Master of Science in Nursing

Core Curriculum

Online Master of Science in Nursing Curriculum

Norwich’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program begins with 3 six-credit core courses that focus on the roles of the advanced nurse, health care systems, practice and policy, theoretical foundations of practice, research for evidence based practice and quality improvement practice, informatics and technology. Each core course is 11 weeks in length and includes 100 hours of mentored clinical practice and experiential learning with your chosen practicum site. The remaining courses are focused on the specialty of your choice: nursing education, nursing informatics, or healthcare systems leadership.

Note: If you enrolled in the MSN program on or prior to June 2017, please refer to this curriculum map.

Our nursing graduates can:


  • Pursue a range of leadership roles in nursing education, nursing informatics, or healthcare systems leadership

  • Demonstrate a broad-based knowledge of health systems and essential skills in communication, data analysis and policy implementation, problem solving, critical thinking, research, evidence-based practice, and management

 

  • Advanced Nursing Role in the Delivery of Healthcare • NR512 6 credit hours

    This seminar represents the foundation of graduate level nursing education.  It provides a global perspective of the healthcare system and helps the student assess and analyze the healthcare system as the context for graduate level nursing practice. The relationship among various stakeholders including consumers, providers, regulatory agencies and policy makers are explored as well as their impact on healthcare delivery. This seminar also emphasizes health policy and advocacy, interprofessional collaboration, and clinical prevention and population health.  Analysis of the advanced nursing role is conducted within the context of the healthcare system in relationship with complex social, economic, diverse, technologic, legal, ethical and political environments.  The student participates in a mentored practicum of 100 hours during which the student completes the seminar’s experiential learning assignments. This practicum experience introduces the student to advanced nursing roles in the delivery of health care and an opportunity to develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

  • Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice • NR522 6 credit hours

    This seminar examines the application and integration of evidence in leadership roles and decision making. The student explores nursing and other relevant theories from the social, organizational, and behavioral sciences to provide a theoretical foundation for evidence-based practice. The student is equipped to critically appraise and utilize research, identify researchable problems within his/her practice setting, and lead teams toward integration of evidence-based practice in healthcare. Translational science and implementation/improvement science is introduced. The seminar concludes with a brief overview of innovation and its relevance to advanced nursing roles.  The student participates in a mentored practicum of 100 hours. This practicum experience provides the student with an opportunity to apply and integrate relevant evidence in their practice and develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

  • Quality Improvement, Informatics & Healthcare Technologies • NR532 6 credit hours

    This seminar introduces the student to the fundamentals of quality improvement science, and the use, implementation and impact of informatics and healthcare technologies on quality and safety in healthcare. Students examine quality improvement models in the delivery of healthcare and measures for quality improvement initiatives. The business case for quality is discussed as well as leadership and teambuilding for quality improvement in a continuous learning organization. The student conducts a microsystem analysis and prepares a performance improvement project proposal.  The student participates in a mentored practicum of 100 hours. This practicum experience provides the student with the opportunity to conduct a clinical microsystem analysis, participate in a quality improvement project and develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

Nursing Education (22 credits)

Nurse educators must have expertise in advanced clinical concepts, such as pharmacology and health assessment, curriculum and instruction, as well as measurement, assessment, and evaluation. Mastery of these topics is the hallmark of the Norwich nursing program. Completion of the education track also enables students to be eligible to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator Certification Exam.

This 22-credit concentration is traditionally completed in two and a half semesters, but may also be accelerated by completing the five courses over one semester. Please talk with your Norwich advisor for more information and to decide which path fits your schedule.

Note: If you entered in the nursing education concentration on or prior to June 2017, please refer to this curriculum map.

  • Clinical Concepts: Advanced Pharmacology • NR541 3 credit hours

    This course builds upon basic pharmacology knowledge in order for the master’s-prepared nurse to apply knowledge of medications to the care of clients across the lifespan. The course emphasizes principles of pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics of the major classes of medications as well as principles of safe medication use.

  • Clinical Concepts: Advanced Health Assessment • NR542 3 credit hours

    This course builds upon basic health assessment to prepare you to obtain a complete and accurate health assessment (including history, physical examination, and commonly used screening tools) as a foundation for advanced nursing practice with clients across the lifespan. The course emphasizes critical analysis and synthesis of physical exam data, relevant health history data, critical risk appraisal of physical and mental status, assessment of nutrition, and anticipatory guidance relevant to health promotion and disease prevention. Faculty will guide your experiences to ensure the development of diagnostic reasoning and communication skills.

  • Clinical Concepts: Pathophysiology for Disease Management • NR543 4 credit hours

    Students examine pathophysiological processes integral to the understanding of human health conditions and disorders of children and adults. Objective and subjective manifestations of common health problems resulting from environmental, genetic, and stress-related maladaptation are assessed and analyzed.

    Assessment findings, diagnostic testing, and interventions for specific health problems are discussed. Pharmacologic treatments for specific health problems are explored. The etiology, epidemiology, and pathophysiology of disorders are reviewed within the context of age and gender. Principles of pathophysiology are applied to recognize clinical signs and symptoms consistent with human health conditions and disorders during case study presentations and discussions. The impact of health promotion and disease prevention on pathophysiological processes across the lifespan are explored.

  • Curriculum and Instruction: Theory and Methods • NR551 6 credit hours

    This course prepares you to apply theoretical concepts related to education, learning, and nursing to teaching in nursing. Topics include history of curriculum in nursing, theories of teaching and learning, instructional design theory and methods, technology use in education, learner diversity, and curriculum development. A precepted practicum experience will coincide with didactic coursework. You will choose a preceptor/mentor in an educational role who can facilitate role development and the implementation of your work. You will be required to critique an existing curriculum, develop a course or unit of study within an existing curriculum, and implement a portion of the course or program using technology. You will also be required to participate in weekly discussions in the online classroom. Your work will become part of your portfolio and be shared with peers in the electronic classroom.

  • The Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation • NR561 6 credit hours

    This course prepares you to measure and assess learners in a variety of nursing contexts (e.g., testing, clinical evaluation, via simulation) as well as evaluate curriculum on the program level. Topics include foundations of educational measurement and evaluation, learner assessment, outcome development, the evaluation of critical thinking, and the context of nursing education. You will take part in a concurrent, precepted practicum in which you will engage in clinical education and evaluation of learners, as well as the development of assessment strategies. You will have an opportunity to reflect on the multiple roles of the nurse educator in practice. Prerequisites: completion of NR 510, 520, 530, 541,542, 551, or permission of the program director.

Nursing Informatics (18 credits)

Nurses with advanced training in nursing informatics can play a key role in disseminating data into actionable policy changes and improved patient care. Graduates of the nursing informatics concentration can develop/enhance their abilities in critical analysis, creative problem solving, solution implementation, and communication among peers and superiors. Completion of this concentration affords eligibility qualification to sit for the ANCC Informatics Nursing Certification Exam.

  • Theoretical and Practice Foundations of Nursing Informatics • NR547 6 credit hours

    This seminar addresses the foundational concepts of Nursing Informatics and provides the student with the opportunity to apply these concepts to the development of a Nursing Informatics project in their individual practice site.  Students explore computer, information and nursing sciences as they relate to improvement of patient outcomes. The student incorporates practice standards, quality improvement processes, regulatory and accreditation standards as well as ethical practices into their project. The student also considers the design and management of database systems in healthcare. This seminar also includes reviewing information exchange standards and methods as they relate to models of care. Students apply communication and conflict resolution techniques as they create change in the process of developing their project and identify and apply data analysis principles. Students participate in a mentored practicum of 100 hours during which the student completes the seminar’s experiential learning assignments which is their Nursing Informatics project. This practicum experience introduces the student to specialized roles in that support improved patient outcomes and the opportunity to develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

  • Nursing Informatics: Strategic Planning and Practice Applications • NR557 6 credit hours

    Building on the theoretical foundations studied in NR547, this seminar examines the practice applications related to strategic planning and implementation of an informatics system in a healthcare organization.  Topics include an overview of data analytics, facilitating and assessing learning in non-academic healthcare settings. Students examine a number of factors that impact the success of a system implementation while considering technical standards, system analysis concepts and data management. Students participate in a mentored practicum of 100 hours during which they complete the seminar’s experiential learning assignments which is their Nursing Informatics project.  This practicum experience introduces the student to specialized roles in that support improved patient outcomes and the opportunity to develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

  • Using Informatics to Improve Nursing Practice • NR567 6 credit hours

    This seminar reviews concepts that are important to implementing and sustaining effective use of technology in the clinical environment. Security and privacy for the protection of privileged information, effective policy development, testing and implementation are examined. Concepts of change management as well as informatics role in community/population health monitoring and management are explored. Students study the use of technology to generate new evidence, the potential influence of emerging technologies on clinical practice and the importance of developing a caring practice in a high technology environment.  Students participate in a mentored practicum of 100 hours during which the student completes the seminar’s experiential learning assignments which is their Nursing Informatics project. This practicum experience introduces the student to specialized roles in nursing that support improved patient outcomes and the opportunity to develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

Healthcare Systems Leadership (18 credits)

Leading healthcare organizations as a nurse administrator takes a deep understanding of the organization from the standpoint of finance, human resources, business management, and strategic planning. Our healthcare systems track is designed to cover those critical topics and more. For the fifth course, students choose from three electives seminar that best fits their professional goals - AD 582, NR 556, or NR 555.

Note: If you entered the nursing administration track on or prior to June 2017, please refer to this curriculum map.

 

  • Leadership in Healthcare Organizations • NR546 6 credit hours

    Students explore organizational science and its application to healthcare. Each student analyzes the principles of leadership and leadership science including theory, styles as well as contemporary approaches and strategies. The seminar emphasizes system science and integration, change theory and social change theories, and healthcare systems and organizational relationships. The student has the opportunity through case studies and a seminar project to address an organization’s challenges specific to healthcare delivery within the contemporary financial and social environment. The student participates in a mentored practicum of 100 hours. This practicum experience provides the student with the opportunity to address organizational challenges and develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Healthcare • NR555 6 credit hours

    This MSN elective is designed for nurse leaders who are interested in the entrepreneurial process and acquiring innovative knowledge and skills within the context of the healthcare environment. The student is introduced to definitions and concepts that pertain to innovation, including different types of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as individual-level, organizational and institutional factors that impact the healthcare innovation process. The course examines how entrepreneurs and healthcare organizations create and capture value through sustainable innovation that meet consumer and societal needs. It explores various  approaches employed by entrepreneurial healthcare organizations and considers the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed in today’s competitive and global environment. Through real-world examples, the student has the opportunity to evaluate innovative healthcare ventures and viable business models for different kinds of healthcare innovations.

    The student participates in a 100-hour mentored practicum to apply learned concepts to practice. This practicum experience provides the student with an opportunity to explore self-awareness, reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

  • Healthcare Resource Management • NR556 6 credit hours

    Students examine the critical aspects of human and financial resource management in the context of healthcare systems. Human resource management includes confronting the nursing shortage through recruitment and retention, staffing management, performance appraisal and marketing. Prevention of workplace violence and disaster preparedness are also explored as opportunities and challenges for nurse leaders in managing the healthcare workforce. Healthcare finance resource management incorporates nursing unit based budget preparation, management control systems, and operations management. The student utilizes his/her healthcare organization for the exploration, development and application of the seminar’s objectives.

    The student participates in a mentored practicum of 100 hours. This practicum experience introduces the student to human and financial resource management in the health care environment as well as develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

  • Nonprofit Healthcare Management • AD582 6 credit hours

    This course focuses heavily on competencies and skills needed by senior health care managers with major responsibilities in such areas as the administrative aspects of managing a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that is focused on health care delivery, system delivery and evaluation. The course addresses all of the competencies outlined in the NCHL Health Leadership model, including: transformation, execution, and people.

  • Strategic Planning and Management in Healthcare • NR566 6 credit hours

    This course is the capstone for the Master of Science in Nursing program, concentration in Healthcare Systems Leadership.  The seminar emphasizes strategic planning in healthcare, business planning and conceptual analysis of role. Discussion focuses on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) for strategic planning and for practice as a nurse leader across traditional and non-traditional healthcare settings. This capstone experience is designed so that students may apply the necessary KSA learning throughout the graduate program to guide his/her future career development. The student participates in a mentored practicum of 100 hours. This practicum experience supports the student in integrating learned knowledge, skills and abilities in the health care environment as well as develop reflective practices and appreciative inquiry.

Residency

Our online Master of Science in Nursing program ends in a residency at the historic Norwich University campus in Vermont. During this time you will have the opportunity to meet with fellow students, faculty, and program staff in both formal classroom and informal settings. Academic recognition ceremonies and commencement cap off the week, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Norwich covers the cost of all meals and accommodation on campus.