Program Description: NP North Program (Watertown)

NURS 565: NURSE AS EDUCATOR (3 credits)
The focus of this course is on role development of the nurse as an educator. Emphasis is placed on preparing the student to perform effectively as a communicator of information which will enable the client to act as a responsible partner in his/her own health care. Recognizing teaching as an important clinical skill, this course engages students in formal inquiry into key components of patient education. Students have the opportunity to participate in the processes of needs assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of education programs. Students conduct critical analysis of educational materials, apply research findings to patient education, and conduct a cost analysis of educational programs. The impact of legal issues, ethical dilemmas, and changes in the health care delivery system on patient education is discussed. Pre/corequisites: None. Spring and Fall semesters.
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NURS 607: ADVANCED HEALTH ASSESSMENT (3 credits)
This is the first course in the clinical advanced practice nurse (APN) series with a focus on advanced physical assessment, enhanced communication skills, and the reinforcement of health promotion and disease prevention across the life span. The course work and clinical lab activities enhance the student's history taking proficiency, physical assessment skills, critical thinking, and decision-making competency essential for planning, delivering, and evaluating health care in the population. Pre/corequisites: NURS 621. Fall semester.
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NURS 609 : FAMILY PSYCHIATRIC AND MENTAL HEALTH THEORY - FALL YEAR 1 (3 credits)
This course presents the theoretical basis for anatomical, biological and psychological aspects of advanced practice in psychiatric mental health nursing. Genetic, prenatal and experienced/environmental influences are explored in relation to their role in brain development and functions. Emphasis is placed on neurobiological theories of psychiatric disorders and developmental, family and psychodynamic processes. Introduction to theories, concepts and models relevant to the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner's role in the care of persons with mental illnesses and populations at risk for mental illness are examined.

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine specific areas of the brain in relation to normal functioning and in relation to selected psychiatric disorders
  2. Delineate the process of brain development and major neurotransmitter systems and their role in brain functioning
  3. Synthesize knowledge of the interaction of neurobiological factors and experiential/ environmental factors in the development of mental illnesses/psychiatric disorders as a foundation for clinical practice.
  4. Discuss theories of family function and dysfunction, techniques of assessment, and models of family intervention
  5. Demonstrate professional responsibility in all interactions with peers and faculty

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NURS 610: NURSING THEORY (3 credits)
This course focuses on the development of nursing science through the use of nursing theoretical frameworks. Students are guided in the examination of the development of conceptualizations and in the critique of concepts, theories, and boundaries for nursing study, as well as the implications for using theories of nursing and theories in nursing. Emphasis is on critical thinking, via description, analysis, and evaluation of nursing theory for application to practice. The importance of research to the continuing development of nursing theory as a method of building nursing's unique knowledge base is emphasized throughout the course. Pre/corequisite: Admission to Graduate Study or permission of course faculty. Fall semester.
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NURS 612: FAMILY NURSING THEORY (3 credits)
This course examines the contemporary family's structure, function and process. Various theoretical frameworks and models are explored and applied to nursing assessment of and intervention with the healthy and high-risk family system in a variety of clinical settings. Students utilize a wellness approach to optimize health within a developmental framework and promote family resilience and adaptation throughout the life span. Psychosocial, cultural, economic, gender, and spiritual variables and their impact on family life are analyzed. Pre/corequisites: None. Fall semester.
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NURS 616: ADVANCED NURSING RESEARCH (3 credits)
This graduate level course examines quantitative and qualitative nursing research methods, principles, and methods of measurement, as well as skills for critical evaluation of nursing research. Identification and analysis of research related to clinical practice and health care outcomes are included. Students develop skills and knowledge needed to review and recognize the strength of evidence and recommend practice changes if indicated. This course builds upon previous knowledge of the research process, critiquing of research, and understanding of the application of statistical findings. Pre/corequisites: None. Spring semester.
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NURS 621: CLINICAL PATHOPHYSIOLOGY (3 credits)
This course focuses on the causality of alterations in human physiologic function across the lifespan. Normal physiology and pathological phenomena produced by altered states of health across the lifespan are contrasted. The human physiologic responses to these altered states are related to pertinent diagnostic values, tests, and methods. This course serves as a basis for subsequent courses that deal with the clinical diagnosis and management of health problems. Pre/corequisite: Matriculated graduate status. Fall semester.
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NURS 626: LEADERSHIP FOR ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSE (3 credits)
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed by the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) to function in the role of a leader in health care. Emphasis is placed on the development of individual APNs as informed and collaborative leaders within the health care system who use current research based evidence in their role. Utilizing the nursing process, and leadership theory and organizational theory, students analyze the effectiveness of health care organizations and develop interventions to improve the organizational effectiveness. Issues related to the APN's role as an active participant in the legislation of health care policy are explored. Pre/corequisites: None. Spring semester.
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NURS 627: CLINICAL MANAGEMENT FAMILY PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NP I: Spring Year 1 (3 credits)
This course provides the foundation for clinical management of children, adolescents, adults and older adults with common psychiatric mental health problems. A bio-psychosocial framework for understanding the development and treatment of psychiatric disorders and mental health problems is explored. Students are introduced to the process, dynamics, principles and ethical consideration of advanced practice psychiatric nurse interviewing, assessing and diagnosing as well as the initial planning, implementation and evaluation of therapeutic interventions with individuals. Therapies are introduced to promote health and prevent illness for individuals across the lifespan and their families. Psychopharmacotherapeutics and other therapeutic approaches are discussed in relation to their roles in the treatment of mental illnesses/psychiatric disorders.

Course Objectives:

  1. Integrate bio-psychosocial theories in the screening, diagnosis and management of individuals across the lifespan with common psychiatric mental health problems and/or psychiatric disorders.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the process and components of a comprehensive psychiatric mental health assessment using effective communication and critical thinking skills in the interviewing and therapeutic patient-nurse interaction.
  3. Develop a mutually acceptable plan of care for clients/families with mental health issues and/or psychiatric disorders that demonstrates consideration of ethnicity and cultural characteristics.
  4. Use therapeutic models to promote health and prevent illness for individuals and families.
  5. Use evidence-based psychopharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in the management of commonly occurring mental health problems and psychiatric disorders.
  6. Demonstrate ethical decision-making in advanced nursing practice.
  7. Use evidence based research for guidance of advanced practice nursing.
  8. Demonstrate professional responsibility in all interactions with peers, clients and clinical agency personnel.

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NURS 628: CLINICAL MANAGEMENT FAMILY PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NP II: Fall Year 2 (3 credits)
This course focuses on advanced knowledge of psychiatric-mental health nursing, including selected mental health problems and psychiatric disorders. Assessment, decision-making and therapeutic interventions with families, groups, and populations at risk are explored. The role of advanced practice nurses in the implementation of psychopharmacotherapeutic and integrated bio-psychosocial educational and supportive interventions for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults as well as culturally diverse populations is examined.

Course Objectives:

  1. Provide group and family therapies in the treatment of minor acute and stable chronic psychiatric disorders and mental health problems.
  2. Use individual, family and group therapies to promote health and prevent illness for individuals and families.
  3. Demonstrate scholarship of practice through evaluation and utilization of research evidence that supports quality healthcare and health promotion.
  4. Integrate ethics and cultural perspectives into advanced practice nursing.
  5. Incorporate knowledge of responses to psychotropic medications that are influenced by gender, race, ethnicity and age into clinical practice.
  6. Demonstrate professional responsibility in all interactions with peers, clients and clinical agency personnel.

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NURS 629: CLINICAL MANAGEMENT FAMILY PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH NP III: Spring Year 2 (3 credits)
This course continues to focus on advanced knowledge of psychiatric mental health nursing, including diagnosis and management of children, adolescents, adults and older adults with mental health problems and psychiatric disorders. Societal, ethical and systems issues that affect the advanced practice psychiatric nursing role during the delivery of primary mental healthcare to specialty populations are explored.

Course Objectives:

  1. Diagnose individuals across the lifespan with complex acute and chronic psychiatric disorders and mental health problems, integrating selected bio-psychosocial theories.
  2. Demonstrate scholarship of practice through evaluation and utilization of research evidence that supports quality healthcare and health promotion.
  3. Demonstrate the integration of ethics and cultural perspectives into advanced practice nursing.
  4. Use a variety of advanced practice nursing strategies effectively for the specific needs of selected populations.
  5. Integrate evidence-based psychopharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in the management of psychiatric disorders.
  6. Evaluate complex acute and chronic mental healthcare using selected outcomes.
  7. Participate in informed legal and ethical decision-making in providing complex acute and chronic mental healthcare in primary, secondary and tertiary care settings.
  8. Explore ways of influencing health policy regarding the management of chronic mental illness in a variety of healthcare settings and delivery systems.
  9. Demonstrate professional responsibility in all interactions with peers, clients and clinical agency personnel.

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NURS 640: PHARMACOLOGY (3 credits)
An integrative approach to pharmacology is emphasized. The principles of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicology are presented. The characteristics of the major drug classifications and clinical practice implications are addressed as well as the legal and regulatory implications of drug administration and the essentials of prescription writing. The opportunity to explore related topics alone or in a group is provided, e.g., substance abuse, self-medication with over-the-counter drugs, drug therapy for pain management, drug therapy in a specialty area (maternal, pediatric, gerontologic health care), and alternatives to drug therapy. Pre/corequisite: Matriculated graduate status; NURS 621. Spring semester.
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NURS 641: CLINICAL MANAGEMENT FOR PRIMARY HEALTH CARE: FNP I (3 credits)
This is an entry level clinical course in which the student integrates basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and builds on advanced health assessment knowledge. Students develop an understanding of the pathologic changes and clinical manifestations that characterize common acute disorders. Students apply new understanding of pathophysiology and evolving clinical decision making skills to the interpretation of assessment data and the diagnosis and treatment of primary care clients and their families across the lifespan. Students perform complete health assessments and provide client care with supervision. In collaboration with the health care team, students are involved in the implementation and evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions and integrate research, teaching and consultation skills as a beginning basis for clinical practice. Pre/corequisites: NURS 607, NURS 616. Spring semester.
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NURS 642: CLINICAL MANAGEMENT FOR PRIMARY HEALTH CARE: FNP II (6 credits)
This course reflects a building of knowledge and skills from the previous clinical course, Clinical Management in Primary Health Care: Family NP I. Students continue to progress in the nurse practitioner role and in the delivery of health care to individuals with acute and chronic health care needs. In collaboration with the health care team, students are involved in the implementation and the evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions used in the care of patients across the lifespan. Effective use of skills required for clinical management, education, consultation, referral, and follow-up are emphasized. Therapeutic interventions based upon evidenced-based research are integrated along with complimentary and alternative healing approaches appropriate for individuals and their families with health care problems. Course work, classroom activities, and clinical assignments enhance students' critical thinking and decision-making skills, specifically for complex health care problem evaluation. Pre/corequisites: NURS 640, NURS 641. Fall semester.
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NURS 643: CLINICAL MANAGEMENT FOR PRIMARY HEALTH CARE: FNP III (6 credits)
This is a culminating clinical course in which students are managing client care with increasing independence. The collaborative model guides the student in the implementation and evaluation of accepted medical and nursing interventions used in the care of the patients across the lifespan. Students further develop leadership, research, teaching, and consultation skills as a basis for clinical practice. Practice issues are identified and discussed in a structured environment that incorporates ethical concepts and effective use of resources for beginning autonomous practice. Theoretical concepts of organizational systems and health care politics and policy are applied to the advanced practice setting to identify and solve complex problems. Pre/corequisites: NURS 642. Spring semester.
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NURS 655: CURRICULUM AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT (3 credits)
This course continues the development of the knowledge and skills of the nurse as an educator. While the major emphasis is on the development of faculty for an academic role, the principles of course and program development are applicable for in-service, continuing education, and staff development educators as well. The role, competencies, and responsibilities of the educator in a variety of settings are explored. The process of program and curriculum development is examined in light of the ethical, legal, political, and economic forces and issues that have an impact on the educational process. The evaluation process includes the development of outcome criteria to measure the success of programs and curricula. Using seminar and other adult learning formats, students have the opportunity to develop educational course content and, at the same time, design, apply, and critique creative learning strategies that foster critical thinking and active participation. Pre/corequisites: NURS 565, matriculated graduate status. Spring and Fall semesters.
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NURS 665: EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION (3 credits)
This course is one in a series of three courses leading to a minor in education. Students focus on assessing, advising, and evaluating the learner from the time of admission to the completion of an academic program or other type of educational endeavor. A major emphasis is on exploring creative evaluation strategies, using various methodologies to determine learner performance in classroom, laboratory and clinical settings. The evaluation process focuses on test development, including the techniques for writing examinations, analyzing test items, administering and grading examinations, and ensuring interrater reliability as well as the reliability and validity of tests. As a culminating aspect of this course, students examine both the entrepreneurial role of the nurse educator and how to negotiate a job through the use of marketing and interviewing techniques. Students are given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills as educators by actively participating in seminars, other adult learning approaches, and practicum experiences. Individually designed practicum experiences allow students to gain a broader perspective on the educator role as well as to practice some of the skills of the educator. Pre/corequisites: NURS 565, matriculated graduate status. Spring semester.
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Application Deadline
MS Program
October 15, 2014 –
February 1, 2015
Joyce Scarpinato, DNP,PNP-BC,FNP-C
Joyce Scarpinato, DNP,PNP-BC,FNP-C
Director of Master's Program
Ibrahim Thabet

After becoming an RN with an associate’s degree, Ibrahim Thabet said, “I felt that my journey was not complete. I decided to continue my education at Upstate Medical University because of the school's rich tradition of prestige.

I could not have imagined an easier transition.” Ibrahim achieved his goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner by earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Nursing.

—Ibrahim Thabet, FNP (2010)