The purpose of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is to prepare graduates for advanced practice nursing in a variety of practice settings, particularly in rural and/or underserved communities. The program also prepares nurses for leadership roles in the administration of clinical services in a variety of community-based or acute care provider agencies. The MSN program offers five (5) areas of emphasis: the Family Nurse Practioner (FNP) area of emphais, Nursing Administration (NA) area of emphasis, Nursing Education (NE) area of emphasis, and in cooperation with Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia the Nurse Midwifery and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practioner areas of emphasis.
- Provide a foundation for doctoral study
- Provide knowledge base for high performance on certifying exams
- Maintain high completion rates of students
- Provide graduates to meet employer needs
- Provide graduates to meet areas of specialization and other fields
- Maintain high employment of graduates
The Master of Science in Nursing program provides the students with an opportunity to:
- Apply knowledge from the sciences and the humanities to support advanced nursing practice, nursing administration, and role development
- Expand knowledge of theories used by nurses as a basis for advanced practice nursing or in the administration of clinical services
- Develop expertise in a specialized area of clinical nursing practice or in the administration of clinical services
- Acquire the knowledge and skills related to a specific functional role in nursing
- Acquire initial competence in conducting research
- Acquire the knowledge and skills to influence change in the health care system and in the practice and delivery of health care
- Further develop and implement leadership strategies for betterment of health care
- Actively engage in collaborative relationships with others for the purpose of improving health care
- Find employment in area of specialization and/or related field
- Acquire a foundation for doctoral study
Course work in the FNP area of emphasis incorporates the classroom, online, laboratory, and clinical modes of instruction. All nursing students have experiences with rural and/or underserved populations as part of the State initiatives for primary health care. The FNP area of emphais requires the completion of a minimum of 41 hours of credit. Upon successful completion of the MSN-FNP area of emphais graduates are eligible to take the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Certification Examination for Adult and Family Nurse Practitioners and/or the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification Examinations for Family Nurse Practitioners.
Graduates of the MSN-Nursing Administration area of emphasis complete 36 hours of credit and are eligible to take the ANCC Certification Examination for Nursing Administration or Nursing Administration, Advanced depending on their experience and stage of professional development.
The curriculum for the MSN-Nursing Education area of emphasis complete 36 hours of credit. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume the educator role in a variety of educational contexts including curriculum development, clinical teaching, classroom teaching and distance learning. Graduates are eligible to take the NLN Certification Nurse Educator Exam.
The nurse-midwifery area of emphasis (32 credits) provides knowledge and skills to practice as a nurse-midwife. The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner provides the student the opportunity to develop competency as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (36 credits).
The Nurse Midwifery graduates are eligible to take the American Midwifery Certification Board Exam, while graduates of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program are eligible to take the ANCC Certification Examanation for Psychiatric Mental Health Practitioners.