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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Overview


MSN Fast Facts

  • Students in the University's MSN program choose from five specializations.
  • Applicants must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and a license as a registered nurse (see full application requirements below).
  • Applications are due March 1 for fall semester (all tracks) and October 1 for spring semester (Nurse Educator and Clinical Nurse Leader tracks only).
  • The University also offers a dual master's program in nursing and public health.

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at the University of Nevada, Reno is designed to prepare registered nurses for advanced practice, educator and leadership positions in health care. Study at the MSN level helps nurses develop increased clinical competence and sophistication in applying a theoretical framework for nursing practice.

MSN education also serves as an introduction to scholarly activity for those who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in nursing and provides students with the opportunity to realize their creative potential and collaborate with other health care professionals in maintaining effective nursing and health care.

What Specializations Can I Choose?

Students in the MSN program choose from one of five specializations:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nurse Educator
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Each of these tracks prepares graduates to succeed in a specific realm of advanced practice nursing. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take national certification examinations in their chosen specialty.

For details on each track, please select the Specializations tab above.

What Are the Admission Requirements?

To meet the requirements of the Orvis MSN program, all applicants must:

  • Have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a CCNE or NLN academic institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Possess a current unrestricted licensure as an RN in Nevada
  • Have successfully completed a three-credit graduate-level applied statistics courses (at UNR: EDRS 640)
  • Have a minimum of 3 years' experience within acute care or 2 years' experience within critical care (AGACNP track only)

An interview may also be required.

How Do I Apply?

Applicants must meet both the University's Graduate School requirements and the Orvis School of Nursing MSN requirements. Applicants should begin by completing an application to the University's Graduate School.

Additionally, applicants should submit a letter of intent that is single-spaced, typed in 12-point font and no longer than 1,000 words. It should include the following:

  • Why you have chosen the University of Nevada, Reno, Orvis School of Nursing for your graduate studies
  • Which track (AGACNP, PMHNP, FNP, EDU or CNL) you have chosen and how you envision functioning in this role as part of an interprofessional team
  • Leadership experiences, both professional and personal, that have prepared you for graduate studies
  • Ideas you have for your master's project, professional paper or thesis
  • Three letters of reference

This letter can be attached to the Graduate School application or submitted directly to the Orvis School of Nursing through Associate Director for Graduate Programs Stephanie DeBoor at deboors2@unr.edu or through Jeannine Patterson at jeanninep@unr.edu.

Both the Graduate School and the Orvis School of Nursing must receive all application materials on or before the appropriate deadline to consider the applicant for admission.

What Are the Application Deadlines?

Admission for the Nurse Educator and Clinical Nurse Leader occurs twice a year (fall and spring).  The deadline for fall admission is March 1 and the spring admission deadline is Oct. 1. Admission for the AGACNP, PMHNP and FNP Tracks occur once a year. The deadline for those applications is March 1.

What Are the Coursework Requirements?

The total of required units for completing the degree varies according to the program track the student selects. The minimum number of required units for completion of the MSN is 35. With graduate advisor approval, MSN students may apply more than 3 S/U units to the 35 units required.

Applicants who plan to apply graduate-level credit earned at another university to the University of Nevada, Reno may be able to satisfy specific course requirements in the nursing program. Applicants must provide specific course information for review to determine if the transferred courses are equivalent to University requirements. If approved, such courses may be included in the official program of study.

What Are Differential Fees?

Orvis School of Nursing differential fees apply for courses within the BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, BSN-to-DNP, post-MSN DNP degree programs and post-MSN certificate programs. These are per credit hour fees charged in addition to the University's regular per credit hour tuition for all NURS-prefix courses required in each program. Differential fees do not apply to courses taken by prenursing students.

Fifteen percent of all differential-fee revenue goes toward financial aid for Orvis School of Nursing students. The remainder is used for growth and enhancement of the programs offered by the Orvis School of Nursing.

Where Can I Get More Information?

For general information on the University of Nevada, Reno's MSN program, please complete the form below or contact:

Dr. Stephanie DeBoor
Associate Director for Graduate Programs, Orvis School of Nursing
775-682-7156
deboors2@unr.edu

Specializations


Once admitted to an MSN track, a student is committed to that track. Should the student wish to change to a different track, he or she will be required to reapply for admission to the new track in the next application cycle.

The MSN tracks are very competitive and there is no guarantee a current student will be automatically accepted to a different track through the re-admission process.


Nurse Educator Contact

Susan Ervin
sme@unr.edu
(775) 682-7153

Plans of Study

See Also

Nurse Educator Track

The Nurse Educator program integrates scientific findings, nursing and learning theories, informatics, and technology into the development and evaluation of curricula and educational programs in diverse educational settings. Graduates provide ethical, evidence-based nursing education services for multicultural and ethnically diverse, students, staff, families and communities.

Upon completion of the Nurse Educator Track, the graduate is able to:

  • Integrate scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.
  • Provide advanced, ethical, evidence-based nursing services for multicultural and ethnic individuals, families, aggregates and select populations.
  • Apply patient-care and communication technologies to deliver, enhance, integrate and coordinate care.
  • Collaborate with other professionals and members of the community to provide optimal coordinated health care to individuals, families, special populations and communities, with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Respect diversity to address complex health care needs of persons, including unserved and underserved populations and communities, in the role of nurse leader, educator and/or advanced practice nurse.
  • Participate in the ethical organization, management and policy negotiations of health care delivery systems to use advocacy strategies to influence health and health care.
  • Participate in the application of safe patient care and quality health care practices.
  • Participate in the development of nursing as a science, through the use of theory, research and scientific processes, while acquiring a foundation for doctoral study.

This program is open to nurses with a master's or doctorate in nursing who plan to or are teaching in schools of nursing or are in roles as nurse educators in staff development or health education.


FNP Contact

Shaun Hasty
shasty@unr.edu
(775) 682-7159

Plans of Study

See Also

Family Nurse Practitioner Track

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track of the MSN program prepares students to provide primary care across the lifespan to individuals, families and communities.  FNPs practice within private and clinic settings as well as urgent care facilities. FNPs focus on health promotion and maintenance, and function in autonomous and collaborative roles guided by appropriate nurse practice acts. 

Upon completion of the Family Nurse Practitioner option, the graduate is able to:

  • Function in autonomous and collaborative roles guided by appropriate nurse practice acts.
  • Provide primary care to individuals, families and communities.
  • Focus on health promotion and maintenance for clients.
  • Use the process and method of scientific inquiry in the study of nursing.
  • Contribute to the development of nursing science.
  • Pursue opportunities for enhancement of advance practice.

CNL Contact

Bernadette Longo
longo@unr.edu
(775) 682-7149

Plans of Study

See Also

Clinical Nurse Leader Track

This track is designed to prepare graduates in the emerging role of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). In response to health care and consumer needs, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing proposed the advanced nursing practice role of the CNL in order to prepare effective leaders to work within all health care settings.

A beginning CNL graduate would encompass the roles of clinician, outcomes manager, client advocate, educator, information manager, systems analyst, risk anticipator, team manager, member of a profession and life-long learner. After successful completion of the Orvis School of Nursing MSN degree requirements (including a total of 420 clinical hours, with a minimum of 300 hours in a supervised CNL role immersion practicum with an academic/practice partner), the CNL track graduate would meet the educational requirement to sit for the AACN CNL Certification Examination.

The University's CNL Academic Practice Partner is the Veterans Administration Sierra Nevada Health Care System.

Upon completion of the Clinical Nurse Leader Track, the graduate is able to:

  • Provide evidence-based care for individuals, families and communities.
  • Focus on a specialized aggregate/population.
  • Provide care for special populations by using system analysis and quality improvement strategies.
  • Collaborate with other professionals, members of the community, and students to provide educational services related to optimal health care for individuals, families, special populations and communities with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Participate in the organization, management and policy negotiation of health care delivery systems.
  • Address complex needs of persons, including underserved populations and communities, in the role of nurse leader.
  • Participate knowledgeably in the development, implementation, revision and evaluation of nursing and health education programs to ensure quality education services in health care.
  • Participate in the development of nursing education as a science, through the use of education and nursing theories, research, and scientific processes.

AGACNP Contacts

Stephanie DeBoor
deboors2@unr.edu
(775) 682-7156

Jackie Ferdowsali
jferdowsali@unr.edu
(775) 682-7219

Plans of Study

See Also

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Track

The Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) program prepares nurses to provide advanced practice in acute care settings through a program of study focused on the care of acutely ill patients and their families. An AGACNP can diagnose and treat medical conditions. In collaboration with the physician and other members of the health care team, AGACNPs provide direct care to patients from hospital admission through discharge.

With an increasing inpatient population of the acutely and critically ill, research has shown that nurse practitioners within these settings demonstrated evidence of reducing length of stay, hospital costs and patient complications, while improving communication among the heath care team, along with patient and family satisfaction.

Upon completion of the AGANCP track, the graduate is able to:

  • Synthesize theoretical, scientific and contemporary clinical knowledge for the assessment and management of both health and illness states.
  • Implement clinical reasoning and builds collaborative intra- and inter-professional relationships to provide optimal care to patients.
  • Provide patient-centered, quality care to the adult and older adult population within the acute and critical care settings through incorporation of health promotion, health protection, disease prevention and treatment.
  • Impart knowledge and individualize therapies through the activities of advocacy, modeling and teaching.
  • Apply evidence-based practice designed to improve quality of care and health outcomes, by overseeing and directing the delivery of clinical services within an integrated system of health care.

PMHNP Contacts

Sandra Talley
Office: (775) 682-7162
Fax: (775) 784-4262
stalley@unr.edu

Deborah Arnow
Office: (775) 682-7133
Fax: (775) 784-4262
darnow@unr.edu

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) track prepares advanced practice nurses to care for individuals and families with behavioral and mental problems. This specialty track within the MSN program prepares graduates to assess, diagnose, intervene (e.g., through psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy) and provide follow-up to facilitate ongoing levels of wellness.

The PMHNP is prepared to provide psychiatric and mental health care in a variety of treatment settings (e.g., hospitals, jails, home care and outpatient clinics) and participate with other members of the health care team. With a shortage of mental health professionals and increasing demand for expert mental health care in rural health settings, the PMHNPs scope of practice brings the critically relevant skills needed to care for persons experiencing the full range of psychiatric and mental health problems.

Upon completion of the PMHNP track, the graduate is able to:

  • Integrate scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.
  • Provide advanced, ethical, evidence-based nursing services for multi-cultural and ethnic individuals, families, aggregates and select populations.
  • Apply patient-care and communication technologies to deliver, enhance, integrate and coordinate care.
  • Collaborate with other professionals and members of the community to provide optimal health care to individuals, families, special populations and communities with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Respect diversity and address complex health care needs of persons, including unserved and underserved populations and communities, in the role of nurse leader, educator and/or advanced practice nurse.
  • Participate in the ethical organization, management and policy negotiations of health care delivery systems to use advocacy strategies to influence health and health care.
  • Participate in the application of safe patient care and quality health care practices.
  • Participate in the development of nursing as a science, through the use of theory, research and scientific processes, while acquiring a foundation for doctoral study.


Related Degrees and Programs

Contact Orvis School of Nursing

Phone (775) 784-6841
Fax (775) 784-4262
Location William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building

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