The Master of Science in Nursing: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist program incorporates the advanced roles of clinician, researcher, learner/educator/coach, leader, community advocate, manager of systems, collaborator, and consultant. The program prepares the nurse with advanced clinical and organizational decision-making skills based on critical thinking, evidence-based research, and diagnostic reasoning. The Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist synthesizes elements of caring into the nurse-client relationship within practice based on advocacy, as well as ethical, social, legal, political, and historical perspectives. Clinical nurse specialists are involved in nursing leadership, nursing education, and in conducting research within the clinical setting.
A culminating practicum experience is a part of this clinical nurse specialist degree program. The practicum provides students with experiences in the three spheres of influence of CNS practice: patient/client, nurses and nursing practice, and organization/system within their specialty area. This clinical practice affords students the opportunity to refine their clinical decision-making and to develop their CNS roles of clinical expert, leader, collaborator, consultant, educator, researcher and change agent; and to explore how their professional attributes, ethical conduct, and professional citizenship are integrated in CNS practice to affect outcomes within the spheres.
A post-master's certificate program is available to those nurses who already have a Master of Science in Nursing degree and want to advance their career as a clinical nurse specialist.
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|
|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-647E||Nursing Education Seminar I||This course examines professional standards as a foundation for curriculum design in nursing education in all settings. It explores the nature of traditional academic education and nontraditional academic education, as well as continuing nursing education. This course also focuses on theories of teaching/learning, traditional and alternative instructional strategies, and nursing education in the classroom and clinical setting. The course incorporates the development of curriculum frameworks and learning activities for adult learners from diverse backgrounds. Strategies to enhance critical thinking are included. Prerequisite: NUR-645E.||4|
|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. This course includes a mandatory residency at the Grand Canyon University Phoenix campus. Prerequisites: NUR-631, and either NUR 632 or NUR-633.||4|
|NUR-655||CNS I - Theoretical Foundations||This course focuses on the theories, conceptual models, and research that are the basis of CNS practice. Building on advanced practice nursing theory, students engage in discussion of theoretical and empirical knowledge of illness and wellness—both of disease and nondisease etiologies—from the three spheres of influence, particularly the patient/client sphere. Advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology, and advanced physiology and pathology principles are integrated along with professional/legal and spirituality concepts. Content includes: Theoretical foundations of CNS practice, Phenomena of nursing concern, integrating health promotion, Design and development of innovative nursing interventions, Clinical inquiry/critical thinking using advanced knowledge, Consultation, teaching, and coaching with focus on the individual/family/groups Measurement, outcome evaluation, including cost-effectiveness and evidence-based research focused on the patient/client sphere. The clinical experience takes place in the student‛s chosen specialty area and integrates the theoretical concepts covered in the didactic portion of the course. Clinical component: 3 clinical credits. Clinical hours: 150.||6|
|NUR-657||CNS II - Influence Change in Health Care Systems||This course focuses on the essential characteristics and competencies of the CNS, exploring the CNS roles of clinical leader, collaborator, change agent, consultant, educator, and researcher. Students discover how, in utilizing these roles, a CNS can influence the quality of care within health care systems. The course builds on the patient/client sphere of influence, focusing on the broader nurse/nursing practice and organizational/systems spheres of influence. Content includes: Influencing change, Systems thinking, Leadership for multidisciplinary collaboration, Consultation, teaching, and coaching focused on groups, Measurement, outcome evaluation including cost-effectiveness, and evidence-based research focused on the group/organization, Technology, products, and devices development/evaluation. The clinical experience takes place in the student‛s chosen specialty area and the above concepts are integrated in that specialty setting. The clinical experience integrates the theoretical concepts covered in the didactic portion of the course. Clinical component: 3 clinical credits. Clinical hours: 150. Prerequisite: NUR 655.||6|
|NUR-663||CNS Clinical Internship||A culminating practicum experience, completed in person with a preceptor, provides students with experiences in the three spheres of influence of CNS practice: patient/client, nurses and nursing practice, and organization/system within their specialty area. This clinical practice affords students opportunity to refine their clinical decision-making skills in differential illness diagnoses and treatments that require nursing interventions; to develop their CNS roles of clinical expert, leader, collaborator, consultant, educator, researcher and change agent; and to explore how their professional attributes, ethical conduct, and professional citizenship are integrated in CNS practice to affect outcomes within the spheres. The course includes the application of the core content specific to CNS practice identified in NUR 655 and NUR 657. Online case study discussions analyzed by evidence-based practice guidelines are utilized. Impact of the student CNS on nursing practice and system-level outcomes are identified. Clinical component: 4 clinical credits. Clinical hours: 200. Prerequisite: NUR 657.||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, clinical nurse specialist, and family nurse practitioner. This course must be taken after completion of specialty courses. Prerequisite: One of the following: 1) NUR-508 or 2) NUR-508 and NUR-649E.||4|
|Required Course Total Credit:||48|
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.
The convenience of GCU’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals. Evening classes meet once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom, filled with career minded individuals. Evening class sizes are kept small, providing a warm nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. Classes begin frequently at various locations.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.