| ACADEMICS | Graduate School | Graduate Programs | Master of Science in Nursing Community and Public Health Specialization
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:
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:
Specialty Area InformationThe 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.
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:
Traditional Entry:For students with a B.S. in Nursing degree
Bridge ProgramFor 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.
RN-to-MS Fast TrackFor registered nurses seeking to proceed directly to the Master of Science in Nursing program.
Requirements of the ProgramThe 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
* 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 ProgramThis 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.
Note: The Traditional Entry Program is usually completed in 3 years of part-time study or 2 yearsof 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 ProcessThe 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 coordinator, 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:
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.
Course descriptions for all undergraduate courses may be found in the Worcester State University undergraduate catalog.RN-to-MS Specialty Courses
Specialty Courses in Community/Public Health Nursing
* 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.