ACADEMICS

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

     The Master of Science in Nursing Community and Public Health Nursing Specialization program at Worcester State University prepares professional nurses for leadership positions in health education, health promotion, policy reform, program development, consultation, and administration.

    As the only program of its kind in central New England, we combine both online and face-to-face instruction. Our program can be completed either full- or part-time, making it both affordable and flexible. Depending on your degree status, we offer 3 convenient routes of entry:

    1. Traditional Entry: for students with a B.S. in nursing
    2. Bridge Program: for registered nurses with a non-nursing B.A. or B.S.
    3. RN-to-MS Fast Track: for associate-degree or diploma-prepared registered nurses


    In multidisciplinary courses taught by award-winning faculty with extensive clinical experience, you’ll explore the concepts of public health and their application. You’ll put those theories into practice conducting 250 hours of fieldwork in the dynamic health sciences hub of Worcester.

    In addition, you’ll be encouraged to participate in research projects in collaboration with faculty members. In recent years, students have published their findings and presented nationally. You also will have unique opportunities to apply your learning at such venues as the Nurse in Washington (D.C.) Internship and service-learning programs at home and abroad.

    Our graduates are prepared to have an impact on the future of health care in an expanding range of professional roles in public health nursing and are eligible to apply for the Advance Public Health Nursing certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center after meeting the experiential requirements.

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

  • Admissions Requirements

    Applicants to the program must meet the following criteria in addition to the WSU Graduate School's general admission requirements. This program does not require applicants to submit GRE scores.

    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):
    This 7-credit option 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

    The RN student applying to WSU as a transfer student can receive up to 72 credits transferable from associate degree colleges and a maximum of 90 credits from four year colleges or universities.

    The RN student who graduated from a nursing diploma program will receive 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 coordinator, at 508-929-8960.

    Program of Study for Traditional Students

    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.

    Professional Core Courses

    • 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.

    Program of Study for Bridge Program Students

    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
    • 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:
    • Complete the self-evaluation assessment of prior learning tool at the time of entry into the program.
    • Meet with their assigned graduate program advisor to plan a course of study that bridges B.S. expectations and entry into graduate nursing studies.
    • 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.

    * 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.

    Program of Study for RN-to-MS Fast Track Students

    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.

    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 this course)
    • 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.

      Outcomes

      Upon successful completion of this graduate-level nursing program, graduates are prepared to:

      • Integrate nursing, related sciences, and humanities to analyze, design, implement, and evaluate nursing care across diverse settings at the master’s level.
      • Provide leadership in the delivery and evaluation of strategies for improving delivery of high quality and safe patient care by using ethics, critical decision-making and effective working relationships from a systems perspective.
      • Direct continuous quality improvement methods and initiatives to promote a culture of safety, professional accountability, and evidence-based patient care.
      • Participate, leading when appropriate, in collaborative teams to improve care outcomes and support policy change through translational research and knowledge dissemination by generating meaningful evidence for nursing practice.
      • Integrate emerging informatics, health-care technologies, and related ethical principles into clinical decision-making processes.
      • Advocate for policies that improve of the health of the public and the profession of nursing.
      • Participate, lead, and coordinate when appropriate, inter-professional teams across care environments to reduce barriers, facilitate access, and improve health outcomes.
        Synthesize broad ecological, global, biological, and socio-cultural determinants of health to assess the profession’s leadership role and accountability toward improving the population’s health.
      • Demonstrate master’s level professional practice through the development of nursing interventions and advocacy to implement safe, quality care to diverse populations in a variety of settings and roles.
      • Integrate clinical prevention and population health concepts in the development of culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate nursing education, communication strategies, and interventions.

      In addition to the knowledge and practice components of the outcomes listed above, the behavior of graduate students should reflect an internally consistent value system. It is expected that graduates will value scientific inquiry as a basis for professional practice and will seek to increase their contributions to the nursing profession.

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    • CONTACT US

      Stephanie Chalupka
      Program Coordinator

      Ghosh Science & Technology Center
      Office ST-222D
      508-929-8680
      schalupka@worcester.edu