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.
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.
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)
The Master of Science in Nursing—FNP Track requires 46 hours. Approval for the addition of the track is pending from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS). 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)