Graduates of the master’s degree program enter the workforce with the skills and competencies to:
assume an advanced nursing role in a specialty area
put theory and research into practice with individuals, families, and communities
develop, implement and assess nursing strategies to assure quality of care
utilize leadership skills for positive change in policies at the local, regional and
adapt professionally to the constantly changing healthcare environment and contribute to the advancement of the profession
There are six broad areas of master’s-level graduate nursing preparation that are offered by the College of Nursing. Hear from Dr. Elizabeth Barker, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Master’s Program, about how to select a specialty area. Click here to view the video.
Students are prepared in both theoretical and evidence-based clinical knowledge that is essential for comprehensive primary care and specialty practice in a variety of settings. The College of Nursing offers specialization in:
These nurses are licensed independent practitioners who are prepared to diagnose and manage acute episodic and long-term illnesses and emphasize health promotion, illness prevention and interprofessional collaboration. Nurse Practitioners are committed to seeking and sharing knowledge that enhances clinical outcomes, applies evidence-based practice and improves access and affordability of healthcare. As with other advanced practice nurses, Nurse Practitioners also are active in professional organizations and participate in the formulation and passage of health policies at all levels. Nurse Practitioner specialties qualify the graduate to take the appropriate national certification examination.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
The CNSis educated to be an expert in the diagnosis, treatment, remediation, and alleviation of illnesses and to promote health within a specialty population such as but not limited to cardiac, endocrine and burn patients. The CNS provides highly specialized nursing care, serves as the clinical nursing expert for a unit or service line and also implements the role for clinical coordinator, case manager, staff and patient educator and participant in research projects. This advanced practice specialty generally functions in hospitals or continuing care facilities. This specialty is available to applicants to the traditional master’s program.
Nurse-Midwives assist women and families by providing culturally sensitive and competent care, thus promoting and maintaining health and facilitating the best possible individual and family integrity in the context of culture and community. This program prepares graduates for challenging careers as nurse-midwives; coursework, extensive clinical experience, and research allow our students to acquire the knowledge, values and skills necessary for certification as nurse-midwives by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
The Clinical Nurse Leader is designed to prepare graduates to function as generalists as they provide and manage comprehensive care at the bedside in acute care facilities. These graduates focus on direct care of patients in complex situations, implement evidence-based practice innovations and evaluate patient outcomes and cohort risk, using the information to modify and improve care plans as necessary. These graduates are not intended to fill unit management roles.