Aug 21, 2019  
Graduate Record 2006-2007 
    
Graduate Record 2006-2007 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)


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Philosophy

The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich the mind by stimulating and sustaining the spirit of free inquiry directed to understanding the nature of the universe and human existence. The philosophy of the School of Nursing is consistent with that of the University as it prepares leaders in health care.

Nursing is both a profession and a discipline that is responsive to changing health needs. It is concerned with human experiences and responses to birth, health, illness, and death within the context of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Nurses, often in collaboration with other health care professionals, promote the optimal health care and comfort of individuals and groups through the systematic application of knowledge from nursing and related disciplines.

The faculty believes that education is based on humanistic approaches that foster critical thinking and promote awareness of social and cultural diversity among individuals. The faculty views each student as a unique person with special talents, abilities, needs, and goals. Cultural diversity, varying life experiences, and changing socioeconomic factors affect each student differently. To this end, faculty endeavor to provide an environment that assists students to realize their full potential. The acquisition of professional knowledge and the development of clinical competence occur through active involvement of the student in the learning process. Students assume primary responsibility for learning, while faculty provide educational opportunities for knowledge acquisition and professional role development. We believe that an atmosphere of shared growth and inquiry offers the maximum potential for development.

Baccalaureate education in nursing is the basic preparation necessary for the practice of professional nursing. This education provides the foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, leadership skills, and the independent and interdisciplinary pursuit of high standards of health care. Master’s education prepares the nurse with strong critical thinking and decision-making skills for generalist practice as a clinical nurse leader, or advanced practice in acute and primary care and specialty practice in the areas of health systems management and public health leadership. A primary aim of master’s nursing education is to ensure that every student acquires the ability to analyze, synthesize, and utilize knowledge in a respective area of nursing practice. Doctoral education prepares the nurse scholar to influence health care through leadership in education, policy, practice, research, and knowledge development.

Implicit in the practice of professional nursing is accountability for professional growth and practice, demonstration of leadership, and commitment to the development and application of nursing theory and research. Life-long learning leads to the optimal development of both the individual practitioner and the discipline of nursing.

Characteristics of Graduates

The disciplinary and professional domains of nursing give direction to current and evolving nursing practice. The clinical nurse leader is prepared through graduate nursing education as a nurse generalist who provides and manages care at the point of care to individuals and groups or populations in all settings in which health care is delivered. The clinical nurse leader designs, implements, and evaluates client care by coordinating, delegating and supervising care provided by the health care team. Nurses implementing these roles are prepared to provide leadership and assume accountability for client care outcomes through assimilation and application of evidence-based information to design, implement, and evaluate client plans of care.

Advanced practice nurses demonstrate in-depth knowledge and skills in nursing and health care systems with diverse populations. Components of their roles are expert clinical practice, assessment of outcomes, research, teaching, collaboration, and consultation within health care systems. Nurses prepared through graduate nursing programs with advanced practice knowledge, critical thinking, and decision-making skills can function in a variety of nursing roles. Examples of such roles include clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and nurse administrator. Nurses implementing these roles demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills. For example, nurses engaged in advanced clinical practice conduct in-depth assessments and demonstrate expertise in judgment and decision-making for purposes of health promotion/disease prevention, intervention, and follow-up in specified populations. Implementation of a particular role may emphasize some role attributes more than others and reflect the advanced practice nurse’s area of expertise.

Graduates of the M.S.N. program are expected to:

  1. integrate theoretical and research based knowledge as a generalist leader or in an advanced nursing practice specialty;
  2. provide care and comfort to individuals, families and groups experiencing complex health care needs;
  3. provide care that reflects sensitivity to differences among culturally and ethnically diverse populations;
  4. assume a leadership role in establishing and monitoring standards of practice to improve patient care in collaboration with other nursing experts;
  5. use ethical principles to guide decision-making in nursing practice;
  6. evaluate clinical practice in relation to professional practice standards and relevant statutes and regulations;
  7. apply the research process to improve evidence based clinical practice and contribute to knowledge development;
  8. engage in self-directed and purposeful activities in seeking necessary knowledge and skills to enhance career goals;
  9. examine economic, political, and social forces affecting nursing care delivery in complex health care systems;
  10. promote multidisciplinary collaboration to ensure quality, cost effective care;
  11. contribute to the development of peers, colleagues, and others to improve patient care and foster the growth of professional nursing;
  12. act as change agents to create environments that promote effective nursing practice and patient outcomes.

These core characteristics are in accordance with national guidelines for the Clinical Nurse Leader and professional standards of advanced practice nursing specialties.

Admission

Applicants with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than nursing apply for the Clinical Nurse Leader track. Individuals with B.S.N. degrees apply for the Master of Science in Nursing tracks leading to preparation in Advanced Practice or in Leadership and Management roles.

Clinical Nurse Leader Track Applicants are offered admission to the Clinical Nurse Leader track on the basis of intellectual capacity, healthcare experience, academic performance, maturity, clarity of goals, and other qualities appropriate to graduate study in nursing. Not all of these qualities are measured in absolute terms, and the decision to make an offer of admission is based on a balanced appraisal of the total application record.

The applicant must:

  1. have completed a baccalaureate degree from a nationally accredited school;
  2. have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate study;
  3. demonstrate satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination;
  4. submit three satisfactory academic and professional recommendations;
  5. submit essays on educational/professional goals, and on a diversity statement;
  6. be available for a personal interview with a member of the faculty if requested;
  7. have completed courses in human anatomy and physiology, an undergraduate statistics course, and a course in human development across the lifespan.

Advanced Specialty Practice Preparation Applicants are offered admission to the Master of Science in Nursing Program on the basis of intellectual capacity, clinical and academic performance, maturity, clarity of goals, and other qualities appropriate to graduate study in nursing. Not all of these qualities are measured in absolute terms, and the decision to make an offer of admission is based on a balanced appraisal of the total application record. Applicants to advanced practice specialties who have limited relevant clinical experience may be admitted and gain that experience while enrolled in Core/preclinical courses.

The applicant must:

  1. have completed a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school;
  2. have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate study;
  3. provide validation of health assessment skills;
  4. be licensed as a registered nurse;
  5. demonstrate satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination;
  6. submit three satisfactory academic and professional recommendations;
  7. submit essays on educational/professional goals, and on a diversity statement;
  8. be available for a personal interview with a member of the faculty if requested;
  9. have completed an undergraduate statistics course;

Note: Relevant experience (determined by the track to which the applicant is applying) is a prerequisite to enrolling in GNUR 550 and 551. Otherwise qualified applicants who have not passed the NCLEX may be considered as special students pending licensure.

Admission Procedures Applications for admission are obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Services, Master’s Program, School of Nursing. In addition to submitting the completed application, the applicant must:

  1. request that official transcripts of all academic work (and validation of health assessment skills for BSN graduates) be forwarded by the institutions to the Office of Admissions and Student Services, Master’s Program, School of Nursing;
  2. obtain three statements of recommendation from persons who can speak directly to the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate study. The statements of recommendation are to be sent by their authors to the Office of Admissions and Student Services, Master’s Program, School of Nursing. Forms to be used are in the application packet;
  3. take the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants are urged to take this examination as early as possible. Address inquiries to Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, N.J. 08540, or to Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, Box 1502, Berkeley, CA 94701.

Application Deadlines The School utilizes a rolling admissions process. The completed application and the $60 application fee must be received by April 1 for the summer and fall admission or November 1 for spring admission. Applications received after the deadlines will be considered if space is available. 

All correspondence concerning admission should be addressed to the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services, Office of Admissions and Student Services, School of Nursing, P.O. Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0784.

Matriculation Once a student has been admitted into the Master of Science in Nursing Program he or she has one calendar year in which to matriculate. A student who fails to begin classes within one year must re-apply for admission.

Special Student Status Under special circumstances, students with baccalaureate degrees in nursing may complete a maximum of two graduate nursing courses without formally seeking admission to the degree program. Special student status is granted only when there are vacancies available in the courses requested. An application for special student status, obtained from the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services, must be submitted two weeks prior to the registration period for the semester in which the student desires to enroll. Admitted students receive enrollment priority. Completion of coursework as a special student does not guarantee admission to the program.

Students wishing to take University of Virginia off-Grounds courses at a University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies may take a maximum of six credits; these are accepted towards the master’s degree if the courses meet program requirements. This is in lieu of taking two on-grounds courses as a special student in the School of Nursing. Decisions about the acceptability of a course are determined by the faculty advisor or course professor, depending on whether the course is a required course or an elective.

Academic Regulations

Degree Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 71 credits of approved graduate courses for students in theclinical nurse leader track; 52 credits of students in the clinical specialist tracks; 58 credits for students in the primary care nurse practitioner tracks; 52 credits for course work for students in the acute care nurse practitioner track; and up to 70 credits of course work for students in the combined nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist tracks. The Health Systems Management track requires a minimum of 39 credits. The Community/Public Health Leadership track requires a minimum of 38 credits. Course requirements are specified under the Program Description section.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all course work as specified in the policy on grades, with a final cumulative grade point average of at least 3.000 (B).
  3. MSN students have a maximum of 10 semesters from the date of matriculation, in which to complete all graduation requirements, while Post Master students have 6.  Exceptions must be approved by the advisor, department chair, and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, and are granted only under extenuating circumstances.
  4. Enrollment and payment of tuition and fees for no fewer than two regular semesters or the equivalent.

Grades The standing of a master’s student in each course is indicated by one of the following symbols: A+(97-100, exceptionally distinguished), A (93-96, very distinguished), A- (90-92, distinguished), B+ (87-89, very good), B (83-86, satisfactory), B- (80-82, acceptable), C (70-79, unsatisfactory), F (0-69. failure). A minimum grade of B- is required in all courses offered for any graduate degree. If a student receives a C grade in any School of Nursing course, the course must be repeated. If the grade for the repeated course is below a b- the student will be automatically dropped from the program.  A grade of C in any other course requires repeating the course and earning a satisfactory grade or earning a minimum grade of B- in an alternate course. Students who receive more than one C grade are automatically dropped from the program. Any F grade results in the student being dropped from the program. Students in the School of Graduate Nursing are not permitted to take courses on a CR/NC basis.

Incomplete Grades A grade of incomplete is a non-grade designation given for a course. Incompletes in graduate nursing courses must be removed by the end of the following semester of enrollment or within one calendar year, whichever comes first. Graduate students with two or more outstanding incomplete designations (in the same semester or cumulatively) may not enroll in courses in subsequent terms. An incomplete designation which is not removed by the above deadline or prior to graduation is converted to a F.

Grade Changes No grade may be changed after it has been submitted to the University Registrar without the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.  The Associate Dean for Academic Programs is not authorized by the faculty to change a grade submitted to the University Registrar except when an instructor certifies that, because of errors in calculation or transcription, an incorrect grade has been submitted.  Extra work to raise a grade, once submitted, is not permitted.

Transfer of Credit Students may receive a maximum of four graduate-level courses (up to 12 credits) completed at other institutions for transfer credit. In order to be considered for transfer, the courses must have been completed with a minimum grade of B.

Credit for transfer courses is determined following an evaluation of each student’s course work and overall plan of study. The School of Nursing grants transfer credit based on an analysis of the content, level, and comparability of the courses taken, the applicability of the courses to the student’s intended major and degree program, the quality of the student’s performance in the courses, and the accreditation of the institution at which the work was completed. Evaluation of credits for transfer does not occur until after the student is admitted to the program. Information on the procedure for transfer of credit is available from the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.

Application for Degrees Applications for degrees may be obtained from the Office of the Admissions and Student Services. Students must submit a formal application for conferral of the master’s degree to the Office of Admissions and Student Services no later than October 1 for fall, February 1 for spring, and June 1 for summer. A student who has been listed as a degree candidate and then fails to complete degree requirements must reapply. A student who has been registered for a degree and then fails to meet the requirements for the degree must pay a fee of $50 for the preparation of a new diploma.

Acceptance of Degrees Formal commencement exercises are held only once a year, in May. All those who have completed the program in August or December are invited to attend the exercises the following May.

Voluntary Withdrawal An official application to withdraw must be approved by the dean of the School of Nursing or the dean’s designate. Withdrawal applications may be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Services. The application must then be endorsed by the associate dean. Student identification cards are collected at the time of withdrawal.

A student is not permitted to withdraw later than two weeks before the beginning of the examination period in any semester except for providential reasons.

A student who withdraws from the University for reasons of ill health must obtain permission from the Department of Student Health. Subsequent medical clearance from the Department of Student Health is required for readmission.

Readmission After Voluntary Withdrawal Readmission to the School of Nursing master’s program is not automatic. After absence of a semester or longer, a former student must apply for readmission to the School of Nursing Associate Dean for Academic Programs by December 1 for the spring semester or by April 1 for the fall semester. Readmission following a withdrawal or leave of absence is granted only if space is available.

Leaves of Absence The Associate Dean for Academic Programs may grant leaves of absence to students for either a semester or a session, upon written application stating the reason for temporarily leaving the University.

M.S.N. Curriculum


Generalist Practice


This track prepares second degree students for generalist nursing practice to provide and manage care at the point of care to individuals and cohorts or populations in all settings in which health care is delivered. Emphasis is placed on providing students with the advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to design, implement, and evaluate client care by coordinating, delegating and supervising the care provided by the health care team. Students are prepared to provide leadership and assume accountability for client care outcomes through assimilation and application of research-based information to design, implement, and evaluate client plans of care. Evidence based practice, outcomes management, clinical research, and clinical decision-making are emphasized. At the completion of this track, students are qualified to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN).

Clinical Nurse Leader Track


71 credits, 896 clinical hours

  • SPAN __ - Introduction to Latin American Healthcare Cultures Credits: 2

Speciality Practice


The curriculum leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing for specialty practice is designed to prepare nurses with BSN degrees for advanced practice or leadership roles in nursing specialty areas. All students complete masters core courses in nursing theory, research, epidemiology, health promotion, and health policy. Opportunities for concentration include five specialty areas: acute and specialty care, community/public health, primary care, psychiatric mental health, or health systems management.

Program Course Work


Some core courses are offered online, and two specialty areas, health systems management and community/public health nursing may be completed totally online. The ratio of clinical hours to credits is 4:1. Courses are taught only if there is a sufficient number of students registering for them. Semester schedules published by the Office of the Registrar must be consulted for courses to be offered during a given semester and offered online.

Following are descriptions and required courses for the specific areas of clinical concentration.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Tracks


Clinical Nurse Specialist: Acute and Speciality Care Track


52 credits, 560 clinical hours

This track prepares nurses for advanced practices roles in the care of adults with acute and chronic conditions and allows students to determine the focus of their specialization (i.e.: cardiology, wound/ostomy/continence*, neurology or neurosurgery, general surgery, ER/trauma, pulmonary, transplant, diabetes, geriatrics, etc) and the areas of practice in which they would like to focus their clinical experiences (critical care, acute care, chronic care). Emphasis is placed on providing students with the advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to care for patients with complex health needs across the care continuum. The roles of clinician, educator and researcher, as well as clinical consultant and leader are key aspects of this track. Evidence based practice, outcomes management, clinical research, and advanced clinical decision-making are emphasized. The required 560 hours of preceptorship exceeds the recommendation of the National Association of CNS’s for 500 hours. At the completion of this track, students are qualified to sit for the American Nursing Credentialing Center certification examination for either the Adult Health CNS or the Critical Care CNS.

* The school offers wound/ostomy/continence courses with two seminars: GNUR 744 and 745. Practicum experience is obtained through GNUR 795 and 765.

  • Elective Credits: 3

Clinical Nurse Specialist: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Track


52 credits, 500 clinical hours

This area of concentration prepares nurses for advanced practice in the field of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Students complete core nursing courses, core advanced practice courses, and specialty specific courses. A major emphasis is placed on critical consideration, neurostructural, neurochemical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and cultural correlates of psychiatric illness in the context of the advanced practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Supervised clinical practice is directed toward applying this emerging scientific knowledge to patient care through psychiatric-mental health nursing interventions with the persistently mentally ill, geriatric, and other specialty populations. Faculty work closely with students to develop individualized clinical experiences in appropriate settings. Graduates are prepared to practice in CNS role, and are qualified to sit for American Nursing Credentialing Center CNS certification.

  • Elective Credits: 3

Nurse Practitioner Tracks (NP)


Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Track (ACNP)


52 credits, 560 clinical hours

This track prepares nurses for an advanced practice role providing direct patient care in medical/nursing subspecialty areas in collaboration with other members of the health care team. ACNPs deliver care along the continuum of critical, acute, and chronic care. Students determine the focus of their specialization (i.e.: cardiology, nephrology, wound/ostomy/continence, neurology or neuro-surgery, digestive health, general surgery, ER/trauma, pulmonary, transplant, etc). In this track, students gain the advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to manage acutely and chronically ill patients through all phases of their hospitalization and clinical follow-up. Emphasis is placed on diagnostic and clinical decision-making, preparation for prescriptive authority, collaboration with physicians, and outcomes management, as well as evidence-based practice and clinical research. Upon completion of this track, students are qualified to take the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification examination for the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

  • Elective Credits: 3

Primary Care: Family or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Track


58 credits, 672 hours

The curriculum leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing prepares nurses for advanced practice as family nurse practitioners or pediatric nurse practitioners. Students in the track complete core courses in nursing theory, research, epidemiology/population-based assessment, and health policy. Courses in advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, family health promotion, nutrition, and advanced health assessment are also required of all students in the primary care nurse practitioner tracks. Clinical seminars and 672-hour clinical preceptorships are designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as nurse practitioners in primary care settings. Due to the track’s rural, underserved focus, one of the two preceptorship rotations occurs outside of Albemarle County.

Combined tracks are available in community and public health leadership and in psychiatric-mental health. Nearly all of the tracks may be completed in four semesters and one summer of full-time study (the combined psychiatric-mental health and family nurse practitioner track requires additional time. At the completion of the Family Nurse Practitioner track, students are eligible to write the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Exam..

Following are required courses for the specific areas of concentration in the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Tracks.

  • Elective Credits: 3

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track (PMHNP)


52 credits, 500 clinical hours

This area of concentration prepares nurses for advanced practice in the field of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Students complete core nursing courses, core advanced practice courses, and specialty specific courses. Major emphasis include the neurostructural, neurochemical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and cultural correlates of psychiatric illness in the context of the advanced practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Supervised clinical practice is directed toward applying this emerging scientific knowledge to patient care through psychiatric-mental health nursing interventions including prescriptive practice. Faculty work closely with students to develop individualized clinical experiences in appropriate settings. Graduates are prepared to practice in the PMHNP role, and are qualified to sit for American Nursing Credentialling Center PMHNP certification.

  • Elective Credits: 3

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Track (GNP)


59-60 credits, 672 clinical hours

The MSN with a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner specialization was designed to reflect national health care trends and to prepare nurses to serve America’s aging population. In this program, students will be prepared to manage both chronic and acute health care needs of older adults. The patient population includes adults aged 65 and older. Geriatric Health Nurse Practitioner skills include identification, screening and triage of acute episodic illnesses; nursing and medical management of commonly encountered acute and chronic illnesses in collaboration and consultation with an interdisciplinary team; development of a knowledge base of community needs and resources available for health promotion; health teaching, guidance, and counseling of geriatric clients and their families about illness and its prevention; and health promotion, maintenance, and management.

  • GNUR 598 - Culture and Health Credits: 1

Leadership Speciality Tracks


Community/Public Health Leadership Nursing Track


38 credits, 504 clinical hours

As health care shifts from hospital-based to community-orientated systems, new opportunities for nursing leadership are becoming abundant. The Community and Public Health Leadership concentration prepares nurses for specialty practice in promoting the health of individuals, families, groups and communities. Emphasis is placed on the development of knowledge and expertise in assessing the health status and health delivery systems of communities and designing nursing interventions to better manage care in complex settings. Courses provide the required knowledge and expertise to plan, implement, and evaluate care in community settings, including public health departments, schools and occupational health programs, home health agencies, and community nursing clinics. Care management strategies to ensure continuity of health service delivery for individuals and groups at the local and global levels are emphasized. International learning experiences are available. This track is taught in an online format with required dates in Charlottesville. Upon completion of this track, students are qualified to take the American Nursing Credentialing Center certification examination for Clinical Specialist in Community Health Nursing.

  • Elective Credits: 3

Health Systems Management Track


39 Credits

The Health Systems Management Track is designed to prepare nurses at the graduate level to manage the delivery of nursing and health services across multiple settings and specialty areas. This track provides a unique educational experience to individuals capable of leadership and innovation in a dynamic health care delivery system. Graduates are prepared to assume leadership positions in a variety of health care settings, including public and private sector hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, and long-term facilities.

The curriculum builds on the theoretical knowledge and clinical experience of the bachelor’s-prepared nurse. The track emphasizes content fundamental to management, developing competencies needed to analyze managerial problems, and providing resourceful solutions. Students are given special opportunities to acquire the breadth of management knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively at the business and clinical interface of health care delivery organizations. Management-related experience is recommended. Students completing the health systems management track will have completed course work necessary for Certification in Nursing Administration, Advanced or Certification in Nursing Administration. The practice requirements for this Certification are met through paid employment as a nurse manager or nurse executive for 24 months of the last 5 years. Thus graduates will need to gain this experience prior to certification This track is taught in an online format with required dates in Charlottesville at the beginning and ending of each semester.

  • Elective Credits: 3

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