Nursing

[1] Purposes

The School of Nursing is committed to educating students at the baccalaureate and graduate levels to address evolving health care needs and to advance the practice of nursing in an ever-changing society. Graduates of the baccalaureate program have the theoretical base in nursing and related disciplines and the skills, both interpersonal and technological, required for practice and have the foundation for graduate study.

The Master of Science in Nursing prepares students with a broad knowledge and practice expertise that builds and expands on baccalaureate nursing practice. Nurses with a master’s degree are prepared for a variety of roles and areas of practice. Graduates may pursue three specialty tracks: Nurse Practitioner (NP), Nurse Educator with clinical specialty (NECS), and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). Graduates of each track are qualified for national certification examination.

Jump to … DNP Program

[2] MSN – Master of Science in Nursing

[2.1] Online Courses

All required MSN courses are offered online. Clinical courses with a laboratory component require minimal on campus meetings. MSN orientation will be held at the beginning of the first year. Dates and meeting times for campus experiences are scheduled in advance and posted on the School of Nursing web site.

[2.2] MSN Program Admission Requirements

Minimum admission requirements are outlined here. (See also http://uca.edu/nursing/master-of-science-in-nursing-admission-requirements/). Admission to the MSN program is selective and competitive.

  1. A baccalaureate degree with an upper-division major in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited nursing program (graduates of non-accredited schools will be evaluated individually).
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.70 (4.00 scale) overall or 3.00 on last 60 hours of earned credit.
  3. Successful completion of a course in basic statistics, with a grade of C or above.
  4. Current unencumbered license as a registered nurse in Arkansas (or state where clinical experiences will take place).
  5. At least one year of direct patient care clinical experience within the last three years as an RN prior to enrollment in the clinical courses. Based on the applicant’s recent clinical experience, the applicant might be required to take an independent clinical practicum course prior to enrollment in the clinical courses.
  6. Applicants for whom English is not the native language are required to score 83 or higher on the iBT TOEFL exam. The exam must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years. Only iBT TOEFL scores received directly from ETS or the UCA Testing center will be accepted as valid.
  7. A completed application packet on central NursingCAS system.

[2.3] MSN Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree requires 39-44 hours depending on specialty track.

[2.3.1] Required Courses

NURS 6301 Research for Evidence-Based Practice I
NURS 6304 Research for Evidence-Based Practice II
NURS 6347 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice
NURS 6315 Advanced Health Assessment
NURS 6320 Advanced Pathophysiology
NURS 6325 Advanced Pharmacology
NURS 6322 Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing Practice
NURS 6332 Health Policy and Economics

[2.3.2] Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Track

NURS 6215 Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
NURS 6327 Healthcare Quality and Leadership
NURS 6329 Informatics for Advanced Nursing Practice
NURS 6470 Clinical Nurse Leader Practice
NURS 6371 Clinical Nurse Leader Immersion

[2.3.3] Nurse Educator with a Clinical Specialty (NECS) Track

NURS 6345 Evaluation in Higher Education
NURS 6348 Instructional Design and Teaching Strategies
NURS 6350 Curriculum in Nursing and Health Professions
NURS 6340 Clinical Specialty for the Nurse Educator
NURS 6349 Teaching Practicum for the Nurse Educator

[2.3.4] Nurse Practitioner (NP) Tracks

NURS 6215 Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
NURS 6511 Introduction to Primary Care for Family and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners
NURS 6512 Primary Care of Adults for Family and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners
NURS 6414 Primary Care of Children for Family Nurse Practitioners [Family NP only]
NURS 6413 Complex Primary Care of Adults for Family and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners
NURS 6260 Clinical Immersion for Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners [Adult Gerontology NP only]

[2.4] RN to BSN/MSN Track

The RN-to-BSN/MSN track is for the Registered Nurse (RN) who graduated from an accredited associate degree or hospital diploma program and seeks both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Qualified RNs receive 41 hours of BSN nursing credit based on their prior educational program. Admission to the RN-to-BSN/MSN program is competitive with limited enrollment. Students applying to this track are admitted fall only.

RN-to-BSN/MSN students complete a total of 31 credit hours for the BSN of which 9 hours are graduate-level hours. The MSN degree requires an additional 33 graduate credit hours for the Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), and an additional 30 graduate credit hours for the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and Nurse Educator with Clinical Specialty (NECS) tracks. Students completing the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track will complete an additional 35 graduate credit hours. The RN-to-BSN/MSN track is delivered online with minimal on-campus visits.

Visit uca.edu/nursing/ or contact the School of Nursing for additional information about the RN-to-BSN/MSN track.

[2.5] Post-Master’s Certificate tracks and Second Master’s Degrees

Master’s-prepared nurses seeking additional master’s preparation for national certification have the following options: (1) second master’s degree (minimum of 30 credit hours required) and (2) post-master’s certificate (minimum of 12 required hours). Applications to the post-master’s certificate (PMC) and second master’s degree are competitive. The number of applicants admitted is based on available openings.

[2.5.1] PMC and Second Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  1. Master’s degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited program
  2. Current unencumbered RN license.
  3. Minimum Master’s in Nursing GPA at or higher than a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Applicants for whom English is not the native language are required to score 83 or higher on the iBT TOEFL exam. The exam must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years. Only iBT TOEFL scores received directly from ETS or the UCA Testing center will be accepted as valid.
  5. A completed application packet on centralized NursingCAS system:
    1. Printed verification from the State Board of Nursing website of current RN license or
    2. If APRN, (1) printed verification from the State Board of Nursing of current APRN license and (2) documentation of current national APRN certification.

[2.6] MSN, PMC and Second Master’s degree Post-Acceptance Requirements

Upon acceptance to the MSN program, including PMC and Second Master’s degree, candidates must

  1. Complete a separate online application and pay an application fee directly to the UCA Graduate School.
  2. Complete a criminal background check, as directed by the School of Nursing, with favorable results.
  3. Complete a drug screen, as directed by the School of Nursing, with negative results.
  4. Submit verification of specified health requirements (see School of Nursing Graduate Handbook for list of immunizations).
  5. Provide proof of health insurance coverage.

[3] DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice

[3.1] Objectives

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice-focused terminal degree that prepares graduates for the most advanced level of nursing. Graduates use clinical scholarship and analytic methods to improve quality and safety of health care systems. The DNP-educated nurse is prepared to function in healthcare systems fostering interprofessional collaboration in the improvement of population health outcomes and to influence health policy that determines financing, regulation, access, and delivery of care. Graduates are employed in a variety of settings including primary care, acute and long-term care, public health agencies, and schools of nursing.

[3.2] Online Courses

All courses in the DNP program are offered online. Three 2-day campus intensives are required for all students during the DNP program. Campus intensives will be held at the beginning of the first year, the beginning of the second year, and during the week of graduation. Dates and meeting times for campus intensive experiences are scheduled in advance and communicated with students.

[3.3] DNP Admission Requirements

Admission to the DNP program is selective and competitive. Admission requirements include the following:

  1. An earned master’s degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program (CCNE, NLNAC, or ACEN) with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale).
  2. Current unencumbered RN license from the student’s state of residence and/or practice. Verification should be printed from your State Board of Nursing website.
  3. Transfer of no more than six (6) credit hours towards degree requirements.
  4. Documentation of the number of supervised clinical hours with a preceptor during your master’s program.
  5. Applicants for whom English is not the native language are required to score 83 or higher on the iBT TOEFL exam. The exam must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years. Only iBT TOEFL scores received directly from ETS or the UCA Testing center will be accepted as valid.
  6. Personal Essay.
  7. Interview with DNP Admission Committee.

[3.4] Post-Acceptance Requirements

Upon acceptance to the DNP program, candidates must

  1. Complete a separate online application and pay an application fee directly to the UCA Graduate School.
  2. Complete a criminal background check, as directed by the School of Nursing, with favorable results.
  3. Complete a drug screen, as directed by the School of Nursing, with negative results.
  4. Submit verification of specified health requirements (see School of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook for list of immunizations).
  5. Provide proof of health insurance coverage.

[3.5] DNP Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree requires 34 or more hours of planned sequential graduate nursing course work. Students must also successfully complete a DNP Capstone Project in the last year of study and meet all UCA Graduate School requirements for graduation.

[3.5.1] Required Courses

PSYC 6330 Advanced Psychological Statistics
NURS 7310 Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
NURS 7320 Health Economics and Finance
NURS 7330 Advanced Healthcare Informatics
NURS 7340 Leadership and Organizational Systems
NURS 7350 Translational Research Methods
NURS 7360 Population Health and Public Policy
NURS 7370 Applied Clinical Genetics and Genomics
NURS 7V15 Clinical Internship *
NURS 7220 DNP Project Capstone I
NURS 7225 DNP Capstone Project II

* All students are required to take a minimum of 6 clinical internship credit hours but may require more depending on how many clinical hours they had in their MSN program. All students must have 1,000 precepted clinical hours post-BSN. The Clinical Internship courses are variable-credit courses that students can begin taking as early as their second semester of study (with permission from their project advisor). For each credit of Clinical Internship, students spend 90 clock hours engaging in Mentored clinical activities that are aimed at meeting DNP Essential Competencies.

[4] School of Nursing Policies

The current editions of the UCA Student Handbook and the Nursing Student Handbook: Graduate Program specify the rules, regulations, and policies that apply to all UCA graduate nursing students. It is the responsibility of the student to know and follow the most recent policies and procedures.

[5] Accreditation Status

The baccalaureate and master’s degree programs are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The DNP program is approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and is designed to meet professional standards for the practice doctorate developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The baccalaureate, master’s, post-master’s nurse practitioner certificate, and DNP programs in nursing at UCA are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791, www.aacnnursing.org and http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation.

[6] Graduate Courses in Nursing

Follow this link for NURS course descriptions: course link.