222 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. C. Mackey, Chairperson
Janet S. Hickman, Ed.D., Temple University
Charlotte Mackey, Ed.D., Widener University
Cheryl Ann Monturo, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Christine Thomas, Ph.D., Widener University
Brent W. Thompson, Ph.D., Widener University
Barbara Harrison, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Rachel A. Joseph, Ph.D., Duquesne University
Edward Mackey, Ph.D., Northcentral University
Carolyn Meehan, Ph.D., Widener University
Anne Bradley Mitchell, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Christine Moriconi, Psy.D., LaSalle University
Megan Ann Mraz, Ph.D., Duquesne University
Julie McCulloh Nair, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina
Cheryl Schlamb, D.N.P., CRNP, Case Western University
Marcia Welch, D.L., Widener University School of Law
Donna Bohs, M.Ed., Villanova University
Mary Fran Cullen, M.S.N., Vanderbilt University
Master of Science in Nursing [top]
The mission of the Department of Nursing at West Chester University is to provide high quality professional degree education in nursing. The baccalaureate program prepares graduates for entry into nursing practice. The master’s program prepares graduates for advanced practice in adult health/gerontology or nursing education and the post-master’s DNP prepares advanced practice nurses to fully implement evidence-based findings into clinical practice. The goal of the department is to prepare nurses for leadership and advocacy in health promotion, disease prevention and health restoration of individuals, families and communities. Graduates of these nursing program will be professionals capable of assuming leadership in present and emerging health care roles, citizens who contribute to society, and who are committed to life-long learning and personal development.
Programs of Study in Nursing
The Department of Nursing offers programs leading to the DNP and the master of science in nursing.
The DOCTOR of NURSING PRACTICE (D.N.P.) is a practice-oriented program of study that provides the terminal academic preparation for advanced nursing practice. Graduates of this program will be qualified to assume leadership roles in a variety of settings: management of quality initiatives, executives in health-care organizations, directors of clinical programs, and faculty positions responsible for clinical program delivery and clinical teaching. The program is offered in a distance-education format, with the exception of the first two-credit course which is offered on campus.
At the end of the D.N.P. program, the graduate will be able to
- utilize collaborative leadership skills on inter- and intra-professional teams to foster effective communication, enrich patient outcomes, and foster change in health-care delivery systems;
- integrate evidence-based strategies to ensure safety and quality health care for patients, populations, and communities;
- evaluate information systems, considering ethical and regulatory issues to improve patient care and health-care systems;
- assess policies, trends, and forces influencing health-care policy to design, implement, and evaluate the effect on future patient outcomes;
- analyze the scope of health-care economics and key information sources as they affect health care for patients and populations; and
- conduct a comprehensive systematic assessment of health and illness parameters incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive approaches.
D.N.P. Admission Requirements
In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to a graduate program at West Chester University, applicants must have an earned master’s degree in nursing in an advanced nursing practice specialty from a nationally accredited program. Advanced practice is defined as direct-care specialization (e.g., nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife) or indirect care specialization (nursing administration, nursing informatics). The curriculum recognizes attainment of the advanced-practice specialty master’s degree.
Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and be a licensed registered nurse in their state. Prerequisite courses would include a graduate research course and a statistics course at the graduate or undergraduate level.
Applicants must submit two letters of reference addressing the student’s academic ability and professional competence, as well as complete a telephone or in-person interview with the program coordinator.
(35 semester hours)
The curriculum* is divided into three components:
- Nursing science (10 semester hours)
NSG 701, 706, 708, and 709
- Leadership (9 semester hours)
NSG 702, 703, and 707
- Practice (16 semester hours)
NSG 704, 705, 810, 811, and 812
The M.S. in NURSING (M.S.N.) will offer a choice of instructional focus after completing the eight core component courses in the graduate program: adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or nursing education. Graduates of the adult-gerontology CNS track will be eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification exam in adult gerontology. Graduates of the nursing-education track will be eligible to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) certified nurse educator exam. The program will be offered in a combination of face-to-face, hybrid, and distance-education formats.
At the end of the M.S.N. program, the graduate will be able to
- synthesize philosophy, theory, content, and methods of nursing science as a basis for advanced nursing practice;
- demonstrate advanced clinical skills in society including culturally diverse and/or medically underserved individuals and aggregates;
- assume beginning roles in education or administration;
- design health-care strategies in which nurses contribute to the health promotion and disease prevention of individuals and aggregates;
- evaluate health-care issues, trends, and policies;
- pursue and evaluate professional development as a continuing professional learner;
- collaborate with interdisciplinary groups in the community for the purpose of health-care planning to achieve the objectives of Healthy People 2020;
- acquire a foundation for doctoral study in nursing;
- assume the role of advocate in health-care settings to promote accessibility of health-care services and to enhance quality of care;
- demonstrate a philosophy of nursing that reflects commitment to social justice and the advancement of nursing science;
- participate in scientific inquiry directed to the health-care needs of populations as well as individuals and families.
M.S.N. Admission Requirements
The minimum admission standards for the Department of Nursing are a B.S.N. degree from a National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited program, an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8, a course in statistics, a course in physical assessment, current licensure as a registered nurse (Pennsylvania licensure required prior to the clinical practicum), at least two years of recent full-time experience as a nurse providing direct clinical care, and two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional qualifications. RN applicants with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline may apply for the M.S.N. and will be evaluated on an individual basis.
Curriculum (41 – 43 semester hours)
- Core curriculum (26 semester hours)
NSG 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, and 537
- Nursing-education track (15 semester hours)
NSG 541, 542, 543, 544, and 545
- Adult-gerontology CNS track (17 semester hours)
NSG 551, 552, 553, 554, 555, and 556
- Nursing-education track (15 semester hours)
Special Requirements for the M.S.N.
Insurance. Students are required to carry liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1,000,000/$3,000,000 when enrolled in nursing courses having a clinical component.
CPR Certification. Students enrolled in nursing courses having a clinical component are required to be currently certified by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other acceptable resource in life support (two-person) cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The CPR course must include resuscitation of infants and children.
Health Requirements. Students enrolled in nursing courses having a clinical component must provide the Department of Nursing with evidence of a current (within one year) health assessment performed by a physician or certified nurse practitioner. Documentation of immunity to Rubella, rubeola, measles, mumps, poliomyelitis, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B, and varicella is required.
Substance-Abuse Policy. Students are expected to perform unimpaired. Prior to taking NSG 531 students must have a negative substance-abuse result. This policy is in addition to the West Chester University Student Code of Conduct and the Drug-Free Campus policy (Section III, Ram’s Eye View).
TB Testing. In order to comply with agency requirements, a two-step tuberculin skin test will be required for all students prior to taking NSG 502 and any subsequent clinical practicum if more than 12 months have transpired.
School Nurse Certification (14 semester hours)
The School Nurse Certification program is a 14-credit, post baccalaureate program that prepares students for initial Pennsylvania Department of Education certification as an Educational Specialist I – School Nurse. Required courses are NSG 502, 512, 533 and EDA 542. The goal of the department is to prepare nurses for safe and effective care in the school setting. Graduates will be professionals capable of functioning in a holistic manner and able to collaborate with the various disciplines within the school system for health promotion and disease prevention of the child and adolescent.
*All course work, with the exception of the first course (NSG 701), will be completed online.
Course Descriptions [top]
502 Perspectives of School Nursing (4)This course examines the structure of the educational organization issues that specifically affect the certified school nurse and impact the student in the learning environment. Emphasis will be placed on the school nurse’s responsibility to enhance the student’s ability to learn in relation to promotion, restoration, and maintenance of health.
512 Legal Mandates of School Nursing (3)This course examines the structure of the educational organization and legal issues that specifically affect the certified school nurse and impact the student in the learning enviroment. Emphasis will be placed on the school nurse's responsibility to enhance the student's ability to learn in relation to promotion, restoration and maintenance of health.
530 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice (3) The focus of this course is on the analysis and evaluation of the theoretical foundations of nursing. Students are introduced to nursing theory through a comprehensive overview. The historical development of nursing theories and a comparison of nursing theories to theories from other disciplines are explored. Emphasis is on theory as a base for advanced nursing practice and nursing education. The relationship of theory to research, education, and practice is analyzed.
531 Health-Care Policy, Finance, and Organization (3) This course will introduce students to the concepts and tools of health-policy development as well as the skills necessary to be an effective policy analyst. The course will address health-care finance and organization for the advanced practitioner.
532 Pathophysiology for Advanced-Practice Nursing (3) This course is designed to explore pathophysiologic concepts beginning at the cellular level and proceeding through major body systems. Emphasis will be placed on pathophysiologic changes across the lifespan. This course analyzes the signs and symptoms of various diseases enabling the student and advanced-practice nurse to identify the mechanisms of disease and the clinical manifestations of those diseases so that rational therapies and interventions can be designed and implemented based on the pathophysiologic changes. Appropriate screening and diagnostic laboratory evaluative methods will also be included.
533 Physical Assessment for Advanced-Practice Nursing (4) In this course, students will build on their physical assessment knowledge with a combination of comprehensive theoretical and clinical experiences in advanced physical assessment. Students will focus on attainment of enhanced skills to complete a holistic health assessment and physical examination of the adult, adolescent, and pediatric client. Strategies include collection of relevant data via appropriate interviewing methods, and developmental and physical assessment techniques with an emphasis on refinement of communication techniques and psychomotor skills.
534 Pharmacology for Advanced-Practice Nursing (3) This course will build upon the pharmacologic knowledge acquired at the baccalaureate level. This course will introduce the advanced-practice nurse to pharmacologic concepts utilized in advanced-practice roles. Clinical decision making is applied as students explore pharmacologic aspects of disease management. Communication is encouraged and required through in-class discussion and written assignments.
535 Population-Based Health Promotion/Epidemiology (3) This course will provide an overview of the epidemiological model of disease causation. Various epidemiological study designs and their applications will be presented.
536 Evidence-Based Practice Research (4) This course provides the learner with an overview of both qualitative and quantitative research designs and methodological approaches commonly encountered. The content focuses on methodology, data collection and analysis, interpretation, and communication of research results. A variety of mixed methods nursing studies are utilized to strengthen skills required for critiquing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research as well as developing research proposals.
537 Ethical Decision Making in Health Care (3) This is a core course in the master of science nursing program. Students will examine ethical principles, theories, and concepts affecting clinical practice. Using these principles, students will focus on the identification, articulation, and planned action for ethical concerns of the patient, family, health-care provider, system, community, and public-policy levels.
541 History and Philosophy of Higher Education and Nursing Education (3) This course is designed as an introduction to nursing education. The course examines historical and current philosophies of education that impact nursing education. The history of nursing education is examined and discussed in relation to current and future trends in nursing education. Philosophical similarities and differences between higher education and nursing education models are examined from a historical perspective with emphasis on the present and future state of nursing education. External and internal factors and issues influencing nursing education are discussed.
542 Curriculum Development and Design in Nursing Education (3) This course is designed to examine the theory and practice of curriculum development as group process, synthesizing basic principles of curriculum in nursing education.
543 Measurement and Evaluation in Nursing Education (3) This course will focus on the application of principles in measurement and evaluation within nursing education. Practical experiences will include the construction and evaluation of classroom tests and clinical assessment instruments, as well as interpretation of standardized tests used within nursing education. Current trends and issues related to evaluation will be discussed.
544 Teaching Strategies for Classroom and Clinical Settings (3) The course explores the various teaching strategies used in nursing classroom and clinical settings for students with diverse needs. The course is designed to prepare students to facilitate learning in these settings. It will provide the student with the opportunity to synthesize and integrate educational theories, research, and curriculum planning and evaluation into the role of nurse educator. The course will facilitate the student’s examination of the teaching-learning process and skills in professional nursing. The use of information technologies to support the teaching-learning process will also be explored.
545 Nursing-Education Teaching Practicum (3) This course provides the opportunity to integrate theory and practice in a formal nursing-education setting. Students will use theories to organize, plan, and implement the nurse-educator role in a nursing-education setting selected in collaboration with the faculty. Students will participate in the teaching-learning process and will have the opportunity to develop the skills of a professional nurse educator through their preceptorial teaching experience. Emphasis will be placed on baccalaureate education.
551 Advanced-Nursing Practice I (2) This course provides an opportunity to integrate theory and practice that prepares students for advanced nursing practice as an adult/gerontology clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Students use theories from nursing and other sciences to plan, manage, and evaluate direct-care services provided to adults and families in community settings. Clinical experiences focus on case management, including advanced assessment, diagnosis, planning, and evaluation as it relates to wellness, health promotion, and maintenance in this population. Opportunities for interprofessional experience are provided. Students participate in faculty-led seminars discussing current topics related to the clinical focus areas with emphasis on clinical decision-making skills. Advance practice registered Nurses (APRN) mentor students in a clinical practice setting (112 hours of clinical practicum in wellness and promotion).
552 Advanced-Nursing Practice II (3) This course provides an opportunity to integrate theory and practice that prepares students for advanced-nursing practice as adult/gerontology clinical nurse specialists (CNS). Students use theories from nursing and other sciences to plan, manage, and evaluate direct-care services provided to adults and families in institutional and community settings. Clinical experience focuses on case management, including advanced assessment, diagnosis, planning, and evaluation as it relates to the management of acute and chronic comorbidities in this population. Opportunities for interprofessional experience and collaborative practice are provided. Students participate in faculty-led seminars discussing current topics related to the clinical focus areas with emphasis on clinical decision-making skills. Advance practice registered nurses (APRN) mentor students in a clinical practice setting – 168 practicum hours.
553 Advanced-Nursing Practice III (3) This course provides an opportunity to integrate theory and practice that prepares students for advanced-nursing practice as an adult-gerontological clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Students use theories from nursing and other sciences to plan, manage, and evaluate direct-care services provided to adults and families in acute care and long-term care institutional settings. Clinical experience focuses on case management, including advanced assessment, diagnosis, planning, and evaluation as it relates to the management of acute and complex chronic comorbidities in this population. Opportunities for multidisciplinary and collaborative practice are provided. Students participate in faculty-led seminars related to the clinical focus areas with emphasis on clinical decision-making skills. Advance practice registered nurses (APRN) mentor students in a clinical practice setting – 168 practicum hours.
554 Theories of the Aging Process (3) This course will present in-depth analysis of aging theories (various developmental, biological, physiological, psychological, and social) and how they explain the process of normal aging and disease development. Students will discuss the major theoretical themes and clinical perspectives for theory application, as well as identify trends and topics in modern aging research. The defined population of the adult-gerontology CNS practice to be discussed in this course includes young adults (late adolescents and emancipated minors), adults, and older adults (young-old, old, and old-old adults).
555 Differential Diagnosis in Older Adults (3)This course provides didactic content to prepare the CNS to provide primary and/or acute care to older adults. From a case-study approach, students will examine advanced nursing management of health, illness, and disease states in older adults as compared to younger adults. Content addresses differential diagnosis and management of common health problems, including appropriate physical assessment, diagnostic procedures, laboratory tests, and follow-up care for patients with both acute and chronic conditions. Students use evidence-based care and clinical guidelines to provide safe, holistic, and cost-effective care to the adult and geriatric patient in a variety of health-care settings.
556 Health-Illness Transitions (3) This course introduces transitions theory as the underpinning for the constantly shifting health-care needs of individuals across the age continuum (from late adolescence to older age) and in a variety of settings. After a brief introduction, the course will offer learning through application of this theory to a variety of developmental, situational, and health-illness transitions.
701 Transition to Doctoral Study (2) This course will address the evolution of the doctorate and its development in the nursing profession. Current and future practice issues that will affect the advance-practice nurse will be examined. Analysis of the Ph.D., D.N.S., and D.N.P. will be explored. Driving forces leading to the need for the D.N.P. will be considered along with evidence-based findings from nursing leaders and organizations. A dialogue about the D.N.P. capstone project will be introduced (on-campus course).
702 Leadership for Advanced Nursing Practice (3) Students examine the role development of advanced-practice nursing, including a strong focus on ethical practice. Theoretical leadership concepts are synthesized in relation to personal and professional values. Emphasis is on working with multiple disciplines and on leading multiple and diverse constituencies. Issues of creativity, power, innovation, communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, and resources management are addressed.
703 Health-Care Policy and Advocacy (3) This course explores the roles and accountability of health-care providers in responding to the health and social needs of the public and shaping health policy. The course will introduce the learner to the concepts and tools of health policy development as well the skills necessary to be an effective policy analyst and advocate.
704 Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health Care I (3) The learner will utilize analytic methods to critique existing literature and other evidence to implement the best evidence for practice. Methods of designing processes to evaluate outcomes of practice, practice patterns, and systems of care within a practice setting will be explored.
705 Analytical Methods of Evidence-Based Practice in Health Care II (3) The learner will design and evaluate quality improvement methodologies to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered care. Emphasis will be placed on applying relevant finding to affect practice guidelines and improve quality in practice and the practice environment. PREREQ: NSG 604.
706 Nursing Ethics in Clinical Practice and Leadership (3) The learner will examine ethical principles and legal precedents affecting clinical practice and health-care policy. Strategies to assist in the resolution of current ethical issues within a student’s particular practice or research area will be developed through the application of select theories and concepts. Ethical issues will be addressed through a case-based approach.
707 Health-Care Economics for the Advanced Practitioner (3) The learner will describe the scope of health-care economics and key information sources as they affect the advanced practitioner. Highlights of the characteristics of health-care financing and quality of health-economics financing will be explored.
708 Program Evaluation (3) This course is designed to provide learners with an opportunity to review evaluation methods best suited for professionals in leadership roles. Standards of evaluation, planning designs, and approaches will be examined. Students will examine methodologies for classifying interventions and outcomes and for evaluating the quality of health care delivered to individual clients and aggregates. Issues related to the implementation of outcome and quality management programs will be explored.
709 Nursing Informatics (2) This problem-focused course that prepares the learner to use information systems and technology, and provide leadership, to support and improve patient care and health-care systems. Emphasis is on the knowledge and skills expected of a D.N.P. graduate in analysis of technology, design, and selection of information systems, proficiency in quality-improvement technologies, and evaluation of patient care systems. Related ethical, regulatory, and legal issues are also discussed.
710 D.N.P. Capstone Seminar I (3) This course will provide the learner with the opportunity to conceptualize the concepts of scholarship, leadership, and advocacy into their advanced nursing practice. Learners will identify the focus of their D.N.P. capstone project. This project should be appropriate with the domain of scholarship. This course will culminate with recognition of a need and problem statement, a needs assessment, and development of goals and objectives.
711 D.N.P. Capstone Seminar II (4) This course will focus on the second part of the capstone project. Emphasis will be placed on the project proposal including theories of change and project management tools. Goals and objectives of the project will be developed. Emphasis will be on integration of theory and evidenced-based change from nursing science and other related fields. PREREQ: Successful completion of NSG 610.
712 D.N.P. Capstone Seminar III (2) This is the last seminar course in which learners will implement and evaluate their D.N.P. final project. Emphasis will be placed on implementation and evaluation of the project. Dissemination and utilization of the results can be shared via written, oral, or electronic dissemination. PREREQ: Successful completion of NSG 611.