Master of Science Nursing

The goal of the Master of Science in Nursing program is to prepare skilled, competent nurses to serve as leaders and collaborative partners of the health care team, lead change to improve quality outcomes and safety, apply evidence-based practice recommendations to improve health in a global society, and continue to pursue excellence and professional growth. The Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program will offer two concentrations: Nursing Education and Nursing Leadership and Management. Students are required to complete the core courses before moving on to the major specialty courses. Some courses are sequential, building on knowledge acquired in previous courses. The length of time required to complete the MSN curriculum depends mainly on the number of courses the student elects to take each term.

Degree Summary

Credit Hours: 54 (12 courses at 4.5 credits each; 8 Core and 4 Specialization)
Duration: 60 weeks (6 Terms) 18-24 months 
Online vs. On-Campus: Program will start out as on-campus (can take online courses as hybrid) but will apply after program approval for 100% distance education in 2021.
Internship Hours: Capstone Practicum (120 Hours)

Admissions Requirements
Program Objectives

At the completion of the program the student will be able to:

The Essentials of Naster’s Education in Nursing (AACN, 2011) standards provide the foundation for the nursing graduate program. The AACN standards guide program development, implementation, and evaluation.

How the Objectives Conform to Stratford’s Mission

The MSN program student learning outcomes are congruent with the mission of the University, which is to prepare students for rewarding careers through quality educational programs that meet the changing needs of employers and the community. A new MSN program will provide an educational opportunity for our local students and those throughout the world to become nursing professors and nursing administrators. Currently there is a shortage of such advanced practice nurses in our community so these new programs will be serving the needs of local employers and the community.

Our University strives to serve a quite diverse student body and also our patient population in the Northern Virginia area is very diverse. Our MSN program prepares students to provide humanistic, collaborative care as a leader in an advanced nursing practice which addresses sociocultural, spiritual, ethnic, and gender diversity within an increasingly global, multicultural society. Our graduates will be prepared to enter the world of nursing practice with extensive knowledge of how to work in our diverse community.

Programmatic Courses
Nursing Core Courses

This course focuses on concepts and theories of advanced practice nursing, leadership styles, advanced practice roles, and scope and standards of practice.  Topics included are legal and ethical principles, developmental theories, systems theory, models of heath, cultural diversity, caring, professional values, nursing theories and history, contemporary issues, communication, and interprofessional collaboration. 

This course provides advanced theoretical knowledge and physical assessment skills for advanced clinical practice in the clinical assessment of clients across the lifespan.  Critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills are developed.  The student will learn to use information systems technology to collect and interpret data to perform and record comprehensive health assessments and formulate prioritized differential diagnoses and problem lists.

This course provides an overview and framework for analyzing health policy issues. The structure of U.S. healthcare financing, reimbursement systems and healthcare delivery systems are ex­plored. Historical perspectives, ethical, legal and political outcomes are analyzed. Comparing the U.S. healthcare system to the global healthcare arena is an essential part of the course.

The focus of this course is on the study of clinical pharmacology for advanced clinical practice across the lifespan.  The course covers the therapeutic decision-making process used in prescribing for the management of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities across the lifespan.  An understanding of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and dose-response relationships will be provided.  Students will learn of the importance of developmental age, legal, cultural, ethical, and economic considerations of pharmacotherapy. 

 

This course provides an overview of the principles and theo­ries relevant to quality, safety, and evolving innovations in healthcare. It prepares the student to apply health information technologies and systems to evaluate and improve the quality and safety of patient care. Integrating technology and informa­tion systems with continuous quality modes and processes to measure health outcomes is emphasized.  Legal and ethical issues related to information systems and patient care technology and consumer health information sources will be presented.

This course focuses on health deviations and clinical decision-making important to advanced clinical nursing practice across the lifespan. Incorporated in the course are concepts of advanced clinical assessment, diagnosis, and management of health disorders and disease processes in both the acute and primary care settings. Emphasized are concepts of prevention, health promotion, education, counseling, and diversity.

This course builds on baccalaureate-level knowledge to prepare students to serve as leaders in providing solutions for national and global population health problems and issues.  Students will address diverse health care needs of multicultural and underserved populations. They are prepared to analyze disease and injury prevention, health promotion, epidemiology, health policy, social determinants of health, and health disparities in order to contribute to national and international goals of improving health outcomes.

This course provides the opportunity to apply the research process to investigate, critically evaluate, and synthesize research results and evidence-based methods of clinical problems.  The student will develop skills necessary to interpret and evaluate research findings from databases to generate meaningful evidence for nursing practice and improvement of health care outcomes.  Covered are quantitative and qualitative research methods, including phenomenology, grounded theory, and ethnography.  The PICO process will be taught as a method to approach clinical and educational research questions.  Ethical implications of research and translational scholarship will be addressed. 

Major Courses: Nursing Education

In this course learners will examine how educational theory and instructional strategies and technologies facilitate learning in classroom, online, laboratory, and clinical settings.  Students will acquire knowledge of learning theory, teaching methods, student engagement, instructional design, blended and flipped learning, online teaching, clinical instruction, simulation, multimedia technology, active learning strategies, self-directed eLearning, and classroom management. Issues relating to ethics, cultural diversity, and the adult learner in nursing education will be addressed.

This course examines theories, principles, and practices in assessment, measurement, and evaluation in nursing education.  Included is content on feedback, test item construction, test reliability and validity, item analysis, development and grading of written assignments, grading rubrics, evaluation of clinical performance and teaching effectiveness, and designing of assessment tools and surveys.  The students will learn skills relating to evaluation both in online and on-ground teaching.  This course will also address the evaluation of culturally diverse students.  

In this course students will learn and apply the process of curriculum development, program evaluation, state regulatory and national accreditation standards, and curriculum trends.  Students will learn the process of developing a nursing program with program goals, philosophy, mission statement, programmatic student learning outcomes, curriculum plan, and program evaluation.  They will learn how to prepare for a nursing program accreditation visit.  Also included are curriculum considerations in nursing education offered in a health care facility and by distance delivery.

This course provides students with the opportunity to synthesize previous learned teaching and learning principles, strategies, and methods.  In collaboration with a preceptor and course professor the student engages in applying new knowledge of teaching strategies and assessment methods in two settings – a hospital or community-based in-service education setting, and an academic school of nursing setting with a hospital clinical teaching experience.  Students will be required to design and conduct a nursing simulation training exercise for nursing students or nursing staff.  They will participate in self-evaluations and forum discussions of the nurse educator role.  Practicum hours: 120

Major Courses: Nursing Leadership and Management

Students will examine conceptual principles of nursing leadership, evidence-based leadership skills, and the executive roles of health leadership of an interdisciplinary team.  Emphasis will be on self-evaluation, leadership skill building, team-building techniques, readiness for change, conflict resolution, motivation, communication and group process skills, mentoring employees, and coaching. Students will also learn about the legal and ethical issues important to nurse leaders.

The focus of this course is on the economic and financial factors affecting nursing practice in a complex healthcare environment.  Students will learn accounting principles and analysis of financial statements.  This course will develop knowledge and skills on healthcare stakeholders, healthcare economics, third-party reimbursement, achieving cost-effectiveness, budget development and evaluation, reimbursement, and financial strategies.

This course provides the executive nurse with the necessary knowledge and tools to make operational decisions and improvements in healthcare systems.  Students will acquire an understanding of health care management including roles of managers, strategic planning, and health care marketing.  They will learn how to manage health care professionals including strategic management of human resources and recruitment and retention of employees.  Also covered are health care regulations and compliance, teamwork, and communication.

This course provides the opportunity for the student to synthesize and apply previously learned leadership and management principles and skills by working in an administrative role in a selected health-care agency.  Students will work with a preceptor who is an executive nursing administrator in a health-care setting.  They will design and facilitate a change project that demonstrates their knowledge of team building, health care and information systems, and finance.  The course will include goal setting, self-evaluations, and forum discussions where issues relating to nursing leadership and management are explored.  Practicum hours: 120

MSN Nursing Leadership and Management Specialization

The MSN degree in Nursing Leadership and Management prepares students for advanced nursing practice leadership roles by developing expertise in the critical analysis and evidence-based practice of complex problems associated with health care organizations and systems.  This MSN program emphasizes evidence-based management and patient-care practices to achieve quality outcomes, innovation in the integration of healthcare services, strategic financial planning, and expertise in leading collaborative inter-professional teams.  The courses provide foundational knowledge that meets the objectives of the essentials of master’s education as required by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.  Graduates are prepared to work in management positions in hospitals, long-term care facilities, governmental agencies, community health organizations, and corporations.  This program of student also prepares graduates to later transition directly into a post-masters advanced practice nursing specialty certificate, PhD in Nursing, or a DNP program.  

Our University strives to serve a quite diverse student body and also our patient population in the Northern Virginia area is very diverse. Our MSN program prepares students to provide humanistic, collaborative care as a leader in an advanced nursing practice which addresses sociocultural, spiritual, ethnic, and gender diversity within an increasingly global, multicultural society. Our graduates will be prepared to enter the world of nursing practice with extensive knowledge of how to work in our diverse community.

TERM 1

This course focuses on concepts and theories of advanced practice nursing, leadership styles, advanced practice roles, and scope and standards of practice.  Topics included are legal and ethical principles, developmental theories, systems theory, models of heath, cultural diversity, caring, professional values, nursing theories and history, contemporary issues, communication, and interprofessional collaboration. 

This course provides advanced theoretical knowledge and physical assessment skills for advanced clinical practice in the clinical assessment of clients across the lifespan.  Critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills are developed.  The student will learn to use information systems technology to collect and interpret data to perform and record comprehensive health assessments and formulate prioritized differential diagnoses and problem lists.

TERM 2

This course provides an overview and framework for analyzing health policy issues. The structure of U.S. healthcare financing, reimbursement systems and healthcare delivery systems are ex­plored. Historical perspectives, ethical, legal and political outcomes are analyzed. Comparing the U.S. healthcare system to the global healthcare arena is an essential part of the course.

:The focus of this course is on the study of clinical pharmacology for advanced clinical practice across the lifespan.  The course covers the therapeutic decision-making process used in prescribing for the management of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities across the lifespan.  An understanding of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and dose-response relationships will be provided.  Students will learn of the importance of developmental age, legal, cultural, ethical, and economic considerations of pharmacotherapy. 

TERM 3

This course provides an overview of the principles and theo­ries relevant to quality, safety, and evolving innovations in healthcare. It prepares the student to apply health information technologies and systems to evaluate and improve the quality and safety of patient care. Integrating technology and informa­tion systems with continuous quality modes and processes to measure health outcomes is emphasized.  Legal and ethical issues related to information systems and patient care technology and consumer health information sources will be presented.

This course focuses on health deviations and clinical decision-making important to advanced clinical nursing practice across the lifespan. Incorporated in the course are concepts of advanced clinical assessment, diagnosis, and management of health disorders and disease processes in both the acute and primary care settings. Emphasized are concepts of prevention, health promotion, education, counseling, and diversity.

TERM 4

This course builds on baccalaureate-level knowledge to prepare students to serve as leaders in providing solutions for national and global population health problems and issues.  Students will address diverse health care needs of multicultural and underserved populations. They are prepared to analyze disease and injury prevention, health promotion, epidemiology, health policy, social determinants of health, and health disparities in order to contribute to national and international goals of improving health outcomes.

This course provides the opportunity to apply the research process to investigate, critically evaluate, and synthesize research results and evidence-based methods of clinical problems.  The student will develop skills necessary to interpret and evaluate research findings from databases to generate meaningful evidence for nursing practice and improvement of health care outcomes.  Covered are quantitative and qualitative research methods, including phenomenology, grounded theory, and ethnography.  The PICO process will be taught as a method to approach clinical and educational research questions.  Ethical implications of research and translational scholarship will be addressed. 

TERM 5

In this course learners will examine how educational theory and instructional strategies and technologies facilitate learning in classroom, online, laboratory, and clinical settings.  Students will acquire knowledge of learning theory, teaching methods, student engagement, instructional design, blended and flipped learning, online teaching, clinical instruction, simulation, multimedia technology, active learning strategies, self-directed eLearning, and classroom management. Issues relating to ethics, cultural diversity, and the adult learner in nursing education will be addressed.

This course examines theories, principles, and practices in assessment, measurement, and evaluation in nursing education.  Included is content on feedback, test item construction, test reliability and validity, item analysis, development and grading of written assignments, grading rubrics, evaluation of clinical performance and teaching effectiveness, and designing of assessment tools and surveys.  The students will learn skills relating to evaluation both in online and on-ground teaching.  This course will also address the evaluation of culturally diverse students.  

TERM 6

In this course students will learn and apply the process of curriculum development, program evaluation, state regulatory and national accreditation standards, and curriculum trends.  Students will learn the process of developing a nursing program with program goals, philosophy, mission statement, programmatic student learning outcomes, curriculum plan, and program evaluation.  They will learn how to prepare for a nursing program accreditation visit.  Also included are curriculum considerations in nursing education offered in a health care facility and by distance delivery.

TERM 7

This course provides students with the opportunity to synthesize previous learned teaching and learning principles, strategies, and methods.  In collaboration with a preceptor and course professor the student engages in applying new knowledge of teaching strategies and assessment methods in two settings – a hospital or community-based in-service education setting, and an academic school of nursing setting with a hospital clinical teaching experience.  Students will be required to design and conduct a nursing simulation training exercise for nursing students or nursing staff.  They will participate in self-evaluations and forum discussions of the nurse educator role.  Practicum hours: 120

MSN in Nursing Education Specialization

The MSN in nursing education offers a combination of courses to prepare the graduate in advanced nursing practice roles essential to teach nursing in an increasingly complex and culturally diverse health care system. The courses provide foundational knowledge that meets the objectives of the essentials of master’s education as required by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.  The plan of study builds advanced professional nursing competencies and emphasizes the use of a variety of assessment, instructional, curricular development and evaluative strategies that facilitate learning in diverse student populations.  By earning a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education, graduates are prepared to function in a variety of educational settings including schools of nursing, hospitals, long-term care facilities, governmental agencies, community health organizations, corporations, and health care facilities. Graduates are qualified to sit for the NLN National Nurse Educator Certification.  They are also prepared to later transition directly into a post-masters advanced practice nursing specialty certificate, PhD in Nursing, or a DNP program.  

TERM 1

This course focuses on concepts and theories of advanced practice nursing, leadership styles, advanced practice roles, and scope and standards of practice.  Topics included are legal and ethical principles, developmental theories, systems theory, models of heath, cultural diversity, caring, professional values, nursing theories and history, contemporary issues, communication, and interprofessional collaboration. 

This course provides advanced theoretical knowledge and physical assessment skills for advanced clinical practice in the clinical assessment of clients across the lifespan.  Critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills are developed.  The student will learn to use information systems technology to collect and interpret data to perform and record comprehensive health assessments and formulate prioritized differential diagnoses and problem lists.

TERM 2

This course provides an overview and framework for analyzing health policy issues. The structure of U.S. healthcare financing, reimbursement systems and healthcare delivery systems are ex­plored. Historical perspectives, ethical, legal and political outcomes are analyzed. Comparing the U.S. healthcare system to the global healthcare arena is an essential part of the course.

The focus of this course is on the study of clinical pharmacology for advanced clinical practice across the lifespan.  The course covers the therapeutic decision-making process used in prescribing for the management of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities across the lifespan.  An understanding of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and dose-response relationships will be provided.  Students will learn of the importance of developmental age, legal, cultural, ethical, and economic considerations of pharmacotherapy. 

TERM 3

This course provides an overview of the principles and theo­ries relevant to quality, safety, and evolving innovations in healthcare. It prepares the student to apply health information technologies and systems to evaluate and improve the quality and safety of patient care. Integrating technology and informa­tion systems with continuous quality modes and processes to measure health outcomes is emphasized.  Legal and ethical issues related to information systems and patient care technology and consumer health information sources will be presented.

This course focuses on health deviations and clinical decision-making important to advanced clinical nursing practice across the lifespan. Incorporated in the course are concepts of advanced clinical assessment, diagnosis, and management of health disorders and disease processes in both the acute and primary care settings. Emphasized are concepts of prevention, health promotion, education, counseling, and diversity.

TERM 4

This course builds on baccalaureate-level knowledge to prepare students to serve as leaders in providing solutions for national and global population health problems and issues.  Students will address diverse health care needs of multicultural and underserved populations. They are prepared to analyze disease and injury prevention, health promotion, epidemiology, health policy, social determinants of health, and health disparities in order to contribute to national and international goals of improving health outcomes.

This course provides the opportunity to apply the research process to investigate, critically evaluate, and synthesize research results and evidence-based methods of clinical problems.  The student will develop skills necessary to interpret and evaluate research findings from databases to generate meaningful evidence for nursing practice and improvement of health care outcomes.  Covered are quantitative and qualitative research methods, including phenomenology, grounded theory, and ethnography.  The PICO process will be taught as a method to approach clinical and educational research questions.  Ethical implications of research and translational scholarship will be addressed. 

TERM 5

Students will examine conceptual principles of nursing leadership, evidence-based leadership skills, and the executive roles of health leadership of an interdisciplinary team.  Emphasis will be on self-evaluation, leadership skill building, team-building techniques, readiness for change, conflict resolution, motivation, communication and group process skills, mentoring employees, and coaching. Students will also learn about the legal and ethical issues important to nurse leaders.

The focus of this course is on the economic and financial factors affecting nursing practice in a complex healthcare environment.  Students will learn accounting principles and analysis of financial statements.  This course will develop knowledge and skills on healthcare stakeholders, healthcare economics, third-party reimbursement, achieving cost-effectiveness, budget development and evaluation, reimbursement, and financial strategies.

TERM 6

This course provides the executive nurse with the necessary knowledge and tools to make operational decisions and improvements in healthcare systems.  Students will acquire an understanding of health care management including roles of managers, strategic planning, and health care marketing.  They will learn how to manage health care professionals including strategic management of human resources and recruitment and retention of employees.  Also covered are health care regulations and compliance, teamwork, and communication.

TERM 7

This course provides the opportunity for the student to synthesize and apply previously learned leadership and management principles and skills by working in an administrative role in a selected health-care agency.  Students will work with a preceptor who is an executive nursing administrator in a health-care setting.  They will design and facilitate a change project that demonstrates their knowledge of team building, health care and information systems, and finance.  The course will include goal setting, self-evaluations, and forum discussions where issues relating to nursing leadership and management are explored.  Practicum hours: 120