To earn a degree, students must complete the curriculum and meet other requirements for a degree listed in the academic policy section of this catalog.
Admission to the MSN Program
Candidates for the MSN will develop a professional portfolio over the course of the program. Criteria for development of the portfolio are presented in the Introduction to Graduate Studies Course taken the first semester of enrollment. The concepts and purposes of the portfolio will be developed further in subsequent classes and are part of the capstone course. The portfolio enables students, in a formal setting, to present a synthesis of their graduate course work to the faculty, especially emphasizing how they have integrated its advanced concepts into their professional behavior as nursing educators and leaders and as family nurse practitioners. The portfolio is presented in the final semester of required coursework. Satisfactory portfolio development and presentation is required for successful completion of the MSN program.
Master of Science in Nursing
The Master of Science in Nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The program is designed to equip the learner with the knowledge, skills, and values identified in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Masters Education for Advanced Practice Nursing. The AACN essentials provide a foundation for the graduate curriculum. The Master of Science in Nursing has two tracks; Education/Leadership Track and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Track. Each track has its own admission requirements and curriculum.
Master of Science in Nursing—Education/Leadership Track
The Master of Science in Nursing—Education/Leadership Track requires 35 hours. The ANA professional nursing standards domains of practice for the role of nurse educator (nursing professional development), nurse leader (nursing administrator), and National League for Nursing Core Competencies of Nurse Educators are discussed within the program curriculum. Graduates who meet work experience and continuing education requirements are prepared for optional national certification as a nurse educator (staff development focus), or nurse executive through the American Nursing Credentialing Commission or the National League for Nursing (academic nurse educator certification). The program is designed to accommodate the registered nurse who is working full-time. It employs a combination of innovative methods to deliver the curriculum offered within a traditional semester. The majority of classes will use a short-course format meeting three to four days per semester supplemented with online instruction. Graduates from the program will be qualified to find employment in a variety of nursing education and leadership positions in hospital and community based health care organizations.
Education/Leadership Track Curriculum (35 hours)
Master of Science in Nursing—Family Nurse Practitioner Track
The Master of Science in Nursing—Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Track requires 46 hours. The MSN—FNP Track is designed to prepare graduates to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) board certification exams to assume a primary care role in a clinical setting. Admission to the cohort-based program is limited. Applications are accepted beginning August 1 and close January 15 and the program begins each May. The program uses a combination of traditional and hybrid instructional delivery methods with a substantial amount of time in lectures, labs, and clinical experiences.
FNP Track Curriculum (46 hours)
Post-MSN Certificate—Family Nurse Practitioner Track
The Post-MSN Certificate—Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Track requires 38 hours. The Post-MSN Certificate—FNP Track is designed to prepare nurses with the MSN to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) board certification exams to assume a primary care role in a clinical setting. Students in the Post-MSN Certificate—FNP Track, are not eligible for federal financial assistance. Admission to the program is limited. Applications are accepted beginning August 1 and close January 15. The program uses a combination of traditional and hybrid instructional delivery methods with a substantial amount of time in lectures, labs, and clinical experiences.
Post-MSN Certificate FNP Track Curriculum (38 hours)
Admission to the Post-MSN Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program*
Enrollment Requirements for the Post-MSN Clinical DNP
Academic Requirements for the Post-MSN Clinical DNP
The minimum GPA for continuance in the graduate program is 3.0 overall. Additionally, a minimum grade of “B” is required in each course (nursing required for degree completion.
Academic Dismissal from the DNP Program will result from the following circumstances:
Failing to meet expected standards in any program may result in academic dismissal at any time.
All requests for readmission must be made prior to the application deadline date for the semester in which readmission is requested. The Graduate Program Director and Program Coordinator and the university Graduate Appeals Committee are responsible for overseeing all readmissions to the DNP Program.
A student seeking readmission must comply with the following:
DNP Scholarly Project
Candidates for the Post-MSN Clinical DNP will complete an evidence-based practice (EBP) scholarly project focused on quality improvement in healthcare. Criteria for development of the project are presented in the Introduction to DNP (NUR7100) taken the first semester of enrollment. The concepts and purposes of the project will be developed further in subsequent classes. In the development of the scholarly project, students will identify a specific problem impacting healthcare practice and utilize an evidence-based practice (EBP) approach to understand the research focusing on the problem and potential responses, identify quality improvement measures, develop a plan for implementing the project, identify objectives and measures to be used to evaluate success, collect data, analyze results, disseminate findings, and provide further recommendations for practice The project is presented in the final semester of required coursework. Successful completion of the Post-MSN Clinical DNP program requires that candidates pass the DNP Scholarly Project.
DNP Clinical Hour Requirements for Post-Master’s DNP Students
All DNP students must complete a total of 1000 clinical hours/practice hours from a combination of clinical hours achieved in the master’s program and in the DNP program. Qualified advanced practice registered nurse applicants are expected to have successfully completed a minimum of 500 clinical hours in the student’s APRN master’s program in order to meet requirements for recognition or licensure and national certification, as appropriate, for the student’s professional role and practice area. The DNP post-master’s program provides a minimum of 500 clinical hours resulting in a minimum total of 1000 clinical hours for graduation.
Qualified applicants must provide evidence of the number of clinical hours/practice hours achieved in the student’s master’s program. To ensure students meet the required minimum 1000 clinical hours/practice hours, additional clinical learning opportunities are offered via one or more of the following methods:
Clinical experiences/practice hours for DNP post-master’s students are defined as direct or indirect patient care experiences; observational experiences; interviews; participation in community events or local, state, or national meetings relevant to the learning objectives; or other unique learning opportunities where the student can achieve defined learning objectives. Clinical experiences/practice hours may take place in the student’s place of employment if the experience clearly provides an opportunity to achieve specified student learning objectives. Students may work with professional mentors or preceptors during their clinical experiences. School of Nursing faculty may serve as preceptors or professional mentors.
Graduation Requirements for the Post-MSN Clinical DNP
It is the responsibility of students to know their academic plan and to register for and complete courses that fulfill the academic plans. Degrees will be awarded only when students satisfactorily complete the conditions of their academic plans and meet all other requirements for earning a degree. In the Post-MSN Clinical Doctor of Nursing Program students are required to successfully pass their DNP Scholarly Project in order to be eligible for graduation.
Students must complete the application for graduation when registering for their last semester. Students have one year from the intended graduation date to complete the requirements. Students needing longer periods of time must secure dean approval.
Post-MSN Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The Post-MSN Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice is a terminal practice degree in advanced nursing and requires 36 credit hours and 500 clinical hours (the program will accept up to 500 clinical hours obtained in previous clinical master’s program) for a total of 1000 clinical hours upon graduation. This program is designed for the advanced practice registered nurse who already has a Master of Science in Nursing Degree and is certified in a specific clinical practice role such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist. The program instruction will be delivered via online format.
Post-MSN Clinical DNP Curriculum (36 hours)
* The Post-MSN Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).