The purpose of the Master of Nursing Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program is to prepare nurses for advanced practice nursing with an emphasis on evidenced-based practice enhancing development of interventions that impact health outcomes and complex healthcare systems. This curricular track will provide nurses the opportunity to develop skills necessary to be advanced practice nurses who can address the pressing issues and challenges in today’s complex health care arena by directing the care needs of populations in acute care and primary care settings.
Conceptual Interface with School’s Guiding Documents: The graduate program is synchronous with the School of Nursing’s mission in a variety of ways.
First, the School’s philosophy is addressed. For the person/client concept of the nursing paradigm, the curriculum provides multiple opportunities for the graduate student to practice with, or on behalf of, a specified population, apply theoretical perspectives concerning diversity and partner with others. All facets of the nursing concept of the paradigm are carried out through partnership and service for a specified population, thus, resulting in program outcomes for clinical reasoning and critical inquiry, communication, experiential learning, global worldview and professionalism and leadership. These outcomes are deemed essential for professional nursing practice at the graduate level. For the environment and health concepts of the paradigm, the curriculum focus is on multi-dimensional theoretical knowledge applicable to population nursing, which includes assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation and where the external environment is conceptualized as crossing geographical and practice boundaries.
Second, the School’s belief statements interface with the design of the graduate program. For example, core courses in nursing and related theories; research and scholarly inquiry; and, advanced nursing leadership are foundational to specialty practice at the master’s level. Curriculum for specialized population nursing practice includes role development, concepts, and theoretical components of the nursing process applicable at the individual, group, and population level of advanced practice nursing. Integrated content includes health care policy, ethics, human diversity, social issues, and health promotion and disease prevention. At the graduate level, faculty function as facilitators of learning that is more student-directed than at the undergraduate level. Theoretical concepts are integrated with practice in ways intended to be practical and useful by adult learners in advanced nursing roles.
Clinical reasoning and critical inquiry are integral to the curriculum with the former focusing on applying theoretical knowledge, evidence and skills at the individual, group, and population level. Critical inquiry is the mainstay of graduate education. At the graduate level, skilled communication is used in such ways as discussion in on-line classes, in developing and maintaining partnerships, negotiating, marketing, advocacy roles, and in utilizing a variety of technological modes.
The integrated components of engagement and experiential education are particularly strong. Students and faculty are actively engaged with community partners in order to promote the health of individuals, groups, and populations and identify healthcare and health promotion needs. In order to obtain successful outcomes, partnerships are inherent in advanced practice nursing. This graduate program was designed to have experiential education through multiple courses and course assignments that are evidence-based and have practical applications.
The global worldview is addressed through assignments, discussion and literature that lead the graduate student to a broadened view of issues, needs, and concerns. Related content includes cultural competency and economic and financial perspectives. An increasing array of international agreements will provide elective, and potentially, program of study opportunities in selected global environments.
Professionalism and leadership embody core beliefs essential for advanced nursing roles. Simply stated, the graduate master’s level nurse uses the attributes of self in conjunction with the nursing profession’s values, tenets, standards, guidelines and codes to make a difference at the health policy level with and for others.