This Bridge to Master of Science in Nursing: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program is designed for seasoned registered nurses who have bachelor‛s degrees in a field outside of nursing who want to earn their MSN. Instead of requiring these students to earn a BSN degree, they take six courses from our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and then launch into the MSN Acute Care Nurse Practitioner track.
The Bridge to Master of Science in Nursing: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program prepares experienced registered nurses to provide competent advanced practice nursing care in complex, acute, and critical care settings through an evidence-based program of study. Graduates may be eligible for certification as acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).
The acute care nurse practitioner program combines courses in advanced health assessment, clinical diagnosis, procedural skill acquisition, and care management of acute and chronically ill adults. Clinical experiences emphasize the physiological and psychosocial impact of acute and critical illness on the patient, family, and community, and prepare the ACNP in the diagnosis and management of acute and life-threatening health problems.
The supervised clinical experience includes three practicum courses. The Skills Lab component includes knowledge and skills acquisition for therapeutic interventions to stabilize acute and critical health problems, and includes procedures such as suturing, central line placement, and chest tube insertion.
|Course #||Course Title||Course Description||Credits|
|NRS-430V||Professional Dynamics||This course is a bridge course for the RN who is returning to formal education for the baccalaureate degree in nursing. The course focuses on differentiated nursing practice competencies, nursing conceptual models, professional accountability, integrating spirituality into practice, group dynamics, and critical thinking. Emphasis is also placed on writing and oral presentation skills.||3|
|NRS-434V||Health Assessment||This course focuses on methods of health history taking, physical examination skills, documentation, and health screening. The course emphasizes the individual as the client, functional health patterns, community resources, and the teaching learning process.||3|
|HLT-362V||Applied Statistics for Health Care Professionals||This introductory course on statistical concepts emphasizes applications to health care professions. The course is designed to prepare students to interpret and evaluate statistics and statistical methods used in published research papers and to make decisions about the appropriateness of specific statistical methods in a variety of settings. Areas of emphasis include introduction to analysis of variance, regression, and graphical presentation; experimental design; descriptive statistics; sampling methods; and z, t, and chi-square.||3|
|NRS-433V||Introduction to Nursing Research||This writing-intensive course promotes the use of research findings as a basis for improving clinical practice. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are presented. Emphasis is on the critical review of research studies and their applications to clinical practice. An overview of evidence-based practice is provided. Prerequisite: PSY 363, BIO 363, or HLT 362V.||3|
|NRS-427V||Concepts in Community and Public Health||This course focuses on the community as a large system of people of varying cultures, spiritual values, geographic norms, and economic conditions, all influenced by social-legal-political variables that impact individual and community health. Particular attention is paid to vulnerable subgroups in the community. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis, using epidemiological data and functional health pattern assessments to plan and intervene in areas of health promotion and disease prevention.||3|
|NRS-410V||Pathophysiology and Nursing Management of Clients' Health||This course is designed to enhance the working RN‛s existing understanding of the pathophysiological processes of disease as they affect clients across the lifespan. The interrelationship of structural and functional reactions of cells and tissues to genetic alterations and injurious agents provide the foundation for comprehending clinical manifestations and treatment protocols. Critical thinking and nursing management are enhanced through the use of case studies that integrate nutritional and pharmacological concepts. The understanding of environmental and biological risk factors provides the nurse with the knowledge to provide health promotion and prevention education.||3|
|NUR-502||Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Roles And Practice||This course examines nursing as a profession and a discipline and the individual nurse‛s role as a member of the profession. The theoretical foundations for nursing practice and roles are explored and applied. Emphasis is placed on developing scholarly writing and presentation skills. Critical thinking skills are refined as students discuss and synthesize the literature that guides nursing practice with a special emphasis on caring, diversity, and spirituality.||4|
|NUR-504||Health Care Research Analysis and Utilization||This course focuses on the critical analysis of nursing and health care research and its application to nursing education, nursing practice, and the delivery of health care services. Emphasis is placed on strategies to access current and relevant data, synthesize the information, and translate new knowledge to practice. Ethical issues in the design and conduct of research are addressed. Prerequisite: NUR 502.||4|
|NUR-508||Ethics, Policy, and Finance in the Health Care System||This course utilizes health care policy as a framework to analyze how health is defined and health care is designed and delivered in the United States and around the world. Emphasis is placed on issues of cost, quality, access, disparities, and finance. The various roles of the master‛s prepared nurse in the health care system are explored. Prerequisite: NUR 504.||4|
|NUR-642||Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology||This Web-enhanced course focuses on the advanced physiology and pathophysiology principles. This course is used to guide the family nurse practitioner (FNP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and clinical nurse specialist education (CNS-ED) student in interpreting changes in normal function that result in symptoms indicative of illness. The emphasis is placed on the genetic, molecular, cellular, and organ system levels. Co-requisite: NUR 644.||3|
|NUR-644||Advanced Pharmacology||This Web-enhanced course focuses on the advanced pharmacotherapy principles and practices to enable the family nurse practitioner (FNP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and the clinical nurse specialist education (CNS-ED) student to prescribe and monitor the effects of medications and selected herbal therapy. Emphasis is on the pharmacodynamics of clients with common, acute, and chronic health problems in various stages of the lifecycle in diverse populations. Evidence-based research provides the basis for selecting effective, safe, and cost-efficient pharmacologic or integrative regimens. Appropriate client education as to various prescribed pharmacologic agents in incorporated. Legal requirements for prescriptive writing and dispensing authority are covered. Prerequisite: One of the following: 1) NUR 640; or 2) none. Co-requisite: NUR 642.||3|
|NUR-640||Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning with Skills Lab||This course builds upon the student‛s previous assessment skills, offering more advanced health assessment content to provide the foundation for the advanced practice nursing role. This course also gives emphasis to focused assessments for a chief complaint that include physical, psychosocial, and spiritual health assessment; risk assessment; functional assessment; and physical examination in diverse populations. Students use a systematic method of diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision making to establish a differential diagnosis. An overview of appropriate protocols for performing health screening and for ordering, performing, and interpreting lab, radiographic, and other diagnostic data is included based on best practice consistent with resource allocations. Topics—from effective communication and client teaching/counseling to eliciting clients‛ interpretation of their health status and perceived barriers—are incorporated throughout the course to maintain a nursing focus on patient responses to illness or the threat of illness. Effective documentation and medical recordkeeping are required. Prerequisites: One of the following combinations: 1) Undergraduate Health Assessment course; or 2) NUR 642 and NUR 644.||3|
|NUR-653||Diagnosis and Management of Acutely Ill Patients I||This course focuses on evidence-based theory and research related to acute illnesses. A unifying framework is presented to organize the care of the critically ill patient. The student synthesizes data from a variety of health resources related to the care of critically ill patients. Specific system focus is related to cardiovascular disorders, respiratory disorders, and endocrine disorders. Students make clinical judgments and decisions regarding appropriate recommendations and treatments related to symptom-focused presentation and implications related to alterations in different systems. Prerequisites: NUR 640, NUR 642, and NUR 644.||3|
|NUR-656||Diagnosis and Management of Acutely Ill Patients II||This course focuses on evidence-based theory and research related to acute illnesses. A unifying framework is presented to organize the care of the critically ill patient. The student synthesizes data from a variety of health resources related to the care of critically ill patients. Specific system focus is related to neurological disorders, renal/genitourinary disorders, and emergency situations. Students make clinical judgments and decisions regarding appropriate recommendations and treatments related to symptom-focused presentation and implications related to alterations in different systems. Prerequisite: NUR 653.||4|
|NUR-658||Scope of Practice, Documentation and Billing||This course focuses on professional and legal issues related to advanced practice nursing and includes APRN scope of practice, inpatient and outpatient documentation, and billing. Managing the acute care patient during periods of transition, such as admitting, transferring, and discharging, is also covered. This course provides a review of concepts related to collegial practice, including interprofessional and intraprofessional relationships within the health care delivery system. Prerequisites: NUR 640, NUR 642, and NUR 644.||2|
|NUR-659||Diagnosis and Management of Acutely Ill Patients III||This course focuses on evidence-based theory and research related to acute illnesses. A unifying framework is presented to organize the care of the critically ill patient. The student synthesizes data from a variety of health resources related to the care of critically ill patients. Students make clinical judgments and decisions regarding appropriate recommendations and treatments related to symptom-focused presentation and implications related to alterations in different systems. Prerequisite: NUR 656.||4|
|NUR-671||Practicum I||This course focuses on knowledge and skill acquisition to perform therapeutic interventions to stabilize acute and critical health problems, including suturing, line and tube insertion, and lumbar puncture. Students review diagnostic findings, including EKG, hemodynamic, radiological, and interventional studies. During this course, students initiate phase 1 of their evidence-based project. Combined total of Simulation and Clinical hours: 100. Prerequisite: NUR 653, NUR 656, and NUR 658.||4|
|NUR-672||Practicum II||This course focuses on the application of evidence-based provision of care for complex acute and chronic illnesses of the acutely ill patient in a preceptored clinical setting. Throughout the course, students: 1) demonstrate comprehensive system-focused, symptom-specific assessments; 2) formulate differential diagnoses by priority considering potential mechanisms and development of management strategies; 3) utilize technical skills in the diagnosis and patient management; and 4) incorporate health promotion, health protection, and injury prevention measures into the plan of care within the context of the complex acute, critical, and chronic illness. During this course, students continue to develop their evidence-based practice project. Clinical hours: 200. Prerequisite: NUR 671.||4|
|NUR-673||Practicum III||A culminating practicum experience is completed in person with a preceptor, to provide comprehensive health care to complex, acute, and critically ill patients. This course builds upon learning from NUR 672. Clinical practice affords students the opportunity to refine their clinical decision-making skills in advanced health assessment, clinical diagnosis, procedural skill acquisition, and care management of acute and chronically ill adults. Clinical experiences emphasize the physiological and psychosocial impact of acute and critical illness on patients, family, and community, and prepare the ACNP in the diagnosis and management of acute and life-threatening health problems. During this course, students complete their evidence-based practice project. Clinical hours: 200. Prerequisite: NUR 672.||4|
|Required Course Total Credit:||64|
This program is offered in the following formats or locations:
To meet the demands of today's working adults, this degree is offered through our convenient evening program. Classes meet one evening per week and allow you to interact directly with instructors and peers face-to-face. Locations vary - speak with an enrollment counselor to learn more.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.