Master of Science in Nursing

Chairperson: Lin Murphy
Professors: N. Crogan-Pomilla, S. Norwood
Associate Professosr: N. Beckham, A. Dupler
Assistant Professors: D. Abendroth, M. Gorski, L. Miklush, L. Murphy, J. Ramirez, J. Tiedt
Senior Lecturer: D. Smith
Lecturers: J. Derzay, J. Garrity, S. Harrison, K. Manion, J. Miller, V. Navarro, D. Ogorek, B. Senger, L. Tochterman

Introduction

The Department of Nursing offers three advanced education nursing programs: the accelerated RN to MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) program, the MSN program, and second Master's in Nursing program. These programs emphasize leadership, the integration of theoretical concepts from nursing and related disciplines, and the application of these theories to practice. Both role development and preparation in a specialty focus area are emphasized. Grounded in Jesuit and nursing values, the MSN program prepares Registered Nurses to assume roles as Family Nurse Practitioners, Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Educators, or Health Systems Leaders. With Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) as the organizing framework for the curriculum, the program builds on the themes of servant leadership, social justice, community, and reflective practice. Gonzaga's MSN program is offered in an online distance delivery format with scheduled on-campus immersions. This format enables nurses in geographically isolated areas and those who would not be able to attend an on-campus program to pursue advanced nursing education and still continue to provide much-needed nursing services in their home communities while completing graduate studies. Graduates are qualified to take the national certification examinations for their areas of specialization. National certification is a requirement for licensure as a nurse practitioner in most states.  Students are responsible for checking state mandates for practice while in the student role and in an advanced nursing role.

Program Overview

Students who enter the master's program through the accelerated RN to MSN pathway complete a total of ten courses (30 credits) that "bridge" them to the graduate-level courses. After completing these "bridge" courses, they progress directly to the core courses in the MSN program provided they have successfully completed all bridge courses with a grade of “C” or better and have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0. They  have the option of pursuing either the Health Systems Leader or the Nurse Educator track in the MSN program.

The students admitted directly into the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program apply for admission to one of four specialty tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (44 credits), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (47 credits), Nurse Educator (36 credits), or the Health Systems Leader track (36 credits). They complete the core courses (15 credits) prior to advancing to one of the specialty tracks (additional 21-32 credits). They then progress through one of the four specialty options. In both of the nurse practitioner options, students complete courses in advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, advanced health assessment, and the direct care core courses that prepare them for advanced practice. Students in these pathways complete 600 hours (10 credits) of practicum or clinical experience. Students preparing for the advanced role specialties of Nurse Educator and Health Systems Leader complete the core courses for those specialty tracks as well as 360 hours of practicum (6 credits).

The second master’s degree program is designed for the Registered Nurse who already possesses a master’s degree in nursing but desires additional preparation in another specialty area. The program is structured to meet the needs and schedules of working Registered Nurses through the same distributive learning formats used in the MSN program. The total credits required may vary depending on each student’s background and preparation.

RN to MSN Program (for Registered Nurses)

The RN to MSN program offers the licensed Registered Nurse with a diploma or an Associate's degree in Nursing the opportunity to earn a master's degree in nursing in less time and with fewer credits than would be required if completing separate BSN and MSN degrees. The MSN is the degree awarded, and there is no option for earning a separate BSN degree. In an effort to meet the needs of working Registered Nurses, the program is offered in a flexible distance delivery online format. Students complete ten courses (30 credits) that "bridge" them to the master's level courses. Once the "bridge" courses have been completed, students progress immediately to the graduate level courses. There is an emphasis on preparation for an advanced role as either a Nurse Educator or Health Systems Leader.

Admission Requirements RN to MSN Program

At the time of application to the RN to MSN program, the applicant also applies for admission to Gonzaga University. The applicant must have an Associate's degree in Nursing from an accredited college or a diploma in nursing from a state-approved program and must submit one official transcript from each college, university, and nursing program attended. The decision to admit an applicant to the RN to MSN program is based on consideration of the individual's overall portfolio including:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale).
  2. Evidence of a current unencumbered RN license.
  3. One official transcript from every college and university or nursing school attended.  Only degrees and courses from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted.
  4. Current curriculum vitae (CV).
  5. Two letters of recommendation from individuals such as employers, colleagues, or professors who can attest to the applicant’s leadership, interpersonal skills, professional practice, critical thinking and judgment, and potential for advanced study.
  6. Satisfactory score on the Miller Analogy Test or the Graduate Record Exam within the last five years
  7. Typewritten statement (maximum 500 words) that describes the applicant’s:
    a)    interest in the RN to MSN Program and specific MSN option, e.g., Nurse Educator or Health Systems Leader.
    b)    professional goals
    c)    personal and professional strengths
    d)    professional experiences
  8. Non-native English speakers are required to provide proof of English proficiency.  Gonzaga University accepts the following:
    a)    score of 6.5 or better on the IELTS
    b)    official TOEFL score of at least 88 ibt or 580 pbt
    c)    completion of an Associate's degree in nursing or a diploma in Nursing from an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction.
  9. Submission of a financial declaration and supporting documentation by international applicants
Degree Requirements

The RN to MSN program requires the completion of ten "bridge" courses (30 credits) with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to progress to MSN-level course work.

RN to MSN
Bridge Courses: 30 Credits
PHIL 280     Person and Conduct (Nursing) 3 credits
Religious Studies course 3 credits
NURS 312 Professional Concepts in Nursing 3 credits
NURS 321 Statistics 3 credits
NURS 354 Creating Healthy Workplace Environments 3 credits
NURS 355 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology 3 credits
NURS 360 Holistic Health Assessment/Health Promotion 3 credits
NURS 406 Nursing Research 3 credits
NURS 463 Community Health 3 credits
NURS 464 Community Health Practicum 3 credits

Graduate (MSN) Courses:

Students who have successfully completed the "bridge" courses with a minimum grade of “C” and have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0 progress directly to the MSN level courses.

Admissions Requirements to the MSN Program

At the time of application to the MSN program, the applicant also applies for admission to Gonzaga University. The applicant must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, be licensed as a Registered Nurse, and submit one official transcript from each college, university, and nursing program attended. Students who are admitted without a bachelor’s degree in nursing may need to take some foundational nursing courses before completing master’s-level courses, e.g., statistics, research, and community health nursing. The decision to admit an applicant to the MSN program is based on consideration of the individual's overall portfolio including:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale).
  2. Evidence of a current unencumbered RN license.
  3. One official transcript from every college and university or nursing school attended.  Only degrees and courses from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted.
  4. Current curriculum vitae (CV).
  5. Two letters of recommendation from individuals such as employers, colleagues, or professors who can attest to the applicant’s leadership, interpersonal skills, professional practice, critical thinking and judgment, and potential for advanced study.
  6. Satisfactory score on the Miller Analogy Test or the Graduate Record Exam within the last five years.
  7. Typewritten statement (maximum 500 words) that describes the applicant’s:
    a)    interest in the MSN Program and specific MSN option,
    b)    professional goals,
    c)    personal and professional strengths,
    d)    professional experiences.
  8. Non-native English speakers are required to provide proof of English proficiency.  Gonzaga University accepts the following:
    a)    score of 6.5 or better on the IELTS,
    b)    official TOEFL score of at least 88 ibt or 580 pbt,
    c)    completion of an Associate's degree in Nursing or a diploma in nursing from an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction.
  9. Submission of a financial declaration and supporting documentation by international applicants.
  1. Required Core Courses for All MSN Options: 15 Credits

    All of the core courses are offered online and must be completed for all of the specialty options. These courses provide the theoretical foundation for role development and expose the students to concepts and issues that undergird all areas of advanced nursing practice. Courses include content in health policy analysis and development, information management, evidence-based practice and leadership.

    NURS 561 Information Technology and Data Management
    3 credits
    NURS 562 Theoretical Foundations for Healthcare Improvement
    3 credits
    NURS 563 Evidenced-Based Practice for Quality and Safety
    3 credits
    NURS 564 Contemporary Healthcare Environment
    3 credits
    NURS 565 Clinical Prevention for Diverse Populations
    3 credits

    Health Systems Leadership (HSL) Option: 36 Credits (including Core)

    This option prepares Registered Nurses to assume leadership and administrative positions in inpatient, outpatient, community-based, and academic settings. Students gain knowledge and competency in financial and human capital management, as well as strategies for responding to the ethical and legal issues encountered in administrative roles. The HSL core courses are offered online. Practicum experiences are arranged by the student to meet identified learning needs.  There is a required two-day, on-campus immersion during the last practicum course.

    Health Systems Leadership Core: 15 Credits
    NURS 641A Nursing Leadership Development 3 credits
    NURS 642A Quality and Information Management 3 credits
    NURS 643A Communication and Relationship Management 3 credits
    NURS 644A Health Care Management
    3 credits
    NURS 645A Legal, Regulatory, and Ethical Healthcare Environments 3 credits
    Health Systems Leadership Practicum: 6 Credits (360 hours)
    NURS 631A Health Systems Leadership Practicum I 1-3 credits
    NURS 632A Health Systems Leadership Practicum II 1-3 credits
    NURS 633A Health Systems Leadership Practicum III 1-3 credits

    Nurse Educator (NE) Option: 36 Credits (including Core)

    This option prepares Registered Nurses to work as educators in academic, hospital, and community-based settings. Students develop an area of clinical specialization as well as competency in curriculum development, teaching-learning strategies, and assessment of student learning. Particular emphasis is placed on tailoring content and practicum experiences to individual needs. The NE core courses are offered online. Practicum experiences take place in a variety of educational settings. There are two required 2-3 day, on-campus immersions.

    Nurse Educator Direct Care Core and Practicum: 8 Credits
    NURS 601E Pathophysiology, Pharmacology and Assessment I
    3 credits
    NURS 602E Pathophysiology, Pharmacology and Assessment II
    3 credits
    NURS 603E Advanced Clinical Practicum: Acute Care 1 credit
    NURS 604E Advanced Clinical Practicum: Population-Focused
    1 credit
    Nurse Educator Core and Practicum: 13 Credits
    NURS 651E Curriculum Development 3 credits
    NURS 652E Teaching/Learning Strategies
    3 credits
    NURS 653E Principles of Evaluation for Nurse Educator
    3 credits
    Four credits distributed between the following two courses: 4 credits

    NURS 645E Nurse Educator Practicum in Clinical Setting
    1-3 credits

    NURS 646E Nurse Educator Practicum in Academia
    1-3 credits


  2. Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Option: 44 Credits (including Core)

    This option prepares students to provide a holistic approach to primary care for individuals and families of all ages and to manage a wide variety of acute and chronic health problems. Family Nurse Practitioners work in independent as well as collaborative practice settings, such as private practices, urgent care centers, health maintenance organizations, clinics, health departments, student health centers, and clinics for the homeless or uninsured. The FNP core courses are offered online. When students begin their practicum courses, they are required to participate in two on-campus immersions during each of the three practicum courses as well as when taking the Advanced Health Assessment course (for a total of 8 on-campus immersions). These immersions are two days in length. Students residing in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana also have at least one site visit from a clinical faculty during each practicum course.  Students living outside of this four-state region are required to arrange for an additional on-campus day in conjunction with one of the immersion experiences during each practicum course in order to complete the faculty site visit requirement.

  3. Family Nurse Practitioner Core: 19 Credits
    NURS 523 Advanced Pathophysiology 3 credits
    NURS 524 Advanced Pharmacology 3 credits
    NURS 600 Health Assessment: Advanced Nurse Practicum
    4 credits
    NURS 635P Primary Health Care I 3 credits
    NURS 636P Primary Health Care II 3 credits
    NURS 637P Primary Health Care III 3 credits
    Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum: 10 Credits (600 hours)
    NURS 605P Practicum in Primary Health Care I 2-3 credits
    NURS 606P Practicum in Primary Health Care II 2-4 credits
    NURS 607P Practicum in Primary Health Care III 2-4 credits

    Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Option: 47 Credits (including Core)

    This option prepares students to work as Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners. They are prepared to provide the full range of services that comprise primary mental health care in diverse settings with a variety of clients/patients, to provide clinical and professional leadership, and facilitate system improvements. Their clinical practice focuses on persons of all ages with diagnosed psychiatric disorders and individuals, families, or populations at risk for mental illness. The PMHNP core courses are offered online. When students begin their practicum courses, they are required to participate in one on-campus immersion during each of the four practicum courses and two on-campus immersions when taking the Advanced Health Assessment course (for a total of 6 on-campus immersions). These immersions are two days in length. Students also have at least one site visit from a clinical faculty during two of the practicum courses.  Additional site visits are arranged as needed.

    Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Core: 22 Credits
    NURS 523 Advanced Pathophysiology 3 credits
    NURS 524 Advanced Pharmacology 3 credits
    NURS 525 Advanced Psychopharmacology (optional) 3 credits
    NURS 600 Advanced Health Assessment: Advanced Nurse Practicum
    4 credits
    NURS 621M Dynamic Care Formulation 3 credits
    NURS 642M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts I 3 credits
    NURS 643M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts II 3 credits
    NURS 644M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts III 3 Credits
    Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practicum: 10 Credits (600 hours)
    NURS 601M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice I 1 credit
    NURS 631M Advanced Psychiatric -Mental Health Nursing Practice II 2-3 credits
    NURS 632M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice III 2-3 credits
    NURS 633M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice IV 2-3 credits

Second Master's Degree in Nursing Program

After faculty review the student's transcript and determine the courses needed to complete the student's chosen specialty pathway, the student typically completes between 21 to 35 credits, depending on the pathway, in order to obtain a second master's degree in Nursing.

Admission Requirements for Second Master's Degree in Nursing Program

At the time of application to the second master’s degree program, the applicant also applies for admission to Gonzaga University. The applicant must have a master's degree in nursing from an accredited college or university, be licensed as a Registered Nurse, and submit one official transcript from each college, university, and nursing program attended. The decision to admit an applicant to the MSN program is based on consideration of the individual's overall portfolio including:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale).
  2. Evidence of a current unencumbered RN license.
  3. One official transcript from every college and university or nursing school attended.  Only degrees and courses from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted.
  4. Current curriculum vitae (CV).
  5. Two letters of recommendation from individuals such as employers, colleagues, or professors who can attest to the applicant’s leadership, interpersonal skills, professional practice, critical thinking and judgment, and potential for advanced study.
  6. Satisfactory score on the Miller Analogy Test or the Graduate Record Exam within the last five years.
  7. Typewritten statement (maximum 500 words) that describes the applicant’s:
    a)    interest in the MSN Program and specific MSN option,
    b)    professional goals,
    c)    personal and professional strengths,
    d)    professional experiences.
  8. Non-native English speakers are required to provide proof of English proficiency.  Gonzaga University accepts the following:
    a)    score of 6.5 or better on the IELTS,
    b)    official TOEFL score of at least 88 ibt or 580 pbt,
    c)    completion of an Associate's degree in nursing or a diploma in Nursing from an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction.
  9. Submission of a financial declaration and supporting documentation by international applicants.
  1. Second Master's Degree Program Options:
    Health Systems Leadership Option: 21-24 Credits

    This option prepares Registered Nurses to assume leadership and administrative positions in inpatient, outpatient, community-based, and academic settings. Students gain knowledge and competency in financial and human capital management, as well as strategies for responding to the ethical and legal issues encountered in administrative roles. The HSL core courses are offered online. Practicum experiences are arranged by the student to meet identified learning needs.  There is a required two-day, on-campus immersion during the last practicum course.

    Required Courses or Equivalency: 15-18 Credits
    NURS 641A Nursing Leadership Development 3 credits
    NURS 642A Quality and Information Management 3 credits
    NURS 643A Communication and Relationship Management 3 credits
    NURS 644A Health Care Management
    3 credits
    NURS 645A Legal, Regulatory, and Ethical Healthcare Environments 3 credits
    NURS 563 Evidence-Based Practice 3 credits
    Health Systems Leadership Practicum: 6 Credits (360 hours)
    NURS 631A Health System Leadership Practicum I 1-3 credits
    NURS 632A Health System Leadership Practicum II 1-3 credits
    NURS 633A Health System Leadership Practicum III 1-3 credits

    Nurse Educator Option: 21-24 Credits

    This option prepares Registered Nurses to work as educators in academic, hospital, and community-based settings. Students develop an area of clinical specialization as well as competency in curriculum development, teaching-learning strategies, and assessment of student learning. Particular emphasis is placed on tailoring content and practicum experiences to individual needs. The NE core courses are offered online. Practicum experiences take place in a variety of educational settings. There are two required 2-3 day, on-campus immersions.

    Required Courses or Equivalency: 21-24 Credits
    NURS 601E
    Pathophysiology, Pharmacology and Assessment I
    3 credits
    NURS 602E Pathophysiology, Pharmacology and Assessment II 3 credits
    NURS 603E Advanced Clinical Practicum: Acute Care 1 credit
    NURS 604E Advanced Clinical Practicum: Population Focused 1 credit
    NURS 651E Curriculum Development 3 credits
    NURS 652E Teaching Learning Strategies 3 credits
    NURS 653E Principles of Evaluation for Nurse Educator
    3 credits
    NURS 563 Evidence-Based Practice 3 credits
    Nurse Educator Practicum: 4 credits distributed between the following two practicum courses (240 hours):
    NURS 645E Nurse Educator practicum in Clinical Setting 1-3 credits
    NURS 646E Nurse Educator Practicum in Academia 1-3 credits

    Family Nurse Practitioner Option: 29-32 Credits

    This option prepares students to provide a holistic approach to primary care for individuals and families of all ages and to manage a wide variety of acute and chronic health problems. Family Nurse Practitioners work in independent as well as collaborative practice settings, such as private practices, urgent care centers, health maintenance organizations, clinics, health departments, student health centers, and clinics for the homeless or uninsured. The FNP core courses are offered online. When students begin their practicum courses, they are required to participate in two on-campus immersions during each of the three practicum courses as well as when taking the Advanced Health Assessment course (for a total of 8 immersions). These immersions are two days in length. Students residing in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana also have at least one site visit from a clinical faculty during each practicum course.  Students living outside of this four-state region are required to arrange for an additional on-campus day in conjunction with one of the immersions during each practicum course in order to complete the faculty site visit requirement.

    Required Courses or Equivalency: 19-22 Credits
    NURS 523 Advanced Pathophysiology 3 credits
    NURS 524 Advanced Pharmacology 3 credits
    NURS 563 Evidence-Based Practice 3 credits
    NURS 600 Advanced Health Assessment: Nursing Practicum
    4 credits
    NURS 635P Primary Health Care I 3 credits
    NURS 636P Primary Health Care II 3 credits
    NURS 637P Primary Health Care III 3 credits
    Family Nurse Practitioner Practicum: 10 Credits (600 hours)
    NURS 605P Practicum in Primary Health Care I 2-3 credits
    NURS 606P Practicum in Primary Health Care II 2-4 credits
    NURS 607P Practicum in Primary Health Care III 2-4 credits

    Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 35-38 Credits

    This option prepares students to work as Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners. They are prepared to provide the full range of services that comprise primary mental health care in diverse settings with a variety of clients/patients, to provide clinical and professional leadership, and facilitate system improvements. Their clinical practice focuses on persons of all ages with diagnosed psychiatric disorders and individuals, families, or populations at risk for mental illness. The PMHNP core courses are offered online. When students begin their practicum courses, they are required to participate in one on-campus immersion during each of the four practicum courses and two on-campus immersions when taking the Advanced Health Assessment course (for a total of 6 immersions). These immersions are two days in length. Students also have at least one site visit from a clinical faculty during two of the practicum courses. Additional site visits are arranged as needed.

    Required Courses or Equivalency: 25-28 Credits
    NURS 523 Advanced Pathophysiology 3 credits
    NURS 524 Advanced Pharmacology 3 credits
    NURS 525 Advanced Psychopharmacology (optional) 3 credits
    NURS 563 Evidence-Based Practice 3 credits
    NURS 600 Advanced Health Assessment: Nursing Practicum 4 credits
    NURS 621M Dynamic Care Formulation 3 credits
    NURS 642M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts I 3 credits
    NURS 643M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts II 3 credits
    NURS 644M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Concepts III 3 credits
    Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practicum: 10 Credits (600 hours)
    NURS 601M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice I 1 credit
    NURS 631M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice II 2-3 credits
    NURS 632M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice III 2-3 credits
    NURS 633M Advanced Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Practice IV 2-3 credits