Nursing, Master of Science Degree


Overview


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

The purpose of graduate education at the MSN level is to prepare registered nurses for advanced practice, educator, and leadership positions in health care. In addition, study at the MSN level develops clinical competence and increased 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 the doctoral degree in nursing. Scholarly activity focuses on discovering nursing knowledge, analysis and evaluation of nursing theory, and the study of strategies for nursing application. Finally, MSN education provides students with the opportunity to realize their creative potential and collaborate with other health care professionals in maintaining effective nursing and health care.

Newly Constructed Graduate Housing

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Graduate Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Orvis School of Nursing is to prepare individuals for both entry level and advanced practice nursing by providing excellent academic programs based upon recognized educational standards. The curriculum emphasizes nursing care of individuals, families and populations throughout the lifespan: among diverse cultures and beliefs; and across all socioeconomic groups in the context of their environments, by providing a strong foundation for evidence-based practice, critical thinking and leadership. As an essential part of its mission as a land grant institution, Orvis School of Nursing provides service to the state of Nevada and to the professional community at large

Graduate Program Purpose

The purpose of graduate education at the MSN level is to prepare registered nurses for advanced practice, educator, and leadership positions in health care. In addition, study at the MSN level develops clinical competence and increased 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 the doctoral degree in nursing. Scholarly activity focuses on discovering nursing knowledge, analysis and evaluation of nursing theory, and the study of strategies for nursing application. Finally, MSN education provides students with the opportunity to realize their creative potential and collaborate with other health care professionals in maintaining effective nursing and health care.

Graduate Program Objectives

  1. Integrates scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.
  2. Provide advanced, ethical, evidence-based nursing services for multi-cultural and ethnic individuals, families, aggregates, and select populations.
  3. Apply patient-care and communication technologies to deliver, enhance, integrate, and coordinate care.
  4. 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.
  5. Respect diversity to address complex health care needs of persons, including the un-served and under-served, populations and communities, in the role of nurse leader, educator, and/or advanced practice nurse.
  6. Participate in the organization, management, and policy negotiations of health care delivery systems to use ethical principles and advocacy strategies to influence health and healthcare.
  7. Participate in the application of safe patient care and quality health care practices.
  8. 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.

Approved by the graduate faculty: May 2005

Careers Opportunities, Scholarships, and Travel Assistance for Conferences

Employment and Scholarship Resources are available from American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Scholarships are merit awards based on academic performance. Information on the types of programs, application procedures, and a search of available scholarships is available on the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships website.

For graduate students desiring to attend professional meetings that may or may not include an opportunity for poster/podium presentation, for information related to travel assistance, please see the Graduate Student Association.

Completion of the Program

Upon completion of the program, clinical option graduates are prepared to work as Clinical Nurse Leaders, Nurse Educators or Family Nurse Practitioners and are eligible to take national certification examinations.

The Notice of Completion is the last form to be completed by the student and then signed by the thesis/project committee following successful defense and/or comprehensive examination. The form can be found at the University of Nevada, Reno, Graduate School Forms: at the bottom of the page is the heading "Master's Degree Notice of Completion".


Specializations


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Nurse Educator

Contact Information

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

Plan of Study

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Nurse Educator Post Master's Certificate

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 multi-cultural and ethnically diverse, students, staff, families, select populations, and communities.

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

  1. Integrates scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.
  2. Provide advanced, ethical, evidence-based nursing services for multi-cultural and ethnic individuals, families, aggregates, and select populations.
  3. Apply patient-care and communication technologies to deliver, enhance, integrate, and coordinate care.
  4. 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.
  5. Respect diversity to address complex health care needs of persons, including the un-served and under-served, populations, and communities, in the role of nurse leader, educator, and/or advanced practice nurse.
  6. Participate in the ethical organization, management, and policy negotiations of health care delivery systems to use advocacy strategies to influence health and healthcare.
  7. Participate in the application of safe patient care and quality health care practices.
  8. 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.

Note:  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.


Family Nurse Practitioner

Contact Information

Glenn Hagerstrom
ghagerstrom@unr.edu
(775) 682-7136

Plan of study

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FNP Post Master's Certificate

Upon completion of the Family Nurse Practitioner option, the graduate will:

  • 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.
  • Utilize 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.

Clinical Nurse Leader

Contact Information

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

Plan of Study

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The MSN program at the University of Nevada, Reno is designed to prepare graduates in the emerging role of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). In response to healthcare 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 healthcare 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 (AACN, 2007). After successful completion of the Orvis School of Nursing MSN degree requirements (including a total of 420 clinical hrs; a minimum of 300 hrs 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.

CNL Academic Practice Partner: 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 healthcare delivery systems.
    • Address complex needs of persons, including the 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.

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

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 acutely and critically, research has shown that nurse practitioners within these settings demonstrated evidence of reducing length of stay, hospital costs, and patient complications (Fry 2011), 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:

      1. Synthesize theoretical, scientific, and contemporary clinical knowledge for the assessment and management of both health and illness states.
      2. Implements clinical reasoning and builds collaborative intra- and interprofessional relationships to provide optimal care to patients.
      3. 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.
      4. Impart knowledge and individualize therapies through the activities of advocacy, modeling and teaching.
      5. Applies evidence based practice designed to improve quality of care and health outcomes, by overseeing and directing the delivery of clinical services with in an integrates system of health care.

Apply


Admission for the Nurse Educator and Clinical Nurse Leader occurs twice a year (Fall & Spring).  Deadlines for Fall admission is March 1st and October 1st for Spring admission.  Admission for the AGACNP & FNP Tracks occur once a year.  The deadline for applications is March 1st.

Applying to the Orvis School of Nursing Graduate Program is a two-part process: The initial step is completing an application to the University's Graduate School online. This includes submitting your transcripts from previous studies. Three professional references are also required. A link for these references is found as part of the online application. The Graduate School will then forward your application and references to the School of Nursing for review. All materials are required to be submitted by deadline for specific track identified above.

GRE scores are not mandatory for admission into the Graduate Nursing Program. However, the dual degree and other programs at UNR may require them.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites for admission to the Orvis School of Nursing Master of Science Program:

  1. Successful completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a CCNE or NLN academic institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  2. Current unrestricted licensure as an RN in Nevada.
  3. Successful completion of a three credit graduate level applied statistics course (at UNR - EDRS 640).
  4. For the AGACNP track; applicants are required to have a minimum of 3 years' experience within acute care or 2 years' experience within critical care.

Applicants are to submit to the Orvis School of Nursing:

  • A resume that includes educational, professional and community service experience.
  • A letter of intent should be single spaced, 12 point font, and no longer than 1,000 words. It should include the following information:
    • Explain why you have chosen the University of Nevada, Reno, Orvis School of Nursing for your graduate studies.
    • Share which track (AGACNP, FNP, EDU, or CNL) you have chosen to pursue and describe how you envision functioning in this role as part of an inter-professional team.
    • Describe leadership experiences, both professional and personal that have prepared you for Graduate Studies.
    • Discuss ideas you have for your Master's project, professional paper, or thesis.

Submit to Jeannine Patterson at jeanninep@unr.edu

Once admitted to a MSN track, a student is committed to that track. Should the student wish to change or transfer to a different track than which he/she was originally admitted, the student is required to reapply for admission to the track to which the student wants during 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.



Related Degrees and Programs

Contact Division of Health Sciences

Phone (775) 784-6977
Email healthsciences@unr.edu
Location Sarah H. Fleischmann Building

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