University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
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Curriculum

Students in the online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program take a total of 36 credits. All core courses are required. Students also complete 12 credits in a specialty and six (6) practicum course credits.

CORE COURSES CREDITS
IPE 7000 Introduction to Interprofessional Scholarly Studies 3
IPE 7050 Evidence-Based Practice for the Health Care Professional 3
NUR 7160 Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings 3
IPE 7120 Organizational Leadership and Policy in Healthcare 3
Global Health Issues in Disease Prevention 3
Health Care Informatics and Technology Management 3
ROLES SPECIALIZATION PRACTICA
CREDITS
NUR 7400 Role Practicum I* 3
NUR 7450 Role Practicum II 3
NURSE EDUCATION ROLE SPECIALIZATION
CREDITS
NUR 7100 Pathophysiology, Health Assessment, Pharmacology for Nurse Educators 3
EDF 7160 Curriculum Development in Health Sciences Education 3
EDF 7050 Teaching Methods in Higher Education 3
EDF 7150 Foundational Theory in Education 3
NURSE EXECUTIVE ROLE SPECIALIZATION
CREDITS
HSA 7200 Foundations of Health Care Administration 3
HSA 7250 Human Resources Management & Organizational Behavior for Healthcare Administrators 3
HSA 7225 Strategic Planning in Health Care Administration 3
HSC 7460 Organizational Finance 3
NURSE INFORMATICIST ROLE SPECIALIZATION
CREDITS
NUR 6411 Information and Knowledge Management 3
NUR 6421 Supporting Workflow in Healthcare Systems 3
NUR 6431 System Design, Planning, and Evaluation Role 3
NUR 6441 Project Management: Health Care Information Technology 3

Course may be applied to the Nurse Executive Role Specialization.

*Must have equivalent of on year's experience as an RN before starting the first practicum in term 5.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

CORE COURSES

Introduction to Interprofessional Scholarly Studies
This course provides the student with a foundation for success in a graduate program. There is emphasis on interprofessional collaboration, location and use of scientific evidence, professional writing including prevention of inadvertent plagiarism, and resources available to students to support their learning and success in the graduate program.

Evidence-Based Practice for the Health care Professional
This course provides an overview of the process of evidence-based practice to prepare the health care professional to be a consummate consumer of scientific evidence for decision making. A process for formulating a practice question and conducting literature searches for existing evidence is included as well as an overview of the research process for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research with emphasis on the critical appraisal of evidence for determination of inclusion in a literature synthesis related to a practice question. The discussion of biostatistics focuses on determining the appropriateness of the statistical analysis and interpretation of the statistical results in the critically appraised research evidence. Finding and critically appraising research summaries, such as systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and meta-syntheses, and clinical practice guidelines is included. Finally, effectively implementing, evaluating, and disseminating an evidence-based change process is discussed.

Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings
Advanced nursing practice requires the integration of nursing science with knowledge from other sciences. Nurses use science-based theory along with the best scientific evidence to provide the highest level of nursing practice. This course explores nursing theories and theories from other disciplines. Processes for the use of existing evidence for the clinical decision making are systemically developed.

Organizational Leadership and Policy in Healthcare
Effective organizational leadership in health care is critical for developing, implementing, sustaining, and modifying appropriate policies to address major health concerns including controlling costs, increasing access to services, improving the quality of health services, and enhancing the effectiveness of program outcomes. A skilled workforce, ethical and trained leaders, and effective policies are integral to the implementation of programs and services that successfully promote the public’s health. The goal of this course is to examine the conceptual, methodological, and ethical foundations of health care leadership and administration leading to the development and analysis of health related policy at all levels. The course will focus on analyzing the process of policymaking in the formulation, implementation, adoption, and modification phases of current health policy through effective leadership and administration.

Global Health Issues in Disease Prevention
Students are provided with an in-depth review of how global health-based strategies are used in the prevention of disease and disability in diverse populations. They explore global health topics and disease prevention activities from the perspective of understanding the determinants of health. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, students examine how economics, social factors, cultural competency, health literacy, health policy, urbanization, globalization, the environment, and other factors influence disease. They consider how research in disease prevention, health determinants, cultural ecology, and global health applies to public and community health efforts.

Health Care Informatics & Technology Management
Students in this course learn how integrated, computer-based information systems can enable the assessment and documentation of costs and quality. They also learn how these systems can inform decisions that improve care, allow for better management of medical records, enhance supply inventory and management, and improve vendor contracting and management. Students engage in weekly discussions and assignments designed to provide practical applications of content, focusing on electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry; linked information systems across episodes of care; integrated financial and clinical information systems; linkages among electronic information access systems; and Web-based systems for increasing consumer knowledge, confidentiality of information systems, organizational compliance, and data sets.

Role Practicum I
The purpose of this course is for the student to synthesize knowledge acquired in didactic courses into specialty practice. This is a precepted experience where the student, the practicum instructor, and the preceptor at the practicum site work together to provide opportunities for demonstration of synthesis. In this experience, reflective journals are used so that students reflect on their prior learning as they transition into their advanced nursing practice role. This course requires completion of 135 practicum hours.

Role Practicum II
The purpose of this course is for the student to synthesize knowledge acquired in didactic courses into specialty practice. This is a precepted experience where the student, the practicum instructor, and the preceptor at the practicum site work together to provide opportunities for demonstration of synthesis. In this experience, reflective journals are used so that students reflect on their prior learning as they transition into their advanced nursing practice role. This course is the culmination of the practicum experience and the MSN program. An e-portfolio is developed to demonstrate achievement of program outcomes. This course requires completion of 90 practicum hours.


NURSE EDUCATION COURSES

Pathophysiology, Health Assessment, Pharmacology for Nurse Educators
This course builds upon undergraduate nursing education and practice experience to refine and further develop nursing knowledge and skills related to pathophysiology, health assessment, and pharmacology across the lifespan. The focus is on advanced knowledge and skills needed by nurse educators in both direct and indirect-care roles. In this course, students integrate concepts of pathophysiological processes, physical assessment and diagnostic findings, and pharmacologic management.

Foundational Theory in Education
The educational environment is influenced by social, economic, regulatory, and technological transformations. Students in this course learn the theoretical processes that drive curriculum development, assessment, and evaluation. They also focus on curriculum components, which include societal, professional, and educational trends that affect nursing education curricula in the current environment.

Curriculum Development in Health Sciences Education
The focus of this course is a systematic approach to course/curriculum development and instructional design in the health professions. Through application of sound educational philosophies, ideologies and theories, the student will demonstrate knowledge of learn-centered curriculum development and program assessment for academic, clinical, and staff development settings. Curriculum development will include identifying a personal philosophy of education that supports your academic and professional goals. Through retrospective analysis of an existing curriculum, students will gain experience in all elements of curriculum development issues as one means to understand the development of an original lesson plan in their respective disciplines. The course will address the following features of curriculum development prospectively in weekly units: curriculum design, writing objectives, selecting appropriate learning activities and evaluating student progress. Current issues influencing curriculum development in higher education and the health profession disciplines will be emphasized.

Teaching Methods in Higher Education
This course engages learners to examine the basic concepts associated with teaching and learning within higher educational environments and methods to be an effective academic educator. This course focuses on educational theoretical underpinnings for teaching in an academic setting and experiential learning of the processes of instructional design, course development, and effective teaching and facilitation of learning in a higher education environment. Emphasis is placed on the application of knowledge to demonstrate mastery of content taking into consideration the needs of adult learners.


NURSE EXECUTIVE COURSES

Foundations of Health Care Administration
Students investigate and analyze the changing landscape of the health care environment and the factors affecting the practice of health care administration. Students consider stakeholders in a variety of settings to establish a framework for scholarly investigation of effective strategies for health care administrators in practice. Particular emphasis will include the importance of collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and diversity. The course introduces students to techniques applied by successful health care administrators, such as setting goals and managing time, as well as the attitudes and motivation required for success as a health care manager, administrator, and leader.

Human Resource Management and Organizational Development and Leadership for Health care Administration
Students address the role of human resources in health care organizations as well as the recruitment, retention, management, and development of employees. Students gain an understanding of the key roles of human resource personnel in establishing goals and expectations regarding organizational performance as well as how individuals contribute to effective performance in terms of controlling costs, improving quality, and providing excellent customer service. They explore major federal and state legislation that influences human resources, key management functions within workforce planning and recruitment, and functions within workforce retention. Students devote specific attention to the administrative, operational, and strategic aspects of managing human resources, focusing on managing clinical and direct care practitioners whose perspectives and expectations differ from those of management. Other topics that students explore and discuss include employment and contract labor law; compensation strategies, including benefits and pay for performance; staffing models; labor relations; performance management; workforce retention; and strategies for ensuring employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction.

Strategic Planning in Health care Administration
Through this course, students gain an understanding of the importance and process of formulating, implementing, and evaluating a strategic plan. They examine the role of strategic planning in achieving organizational performance as well as the notion of planning as a cyclical process within the health care organization. Students also explore key concepts in strategic planning, including identifying the relationship of the plan to the organization’s mission, values, and vision; assessing the competition; identifying external influences and resources; forecasting trends in organizational performance; setting goals; selecting strategies; implementing marketing actions; identifying implications of the strategic plan on organizational finances and human resources; and evaluating the plan’s progress. Students apply course concepts, including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis, as they research and develop components of a strategic plan for a specific health care organization.

Accounting and Finance
This course provides accounting methods and traditional financial management concepts for health care managers using the basic tools of health care financial decision-making. Topics include financial reporting statements, cost concepts and decision-making, budgeting techniques, cost variance analysis, time valuing of money procedures, capital acquisition, debt and equity financing, and working capital cash management.


NURSE INFORMATICIST COURSES

Information and Knowledge Management
Effectively managing health care data is essential to the practice of nursing informatics. In this course, students examine database systems, including database design and manipulation. Students also explore concepts of information and knowledge management in the health care practice setting. Course assignments provide students with the opportunity to work efficiently in teams and build essential skills to execute database design. Through this course, students examine nursing’s contributions to knowledge management in health care organizations.

Supporting Workflow in Health care Systems
Effective knowledge and information flow is critical in the coordination of patient care. Nurses are at the center of care coordination for patients and informatics nurses are central to the design and development of information systems that support workflow in nursing practice. Students in this course examine the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of electronic information systems in health care systems. They compare, contrast and critique methods of system design. Students also focus on workflow modeling, including assessment of current state workflow and the design of future state workflow, and they examine workflow design best practices to support the implementation and optimization of electronic health records.

System Design, Planning, and Evaluation Role
Health care policy, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996), mandates that electronic documentation systems are secure and effective. In this course, students explore systems security and evaluation methods. Through discussion of real-world practice that includes public health and community based settings, students evaluate the impact of redesigned workflows to the larger system design and throughout the organization. Students create a plan for system design and system evaluation. Through team projects and individual applications, they build skills and confidence that support collaborative, interdisciplinary system design to improve the effectiveness of care.

Project Management: Health Care Information Technology
Health care information technology and the implementation of electronic health records are foundational practices critical for success in project management. In this course, students learn the theory of health information technology project management and apply it to real-world experiences. Using project management software, students create a project management plan and schedule, and they control and close tasks related to a health informatics project. Through team projects and individual applications, students build skills and confidence that support the implementation of health care information technology to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes.

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