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MSN and Graduate Certificate Program Information

Review the video to learn more about the MSN and graduate certificates available at NSU, specialty areas, application requirements, and cost.


[00:00:02 --> 00:01:07]

STEPHANIE BARGAS: All right. Hello, everyone! Thank you for taking some time out of your day to listen to information about our nursing program – our master's in nursing program. Just a little information, just to get things started. If you guys have questions, feel free to drop them in the chat. If you are watching this as a replay, feel free to comment or ask questions. We'll provide some information at the end with some email addresses that you can contact us with other questions later on.

Just to get us kicked off, we have our program director, Dr. April Nelson, who will be showing this presentation today. We have a short presentation about information, and then at the end we'll save some time for Q&A. So jump in whenever you feel like you you want to ask a question, I'll moderate at the end. We just need you to mute during the info session, and feel free to unmute later and we'll just type your questions into the chat. So with that, Dr. Nelson, take it away.


[00:01:07 --> 00:02:04]

APRIL NELSON: All Right, thank you, Stephanie. I appreciate that. And like she said, I am Dr. Nelson. I'm the program director for NSU’s nursing programs. We do have an RN to BSN degree completion program. And certainly, what we're going to talk about today is our graduate university programs. So, we're 100% online; we'll try to mention that throughout, especially if I forget, because to me, it's just natural that we're an online program. And you can even see with my email address that’s hanging out above my head, I have had a name change this summer; I recently got married. So, don't be surprised if you see April Trenary listed in different places on our website, or even on some information, you might see, as we are working to try to get my identity updated everywhere that it should be.

Anyway, I'm glad that you're here, whether you’re here live or you're watching this on the recording. I'm glad that you're here to get some more information about our programs.


[00:02:04 --> 00:03:25]

APRIL NELSON: So to get started. We are accredited by ACEN—both our undergraduate and our graduate programs—the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing, and we're coming up for accreditation again in a couple of years. So we're just really excited about having that seal of approval from them, that we have maintained that consistent quality and standard for nursing education.

Also, our faculty are doctorate prepared—right now, 100% of the graduate faculty are 100% doctorate prepared—and they range from having PhDs and being more research-oriented; mine's a doctorate of nursing practice, so I have more of a clinical focus in my doctorate. We even have some agencies as well. So we have a wide range of adequately and thoroughly prepared faculty. Also, a good percentage of our so faculty are also certified nurse educators, which is a certification exam that is offered by the NLN. And it's just another way that validates the competencies of the faculty that are teaching the courses, both in the undergraduate and in the graduate program. We are here and ready to help you build the confidence and the real-world skills that you need to enrich your nursing practice in whichever specialty or direction that you choose to go.


[00:03:25 --> 00:05:18]

APRIL NELSON: So, our online options. The comprehensive MSN program prepares you for roles as you earn your master's degree. We do have free concentrations that I’ll talk about on the next slide. We also offer graduate certificates, and these are a really unique way to gain some highly specialized and valuable career development tools that can further your education and help supplement the degrees that you already have, whether it be a bachelor's degree or a master's degree. We have a traditional BSN to MSN entry, and that is 32 credit hours, and that can be completed in as few as 12 months. We also actually have an RN or associate-degree entry for students who are registered nurses but they have a bachelor's degree in a field besides nursing, and that program is a total of 41 credit hours. And then the certificate programs are 12 credit hours; you take the four specialty courses. What a lot of students tend to do is they will complete one of the master’s programs and then tack on and add on their certificate while they're here. It really just makes them that much more marketable as they are going out there in the job field and competing with others.

The three specialties that we offer are Administrative Leadership, Nursing Education and Nursing Informatics. We do not offer the clinical nurse practitioner pathways. We've chosen to specialize in these specific areas to fill the need within healthcare and within the nursing profession, and all three of these are available in the BSN to MSN, RN to MSN pathways, or you can earn a certificate specialty in one of these areas.


[00:05:18 --> 00:07:34]

APRIL NELSON: For Administrative Leadership, that's the chance to develop skills to have a leadership role within an organization such as a director of nursing or a chief nursing officer, department managers. Actually, a lot of the larger health systems are going to and enforcing that even the manager levels have a master's degree in order to be in that role. So, a lot of the nurses—you can look at like MBA or those other pathways—but if you're a nurse, it just makes sense to stay within your nursing field and build upon the nursing theories that you're already familiar with, as you learn about healthcare, finance, organizational structures and these other competencies to build upon your role as a nurse.

Nursing Education is a chance to learn some more about teaching learning principals. All nurses are educators because we teach patients all the time. But in this particular program, we do focus on helping you teach adult learners. We do focus our program toward academic education because we prepare our graduates for the CNE exam, and a lot of our graduates do go on and take that; right after graduation you are able to sit for that exam. It's not required. However, all of the principles that you learn are also applicable to being an educator in the clinical setting, like for a hospital's department of education, and there's opportunities to practice and develop your skills in both of those ways.

Finally, our newest is Nursing Informatics, which is certainly a newer specialty that's really growing a lot, not only as a profession, but also within our program as well. This is offered to help meet the demand for having nurses who have this specialized knowledge in data management. As a nurse, sometimes it feels like your voice isn’t heard when changes are made within an organization like to the EHR or other things like that, so it's just really important that we have nurses in these key roles in these leadership positions that are part of making these decisions as we provide patient care on the front line.


[00:07:34 --> 00:08:39]

APRIL NELSON: So we offer six start dates throughout the year. We really try to be very flexible to meet the needs of nurses who we know are working full time as you're also trying to go through this program. So, we offer six start dates throughout the year, and they're listed here, so that means that our next one is actually going to be on October 10th. And if you go on to our website—and I’ll provide that information at the end—you'll have all the dates that have to do with when classes start, when you need to have your application in and the enrollment deadlines. But all that to say, having these multiple start dates with our accelerated classes, it's really flexible for you. If you need to take a break or anything like that, we really try to work with you to meet your needs. I’m still a working nurse myself: I'm still on the front line, I just did a shift yesterday. So, I understand what it's like and the many demands that are placed on us to not only be a nurse, but to be a family member, and then try to fulfill our own academic goals going back to school.


[00:08:39 --> 00:11:11]

APRIL NELSON: So, we talked about this start dates, but what does it take to get in? For the MSN admission requirements, there are two pathways. We have the traditional BSN to MSN, which means you would have a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited college with an accredited nursing program. Or there's the RN to MSN pathway, which is you have an associate's degree of nursing from an accredited college in an accredited and nursing program, and a non-nursing bachelor's degree. You do complete three leveling courses within our RN to BSN program. Usually this adds about a semester to your coursework and then you start into the graduate courses the next semester.

In addition to these two entry points— you would have the bachelor's or the non-nursing bachelor’s but are already a registered nurse—you also need to have had a statistics course and also a research course; it says nursing research course, and certainly that's for nurses who have been through a BSN program, you probably had a nursing research course. But if you've had an applicable research course within your other degree, we will definitely take a look at that and can accept that as well. Completing statistics and research with a grade C or better, your license as a registered nurse, and then have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, and also the coursework of the 3.0, based on a 4.0 scale in your nursing major of the bachelor's degree, or for your associate’s degree. The good news is there's no GRE or standardized test, there's no interview process, there's no letter recommendation. We really try to simplify this admission process for you.

The graduate certificates the admission is a little bit different. Most of the students who complete this within our program do a master's degree and then add this onto their master's degree. That isn't required, though. You can just enter into our graduate nursing program and earn the certificate. The requirements for that are to have the current RN license. You do need to have a bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited university; there's not an RN to MSN side option for this one, and then also have the cumulative GPA of 2.0 on your undergraduate coursework, or 3.0 on your nursing coursework.


[00:11:11 --> 00:13:42]

APRIL NELSON: How much does it cost? Because that's really what it comes down to for most people. Tuition in the graduate online program is priced you as the working student in mind. For convenience also, you can just pay for the courses as you go. So, if you're taking one course every seven weeks, you could just pay for the one course every seven weeks. You can also work with our financial aid department for flexibility and convenience, and there's also financial aid available for those who qualify. So you can see here what our in-state credit hour is, $370.40, and out-of-state is only a dollar more. And this is current as of 2019, so know that these could change, especially any time now. If it does change, it won't be by very much, and you can find the most current prices, they would be updated and posted on the NSU website.

Here's the cost comparison for the three programs that we talked about earlier. Your traditional BSN to MSN: For in-state is $11,852, and you're out-of-date is $11,884. [AUDIO BRIEFLY DROPS] … leveling courses that you take in the RN to BSN program. And then the certificate pathway is the four classes, so it's significantly less.

But how does that compare? Here is a comparison to a few other Oklahoma-based institutions that offer an online MSN; I just use the nursing education for this comparison. You can compare the number of credit hours where that's going to affect your cost, too—32 credit hours versus 35—and then you can see the cost comparison here of the total base tuition. There is this full article that's posted on our website; I put the link here, and then also the barcode, so you can scan that with your phone, and you can actually read a little bit more about this comparison and the details why NSU is such an affordable option for going back and getting your MSN. Actually the most recent information that I have heard for the average starting pay of a master's prepared nurse is, I believe, $92,000. So you get your cost that you get back compared to what you're putting into your education is really quite great for nursing.


[00:13:42 --> 00:15:31]

APRIL NELSON: So here's just a little snapshot of what the program looks like. The students in the MSN online program, you complete a total of 12 courses or 32 credit hours. We have the core courses that you see here, these seven ones. And we just introduced a transitions course that's offered in both Term 1 and Term 2, a one credit hour course that we added, still totaling 32 credit hours. That was based upon the recommendation of students just to help provide some of that basic information to get you back into school again, get you refreshed on your APA to help complete all that initial paperwork that's needed during the first semester that's needed for both nursing and for the graduate college.

Then you're also going to have your specialty courses. Depending on if you chose Nursing Education or Administrative Leadership or nursing Informatics, you're going to have faculty teaching these courses who specialize and practice in those roles. They are offered in an every-other-semester format to help you get through the program in as quick a timeframe as you desire. Again, the minimum time is 12 months; that's going at a pretty quick pace if you're trying to maintain any type of work/life balance and have any family responsibilities, but there's all kinds of in between. Most of our students seem to find the healthiest work/life balance taking two classes a semester, one class at a time, and completing in about five semesters. Again, all of these courses—the specialty courses and the core courses—are 100% online.


[00:15:31 --> 00:17:43]

APRIL NELSON: One of the courses that you're going to take, one of the experiences you get to have, is practicum. This is an immersive learning opportunity for you where you're going to have 200 hours of field work in your specialty area, and that is spread over two semesters. Again, we've made that based upon the student feedback about how hard it was to try to get all that done in one semester, so it's spread out over two semesters. You can take it at the same time as you're taking your other courses, you can be enrolled in your practicum, and so that means you are getting the chance to work with a preceptor in order to put into place all of these skills that you are learning in the MSN program. Students do find their own preceptors and practicum site, and we have a clinical coordinator that works with you in order to try to help establish those clinical affiliation agreements.

A lot of our students will actually complete their practicum where they work. I think that is great, because then it gives you this upward mobility within your own organization, as you're learning from someone who's in a leadership role above you, like if you're doing Administrative Leadership and you're in a management role. You might be working … [AUDIO BRIEFLY DROPS] … more marketable for maybe a promotion within your own organization. Again, the 200 hours is over two semesters, and that also includes time for you to work on your capstone project, where you will identify a gap or a problem within your field, within your organization, or if you're in education maybe within the program in which you're doing your teaching, and then come up with a plan in order to help resolve it—doing research and looking at the theoretical basis for your proposal, and then coming up and making a proposal for a solution. It's really a wonderful process that's spread over a couple of semesters, accumulates in a final capstone class where you put it all together, deliver your presentation and then ultimately send it on to the grad college and wait to receive their accolades and your graduation.


[00:17:43 --> 00:18:53]

APRIL NELSON: I wanted to share a couple of alumni profiles, and I put a QR code here for you to be able to read the full articles of their write-ups. One of the things that's important when you go into graduate school is,  “What do I want to be when I grow up? What will I be able to do with this degree?” And so for Administrative Leadership, Casey shares in this article about how she was able to—right after graduation and based upon the work she had done with her capstone—had secured a very lucrative promotion.

Then Penny, you can read about her and her role transition into nursing informatics, and how the program prepared her and gave her the skills that she needed for success as a nursing informaticist. Just a couple of examples. I didn't improve Nursing Education because it just seems that's a little more intuitive into what kind of position those would translate to. Again, I put these on here just for to give you some background information of, “What can I do with this degree?” And there's just a lot of opportunities for both of these right now for nurses.


[00:18:53 --> 00:20:23]

APRIL NELSON: Here's our contact information. For nursing, you can reach us at [email protected] … [AUDIO BRIEFLY DROPS] …  for nursing and really for all the graduate programs. But I am so grateful to the support that they provide to especially the nursing students, not just in the inquiry phase, but in the application process, the admission process, and all the way through graduation—you have a lot of people cheering for you and working on your path. And then, certainly, financially, it is an important consideration. So be sure you fill out your FAFSA, and you can contact them for more information.

And then, finally, here's the link for the website and a QR code for our website, where you can find more information about all of these programs. And then we have enrollment specialists available also to help you at 844-351-6656, and they can help you with questions regarding your application, filling that out, getting you enrolled in courses and those types of things. Just lots of people cheering for you and here to help you every step of the way.

I think that's all I have got in my little spiel here. I don't know if there's any questions or anything that we're anticipating that I can try to help answer.


[00:20:23 --> 00:21:46]

STEPHANIE BARGAS: Thank you so much for all that information. I learned some stuff, too, and as being part of the graduate college, you're right. There's a lot that we have to know about all the different programs. So, it's nice being involved in these information sessions so that I can field questions. Just like you had told me before we started this session, that there are seven-week classes, with a week in between. So that is pretty important to know and for everyone else to know as well.

No questions that have come through, and as we said—I don't know if we said in the beginning—this is being recorded, so I will have a link for everyone, so you can look back through it …


Any last minute or lost second comments or …?

APRIL NELSON: No. But thank you, Stephanie, for hosting this and putting this together, I really appreciate it. And again, here's the contact information. We look forward to hearing from you!

STEPHANIE BARGAS: Yeah. Thank you again, and we may have one of these again in the fall or in the spring.

APRIL NELSON: Sounds great. Thank you!

STEPHANIE BARGAS: Thank you so much!

APRIL NELSON: All right, bye!

STEPHANIE BARGAS: Bye, bye, everyone.





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