ACADEMICS

  • Master of Science in Nursing: Community and Public Health Nursing Specialization

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Stephanie Chalupka
    Phone: 508-929-8680
    Email:
    schalupka@worcester.edu

    Program Description  

    The Master of Science in Nursing program prepares nurses for leadership as advanced public health nurses in management, education, clinical practice, leadership, policy development, and advocacy. The program offers 3 routes of entry for registered nurses seeking a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The pathways are:

    1. Traditional Entry: for students with a B.S. in Nursing degree
    2. Bridge Program: For registered nurses with a non-nursing B.A. or B.S. degree
    3. RN-to-MS Fast Track: For associate-degree or diploma-prepared registered nurses seeking to proceed directly to the Master of Science in Nursing degree

    The 36-credit program consists of both coursework and a practicum. This specialty offers leadership preparation for nurses desiring expertise in population-based community/public health nursing practice. Students ground their studies in the science of nursing intervention, public health, and nursing research. They then focus on courses that examine the basis of assessment and intervention of populations, integrating the study of health determinants and health disparities. Practicum experiences are arranged to meet the individual needs of students while also meeting accreditation and certification requirements.

    In addition to completing core studies in the specialty, students also gain skills in evidence-based practice, program evaluation, informatics, teaching/learning, health economics, health-care policy, environmental health, and epidemiology. A final project that is a systematic investigation of a practice problem is planned, implemented, and completed during the program.

    Completion the required coursework and practice hours provides eligibility to apply for the Advance Public Health Nursing certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center after meeting the experiential requirements.

    With increasing demand for health professionals who have expertise in promoting the health of population groups, graduates of the nursing degree are well positioned to assume leadership roles in the evolving health-care field. This Nursing degree provides a foundation of knowledge and practical experiences in the following areas:

    • Public Health
    • Home Health Care
    • Ambulatory Care
    • Case Management
    • Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing
    • School Nursing
    • Emergency Preparednes
    • Nursing Education

    Specialty Area Information
    The advanced public health nurse is actively engaged in education (e.g. community, staff, students, and colleagues), case management, expert clinical practice, consultation, research, and administration.
     
    The advanced public health Nurse is a leader in population-based health-care practice, and the implementation of this role is based on the American Nurses Association Public Health Nursing: Score and Standards for Practice competencies and will vary across settings. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center examination for certification as an advanced public health nurse after meeting the experiential requirement.

    Professional Opportunities

    • public health sciences including biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology systems thinking, leadership, informatics, health policy, and management
    • advanced population-focused assessment, program planning, and intervention
    • advanced development and evaluation of health promotion programs
    • approaches to work with culturally diverse and high-risk populations
    • social justice and social action
    • emergency preparedness

    Where do graduates work?
    Graduates of this nursing program hold a variety of positions in education (e.g. community, staff, students, and colleagues), case management, clinical practice, consultation, research, and administration.

    Examples of advanced public health nursing positions are:

    • health promotion specialist for a managed care organization
    • consultant with a state health department
    • nursing and public health faculty at universities and colleges
    • public health nursing advisor at a state department of public health
    • emergency preparedness coordinator
    • director of student health services at a college
    • supervisor of clinical services for a community health center
    • director of clinical services in ambulatory care division of an acute care hospital
    • director of local public health department
    • planner of patient education for a large outpatient service
    • program director in an international non-governmental organization
    • occupational and environmental health settings
    • school nurse/school nurse leadership positions
    • staff development specialist for a home health-care agency
    • executive director home health-care agency

    Admissions Requirements:  

    Traditional Entry:
    For students with a B.S. in Nursing  degree

    • Baccalaureate in Nursing degree
    • Introductory or undergraduate courses in statistics and research
    • Unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in Massachusetts

    Bridge Program
    For registered nurses with a non-nursing B.A. or B.S. degree. The 7-credit Bridge Program option, which enables students to enter directly into the Master of Science in Nursing program. 

    • B.A. or B.S. degree in non-nursing discipline
    • Introductory or undergraduate courses in statistics and research
    • Unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Massachusetts

    RN-to-MS Fast Track
    For registered nurses seeking to proceed directly to the Master of Science in Nursing program.

    • Associate of Science degree in Nursing or diploma in nursing
    • Unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Massachusetts

    Requirements of the Program
    The Master of Science in Nursing degree requires the completion of 36-credit hours of graduate courses. Most nursing courses are offered in the blended-learning format, combining the best of face-to-face and online learning.

    Required Courses for the Master of Science in Nursing Degree
    Traditional Entry

    Professional Core
    • NU 910 Professional Role Development (3 credits)*
    • NU 920 Conceptual Foundations of Nursing (3 credits)*
    • NU 925 Research for Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)*
    • NU 951 Nursing Leadership and Administration (3 credits)*
    Interdisciplinary Courses
    • NU 936 Epidemiology (3 credits)*
    • NU 941 Program Planning and Evaluation (3 credits)
    • NU 930 Social Policy and the Economics of the Health Care Delivery System (3 credits)
    • NU 946 Biostatistics (3 credits)
    Specialty Courses in Community/Public Health Nursing
    • NU 961 Nursing Science I: Community/Public Health Leadership Theory and Practicum (6 credits)*
    • NU 966 Nursing Science II Community/Public Health Leadership Theory and Practicum (6 credits)*

    * Courses offered in the blended-learning format.
    Note: The Traditional Entry Program is usually completed in 3 years of part-time study or 2 years of full-time study.

    Bridge Program

    This program provides registered nurses, who hold a B.A. or B.S. in a discipline other than nursing, with the opportunity to enter and complete the Master of Science in Nursing program at Worcester State University. The program prepares Bridge students for M.S.-level work by assuring that they have achieved the educational outcomes of the B.S. in Nursing program.

    Bridge Core
    •     NU 900 Individual Assessment (1 credit)*
    •     NU 901 Community Health and Health Policy (3 credits)*
    •     NU 902 Transition to Advanced Nursing (3 credits)*
    Professional Core
    • NU 910 Professional Role Development (3 credits)*
    • NU 920 Conceptual Foundations of Nursing (3 credits)*
    • NU 925 Research for Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)*
    • NU 951 Nursing Leadership and Administration (3 credits)*
    Interdisciplinary Courses
    • NU 936 Epidemiology (3 credits)*
    • NU 941 Program Planning and Evaluation (3 credits)
    • NU 930 Social Policy and the Economics of the Health Care Delivery System (3 credits)
    • NU 946 Biostatistics (3 credits) Specialty Courses in Community/Public Health Nursing
    • NU 961 Nursing Science I: Community/Public Health Leadership Theory and Practicum (6 credits)*
    • NU 966 Nursing Science II Community/Public Health Leadership Theory and Practicum (6 credits)*
    Bridge students must:
    1. Complete the self-evaluation assessment of prior learning tool at the time of entry into the program.
    2. Meet with their assigned graduate program advisor to plan a course of study that bridges B.S. expectations and entry into graduate nursing studies.
    3. Compile a portfolio of their professional activities according to the guidelines and submit it to the graduate program coordinator. The portfolio will be evaluated by the graduate program coordinator, and an individualized educational plan will be developed to support the student in the achievement of all baccalaureate-level competencies.

    Note: The Traditional Entry Program is usually completed in 3 years of part-time study or 2 years
    of full-time study.
     
    * Courses offered in the blended-learning format.          

    RN-to-MS Fast Track Program
    The RN-to-MS Fast Track program provides an opportunity for associate-degree and diploma-prepared nurses to obtain the Master of Science in Nursing Degree. The RN-to-MS Fast Track Program curriculum is characterized by flexibility and recognition of the diversity of the students who enroll.

    The RN-to-MS Fast Track Program allows students to work toward their Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degrees in one integrated program.

    6 graduate credits (500-level) taken while completing the undergraduate senior year count toward both degrees only when the RN meets the criteria for the Fast Track program, completes an application to the graduate nursing program through the Graduate school, and is accepted into the RN-to-MS Fast Track program during the first semester as a student in the RN-to-BS program.

    Students can typically complete the RN-to-MS Fast Track program in 9 part-time semesters. Only course grades of B- or above can be counted toward the Master of Science in Nursing degree.

    Fast Track students must take courses in the M.S. program the semester after completing the requirements for the B.S. degree. Otherwise 500-level courses taken in the senior year will count only towards the RN-to-BS degree unless they are in excess of the credits required for the B.S. degree.

    Admission Process
    The RN student applying to Worcester State University as a transfer student can receive up to 65 credits transferable from associate degree colleges and a maximum of 90 credits from 4 year colleges or universities. WSU has articulation agreements with many area colleges for transfer credits (up to 23 credits may be approved for nursing credits).

    The RN student who graduated from a nursing diploma program will recieve 29 credits for having a nursing license. All RN students must hold a current unencumbered license to practice nursing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    Students interested in applying to the RN-to-MS program are advised to contact the RN-to-BS oordinator, at 508 929-8960.

    RN-to-MS Prerequisite Courses 
    These courses may be transferred if the student has previously taken the course (per Worcester State University transfer policy) or may be taken at WSU:

    • EN 101 & EN 102 English Composition 1 & II (EN 101 may be waived)
    • MA 150 Introduction to Statistics (prerequisite for NU 430-A: Research; an accuplacer math test (offered at WSU) may be needed prior to registering for statistics at WSU)
    • SO 100 Introduction to Sociology
    • PS 101 General Psychology
    • BI 161 & 162 Anatomy & Physiology I & II
    • BI 204 Microbiology or BI206 Medical Microbiology

    All nursing courses must be taken in sequence. Students must achieve a minimum grade of 80 in each nursing course. Only one nursing course may be repeated to obtain the minimum grade or required GPA and must be repeated within the 2 years.

    • NU 124 Health Informatics (3 credits)
    • NU 332 Transition to Professional Nursing (2 credits)
    • NU 342A Health Assessment (3 credits)
    • NU 525 Research for Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)*-Satisfies NU 925 Requirement in the RN-to-MS Fast Track Program
    • NU 432 Advancing Nursing Perspectives in Chronic Illness (8 credits)
    • NU 551 Nursing Leadership and Administration (3 credits) -Satisfies NU 951 Requirement in the RN-to-MS Fast Track Program
    • NU 472 Community Nursing Capstone (8 credits)

    Course descriptions for all undergraduate courses may be found in the Worcester State University undergraduate catalog.

    RN-to-MS Specialty Courses

    Professional Core

    • NU 910 Professional Role Development (3 credits)*
    • NU 920 Conceptual Foundations of Nursing (3 credits)*
    • NU 925 Research for Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)*
    • NU 951 Nursing Leadership and Administration (3 credits)*

    Interdisciplinary Courses

    • NU 930 Social Policy and the Economics of the Health Care Delivery System (3 credits)
    • NU 936 Epidemiology (3 credits)*
    • NU 941 Program Planning and Evaluation (3 credits)
    • NU 946 Biostatistics (3 credits)

    Specialty Courses in Community/Public Health Nursing

    • NU 961 Nursing Science I: Advanced Community/Public Health Leadership Theory and Practicum (6 credits)*
    • NU 966 Nursing Science II: Advanced Community/Public Health Leadership Theory and Practicum (6 credits)*

    * Courses offered in the blended-learning format.          

    This program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036.