Academic Course Catalogs

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Master of Science in Nursing

MSN Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate advanced clinical expertise based on nursing and related disciplines.
  • Provide leadership in integrating research into practice.
  • Utilize research-based evidence as a foundation for practice.
  • Apply information technology to enhance nursing education, practice, and research.
  • Engage in multi-sectoral collaboration to improve health care delivery; assuming responsibility for the delegation and oversight of care delivery by other staff as deemed appropriate.
  • Provide leadership in formulating and implementing policy that contributes to ongoing improvement of health care delivery.
  • Practice from an ethical and legal perspective that acknowledges conflicting values and rights as they affect health care decisions.
  • Assume and develop advanced clinical roles to meet societal needs in a rapidly changing national and global health care arena.
  • Provide innovative care that promotes health and quality of life for culturally diverse individuals, families, and populations.
  • Analyze emerging issues confronting nurses and society as a basis for enacting social change in ways that foster health.

General Requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing Degree

  1. Course and GPA Requirements
    All candidates for the MSN degree must complete a minimum of 30-71 semester-hours of graduate credit depending on the area of specialization. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained in all program coursework. A minimum grade of “B-” is required in all lab, practicum and residency courses that are not graded on a pass/fail basis. A minimum grade of “B-” is also required in the clinical component of MEPN courses. Courses in which a grade lower than “B-” is received must be repeated, and a grade of “B-” or better must be earned before the student may progress to the next clinical management theory and practicum courses in the program.
  2. Time Limits
    All students are expected to complete their programs within six years after initial enrollment.
  3. Professional Liability and Malpractice Insurance
    All students must maintain professional liability and malpractice insurance while enrolled in their programs.
  4. Transfer and Waiver of Courses
    Nursing students who have earned applicable credit at another institution may be permitted to transfer the credit (if not applied to another degree) or waive the required course credit. A maximum of 6 units may be waived or transferred. However, a minimum of 30 units at USD is required for all master’s programs in nursing. Core courses and electives may be waived, but waiver of specialty courses requires the additional permission of the specialty faculty.

MSN Programs of Study

Required coursework for the programs that lead to the MSN degree is delineated below. Typical programs of study to illustrate how full-time students, who begin study in fall semester, can progress through the programs are available at www.sandiego.edu.

Subspecialty options are available in the Nurse Practitioner and Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist programs (A-D below). These options require a few additional units of coursework over and above that required for each specialty. Subspecialty courses can satisfy elective units in programs where these units are required.

A. The Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care subspecialty option is designed to promote the provision of a holistic and integrated approach to primary health care. Students are provided with the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and effectively integrate conventional and complimentary approaches to patient assessment and management.

Required units:
MSNE 516 Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care (3)

B. The Latino Health Care Subspecialty Option is designed to foster cross-cultural competency in the care of Latino populations, including migrant workers and their families. Theory content and clinical experiences related to care of vulnerable Latino populations are provided along with opportunities to develop Spanish-language fluency.

Required units:
MSNE 542 Latino Health Care: Sociocultural and Family Perspectives (3)

C. Nursing Education option offers didactic and experiential preparation to masters’ students interested in beginning level educator roles in clinical or academic settings. Students interested in preparing for the nurse educator role may enroll in the following courses.

Required units:
MSNE 532 Theory of Nursing Education (3)
MSNE 592 Teaching Practicum (3)

A. Family Nurse Practitioner

(Total units: 46)
This curriculum prepares family nurse practitioners for advanced practice roles in the provision of primary care to individuals and families across the age span in a variety of ambulatory care settings. Graduates are eligible for state NP certification and national certification as family nurse practitioners.

I. MSN Core (6 units)
MSNC 511 Evidence Based Practice: Role of Theory and Research (3)
MSNC 512 Influencing the Health Care Environment: Policy & Systems (3)

II. APN Core (10 units)
APNC 520 Pathophysiology (3)
APNC 521 Physical Assessment and Diagnosis (4)
APNC 523 Pharmacology in Health Management (3)

III. Emphasis (30 units)
NPTC 602 Primary Care I (5u)
NPTC 604 Primary Care IIA (6u)
NPTC 605 Primary Care IIB (6u)
NPTC 608 Primary Care IIIA (6u)
NPTC 609 Primary Care IIIB (7u)

Subspecialty Options Available

  • Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care
  • Latino Health Care

B. Dual Certification Pediatric/Family Nurse Practitioner

(Total units: 53)
This curriculum prepares pediatric and family nurse practitioners for advanced practice roles in the provision of primary care to individuals and families across the age span in a variety of ambulatory care settings. Graduates are eligible for state NP certification and national certification as pediatric and family nurse practitioners.

I. MSN Core (6 units)
MSNC 511 Evidence Based Practice: Role of Theory and Research (3)
MSNC 512 Influencing the Health Care Environment: Policy & Systems (3)

II. APN Core (10 units)

APNC 520 Pathophysiology (3)
APNC 521 Physical Assessment and Diagnosis (4)
APNC 523 Pharmacology in Health Management (3)

III. Emphasis (30 units)

NPTC 602 Primary Care I (5u)
NPTC 604 Primary Care IIA (6u)
NPTC 605 Primary Care IIB (6u)
NPTC 608 Primary Care IIIA (6u)
NPTC 609 Primary Care IIIB (7u)
NPTC 549 Primary Care of Children and Adolescents with Chronic Illness (3)
NPTC 550 Primary Care of Children and Adolescents with Chronic Illness Practicum (4)

Subspecialty Options Available

  • Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care
    Latino Health Care

C. Dual Certification Adult/Family Nurse Practitioner

(Total units: 52)
This curriculum prepares adult and family nurse practitioners for advanced practice roles in the provision of primary care to individuals and families across the age span in a variety of ambulatory care settings. Graduates are eligible for state NP certification and national certification as adult and family nurse practitioners.

I. MSN Core (6 units)
MSNC 511 Evidence Based Practice: Role of Theory and Research (3)
MSNC 512 Influencing the Health Care Environment: Policy & Systems (3)

II. APN Core (10 units)
APNC 520 Pathophysiology (3)
APNC 521 Physical Assessment and Diagnosis (4)
APNC 523 Pharmacology in Health Management (3)

III. Emphasis (30 units)
NPTC 602 Primary Care I (5u)
NPTC 604 Primary Care IIA (6u)
NPTC 605 Primary Care IIB (6u)
NPTC 608 Primary Care IIIA (6u)
NPTC 609 Primary Care IIIB (7u)

Subspecialty Options Available

  • Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care
  • Latino Health Care

D. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

(Total units: 46)
This curriculum prepares psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners for advanced practice roles in the provision of primary care to individuals, families and groups across the age span in a variety of ambulatory care settings. Graduates are eligible for state NP certification and national certification as family nurse practitioners.

I. MSN Core (6 units)
MSNC 511 Evidence Based Practice: Role of Theory and Research (3)
MSNC 512 Influencing the Health Care Environment: Policy & Systems (3)

II. APN Core (22 units)
APNC 520 Pathophysiology (3)
APNC 521 Physical Assessment and Diagnosis (4)
APNC 523 Pharmacology in Health Management (3)
APNC 619 APRN Specialty Role (4)
APNC 624 Psychopharmacology (3)
APNC 627 Biopsychosocial Bases of Behavior for Advanced Clinicians (2)
APNC 629 Theoretical Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (3)

III. Emphasis (18 units)
NPTC 654 PMHN I: Theoretical Foundations of Practice with Individuals (5)
NPTC 656 PMHN II: Theoretical Foundations of Practice with Families (6)
NPTC 658 PMHN III: Theoretical Foundations of Practice with Groups (4)
NPTC 660 PMHN IV: Advanced Clinical Practicum (3)

Subspecialty Options Available

  • Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care
  • Latino Health Care

E. Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

(Total units: 46)
This curriculum prepares clinical nurse specialists for advanced practice as clinical experts in theory-based and research-based nursing practice within a specialty area. Graduates are eligible for national certification as adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialists in adult health.

I. MSN Core (6 units)
MSNC 511 Evidence Based Practice: Role of Theory and Research (3)
MSNC 512 Influencing the Health Care Environment: Policy & Systems (3)

II. APN Core (13 units)
APNC 520 Pathophysiology (3)
APNC 521 Physical Assessment and Diagnosis (4)
APNC 523 Pharmacology in Health Management (3)
APNC 619 APRN Specialty Role

III. Emphasis (20 units)
ACNS 632 Adult Gero I: CNS Practice in the Individual Care Sphere (8)
ACNS 634 Adult Gero II: CNS Practice in the Nurse/Staff Sphere (6)
ACNS 636 Adult Gero III: CNS Practice in the Organizational/Systems Sphere (6)
ACNS 638 Adult Gero IV: Advanced CNS Practicum (5)

Subspecialty Options Available

  • Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care
  • Latino Health Care

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