Registered Nurse to Master of Science Curriculum

NURS 310 - COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH ASSESSMENT (3 credits)
This course is aimed at broadening the student's knowledge and perspective of health assessment of the individual across the age span within the context of system interactions. Cultural and sociological aspects as well as communication skills for interviewing and history taking, which are critical to health assessment data collection, are emphasized. Risk factors and variables affecting health patterns are studied along with techniques for physical examination. Focus is on the performance of a systematic, comprehensive health assessment and the critical analysis of assessment data.
Pre/corequisites: none. Fall semester.
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ENGL 325 - PROFESSIONAL WRITING (3 credits)
Reviewing the use of primary and secondary research materials, this course also covers copyright procedures, government documentation and annotated bibliography. The course stresses publication in professional journals and presentations at professional conferences.
Pre/corequisites: None. Fall and Spring semesters.
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NURS 326 - CONCEPTUAL BASES IN NURSING (3 credits)
This course is the socialization course for the upper division Registered Nurse. Differences between educational preparations for RNs are analyzed. Components of a profession and the professional role are discussed and debated. This course focuses on identifying the scope of professional nursing practice from an evolutionary perspective. Emphasis is on exploring the historical trends on the development and implementation of the professional nursing role. The mission and philosophy of the College of Nursing are discussed and students articulate their philosophy from a professional and personal perspective.  An overview of the theoretical bases for professional nursing is interrelated with current models of practice, particularly the principles of evidence- based practice.  Students also apply principles of group dynamics.
Pre/corequisites: none. Fall semester.
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NURS 387 - HEALTH CARE POLICY AND POLITICS (3 credits)
The focus of this course is on the role of the professional nurse as a participant in the political process in the practice setting and in the broader public sector. Particular attention is given to the development of public policy related to health care. Consideration is given to historic, sociologic, technologic, economic, legal, and political factors which influence health care delivery. Attention also is given to the local, state, and federal systems for financing and delivering health care with consideration of the issues of access and distribution of services. Analysis of the political action process is used to operationalize the concept of the nurse as an agent of change, client advocate, and participant in decision-making related to health policy. Opportunity is provided for the student to study a political issue and to meet with appropriate legislative representatives to discuss his/her position on current legislation related to the issue.
Pre/corequisites: none. Spring semester.
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NURS 414: HEALTHY AGING (3 credits)
This course focuses on holistic nursing care for the aging population.  Theories and myths about aging are examined.  The changes of normal aging and common health problems of older adults are included.  Nursing strategies to assist older adults in achieving and maintaining productive and functional lifestyles are emphasized.  In addition, concepts related to the care of patients and their families at the end of life are explored.
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NURS 415 - MANAGEMENT IN NURSING (3 credits)
This course introduces the student to the symbiotic components of nursing management and leadership. Management and leadership theories are examined to reflect the interdependent relationship between the two. Emphasis is placed on the functions of the management process, planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling, as they relate to the role of a nurse manager. Effective communication skills are discussed to facilitate group cohesion and team building.
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NURS 444 - COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSING (4 credits)
Using an open systems framework, this course focuses on the theory and practice of community health nursing. Community health nursing is a blend of two components: public health science with its roots in epidemiology and the art and science of nursing. While students work with individuals as well as families and groups, emphasis is on community-as-client to critically examine a population-focused practice of nursing. Students assess families and communities to identify health needs and to apply research-based nursing interventions at all levels of prevention to meet the specific needs of identified population groups. Using available community resources, students develop advanced communication skills in collaborating with clients and health team members to plan, implement, and evaluate interventions to improve the overall health of the community.
Pre/requisite: NURS 326; Pre/Corequisite: BIOL 420. Fall semester.
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BIOL 420 - EPIDEMIOLOGY (3 credits)
This course presents epidemiological principle and methods with emphasis on the health status and health needs of a population, on levels of prevention, and on promotion of health strategies.
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NUR 571: INFORMATION, QUALITY, AND SAFETY (3 CreditS)
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to manage information, promote quality and maintain safety across healthcare settings.  Collaborative and diverse opportunities to bring about improvement in healthcare are included.  The course combines evidence-based concepts from technology, information science, communication studies, organizational quality, and health care science in order to prepare clinicians to take an active role in transforming healthcare and clinical practice.  Emphasis is placed on the nurse’s active role in retrieving, interpreting, and sharing information to support an evidence-based clinical practice.
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NURS 481 - RESEARCH IN NURSING (3 credits)
Research in Nursing addresses critical inquiry in the development of nursing science. This course is an introduction to the principles of scientific inquiry, including identification of forms of analytical thinking common to problem solving in nursing. Students are guided in the development of critical appraisal skills in the evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and in examining the role of the professional nurse as data collector, designer, producer, replicator, and consumer of research. Information will be provided to assist the student to critique selected nursing research studies, with the opportunity for evaluating and using research findings in relation to nursing practice.
Pre/corequisites: Statistics Elective or permission of course faculty. Spring semester.
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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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CBHX 320 - HEALTH CARE ETHICS ELECTIVE (3 credits)
This course covers examination of ethical theories and principles as they inform contemporary health care dilemmas. Students learn how philosophical principles such as autonomy, confidentiality, veracity, justice, beneficence, nonmalfeasance, and informed consent create a context for exploring particular ethical topics, i.e., suicide, reproductive rights, death and dying, abortion, testing and screening, biomedical research, and professional conduct. Though dealing with practical situations, this course emphasizes critical and theoretical thinking.
Pre/corequisite: ENGL 325. Fall and Spring Semesters.
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NURS Pre/corequisites: None. Spring semester.
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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 2 - FPMHNP Only (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.
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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. Spring 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 613: INNOVATION IN INFORMATION, QUALITY, AND SAFETY (3 credits)
This course focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to manage information, promote quality and maintain safety across healthcare settings.  Collaborative and diverse opportunities to bring about improvement in healthcare are included.  The course combines evidence-based concepts from technology, information science, communication studies, organizational quality, and health care science in order to prepare clinicians to take an active role in transforming healthcare and clinical practice.   Emphasis is placed on the nurse’s active role in retrieving, interpreting, and sharing information to support an evidence-based clinical practice.
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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. Fall 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. 
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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.
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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. 
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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 650: INTRODUCTION TO CNS COMPETENCIES: PATIENT AND NURSING SPHERES (4 credits)
This course introduces the APN student to the advanced practice role of the medical-surgical clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in the delivery of health care to adults and their families within a specialty area. Emphasis is placed on competencies needed in the patient and nursing spheres. Individually designed clinical practica provide the student with the opportunity to choose and develop a specialty area as the student learns the process of becoming a CNS. Emphasis will be placed on developing a knowledge base in an area of specialty.  Course work, classroom activities, and clinical assignments enhance the student’s critical thinking and decision-making skills. Pre/corequisites: NURS 607, NURS 616. Spring semester.
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GRADUATE STATISTICS ELECTIVE (3 credits)
This Master's level course focuses on principles, issues, and uses of measurement and statistics relevant to the design, conduct and utilization of research in nursing and health care. Building upon students' existing knowledge of research, seminar participation and project activities will prepare the student to understand and apply principles of measurement and statistics to instrumentation, data analysis, and interpretation steps of the research process. Pre-requisite: NURS 616 or equivalent graduate level course in research. Undergraduate course in statistics. Spring semester.
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NURS 670: CNS SELECTED PHENOMENA PATIENT AND NURSING SPHERES (4 credits)
This course focuses on selected phenomena of concern to all CNSs. The spheres of influence that are emphasized are the patient and nursing spheres. Individually designed clinical practica provide the student with the opportunity to apply nursing models and culturally appropriate evidence-based interventions to facilitate the well being of the client. Students continue to expand their expert knowledge base in a specialty area. Course work, classroom activities, and clinical assignments enhance the student’s critical thinking and decision making skills. Pre/corequisites: NURS 640, NURS 650. Fall semester
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NURS 675: ADVANCED CNS COMPETENCIES: ORGANIZATIONAL SPHERE ( 5 credits)
This course is the culminating experience in the development of the advanced practice role of the medical-surgical clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Theoretical concepts of organizational systems and health care policy and politics are applied to the advanced practice setting to identify and solve complex health problems. Higher level competencies necessary for the CNS are practiced that target the three spheres of influence. The student masters the process of becoming an expert in a specialty area. Individually designed practica in selected clinical areas provide the student with the opportunity to apply nursing models and culturally appropriate evidence-based nursing interventions to facilitate change within a system. Students continue to expand their expert knowledge base in a specialty area. Course work, classroom activities, and clinical assignments enhance the student’s critical thinking and decision-making skills. Pre/corequisites: NURS 670. Spring semester
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THESIS (3 credits)
Provides an opportunity to conduct independent research. It is the culmination of the research sequence with the application of research theory and process to a specific researchable problem related to nursing. Total of 6 credit hours granted in the final semester. Pre/corequisite: NURS 616.

NURS 706-708: CNS Clinical Project I, CNS Clinical Project II, & CNS Clinical Project III (1 credit per semester)
The purpose of the project is to give the student an opportunity to improve competencies needed as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). The competencies include identifying and defining problems, applying change strategies, and evaluating the impact of APN practice. The project is designed to be completed in three semesters and to be above and beyond the work produced as requirements for any other course. However, it may be an expansion of course work. At the end of the spring semester (NURS 706: CNS Clinical Project I) the student will submit an approved proposal. At the end of the fall semester (NURS 707: CNS Clinical Project II) the student will present the project. At the end of the last semester (NURS 708: CNS Clinical Project III), the student will complete a scholarly paper. The course will be taken for 1 credit per semester as a P/F option.
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PATH 360: PATHOLOGY

Application Period
MS Program, Fall 2015
October 15, 2014 –
February 1, 2015

NOTE: There are exceptions to these dates for RNs with a bachelors in another field and for the North Country program. Please see specific application periods for those programs on their respective pages.

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)