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GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN NURSING

Velma “Sue” Westbrook , D.N.S., MA, RN
Professor of Nursing
Dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health
Office: 172 Betsy C. Ayo Hall
Phone: 985-448-4687

Degree Program

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration
  • Nurse Executive Concentration
  • Nursing Education Concentration

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is offered through an affiliation with the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing (ICMSN). Consortium universities include McNeese State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Nicholls State University, and the Universityof Louisiana at Lafayette. Theory based courses are taught through distance online learning (web-based) technology allowing for flexible course completion. Graduates are eligible to sit for national certification exams appropriate to their role specialty.

Accreditation

The ICMSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE),1 Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530,WashingtonDC, 202-887-6791.

Purpose
The purposes of the Master of Science in Nursing program are to:
1. Provide a base in nursing theory, nursing research, and issues relative to advanced nursing practice.
2. Provide for advanced clinical specialization in Family Nursing or Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, and to
3. Provide for advanced role preparation as a nurse practitioner, nurse executive, or nurse educator.

Program Admission

Students seeking admission to the MSN program must meet all of the requirements for admission to Nicholls State University Graduate Studies in addition to specific admission requirements for the MSN program. Documentation needed to support application to the graduate nursing program must be submitted to the MSN Graduate Coordinator prior to the deadline for application for the following semester. The MSN program reserves the right to limit the number of students enrolled in nursing courses to make the most effective use of the educational resources available. In the event that enrollment in these courses must be limited, students will be selected by their academic ranking based upon MSN admission requirements and their cumulative GPA in graduate nursing courses.

Regular Admission

  1. Evidence of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited undergraduate nursing program.
  2. Evidence of a valid, unencumbered Louisiana Registered Nurse license
  3. Transcripts from the undergraduate school and any work attempted at the graduate level. Submit documentation of satisfactory standing in graduate nursing program at last institution attended (if applicable).
  4. Resume, including applicant’s full name, address, telephone number(s), email address(s), academic preparation, degree(s) held, honors, awards, special interest work history, and other relevant information.
  5. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (for last 60 undergraduate hours of required nursing degree courses), as indicated by transcript.
  6. A minimum GRE formula score of 1,200 (150 X cumulative GPA on last 60 undergraduate hours + GRE General Test [verbal and quantitative] scores) if taken prior to August 1, 2011 OR a minimum GRE formula score of 340 (20 X cumulative GPA on last 60 undergraduate hours + GRE General Test [verbal and quantitative] scores) if taken after August 1, 2011. GRE scores must be on file by the end of the first semester of study.
  7. Completed a course in introductory statistics with a minimum grade of “C” or equivalent.
  8. At a minimum, two (2) Letters of Recommendation.
  9. A Letter of Intent/Purpose with rationale for pursuing study in selected concentration.

During the first semester of enrollment of regular admission the student must:

  1. File a degree plan with the Graduate Coordinator in accordance with the General Requirements of the Master’s Degree in the GraduateSchoolsection of the Catalog.
  2. Submit a complete history and physical examination.
  3. Submit current certification in CPR (every two years), submit annual TB results, and obtain immunization determined appropriate by the Graduate Nursing Program.
  4. Submit a negative drug screen.
  5. Submit an acceptable background check.

Provisional Status

An applicant who meets all requirements for admission to the master’s degree program except the minimum GRE formula score of 1200 or 340 (depending on year taken) may seek provisional status. For acceptance to provisional status the student must have a minimum of at least 1,000 on the formula score (prior to August 1, 2011) or a minimum of at least 300 on the formula score (after August 1, 2011) with a minimum grade point average of 2.7 on last 60 undergraduate hours of required nursing degree courses. To be removed from the provisional status the student must make a “B” or better in each graduate-level course in the first nine (9) hours. A grade of C, D, or F grade in any course attempted during the 9 hours in provisional status will result in dismissal from the program and the Graduate School. A request to repeat a course will be taken under advisement and considered on a case-by-case basis. An applicant not having a minimum of 2.7 cumulative GPA may consider additional undergraduate nursing courses as an unclassified student to raise GPA in the last 60 hours.

Non-Degree Classified Admission

Applicants not meeting the formula score for regular admission due to their GRE score may be allowed to register for graduate nursing courses in the non-degree classified status for one semester. Not more than nine (9) semester hours of graduate work completed while in non-degree status may be applied toward a degree. Priority for registering for graduate nursing courses is provided to regular admission status students.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to candidacy indicates a judgment by the Graduate Council that the student has shown sufficient promise to be permitted to complete work toward a degree. For admission to candidacy for a Master’s degree, a student must submit a formal application to the Graduate Coordinator after satisfying the following candidacy requirements: (1) have successfully met all applicable admissions formulas; (2) be classified as a regular student; (3) have completed 12 semester hours of graduate work toward the degree; (4) have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average on all graduate work. Once candidacy has been approved, the student may complete program requirements for the degree.

Admission and Progression Requirement for the Advanced Practice Concentration

Admission to either advanced practice concentration (FNP; FPMHNP) means that the MSN degree-seeking student has met candidacy requirements and is eligible to progress beyond the advanced practice core courses to the practicum courses in order to complete the program of study. Different requirements apply to post-master students. Applications for admission to the advanced practice concentration occur during the semester in which the student is scheduled to complete those core courses. Criteria for consideration for admission to the Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration include:

  1. Meet regular admission criteria to MSN program.
  2. Cumulate Grade Point Average (GPA) rank in the MSN program in advanced practice core courses: NURS 506, NURS 516, NURS 517, and NURS 518 (calculated after completion of semester).
  3. Written commitment to a full-time or part-time degree plan as established by the MSN program. For limited practicum slots, preference will be given to full-time students.
  4. Evidence of at least one (1) year of clinical practice as an R.N. in an area appropriate to the specialty concentration.
  5. Drug testing will be required.
  6. Evidence of CPR, OSHA, Tb verification, malpractice insurance, and health insurance.

The Graduate Coordinator will notify the student of the status of his or her application at the close of the semester in which he or she applied, following calculation of final GPA. Once admitted to the declared NP concentration, the student is expected to follow the full-time or part-time degree plan which becomes part of his/her record. Students who do not follow their degree plan may lose a practicum slot and have to reapply to the role concentration.

Retention and Progression Requirements

  1. Must earn a “B” or better in each course in the program to be eligible for progression.
  2. A student who earns a grade below “B” will be placed on probation and must repeat the course within the following two semesters and earn at least a “B”. If a grade below “B” is earned in any subsequent course, the student will be dismissed from the program.
  3. A student who receives a failing grade because of extenuating, nonacademic reasons may appeal for readmission.
  4. The School of Nursing reserves the right to investigate situations which may affect the student’s ability to function. In addition, a physician’s release may be required. Students who have health conditions that may prevent their meeting the objectives of the program or a course in the program or that may cause potential injury to that student or to the clients for whom they care, will be required to have a personal interview with the Department Head or Dean or with an appropriate School of Nursing Committee.
  5. Students enrolled in practicum graduate courses are required to maintain current certification in CPR and meet other agency requirements.
  6. Any student who does not enroll in graduate nursing courses toward a degree for 2 consecutive regular semesters must reapply to the program.
  7. Any student dismissed for failure to meet academic standards may make an appeal to the Dean of the College. If unsuccessful, a subsequent appeal must be made to the Graduate Council of the University.

Minimum Grade Point Average

To be awarded a graduate degree, a student must have an average of at least 3.0 on all work pursued for graduate credit at Nicholls State University as well as a minimum overall average of 3.0 on all work pertaining to the degree.

Grading System

The grading system for all ICMSN universities is as follows: A = 92.5 – 100; B = 84.5-92.49; C = 76.5-84.49; D = 68.5-76.49; F = 0-68.49. Grades of “S” or “U”, “Pass” or “Fail” are assigned only for designated courses for which this grading procedure is specified. These grades and grades of “I” are not used in the computation of the grade-point average because the student does not receive quality points for these grades. When the “I” grade is resolved into a permanent grade, quality points are earned and the student’s scholastic standing is adjusted to reflect the influence of the permanent grade.

A student may drop a course or courses or may resign from the institution with a grade “W” prior to a date specified in the official university calendar. After that date, a student may not drop a course or resign from the institution. After that date, in extraordinary circumstances, the academic dean having jurisdiction may authorize resignation from the institution or dropping a course with the grade “W”. Extraordinary cases do not include dissatisfaction with an anticipated grade or the decision to change a major.

Transfer Credits

Students who have attended another graduate nursing program and wish to apply to the Nicholls MSN program must be eligible for readmission to the graduate nursing program from which they are transferring and must meet Nicholls Graduate School requirements. Students may transfer credit earned from a regionally accredited college or university to Nicholls as long as the hours of transfer do not exceed one‑third of the total credit hours required for their degree program; they earned no grade lower than a B in the transferred courses; and, the transfer credit is applicable to the degree program. Transfer credits are subject to the six-year time limitation to satisfy all MSN degree requirements. The student must formally petition his or her academic dean for acceptance of transfer graduate credit. Final authorization of transferred credit is made by the student’s academic dean.

Graduate Course Work

To receive the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a specialty concentration, the student must:

  1. Complete all requirements of the degree plan, including:
    a. A minimum of 35-38 credit hours for the Nurse Executive concentration.
    b. A minimum of 40-43 credit hours for the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration.
    c. A minimum of 46-49 credit hours for the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration.
  2. Complete a Focused Scholarly Project or a Thesis. (Students who elect to enroll in Focused Scholarly Project will earn a total of 3 credits. Students who elect to enroll in Thesis will earn a total of 6 credits).
  3. Achieve a grade of “B” or better in each course

Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration:

Required Courses – 40–43 hours; 720 clinical hours
NURS 500 – Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 502 – Generating Evidence for Nursing Practice (3-3-0)
NURS 504 – Issues in Advanced Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 506 – Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning Practicum (1-0-4)
NURS 509 – Population Based Primary Care (3-3-0)
NURS 516 – Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Practice Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 517 – Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice (3-3-0)
NURS 518 – Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 582 – Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Health I (5-3-16)
NURS 583 – Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Health II (5-3-16)
NURS 584 – Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Health III (5-3-16)
NURS 595 – Focused Scholarly Project (3-3-0)
OR
NURS 599 – Thesis (Credit 1–6 hours per semester with 6 credits needed for
graduation)

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration:

Required Courses – 46–49 hours; 720 clinical hours
NURS 500 – Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 502 – Generating Evidence for Nursing Practice (3-3-0)
NURS 504 – Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 506 – Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning Practicum (1-0-4)
NURS 508 – Diagnostic Considerations & Psychopharmacology for Psychiatric Disorders (3-3-0)
NURS 509 – Population Based Primary Care (3-3-0)
NURS 516 – Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Practice Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 517 – Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice (3-3-0)
NURS 518 – Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 590 – Psychotherapy for Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing (3-2-4)
NURS 591 – Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Psychiatric/Mental Health I (5-3-16)
NURS 592 – Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Psychiatric/Mental Health II (5-3-16)
NURS 593 – Advanced Practice Nursing: Family Psychiatric/Mental Health III (5-3-16)
NURS 595 – Focused Scholarly Project (3-3-0)
OR
NURS 599 – Thesis (Credit 1–6 hours per semester with 6 credits needed for graduation)

Nurse Executive Concentration:

Required Courses – 35 – 38: Clinical hours 300
NURS 500 – Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 502 – Generating Evidence for Nursing Practice (3-3-0)
NURS 509 – Population Based Primary Care (3-3-0)
NURS 546 – Policy, Organization, and Structure in Health Care Systems (3-3-0)
NURS 548 – Nurse Leadership/Management in Healthcare (3-3-0).
NURS 549 – Health Care Workforce Management (3-3-0)
NURS 554 – Nurse Leadership & Administration Field Study I (2-1-5)
NURS 555 – Nurse Leadership & Administration Field Study II (2-1-5)
NURS 556 – Legal & Regulatory Issues in Nursing Administration (3-3-0)
NURS 558 – Fiscal & Economic Principles for Nurse Leaders (4-4-0)
NURS 559 – Nurse Leadership & Administration Internship (3-0-10)
NURS 595 – Focused Scholarly Project (3-3-0)
OR
NURS 599 – Thesis (Credit 1–6 hours per semester with 6 credits needed for graduation)

Nursing Education Concentration:

Required Courses – 37 – 40 hours; 225 clinical hours
NURS 500 – Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 502 – Generating Evidence for Nursing Practice (3-3-0)
NURS 509 – Population Based Primary Care (3-3-0)
NURS 516 – Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Practice Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 517 – Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice (3-3-0)
NURS 518 – Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing (3-3-0)
NURS 534 – Nursing Education Roles, Issues and Foundations (3-3-0)
NURS 535 – Curriculum and Program Development (3-3-0)
NURS 536 – Teaching Methodologies and Technologies (3-3-0)
NURS 539 – Nursing Education Practicum (4-1-15)
NURS 570 – Measuring Outcomes in Nursing Education (3-3-0)
NURS 595 – Focused Scholarly Project (3-3-0)
OR
NURS 599 – Thesis (Credit 1-6 hours per semester with 6 credits needed for graduation)

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