice, identify system components for best practice, mobilize resources, apply knowledge in diverse and authentic work settings, and manage conflict. How to act with integrity and fairness to create efficient, effective, and healthy work environments will be emphasized.
Advanced Assessment of Well Being
This course will expand on undergraduate skill in systematic health assessment across the life span. The student will learn application of advanced health assessment skills in the clinical nurse leader practice setting including integration of skills and techniques in conducting assessment to support caring responses in select populations. (Prerequisite: Evidence of successful completion of a comprehensive health assessment continuing education course within the last 18 months).
This course will build on the basic pathophysiology foundation and address current concepts and theories related to pathological processes occurring across the adult life span. The focus on advanced knowledge in pathophysiology will be to support clinical decision making in the clinical nurse leader role including health promotion, health maintenance and care issues. (Prerequisites: undergraduate pathophysiology course.)
This course will build on the basic pharmacology foundation to provide the student with knowledge of physiologic responses and pharmacokinetic principles of pharmacologic agents. Topics include the advanced pharmacokinetic principles, pharmacotherapeutics of single and multiple drug regimens, client education needs, and special population needs. The student will apply advanced knowledge in pharmacology to support clinical decision-making in the clinical nurse leader role. (Prerequisite: undergraduate pharmacology course).
Advanced Nursing Situations: Leadership and Management
3 credits, includes 45 hour practicum
This course focuses on leadership and management in providing lateral integration of the care environment at the point of care to promote optimal outcomes. The health care experience for individuals and populations is examined in the context of the larger organizational system. Evaluation of care delivery is outcomes-based, with discrimination between provider and process issues in the care delivery environment. This course focused on models for leadership and management with respect to nursing and the interprofessional health. This course includes a practicum of 45 clinical hours with a population consistent with the student’s practice interest
CNL Course Offerings
Advance Nursing Situations: Clinical Prevention and Population Focused Practice
This course develops a population-based framework for health promotion and disease prevention. Concepts related to health and illness, burden of illness, vulnerable populations, and cultural diversity are addressed. Population-based data for use in clinical prevention and practice across the continuum of care are emphasized. Application of evidence-based clinical decision making with select populations is examined. Health literacy and the use of teaching/learning principles related to health education.
Advanced Nursing Situation: Management of Clinical Outcomes
4 credits, includes 45 hour practicum
This course focuses on management of outcomes for individuals and populations. Nursing situations are analyzed at the point of care to assess client risk, identify patterns of problem occurrence, target areas in need of intervention and examination of cost. Skills are developed in the use of information systems and technology to manage data, document performance and monitor outcome efficiency and effectiveness. Outcomes related to quality, risk and cost are reviewed in relation to local and national benchmarks. Evidence-based possibilities for changes in practice for optimal outcomes are explored. This course includes a practicum of 45 clinical hours with a population consistent with the student’s practice interest.
Clinical Nurse Leader Immersion Capstone
5 credits, includes 300 hour practicum
Designed as a clinical immersion experience, this course will provide opportunity for synthesis of the major concepts of the program. This experience is mentored with designated preceptors in the practice setting consistent with the student’s practice interest and which support full implementation of a clinical nurse leader role. The clinical nurse leader role includes client advocate, team manager, information manager, systems analyst / risk anticipator, clinician, outcomes manager, educator, and member of a profession. The practice capstone consists of at least 300 clinical hours of engagement in the multiple dimensions of the CNL role. The culmination of the experience will result in the design and implementation of a scholarly project relevant to the student’s practice setting, applying the elements of the clinical nurse leader role, specifically tailored to the student’s career goals.
Nursing Education Course Offerings
Curriculum/ Instructional Design
4 credits, includes 45 hour practicum
This course is designed for the advanced practice student nurse to look at curriculum in a comprehensive manner. Students examine the multiple factors and components of curriculum in nursing education. Curriculum and instructional designs are compared and contrasted. Participants are responsible for designing a nursing curriculum and developing an instructional strategy that promotes critical thinking.
Evaluation and Assessment
4 credits, includes 45 hour practicum
This course is focused on student/nurse assessment and nursing curriculum assessment/evaluation. It is designed to examine and implement the evaluation process including the use of models, selection of instruments, data collection procedures and the means to interpret, report and use findings. Results are used to make decisions about improvement in student learning, faculty performance and course, curriculum and program quality. Participants are responsible for evaluating student learning, course/clinical experiences, curriculum and program outcomes as well as their own teaching practices.
Masters in Nursing Education Immersion Capstone
5 credits, includes a 300 hour practicum
Designed as a practicum immersion experience, this course will provide opportunity for synthesis of the major concepts of the program. This experience is mentored with designated preceptors in the practice setting consistent with the student’s nursing education practice interest. The nurse educator role development will build upon a core of nursing graduate education classes and include foundation curriculum, instructional design, and assessment content essential to all nursing education practice regardless of the functional focus. The practicum capstone consists of a 300 hour immersion in the multiple dimensions of the nurse educator role specifically tailored to the student’s career goals. Interdisciplinary practice and ethical considerations in resource allocation and other critical decisions in health care is explored. This course includes a practicum of 45 clinical hours with a population consistent with the student’s practice interest. Prerequisites: NUGR 540, 545, 550.
Beginning in the Fall of 2014, the MSN is a 36-credit hour program, available as evening/weekend classes in a traditional face-to-face format, with completion in two years. Specific course schedule for 2014-15 will be published as available.
The baccalaureate and master's nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791, and by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.