2018-2019 Catalog

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN Program prepares nurses for advanced roles of Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Family Nurse Practitioner. Courses involve advanced knowledge and the critique and application of theory and research as a scientific base for nursing.


A. Program Objectives

Upon completion of the M.S. degree program in Nursing, graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the use of scholarly inquiry to evaluate current and new knowledge from nursing theory, nursing science and related disciplines to inform and/or initiate change in nursing practice.
  2. Analyze the effect of sociopolitical, cultural, and global influences on nursing practice.
  3. Provide evidence-based, clinically proficient care and services using nursing critical thinking skills in advanced nursing roles.
  4. Disseminate nursing knowledge to professionals within the health care system to improve health care outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
  5. Apply the research process to appraise and develop nursing’s body of knowledge.
  6. Use information systems/technology resources to implement quality improvement initiatives and support decision making and practice.
  7. Implement effective strategies for managing ethical issues inherent in clinical practice, education, and research.
  8. Analyze the effect of health policy, finance, technology and the organizational context on the development and implementation of quality nursing practice.
  9. Apply leadership principles in inter-professional practice to effect change in health care and health policy on local, state, national and international levels.
  10. Demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning to enhance the nursing profession​

Nurse Educator
  1. Synthesize nursing and other scientific knowledge in the design, implementation, and evaluation of nursing education programs across academic and clinical settings.
  2. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical and academic nursing education including learner assessment, educational theories and models, measurement and evaluation strategies, instructional strategies, curriculum development, and achievement of learning outcomes.
Nurse Administrator
  1. Apply concepts and theories of organizational management and nursing administration to the design of complex healthcare delivery systems.
  2. Integrate concepts of health policy, regulation, and financing to the organization of healthcare delivery, with a focus on responsible management of resources.
Clinical Nurse Specialist – Adult/Gerontology
  1. Demonstrate advanced clinical practice for the adult-gerontology population in the three spheres of the clinical nurse specialist: client/patient, nursing, and organization/system.
Clinical Nurse Specialist – Pediatric
  1. Demonstrate advanced clinical practice for the pediatric population in the three spheres of the clinical nurse specialist: client/patient, nursing, and organization/ system.
Family Nurse Practitioner
  1. Demonstrate competency in utilization of technology to find current evidence based information to guide diagnosis and treatment for the health, prevention and treatment of disease, in their patient populations.
  2. Utilize their advanced practice nursing and primary care knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose and provide safe and effective primary care to families and patients of all ages.
  3. Analyze data from psychosocial, cultural, ethical, and current scientific research to develop plans for individualized patient care.
  4. Be prepared to take national certification examinations for Family Nurse Practitioners.

B. Role Options

The MSN curriculum allows RN students to choose one of a variety of nursing role options: Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist or Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist. Each student must select one of the role options upon application to the university.


C. Admission Requirements for RNs in the MSN Program

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree program with an ACEN or CCNE accredited upper division major in nursing (BSN) from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent.
  2. Overall grade point average of 3.0 (on a four-point scale) or higher in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of upper division course work attempted. Students not meeting this grade point average requirement may be admitted to Conditionally Classified status on the recommendation of the faculty.
  3. Registered nurse licensure in the United States, unencumbered, unrestricted, with no disciplinary action pending or imposed.
  4. Completion of a statistics course including probability and inferential; an introductory research course or equivalent; a pathophysiology course; and an upper division (BSN level) health assessment course, including a skills lab.
  5. Submission of a professional resume and a letter of intent describing how the role option you are applying for fits your career plans for the future and discuss your ability to learn online (maximum 350 words). The various role options may have clinical experience preferences.  Refer to information posted on the nursing webpage for that role option.
  6. Residence in a state in which the School of Nursing at California State University, Dominguez Hills is permitted to deliver online education.

D. Pathway Program for Registered Nurses with Non-Nursing BS/BA or MS/MA Degrees

Registered nurses who have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in another field may be eligible for the Pathway to the MSN degree upon completion of designated BSN courses. Contact the Pathway advisor for further information.


E. Program Structure

The MSN program consists of 15 units of core courses, plus role emphasis courses. The total number of units varies according to the role option:

  • Nurse Administrator (30 units)
  • Nurse Educator (36 units) *
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Option (43 units)
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Option (43 units)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (48 units)

* Nurse educators develop expertise in a nursing clinical practice area by selecting a three-unit elective in an advanced clinical focus related to family or gerontology nursing. The course should be taken prior to entry into role-emphasis courses.

Courses should be completed in the sequence suggested in the MSN curriculum charts and handbooks on the School of Nursing website. Students wishing to accelerate their study or pursue full time study should seek advice and approval from their Advisor and the Graduate Coordinator.
Satisfaction of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by the completion of 9 graduate units.

All students conclude their 30-48 units of master's preparation with a culminating activity (See MSN Degree Requirements)


F. Academic Regulations

To be eligible for automatic progression to the next semester a graduate student must:

  • Earn a minimum of a B or Credit grade in each graduate course
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale in all MSN courses

A student who earns a grade of B- or less or No Credit in a course has not successfully completed that course and must contact the Role Advisor to discuss program planning and progression status. It is expected that the failed course will be repeated immediately (the next semester it is offered). For the few courses that are not offered in both the fall and spring, the student will be allowed to progress for one additional semester until he/she can enroll in the course needing to be repeated.
The role option courses are sequenced; therefore, if a role option course is not successfully completed, continuation in the role option course sequence is not permitted until the course is successfully repeated. If the role option is structured as a cohort group, membership in the subsequent cohort and enrollment to repeat the failed class will be on a space available basis.
A course may be repeated only once. Failure to successfully complete a course on the second attempt will result in an automatic dismissal from the nursing graduate program. A maximum of two courses may be repeated in the program; a third failure will result in automatic dismissal. A student may not graduate from the MSN degree program with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0.


Transfer Request

A student may fail one MSN core course or prerequisite course and seek transfer to another MSN role option only once and after meeting with the new faculty advisor. Transfer requests are not permitted after two failed courses. Approval of the transfer is dependent upon posted required criteria such as acceptance by the new faculty advisor, GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and in good standing. The student may be required to take additional prerequisites and/or elective coursework for the new role option.


MSN Degree Requirements (30-48 units)

The program requires 30-48 units of approved graduate study that includes five role options. The curriculum consists of core courses, role emphasis courses, role performance (clinical/practicum) courses, electives and the culminating activity

Graduate Course Prerequisites

Some MSN courses require the successful completion of prerequisites not offered as part of the graduate program. However, the prerequisite courses are available as undergraduate nursing courses. See the course descriptions.

Core Courses (15 units)

MSN 502Advanced Nursing Roles

3

MSN 513Healthcare Policy/Economics

3

MSN 514Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

3

MSN 530 Research Utilization in Advanced Nursing Practice

3

MSN 531Nursing Ethics

3

Culminating Activity (0 units)

Effective spring 2009, the culminating activity consists of a Portfolio documenting the student's achievement of the MSN program learning outcomes and a narrated PowerPoint presentation (oral presentation). The Portfolio and PowerPoint are submitted online and the oral presentation is delivered via conference call with faculty. MSN students who elect to do the culminating activity in the semester following completion of MSN coursework must register in MSN 600 to meet the continuous enrollment requirement.

Role Options (15-33units)

Nurse Administrator Option (15 units)

MSN 532Nurse Administrator: Societal Institutions

3

MSN 538Nurse Administrator: Resource Management

3

MSN 555Quality Improvemnt in Hea Care

3

MSN 560Nurse Administrator: Role Performance I

3

MSN 570 Nurse Administrator: Role Performance II

3

Nurse Educator Option (21 units)

A. Required Courses:

MSN 521Advanced Health Assessment

2

MSN 522Advanced Health Assessment Lab

1

MSN 528Advanced Pathophysiology

3

MSN 529Nurse Educator: Curriculum and Teaching

3

MSN 539 Nurse Educator: Testing and Evaluation

3

MSN 559Nurse Educator: Role Performance I

3

MSN 569Nurse Educator: Role Performance II

3

B. Electives: Select one of the following courses (3 units):

MSN 523Family Assessment: Theory and Practice

3

MSN 533Theoretical Aspects of Aging

3

Clinical Nurse Specialist Option- Adult-Gerontology (28 units)

MSN 521Advanced Health Assessment

2

MSN 522Advanced Health Assessment Lab

1

MSN 526Pharmacology

3

MSN 528Advanced Pathophysiology

3

MSN 533Theoretical Aspects of Aging

3

MSN 535Clinical Management and Differential Diagnosis of Adult Acute Health Problems

3

MSN 547Clinical Nurse Specialist Role Performance I

3

MSN 548Clinical Nurse Specialist Role Performance II

4

MSN 549Clinical Nurse Specialist Role Performance III

3

MSN 550Theoretical Foundations of Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice

3

Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Option (28 units)

MSN 521Advanced Health Assessment

2

MSN 522Advanced Health Assessment Lab

1

MSN 526Pharmacology

3

MSN 528Advanced Pathophysiology

3

MSN 540Clinical Management of Acute Pediatric Health Problems

4

MSN 547Clinical Nurse Specialist Role Performance I

3

MSN 548Clinical Nurse Specialist Role Performance II

4

MSN 549Clinical Nurse Specialist Role Performance III

3

MSN 550Theoretical Foundations of Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice

3

MSN 561Primary Care of the Family II: Pediatric Health

2

Family Nurse Practitioner Option (33 units)

MSN 521Advanced Health Assessment

2

MSN 522Advanced Health Assessment Lab

1

MSN 526Pharmacology

3

MSN 528Advanced Pathophysiology

3

MSN 556Primary Care of the Family I

4

MSN 558Family Nurse Practitioner: Role Performance I

3

MSN 561Primary Care of the Family II: Pediatric Health

2

MSN 562Primary Care of the Family II: Women's/Gender Health

2

MSN 568Family Nurse Practitioner: Role Performance II

3

MSN 576Primary Care of the Family III

4

MSN 578Family Nurse Practitioner: Role Performance III

3

MSN 588Family Nurse Practitioner: Role Performance IV

3