What Courses Will I Take in the RN-MSN Program?

Nurse with laptop computer
Nurse with laptop computer

An RN to MSN bridge program provides registered nurses with an opportunity to pursue advanced nursing positions and opportunities, such as becoming a nurse practitioner or specializing in a specific field, like adult gerontology. Through this type of program, students will learn more about complex and advanced nursing topics, and will focus on developing specialized clinical skills that can help them in various practice settings.

Those who are considering the RN to MSN online degree often wonder what the program entails. These are the courses that students are required to take in order to graduate from the RN to MSN bridge program at Spring Arbor University:

Clinical Skills and Core Practice Courses

The RN to MSN online program allows registered nurses who do not yet have their BSN to catapult their career to the next level by enrolling in this bridge program and subsequently graduating with an MSN degree. Given the nature of this educational track, it's important that students in this program develop and hone their clinical skills.

With this in mind, there are several courses that focus on both clinical and practice skills. Professionalism and Professional Values is one course that relates directly to clinical skills, as it examines the ethical code to which nurses should daily adhere and explores the role that nursing theory plays in nursing practice.

Patient Centered Care is another clinical practice course that covers the importance of both holistic and medical nursing care for patients. It explores preventative care and palliative care while focusing on elderly patients and the aging population. Other courses in the program related to clinical skills and core practice include Clinical Prevention and Population Health, Information Management and Patient Care Technologies, and  Evidence-Based Practice.

Social, Ethical and Moral Courses

Given the very nature of nursing, it's not surprising that social, ethical and moral factors influence nursing practice on a daily basis. The RN to MSN online degree program provides students with courses that allow them to explore the importance of making moral and ethical decisions while caring for patients.

Moral and Ethical Decision Making is one of the most important courses in this category. Specific theories and models will be explored with a Christian emphasis. Students are asked to consider these ideas in both theoretical and realistic senses for later application patient care settings.

Values: Personal and Social is another course included in the curriculum, and it allows students to explore their personal values and how they can be applied in a professional setting.

Advanced Nursing Courses

As students who are enrolled in this program are hoping to secure advanced and specialized nursing positions after graduation, a large portion of the curriculum is dedicated to advanced nursing topics and strategies. These courses allow students to become experts in many different facets of nursing, helping them to understand the complex issues in the health care industry while also fine-tuning their clinical skills.

dvanced Pathophysiology provides students with in-depth information about pathophysiology as well as how to apply normal pathophysiologic mechanisms. Students also study both diagnostic and treatment methods to help provide patients with personalized care.

Advanced Pharmacology focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, and management of pharmacologic agents. The course also discusses the responsibilities and legalities of prescribing pharmacologic agents and discusses the rising prevalence of substance abuse in today's society.

Other advanced nursing courses in the program include Advanced Practice in Primary Care, Advanced History & Physical Exam, and Clinical Practicum.

Family Nurse Practitioner Courses

Students who opt to specialize in the Family Nurse Practitioner pathway for this program will have to take several courses specifically related to this field of nursing. These courses provide nurses with the practical knowledge and skills that they need to practice as a nurse practitioner in a clinical setting or medical practice after graduation.

There are three courses in this pathway. The first is Health Promotion Across the Lifespan, which provides students with information on theories and recent research related to preventative care and health promotion to patients of all ages and stages.

Family Systems and Clinical Management of the Child Bearing Family is the second course. It discusses clinical skills and holistic techniques that can be used to care for young and growing families. It has a Christian emphasis.

Finally, the third course is Advanced Practice in the Primary Care of a Child, which provides the student with advanced knowledge of evidence-based health care as it relates to infants and children.

Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Courses

Students in the RN to MSN bridge program may also select Adult Gerontology as their focus.

This track requires two additional courses. The first is Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, which introduces the principles of evidence-based care as it relates to disease risk, promoting wellness and preventing illness. It applies these principles to children, adults and the aging population. It also discusses the socioeconomic factors that can impact wellness and disease prevention in specific populations.

The second course required in this track is Chronic Disease and Complex Problems in Older Adults. This course provides students with the information they need to manage chronic illness in older adults and elderly patients, as well as addresses the complexities that can arise in an aging population. It emphasizes the need for effective case management and collaborative health care techniques, which are often necessary for older patients.

Nurses who want to take their career to the next level in a way that is both efficient and affordable should consider the online RN to MSN program at Spring Arbor University. The courses in the RN to MSN online degree program are designed to provide students with a rigorous curriculum that helps them better understand advanced nursing topics as well as develop specialized clinical skills.

To learn more about the unique RN to MSN bridge program at Spring Arbor University, contact our advisors today.