Jan 22, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing: Master of Science in Nursing, MSN, Leadership/Education


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Department Contact:

Chair: Rita Trofino, DNP, RN, rtrofino@francis.edu, 814-472-3185
Program Director: Camille Wendekier, PhD, CNE, RN, cwendekier@francis.edu, 814-472-2843

Accreditation Statement:

The Master of Science in Nursing program at Saint Francis University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Program Description:

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program of Saint Francis University is designed to meet the current and future needs of nurses who are prepared to plan, initiate, effect, and evaluate change in the health care delivery system, ensure quality patient/customer care, and enhance the profession of nursing within the framework of the Mission, Values, and Goals of Franciscan Higher Education. The MSN program prepares registered nurses for advanced roles that require increased accountability, expertise, and leadership.

The MSN Leadership/Education (L/E) track is designed to prepare graduates to assume advanced roles in administration, clinical practice, or education; and to provide these graduates with the skills necessary to lead in a variety of academic and other health care settings. The MSN L/E track prepares graduates for advanced roles in administration and education in academic or clinical settings. Graduates of the program are prepared for roles such as leaders in nursing management and/or educators in schools of nursing, staff development, and in hospital administrative positions.

Courses vary in length from 7 to 15 weeks and will be offered in an online format. MLE 630 and MLE 640 require students to complete clinical/practicum hours.*  Each clinical/practicum credit requires 4 clock hours and these courses are typically offered in a 15-week format (courses may be offered in a 14-week format depending on academic calendar). In MLE 630, two of the four credits in the course are clinical and two of the three credits in MLE 640 are practicum credits. Therefore, the student will have 120 hours of clinical/practicum time (2 credits x 4 hours x 15 weeks = 120 hours) to engage in learning activities that will assist the student in meeting his/her individual learning objectives. The 120 clinical hours are in addition to completing the seminar activities posted on the electronic learning management system, Canvas.

 *It is highly recommended that students engage in clinical activities every week to incorporate their clinical experience in the completion of seminar assignments.

Clinical/practicum hours cannot be completed during University breaks or when the course is not in session. The course faculty must be notified of any changes in the approved clinical hours. Students must track clinical hours as part of the clinical/practicum course requirements. Tracking of clinical and practicum hours are held to the same standards as the SFU Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy.

Residency Requirements*

The Department of Nursing faculty members are committed to quality and excellence in all Nursing programs. While the coursework is offered online, in order to maintain quality in our programs, residency requirements are essential to student success.

There are two residency requirements (a total of 2 days) for the students admitted to the MSN-Leadership/Education track. Attendance is mandatory for these residencies in order to meet the program requirements for graduation. The first residency day, on Saint Francis University Campus, provides the student with orientation to University resources, the electronic learning management system, University email, and my.francis.edu. The last required residency will occur on campus the semester students take MLE 640.  During this residency day, students will conduct presentations of their clinical projects and leadership journey. Students will end the second residency day engaging in round table discussions with MSN faculty.

*Costs of travel and lodging related to residency and clinical/practicum requirements to complete the program are in addition to program tuition and fees; these costs are the responsibility of the student.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Graduates of the MSN program will be prepared to:

  1. Exercise a selected advanced nursing practice role to ensure the delivery of high-quality direct patient care and/or to foster an organizational climate in health care and nursing educational settings that serve to promote high quality patient care.
  2. Exercise leadership in interdisciplinary collaboration to develop and/or refine organizational structures and processes through which high quality, evidence-based and cost-effective care, and the improvement of patient outcomes are assured.
  3. Participate in political processes at a variety of levels to influence health care policy that benefits patients, the profession, and the interdisciplinary community of health care providers.
  4. Make critical, constructive, and effective use of scientific evidence in the implementation, evaluation, and revision of health care services to better serve the health needs of individuals in the context of their families and communities.
  5. Exercise leadership to cultivate a highly ethical, culturally competent, and caring health care culture through the promotion of self-awareness, effective communication, effective group dynamics, values-based realism, courage, and principled action.
  6. Employ administrative and clinical information technology to access and leverage knowledge effectively, ethically, and legally in the interest of safe, effective, patient care in a variety of settings.

Admission Requirements:

  • Current RN license in U.S. state/territory or local where student will complete clinical requirements. Licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is required for clinical coursework completed in Pennsylvania.
  • Official transcripts verifying the conferral of a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree in nursing from an ACEN, CCNE, or CNEA accredited program
  • BSN GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Evidence of qualification and capacity for graduate study as reflected in the following:
    • Application essay that includes career goals
    • Two professional references (These letters should be completed by two people who can attest to your aptitude for graduate work and leadership in the profession)
    • Experience/employment history/professional activity (e.g. community, organizational, and volunteer service, and creative professional accomplishments)
  • Minimum of one year of full-time work experience as a registered nurse is required prior to registration in clinical or specialty courses;
  • Interview with program faculty (in person, online, or by phone);
  • Ability to attend the required program residencies;
  • Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission;
  • Proficiency in English:
    • All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, http://www.toefl.org)  
    • The minimum overall TOEFL score is 84 (Internet-based test); 24 is the minimum score in the speaking section, and 24 is the writing section minimum score.
Applicants must meet the following prerequisites:  
  • Completion of an introductory college-level course in statistics (200 level preferred);
  • Completion of an undergraduate physical assessment course or equivalent;
  • Demonstrated computer literacy (including the ability to send and download attachments) or completed courses in word processing, spreadsheet, database management, and presentation graphics.

Provisional Admission:

  • Current RN license in U.S. state/territory or locale where student will complete clinical requirements. Licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is required for clinical coursework completed in Pennsylvania. 
  • Official transcripts verifying the conferral of a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE-accredited program;
    • Students enrolled in SFU’s RN-BSN-MSN L/E program may complete up to 12 graduate credits while completing BSN coursework;
  • BSN cumulative GPA equal to or greater than 2.5 and less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Possesses qualifications or other experience that demonstrate potential to undertake graduate studies;
  • Provisional admission must be granted by Nursing Graduate Admission Committee (Committee consists of program directors and department chair);
  • Must earn at least a 3.0 GPA for the first 12 graduate credits (minimum grade “B” in all graduate courses);
  • Evidence of qualification and capacity for graduate study as reflected in the following:
    • Application essay that includes career goals
    • Two professional references (These letters should be completed by two people who can attest to your aptitude for graduate work and leadership in the profession.)
    • Experience/employment history/professional activity (e.g., community, organizational, and volunteer service, and creative professional accomplishments);
  • A minimum of one year of full-time work experience as a registered nurse is required prior to registration in clinical or specialty courses;
  • Interview with program faculty (in person or by phone);
  • Ability to attend the required program residencies;
  • Must meet the Technical Standards for Admission;
  • Proficiency in English:
    • All applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, http://www.toefl.org)
    • The minimum overall TOEFL score is 84 (Internet-based test); 24 is the minimum score in the speaking section, and 24 is the writing section minimum score.
Advanced Standing:

A maximum of six (6) graduate-level credits from a regionally accredited university and an accredited nursing program may be transferred toward completion of the requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Transfer credit will only be accepted for courses in which a grade of “B” (GPA = 3.0 on 4.0 scale) or its equivalent has been received. These credits cannot have been applied to a previous degree. Courses taken over five years prior to admission will not be accepted. Official transcripts certifying graduate-level courses completed at another institution prior to admission to Saint Francis University are to be submitted at the time of application and will be evaluated for transfer of credits.

Procedure for Requesting Transfer Credits:

Contact MSN MLE Program Director for transfer credit evaluation.

Admission Deadline:

The MSN program has rolling admission.

Department of Nursing Minimal Functional Requirements:

http://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/AcademicNursing/Tool%20Kits/Technical-Standards-Students-Disabilities.pdf?ver=2017-05-17-154114-300

The Saint Francis University Department of Nursing requires students to meet nonacademic technical standards critical to your success in your MSN program track. These standards are designed not to be exclusionary, but to establish performance expectations that will enable you to provide safe patient practice with or without accommodations.

The standards are program requirements, not individual functional ability requirements.

  • Observation: You must be able to make careful observations in all learning settings. Observation is necessary to perform competent health assessments and interventions, and necessitates functional use of vision, hearing, tactile and somatic senses.
  • Communication: You must have the ability to use multiple communication techniques (verbal, written, nonverbal, group processes, and information technology) to make it possible for you to communicate effectively with clients, teachers, and all members of the health care team. You must be able to speak, read, and write in English. You must be able to report to members of the health care team, express appropriate information to others, communicate with sensitivity, and teach, explain, direct, and counsel clients.
  • Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: You must have the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data in a reasonable amount of time. These intellectual abilities are essential for problem solving, a critical skill demanded of health care practitioners. You must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  • Motor Skills: You must possess the fine and gross motor function essential for performing patient assessment and therapeutic interventions. Implementing many therapeutic interventions requires coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, stamina, equilibrium, and functional use of touch and vision.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes: You must possess the emotional health required for full use of your intellectual abilities, demonstration of good judgment, prompt and safe completion of all responsibilities, and development of mature and effective relationships with patients. You must be able to work cooperatively with others, adapt to rapidly changing environments, think clearly, and tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads under stressful situations. In addition, you must demonstrate moral reasoning and ethical behaviors.

In addition to the technical standards stated above, you must be able to successfully complete all required components of the curriculum.

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

1. Grades in Prerequisite Courses: A graduate student needs to achieve a passing grade in a pre-requisite course in order to progress to the next course.  Passing is considered a grade of “B” or higher.

2. Grades in Required Courses: To progress toward the graduate degree in Nursing, students must successfully pass the clinical portion of all clinical/practicum courses. In addition, students must earn a minimum grade of “B” in all courses required in the program. Grades of B- or below are not acceptable.

  • If a student receives a grade below a “B” in any course in the approved program of studies, this course must be repeated the next time it is offered.
  • All clinical/practicum experiences with the preceptor will be graded on a pass/fail basis by course faculty.  A student must pass the clinical/practicum component of MLE 630/MLE 640 in order to pass the course regardless of the theory grade earned in the course.
  • A course may be repeated only once.
  • If any graduate student receives two grades below a “B” in the same course or in more than one course, he or she will be dismissed from the program.

3. Progression/Graduation requirements: A graduate student must earn a cumulative course grade of a “B” or higher and in all courses to successfully complete the program.

  • If a student receives a cumulative course grade lower than a “B”, the student will receive an academic warning. A student may be placed on academic warning/probation only once during the program of study.
  • Graduate students with “F” grades on their SFU graduate transcripts will not be eligible for graduation, regardless of whether the failed course is part of the program degree requirements. In order to graduate, the student must retake the course or an equivalent course

*Letter grades discussed in this policy are delineated in the Grading Policy below.

Clinical Remediation:

Students who are evaluated as performing unsatisfactory during clinical/practicum experiences will have an informal conference scheduled by the clinical preceptor with the student to provide the student with constructive feedback on how to improve clinical practice. If the student performance does not improve after this conference, the clinical preceptor will notify the Leadership/Education faculty member who, together with the preceptor, will construct a plan for remediation. This plan will be completed by the middle of the semester in order for the student to have time to improve performance in clinical/practicum. The clinical/practicum course coordinator will notify the MSN Leadership/Education Program Director and will issue the student an “academic warning” to acknowledge the clinical preceptors concern along with the written clinical remediation plan to be placed in the student’s record. If the goals of the academic warning are not met by the student by the end of the clinical/practicum rotation, the clinical/practicum performance will be rated as unsatisfactory on the final clinical/practicum evaluation and the student will receive a failing clinical/practicum grade for the course.

If the student cannot perform at a safe level of practice and/or in a professional manner in clinical practice, the Leadership/Education faculty member and the Leadership/Education Program Director will be notified and the student will receive a failing clinical grade and the student will not be able to continue in the course.

Grading:

Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned according to the SFU plus-minus grading system as outlined below:

92-100% = A                78-79% = C+

90-91% = A-                70-77% = C

88-89% = B+               60-69% = D

82-87% = B                 59% and below = F

80-81% = B-                

* Students must receive an 82% (B) or better in all courses to pass the course. Students must pass the clinical component of the course in order to pass the course regardless of the theory grade.

Incomplete grades: Incomplete grades are only granted for extenuating circumstances such as serious illness or the death of a family member. University policy governs the conferral of an “I” grade and timeline for completion of remaining coursework.

Graduation Requirements:

A candidate for graduation must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Complete all requirements for an approved program of study;
  • Complete the minimum number of credits as specified in this publication;
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better;
  • Submit a completed Application for Degree form at least one semester prior to graduation date;
  • Satisfy financial obligations to the University.

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 22 months of study

Tuition and Fees:

  • Tuition for 33 credits of course work @ $650/credit (subject to change);
  • One-time graduation fee;
  • Students will also be required to purchase course text books.

These estimated costs do not include any costs associated with travel/lodging to and from residency days and clinical experiences, required clinical clearances and background checks. Students are responsible for these costs.

Total Credits Required:

33 credits

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