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.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master‛s degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).
|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: 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-658||Scope of Practice, Documentation, and Billing||This course focuses on professional and legal issues related to advanced practice nursing and includes adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP-AG) scope of practice, inpatient and outpatient documentation, and billing. Managing the adult-gerontology patient who is highly vulnerable to complications, physiologically unstable, technologically dependent 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.||2|
|NUR-631||Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology||This course focuses on advanced physiology and pathophysiology principles. This course is used to guide the advanced nursing practice student in understanding normal function and interpreting changes in normal function that result in symptoms and diagnostic markers indicative of illness. Emphasis is placed on the following systems: cellular environment and inflammatory changes; fluids, electrolytes and acid-base balance; genetics, genetic diseases, and the role of the environment; stress, disease, and the development of neoplasms; hematology and alterations in immunity. In addition, the physiology and pathophysiology of the endocrine, pulmonary, renal, digestive and integumentary, cardiovascular and lymphatic, musculoskeletal, reproductive, and neurological systems, including mood disorders, are addressed. Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate nursing program or college approval. NUR-502, NUR-504, NUR-508.||4|
|NUR-633||Advanced Pharmacology for Acute Care||This course focuses on the advanced pharmacology and therapeutic principles needed for the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP-AG) and the adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist (CNS-AG) to safely prescribe medication therapy. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles of drug action are emphasized, with a focus on prescribing in a diverse patient population. Appropriate monitoring for efficacy and toxicity of prescribed therapies is highlighted. Evidence-based trials and clinical guidelines provide the basis for selecting safe, effective, and cost-efficient pharmacotherapeutic regimens for all patients. Appropriate patient education regarding prescription and nonprescription therapies is incorporated. This course covers principles of drug action, treatment of endocrine, cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological, infectious diseases, and respiratory disorders. In addition, pain management, the patient in the intensive care unit, toxicology, medication error prevention, and medication management during transitions of care are addressed. Prerequisite: NUR-631.||4|
|NUR-634||Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning With Skills Lab||This course builds upon the student's undergraduate and clinical assessment skills, offering advanced health assessment content to provide the foundation for the advanced practice nursing role. This course addresses the completion and interpretation of a head-to-toe assessment in addition to focused assessments for chief complaints that include physical, psychosocial, spiritual, risk, and functional assessments in diverse populations and across age groups. Students learn a systematic method of diagnostic reasoning and clinical decision making to establish a differential diagnosis. An overview of appropriate protocols for performing health screenings and interpreting lab 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. This course includes components of a SOAP note and effective interview techniques. Body systems covered include HEENT, Chest, Cardiovascular, Blood Vessels and Lymphatic, Pulmonary, Abdomen, Skin, Neurological, Musculoskeletal, Male and Female Genitalia, Psychological, and Lab and Diagnostic Findings. Corresponding assessment skills are practiced in the skills lab. Prerequisites: NUR-631, and either NUR 632 or NUR-633.||4|
|NUR-636||ACNP-AG Didactic I||This course focuses on evidenced-based theory and research related to adult-gerontology patients experiencing acute illnesses. Students synthesize data from a variety of health resources related to the care of the acutely ill adult-gerontology patient. Concepts involving Clinical Practice Guidelines are introduced and evaluated. Students analyze common problems seen in the acute care setting as they relate to the development of a prioritized differential diagnosis list. Students focus on ways to make clinical judgments and decisions regarding appropriate recommendations and treatments related to acute alterations in health. Prerequisites: NUR-631, NUR-633, and NUR-634. Co-requisite: NUR-636C.||3|
|NUR-636C||ACNP-AG Practicum I||This course focuses on integration of adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner didactic learning competencies with application to clinical competencies for adult-gerontology populations seen in acute care settings. Clinical hours: 150. Prerequisites: NUR-631, NUR-633, and NUR-634. Co-requisite: NUR-636.||4|
|NUR-637||ACNP-AG Didactic II||This course continues the focus on evidenced-based theory and research related to acute illnesses in the adult-gerontology population in the acute care setting. Students continue to build on prior knowledge and synthesize data from a variety of health resources related to the care of the acutely ill patient. Utilizing a systems framework, students continue work on clinical judgment and decision making regarding appropriate recommendations and treatments related to alterations in different systems as they develop an evidence-based plan of care. Prerequisites: NUR-636 and NUR-636C. Co-requisite: NUR-637C.||4|
|NUR-637C||ACNP-AG Practicum II||This preceptored practicum experience provides comprehensive health care to complex, acute, and critically ill adult-gerontology and frail elderly patients. This course builds upon prior learning. 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 adult-gerontology patients. Clinical experiences emphasize the physiological and psychosocial impact of acute and critical illness on patients, family, and community, and prepare the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP-AG) in the diagnosis and management of acute and life-threatening health problems. Clinical hours: 200. Prerequisites: NUR-636 and NUR-636C. Co-requisite: NUR-637.||4|
|NUR-638||ACNP-AG Didactic III||This course continues the focus on evidenced-based theory and research related to care during acute, chronic, and exacerbated illnesses. Students continue to build on prior knowledge and synthesize data from a variety of health resources related to the care of the acutely ill patient. Utilizing a systems-framework, students continue developing appropriate clinical judgment and decision-making skills regarding appropriate recommendations and treatments related to alterations in different systems as they develop an evidence-based plan of care for adult-gerontology patients. Prerequisites: NUR-637 and NUR-637C. Co-requisite: NUR-638C.||4|
|NUR-638C||ACNP-AG Practicum III||This culminating, preceptored, practicum experience continues the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities in the provision of health care to complex, acute, and critically ill adult-gerontology and frail elderly patients. This course builds upon prior learning. 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 adult-gerontology patients. Clinical experiences emphasize the physiological and psychosocial impact of acute and critical illness on patients, family, and community, and prepare the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP-AG) in the diagnosis and management of chronic, exacerbated, acute, and life-threatening health problems. Clinical hours: 200. Prerequisites: NUR-637 and NUR-637C. Co-requisite: NUR-638.||4|
|NUR-699||Evidence-Based Practice Project||This capstone course provides an opportunity for students to develop an evidence-based practice project proposal that addresses a problem, issue, or concern in professional practice. Students identify a problem amenable to research-based intervention; search literature; propose a solution; and develop a plan to implement the solution, evaluate its outcome(s), and disseminate the findings. Problems identified are those that are appropriate to students' specialty tracks: nursing leadership, nursing education, nursing public health, adult clinical nurse specialist, acute care nurse practitioner, and family nurse practitioner. Prerequisite: NUR-508.||4|
|Required Course Total Credit:||71|
This program is offered in the following formats or locations:
The dynamic capabilities of GCU’s online curriculum offer considerable flexibility and convenience for career oriented professionals who are pursuing their educational goals. Full time faculty members, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Our small class sizes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Classes begin frequently.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.