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Course Descriptions

Courses are held on 6 Saturdays each semester and includes online instruction.

(courses subject to change)

NUR 200 Advanced Health Assessment (3)
This advanced health assessment course focuses on the adult population spanning from young to older adults. It is designed to offer a comprehensive review of obtaining a complete health history and the physical assessment skills required for this patient population. An emphasis is placed on the relationship between physical assessment and health behaviors in conjunction with epidemiological, cultural, psychosocial, and spiritual needs of clients. Upon this foundation, the student will develop the necessary skills to assess and identify client problems and formulate appropriate and comprehensive plans of care. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 201 Theoretical/Conceptual Foundations of Nursing (3)
The course will offer an opportunity for graduate nursing students to explore the relationships between theory, research, practice, and the philosophical dimensions of nursing. There is a scholarly exploration of the theoretical and conceptual models that influence the discipline of nursing. A historical view of the nursing profession will be presented and analyzed. Process Improvement models will be introduced. The student will choose a theoretical framework upon which to design the graduate project. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 202 Current Trends and Issues in Professional Nursing (3)
This course utilizes an ethical decision-making framework to explore and analyze current issues that impact the nursing profession and communities of interest. The seminar discussion focuses on professional issues and current topics that affect the nursing profession and healthcare, including population health which reflects cultural and diversity needs. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 203 Introduction to Graduate Studies (1)
This is an introduction for incoming graduate students in nursing. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the content and relational knowledge expected as a graduate student. Contents for the course include an orientation to program standards and objectives, expectations of graduate-level oral and written communication, practice locating, evaluating, and citing scholarly resources. Prerequisite: Admission into the MSN program. Prerequisite for ALL courses. This course can be taken concurrently during the student's first term.

NUR 204 Healthcare Policy (3)
This course focuses on developing the nurse’s role in the planning and analysis of healthcare policies and how those policies impact clinical practice and healthcare delivery. Concepts related to policymaking are included; specifically how to formulate a healthcare policy, how to affect the political process, and stakeholder involvement in policy decision-making and implementation. The content serves to develop an understanding and appreciation for increasing levels of public, governmental and third party participation in and scrutiny of the strategic direction of the healthcare system. Current mandated legislation and the effect on nursing with an emphasis on concepts of access, quality, ethics and cost containment will be the framework for course dialogue. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently). Equivalent to NUR 245.

NUR 206 Educational Theories, Principles, and Methods in Nursing (2)
This course is designed to prepare students for the advanced professional role as nurse educators. The focus of this course is on the use of various teaching techniques and strategies to assist the education of staff, students, healthcare professionals, clients, and communities of interest. In the role of nursing educator, students will learn how to influence changes in how the client perceives health and his/her ability to seek information to reach optimal health.. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 207A Healthcare Informatics and Technology (1.5)
This first course in healthcare informatics provides an overview of the broad areas which encompass informatics and healthcare technologies. The focus is on developing an understanding of relevant concepts to enable the master's-prepared nurse to utilize healthcare informatics and technologies in direct patient care, leadership and administration, research and educational experiences. Current trends and issues in using, designing, and managing healthcare information systems will be examined. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently). Equivalent to NUR 107A, 144A, and 244A.

NUR 207B Healthcare Informatics and Technology (1.5)
This second course in healthcare informatics and technologies will provide the master's-prepared nurse the knowledge and skills to utilize current informatics and healthcare technologies in their roles as clinical nurse specialists, nursing leaders/administrators, and nurse educators. In depth examination of specific technologies utilized in patient care delivery, data analysis, education, professional development, and collaboration will be discussed. The goal of technology use to improve outcomes in quality, safety, and cost will be explored and emphasized. Prerequisites: NUR 203 and 207A. Equivalent to NUR 107B, 144B, and 244B.

NUR 208 Curriculum Development (2)
This course is designed so that the graduate student can explore curriculum development in both the academic and practice settings. The course is geared toward an examination of philosophical bases for the development of curriculum. The students design and critique a model curriculum and include outcome criteria to evaluate educational goal attainment. Prerequisites: NUR 201, 203, and 206.

NUR 238 Advanced Concepts in Gerontology (3)
This theory course will cover specific topics related to the assessment and care of older adults across the health continuum from wellness to acute care. Health promotion and disease prevention strategies in both psychosocial and physical functioning will be addressed. Common geriatric conditions and syndromes will also be discussed along with evidence-based best practice protocols utilized in treatment. Management of these conditions by the advance practice nurse in the Adult-Gerontology CNS role will be emphasized to assist the graduate student to meet entry-level competencies. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 203, 246, and 248.

NUR 239 Advanced Concepts in Adult Health (3)
Complex disease as well as health promotion topics which are relevant to the adult life span will be presented for in-depth discussion. A focused look at the related physiology, pathophysiology, current research & best management practices will be covered. This course is designed to emphasize the management of these conditions by the advanced practice nurse in the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist role. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 203, 246, 248, and 290.

NUR 241 Marketing Management in Healthcare (3)
This course is designed to be an introduction to the broad concept of marketing mix for the future manager. The marketing mix (4 Ps) defines tactics in the areas of Product, Price, Promotion, and Place (distribution decisions). Students will progress through the topics of generic functions of business, the environments of business, market planning, information, and segmentations. Consumer behavior, marketing ethics, marketing strategy, and developing a business plan with the emphasis on the healthcare industries. Prerequisites: NUR 203 and 254 .

NUR 246 Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology (3)
This graduate level course covers advanced principles of physiology and pathophysiology that are applicable across the lifespan. In-depth examination of pathophysiologic mechanisms that are responsible for human illness and disease will be utilized as framework for discussing common complex health problems encountered within major body systems. Alterations will be examined beginning at the cellular level with analysis of human responses to disease processes. Discussion of assessment, diagnosis and evidence-based management utilized in treatment of these health problems will be included. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN Program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 247 Foundations and Ethical Principles in Leadership and Consultation (2)
Critical exploration of the foundations and ethical principles required of leaders. The course will focus on communication and relationship-building with emphasis on diversity, foundational thinking skills and systems thinking in practice and consultation as well as the opportunity for students to examine the process of professional transformation balanced with personal growth. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN Program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 248 Advanced Pharmacology (3)
This course is designed to prepare nurses for expert clinical practice using advanced theoretical and empirical knowledge of pharmacology that can be applied in the practice setting. The focus is on pharmacotherapeutics and pharmacokinetics including a discussion at the cellular response level. Content will provide the advanced practice nurse the competencies necessary to work with patients, healthcare professionals, and communities of interest to improve clinical care in a safe and cost-effective manner. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 249 Clinical Nurse Specialist Role (2)
This didactic course will provide the student with concepts related to the advanced practice role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). Core competencies of the Adult-Gerontology CNS will serve as the foundation to discuss the CNS's role and influence in direct care, consultation, systems leadership, collaboration, coaching, research, ethical decision-making, moral agency, and advocacy. Strategies related to developing innovative intervention design and evaluation, creating a culture of quality, safety and change, utilizing advanced communication and information technology as well as ways to promote professional and personal development will be covered. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 203, 206, 246, 248, and 290.

NUR 250A Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum (3)
This is the first course in the CNS practica series which will provide opportunities for the student to experience professional growth in advanced nursing practice as an Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist in order to promote the health and well-being of adults/older adults. Entry-level competencies and behaviors that are expected of graduates of master's and post-master's programs that prepare CNSs, identified by the National CNS Core Competency Task Force Executive Summary, will be emphasized throughout the practica course series. The focus in this course will be on the competency areas of direct care and coaching. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 201 (N/A for post-MSN CNS), 203 (N/A for post-MSN CNS), 206, 238, 246, 247, 248, 249 (concurrently), and 290 (N/A for post-MSN CNS).

NUR 250B Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum (3)
This course is the second in the CNS practica series which provides the student the opportunity to focus on the competency areas of research and ethical decision-making, moral agency, and advocacy. These areas are identified as expected entry-level competencies and behaviors expected of graduates of master's and post-master's programs that prepare CNSs by the National CNS Core Competency Task Force Executive Summary. It is expected that the student will be able to build on the knowledge and experience gained in the previous practicum course and continue to incorporate those advanced competencies and associated behaviors in direct care and coaching in addition to the emphasis of this course. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 201 (N/A for post-MSN CNS), 203 (N/A for post-MSN CNS), 206, 238, 239 (concurrently), 246, 247, 248, 249, 250A, and 290 (N/A for post-MSN CNS).

NUR 250C Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Practicum (3)
This is the final course in the CNS practica series with emphasis on providing opportunities for the student to focus on the competency areas of consultation, collaboration, and systems leadership. These areas are identified as expected current entry-level competencies and behaviors expected of graduates of master's and post-master's programs that prepare CNSs by the National CNS Core Competency Task Force Executive Summary. It is expected that the student will be able to build on the knowledge and experience gained in the previous two practica courses and continue to incorporate those advanced competencies and associated behaviors in direct care, coaching, researching, ethical decision-making, moral agency, and advocacy in addition to the emphasis of this course. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 201 (N/S for post-MSN CNS), 203 (N/A for post-MSN CNS), 206, 238 (concurrently), 239, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250AB, and 290 (N/A for post-MSN CNS).

NUR 252A Leadership and Administration Practicum (3)
This is the first course in the Leadership/Administration practica series for students in the nursing Leadership/Administration track. This course is designed to assist the student in gaining practical knowledge, skills, and experience regarding the nursing leadership role in a variety of settings by precepting with a practicing nurse leader/administrator. The seminar portion of the course provides the student an opportunity to debrief and problem-solve with course faculty and other students. Current entry-level competencies and behaviors identified in the American Organization of Nurse Executives' Competencies (AONE) will be emphasized throughout the practica series. This practicum will concentrate on the competency areas of communication and relationship-building, leadership, and professionalism. Prerequisites: NUR 201, 203, 241 (concurrently), 247, 256, 254, and 290.

NUR 252B Leadership and Administration Practicum (3)
This is the second course in the Leadership/Administration practica series for students in the nursing Leadership/Administration track. This course is designed to assist the student in gaining practical knowledge, skills, and experience regarding the nursing leadership role in a variety of settings by precepting with a practicing nurse leader/administrator. The seminar portion of the course provides the student an opportunity to debrief and problem-solve with course faculty and other students. Current entry-level competencies and behaviors identified in the American Organization of Nurse Executives' Competencies (AONE) will be emphasized throughout the practica series. This practicum will concentrate on the competency areas of knowledge of the healthcare environment and business skills. It is expected that the student will be able to build on the knowledge and experience gained in the previous practicum course and continue to incorporate those advanced competencies and associated behaviors in addition to the emphasis of this course. Prerequisites: NUR 201, 203, 241, 247, 252A, 253, 254, 256 (concurrently), and 290.

NUR 253 Organizational Management in Healthcare (3)
The student will gain knowledge in management theories and styles and be able to analyze management and leadership components that have useful application in the workplace. The process of communication and cultural diversity and its application in the professional work environment will be studied to prepare the student for management positions. Aspects of organizational structures, human resources, ethics, quality management, quality improvement methods, decision making methods and critical thinking will be examined so that the student begins to develop a foundation for use in their professional career. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN Program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 254 Financial Management for Healthcare Organizations (3)
This course will introduce the student to finance within the healthcare environment, including the budget development process, revenue sources, variable and fixed expenses. Financial terms, ratios and uses will be covered so that the student develops the ability to read and understand financial reports, create variance reports, and communicate effectively with the finance departments. The course will also emphasize strategic planning and service line analysis as foundations to business development. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN Program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 290 Nursing Research and Methodologies (3)
This course constitutes an in-depth exploration of the research process and strategies. Discussion will surround both quantitative as well as qualitative designs with emphasis on human subjects protection. Students will prepare the first three chapters of their thesis project proposal. The project will be aimed at solving a practical or clinical problem, or meeting an educational or administrative need in a service or academic setting. The project may include a nursing intervention program, a change project, or an educational program that is designed in the form of a class, instructional module, computer program, videotape, or nursing education evaluation tool. Students must obtain written facility approval prior to implementation of the thesis project. This seminar will provide the student with the opportunity to meet with the faculty throughout the term to discuss the progress of the thesis project and to obtain guidance from the course faculty member. Prerequisites: Successful completion of a mathematical statistics course or research course, NUR 201 and 203.

NUR 294 Evaluation and Testing (2)
This course will present concepts of assessment, measurement, testing, and evaluation in nursing education. Students will be prepared to utilize this knowledge in the role of the nurse educator. The course is designed to include strategies used to develop test items, clinical evaluation, evaluation of clinical performance, as well as social/legal/ethical issues associated with assessment and testing. Prerequisites: NUR 201, 203, 206, and 208.

NUR 295 Educator Practicum (agency setting) (3)
This course is designed to prepare students to assume the role of a professional nursing development specialist within an agency. In this practicum, the student will gain experience in staff development. Competencies identified by the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) are emphasized. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 201, 203, 206, 208, 246, 248, 290, 294, and 298.

NUR 296 Thesis Project Seminar (3)
The focus of this seminar is implementation and evaluation of the project proposal developed in NUR 290 (Nursing Research and Methodologies) once written facility approval has been obtained. Findings of project implementation and evaluation will be presented and discussed in Chapters 4 and 5. Completion of this course requires submission of an approved final thesis project which includes Chapters 1, 2, and 3. This seminar will provide the student with the opportunity to meet with the faculty throughout the term to discuss the progress of the thesis project and to obtain guidance from the course faculty member. Prerequisites: NUR 201, 203, and 290.

NUR 297 Educator Practicum (college setting) (3)
This course will provide students with experiences to prepare them as academic educators of pre-licensure RN students in a college-level nursing program. The student will be assigned a college setting in which to prepare the coursework and assist with the evaluation process while being supervised by a BRN approved faculty member. Students will function in the role of an academic educator through participation in the varied aspects of a college environment. Prerequisites: NUR 200, 201, 203, 206, 208,246, 248, 290, 294 (concurrently), and 298.

NUR 298 Nurse Educator Role (1)
This course will introduce the student to the Nurse Educator role in a variety of settings. This will include academic setting, staff development, nurse counselor, and clinical nurse educator. Understanding the nurse educator role using the NLN and ANPD educator competencies as well as the ANA standards will be a primary focus of the course. Prerequisites: Admission into the MSN Program and NUR 203 (may be taken concurrently).

NUR 299 Independent Study (1-3)
The faculty and student determine the focus of the independent study. The study may center on a problem of interest and/or desire to acquire a greater understanding of certain concepts/processes. This may involve but not limited to directed readings, assignments, projects, and research. Prerequisite: Admission into the MSN program. Consent of instructor, approval of faculty advisor, and program director.

The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist track in the MSN program conforms to the California Board of Registered Nursing’s requirements for California Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification.  Mount Saint Mary’s is in the process of researching program professional licensure standards in other states.