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M.S. in Nursing

Advance your practice with a Master's in Nursing

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced degree for nurses looking to take their career to the next level. The MSN prepares you to assume advanced leadership roles and responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice your true calling – serving the needs of patients. You’ll hone your craft to become a better nurse – and a better leader. 

Program Overview

Designed for working RNs, who are balancing work and home life, the MSN program from Franklin University can be completed 100 percent online as you learn from experienced educators, who are passionate about nursing.

The master's degree program in nursing at Franklin University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Program Outcomes

  1. Synthesize theories and knowledge from nursing and related disciplines to develop a theoretical basis to guide practice in an advanced nursing role.

  2. Analyze the effects of historical, cultural, economic, ethical, legal, and political influences on health care delivery.

  3. Appraise, use, and participate in the extension of nursing knowledge through scientific inquiry.

  4. Integrate creative and critical thinking in the application of holistic, comprehensive nursing care for individual, families, and communities in diverse settings.

  5. Initiate responsive leadership, collaboration, and management to influence the advancement of nursing practice and the profession of nursing and to influence health policy.

  6. Demonstrate leadership in clinical practice, service, education, and research utilization in a variety of nursing and health care services.

  7. Integrate current and emerging technologies into professional practice.

  8. Exemplify ethical and legal responsibility, accountability and role competency when engaged in advanced nursing roles.

  9. Contribute to the continuing professional development of self, others, and the discipline of nursing.

Curriculum & Course Descriptions

Major Area (30 hours)
NURS 612 - Role of the Master's Prepared Nurse (3)
This course assesses the various roles of the master's prepared nurse. The influence of the health care delivery systems, health care policy, diversity, ethics, quality, safety, theory, evidence based practice, and information systems on the role of the master's prepared nurse will be explored.
NURS 650 - Population Focused Care (3)
Theories, principles, and strategies of population-based health care are used to design, implement, and evaluate services and plans of care to promote, maintain, and restore health in a defined population. Students focus on population aggregates in structured or unstructured settings across service environments. Strategies to evaluate outcomes and costs are emphasized. Prerequisite NURS 612.
NURS 648 - ADVANCED PHARMACOLOGY (3)
This course focuses on the concepts, principles, and application of pharmacotherapeutics used in the management of health problems encountered in primary care. Emphasis is placed on theories and principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenetics, which provide a foundation for critical thinking, and the application of research finding. The focus on pharmacology is aimed at the treatment of acute and chronic health problems in populations over the life span. Prerequisite NURS 612.
HCM 735 - Healthcare Delivery Systems (4)
The course provides an extensive overview of leadership in the U.S. health services system. The focus of the course will be on the role health services leadership plays in the delivery of healthcare services, to include managing with professionals, financial management, services utilization, and other aspects of the U.S. healthcare system. The student will explore the key theoretical and practical elements of leadership as well as current issues clarifying how the U.S. health services system is organized, managed, and financed.
HCM 752 - Health Policy (4)
This course will explore the essential conceptual and analytical understanding of health policymaking and politics, including their impact on health administration and leadership. Selected policy issues will be explored through the application of political concepts and behavioral models, including a system model of policymaking. The emphasis will be on understanding the health leaders approach to the policymaking system, become involved in it, and work through it to attain their objectives and those of their organization.
NURS 644 - ADVANCED PATHOPHYSIOLOGY (3)
This course provides an in-depth study of the physiological changes and responses to altered health states and their impact on the functional status of patients. Students will focus on the essential knowledge of human health and disease across the lifespan. Pathophysiological theories and evidence-based research serve as a basis for applying content to population groups. Prerequisite NURS 612.
NURS 646 - ADVANCED PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT (3)
This course builds upon the student's previous health assessment knowledge offering more advanced health assessment content to provide the foundation for advanced professional nursing roles. This course emphasizes knowledge of health assessment, including physical, psychosocial, spiritual health assessment, risk assessment, and functional assessment in diverse populations in the promotion of health and prevention of disease. To maintain a nursing focus on patient responses to health, illness, or the threat of illness, the nurse must exhibit effective communication and client teaching, which is incorporated throughout the course. The importance of effective documentation and health record keeping is included. Prerequisite NURS 612.
NURS 693 - Evidence Based Practice & Quality Improv (3)
This course is designed to expand on the nursing research process. Emphasis is placed on critically evaluating nursing research studies, understanding the importance of utilizing research for evidence-based practice, and developing ideas for a research proposal to be used in the workplace. A review of quantitative and qualitative statistics appropriate to a graduate level research proposal is included. Students will be given the opportunity to utilize relevant resources in the process of development of individual proposals for the capstone thesis/project experience. With the assistance of the faculty, students will choose topics, write an outline for a manuscript, and then explore the process for submitting this manuscript to an appropriate professional journal. Prerequisite NURS 612, NURS 644, NURS 646, NURS 648, NURS 650, electives.
NURS 795 - PRACTICUM (4)
The purpose of this capstone course is to provide the student with the opportunity to examine the role of the master's prepared nurse in a health care or education setting. Using a combination approach of seminar and precepted clinical experience, the student focuses on the integration and application of major concepts covered throughout the graduate nursing program and assists in preparation for comprehensive evaluation. The student is assigned to a health care or educational setting under the direction of an experienced master's prepared nurse executive/educator/practitioner for the practicum portion of the course. 105 precepted clinical hours are required. In addition, students are expected to complete and reflect on the total program requirement of 20 hours of service learning experience. Prerequisite: completion of the MSN Core Curriculum.
Major Electives (8 hours)

Choose two courses from:

NURS 772 - CURRIC DESIGN, DEVEL, & EVAL (4)
This course examines professional standards as a foundation for curriculum design in nursing education in all settings, explores the nature of traditional academic education and nontraditional academic education, as well as continuing nursing education. This course explores the praxis, philosophies, principles, theories, and strategies in planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum. Students will define, analyze and design a mock curriculum model for an institution or for an organization that requires staff development. The model curriculum will be reviewed and critiqued to provide the student with an opportunity to appreciate curriculum development, evaluation, and revision. Strategies to enhance critical thinking are included. This course also examines program review, course and class objectives, and professional regulatory and accreditation standards as an evaluation framework for curriculum design in nursing education in all settings. Prerequisite NURS 612.
NURS 777 - STRAT & TECH IN NURS EDU (4)
The roles of both the educator and student in designing a learning environment provide the framework for analyzing pedagogical philosophies, theories, ethical/legal issues, trends, technology, and research related to teaching strategies and education. The focus is on best practices and research-based strategies to promote various learning styles and create an active learning environment that increases student retention and learning success for diverse multicultural student populations. Attention is given to the relationship between the setting, methodologies of clinical teaching, and the assessment of competencies. Learning variables, the environmental context, financial/political issues and the influence of those variables on technologies are examined. Prerequisite NURS 612.
HIM 702 - HEALTH INFORMATION GOVERNANCE (4)
This course covers the broad spectrum of strategic issues in healthcare including policies, guidelines, standards, processes, and controls required to manage and implement enterprise-level information. Treating information as a strategic asset to healthcare organizations, processes to manage various risks to the quality of information and ensure its appropriate use are covered.
HIM 710 - CLINICAL WORKFLOW & APPLICATIONS (4)
This course explores requirements for clinical workflows in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and emergency healthcare environments. It covers the documentation, review, mapping, and diagramming of clinical workflow information and processes. The course also covers the linkages between the improvement of patient care to workflow mapping and change management, as part of evidence based decision making in healthcare.
HIM 761 - HEALTHCARE ANALYTICS (4)
This course addresses the process of retrieving, analyzing, and reporting intelligence to make healthcare decisions. It covers the techniques of extracting, transforming and loading data from a myriad of operational databases into corporate data warehouses, as well means to ensure that decision making is based on clean and reliable information. The course also includes ways to report the healthcare intelligence gathered.
HCM 733 - FINANCE AND MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING IN HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS (4)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the fundamental concepts and calculations associated with financial accounting and managerial accounting within a healthcare organization. Students will study the foundational aspects of financial accounting with a primary focus on financial statements and the uses of the information in these statements. Students will also study the functional aspects of managerial accounting to include cost behavior, cost allocation, pricing, planning, budgeting, profit analysis, and performance evaluation. Application of these concepts will include analysis of case studies.
HCM 742 - Healthcare Laws and Ethics (4)
In this course the student will develop a strong foundation of health law, enabling them to deal with common legal and practical moral and ethical issues facing the healthcare organization on a daily basis. Topics will include statutory laws, rules and regulations, review of tort laws, criminal law, contract law, civil procedures and trial practice. The student will examine numerous legal, moral, and ethical issues.
HCM 762 - GLOBAL HEALTH (4)
The student will examine demographic measurements, epidemiological methods, outcomes assessment, health promotion, and disease prevention from a global perspective.
HRM 701 - Human Resource Management (4)
This course provides a framework for an in-depth understanding of day-to-day, practical approaches/aspects of problems/challenges that impact the human resource management field. Topics include recruiting, hiring, training, retaining, rewarding, and promoting employees; compensation and benefits; employment planning, performance management systems, and succession planning; labor relations; and managing organizational relationships.
HRM 706 - Organizational Development/Intervention INTERVENTION (4)
This course addresses the need for planned change focused on an organization's ability to compete strategically. The framework of consultation as helping organizations reach a level of optimum performance will be applied. Topics addressed include individual, team, and organization-wide interventions that can raise productivity/quality, improve competitiveness, increase skills, morale, and commitment.
HRM 707 - ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP (4)
This course explores the elements of leadership and delineates the principles necessary for success in a global environment. Discussion of the role and function of leadership will include an in-depth analysis and study of needs impacting individuals, organizations, and society. This course provides students with leadership skills and competencies on which to build an individual model for effective leadership.
IDPT 600 - PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING THEORY (4)
In this gateway course, students will begin the process of understanding what it means to be a graduate student at Franklin University. This includes tangibles such as scholarly research and academic writing, as well as intangibles such as critical thinking and attitude. Students will employ various strategies as they develop a thorough understanding of selected learning theories and philosophies. They will then apply these theories and strategies to create a learning event.
IDPT 645 - LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (4)
In this course, students will study the practices employed to manage and deliver instructional content in an online environment. Students will interact with a functional Learning Management System (LMS) to manage the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of reusable learning content.
IDPT 650 - EVALUATION (4)
This course presents fundamental principles and practices for evaluating courses and programs, with a focus on formative and summative evaluation and criterion-referenced testing. Students will explore evaluation models and theories, create a learner satisfaction survey, create criterion-referenced tests, create grading rubrics, and work with a data set to interpret data and make recommendations to improve a course or unit of instruction. Projects completed in the course will become part of the student's portfolio.
Program Specific Requirements

Please note: Due to the unique requirements of the MSN practicum experience, students should consult the Nursing MSN Program Handbook for important information on the program’s required practicum component before selecting this major. Applicants must complete and return the Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Handbook form prior to enrolling in the MSN program. For questions regarding the handbook or form, please contact the MSN Program Chair. The handbook and form may be accessed via the links below:

MSN Program Handbook

Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Handbook