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Online Nursing Courses

Online Nursing Courses

Earn Your MSN in Two Years

By taking one course every eight-week session, you could earn your degree in just two years and be on your way to a more fulfilling career. Our direct entry MSN program does not require you to have a BSN to enroll. If you meet our admissions requirements, you need only a current RN license and a bachelor's degree in any field of study.

The core courses of the online Master of Science in Nursing at Sacred Heart University are designed to provide you with an advanced theoretical and clinical foundation. The specialization courses further enhance your leadership skillset in the field chosen.

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialization of the MSN program has a specialized set of courses along with a different academic calendar.

The program consists of 36 or 39 graduate semester credit hours divided between core courses and specialization courses.

Core CoursesCredit Hours
NU 501Health Care Policy & Ethics for Contemporary Nursing Practice3
NU 530Theory and Professional Roles for Contemporary Nursing Practice3
NU 601Principles of Health Care Research for Contemporary Nursing Practice3
NU 602Evidence-based Practice for Quality Care3
Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Specialization CoursesCredit Hours
NU 550Family and Community Context for Health Care3
NU 553Advanced Pathophysiology3
NU 554Application of Comprehensive Health Assessment Methods3
NU 575Health Care Information Systems3
NU 605Pharmacology for the Clinical Nurse Leader3
NU 611Care Management and Resources Across the Continuum3
NU 612Disease Management and Outcomes Assessment3
NU 680CNL Role Immersion Practicum3
NU 681CNL Capstone3
Nursing Management & Executive Leadership* Specialization CoursesCredit Hours
NU 617Health Care Delivery System3
NU 511Role Development for Nursing Management and Executive Leadership3
NU 575Health Care Information Systems3
NU 576Management of Financial Resources3
NU 521Creating a Professional Work Environment3
NU 665Quality and Safety in Practice3
NU 672Nursing Management and Executive Leadership (NMEL) Practicum3
NU 673Nursing Management and Executive Leadership (NMEL) Capstone3

*Nursing Management & Executive Leadership (NMEL) has replaced the former administrative track of Patient Care Services Administration (PCSA). The name change and curricular updates and modifications have been made to reflect current leadership trends to enhance the program. For current students finishing up the PCSA track, click here for a reference of the curriculum.

Nursing Education Specialization CoursesCredit Hours
NU 553Advanced Pathophysiology3
NU 554Application of Comprehensive Health Assessment Methods3
NU 555Pharmacology for the Nurse Educator3
NU 575Health Care Information Systems3
NU 588Theoretical Basis of Teaching and Learning in Nursing Education3
NU 589Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing Education3
NU 619Principles of Patient and Staff Education3
NU 690Nursing Education Role Practicum3
NU 691Nursing Education Role Capstone3

 

Prerequisite Courses will be added to your curriculum plan if not completed previously

NU 325 Health Assessment for RNs – Prerequisite for all MSN specialization tracks Utilizing the conceptual framework of the nursing program, this course focuses on comprehensive health assessment. Adequate data collection and careful analysis for diagnostic and planning purposes is stressed. The student will use the diagnostic reasoning process to formulate nursing diagnoses based on the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA) nomenclature. The nursing laboratory experience is available for students but not required. Videotaping assessment skills is a required course tool.  Prerequisite: Acceptance to the RN-BSN or RN-MSN Nursing Major

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Integrate knowledge from nursing and the sciences into the health assessment of individuals throughout the lifespan.
  2. Demonstrate skills in health assessment through interviewing, history taking, physical assessment and functional assessment.
  3. Utilize the diagnostic reasoning process to accurately formulate judgments about health assessment data.
  4. Demonstrate principles of adequate and accurate documentation related to the health assessment of an individual.
  5. Discuss the legal and ethical implications of the role of the nurse related to health assessment.

MA131 Statistics for Decision Making – Prerequisite for NU 601 and all MSN tracks This course is geared towards liberal arts, science and health science majors. It introduces descriptive statistics, probability distributions: both discrete and normal confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and correlation. Real world applications are offered and computer statistical software may be used. Prerequisite: One college-level Mathematics course or placement by Mathematics Department

Core Courses

 

NU 501 Health Care Policy & Ethics for Contemporary Nursing Practice This course focuses on policy and politics in nursing and health care.

It examines health care policy, including global health considerations, health care financing, quality, and safety in health care. Ethics as a value system for humane health care delivery is a thread throughout the course. Current practices in nursing and health care are viewed from the past and present as a way to contemplate the future. It builds on a framework of critical thinking, as students explore aspects of the history of nursing, analysis of current policy development, and implications of the past for present and future actions in nursing and health care.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explore and evaluate selected aspects of health care policy and their impact on health care services and outcomes.
  2. Discuss key issues and trends in health care delivery and legislation including scope of practice, standards of practice, credentialing, licensure, certification and prescriptive authority.
  3. Describe the major principles of health care financing, noting their relationship to policy decisions and ethical issues.
  4. Discuss the evolution of the organization and structure of health care institutions and systems within the context of achievement of health care goals and outcomes.
  5. Identify and analyze common ethical dilemmas in health care using ethical principles and decision strategies.
  6. Describe major documents that guide health care in the United States including the Institute of Medicine Report (October 2010) The Future of Nursing and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and reports from the Institute of Medicine, and their implications for professional nursing.
  7. Discuss options for active involvement in shaping the health care system as a professional and consumer advocate with emphasis on the importance and contributions of advanced practice nursing role.

NU 530 Theory and Professional Roles for Contemporary Nursing Practice This course is one of the graduate core classes that provides the foundation for advanced practice nursing. The role of the advance practice nurse as a member of the profession will be emphasized. Students will be introduced to theories from nursing, natural, social, biological and organizational sciences to frame their future practice. Further, students consider issues of cultural diversity and competence to assure the delivery of culturally competent care and minimization of health disparities.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Describe the role of advanced practice nurses as a member of the profession.
  2. Reflect on learning needs and opportunities for transition into the advanced practice role.
  3. Assess personal communication effectiveness.
  4. Critique, evaluate and utilize appropriate theory from nursing, natural, social, organizational and biological sciences.
  5. Develop an understanding for and appreciation of human diversity to assure the delivery of culturally competent care.
  6. Reflect on how one’s own world view and culture affects personal and professional relationships.

NU 601 Principles of Health Care Research for Contemporary Nursing Practice This course examines the field of research and its relationship to problems related to nursing and health care. Each step of the research process is explored in-depth to develop the skills to apply research to practice. Students apply critical analysis to relevant research literature to determine its usefulness and application. Statistical methods and concepts are reviewed and integrated throughout the course to promote an understanding of those concepts within the context of health care research. Emphasis is placed on evaluating research evidence for nursing practice. Prerequisite: MA 131

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Examine the evolution of nursing and health care research.
  2. Generate well-worded research questions.
  3. Compare and contrast different research designs.
  4. Evaluate integrative literature reviews as part of study background.
  5. Prepare an integrative literature review in a specified area of interest.
  6. Evaluate the strength of research evidence by critiquing key methodological steps within research reports.
  7. Interpret the relevance of statistical information in published reports.
  8. Apply principles of ethical and legal issues involved in conducting research.

NU 602 Evidence-Based Practice for Quality Care The primary focus of this course is to integrate best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient/family preferences and values for the delivery of optimal health care. To that end the emphasis of the course will be on critiquing and rating the research literature for application of research to practice and the development of an evidence based practice project. Select research designs frequently used in practice settings will also be explored. Quality improvement strategies, methods and issues will be discussed and applied to practice. Analysis and use of appropriate statistical methods will be integrated throughout the course.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Describe the process of evidence based practice in nursing and the role of the advanced practice nurse.
  2. Use knowledge of nursing research to critically appraise research studies for their implementation into practice.
  3. Apply change theory in the implementation of an evidence based practice initiative to improve practice.
  4. Discuss national issues related to healthcare policy and quality.
  5. Interpret the relevance of statistical information in published reports.
  6. Synthesize and deepen knowledge of nursing research.
  7. Discuss best evidence, patient concerns, and clinical judgment in evidence based practice.

Clinical Nurse Leader

 

NU 550 Family and Community Context for Health Care This course addresses selected family, primary care, and community theories within the context of advanced practice nursing and clinical leadership roles. The family system is viewed as both unique and dynamic, existing interdependently with the community and the environment and requiring advanced nursing expertise and caring at various times across the life cycle. Particular emphasis is placed on family and community assessment strategies, the impact of culture upon the family and community systems, and the impact of various primary care-oriented health problems on family roles and functions. In addition, relevant concepts and principles of epidemiology are applied to the current and emerging health status of families and communities. Faculty collaborate with students as they apply advanced clinical knowledge to the family system in a community setting. Students function interdependently with other health team members in the care of families and evaluate a plan of care using standards for advanced clinical practice.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Integrate primary care, family, and community theories for application to a family plan of care using a systems and developmental approach.
  2. Demonstrate advanced nursing assessment skills within the community context.
  3. Integrate the various components of culturally competent care into the design and
  4. implementation of effective family and community plans of care.
  5. Analyze the legal ethical implications of advanced practice nursing and clinical leadership in the care of families within the community context.
  6. Apply principles of epidemiology in an assessment relevant to family and community health.
  7. Demonstrates the utilization of interdisciplinary care and advanced clinical practice in the assessment and plan of care of the family.

NU 553 Advanced Pathophysiology This course further prepares each student to assess in-depth the pathophysiology of common disease states. Clinical pathology content addresses alterations in major body systems that are commonly found in the primary care settings, as well as common testing used in the diagnostic process. This course assists the student in the role of advanced practice nurse and/or nurse in an advanced nursing role with the preparation to assess clients across the lifespan.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of pathophysiology and be able to integrate this knowledge in identification of clinical findings.
  2. Demonstrate the principles of critical thinking in processing and evaluating clinical findings.
  3. Differentiate between normal and abnormal clinical findings during the health assessment process.
  4. Discuss the relevance of common abnormal clinical findings to the client.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the pathophysiology in common diseases and be able to apply that knowledge to typical primary care situations.
  6. Discuss appropriate use of common medical testing employed in the diagnosis of disease states.

NU 554 Application of Comprehensive Health Assessment Methods This course prepares the learner to assess in depth the biopsychosocial health status of clients across the life span by obtaining a complete and accurate health history and by performing a systematic physical examination. Acquired data will be used to formulate a comprehensive problem list for the client and refine documentation skills. Content will be designed to provide correlation of assessment strategies with an understanding of the mechanisms of illness and health problems of the main body systems. Health and wellness in the context of disability will be addressed. This course assists in the socialization of the learner into the role of the clinical nurse leader or nurse educator in the current health care delivery system. The laboratory component enables the learner to develop comprehensive assessment skills. Prerequisite: NU 325

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Obtain a complete and accurate health history on clients of all ages using a developmental approach.
  2. Record data gleaned from the health history in a complete and accurate manner.
  3. Perform a focused accurate physical assessment on clients of varying ages using correct techniques of examination.
  4. Record data obtained from the physical assessment in an accurate manner.
  5. Integrate knowledge of pathophysiology, including cultural and genetic influences, with the identification of clinical findings.
  6. Differentiate between normal and abnormal clinical findings during the health assessment process.
  7. Discuss the relevance of common abnormal clinical findings to the client.
  8. Use diagnostic reasoning to formulate both a problem list and a differential diagnosis based on assessment findings, which reflects both normal and abnormal clinical findings.
  9. Discuss common laboratory and imaging studies that could be used to facilitate diagnosis.
  10. Develop performance and procedural skills necessary to complete the health assessment process.
  11. Respect the individuality, dignity, cultural beliefs, and privacy of the client.
  12. Protect the client's legal and moral rights to confidentiality.
  13. Design health promotion interventions to improve patient care.
  14. Explore complementary and alternative medicine and therapeutics.

NU 575 Health Care Information Systems Nursing Informatics combines knowledge and skills from nursing science, computer science, information science, and cognitive science to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. Core concepts will be discussed in relation to the application of nursing informatics to support nursing practice and enhance outcomes of care. Major topics related to nursing informatics will be explored. The use of informatics to enhance patient care delivery, quality, and safety in healthcare systems will be emphasized.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explore theoretical foundations for the processing of information and change within nursing and the health care system.
  2. Explore the process of implementing technology and its impact on health care delivery.
  3. Integrate relevant knowledge from nursing and organizational theory to the management of information to guide managerial decision making.
  4. Select a caring presence strategy to implement in practice and reflect on the experience and its effect on the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship.
  5. Propose a healthcare informatics project based on nursing process, change theory, and administrative strategies for assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating informatics in a healthcare organization.
  6. Examine social, ethical and legal issues involved in computerized procedures related to health care delivery.
  7. Evaluate data management and computer applications used in clinical practice, nursing and healthcare administration.

NU 605 Pharmacology for the Clinical Nurse Leader This course will focus on the This course will focus on the pharmacotherapeutic principles of drugs most commonly used and evaluated by the Master’s Prepared Nurse across health care settings. Basic pharmacological concepts, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutics, as well as the principal classifications of drugs in clinical use today are discussed in relation to physiologic and psychologic concepts. The role of the Master’s Prepared Nurse in teaching patients safe and effective medication administration and assessment of medication management in patients with chronic disease is emphasized. A variety of interactive and experiential activities will be utilized to enable the student to apply pharmacological theory to clinical situations and patient education.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Relate the importance of pharmacology in nursing practice.
  2. Discuss the concepts and principles related to pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of commonly used prescription, non-prescription drugs, and alternative therapies for common health problems experienced by individuals across the life span.
  3. Identify the relevant influencing factors that impact drug therapy with emphasis on evidence based drug classification selection, monitoring of drug therapies, identification and avoidance of adverse drug reactions and interactions.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the major drug classifications in terms of their mechanism of action, therapeutic uses, adverse effects and nursing implications.
  5. Identify the effects of cultural beliefs on nursing interventions for drug therapy across the lifespan.
  6. Assess the legal, ethical and interdisciplinary implications for the Clinical Nurse Leader in the administration of drug therapy.
  7. Critique, evaluate and utilize evidence based practice guidelines in pharmacology and drug therapy.
  8. Discuss competency in teaching principles of medication preparation and administration identifying nursing interventions which maximize therapeutic effectiveness and minimizes adverse reactions.
  9. Discuss monitoring strategies, case evaluation, and patient counseling to ensure appropriate outcomes in specific disease states, for both acute and chronic conditions.

NU 611 Care Management and Resources Across the Continuum This course examines the Clinical Nurse Leader's (CNL's) responsibility for the management of health care across the lifespan and continuum of care while remaining cognizant of the global environment in which health care is provided. It is designed to introduce the student to the evolution of the CNL role and responsibilities as well as how the CNL functions as a member of the profession. Theory and research based knowledge in the design, coordination, and evaluation of the delivery of client care will be reviewed with special attention to financial and resource management together with quality improvement. Communication skills and strategies necessary to interact and collaborate with members of the interdisciplinary health care team in addition to developing a therapeutic alliance with the patient will be discussed.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Articulate the contributions of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) to the quality and cost of healthcare.
  2. Define the evolution of the role of the CNL.
  3. Value lifelong learning plan.
  4. Identify how the CNL’s effects healthcare change through advocacy for the profession, interdisciplinary health care team and/or the client.
  5. Analyze the clinical Microsystem and the projected impact on quality and safety.
  6. Appraise how staff development education influences quality client outcomes.
  7. Critique how patient education needs are assessed/planned/coordinated/delivered based on desired outcomes consistent with evidence-based guidelines and quality care standards.
  8. Interrupt IOM strategies (core competencies) for restructuring clinical education to improve quality care and enhance patient safety.
  9. Participate in a professional organization/or agency wide committee.
  10. Discuss the role of the CNL as a leader and partner in the interdisciplinary health care team.
  11. Articulate the cost of chronic disease management and the role the CNL plays in management of cost effective quality care.
  12. Participate in systems review to critically evaluate and anticipate risks to client safety to improve quality of client care delivery.
  13. Analyze a trend analysis report of an incident and a root cause analysis of a sentinel event.
  14. Appraise information systems and technology at the point of care to improve health care outcomes.
  15. Identify health care management issue(s) and propose evidenced based strategies to monitor or resolve identified issue(s).

NU 612 Disease Management and Outcomes Assessment This course is designed to introduce the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) to concepts directed towards maximizing patient outcomes through the management of illness and disease across the lifespan. The social, physical, psychological, and spiritual responses of the individual, family or caregiver to illness/ disease will be examined. Strategies for empowering patients and families to manage their chronic condition will be emphasized. Students will explore concepts of health promotion, illness prevention, and health maintenance of clients (individual, group, and/or community). Research on the outcomes of case and disease management is covered along with strategies for identifying and measuring outcomes of care. Understanding will aid the CNL in empowering the students, healthcare team, patients and families to manage chronic health conditions and to improve the design and delivery of health care services.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Identify skills for management of illness and disease across the lifespan.
  2. Articulate the impact social, physical, psychological and spiritual responses have on health promotion, illness prevention, and health maintenance.
  3. Identify evidenced based strategies for disease management and strategies for identifying and measuring outcomes of care.
  4. Identify physical and psychological symptoms related to disease and treatment.
  5. Describe actions directed towards restoration, and optimization an individual’s level of functioning.
  6. Discuss how to manage complications of disease progression.
  7. Compare and contrast interventions for the moderation of pain and suffering.
  8. Differentiate pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies.
  9. Explain the importance of pharmacological evaluation (polypharmacy), patient education, and supervision to prevent drug related complications.
  10. Identify cultural influences on individual and family reactions to the illness experience and end of life.
  11. Summarize strategies to assist patients in achieving a peaceful end of life.
  12. Define the scope of the health literacy problem.
  13. Recognize health system barriers faced by patients with low literacy.
  14. Describe the application of case management skills and principles in the delivery and supervision of client care across a continuum.
  15. Critique principles of infection control.
  16. Evaluate behavioral change through concepts of patient’s readiness and ability to accomplish recommended lifestyle changes.
  17. Synthesize data, information and knowledge on patient self-efficacy.
  18. Examine the Social Ecological Theory, Transtheoretical Model/Stages of Change, Lewin’s Stages of Change, and/or the self-efficacy concepts.

NU 680 CNL Role Immersion Practicum The immersion experience is divided over two modules: NU680 and NU681 constituting 6 credits in total. The two courses provide the opportunity for in-depth analysis of the CNL role within various health care settings and specialties through a guided role immersion practicum experience. The immersion experience focuses on the role of the clinical nurse leader as clinician, outcomes manager, client manager, client advocate, educator, information manager, systems analyst/risk anticipator, team member, member of the profession, and lifelong learner. Integration of prior coursework related to advanced assessment and pathophysiology, pharmacology, information systems, ethics, research, evidence-based practice and health care systems occurs through clinical role practice. A team of preceptors provide guidance and support as CNL students identify and confirm the role components of the CNL while analyzing the organizational context for this new role.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Practice application and synthesis of CNL role competencies in a designated clinical setting, working with one or more preceptors.
  2. Analyze and reflect on the CNL role in the designated setting including one's own level of competency development and the competencies of CNL role models/preceptors.
  3. Conduct an organizational assessment in (NU 611) and propose a Performance Improvement /Evidence Based Practice Project that incorporates the healthcare agency needs and correlates with student interests and CNL Competencies.
  4. Implement and evaluate a Performance Improvement /Evidence Based Practice Project (during NU 680 and NU681) that incorporates the healthcare agency needs and correlates with student interests and CNL Competencies.
  5. Assess knowledge regarding CNL certification exam content and develop a remediation plan to address identified weaknesses.
  6. Develop a poster presentation that describes the performance improvement/evidence based practice project, outcomes, and practice implications.
  7. Disseminate EBPP through publication and/or poster exhibit.

NU 681 CNL Capstone The immersion experience is divided over 2 modules: NU680 and NU681 constituting 6-credits. The two courses provide the opportunity for in-depth analysis of the CNL role within various health care settings and specialties through a guided role immersion practicum experience. The immersion experience focuses on the role of the clinical nurse leader as clinician, outcomes manager, client manager, client advocate, educator, information manager, systems analyst/risk anticipator, team member, member of the profession, and lifelong learner. Integration of prior coursework related to advanced assessment and pathophysiology, pharmacology, information systems, ethics, research, evidence-based practice and health care systems occurs through clinical role practice. A team of preceptors provides guidance and support as CNL students identify and confirm the role components of the CNL while analyzing the organizational context for this new role.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Practice application and synthesis of CNL role competencies in a designated clinical setting, working with one or more preceptors.
  2. Analyze and reflect on the CNL role in the designated setting including one’s own level of competency development and the competencies of CNL role models/preceptors.
  3. Conduct an organizational assessment and propose a Performance Improvement/Evidence Based Practice Project that incorporates the healthcare agency needs and correlates with student interests and CNL Competencies.
  4. Implement and evaluate a Performance Improvement/Evidence Based Practice Project that incorporates the healthcare agency needs and correlates with student interests and CNL Competencies.
  5. Assess knowledge regarding CNL certification exam content and develop a remediation plan to address identified weaknesses.
  6. Develop a poster presentation that describes the performance improvement/evidence based practice project, outcomes, and practice implications.
  7. Disseminate EBPP through publication and/or poster exhibit.

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Nursing Management & Executive Leadership Specialization Courses

 

NU 617 Health Care Delivery System This course focuses on the current health care delivery system and the impact on patient care. An evaluation of the health care delivery system will incorporate the impact of social issues, economics, politics, culture, education and technology on the health care system. Past, future and contemporary trends in health care delivery will be incorporated into the analysis of organizational Micro and Macro systems.

View Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze and evaluate key issues and trends in health care delivery and legislation including scope of practice, standards of practice, healthcare financing, inpatient and outpatient delivery of care, long-term care, and accountable health organizations.
  2. Discuss the global impact of US health systems and emerging health related trends.
  3. Demonstrate comprehension of the public and private decision making processes for determining insurance coverage and payment of health care services.
  4. Analyze the incentives of health care suppliers, and apply this analysis to understand equilibrium in health markets.
  5. Apply knowledge learned to the student’s own local and community healthcare system to develop more effective and efficient healthcare delivery models in their own practice.

NU 511 Role Development for Nursing Management and Executive Leadership This course introduces the student to contemporary theories of leadership, change, complexity science and organizational structure and design. The underlying framework of the course is transformational leadership and complexity science. Concepts such the clinical microsystems, nursing care innovations, strategic planning, and change, are covered. Students will be introduced to the concept of evidence based management and encourage to support their ideas with evidence. Students will complete an assessment of their leadership strengths and weaknesses and develop a professional leadership plan which will guide their progress throughout the rest of the program.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Assess one’s leadership competencies based on transformational leadership theory in order to assume or improve the student’s role as a nursing administrator (manager or executive).
  2. Analyze the parent organization’s impact on how the nursing department functions based on its structure, culture, mission, vision and strategic plan.
  3. Analyze the microsystem in which one works.
  4. Develop a mission, vision and strategic plan for a microsystem.
  5. Develop an innovation in one’s practice based on change theory and principles of complexity science.
  6. Use scholarly evidence to support one’s opinions about, analysis of, and personal development for transformational leadership.

NU 575 Health Care Information Systems Nursing Informatics combines knowledge and skills from nursing science, computer science, information science, and cognitive science to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. Core concepts will be discussed in relation to the application of nursing informatics to support nursing practice and enhance outcomes of care. Major topics related to nursing informatics will be explored. The use of informatics to enhance patient care delivery, quality, and safety in healthcare systems will be emphasized.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explore theoretical foundations for the processing of information and change within nursing and the health care system.
  2. Explore the process of implementing technology and its impact on health care delivery.
  3. Integrate relevant knowledge from nursing and organizational theory to the management of information to guide managerial decision making.
  4. Select a caring presence strategy to implement in practice and reflect on the experience and its effect on the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship.
  5. Propose a healthcare informatics project based on nursing process, change theory, and administrative strategies for assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating informatics in a healthcare organization.
  6. Examine social, ethical and legal issues involved in computerized procedures related to health care delivery.
  7. Evaluate data management and computer applications used in clinical practice, nursing and healthcare administration.

NU 576 Management of Financial Resources This course provides an overview to the process of budgeting in the Health Care setting. This course will explore the building blocks that are utilized to secure sound budget projections.

This course will also review and explore the Health Care System and the multiple payers and their impact to on the ability to utilize information systems in the development and ongoing analysis of financial data.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Develop understanding of the various components within hospital finances.
  2. Identify the available revenue base of a population in a given market sector.
  3. Explore the elements required in the development of staffing requirements.
  4. Develop an understanding of the specific elements necessary to complete a Salary/FTE Budget.
  5. Develop an understanding of the specific elements necessary to complete a Non-Salary Budget.
  6. Develop an understanding of the specific elements necessary to complete a Capital or Project specific budget.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in data analysis of financial statements.

NU 521 Creating a Professional Work Environment In this course the student will appreciate the rationale for and strategies for creating a positive work environment for nursing and the interprofessional team. Topics will include organizational culture, structural empowerment, shared governance, and the adoption of Magnet Hospital tenets (no matter the setting) among others. Human resource management principle such as selection, development, performant appraisal and nurse satisfaction will be considered within the framework of creating an environment of professional practice. Further how a positive work environment supports quality and safety will be discussed based on evidence. Fostering high performance from individuals and well as the team will be stressed.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Define the elements of a positive work environment at the microsystem level.
  2. Consider strategies that empower nurses and increase nurse satisfaction.
  3. Apply policies of human resource management to the creation of a positive work environment.
  4. Apply principles of team science to one’s practice.
  5. Discuss how conflict, diversity, collaboration, and communications can be positively managed to contribute to work harmony.
  6. Use evidence to support ideas and strategies for practice.

NU 665 Quality and Safety in Practice During this course the students will proceed in a step by step progression through the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process. This approach prepares the student with the necessary skills to complete a CQI capstone project in the practicum courses. The student will review the historical background and theory of quality improvement and apply it to the current health care environment. After a review of the national and regulatory issues of patient safety, the student will identify one issue to use in the course to apply CQI methodology.

View Course Objectives

  1. Review the historical development and theories of quality assurance and improvement in other industries and health care.
  2. Discuss the implications of the national initiatives on patient safety for nurse managers and executives.
  3. Discuss the implications of federal and accreditation regulations on desired patient outcomes and implications for reimbursement.
  4. Compare and contrast the CQI process in use today in the health care industry today and identify the one used in the student’s practice setting.
  5. Assess the culture of safety in one's microsystem.
  6. Compare your microsystem performance against national and local benchmarks.
  7. Use quality improvement tools to assess a quality or safety issue.
  8. Identify the stakeholders for a specific CQI initiative.
  9. Apply CQI principles to assess a practice problem.

NU 672 Nursing Management and Executive Leadership Practicum (60 hours clinical) This is the next to the last course in the nursing sequence for the Nursing Management and Executive Leadership track. Nursing 672 will focus at the larger organization’s macro-system level. Students will apply and analyze the theories, competencies and concepts of previous courses in a designated role practicum experience using a preceptor. Further, students will examine the application of theories / evidence from scholarly readings and their application to practice through a (private) weekly journal entry to the professor that will be appropriately referenced. They will also share their reflections with other course participants through a weekly discussion using appreciative inquiry to describe a significant learning on the strengths of their clinical site focused on the course objectives. The core role competencies for the nurse manager and executive leader frame the course activities including managing client needs and expectations, marketing, managing financial resources, assessing quality and safety, visioning and strategic planning, designing care management systems, and developing operational plans for accountability and ethical practice. Leadership strategies for accomplishing this work are explored. Current issues and trends in health care, nursing management and executive leadership are covered in course readings and integrated into the course assessments/project. In this course, the student will perform an organizational assessment and evaluation (macro-system level) in two parts and complete Part I of the capstone project.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, each student is expected to demonstrate the following learning outcomes by being able to:

  1. Analyze organizational, ethical, and leadership theories which guide the organization’s leaders and their administrative practice at the macro-system level, as derived from the literature.
  2. Review the organization’s macro-system level strategic and operational plans and the importance of developing these plans along with how they cascade down through the microsystems in the organization.
  3. Review and determine how the organization’s marketing plan positions it to meet its mission and serve the community/population’s needs - describing those needs using data.
  4. Analyze the organization’s macro-system level care delivery system in terms of ability to meet its community/population needs; meet patient safety/quality goals; achieve clinical, functional and financial outcomes (pay for performance) with emphasis on collaboration among disciplines and across departments.
  5. Propose an evidence-based Performance Improvement (PI) project based on the knowledge acquired by performing the organizational assessment and evaluation.
  6. Conduct a review of the literature and an action plan for change for the evidence-based PI project.
  7. Engage in self-reflection and continued learning to enhance competencies in the role of nurse leader.
  8. Use theory and research from nursing and other disciplines to direct nursing practice as a nurse manager/nurse executive.
  9. Apply/Implement the role of nurse manager/nurse executive.
  10. Practice collaboratively with a multidisciplinary administrative team.
  11. Demonstrate competence in the scholarship of the NMEL track, the ability to work independently, and the ability to present the results of investigation effectively.

NU 673 Nursing Management and Executive Leadership Capstone (60 hours clinical) This is the last course in the nursing sequence for the Nursing Management and Executive Leadership track. Nursing 673 will focus on the larger organization’s macro-system level. Students will apply and analyze the theories, competencies and concepts of previous courses in a designated role practicum experience using a preceptor. Further, students will examine the application of theories/evidence from scholarly readings and their application to practice through a (private) weekly journal entry to the professor that will be appropriately referenced. Students will also be sharing their reflections with other course participants through a weekly discussion using appreciative inquiry to describe a significant learning on the strengths of their clinical site focused on the course objectives. The core role competencies for the nurse manager and executive leader frame the course activities and include assessing the following areas: human resource management, workforce development, succession planning, culture of safety, The Joint Commission (TJC) national patient safety goals, public reporting and accountability, automation in healthcare and redesign of workflow, meaningful use, accountability care organizations, healthcare reform, care across the continuum, and raising the bar – learning from excellence. Current issues and trends in health care, nursing management and executive leadership and are covered in course readings and integrated into the course assessments/project. In this course, students will complete their capstone project and the organizational assessment and evaluation (macro-system level).

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At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Learn and evaluate the organization’s macro-system level management of human resources including leadership competencies, workforce development and succession planning as well as, identify opportunities for performance improvement.
  2. Learn and evaluate the organization’s safety/quality/performance improvement culture and macro-system level plan paying specific attention to current trends and benchmark statistics as described on the organization’s internal dashboards, as well as publically reported dashboards (Hospital Compare, Joint Commission).
  3. Analyze the organization’s macro-system level current and future plans for the application and integration of automated information systems to support its strategic and operational macro-system plans (support care delivery system; enable performance improvement and transparency with public reporting; meet meaningful use criteria and healthcare reform goals etc.).
  4. Develop a plan to implement and evaluate the change(s) for the evidence based practice Performance Improvement project.
  5. Engage in self-reflection and continued learning to enhance competencies in the role of nurse leader.
  6. Use theory and research from nursing and other disciplines to direct nursing practice as a nurse manager/nurse executive.
  7. Apply/Implement the role of nurse manager/nurse executive.
  8. Practice collaboratively with a multidisciplinary administrative team.
  9. Demonstrate competence in the scholarship of the NMEL track, the ability to work independently, and the ability to present the results of the investigation and capstone project effectively.

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Nursing Education Specialization Courses

 

NU 553 Advanced Pathophysiology This course further prepares each student to assess in-depth the pathophysiology of common disease states. Clinical pathology content addresses alterations in major body systems that are commonly found in the primary care settings, as well as common testing used in the diagnostic process. This course assists the student in the role of advanced practice nurse and/or nurse in an advanced nursing role with the preparation to assess clients across the lifespan.

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Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of pathophysiology and be able to integrate this knowledge in identification of clinical findings.
  2. Demonstrate the principles of critical thinking in processing and evaluating clinical findings.
  3. Differentiate between normal and abnormal clinical findings during the health assessment process.
  4. Discuss the relevance of common abnormal clinical findings to the client.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the pathophysiology in common diseases and be able to apply that knowledge to typical primary care situations.
  6. Discuss appropriate use of common medical testing employed in the diagnosis of disease states.

NU 554 Application of Comprehensive Health Assessment Methods This course prepares the learner to assess in depth the biopsychosocial health status of clients across the life span by obtaining a complete and accurate health history and by performing a systematic physical examination. Acquired data will be used to formulate a comprehensive problem list for the client and refine documentation skills. Content will be designed to provide correlation of assessment strategies with an understanding of the mechanisms of illness and health problems of the main body systems. Health and wellness in the context of disability will be addressed. This course assists in the socialization of the learner into the role of the clinical nurse leader or nurse educator in the current health care delivery system. The laboratory component enables the learner to develop comprehensive assessment skills. Prerequisite: NU 325

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Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Obtain a complete and accurate health history on clients of all ages using a developmental approach.
  2. Record data gleaned from the health history in a complete and accurate manner.
  3. Perform a focused accurate physical assessment on clients of varying ages using correct techniques of examination.
  4. Record data obtained from the physical assessment in an accurate manner.
  5. Integrate knowledge of pathophysiology, including cultural and genetic influences, with the identification of clinical findings.
  6. Differentiate between normal and abnormal clinical findings during the health assessment process.
  7. Discuss the relevance of common abnormal clinical findings to the client.
  8. Use diagnostic reasoning to formulate both a problem list and a differential diagnosis based on assessment findings, which reflects both normal and abnormal clinical findings.
  9. Discuss common laboratory and imaging studies that could be used to facilitate diagnosis.
  10. Develop performance and procedural skills necessary to complete the health assessment process.
  11. Respect the individuality, dignity, cultural beliefs, and privacy of the client.
  12. Protect the client's legal and moral rights to confidentiality.
  13. Design health promotion interventions to improve patient care.
  14. Explore complementary and alternative medicine and therapeutics.

NU 605 Pharmacology For The Nurse Leader This course will focus on the pharmacotherapeutic principles of drugs most commonly used and evaluated by the Master’s Prepared Nurse across health care settings. Basic pharmacological concepts, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutics, as well as the principal classifications of drugs in clinical use today are discussed in relation to physiologic and psychologic concepts. The role of the Master’s Prepared Nurse in teaching patients safe and effective medication administration and assessment of medication management in patients with chronic disease is emphasized. A variety of interactive and experiential activities will be utilized to enable the student to apply pharmacological theory to clinical situations and patient education.

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Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Relate the importance of pharmacology in nursing practice.
  2. Discuss the concepts and principles related to pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of commonly used prescription, non-prescription drugs, and alternative therapies for common health problems experienced by individuals across the life span.
  3. Identify the relevant influencing factors that impact drug therapy with emphasis on evidence based drug classification selection, monitoring of drug therapies, identification and avoidance of adverse drug reactions and interactions.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the major drug classifications in terms of their mechanism of action, therapeutic uses, adverse effects and nursing implications.
  5. Identify the effects of cultural beliefs on nursing interventions for drug therapy across the lifespan.
  6. Assess the legal, ethical and interdisciplinary implications for the Clinical Nurse Leader in the administration of drug therapy.
  7. Critique, evaluate and utilize evidence based practice guidelines in pharmacology and drug therapy.
  8. Discuss competency in teaching principles of medication preparation and administration identifying nursing interventions which maximize therapeutic effectiveness and minimizes adverse reactions.
  9. Discuss monitoring strategies, case evaluation, and patient counseling to ensure appropriate outcomes in specific disease states, for both acute and chronic conditions.

NU 575 Health Care Information Systems Nursing Informatics combines knowledge and skills from nursing science, computer science, information science, and cognitive science to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. Core concepts will be discussed in relation to the application of nursing informatics to support nursing practice and enhance outcomes of care. Major topics related to nursing informatics will be explored. use of informatics to enhance patient care delivery, quality, and safety in healthcare systems will be emphasized.

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Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explore theoretical foundations for the processing of information and change within nursing and the health care system.
  2. Explore the process of implementing technology and its impact on health care delivery.
  3. Integrate relevant knowledge from nursing and organizational theory to the management of information to guide managerial decision making.
  4. Select a caring presence strategy to implement in practice and reflect on the experience and its effect on the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship.
  5. Propose a healthcare informatics project based on nursing process, change theory, and administrative strategies for assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating informatics in a healthcare organization.
  6. Examine social, ethical and legal issues involved in computerized procedures related to health care delivery.
  7. Evaluate data management and computer applications used in clinical practice, nursing and healthcare administration.

NU 588 Theoretical Basis of Teaching and Learning in Nursing Education This course covers research-based educational theory and evidence based teaching/learning strategies. The theories will be examined for their application in a variety of settings, level of education, and for the adult learner. It will introduce the impact of diversity and emphasis is placed on who the learner is and how he/she learns. External issues and trends impacting on nursing education will be explored including ethical/legal considerations in course curriculum design and implementation; virtual environments for teaching/learning and external issues and trends impacting on nursing education will be explored.

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Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Analyze educational theory and evidence based teaching/learning practices and their application to teaching and learning in nursing education.
  2. Examine the implications of ethical and legal issues in nursing education and in program/curriculum design.
  3. Recognize the diversity of learners related to culture, learning style, and motivation and select effective teaching strategies and learning activities for diverse learners based on evidence.
  4. Discuss the role and responsibilities of faculty in preparing and developing the nursing workforce.
  5. Develop evidence based teaching plan for current healthcare problem with evaluation measures with several teaching strategies and at least one evaluation method.
  6. Utilize technology in the development of an on-line teaching strategy as a part of a teaching plan.
  7. Analyze trends and issues in society, higher education, health care, and nursing and their implications for nursing education.
  8. Engage in self-reflection on how the major concepts impact personal values related to nursing education practice.

NU 589 Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing Education This course prepares the student to design and implement curriculum based on evidence-based teaching/learning theory. Focus is on the process of curriculum development for an individual course including course objectives, content, learning activities, delivery of the content and student evaluation. The role of the faculty in program evaluation of the curriculum is explored.

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Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explore the concepts of regulation and accreditation in nursing education programs.
  2. Analyze the process of needs assessment to curriculum development.
  3. Apply the components of curriculum development to a variety of educational environments.
  4. Evaluate nursing curriculum according to published accreditation standards.
  5. Design an evaluation tool to evaluate learning on a selected topic for a group of nursing students or nursing staff.
  6. Apply evidence based assessment and evaluation strategies to evaluate learning in the classroom, online, and/or the clinical practice setting.
  7. Analyze the role of faculty in program evaluation.
  8. Explore trends and challenges in curriculum development, delivery and evaluation.

NU 619 Principles of Patient and Staff Education The course is to prepare the graduate level nurse in the nurse educator’s role of patient and staff education utilizing theory and research based knowledge in the design, coordination, and evaluation of the delivery of patient care as well as patient and staff education. Communication skills and strategies necessary to interact and collaborate with members of the interdisciplinary health care team and the patient will be explored.

The course will provide the student with the ability to develop an in-depth knowledge in a clinical specialty and to develop a simulation design that can be effectively utilized in an educational setting. Under the supervision of a preceptor, the student will apply graduate-level health assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology as well principles of cultural diversity in a selected healthcare population utilizing nursing and theoretical frameworks to improve patient outcomes. A practicum experience is part of this course.

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Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the various roles of the master’s prepared nurse educator in the healthcare system including interdisciplinary partnerships.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of various leadership and change theories and appropriately apply them.
  3. Evaluate the relevance of health literacy to patient’s ability to navigate the health care system and engage in self-care.
  4. Develop an educational concept utilizing an effective active-learning teaching strategy to meet identified staff and patient educational needs
  5. Interpret the laws, policies and regulations that directly impact both patient education and nursing education in a clinical setting
  6. Utilizes advanced knowledge and evidence-based practice to assess patients and provide quality health-care to diverse populations to improve health outcomes.

NU 690 Nursing Education Role Practicum This is the first of two capstone courses in the nursing program. The course includes a role immersion experience in nursing education. Students apply and analyze the theories, competencies and concepts of the previous courses in a designated role practicum experience using a preceptor. Through this experience, the student will develop an evidence-based teaching project. Further, the student applies theory to practice in class work discussions and readings. Current issues and trends in healthcare and nursing are explored.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Socialize into the role of the nurse educator.
  2. Engage in self-reflection and continued learning to improve teaching practices that facilitate learning.
  3. Assess the impact of current and future trends in society, health care, higher education, nursing, ethical/legal issues, and nursing education on the role practicum site.
  4. Analyze the organizational systems in a nursing education program as they relate to planned project.
  5. Assess the nursing educational organization, including the nursing curriculum needs.
  6. Synthesize the evidence supporting planned Capstone teaching project.
  7. Analyze the role of the faculty in the department and organization.
  8. Actively participate in the role as faculty, which will include teaching in an online or face to face setting (classroom, lab or clinical).

NU 691 Nursing Education Role Capstone This is the final course in the nursing sequence for the role immersion experience in nursing education. Students apply and analyze the theories, competencies, and concepts of the previous nurse educator courses in a designated role practicum experience using a preceptor. Through this experience the student will develop an evidence based teaching proposal. Further, the student applies theory to practice in seminar discussion and readings. Current issues and trends in health care and nursing are integrated within each topical area.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Socialize into the role of the nurse educator.
  2. Engage in self-reflection and continued learning to improve teaching practices that facilitate learning.
  3. Assess the impact of current and future trends in society, health care, higher education, nursing, ethical/legal issues, and nursing education on the role practicum site.
  4. Analyze the organizational systems in a nursing education program as they relate to planned project.
  5. Assess the nursing educational organization, including the nursing curriculum needs.
  6. Synthesize the evidence supporting planned Capstone teaching project.
  7. Analyze the role of the faculty in the department and organization.
  8. Actively participate in the role as faculty, which will include teaching in an online or face to face setting (classroom, lab or clinical).

Find out more about the curriculum of Sacred Heart's online MS in Nursing degree program. Call us today at 877-791-7181 or request more information online.

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