The W's Department of Graduate Nursing was established in 1974, and has maintained full nursing accreditation status since its initial accreditation, to offer programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The graduate master's nursing program is for individuals with a baccalaureate in nursing and two years registered nursing experience. There is currently one track to choose from: Family Nurse Practitioner (39 semester hours, 12 months).
The Master of Science in Nursing program extends and refines the knowledge and skills of the baccalaureate-prepared nurse while integrating findings from the sciences and humanities, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, health economics, translational science and organizational sciences in order to provide care to diverse populations of patients in clinical and community-based systems. Attainment of advanced knowledge and competencies occurs through the process of role mastery, moving from novice to expert, in order to provide nursing interventions that influence healthcare outcomes for individuals/families across the lifespan, populations, or systems. The educational process is guided by three foci: primary care, advanced nursing practice, and evidence based practice. Primary care emphasizes health promotion and health maintenance for individuals, families, and populations in addition to managing and monitoring acute and chronic illnesses. This diversity of care is patient centered and culturally appropriate with evidence-based goals and modalities of care. Advanced nursing practice is autonomous and focuses on knowledge and competencies for the specialized role of the family nurse practitioner. In this role, the advanced practice nurse functions independently, is accountable as a direct provider of care, and is an advocate for patients, families, caregivers, populations and members of the healthcare team. Inherent in advanced nursing practice is leadership in order to provide for high-quality nursing care, healthcare team coordination, patient safety and quality improvement, and for understanding health care delivery systems assisting with identifying the economic, ethical, legal, and political factors that influence health care. Advanced practice nursing involves self-evaluation for continuing scholarship, professional growth, and excellence in practice. Therefore. the advanced practice nurse is prepared to pursue doctoral education. Evidence based practice provides opportunity for integration of nursing research, primary care, and leadership with the science of nursing.