Jun 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing: RN-BSN-MSN Leadership/Education

Department Contact:

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

Program Description:

The RN-BSN-MSN L/E program is an accelerated program that prepares academically qualified undergraduate RN-BSN nursing majors to take a fast-track approach toward their professional future that includes graduate level courses while enrolled in undergraduate studies. Students who qualify for this program may earn up to 12 master’s nursing credits while completing their BSN degree at Saint Francis University.

During the RN-BSN-MSN L/E plan of study, the student must successfully complete an undergraduate statistics course (200 level preferred) achieve a minimum SFU undergraduate cumulative GPA of greater than or equal to 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), and achieve a minimum of a “B” grade in the MSN accelerated program courses. Accelerated program students will have a seat in the MSN L/E program as long as they meet MSN admission requirements upon the completion of their BSN. These admission requirements will act as progression criteria. They include, but are not limited to: submission of a current CV, two professional letters of reference, personal goal statement for graduate nursing education, and have the equivalent of one year of full–time direct patient care nursing experience. Please refer to the MSN L/E student handbook for a complete list of these requirements.

Accreditation Statement:

The baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs at Saint Francis University have full approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree programs in nursing at Saint Francis University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Student Learning Outcomes:

BSN Student Learning Outcomes

  • Synthesize knowledge from the humanities and sciences, advanced nursing concepts, and applicable evidenced-based practice to enhance the art and science of nursing care;
  • Espouse a life-giving mode of being derived from The Prayer of Saint Francis for use in interprofessional communication and collaboration to establish therapeutic and human caring relationships with individuals, families, and communities;
  • Utilize technology and informatics to improve the delivery of nursing care, quality of care, health care outcomes, and the delivery of health education to multiple populations;
  • Employ the caring-nursing process to maximize wellness in the delivery of culturally competent professional nursing care for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations across the lifespan and across the continuum of health care environments;
  • Affirm professionalism in the art and science of nursing care by understanding the ramifications of health care policy, finance, and regulatory environments on nursing care;
  • Assume the professional nursing roles of caregiver, teacher, advocate, and care manager by utilizing basic organizational and systems leadership skills to promote quality patient-centered care and patient safety.

MSN Student Learning Outcomes

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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.

Estimated Completion Time:

With completion of BSN and 12 graduate credits, completion of MSN L/E is at least 3 semesters.

Admission Requirements:

  1. Current, active, and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse in the state or commonwealth to complete clinical practicum coursework. Active current practice is required. (If a student plans to relocate out of the state or commonwealth of practice, while enrolled in the program, the student must immediately inform the RN-BSN Program Director, to discuss the impact on completion of clinical coursework.)
  2. Graduate of an accredited Diploma or Association Degree Nursing Program with a minimum GPA 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is required.
  3. Official transcript from each institution from which the student has earned college credits.
  4. The applicant must be in good academic standing at the most recent institution attended.

Transfer and Progression:

  1. The BSN program requires 128 credits for graduation.
  • A total of 98 credits may be transferred into Saint Francis University, and thirty (30) credits must be completed at the University.
  • The RN nursing program advanced-standing credits will be evaluated for transfer credit and may vary among schools.
  • The RN-BSN nursing courses will comprise 25 credits, and the student will be required to take RLST 105 and a 2-credit elective to complete the required 30 credits for the RN-BSN completion program.
  1. Non-Nursing Collateral Pre-Requisite course requirements must be completed within the last 10 years:
  • PSYCH 101:  Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 101:  General Sociology
  • MATH 107: College Algebra or higher
  • STATS 205: Essentials of Statistics
  1. Natural Science Collateral Pre-requisite course requirements must be completed within the last 5 years:
  • BIOL 214: Microbiology with Lab (4 credits)
  • BIOL 205: Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • BIOL 206: Anatomy and Physiology  II with Lab (4 credits)
  1. All RN-BSN nursing courses must be completed with a B grade or higher.
  2. Must maintain current RN licensure.

Required RN-BSN Nursing Courses:

  • NURS 471 - Professional Nursing Concepts for RNs
  • NURS 472 - Information Literacy and Writing Skills for RNs
  • NURS 473 - Community Health and Population Focused Health Care for RNs
  • NURS 474 - Health Care Policy and Ethics for RNs
  • NURS 475 - Research and Scholarship for Evidenced based Practice for RNs
  • NURS 476 - Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technologies for RNs
  • NURS 477 - Practice-Focused Nursing Care for the Professional RN
  • NURS 478 - Management, Leadership, and Quality Care for RNs

Progression Criteria for Entering into the MSN Leadership/Education Program:

  1. 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;
  2. Official transcripts verifying the conferral of a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree in nursing from an ACEN, CCNE, or CNEA accredited program;
  3. BSN GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
  4. 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);
  1. Minimum of one year of full-time work experience as a registered nurse is required prior to registration in clinical or specialty courses;
  2. Interview with program faculty (in person, online, or by phone);
  3. Ability to attend the required program residencies;
  4. Students must meet the Technical Standards for Admission;
  5. 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.

Admissions Deadline:

The program has rolling admission.

Technical Standards or Essential Functions:

Students are required to satisfactorily achieve program outcomes. Therefore, consideration is given to scholastic aptitude, academic achievement, personal qualities, emotional health and minimum functional requirements/technical standards, necessary to fulfill the objectives of the program.

Nursing education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills and professional attitudes and behaviors. The nursing degrees awarded by Saint Francis University at the completion of the educational process certifies that the individual has acquired a base of knowledge and skills requisite for the practice of nursing at the respective undergraduate or graduate level.

To this end, all courses in the curriculum must be completed successfully. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, candidates for the undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing must have abilities and skills in five areas:

  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Motor
  • Conceptual Integrative
  • Behavioral- Social

Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner and exercise independent judgment.

Reference:  http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/Technical_Standards.pdf (2014)

*Refer to Minimal Functional Requirements/Technical Standards Policy for details - BSN Student Handbook

Students in the Nursing program must comply with the requirements of the Professional Nursing Law of Pennsylvania. Students are required to submit to PA criminal clearances, FBI fingerprinting clearance, child abuse history clearance, drug testing, immunizations, physical exam and other requirements. Healthcare agencies have the right to refuse clinical placement or deny employment based on background checks.  A graduate of the Nursing program who has been convicted of a felony, is or was involved in drug abuse or has violated other rules of the licensure body, may not be permitted to take the licensing examination regardless of the student’s ability to complete college educational requirements. The student is required to notify the BSN Program Director of any changes to the criminal record. The Nursing program reserves the right to require appropriate documentation as requested regarding previous felonies or violations.

The PA Board of nursing shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the Act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as the “The Controlled Substance Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act” or convicted of a Felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless: (1) at least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction; (2) the applicant satisfactorily demonstrated to the Board that he/she has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violation (3) the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act. As used in this subsection, the term “convicted” shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere. An applicant’s statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction unless the Board has some evident to the contrary (Amended June 29, 2002, P. L. 651, No. 99).

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

During the RN-BSN-MSN L/E plan of study, the student must successfully complete an undergraduate statistics course (200 level preferred) achieve a minimum SFU cumulative GPA of greater than or equal to 3.0, and achieve a minimum of a B grade in the MSN accelerated program courses. Accelerated program students will have a seat in the MSN L/E program as long as they MSN admission requirements. These admission requirements will act as progression criteria. They include, but are not limited to: submission of a current CV, two professional letters of reference, personal goal statement for graduate nursing education, and have the equivalent of one year of full–time direct patient care nursing experience. Please refer to the MSN L/E student handbook for a complete list of these requirements.

Other Information:

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

*MSN courses taken while completing the BSN degree will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate.

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.

MSN Leadership/Education 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.

Total Credits Required:

128 credits for RN-BSN

33 credits for MSN Leadership/Education

Courses Required for the Major RN-BSN: (63 credits)

Courses Required for the Major MSN L/E: (33 credits)