Nursing

Jump to … DNP Program

[1] MSN – Master of Science in Nursing

[1.1] Objectives

Graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program are prepared for advanced professional practice as a clinical nurse leader (CNL), nurse educator with a clinical specialty (NECS), or nurse practitioner (NP), have the foundation for doctoral study, and are prepared for life-long learning and continued professional development.

Students in the CNL track develop a nursing specialty based on their current or desired practice setting. Students in the NECS track select a role preparation in (1) higher education, (2) staff education, or (3) patient education with a clinical specialty in Community/Family; Geriatrics; Maternal/Newborn/Women’s Health; Adult; Pediatrics; and Psychiatric/Mental Health. The NP track focuses on primary health care; students select a specialty area in Adult/Gerontology or Family/Individual Across the Lifespan. Graduates of each track are academically qualified to take the appropriate national certification examination. Full-time and part-time schedules are available for all tracks.

[1.2] Accreditation/Approval

The baccalaureate and master’s deprograms are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate and master’s nursing degree programs at UCA are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

The DNP program and the post-graduate APRN certificate tracks at UCA are new applicants pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation). New applicant status is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

[1.3] MSN Outreach

Helping BSN nurses in regions of the state under-served by MSN programs to obtain advanced nursing preparation, the UCA Department of Nursing offers all MSN required courses online.

[1.4] Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Options

Master’s-prepared nurses seeking preparation in any MSN track have two options to obtain academic requirements for national certification: (1) second master’s degree option and (2) post-master’s certificate option. These options provide a planned course of study for preparation in the desired track. Thirty credit hours are required for the second MSN degree. A minimum of twelve credit hours are required for the post-master’s certificate. Completion of the option is clearly noted on the student’s transcript. Contact the UCA Department of Nursing for more information regarding these options.

[1.5] RNP to MSN Option

This option allows baccalaureate prepared Advance Practice Nurse Practitioner (APN-NPs) and Registered Nurse Practitioners (RNPs) to receive course credit-by-challenge for up to 15 graduate hours of the Family Nurse Practitioner track. Credit-by-challenge is awarded based on the student’s credentials and through portfolio review or comprehensive exam. Students must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours for the degree. For more information, contact the department.

[1.6] RN to MSN Option

Based on the Arkansas Nursing Education Articulation Model, the department offers an RN-to-BSN/MSN option for registered nurses with a diploma or associate degree. This track reduces the time required to complete the BSN and the MSN degrees. Contact the department for more information.

[1.7] MSN Program Admission Requirements

  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. Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
  6. 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.
  7. A completed application packet which includes a resume/vita, written essay, three references, verification of clinical practice, and copy of RN license.
  8. An interview with Program Coordinator or designee.
  9. An acceptable (“clean”) criminal background check.
  10. Applicants not born in the United States or in a country where English is the official language must document their English proficiency. An official score of 83 or higher on the iBT TOEFL exam is required. 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.

Note: Admission is competitive. Applicants are ranked based on the above admission requirements.

[1.8] Post-Admission Requirements

Upon acceptance to the MSN program, evidence of the following is required prior to the first nursing course: completion of demographic information form and completion of a Department of Nursing plagiarism assignment, and a “clean” acceptable urine drug screening. Prior to initial clinical or practicum course evidence of the following must be submitted: record of specified immunizations or signed declination statement(s), current health insurance, professional liability insurance, unencumbered RN license, CPR certification, and TB skin test or state health department verification of freedom from tuberculosis infection.

[1.9] MSN Degree Requirements

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and Nurse Educator with a Clinical Specialty (NECS) tracks require 39 hours of planned sequential graduate nursing course work. The Nurse Practitioner (NP) tracks require 39-44 hours of planned sequential graduate nursing course work. Students must meet all UCA Graduate School requirements for graduation.

[1.10] Candidacy

Admission to candidacy for the Master of Science in Nursing degree must be completed when the student has completed 9–18 credit hours of nursing coursework. It requires the following:

  1. Removal of any undergraduate course deficiencies or grade provisions.
  2. Completion of between 9 and 18 graduate hours of nursing coursework at UCA with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  3. Completion of two of the five MSN foundation courses (6301, 6304, 6322, 6332, 6347) with a minimum GPA of 3.00.

[1.11] Course Requirements

[1.11.1] Foundation Courses for All Tracks

[1.11.1.1] MSN Foundation Courses (15 hours)
NURS 6301 RESEARCH FOR EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE I
NURS 6304 RESEARCH FOR EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE II
NURS 6322 EPIDEMIOLOGY FOR ADVANCED NURSING PRACTICE
NURS 6332 HEALTH POLICY AND ECONOMICS
NURS 6347 THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF NURSING PRACTICE
[1.11.1.2] Advanced Practice Foundation Courses (9 hours)
NURS 6315 ADVANCED HEALTH ASSESSMENT
NURS 6320 ADVANCED PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
NURS 6325 ADVANCED PHARMACOLOGY

[1.11.2] Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Track

[1.11.2.1] Clinical Support Courses (2 hours)
NURS 6205 EDUCATIONAL CONCEPTS FOR ADVANCED NURSING PRACTICE
[1.11.2.2] CNL Focus Courses (6 hours)
NURS 6327 HEALTHCARE QUALITY AND LEADERSHIP
NURS 6329 INFORMATICS FOR ADVANCED NURSING PRACTICE
[1.11.2.3] CNL Clinical Specialty Courses (7 hours)
NURS 6470 CLINICAL NURSE LEADER PRACTICE
NURS 6371 CLINICAL NURSE LEADER IMMERSION

[1.11.3] Courses for the Nurse Educator with a Clinical Specialty (NECS) Track

[1.11.3.1] NECS Focus courses (9 hours)
NURS 6345 EVALUATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION
NURS 6348 INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN AND TEACHING STRATEGIES
NURS 6350 CURRICULUM IN NURSING AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
[1.11.3.2] NECS Clinical Courses (6 hours)
NURS 6340 CLINICAL SPECIALTY FOR THE NURSE EDUCATOR
NURS 6349 TEACHING PRACTICUM FOR THE NURSE EDUCATOR

[1.11.4] Clinical Specialty Courses for the Nurse Practitioner (NP) Tracks

[1.11.4.1] Clinical Support Courses (2 hours)
NURS 6205 EDUCATIONAL CONCEPTS FOR ADVANCED NURSING PRACTICE
[1.11.4.2] NP Clinical Courses – Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Specialty (FNP) (17 hours)
NURS 6520 PRIMARY CARE OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN
NURS 6521 ADULT/GERONTOLOGY PRIMARY CARE I
NURS 6526 ADULT/GERONTOLOGY PRIMARY CARE II
NURS 6164/6264 CLINICAL IMMERSION FOR FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONER (2 hours required)
[1.11.4.3] NP Clinical Courses – Adult/Gerontology Specialty (AGNP) (12 hours)
NURS 6521 ADULT/GERONTOLOGY PRIMARY CARE I
NURS 6526 ADULT/GERONTOLOGY PRIMARY CARE II
NURS 6160/6260 CLINICAL IMMERSION FOR ADULT/GERONTOLOGY NURSE PRACTITIONER (2 hours required)

[2] DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice

[2.1] Objectives

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

[2.2] Accreditation/Approval

UCA’s 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 DNP program at UCA is a new applicant pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation/). New applicant status is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

[2.3] Online Courses

All courses in the DNP program are offered online. Three 2–3-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 posted on the Department of Nursing web site.

[2.4] DNP Admission Requirements

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

  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.
  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./li>
  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.

[2.5] Post-Admission Requirements

Once accepted into the DNP Program, candidates must complete the following:

  1. Admission to the UCA Graduate School. If accepted to the DNP Program, applicants must submit a separate online supplemental application and application fee ($25) directly to the UCA Graduate School. Send all graduate transcripts to the Graduate School. You do not need to send GRE or other graduate testing scores.
  2. Submit to the Department of Nursing verification of unencumbered RN or APRN license.
  3. A background check, as directed by the Department of Nursing, with favorable results.
  4. Required verification of immunizations.
  5. Proof of health insurance coverage.

[2.6] 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.

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 1000 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.

[3] Graduate Courses in Nursing

Follow this link for NURS course descriptions: course link.