Within the School of Nursing, applications to the MSN, Postgraduate, and DNP Programs are reviewed and acted upon by the Graduate Student Affairs Committee (GSAC). Decisions by the GSAC are final and confidential. Applications for admission to the MSN, Postgraduate, and DNP Programs are evaluated on the basis of scholarship, writing ability, potential for success, professionalism and references. Qualified students are admitted into a specified specialty track within the MSN, Postgraduate, and DNP Programs on a space available basis. Only complete applications from qualified students will be reviewed and considered by the GSAC. Qualified applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission.
ALL applicants to graduate nursing programs must meet the following requirements:
The DNP program is offered in direct response to the October 2004 endorsement of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) position statement which recognizes the DNP as the preferred credential for all advanced nursing practice roles. The DNP program fulfills a strong local, regional, and national need for doctoral prepared advanced practice nurses and is designed to be in full compliance with professional standards for the practice doctorate as put forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
Consists of 31 semester hours (s.h.) of coursework delivered online using a 16 week trimester schedule including one on-site focus session* for program orientation, 576 practice hours and field experiences in selected courses.
To qualify for graduation, each degree candidate must have:
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program expands the focus of nursing, using as its foundation the basic baccalaureate nursing program. The program’s goals are directed toward educating the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Nurse Educator (NE). The FNP concentration prepares nurses to perform in the expanded role caring for families and facilitating adaptation in a variety of settings. The student’s area of study incorporates a blend of theory and research with an emphasis on guided practice in clinical areas. The NE concentration provides the knowledge base and skills needed to teach adults in a collegiate or health care setting.
The Master of Science in Nursing curriculum is primarily provided via the internet. This program is designed to provide working RNs the opportunity to pursue graduate work through the completion of a combination of online cohort courses and faculty and preceptor-guided practicums in the student's local community. All students are required to attend two focus sessions on Graceland's Independence campus during the course of the program.
Postgraduate Certificate programs are available to nurses who already hold a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Each specialty track presents a theoretical base specific to the selected area. The theoretical base is accompanied by clinical or practical experience which allows the student to apply the theory to specialized professional practice. Students admitted to a Postgraduate Certificate program are not matriculated for a graduate degree. A certificate is awarded upon completion.
To qualify for graduation, each degree candidate must have:
The Postgraduate FnP program enlarges the focus of nursing, using as its foundation the Master of Science in Nursing program. The FNP concentration prepares nurses to perform in the expanded role, caring for families in a variety of settings. The student's area of study incorporates a blend of theory and research with an emphasis on guided practice in clinical areas.
The curriculum builds on the core master’s courses with the addition of essential FNP courses. All didactic and clinical courses are planned following the guidelines of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) to meet the requirements for national certification.
The Postgraduate FNP program is primarily provided via the internet. It is designed to allow practicing RNs to pursue further graduate work within their home community. Students complete the requirements for certification through a combination of online courses and preceptor guided practicums in the student’s community. Students enrolled in Advanced Health Assessment and/or Advanced Practice Procedures course are required to attend a focus session at the Independence campus.
Students admitted to the Postgraduate FNP program are not matriculated for a graduate degree. A certificate is received upon completion of the coursework and students are then eligible to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner national certification exam. The Postgraduate program requires a total of 31 semester hours. A minimum of 18 semester hours must be taken through Graceland University.
The Postgraduate Nurse Educator certificate program is a graduate level program designed for persons who already possess a Masters degree in Nursing and are interested in enhancing their knowledge base and skills to teach adults in a collegiate or health care setting. Students admitted to the Postgraduate NE program are not matriculated for a graduate degree. A certificate in Nursing Education is awarded upon completion. The Postgraduate Nurse Educator Certificate Program requires completion of 4 courses for a minimum of 12 hours. All four courses are online. A certificate is received upon completion of the coursework and students are eligible to sit for the National League of Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator certification exam.
Non-degree seeking students, who hold current licenses to practice as Registered Nurses in the U.S.A. and its territories, may be enrolled as visiting students in the following MSN courses on a space available basis. A maximum of 6 s.h. taken as a visiting (non-degree seeking) student may be applied toward the MSN degree or certificate requirements.
Academic policies are summarized in the Graduate Student Handbook (GSH) which can be viewed at http://www.graceland.edu/GraduateStudentHandbook-Nursing. This handbook is updated on a regular basis. Refer to the online version for the most current information. Students will be notified when major revisions are posted.
NURS8010 DNP Orientation Focus Session 0 s.h.
Focuses on preparing the DNP student to be successful in an online graduate program of study. Includes attendance and participation in a 2-3 day on-campus session during the first semester of course work. Students are notified of specific dates for the on-ground session in advance. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis.)
NURS8100 Professional Roles and Issues 3 s.h.
Provides an integration of core and specialty knowledge with an emphasis on role transition and synthesis of information and collaboration regarding the Advanced Practice Nurse role to the DNP degree. This class focuses on the evolution of doctoral education and the relationship to the DNP degree. Role issues, licensure, credentialing, finances, leadership, legal issues, ethics, legislation, health care policy, cultural diversity, evidence based practice, and independent and collaborative practice will be explored. The DNP student will have the opportunity to develop a personal philosophy/theory of reflective practice, develop a role transition model for practice and develop a vision for future clinical practice. Includes 2 day on-campus Program Orientation Focus Session.
NURS8120 Health Systems Policy and Regulation 3 s.h.
Focuses on the fundamental principles of health policy and the impact of the political process for health care in the United States and around the globe. The course will prepare students to accept multifaceted leadership positions and expand the role of specialty practice nurses in the development, delivery, and monitoring of health care. This course addresses the distinctive intricacies of health care policies that influence care in the U.S. and globally. It is designed to assist the student in developing the skills necessary to critically analyze health care policies and to recognize how they can be influenced by investors or special interest groups. These policies are examined from a governmental and organizational viewpoint.
NURS8130 Biostatistics 3 s.h.
Focuses on the application of statistical methods and analysis of data used in research for evidence-based practice and clinical decision making.
NURS8140 Epidemiology 3 s.h.
Explores concepts, language and principles of epidemiology. Emphasis is on description and interpretation of modes of transmission of diseases. Students will gain knowledge critical to understanding the natural history of diseases, the evaluation of preventive interventions, and relevance of epidemiological methods in advanced nursing practice.
NURS8200 Applied Transformational Research 3 s.h.
Focuses on the application of research methods and evidence-based research findings to improve patient outcomes. Transformational research approaches and evidence–based practice processes will be applied. Student will develop skills for advanced competency in searching and critically evaluating literature to determine the best evidence for clinical practice. The implementation of evaluation strategies, methods, and analysis to assess clinical outcomes will be applied. Prerequisite: NURS8130 Biostatistics.
NURS8210 Project Management 1 s.h.
Focuses on skills and resources needed to support development and implementation of the DNP Project. Under the direction of faculty members, students formulate a plan to solve a clinical practice issue which will contribute to the advancement of the nursing profession through evidence based practice. Pre- or Corequisite: NURS8200 Applied Transformational Research.
NURS8220 Healthcare Informatics 3 s.h.
Focuses on information systems technology, its applications within healthcare settings, and the value of technology for managing healthcare data. Some covered content includes information technologies and applications used in healthcare for various purposes including clinical decision support, transferring expert knowledge, and for collecting and managing healthcare data. Current and emerging technologies are introduced, as well as other topics such as policy, ethical and legal issues relevant to health information technology (health IT). The value and impact of health IT implementation is covered, and students learn about technology and outcomes evaluation. They are also introduced to the role of various stakeholders in health IT planning, design, implementation, management and use. Students will acquire the skills necessary to accurately use information systems and technology and to lead the advancement of informatics practice and research.
NURS8260 Organizational Leadership and Collaboration 3 s.h.
Focuses on leadership theories and principles and innovative leadership strategies for the DNP Concepts covered include transformational leadership, measurement of outcomes, data driven decision-making, organizational culture and climate, communication skills, professional accountability, change theory, and the business realities of healthcare leadership. Students will develop and or refine leadership skills as they progress through the course in order to enhance the quality of nursing and healthcare delivery systems.
NURS8950 Advanced Practice in Organizational Leadership 1-3 s.h.
Advanced practice hours to be approved by Doctoral Committee Chair. Varied topics to be determined by Doctoral Committee Chair each trimester. Course may be repeated as needed; graded on Pass/Fail basis. This course is not a requirement for degree. Once semester hour is equivalent to 64 clock hours of practice experience.
NURS9700 DNP Capstone Project 1-9 s.h.
Development (3 s.h.), implementation (3 s.h.), evaluation and dissemination (3 s.h.) of evidence-based practice (EBP) intervention(s) designed to remediate an identified practice phenomenon. The final project requires demonstration of integration, synthesis and application of advanced practice competencies to improve outcomes in health care systems. Project completion includes a total of 576 clinical practice hours in a practice setting with an approved Practice Expert. Both direct hours (hours spent in the clinical setting with the preceptor) and indirect hours (hours spent working on the DNP Capstone Project, but not necessarily in the clinical setting) are included within this total. The nature of clinical hours is mutually agreed upon between the student, the Practice Expert and cooperating agencies. One semester hour is equivalent to 64 practice hours. Continuous enrollment in at least 1 semester hour is required. Graded on a Pass-Fail basis. Prerequisite: All DNP didactic courses.
NURS5010 MSN Orientation Focus Session 0 s.h.
Focuses on preparing the MSN student to be successful in an online graduate program of study. Includes attendance and participation in a 2-3 day on-campus session during the first semester of course work. Students are notified of specific dates for the on-ground session in advance. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis.)
NURS5100 Pharmacotherapeutics 4 s.h.
Provides the graduate advanced practice nursing student foundational knowledge and application of pharmacotherapeutics to meet the health care needs of clients, from childhood through the older years. Content focuses on the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and provides an overview of selected therapeutic drug categories which allows students to evaluate client situations and determine drug therapy within the context of the overall treatment plan. Prerequisite: NURS5440.
NURS5121 Theory of Nursing 3 s.h.
Focuses on the theoretical concepts that are essential to advanced nursing roles and the interactions between theory, research and practice. Grand, mid-range and practice level theories are examined and compared. The influence of theories from other disciplines on the development of nursing theory is appraised. Students will analyze, compare, and evaluate selected nursing theories for their use in nursing education or clinical practice. Concept analysis, synthesis, and theory application are also important components of this course. Prerequisite: NURS5170.
NURS5141 Advanced Health Assessment 3 s.h.
Builds upon health assessment skills developed in the professional nurse’s basic educational program. The advanced practitioner obtains and utilizes comprehensive physical, psychosocial and cultural data throughout the lifespan in the development of assessments relevant to common health problems. Includes information on the selection and interpretation of lab values and clinical testing.
NURS5142 Advanced Health Assessment Lab 1 s.h.
On-site lab includes didactic and hands on experience of advanced health assessment skills. (Graded on a Pass/Fail basis.) Pre- or Corequisite: NURS5141 Advanced Health Assessment.
NURS5170 Research Methods and Evidence-based Practice 4 s.h.
This course focuses on methods in generating and evaluating research for nursing practice. Principles and applications of quantitative and qualitative research designs will be explored. Ethical and legal issues in conducting research will be examined. Students will be prepared to assess needs for practice change, critically appraise existing evidence, and develop a plan for implementation and evaluation of the evidence-based practice interventions.
NURS5190 Advanced Practice Procedures 2 s.h.
Provides a foundational knowledge of current health care system financing as it affects the delivery of care and instruction in the performance of selected basic advanced practice procedures.
NURS5191 Advanced Practice Procedures Laboratory 1 s.h.
On-site laboratory focus session includes didactic and hands on experience in advanced practice procedures. Graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Pre/co-requisite: NURS5190 Advanced Practice Procedures.
NURS5200 Primary Care of Families : Pediatrics 3 s.h.
Examines the common, acute, and chronic health problems occurring in infancy through adolescence using a body-system scheme and a physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual, intellectual, and cultural approach. Advanced pathophysiology, assessment and diagnostic strategies specific to acute and common problems in children will be emphasized. Nursing strategies to enhance, maintain and restore health will be emphasized. Prerequisites: NURS5100, NURS5141, NURS5142, NURS5440.
NURS5210 Role Socialization for Nurse Educators 2 s.h.
Focuses on socialization into the role of nurse educator. Emphasis is placed on the qualifications and competencies for the role. Students will use critical thinking skills to examine barriers and opportunities for nurses in the educator role and to propose a plan for transitioning into their new role. Interdisciplinary collaboration and relationship building are integral parts of this course.
NURS5440 Advanced Pathophysiology 4 s.h.
Provides the graduate nursing student with a well-grounded understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease to serve as a foundation for clinical assessment, decision making, and management. Content focuses on etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical presentation of selected altered health states across the lifespan.
NURS5610 Learning Theories 3 s.h.
Focuses on how human learning occurs, factors that influence learning, and improving student learning through use of motivation, technology, and self-regulation. Emphasis is based on the application of theoretical principles, concepts, and research findings that support improved student learning.
NURS5650 Teaching Strategies 3 s.h.
Focuses on the analysis and development of evidence-based teaching strategies for various educational settings. Relationships are explored among selected instructional methods, content, and learning styles.
NURS5660 Roles and Issues for Nurse Educators 4 s.h.
Focuses on socialization of the nurse into the role of educator and on the academic, legal, ethical, economic and organizational issues that influence that role. Emphasis is placed on the qualifications and competencies for the nurse educator role. Students will examine sociopolitical, healthcare, practice, and financial issues that influence nursing and nursing education. Interdisciplinary collaboration and transformation of nusring education are integral components of this course.
NURS5900 Topics in Graduate Nursing 1-3 s.h.
Graduate level study of selected topics approved by the Graduate Council. Topics are announced prior to each semester they are offered. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.
NURS6000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.
NURS6200 Primary Care of Families: Adults 3 s.h.
Examines the common, acute, and chronic health problems occurring in adults using a body — system scheme and a physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual, intellectual, and cultural approach. Advanced pathophysiology, assessment and diagnostic strategies specific to the acute and common problems in adults will be stressed. Nursing strategies used to enhance, maintain, and restore health will be emphasized. Prerequisites: NURS5100, NURS5141, NURS5142, NURS5440.
NURS6600 Assessment of Learning in Nursing Education 3 s.h.
Focuses on academic assessment, measurement, testing, and evaluation in nursing education and preparation of nurse educators for carrying out these activities as part of their role. Learning principles, qualities of effective measurement instruments, construction and use of teacher-made tests, use of standardized tests, test interpretation, and assessment of higher level cognitive skills and learning will be examined. The differences between instructional assessment, curriculum-based measurement, criterion-referenced and norm-referenced testing, clinical performance evaluation, and the social, ethical and legal ramifications of testing are integral components of this course.
NURS6620 Curriculum Development 4 s.h.
Focuses on the principles of curriculum development, implementation and evaluation. Emphasis is placed on curriculum organizing frameworks, goals and outcomes, planning, design, and implementation strategies, evaluation, and revision. Students will construct a mini-curriculum and evaluate curriculum systematic evaluation plans as part of the requirements for this course.
NURS6720 Nurse Educator Practicum 2 s.h.
Focuses on engagement in practicum activities designed to promote socialization to the role of nurse educator, application of educational theory and evidence-based teaching and assessment practices, facilitation of the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective development of learners in a selected practicum setting; and reflection/evaluation of the teaching, scholarship, and service demands of the nurse educator role.
NURS6740 Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum: Pediatrics 4 s.h.
Focuses on a holistic approach to health care from infancy through adolescence incorporating the principles of well child care, health promotion, and disease prevention including the concepts of growth and development, and screening procedures. Emphasizes advanced pathophysiology, assessment and diagnostic strategies specific to acute and common problems in children. Stresses clinical interventions to enhance, maintain, and restore health in context of family and community environments. Develops skills for collaboration with multidisciplinary teams and effective utilization of community resources. Prerequesite: NURS5200.
NURS6760 Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum: Adult 4 s.h.
Focuses on a holistic approach to health care of the adult throughout the lifespan; incorporating the principles of health promotion, disease prevention and primary and rehabilitative health care concepts which are applied to the management of adults in the context of their family and community environment. Emphasizes advanced pathophysiology, assessment and diagnostic strategies specific to acute, common and complex health problems in adults. Stresses clinical interventions to enhance, maintain, and restore health. Develops skills for collaboration with multidisciplinary teams and effective utilization of community resources. Prerequisite: NURS6200, NURS6740
NURS6800 Roles and Issues for Advanced Practice Nurses 4 s.h.
Focuses on the exploration, development and implementation of advanced roles for nurses. Emphasis will be placed on the standards of practice, requirements for, regulation of, and socialization into advanced nursing roles. Students will use critical thinking skills to examine barriers and opportunities for nurses in advanced roles and propose a plan for transitioning into their new role. Additionally, the course focuses on the organization of health care delivery systems, health care finance, health care policy, ethical and legislative issues affecting health care planning and delivery. Sociopolitical issues will be examined as they impact the formation of policies and the nursing profession as a whole.
NURS6810 Nurse Focused Practicum 2 s.h.
Focuses on the synthesis of previously gained knowledge and expansion of clinically-focused knowledge. Emphasis is placed on the development of proficiency in the planning and provision of advanced nursing care to individuals, groups or communities, which includes 120 practice hours. Students will use theory and research findings to draw inferences about management of individuals within their identified clinical focus area.
NURS6830 Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum: Family 3-4 s.h.
This practicum is the capstone course of the family nurse practitioner program requiring independent clinical management of acute and chronic illnesses across the life span highlighting multicultural care. Synthesis of practice management skills pertaining to economics, reimbursement for services and time management will be emphasized. Prerequisites: All pediatric and adult practicum courses.
NURS6930 Application of Research for Best Practices 3 s.h.
Prepares the advanced practice graduate to improve nursing practice through application of current evidence. The evidence based experience includes: identifying care issue within a practice or community setting, retrieving and critically evaluating research on a selected issue that will lead, if implemented, to improved patient care.