MSN Course Descriptions

The Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) prepares graduates to assume roles as holistic leaders, educators, and transformers of healthcare environments within the global nursing community. Graduates will be empowered to serve as leaders in a variety of clinical and academic settings, teach effectively, and apply a holistic Christian worldview to a myriad of healthcare settings. Students enrolled in this 37-credit program may choose from two tracks: Holistic Nurse Leader or Holistic Nurse Educator. Based on Eastern University's and the Department of Nursing's communal missions, as well as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing (2011) and the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC) Core Essentials for the Practice of Advanced Holistic Nursing (2012), students will be exposed to holistic nursing theories, moadlities, communication and teaching learning strategies, evidence-based practice models, and research modalities preparing them to be agents of change.

  • Students enrolled in the MSN program are required to take NURS 550, 552, 554 and 556 as the first four courses. NURS 564 and 566 may be taken along with the above.
  • NURS 630, 632 and 634 (Education Track) OR 620, 622 and 624 (Leadership Track) must be taken sequentially.
  • NURS 650 is to be taken as the final course of the program.

NURS 550 Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Holistic Nursing (3 credits)
This course examines the nature of knolwedge acquisition and scientific inquiry as it relates to the practice of advanced holistic nursing. A wide range of concepts, models, and theories from nursing and other disciplines will be explored and evaluated in terms of application to healthcare and the development of the nursing profession.

NURS 552 Advanced Communication and Collaboration (3 credits)
This course focuses on the use of communication techniques and systems to improve quality, safety, and advocacy in advanced nursing practice. Strategies used to coordinate and deliver care within an interdisciplinary team model are explored. Interpersonal and relational strategies are evaluated with an emphasis on leading, collaborating, consulting, and teamwork within professional environments.
Pre-requisite: Grade of B or better in NURS 550 Theoretical Foundations

NURS 554 Physiology, Assessment, and Therapeutics I (3 credits)
This course focuses on systems of connection, regulation, and dysregulation in persons as body-mind-spirit wholes, and builds on foundational knowledge regarding physiology, basic pathophysiology, assessment, and pharmacology acquired at the undergraduate level and through provision of hands-on nursing care. The holistic assessment of health will be explored with a focus on supporting innate healing mechanisms and using the mind-body connection to strengthen resilience and immunity. Cultural and environmental influences are considered as part of holistic assessment and therapies.

NURS 556 Physiology, Assessment, and Therapeutics II (3 credits)
This course builds on knowledge developed in Physiology, Assessment and Therapeutics I. Physiologic processes, holistic assessment and integrative interventions are explored with special attention given to the role of inflammation as a key factor in various health challenges. Emphasis is placed on translating and applying holistic and integrative philosophy and practices in healthcare settings.
Pre-requisites: Grade of B or better in NURS 554 Physiology, Assessment, and Therapeutics I

NURS 560 Translating Research for Evidence Based Practice (3 credits)
This course builds on knowledge acquired during undergraduate nursing research. Student will develop their ability to critically appraise research and apply findings within healthcare settings to resolve practice problems, initiate change, and improve quality. Course content includes exploration of research methods and design as well as relevant technology, information systems and accessing data bases. Application of findings and translation of evidence to practice settings will be the main focus with an emphasis on use in organizational decision making, improvement of academic and clinical environments, and nursing care. The opportunities for master's prepared nurses to identify problems for research, generate researchable questions and collaborate with others in the conduct of research will be examined. Students will identify a real-world problem and develop a plan to translate evidence to praxis.

NURS 562 Population Health: Prevention, Promotion, and Policy (3 credits)
This course prepares the student to evaluate systems and policies pertaining to population focused healthcare e with the aim to improve quality of care, eliminate disparities, and promote collaboration between professionals and organizations. Concepts related to epidemiology, genomics, culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and interprofessional collaboration are emphasized as tools for advancing quality in healthcare. The role of the master’s prepared nurse as advocate and leader in promoting population health is emphasized.

NURS 564 Foundations of Holistic Nursing Leadership (3 credits)
In this course, learners explore types and levels of nursing leadership, distinctions between leadership and management, as well as knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for effective leadership in all types of healthcare-related environments, whether in classrooms, administrative positions, or on departmental or institutional committees). Learners will review attributes of critical thinking and will exam their own biases and frames of reference as they relate to leadership. Relevant leadership theories will inform discussions about the challenges of leading in diverse, seemingly complex chaotic healthcare and academic environments. The values of integrity, authenticity, emotional and cultural intelligences, self-awareness, ongoing self-care, conflict resolution, communication, and relational skills will be emphasized. Enhanced understanding of effective team building, mentoring, organizational structures, organizational culture, governance, and leadership processes will serve as a foundation to develop strategies aimed at transforming environments.

NURS 566 Foundations of Holistic Nursing Education (3 credits)
Teaching and learning are vital activities whether the nurse is primarily a clinician, leader, or teacher. In this course, students will explore how people learn, and how best to facilitate knowledge, information, and skills development. Attention is given to the ethical and legal rights and responsibilities of teachers and learners.  Relevant theory and determinants of learning such as culture, literacy, motivation, and disabilities are explored as situations for students to research, discuss, and problem solve. The role of technology in teaching and learning will also be addressed. The importance of both finding and serving as mentors to embrace the full teaching and leadership role is explored.

NURS 620 Nursing Leadership IA (3 credits)
This course will address the economic, financial, and policy issues facing leaders in healthcare systems today and will challenge students to respond energetically, innovatively and creatively in order to tackle those issues. Becoming stewards of limited resources, applying ethics, systems theory, and forecasting departmental, institutional, and industry needs is essential. Prospective leaders apply holistic philosophy as they explore ever changing regulatory demands and third-party contractual exigencies, and payment systems; competition, the increased demands for access to high quality, safe, and affordable healthcare;, and technological advancement, effective management structures, and cost containment. Information systems for collecting and tracking metrics across organizational functioning (e.g. dashboard) are examined for use in communication, planning, and organizational decision making.

NURS 622 Nursing Leadership IB (3 credits)
Using a systems focus to analyze strategic leadership strategies is essential. Power, politics and influence in healthcare settings is examined from a platform of humility, cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork, in order to effectively resolve conflict, maximize scarce resources, and enhance positive organizational dynamics. Learners will explore the concept of servant leadership coupled with a higher ethic of loving relationship (including self-care) and empowerment as tools of transformation within the context of diversity and Christian worldview. This class includes 15 hours of clinical practicum for the patient/family member shadowing experience.

NURS 624 Nursing Leadership II (4 credits)
In this final leadership-specific seminar/practicum course, students will build a framework for effective leadership using content from previous courses. Real world case studies and exemplars of leadership in healthcare will be used to highlight important concepts and strategies. During the 80 hour practicum with an experienced leader, students will compare and contrast what they see in healthcare environments with what they are learning through readings and class discussion. A potential topic for the Action Research Capstone project that will be potentially useful/ beneficial will be identified during this practicum.

NURS 630 Nursing Education IA (3 credits)
This course highlights the role and responsibilities of nurse educators in the classroom setting. The teaching and learning process is explored through focus on the promotion of critical and clinical thinking. The impact of culture on the teaching and learning process, as well as ways to effectively teach nurses to work with diverse populations, is emphasized. Creating safe on-ground, hybrid, and online environments conducive to holistic learning and exploration are highlighted. The role of information resources including technologies for enhancement of learning is addressed.  This course includes a 15 hour practicum with an instructor in a resource or simulation lab.

NURS 632 Nursing Education IB (3 credits)
In this course, students will focus on the connection between institutional vision, mission, values,  on curriculum development and design. Prospective nurse educators will also learn how evaluation strategies and outcomes data collection   aid in the determination of the curriculum’s quality. Clinical teaching and performance evaluation are highlighted, including strategies to enhance learning in clinical environments. The roles and responsibilities of continuing education and staff development instructors are also explored. This course includes 15 hours of clinical practicum shadowing a clinically based nurse educator or staff development instructor.

NURS 634 Nursing Education II: Measurement, Evaluation, and Practicum (4 credits)
This final educator-specific course focuses on the role of nursing faculty, building a personal teaching and learning philosophy, and classroom management. Best practices in assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes and testing are addressed. Systematic evaluation will be presented as it applies to revisions and redesign of curriculum and teaching learning activities. Outcomes data and its importance to accreditation of nursing programs are explored. Students will complete an 80 hour clinical practicum with a nurse educator focusing on honing of teaching skills, assessment, and evaluation of learning, clinical performance, and adaptation to faculty role. During this practicum, students will identify a problem for their Action Research Capstone Project that may be useful in the practicum setting.

NURS 650 Capstone (3 credits)
Students from both leadership and nurse educator tracks come together for this final course of the program. Through student-led seminars and relevant case studies, key issues and challenges in current healthcare environments will stimulate discussion and creative, strategic decision making, goal setting and innovation. Students will engage in Action Research to address needs identified in practicum (both clinical and academic) environments.  Results of AR projects will be shared via poster presentations. Note: To be completed as the last course of the program.

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