MSN General Information

Master of Science in Nursing Program (MSN)

The Master in Science in Nursing further develops the skills and expertise of the baccalaureate prepared nurse to lead and create change within the nursing profession through evidence based practice and leadership skills. Using informatics and other technologic advances to innovate and meet needs of healthcare organizations, graduates will engage in higher level practice within many healthcare settings. These graduates will foster practice innovation, use of theoretical and evidence based practice and develop excellence through life-long learning and leadership within healthcare organizations. The central component of the nursing curriculum is the application and translation of evidence into practice areas and utilization of critical thinking in an advanced role as well as developing skills in leadership to provide quality and safe nursing practice for all clients.

The program philosophy is represented in the Philosophical Model with the Masters prepared nurse at the center encircled by the other elements influencing the development of the nurse in more advanced role in practice. The following essential elements of the nursing curriculum are fundamental to the practice of nursing in an advanced role and support the mission and goals of the nursing program while assisting in the development of the Masters prepared nurse. These elements are singularly important and collectively essential as the fundamental foundation for Masters nursing practice. They are represented on the Philosophical Model as follows:

  • Leadership for Quality Outcomes
  • Excellence and Lifelong Learning
  • Use of technology to enhance care
  • Collaboration for Improved Outcomes
  • Integration of Care
  • Health policy and advocacy
  • Translate Evidence into Practice

This framework forms the basis for the curricular structure and selection of content. It shapes the way the student will learn, develop, and practice professionally. Included in the philosophy are the following concepts:


The nursing program supports the concept that each person is a unique being endowed with dignity and self-worth and worthy of reverence, protection, and preservation throughout the span of his or her life. The person or client possesses physiological, psychological, socio-cultural, developmental, and spiritual needs which are met in varying degrees through interactions with others. Clients are individuals, families, aggregates, or communities. Human relationships and interaction take place in diverse ways depending on the context and environment. During an individual’s life span, each person develops a personal system of values, which give meaning and purpose to life. The client’s values are respected and represented through the integration of their care and care planning.


The environment is composed of all factors that are ever-changing, whether internal or external to the person, and that influence their development and functioning. The environment can be altered to positively or negatively affect the client’s health by modifying stressors and enhancing resources. The person is influenced by and responsive to the environment and can choose to alter his or her internal and external environments to impact health and quality of life. Collaborative care between disciplines is critical to assist clients and families to improve situations in their environment and lead to improved outcomes.


Health is viewed as a dynamic state of being with adaptation to developmental and environmental changes over the life span that allows individuals to maximize potential. Masters prepared nurses advocate for patients, families and the community and help influence health policy. Health is evidenced by effective functioning within one’s environment influenced by physical, psychological, social, or spiritual variables. Wellness is defined as functioning at one’s best, given any limitations of one’s abilities. Health care by an interdisciplinary team is based on patient and family needs and promotes, maintains, and restores the person to an optimal level of wellness on the health-illness continuum or to a dignified death. Each person has a right to quality health care, delivered with respect for the individual and respect for differences among individuals.


Nursing is a evolving discipline and has been shaped by its history and the development of its theoretical base. Nursing is caring profession that connects with others that encompasses a specialized body of knowledge built upon science and the liberal arts with outcomes related to health and holism, based on understanding human conditions and relationships across the life span. Nursing practice uses a theoretical basis and integrated care to provide an essential service to clients and to assist in the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health or creation of an environment supportive of a dignified death. Through nurse-client and health team collaboration, the health needs of individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds and lifestyles are addressed in order to promote optimal levels of functioning.

In an ever-changing health care delivery system, nurses must make complex decisions, adapt to new situations, and need to continually update knowledge and skills by using critical thinking, a cognitive process that involves unbiased, reflective reasoning in order to arrive at purposeful conclusions based on fact and principles. The nurse uses critical thinking in applying evidence and theory when providing and managing care. Masters prepared nurses will participate in developing new evidence and translating new evidence into practice for other nurses to employ in their practice. Nurses on the Masters level also learn the effective use of technology, the pursuit of excellence through lifelong learning, how to advocate for changes in policy that benefit patients and families and the importance of using their enhanced leadership skills to provide for quality outcomes in care.

Program Goals

  1. Analyze various nursing theories and evidence based models that may be utilized by a Masters prepared nurse in a variety of settings.
  2. Appraise current trends in medical care and nursing that will impact the Masters prepared nurse in various milieus.
  3. Synthesize the principles of cultural competence, cultural diversity and culturally appropriate family centered care for clients and families of a different culture or ethnicity.
  4. Analyze health care policy, financial systems, and the requirements of the regulatory environment in a variety of healthcare settings to influence care for patient populations.
  5. Summarize principles of economics, informatics and epidemiology in various settings for various types of clients.
  6. Appraises care for quality and safety and integrates the principles of quality and safety appropriately in all care settings.
  7. Compare and contrast various leadership theories and styles utilized by the Masters
  8. prepared nurse in a variety of practice settings including interdisciplinary collaboration between disciplines.
  9. Differentiate statistical methods and various research methodologies to influence care in a variety of areas of nursing practice.
  10. Analyze the roles of nurse educator or nurse executive as a Masters prepared nurse while promoting lifelong learning .personally and professionally.

Program Outcomes

The program will assist students and faculty to:

  1. Differentiate principles of economics, epidemiology, cultural care and related sciences to deliver advanced nursing care to diverse populations
  2. Appraise leadership theories and principles for the changing role as a Masters prepared nurse.
  3. Explain the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration between disciplines by the Masters prepared nurse in a variety of practice settings.
  4. Integrate evidenced based care and quality improvement principles in the role of a Masters prepared nurse in the changing medical system.
  5. Synthesize theoretical models for development and implementation of care by nurses in advanced roles to disparate populations in various settings.
  6. Support the use of information technology to enhance care and improve communication in various healthcare settings.
  7. Assess current trends, including health policy and advocacy, that affect nurses in advanced roles and how those trends may affect and alter care for a variety of communities
  8. Utilize statistical tests and research methodologies to analyze, identify and meet needs of disparate clients in variety of settings utilizing a variety of findings from different fields.
  9. Analyze the role and functions of the nurse as educators or executives at the Masters level, including the importance of continued learning during their career.
  10. Engage the student in learning by using teaching strategies appropriate to learner needs, based on current and prior learning, while using the online learning system to support the teaching and learning process.
  11. Support and encourage a culture of community service for students and faculty.
  12. Integrate needs of the students, faculty and community in planning and implementing curriculum.