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Online RN-BSN-MSN: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

54-147 total credits required

Find your way to new opportunities faster with the RN-BSN-MSN program from Sacred Heart University. In as few as 3.5 years, graduate with two full degrees in nursing that prepare you to not only provide expert-level care, but also take the lead in nursing education or administration.

First, you’ll experience our signature core curriculum, The Human Journey, exploring what it means to be a human being through literature, philosophy, religion and sociology. Next, deepen your nursing expertise in one of three master’s-level specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nursing Education or Nursing Management and Executive Leadership. Each specialization includes practicum hours you can complete near you.

Put your new skills to work and benefit from an asynchronous (anytime) online curriculum designed to fit the life of a busy working nurse. The RN-BSN-MSN consists of 30–120 undergraduate credits and 24–27 graduate credits and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

NURSING MAJOR REQUIREMENTS AND VALIDATION OF PRIOR LEARNING

Validation of Prior Learning Students may be awarded 30-36 Nursing credits through the State of Connecticut Nursing Articulation Plan. Students who graduate from schools in other states can be awarded 30 credits through endorsement of these courses. Students will be advised of their status by the Nursing faculty with credits shown as NU 290.

This course is for RNs. The Human Journey in Nursing utilizes the four questions posed in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Seminars to address nursing’s role in building a just society. Concepts such as human vulnerability, resiliency, spirituality, and cultural diversity will provide the platform from which discussions about the professions and the professional nurse’s role in shaping past, current, and future healthcare will be based. Reflection on service-learning experiences will personalize and professionalize the meaning and responsibility for addressing health inequities within the workplace and the perpetuation of health disparities in society. A prerequisite to NU 376 and NU 387

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. Videotaping assessment skills is a required course component.

This core course focuses on history, policy, and ethics in nursing and health care. It examines health care policy, including global health considerations, health care financing, quality and safety in health care, and the ethics of health care. Current practices in nursing and health care are viewed from the past and present as a way to contemplate the future. The course builds on a framework of critical thinking, as students explore aspects of the history of nursing and medicine, analysis of current policy development, and implications of the past for present and future actions in nursing and health care.

This course studies 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 on understanding the research process through proposal development. Prerequisite: MA 131

This course builds on the content of Principles of Health Care Research for Contemporary Nursing Practice (NU 601) and begins with principles inherent to a sound data collection and analysis, including both philosophical and pragmatic differences between qualitative and quantitative research. Content areas of substance include evidence-based practice, nursing theory in research, statistical analysis from the prospective of application and critique, research utilization, and issues in nursing and health care research from a national perspective. Students critique research articles according to criteria and develop a project related to evidence-based 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.

This course is for the registered nurse student and is focused on the elements of care management of individuals and families across the health care continuum. This course will expand upon the concepts of care transitions from hospital to the community setting with an emphasis on the challenges related to transitioning such as financial management, resource utilization, and overall care coordination. Care management for individuals and families requires an understanding of family systems and the interaction of individuals with their family during healthy actual or potential health issues. A family assessment will be utilized to allow the registered nurse student the opportunity to develop a plan that will promote a safe and productive transition to the community. Students will engage in analytic discussions to further develop their understanding of family systems, systems of care, clinical practice and community nursing roles. Personal reflection on one’s own practice in contemporary nursing will be included in order to allow the student to think holistically, ethically and morally as they grapple with real-world challenges and contemporary care management issues in our healthcare environment. Pre-Requisites: Acceptance to the nursing major, NU305, NU315, NU325, NU335, NU345, NU355

This course is for RNs and focuses on global communities as consumers of health services. The different perspectives, sensitivities and application of knowledge unique to nursing of populations, communities, and societies are identified. Effectiveness of nursing practice is explored in relation to the problems, priorities, attitudes, culture and resources of aggregates, groups, the community, and global health needs. Prerequisites: Acceptance to the RN to BSN Nursing Major, NU 305, 315, 325, 335, 345, and 355 or acceptance to the RN-MSN Nursing Major, NU 325, 401, 430, 431, 433 and 376

CLINICAL NURSE LEADER SPECIALIZATION COURSES

This course, the first within the Family, Primary Care, and Community sequence, 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.

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 with the preparation to assess clients across the lifespan.

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

This course will focus on the pharmacotherapeutic principles of drugs most commonly used and evaluated by Master’s prepared nurse across healthcare settings. Basic pharmacological concepts, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics, as well as the principle 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 and 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.

Reviews the basic approaches to care or case management and utilization in their evolution, driving factors, and contemporary roles within a variety of health care settings. The role of practice guidelines and key relationships among nursing roles and interprofessional team members is considered along with the contributions of technology and financial considerations.

Introduces the concept of disease management as an evolution of case management and explores the benefits of a comprehensive case and disease management program in selected settings. Health priorities, models of chronic illness and important concepts related to health status (including quality of life and functional status) are discussed. Research on the outcomes of case and disease management is covered along with strategies for identifying and measuring outcomes of care.

This is the first course in the nursing sequence for the clinical nurse leader role practicum providing the opportunity for in-depth analysis of the CNL role within various health care settings and specialties through a guided role immersion practicum experience. 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, case studies, and student presentations. A team of preceptors provide guidance and support as CNL students identify and enact the role components of the CNL role while analyzing the organizational context for this new role.

This capstone course is the final in the nursing sequence for the clinical nurse leader role practicum providing the opportunity for in-depth analysis of the CNL role within various health care settings and specialties through a guided role immersion practicum experience. 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, case studies, and student presentations. A team of preceptors provide guidance and support as CNL students identify and enact the role components of the CNL role while analyzing the organizational context for this new role.

NURSE MANAGEMENT & EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP SPECIALIZATION COURSES

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.

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.

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 on the ability to utilize information systems in the development and ongoing analysis of financial data.

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.

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 methods.

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.

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).

NURSING EDUCATION SPECIALIZATION COURSES

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 with the preparation to assess clients across the lifespan.

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

This course will focus on the pharmacotherapeutic principles of drugs most commonly used and evaluated by Master’s prepared nurse across healthcare settings. Basic pharmacological concepts, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics, as well as the principle 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 and 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.

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.

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.

The focus of the course is to explore the master’s prepared nurse’s role in education in a hospital or clinical setting. Theory and research based knowledge in the design, coordination, and evaluation of the delivery of patient care and staff education will be reviewed. Communication skills and strategies necessary to interact and collaborate with members of the interdisciplinary health care team in addition to develop a therapeutic alliance with the patient will be discussed.

This is the first course in the nursing sequence for the role immersion experience in nursing education. Students apply and analyze the theories, competencies, and concepts of the two 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 seminar discussion and readings. Current issues and trends in health care and nursing are integrated within each topical area.

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.