M.S. Degree Requirements
The Master of Science degree in nursing requires completion of an approved curriculum with a grade-point average of B or above, a written thesis or project, and a comprehensive oral examination. The program enlarges the focus of nursing, using as its foundation the basic baccalaureate nursing program. The program’s goals are directed toward educating the nurse leader.
New M.S. students will be admitted only to the leadership major.
The leadership major includes specializations in organizational leadership, public health nursing, clinical research management, and nursing informatics.
- The organizational leadership (OL) specialization prepares nurses to assume leadership positions in hospitals and other health agencies.
- The public health (PH) specialization prepares nurses to develop advanced community-based interventions and determine outcomes with emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention strategies for a targeted population.
- The clinical research management (CRM) specialization prepares the nurse to plan and implement clinical research trials.
- The nursing informatics (NI) specialization prepares the nurse with skills in analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems that support a full range of clinical and patient care functions.
Students in the leadership major may choose a joint degree option. Students may combine the Master of Science in nursing (specialization in organizational leadership) with the Master of Health Services Administration. By combining some course work, the 2 degrees may be completed in fewer hours than if pursued independently.
The leadership major presents a theoretical base, part of which is a common core that is included in courses completed by all master’s students. The theoretical base specific to each specialization is included in the specialization courses and accompanied by practical experience that allows the student to apply the theory in a health care setting.
The M.S. in Nursing curriculum has 4 major components. These are the common core, leadership core, research core, and specialty core. Organizational Leadership and Nursing Informatics require 37 credit hours. Public Health requires 39 credit hours. Clinical Research Management requires 41 credit hours.
Courses in the leadership core provide the theoretical basis for the specializations in organizational leadership, public health nursing, and nursing informatics. Courses in this category are NRSG 808, NRSG 820, NRSG 826, NRSG 880, and NRSG 885. CRM requires only NRSG 820, NRSG 826, and NRSG 880 from the leadership core. CRM requires additional courses from advanced practice (see D.N.P. section).
Nursing research courses focus on the ability of the nurse to use research and participate in the development of new knowledge in nursing and health care. Courses in this category are NRSG 754 and NRSG 898 or NRSG 899.
Courses in this category provide the information necessary for practice at the graduate level. In the Leadership major, the student may choose among several specializations, i.e., organizational leadership, public health nursing, clinical research management, or nursing informatics.
- Courses for organizational leadership are NRSG 881, NRSG 882 or NRSG 883, NRSG 886, NRSG 891, and HP&M 822.
- Courses for public health nursing are NRSG 809, NRSG 827, NRSG 828, NRSG 829, and PRVM 800 and PRVM 830.
- Courses for clinical research management are NRSG 823, NRSG 824, NRSG 825, and NRSG 833 and the advanced practice core: NRSG 731, NRSG 806, NRSG 812, and NRSG 813.
- Courses for nursing informatics are NRSG 853, NRSG 854, NRSG 856, NRSG 857, and NRSG 858.
The student may choose to complete a thesis for 6 credit hours (NRSG 899) or to complete a project for 2 credit hours (NRSG 898). The project involves applying aspects of the research process to the student’s area of nursing practice. A number of options are available for the project. Both thesis and project involve a formal paper and a comprehensive oral examination covering the area of study.
The majority of students in the M.S. program are part-time students and many students are employed full time. To accommodate student need and preference, many courses are offered online. Online classes typically include both asynchronous and synchronous learning activities.