Online MSN Curriculum

A Leadership Approach to Patient Care

The University of San Francisco’s online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program takes an innovate approach to nursing, encouraging nurses to transcend the traditional boundaries of the nursing role and proactively seek new health care solutions. The program aims to equip nurses with leadership skills to help carry out a variety of nursing roles, including leading improvement projects at the bedside and managing interdisciplinary teams.

Leveraging a solid scientific foundation, the curriculum focuses on quality improvement, patient safety, and care coordination with other health professionals. The program culminates with the required NURS 651: CNL Role Synthesis course, during which students implement a quality improvement project and have the option of taking the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification exam.

Online MSN Curriculum Overview (Effective Spring 2016)

Associate Degree to MSN (NUAL)

Semester One

  • NURS 500 Graduate Writing and Research (4 credits)
  • NURS 501 Transitions to CNL Graduate Education (2 credits)
  • NURS 648 Healthcare Policy and Ethics (3 credits)

Semester Two

  • NHP 702 Epidemiology (4 credits)
  • NURS 505 Community Health Nursing (3 credits)
  • NURS 506 Community Health Nursing Practicum (90 hours / 2 credits)

Semester Three

  • NURS 603 Assessment Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
  • NURS 613 CNL Role: Introduction (1 credit)
  • NURS 639 Nursing Inquiry (4 credits)

Semester Four

  • NURS 664 Adv. Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • NURS 614 Healthcare Systems Leadership (3 credits)
  • N654 CNL Practice: Leading Quality Improvement Initiatives (80 hours / 2 credits)

Semester Five

  • NURS 629 Financial Resource Management (CNL) (3 credits)
  • NURS 640 Healthcare Informatics (2 credits)
  • N655 CNL Practice: Quality Improvement and Outcomes Management (100 hours / 3 credits)

Semester Six

  • NURS 651* CNL Role: Synthesis (2 credits)
  • NURS 653* Internship: Clinical Nurse Leader (220 hours)


Bachelor’s Degree to MSN (NURL)

Semester One

  • NURS 648 Healthcare Policy and Ethics (3 credits)

Semester Two

  • NHP 702 Epidemiology (4 credits)

Semester Three

  • NURS 603 Assessment Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
  • NURS 613 CNL Role: Introduction (1 credit)
  • NURS 639 Nursing Inquiry (4 credits)

Semester Four

  • NURS 664 Adv. Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • NURS 614 Healthcare Systems Leadership (3 credits)
  • N654 CNL Practice: Leading Quality Improvement Initiatives (80 hours / 2 credits)

Semester Five

  • NURS 629 Financial Resource Management (CNL) (3 credits)
  • NURS 640 Healthcare Informatics (2 credits)
  • N655 CNL Practice: Quality Improvement and Outcomes Management (100 hours / 3 credits)

Semester Six

  • NURS 651* CNL Role: Synthesis (2 credits)
  • NURS 653* Internship: Clinical Nurse Leader (220 hours)

NOTE:

  • 500-level coursework must be taken in order listed. 600-level coursework may be taken in any order except where pre-requisites are indicated.
  • Pre-requisites: NURS 613 is pre-req for the CNL Practice 1 Course, and CNL Practice 2 Course is a pre-req for NURS 651.
  • Exemptions: ADNs with a BS or BA do not take NURS 500 and 501 (unless admitted with provisional status).
  • Co-requisites: NURS 505/506 and NURS 651/653 are co-reqs
  • Italicized courses represent Practicum courses. 400 total CNL Role hours in practica and immersion are required for the program (NURS 506 Community Health Practicum does not count toward total CNL Role hours). Only one (1) theory course may be taken in the final semester with NURS651/653.
    The number of courses taken/semester may be reduced to slow the pace of the program. Reducing courseload may impact progressing with the cohort you were admitted into (where applicable). Contact your Academic Adviser prior to reducing your courseload.

 

NURS 501 – Transitions to CNL Graduate Education (2)

Provides an introduction for registered nurses to the perspectives of professional nursing within the context of the dynamic nature of professionalism, leadership, change and role development. Ethical and moral accountability to the profession of nursing and society are explored within the context of changing health care needs and demands. Emerging roles of the nurse as clinical nurse leader and practitioner, advocate, and member of the interdisciplinary team are explored. Finally, the concept of vocation within nursing will be examined and discussed in the context of Ignatian pedagogy.

NURS 505 – Community Health Nursing (3)

This theory course introduces the student to community health nursing.  This course prepares the student to identify, plan, and care for individuals, families, groups and communities across care settings with particular emphasis on health inequalities locally and globally.  Students explore the complex social and health care systems in communities that influence the health and well-being of population groups. Research and epidemiological data are used to guide the class discussions and class analysis to facilitate student learning and clinical problem solving. Students will also learn about the science of epidemiology and how to quantitatively analyze trends and patterns of disease within a community.

NURS 506 – Community Health Nursing Practicum (2)

This clinical course is designed to be a synthesis of community-based nursing and community/public health nursing with the goal of promoting and preserving the health of populations. The ability to prevent disease, maintain well-being and promote health through organized community effort is derived from the practice of public health strategies. This course also recognizes that community health practice is responsible to the community as client with services provided to individuals, families and groups to promote health and prevent disease. Students will apply knowledge and skills from nursing and public health sciences to expand their understanding of caring for this community’s health.

NURS 603 – Assessment Across the Lifespan (3)

This course assists the student to apply the concept of health using a holistic approach.  It includes the techniques of complete history taking and systematic physical assessment utilized by Clinical Nurse Leaders in the identification of the health needs of clients across the lifespan.  Psychosocial, sociocultural and developmental staging are integrated throughout the course to reflect age appropriate assessments.

NURS 664 – Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (3)

This course provides students with advanced anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of systems in relation to an individual’s health across the lifespan. Focus is given to the physiological and biological manifestations and adaptive and maladaptive changes that occur in common and complex diseases, including emerging infectious diseases. The course also focuses on the role of advanced practice nurses in applying pharmacology knowledge to the management of health and illness in populations at risk for morbidity and mortality.

NURS 613 – Introduction to the CNL Role (1)

This course introduces the role of Clinical Nurse Leader as defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Concepts and theories related to role development and role acquisition will be analyzed. This course emphasizes the CNL’s role in clinical delegation, maintaining professional standards, and advocating for the clinical needs of patients. The historical context of the development of the CNL role will be discussed. Prerequisite: Student must be enrolled in the Clinical Nurse Leader MSN degree program.

NURS 614 – Healthcare Systems Leadership (3)

Provides a healthcare organizational framework for interdisciplinary leadership and horizontal integration of care for the Clinical Nurse leader (CNL) role. Leadership principles and concepts are presented to provide a context for implementation of the CNL role in complex health systems. Concepts related to partnership, communication, collaboration, consultation, and coordination of nursing and health care teams are included. Focus is on the development of quality improvement and leadership skills at the clinical microsystem level within the context of improving patient clinical and safety outcomes.

N654 CNL Practice: Leading Quality Improvement Initiatives (80 hours / 2 credits)

This course expands on the clinical leadership role functions of the CNL, emphasizing the importance of evidence-based practice, communication, team development, and partnership building. Concepts related to improvement science are included such as the systematic assessment of a clinical microsystem, systems leadership, change theories and coordination of interdisciplinary teams.

N655 CNL Practice: Quality Improvement and Outcomes Management (100 hours / 3 credits)

This course expands on the Clinical Nurse Leader role functions with a focus on quality improvement science and patient safety to achieve optimal client, care environment and system outcomes.  Emphasis will be placed on the utilization of evidence-based models that incorporate education, information technology and financial resource management.

NURS 629 – Financial Resource Management (3)

This course gives an overview of the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader in managing fiscal resources.   Principles of finance and fiscal management will be applied to clinical leadership in healthcare systems.   Economic issues that affect patient care delivery will be analyzed.  Financial reports and statements will be evaluated to predict organizational capabilities and limitations. The effect of varying budget methods and variance analysis will be discussed.  Methods for product evaluation, mass customization of care, and the influence of global trends on clinical systems will be analyzed.

NURS 639 – Nursing Inquiry (4)

This course explores research design, methodology and data analysis. It provides the student with a foundation in inferential statistics as it applies to nursing research principles and concepts. Students will develop and refine research critique skills, and with these skills be able to apply appropriate research findings to clinical practice.

NURS 640 – Health Care Informatics (2)

This course presents the graduate student with an opportunity to learn about the roles of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) in healthcare informatics. Computer application concepts used in practice, education, administration and research in relation to effective and quality care will be highlighted. A concentration on the meaningful use of information systems and computer competencies/literacy for the Registered Nurse will be emphasized.

NURS 648 – Healthcare Policy and Ethics (3)

This course focuses on the values, codes and principles that govern the practice of the Clinical Nurse Leader. Emphasis will be placed on the skills and knowledge and the obligations of the CNL role in health care planning and policy. Students will identify the ethical dimensions and dilemmas that impact the current health care milieu, the practice of nursing, and the delivery of health care. Concepts related to access to healthcare, quality of life, the need for cost containment, national health care policy, global health, and the rights of clients will be discussed.

NURS 651 – CNL Role: Role Synthesis (2)

This course presents a framework for interdisciplinary leadership and lateral integration of care. Through the clinical immersion experience, the student will integrate leadership and clinical management concepts to provide a context for implementation of the CNL role in complex, adaptive healthcare systems. Course pre-requisites include CNL Practice 1 and CNL Practice 2, while course co-requisites include N653.

NURS 653 – RN-CNL Internship (2)

This clinical application course offers an extended clinical experience mentored and precepted by a certified Clinical Nurse Leader and/or an experienced Staff nurse in a health care facility and/or community setting providing nursing care. This integration experience reflects the current health care delivery system and provides the student with the opportunity to practice in a chosen health care environment(s). The focus is on taking primary responsibility for the design, coordination, and management of health care appropriate to the client/patient population. Communication, collaboration, negotiation, delegation, coordination and evaluation of interdisciplinary work skills will be integrated within the practice setting. The students design, implement, and evaluate a CNL project which reflects the skills essential to the application, design and evaluation of an outcome-based practice model. Course pre-requisites include CNL Practice 1 and CNL Practice 2, while course co-requisites include N651.

During this course students take the CNL certification examination. Information regarding the examination can be found at http://www.aacn.nche.edu/CNC.

NURS 500 – Graduate Writing and Research (4)

This course stresses the formal research essay. Students are introduced to a wide and rich variety of readings, composition, and research strategies. In the process, the course addresses grammatical and research convention issues.

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