RN-MSN/NP Curriculum

Below are example sequences of our courses when taking either the RN-MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner track or the RN-MSN/Adult-Gerontology, Nurse Practitioner Track. The Nursing Department reserves the right to change curriculum requirements based on professional or accreditation recommendations.

Courses

  • NUR 318 Adult Development, Life Planning, and Research Writing (3)
  • NUR 321 Professionalism/Professional Values (3)
  • NUR 341 Patient Centered Care I (3)
  • IDS 300 Biblical Perspectives (3)
  • NUR 452 Evidence-Based Practice I (3)
  • NUR 453 Evidence-Based Practice II (3)
  • NUR 442 Patient Centered Care II (3)
  • NUR 360 Information Management/Patient Care Technologies (3)
  • NUR 344 Clinical Prevention/Population Health (3)
  • NUR 434 Quality Leadership (3)
  • IDS 400 Values: Personal and Social (3)
  • NUR 494 Senior Project (2)
  • NUR 510 Moral & Ethical Decision Making (residency) (3)
  • NUR 522 Theoretical Perspectives for Advanced Practice (3)
  • NUR 532 Role Development & Leadership (3)
  • NUR 551 Applied Research Methods (3)
  • NUR 602 Advanced History & Physical Exam (residency) (3)
  • NUR 612 Advanced Pathophysiology (3)
  • NUR 618 Advanced Pharmacology (3)
  • NUR 632 Health Promotion & Disease Prevention (3)
  • NUR 642 Chronic Disease and Complex Problems in Older Adults (2)
  • NUR 693 Population Health (3)
  • NUR 683 Health Policy & Politics (3)
  • NUR 685 Advanced Practice in Primary Care I (3)
  • NUR 686 Advanced Practice in Primary Care II (3)
  • NUR 680 Clinical Practicum (8)
  • NUR 681 Capstone Project (3)

RN-MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner Track Additional Courses

  • NUR 633 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan (3)
  • NUR 645 Family Systems and Clinical Management of the Child Bearing Family (3)
  • NUR 687 Advanced Practice in Primary Care II (3)

RN-MSN/Adult-Gerontology, Nurse Practitioner Track Additional Courses

  • NUR 632 Health Promotion & Disease Prevention (3)
  • NUR 642 Chronic Disease and Complex Problems in Older Adults (2)

Course Descriptions

NUR 510 Moral & Ethical Decision Making (3)
This course provides a meta-cognitive foundational approach to advanced nursing practice in the contemporary world. It explores worldview presuppositions with an emphasis on a Christian perspective and development of a consistent, conscious understanding of reality.
NUR 522 Theoretical Perspectives for Advanced Practice (3)
This course promotes examination, analysis and synthesis of a variety of conceptual frameworks, models and theories that provide a foundation for research and applied practice in the areas of nursing, business and education. Philosophical ideation, beliefs, scope and assumptions of select theories and models will be explored.
NUR 318 Adult Development, Life Planning, and Research Writing (3 credits)
In this first course, the student will explore elements of his or her personal and professional life journey and how this affects readiness for returning to college as a working adult. This exploration includes examining the student’s learning style and personality preferences as well as reflecting on major life tasks and identification of key tasks yet to be accomplished. In addition, the student will begin to understand the unique challenges that an adult faces when returning to school and the importance of time management. Integrated writing assignments will assist the student in developing practical skills such as using online library services; assessing writing, grammar, and mechanics; and beginning to master APA formatting and style along with the necessary critical thinking and writing skills essential to the successful college experience. The student will begin to develop his or her electronic portfolio.
NUR 321 Professionalism/Professional Values (3)
This course further develops and strengthens core professional values by emphasizing the pursuit of practice excellence. The ANA Standards & Scope of Nursing Practice and Ethical Code for Nurses are examined as well as professional associations and practice-regulating bodies. The course explores the role of nursing theory to guide practice. The formal literature review process and the value of evidenced-based practice (EBP) are introduced. E-portfolios are introduced as a method of documenting academic progress and professional development. The course provides foundational professional concepts in legal, ethical and patient-centered care in preparation for future courses across the educational continuum and roles in advanced practice nursing.NUR 341 Patient Centered Care I (3)
This course has a gerontology focus that utilizes the principles and techniques of holistic nursing assessment and care planning guided by evidence-based interventions and nursing theory. The ways that an aging population affects the health care system and nursing practice are explored. Nursing assessment incorporates review of systems, health promotion, preventative care need and palliative care planning.NUR 452 a, b, c Evidence-Based Practice I (3)

Three (1) credit components will be taken concurrently with carousel courses.
These one-credit component/modules are designed to guide the baccalaureate student to identify practice issues, appraise and integrate evidence, and evaluate outcomes. The e-portfolio is used as a tool to document competencies, track academic progression through the six EBP components, and document academic preparation as students navigate the Capstone project.

The student will learn the value of evidence-based practice (EBP), the use of EBP to support quality and safety measures in practice, and models for applying evidence to clinical practice. The concept of the Senior Project is introduced. Students identify educational need in practice or a patient safety issue and then search the databases to begin a literature review to gather evidence to support that issue for their Senior Project. Students learn the basic steps of the Excel spreadsheet to document their ongoing literature review.

  1. The student is introduced to the basic elements and concepts of statistics and the use of statistical data in nursing research studies. The students continue to define their chosen practice or educational topic for the Senior Project and continue the literature review. Excel instruction progresses during this component to build on the skills obtained in the first component.
  2.   The student learns the value of research, implications for practice and the steps of the research process. Ethical issues and the advocacy role of the nurse in protecting the rights of human subjects are recognized. Students explore various types of bias and their influence on the research process. . The course stimulates critical thinking by locating, evaluating and critiquing research studies and provides the opportunity to develop a practicum proposal based on scientific research and evidence-based practice. The literature review process continues throughout the course with a written proposal for the Senior Project submitted at the end of Component 452.c.

NUR 453 a, b, c Evidence-Based Practice II (3 credits)

Three (1) credit components will be taken concurrently with carousel courses.

  1. Students review the basic elements and concepts of the research process, including levels of measurement, measurement tools, data presentation and descriptive statistics.
  2. Students learn to use Excel for statistical equations in preparation for the utilization of nursing research and using data to make evidence-based changes in practice. Integration of the most widely used statistical methods and the use of Excel promotes deeper understanding within the context of health care research and evidence-based nursing practice.
  3. Additional concepts of statistical analysis and major epidemiological study designs are explored. Statistical concepts are applied to evidence-based nursing practice.

IDS 300 Biblical Perspectives (3)

As a Christian liberal arts university, Spring Arbor University is committed to nurturing an appreciation for the resources of the Scriptures for creative personal faith and human life in the modern world. This course is designed to foster the knowledge and understanding of the literature and history of the Bible and the integration of faith, living and learning.

NUR 442 Patient Centered Care II (3)
Evidence-based health techniques for disease prevention, health promotion and self-management of chronic conditions are investigated. Younger adult assessment and health history interview techniques are explored. The assessment findings are used to formulate a holistic, culturally sensitive health-promotion plan and apply a theorist as a basis for care. The course focuses on effective communication in facilitating client movement toward health and wellness.

NUR 360 Information Management/Patient Care Technologies (3)
This course emphasizes the use of technology and information systems for clinical decision making. Students learn the skills necessary to use information management and patient care technologies to deliver safe and effective care. The course explores the application of information systems in quality improvement, monitoring of patient outcomes, and regulatory reporting. Ethical and legal issues related to the use of IT are investigated, including copyright, privacy and confidentiality issues.

IDS 400 Values: Personal and Social (3)
This is a Capstone course in which the student formulates a philosophy of life providing the base for such concerns as professional ethics, accountability in government and nursing practice, respect for human rights and a responsible lifestyle in our contemporary world.  Ethical theories and personal values are examined through readings, analysis of issues and classroom discussion.

NUR 344 Clinical Prevention/Population Health (3)
The course discusses theory and concepts of community/public/global health, including health care systems in transition, health policy and epidemiology. The Public Health/Community Health Nurse’s (PH/CHN) role as partner with the community in health promotion, disease and injury prevention, and population health are applied to patient scenarios. Students utilize teaching, learning and behavioral change theories and concepts to plan care.

NUR 434 Quality Leadership (3)
This course focuses on the professional nurse’s role in applying the principles of leadership and management to navigate systems in health care organizations across the continuum of care. The course explores the nurse leader’s role in quality and safety, the regulatory environment, policy and advocacy for evidence-based practice. The course provides opportunities to improve critical reasoning, interdisciplinary communication techniques and conflict resolution. Change management and conflict resolution theories are utilized in practice situations.

NUR 494 Senior Project (2)
This course provides the student with the practical experience of applying and integrating the concepts and theories learned so far in the program to a setting (community or clinical). Students assess and identify a patient safety or care process problem, a practice discrepancy, or an educational need supported by research through a comprehensive literature review. Using the nursing process, students design and implement their project and the BSN portion of the program culminates with a project presentation to faculty, peers and interested parties.

NUR 532 Role Development & Leadership (3)
The focus is on understanding the professional role of the advanced practice nurse. The processes associated with role development, socialization and effective collaboration with diverse interdisciplinary partnerships will be examined.

NUR 551 Applied Research Methods (3)
This course focuses on the significance of research to the development of a profession and the practical application of statistics to evidence-based outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on design, methodology and data collection relative to development of a research-based Capstone project or thesis.

NUR 612 Advanced Pathophysiology (3)
This course provides advanced knowledge and clinical application of normal and pathophysiologic mechanisms related to altered health status and disease processes. Diagnosis and treatment skills will be analyzed, interpreted and evaluated for changes in normal function seen during illness/disease and when assessing an individual’s response to treatment.

NUR 618 Advanced Pharmacology (3)
This course will provide the advanced practice nurse with the knowledge and skills necessary to assess, diagnose and manage pharmacologic agents, as well as alternatives to pharmacological interventions and therapeutic modalities. Prescriptive authority and the corresponding  responsibilities and legalities will be discussed, including controlled substances and the potential for abuse.

NUR 602 Advanced History and Physical Exam (residency) (3)
This practicum will prepare students with the core knowledge and competencies needed to complete a comprehensive assessment using client data to detect signs and symptoms of pathophysiological changes and psychosocial variations from an individual, family or community perspective. Effective strategies will be developed to address health care issues, including health promotion, communication and client-teaching skills using a holistic approach. The practicum will provide clinical opportunities to further refine and practice the history taking and physical examination skills necessary for competence as an advanced practice nurse.

NUR 632 Health Promotion & Disease Prevention (3)
This course is designed to prepare the student to apply evidence-based principles of wellness, disease prevention and health risk in individuals, families, communities and aggregate/clinical populations. Diversity is examined relative to social and communication patterns, roles and values/beliefs underlying health-illness behaviors.

NUR 685 Advanced Practice in Primary Care I (3)
This course will present critical concepts the advanced practice nurse can use in delivering evidence-based nursing for the adult population. Using a holistic approach students will apply theory to practice.

NUR 686 Advanced Practice in Primary Care II (3)
This course prepares students with the skills to function as an advanced practice nurse in addressing chronic and complex alterations in health experienced by the older adult. Gerontology concepts will be applied in meeting the biological, psychosocial, mental and spiritual needs of the older adult. Students will combine history taking, physical examination techniques and diagnostic interpretation with problem-solving and clinical strategies.

NUR 693 Population Health (3)
The focus of this course is on integrating the learning from previous courses to design treatment and evaluate outcomes for the most vulnerable groups, particularly within care systems that manage services for the frail elderly, the chronically ill and other similarly compromised patients.

NUR 683 Health Policy and Politics (3)
The focus is on the knowledge of professional responsibility to support policy issues associated with humane health care that promotes dignity, respect and justice. Practical skills such as working with the media, product and service evaluation, advocating for the health care needs of vulnerable populations and seeking program grants will be addressed.

NUR 642 Chronic Disease and Complex Problems in Older Adults (3)
The focus of this course is on the management of chronic disease and complex care needs of older adults. Emphasis will be on case management and interdisciplinary collaboration to arrange and evaluate care for the most health-compromised clients.

NUR 681 Capstone Project (3)
Students will examine the evidence base for resolving a current health problem, design and implement a project that applies the evidence-based treatment/solution, and evaluate the change that occurs in the target group. This project is not designed as a thesis but an application of concepts and learning throughout the graduate program.

NUR 680 Clinical Practicum (8 credits = minimum of 500 hours)
The clinical practicum is arranged with a local preceptor with the approval of the program faculty. Students have regular contact with SAU clinical faculty, who also provide oversight of the preceptor-led experience.  In the Adult Gerontology concentration the minimum is 500 hours, however students taking the Family Nurse Practitioner track have an additional two credits, equating to a total of 625 clinical hours.

RN-MSN/FNP Course Descriptions

NUR 633 Health Promotion across the Lifespan (3)
This course prepares the advanced practice nurse (APN) to apply theoretical and current research concerning health promotion and disease prevention to clinical practices,individuals, families, communities and special populations, all from a Christian perspective. Students will explore the transformative effect of compassion and caring in facilitating healthful behavior changes and will learn to apply culturally appropriate communication skills adapted to the individual’s cognitive, developmental, physical, mental and behavioral health status. A review of the patterns and variations of human growth and development will inform the student’s exploration of the impact of the family on the health of individuals across their lifespan. Evidence-based, health-promoting strategies and modalities will be analyzed. Students will apply the knowledge, skills and competenciesessential to the promotion and maintenance of health, both as independent providers and within a multidisciplinary team.

NUR 645 Family Systems and Clinical Management of the Child Bearing Family (3)
This course prepares the family nurse practitioner-student to examine evidence-based principles of nursing care in the context of family and nursing theory, and to apply this knowledge to clinical practice within diverse family systems, all from a Christian perspective. Students will consider and apply the knowledge, skills and competencies essential to the holistic management of child-bearing women and their families, both as independent providers and within a multidisciplinary team. Students will focus on the care of healthy ante-partum women and those with health pattern variations that may result in at-risk pregnancies. Emphasis is placed on collaborative management of women and families during pregnancy. Concepts focused on promoting well-being will be explored, with an emphasis on family interventions that promote resiliency as well as the health and well-being of the family.

NUR 687 Advanced Practice in Primary Care of the Child (3)
This course prepares the family nurse practitioner to provide evidence-based, primary health care to infants and children, all from a Christian perspective. Using a holistic approach, students examine the scientific basis of common health problems and factors influencing nursing management of these problems. Relevant nursing interventions for common health problems of children in families are explored, as are the responses and adaptations of the child and family to common health problems. Students will consider and apply the knowledge, skills and competencies essential to the holistic management of children and families, both as independent providers and within a multidisciplinary team. Students will combine history taking, physical examination techniques and diagnostic interpretation with problem-solving and clinical strategies.