Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

MSN-600 Orientation to MSN Program (0 credits)

Acceptance into the MSN Program. Students engage in a day and a half session to become oriented to Alverno College and the MSN Program.

MSN-600A Post MSN FNP/MHNP/CNS/NE (0 credits)

Acceptance into the Post Master's FNP or MHNP or CNS Program. Students engage in a three hour session to become oriented to Alverno College, Alverno's technology, and the post-master's program.

MSN-602 Nursing, Inquiry, Research & Schlrshp (3 credits)

Students develop research skills to facilitate utilization of knowledge that promotes high-quality health care to clients, that initiates change, and that improves nursing education and advanced practice. These skills include the ability to critically evaluate the appropriateness and usefulness of research; to identify problems in practice settings through data review and to develop strategies to address the problems through either application of research findings or quality improvement processes; to evaluate the quality of practice guidelines; and to relate study findings to practice outcomes. Ethical principles and practices in the conduct of nursing research with human subjects are explored.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-615 completed. Completion of undergraduate inferential statistics course completed within past 5 years of entering MSN program.

MSN-603 Hlth-Care System: Org, Econ & Politics (3 credits)

Students comprehensively and systematically examine the interrelationships among health care policy and politics, delivery and access-to-care issues, and the financing of health care in order to make high-quality, cost-effective decisions related to the allocation of health care resources and to participate in formulating health care agendas for individuals and communities. Students become intimately knowledgeable about federal and state health care resources. They analyze the interaction and impact of politics, organizations, and economics on their areas of practice.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-615 completed or concurrent registration.

MSN-615 Adv Practice Roles & Nursing Theory (3 credits)

Students explore current and emerging roles of advanced practice nurses (APN) in various settings, including required competencies, scope of practice, and issues of specialization. You will examine the roles of the APN within an interdisciplinary health care system, with an emphasis on legal and professional issues, models of practice, and leadership. Students will also examine the evolving theoretical foundations of the nursing profession through the exploration of nursing and related disciplines' theories. You will learn to analyze, critique, and evaluate various theories to determine their utility to guide APN practice and education in select populations. Advanced practice nurses use multiple theories in their work with individuals, families, communities and organizations. This course provides you with a solid grounding in theoretical analysis and application within your specific roles.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-600 completed or concurrent.

MSN-616 Ethics for Advanced Practice Nurse (1 credit)

Students start by examining their own moral decision making and are then introduced to ethical models and frameworks. Ethical decision-making processes are discussed as they relate to the role of the advanced practice nurse and are applied to practice situations, including informed consent and end-of-life issues. The role of ethics committees and consultations is also explored.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-600 completed or concurrent.

MSN-617 Population Based Health (3 credits)

This course introduces students to health promotion fundamentals in advanced practice nursing. Basic epidemiological principles and international, national and local health promotion goals are examined with emphasis on cultural and environmental principles, individual assessment and evidence-based practice. Students will be introduced to concepts of interprofessionalism and patient centered care, while exploring the leadership role of the APN. Students will analyze and describe health information technologies and data sources that promote safe practice environments, patient safety, cost-effectiveness, and optimal population health outcomes.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-615 completed or concurrent.

MSN-621 Advanced Physiology & Pathphysiology (3 credits)

Students use theory and research to explore the etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations of common diseases for individuals across the lifespan, including adult and older-adult populations. They also study variations in physiological health and illness processes attributable to age, race, culture, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. The focus is on generalized stress response and how the body adapts to a variety of acute and chronic illnesses throughout the span of one's life. This course is the supporting foundation for advanced-practice clinical decision making, diagnosing, and managing a therapeutic approach across the lifespan. Prior knowledge of basic physiology and pathophysiology is required.

Prerequisite(s): MSN -00 completed or concurrent.

MSN-622 Advanced Health & Physical Assessment (2 credits)

Students examine and apply advanced health- and physical-assessment techniques and theories in the collaborative care of culturally diverse individuals and families with an emphasis on individuals across the lifespan, including adult and older-adult populations. They develop advanced physical assessment skills and use data and clinical decision making within the defined context of their professional practice. They use differential diagnoses to identify physical and/or psychological illness based on possible pathology, given the lifestyle practices of clients. Prior knowledge and experience of basic health- and physical-assessment techniques are required.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-621 completed.

MSN-623 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics (3 credits)

Students examine and apply principles of advanced pharmacology in the management of clients across the lifespan, including adult and older-adult populations. They acquire advanced knowledge as a foundation for prescribing and monitoring pharmaceutical and alternative therapeutic agents. The course emphasizes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of major drug classifications as well as current clinical drug research. Ethical, legal, and risk-management issues are also discussed, as are issues common to the advanced practice nurse. This course prepares students to meet state requirements for prescriptive authority as an advanced practice nurse prescriber (APNP) after graduation from the MSN program and certification from ANCC.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-621 completed.

MSN-624 Advanced Primary Care Management 1 (3 credits)

The student will engage in didactic and clinical experiences derived from evidence-based practices in health promotion, disease prevention, and illness care management for middle-aged and older adults. The student will also use advanced critical thinking to apply culturally sensitive care, perform comprehensive examinations, formulate diagnoses and implement treatment plans for middle-aged and older adult populations. (This course includes 175 practicum hours.)

Prerequisite(s): For FNP only: MSN-602, MSN-615, MSN-621, MSN-622 & MSN-623 completed. MSN-603, MSN-616 & MSN-617 completed or concurrent. Register for MSN-624P concurrently.

MSN-624P FNP Practicum 1 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent registration in MSN-624

MSN-625 Adv Primary Care/Women, Infants & Child (3 credits)

The student will engage in didactic and clinical experiences derived from evidence-based practice related to health promotion, disease prevention, and illness care management for women, infants and children. The student will also use advanced critical thinking to apply culturally sensitive care, perform comprehensive examinations, formulate diagnoses, and implement treatment plans for women, infants and children. (This course includes 200 practicum hours.)

Prerequisite(s): For FNP only: MSN-602, MSN-603, MSN-615, MSN-617, MSN-621, MSN-622, MSN-623 & MSN-624 completed. MSN-616 completed or concurrent. Register for MSN-625P concurrently.

MSN-625P FNP Practicum 2 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent registration in MSN-625

MSN-626 Adv Primary Care Mgt/Vulnerable Populati (3 credits)

In this course, nurse practitioner students examine the health and health care needs of vulnerable populations in the United States whom they may be serving. Vulnerable populations include those who do not feel comfortable or safe accessing and using standard resources. They include, but are not limited to, those who are physically or mentally disabled (blind, deaf, hard of hearing, cognitive disorders, mobility limitations), limited English or non-English-speaking, geographically or culturally isolated, medically or chemically dependent, homeless, frail/elderly, and children. Students are engaged in many levels of skill refinement, intellectual investigation, theoretical exploration, and evidence-based advanced nursing practice application of health assessment and physical examination approaches. Family assessment is also covered, which includes providing culturally sensitive care to clients. This course also emphasizes other issues that a well-rounded nurse practitioner needs to be knowledgeable of, including coding and payment structures; ethics and values; death, dying, grief, and bereavement; and topics of professionalism, such as scope of practice, accountability, collaboration, and quality assurance. As in other courses, didactic and clinical practice is used to advance the critical-thinking skills of students. (This course includes 200 practicum hours.)

Prerequisite(s): For FNP only: MSN-602, MSN-603, MSN-615, MSN-616, MSN-617, MSN-621, MSN-622, MSN-623, MSN-624 & MSN-625 completed. Register concurrent with MSN-626P

MSN-626P FNP Practicum 3 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent registration in MSN-626

MSN-627 Adv Nursing Practicum in Belize (2 credits)

This course is designed to be an elective course, allowing graduate nursing students the opportunity to complete part of their practicum hour requirements within an international setting. It gives students a unique experience of providing health care in a country where resources are limited. This requires students to rely on themselves and their healthcare knowledge and skills instead of current technologies in providing care to patients. It will push their understanding of advanced practice nursing to a new level along with increasing their knowledge and sensitivity to many different types of cultural groups.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-621, MSN-622 & MSN-623 completed. MSN-624 or MSN-634 or MSN-700 completed.

MSN-628 Suturing for Advanced Practice Provider (0 credits)

This course is designed to be an elective course, allowing graduate nursing students an opportunity to increase their skill set by learning closure techniqures for lacerations of various body parts. It gives students a unique experience of utilizing skills at a more advanced level. It will push their understanding of advanced practice nursing to a new level along with increasing their knowledge base.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-602, MSN-603, MSN-621 & MSN-622 completed.

MSN-630 Advanced Psychopharmacology (3 credits)

This course will prepare students to understand the basics pertaining to drugs used for both therapeutic and addictive purposes in the mental health world. At the outset, the course will present the basic structures of the nervous system necessary to understand the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of psychoactive drugs. Many psychoactive drugs are used for therapeutic purposes. Other psychoactive drugs, even those prescribed for therapeutic purposes, become the objects of addiction. The second phase of the course treats the major classes of drugs used for therapeutic purposes: antidepressants, anxiolytics / hypnotics, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and stimulants. In this section the actions, side effects, and risks of the various drugs will be considered. This section will also treat special topics such as promoting adherence, and how to monitor the clients' response to medications. The third phase of the course devotes itself to the drugs of addiction such as alcohol, cocaine, opioids, and stimulants. Tools for assessment of addictions and the medications used in the treatment of addictions will be presented in this section.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-623 completed

MSN-634 Adv Primary Mental Health Care-Adults (3 credits)

Students build upon knowledge and skills from advanced pharmacology and advanced pathophysiology to broaden their knowledge and expand their awareness in the areas of psychopharmacology and pathoneurophysiology. They enhance their ability to cultivate therapeutic relationships as well as deepen their awareness of theories of personality and psychopathology as they acquire further skills in the assessment and diagnosis of mental illness, primarily in adult populations. They draw upon acquired knowledge and skills to critically reflect on the promotion of mental health and on the assessment and differential diagnosis of depressive and anxiety spectrum disorders. They acquire experience in developing collaborative, holistic, client-centered treatment plans, taking into consideration the unique biopsychosocial circumstances of the life context of clients. Through didactic and clinical experiences, students are able to include psychopharmacological agents approved for the treatment of depressive and anxiety spectrums according to psychiatric guidelines and evidence-based practice, as well as the psychotherapy modalities of cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral activation therapy, and brief solution-focused therapy. (This course includes a 175-hour practicum in mental health settings.)

Prerequisite(s): For MHNP Students only MSN-621, MSN-622 & MSN-623, MCP-620 completed. MSN-603, MSN-616 & MSN-617 completed or concurrent. Register for MSN-634P concurrently.

MSN-634P MHNP Practicum 1 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Register for MSN-634 concurrently.

MSN-635 Adv Prim Mntl Hlth Cre-Bipolar Spectrum (3 credits)

Students apply skills of critical thinking to the advanced mental health care of the bipolar spectrum disorders and mental health disorders pertinent to children, teens, and geriatric populations. The students will widen their assessment and diagnostic skills by focusing on the complex bipolar spectrum disorders, as well as mental health disorders more specifically associated with the child, teen, and geriatric populations. Students will be guided to respectfully consider the cultural, spiritual, and unique circumstances of the individual clients. Students will develop comprehensive treatment plans in collaboration with the client and/or the clients' families. Through didactic and clinical experiences students will be able to incorporate into the treatment plans the psychopharmacological agents approved for the treatment of bipolar spectrum disorders, ADHD in children and adults, and the dementias and mood disorders of the geriatric populations according to psychiatric guidelines and evidenced based practice. Students will also learn and practice principles of Group Therapy as well as learn the basic components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Prerequisite(s): For MHNP only: MSN-634 & MCP-620 completed. Register for MSN-635P concurrently.

MSN-635P MHNP Practicum 2 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent registration with MSN-635

MSN-636 Adv Prim Mntl Hlth Cr-Chron& Serious Mnt (3 credits)

Students focus their critical-thinking skills on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of chronically mentally ill, traumatized, and substance-addicted populations. They develop holistic, collaborative, client-centered treatment plans that take into account the special biopsychosocial needs of psychotic, addicted, and traumatized vulnerable populations. Through didactic and clinical experiences, students are able to include the psychopharmacological agents used to treat the spectrum of psychotic/schizophrenic disorders as well as the best evidence-based pharmacological treatments for PTSD and substance addiction. They learn the theory of the recovery model of chronic mental illness and acquire basic experience in the principles of motivational interviewing. Emphasis is also placed on additional elements about which a competent psychiatric nurse practitioner needs to be knowledgeable, including (but not limited to) ethics, scope and standards of psychiatric mental health nursing, accountability, quality assurance, and coding/payment structures. (This course includes a 200-hour practicum in mental health settings.)

Prerequisite(s): For MHNP only: MSN-635 completed. Register for MSN-636P concurrently.

MSN-636P MHNP Practicum 3 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Register concurrent with MSN-636.

MSN-644 Adv Practice in Adult-Gero 1 (3 credits)

This course will focus on theories in the adult population, ages 16 through geriatric. Emphasis is placed on theory, anticipatory guidance, health promotion and disease prevention, and clinical decision-making across the adult lifespan. A focus on chronic disease condition management utilizing evidence-based practice guidelines, as well as acute, episodic health problems will be a focus of this course.

MSN-644P Adv Practice in Adult Gero 1 Practicum (2 credits)

This practicum will provide the student with clinical experience in adult health care, ages 16 through geriatric. Students will perform comprehensive and episodic clinical assessments, including appropriate diagnostic testing and therapeutic interventions. The management of stable chronic as well as acute, episodic health problems will be accomplished with the direction of clinical preceptors. Two hundred clinical hours are necessary in this practicum.

MSN-645 Adv Practice in Adult-Gero 2 Theory (3 credits)

This course expands on the knowledge obtained in Advanced Practice in Adult-Gero 1 and continues to provide a foundation for the student to think critically about symptoms, differential diagnoses, diagnostic evaluation and the management of common episodic and chronic health conditions throughout the adult lifespan. With an emphasis on evidence-based practice, students will critically consider care provided to those of differing age, gender, culture, ethnicity and have psycho-social issues. Interprofessional collaboration and specialty referrals are important elements discussed in this course.

MSN-645P Adv Practice in Adult Gero 2 Practicum (2 credits)

This practicum will prepare students to better integrate evidence-based practice standards into care based provided in clinical setting. The integration of psychological and social nursing aspects of care based on age, gender, culture, and ethnicity is further strengthened in those aged 16 through geriatric. A reflection on interprofessional collaboration and referrals will ensue. Two hundred clinical hours are necessary in this practicum.

MSN-646 Adv Practice in Adult Gero 3 Practicum (3 credits)

This course will focus on care given to the vulnerable such as the homeless, geriatric and underserved populations. The application of evidence-based guidelines to the vulnerable will be explored, and consideration of drug choices amongst the geriatric population occurs. Professional issues relevant to nurse practitioners will also be explored.

MSN-646P Adv Practice Adult Gero 3 Practicum (2 credits)

Students will provide in-depth, advanced practice nursing care to patients with acute, critical, chronic and complex health problems. Consideration of care and treatment plans of underserved populations, integrating current nursing research evidence, will be a focus. Two hundred clinical hours are necessary in this practicum.

MSN-650 Statistics for Advanced Practice (3 credits)

This course will provide graduate students and advanced healthcare providers with the ability to analyze and apply appropriate statistical approaches for improving clinical practice. The use of computer programs for analyzing data will be examined as well as methods to critique the use of statistics in published clinical research. Articulate communication of research results to interested audiences will also be addressed.

MSN-697 Independent Study (1 credit)

MSN Independent Study

MSN-700 Adv Prac Nrsg: Ind & Population-Bsd Hlth (3 credits)

Using the 3 sphere CNS framework, emphasis for this course will be on direct care for adults and older adults. Students will focus on theories of aging and geriatric syndromes. Program development will be introduced including understanding/defining population and health management through prevention, wellness, chronic disease management and other current trends in healthcare. Continuing work in the competency of evidence-based practice will be stressed as it relates to epidemiology, culture, genetics/genomics and environmental influences. There will be a focus on team-building and interprofessional collaboration for care coordination and improvement, introducing leadership concepts and team development. Students will complete a 175 hour practicum. Students required to do a capstone will identify an area of interest for a potential project.

Prerequisite(s): For CNS only: MSN-615, MSN-602, MSN-621, MSN-622 & MSN-623 completed. MSN-603, MSN-616 or MSN-617 completed or concurrent. Register for MSN-700P concurrently.

MSN-700P CNS Practicum 1 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent registration with MSN-700

MSN-701 Advanced Practice Nursing 1 (3 credits)

Students use epidemiologic models and theories of health promotion, risk reduction and illness prevention to teach, counsel, research and practice with vulnerable populations, especially adults and older adults. They analyze human diversity and social issues as they enlarge their understanding and use the multiple determinants of health in the design of culturally congruent health care plans and programs. In their clinical practice, they use epidemiological, social, and environmental data to design and implement nursing interventions and systems to promote and preserve the client's or community's health and lifestyle practices.

Prerequisite(s): MSN-600, MSN-602, MSN-603, MSN-617 MSN-621, MSN-622, MSN-623 & MSN-700 completed. Register for MSN-701P concurrently.

MSN-701P CNS Practicum 2 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Register for MSN-701 concurrently

MSN-730 Adv Prac Nrsng: Ldrshp System Improvemnt (3 credits)

Students are supervised by appropriately credentialed nurses in this semester-long practicum in either an educational setting, such as a School of Nursing, or a healthcare setting, such as a hospital, clinic, or community agency. They use knowledge, skills, and abilities from all previous MSN courses as they collaborate with agency personnel to design and manage practice projects with undergraduate nursing students in educational settings and/or with adult-gerontology clients and staff in healthcare settings. This course includes a 200-hour practicum.

Prerequisite(s): For CNS Students only. MSN-600, MSN-602, MSN-603, MSN 612, MSN-615, MSN-616, MSN-621, MSN-622 MSN-623 & MSN-701 completed. Register for MSN-730P concurrently.

MSN-730P CNS Practicum 3 (2 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent registration with MSN-730

MSN-755 Capstone 1 (1 credit)

MSN-760 Capstone 2 (1 credit)

Prerequisite(s): MSN-755 completed