Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing - MSN

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Saint Mary’s direct-entry MSN program lets you transition into a career in nursing with our two-year MSN to RN program. This graduate program allows students with a prior baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than nursing to progress through coursework in two years. Saint Mary’s is the first in the state of Indiana to offer a program leading to initial RN licensure, without having to return to undergraduate coursework.

The nursing profession is at a critical point in history. Technology and evidence-based practice continue to evolve at increasing speeds and hospitals not only need nurses, they need leaders. Enrolling in Saint Mary’s MSN-RN program means you will start your nursing career with a master’s-level education, putting yourself on the path to working in patient-centered care at an advanced level.  Saint Mary’s graduate students will gain the knowledge and skills to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam and earn those five letters after your name: MSN, RN.

Saint Mary’s student nurses complete clinical hours in two local hospitals — Memorial Hospital and Saint Joseph Hospital — as well as many sites in the South Bend community including the Center for the Homeless, Hope Ministries, local schools, and more. As a science and a profession, nursing needs to continue to grow the number of graduate-prepared individuals to serve as practitioners, teachers, mentors, role models, and researchers to continue to keep up with the ever-changing healthcare environment.

Saint Mary’s has a long history of excellence within our community. We are excited about the potential to continue providing career paths that enrich the lives of those in our community by creating more quality nursing education at the Master’s level.

PREREQUISITES

  • Prerequisites taken within the last 7 years:
    • Anatomy/Physiology 1 & 2 with labs: 8 hours 
    • Chemistry: 3 hours  
    • Microbiology with lab : 4 hours 
    • Statistics (300 level or higher) 3 hours  
    • Introductory psychology and sociology course
    • Recommended Lifespan course

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Earned Baccalaureate degree not in Nursing from an accredited college or university.
  • Students who will complete a bachelor's degree prior to Fall 2022 are also encouraged to apply.
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions (submitted directly to NursingCAS 
  • 3.0 GPA from undergraduate program
  • Three letters of reference. 
    • One letter from a former faculty member preferred 
  • Resume
  • Personal interview with Faculty post application submission

Applications for the fall term open in September. Saint Mary’s College uses the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS) application system. You must complete the application form, submit the application fee for NursingCAS (no additional fee is collected by Saint Mary’s), and provide all supporting documents through the NursingCAS application system. The priority application is March 31. The application deadline is June 15.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN Nursing (66 HOURS)

NURS 502M
NURS 502L
Foundations
and Foundations Lab
2
NURS 510M
NURS 510L
Adult Health I
and Adult Health I Lab
5
NURS 515MCurrent Trends in Healthcare3
NURS 520M
NURS 520L
Mental Health Nursing
and Mental Health Nursing Lab
3.5
NURS 522M
NURS 522L
Perinatal Nursing
and Perinatal Nursing Lab
3
NURS 531M
NURS 531L
Adult Health II
and Adult Health II Lab
5
NURS 533M
NURS 533L
Public & Community Health
and Public & Community Health Lab
3.5
NURS 541MMSN Seminar I1
NURS 542MMSN Seminar II1
NURS 543MMSN Seminar III2
NURS 550M
NURS 550L
Adult Health III
and Adult Health III Lab
5
NURS 553M
NURS 553L
Health Systems Ldrshp & Mgt
and Health Systems Ldrshp &Mgt Lab
5
NURS 560M
NURS 560L
Nursing Care of the Child
and Nursing Care of the Child
4
NURS 580MTransition to Profess Nursing2
NURS 604MEvid-Based Pract I:Synthesis3
NURS 610Healthcare Policy and Advocacy3
NURS 622Statistics for Health and Biological Sciences3
NURS 644MAdvanced Physiology and Pathophysiology3
NURS 651MAdvance Pharmacology3
NURS 688M
NURS 688L
Advanced Health Assessment
and Adv Health Assessment Lab
3
NURS 725Quality, Effectiveness and Safety in Organizational Systems3
Total Credits66

Program Competencies:

  1.  Integrate a scientific foundation and disciplinary knowledge in the provision of nursing care including the assessment and evaluation of nursing practice to individuals, families, and populations across diverse settings. 
  2. Promote relationship centered safe care to individuals, families, groups, and communities that is informed by professional practice standards. 
  3. Provide evidence-based clinical care management within a collaborative, cultural and spiritual context for individuals, families and/or populations. 
  4. Demonstrate leadership skills in collaboration with the interprofessional healthcare team to ensure high quality and safety in nursing care for individuals, families, and populations. 
  5. Promote advances and equity in healthcare through the critical analysis of healthcare policy. 
  6. Employ communication skills and collaboration strategies that promote an interdisciplinary team approach in the delivery of quality patient care.  
  7. Engage in the process of self-reflection and life-long learning to influence professional practice, social justice, and community service. 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Sue Anderson
1 Havican Hall
574-284-4682

FACULTY

S. Anderson, J. Bauer, G. Bingaman, P. Keresztes, K. Kuter, N. Mentag, K. Minich, L. Paskiewicz, A. Peacock-Johnson, M. Spencer, K. Tatman, C. Webb

NURS 502M  Foundations  (2)  

This course builds on the knowledge gained through the liberal arts and sciences to introduce the concepts of nursing practice to promote and/or maintain health in the context of the experience of the individual in a variety of settings.  This course establishes the nursing process, interpersonal communication, critical thinking, and patient-centered care as foundational concepts for the provision of quality and safe nursing practice with individuals and their families.  Nursing skills related to the physiologic health process, mobility, comfort, infection, protection, fatigue, sleep, oxygenation, and elimination are emphasized.  The course introduces the student to the professionalism of the nursing practice. Prerequisite: Graduate Student; Corequisite:NURS 502L.

NURS 502L  Foundations Lab  (1)  

This course is the clinical for Foundations. (42 clinical hours) Corequisite NURS 502M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 510M  Adult Health I  (3)  

This theory and clinical course build upon knowledge gained in the prerequisite nursing and science courses with an emphasis on the patient-centered care of individuals with acute medical-surgical conditions. The nursing process is emphasized and utilized in the care of perioperative care of the patient and family. The ethical, spiritual, psychosocial, and economic impact of the peri-operative experience on the patient and family is explored. Application of clinical judgment and clinical reasoning skills are emphasized as students care for individuals and families with acute health conditions in medical-surgical settings.  Students continue to develop their professional nursing identity through self-reflection and self-evaluation of their clinical performance. Prerequisite: NURS 502M; Corequisite: NURS 510L

NURS 510L  Adult Health I Lab  (2)  

This course is the clinical for Adult Health I. (84 clinical hours) Corequisite:NURS 510M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 515M  Current Trends in Healthcare  (3)  

This course is designed to help students understand the current trends in nursing and health care. The course will incorporate relevant national and federal patient safety standards and goals such as QSEN and IOM that are guiding practice and nursing education today. The course will also focus on the care of diverse populations such as the LGBTQIA+ population. A focus on interdisciplinary collaboration will be introduced. Bioethical issues within nursing and healthcare will also be explored. The impact of global health is also explored. Prerequisites:NURS 502M

NURS 520M  Mental Health Nursing  (2)  

This didactic and clinical course focuses on the care of individuals across the lifespan with psychiatric mental health disorders and chemical dependence. The psychopathology of mental disorders on individuals and their families is examined. The treatment of mental health disorders is studied emphasizing an interprofessional team approach. Emphasis is on the therapeutic use of self with individuals, families, and groups in an acute psychiatric care setting. Communication skills, mental health assessment, and various therapeutic interventions are utilized by students in various clinical placements throughout the community. Prerequisites: NURS 510M; Corequisites: NURS 520L

NURS 520L  Mental Health Nursing Lab  (1.5)  

This course is the clinical for Mental Health Nursing. (63 clinical hours); Corequisite:NURS 520M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 522M  Perinatal Nursing  (2)  

Perinatal Nursing theory and clinical provide a foundation of nursing knowledge for family-centered care in all phases of the perinatal period. The course focuses on the following topics: women’s health throughout the lifespan, pregnancy, labor and birth, the postpartum period, the newborn, childbearing at risk, and the newborn at risk. The course further incorporates cultural, ethical, and legal dimensions specific to the perinatal family. Research is considered basic to establishing and advancing the field of perinatal nursing. Prerequisite: NURS 510M; Corequisite: NURS 522L

NURS 522L  Perinatal Nursing Lab  (1)  

This course is the clinical for Perinatal Nursing. (42 clinical hours); Corequisite: NURS 522M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 531M  Adult Health II  (3)  

This theory and clinical course focus on patient-centered care for individuals and families with chronic medical conditions including both the acute and palliative phases. The course includes the application of principles to provide patient-centered care in a holistic, individualized, and compassionate manner in both acute care and community settings.  Students will participate in an interprofessional approach while caring for clients and families adapting to chronic conditions across the healthcare delivery system from disease prevention to disease management. Intermediate nursing skills, pharmacotherapeutics, common chronic diseases, and treatment modalities are taught using a variety of teaching methodologies.  Concurrent clinical practice in acute care medical units, clinical seminar, and hospice settings help correlate theory and clinical practice.  Students continue to cultivate their professional nursing identity through self-reflection and self-evaluation of their clinical performance. Prerequisites:NURS 520M, NURS 522M; Corequisite: NURS 531L

NURS 531L  Adult Health II Lab  (2)  

This course is the clinical for Adult Health II. (84 clinical hours); Corequisite: NURS 531M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 533M  Public & Community Health  (2)  

This theory and clinical course examine the promotion of health and prevention of illness across populations in a community setting as well as critically analyze the health of selected populations in a community.  Emphasis is placed on increasing the student's self-awareness, communicating effectively, and meeting the community health needs of individuals, families, and groups.  Health education, health promotion, and illness prevention are stressed as strategies for meeting the health needs of population aggregates.  Presentation of the health care delivery system includes the impact of political, legal, social, and cultural influences on the health of individuals. Public health nursing issues, such as communicable disease, environmental hazards, and occupational exposures are discussed. Prerequisites: NURS 520M, NURS 522M; Corequisite:NURS 533L

NURS 533L  Public & Community Health Lab  (1.5)  

This course is the clinical for Public & Community Health. (63 clinical hours); Corequisite: NURS 531M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 541M  MSN Seminar I  (1)  

In the first of a series of seminars, this course introduces and develops the role of the master’s prepared professional nurse. The course builds upon the scientific basis of evidence-based practice to help students begin to identify and develop their focus on a scholarly project. Students will partner with a local healthcare agency on a quality improvement or informatics focus to help improve the delivery of nursing care in that institution. Prerequisite: NURS 515M

NURS 542M  MSN Seminar II  (1)  

In the second of a series of three seminars, this course continues to foster the scholarly development of the master’s prepared nurse. The focus of the course is the continuation of the student’s scholarly project developed in partnership with a healthcare agency through the synthesis and analysis of the literature review. The student will critically appraise the literature and identify gaps in the literature. Through the literature review, the student will identify the area of improvement for the delivery of safe and quality nursing care or the improvement of patient outcomes. Prerequisite: NURS 541M; Concurrent: NURS 550M, NURS 553M

NURS 543M  MSN Seminar III  (2)  

In the third of the seminar series, this course culminates with the implementation and evaluation of the scholarly project aimed at an improvement in the delivery of nursing care or patient outcomes with the partnering healthcare agency. The student develops a poster of their project and presents their work to their partnering healthcare agency. Prerequisites: NURS 541M, NURS 542M; Concurrent:NURS 560M, NURS 553L, NURS 580M

NURS 550M  Adult Health III  (3)  

This theory and clinical course concentrate on the provision of patient-centered nursing care to individuals and families experiencing complex and multi-system health conditions. The course builds upon the knowledge gained in previous medical-surgical courses to enhance clinical judgment and clinical reasoning. In the clinical setting, students continue to incorporate advanced health care technologies and collaborate with interprofessional team members in the provision of nursing care. Students further refine their professional nursing identity through self-reflection and self-evaluation of their clinical performance. Prerequisites: NURS 531M, NURS 533M; Corequisite: NURS 550L

NURS 550L  Adult Health III Lab  (2)  

This course is the clinical for Adult Health III. (84 clinical hours); Corequisite: NURS 550M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 553M  Health Systems Ldrshp & Mgt  (2)  

This clinical capstone course introduces the student to leadership theories and concepts of management within the nursing profession through clinical and seminars. The ability to analyze and apply the concepts of leadership and management is provided through clinical experiences The nursing leadership skills of delegation, priority setting, clinical judgment, clinical reasoning, and time management are emphasized throughout the course. The student also continues to collaborate with other professionals in the care of multiple patients during clinical time. This course also examines the QSEN competencies as a means of providing patient-centered nursing care. Students further refine their professional nursing identity through self-reflection and self-evaluation of their clinical performance as they transition from student to professional nurse. Prerequisite: NURS 533M, NURS 531M

NURS 553L  Health Systems Ldrshp &Mgt Lab  (3)  

This course is the clinical for Health Systems Leadership and Management. Prerequisite: NURS 553M, NURS 550M

NURS 560M  Nursing Care of the Child  (2)  

Child health nursing focuses on the assessment and management of well, acutely ill, and chronically ill children and their families.  The effect that childhood illness has on the family in the hospital and in the community is emphasized.  Principles of growth and development, nutrition, pharmacology, and ethics are reinforced and expanded throughout the course.  Decision-making and independent learning are emphasized.  Research, as it relates to theory and practice, is discussed and applied. Prerequisites: NURS 550M, NURS 553M; Corequisites: NURS 560L.

NURS 560L  Nursing Care of the Child Lab  (1)  

This course is the clinical for Nursing Care of the Child. (84 clinical hours); Corequisite: NURS 560M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 580M  Transition to Profess Nursing  (2)  

This course addresses the role transition from graduate nurse to professional nursing. Content provides students with tools needed for preparation to be successful on the licensure examination including decision making, critical thinking, and clinical judgment. The course also examines strategies for students’ personal and professional empowerment and continued growth. The course will also focus on issues that face nurses including orientation, burnout, and self-care. Prerequisites:NURS 550M, NURS 553M

NURS 604  Evidence-Based Practice I: Evidence Synthesis for Practice  (3)  

Learners are provided with a theoretical and practical foundation for identifying and critically appraising evidence from qualitative and quantitative research traditions. Emphasis is on the examination of the essential elements of evidence-based practice, including the formulation of answerable questions to address practice change, quality improvement, and safety in a variety of advance practice roles. Students engage in the systematic search for research evidence and the use interdisciplinary models to analysis of research findings that can be used to answer researchable questions. The use of electronic medical records as a source of data to provide evidence and information management in health care are explored. This course will support the beginning development of the student’s capstone project. Prerequisites: NURS 622.

NURS 610  Healthcare Policy and Advocacy  (3)  

The course is designed to analyze the leadership role of the DNP in health policy development emphasizing inter-professional collaboration and social justice. The social, regulatory, and ethical issues that impact DNP practice are examined. Strategies for designing and leading the implementation of public, professional, and institutional policies relating to local, regional, national and international health care and its delivery are considered. The effect of innovation and nursing scholarship on health policy and advocacy are examined. Prerequisite: Graduate Status.

NURS 622  Statistics for Health and Biological Sciences  (3)  

This course covers a wide range of statistical methods used in health care research. Descriptive statistics, probability distributions (binomial and normal), sampling distributions, inferences (point estimates and confidence intervals), hypotheses testing (one-sample tests, two-sample tests), Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) as well as simple linear regression and multiple regression analysis are included. The course emphasizes the application of statistical concepts to analyze research for best available evidence to support quality nursing practice. Students are asked to relate the material to their own practice and use SPSS statistical software for assignments. The course provides support for students to plan the statistical analyses for their Capstone project and other evidence based projects. Prerequisite: Graduate Status.

NURS 644  Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology  (3)  

This course provides in-depth discussion of complex physiologic and pathophysiologic concepts essential for advanced clinical nursing courses in the care of adults and older adults. Physiologic and pathophysiologic processes related to the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems; cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal systems; hematopoiesis, inflammation, immunity, microcirculation, neuromuscular synapse, skeletal and smooth muscle, and acid-base balance are discussed at biochemical, cellular, organ, system, and human organism levels. Hormonal regulation is integrated with various physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. Emphasis is on integration of concepts as a basis for understanding interrelationships among complex physiologic and pathophysiologic processes Prerequisite: Graduate Status.

NURS 651  Advanced Pharmacology  (3)  

This interdisciplinary course uses a lifespan approach to examine the principles of pharmacology and drug therapy for advanced nursing practice including legal and social considerations related to prescriptive authority and prescribing patterns. Students will participate in interdisciplinary clinical seminars with Pharm D students during a planned campus immersion during this course. Prerequisite: NURS 644.

NURS 688M  Advanced Health Assessment  (2.5)  

This course provides knowledge and skills necessary for the beginning and advanced practice nurse to synthesize concepts from nursing and biopsychosocial sciences in the comprehensive health assessment of adults and children. The diagnostic reasoning process, differential diagnoses, advanced health evaluation techniques, laboratory tests, diagnostic studies, and interpretation and evaluation of findings are incorporated into the course. The importance of the evidence-based link between oral health and illness across the lifespan is explored. Students will provide advanced health assessment with clients across the lifespan in inter-professional clinical settings. Comprehensive health histories and physical examination techniques will be used to complete a database on clients to formulate differential diagnoses and make advanced clinical decisions. Prerequisite: Graduate Student;.Corequisite: NURS 688L

NURS 688L  Adv Health Assessment Lab  (0.5)  

This course is the clinical for Advanced Health Assessment. (21 clinical hours); Corequisite: NURS 688M; Graded: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

NURS 725  Quality, Effectiveness and Safety in Organizational Systems  (3)  

This course prepares students to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based quality health care practices for patient populations (individuals and aggregates) in primary, home, and community settings. Organizational theory and models within the healthcare industry are examined. Working as partners in inter-professional teams, students will analyze an organizational culture, gather safety information, analyze data, and translate findings into a plan for changes in micro and macro systems through action learning experiences within their own organizations. Evaluation of innovation and sustainability of system change will be emphasized. Prerequisites: NURS 604; NURS 612; NURS 620; NURS 624; NURS 670.

Degree Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterCredits
First five weeks of the semester:
NURS 688 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning (3 cr. 2.5 lecture; 0.5 cr. lab, 21 lab hours. Lab graded P/F) 3
Second 10 weeks of the semster:
NURS 502M
NURS 502L
Foundations
and Foundations Lab
3
All semester:
NURS 644 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 3
NURS 651 Advanced Pharmacology 3
 Credits12
Second Semester
NURS 510M
NURS 510L
Adult Health I
and Adult Health I Lab
5
NURS 515M Current Trends in Healthcare 3
NURS 725 Quality, Effectiveness and Safety in Organizational Systems (online) 3
 Credits11
Third Semester
1st half of semester:
NURS 520M
NURS 520L
Mental Health Nursing
and Mental Health Nursing Lab
3.5
2nd half of semester:
NURS 522M
NURS 522L
Perinatal Nursing
and Perinatal Nursing Lab
3
All semester:
NURS 622 Statistics for Health and Biological Sciences (online) 3
 Credits9.5
Second Year
First Semester
NURS 531M
NURS 531L
Adult Health II
and Adult Health II Lab
5
NURS 533M
NURS 533L
Public & Community Health
and Public & Community Health Lab
3.5
NURS 541M MSN Seminar I 1
NURS 604M Evid-Based Pract I:Synthesis 3
 Credits12.5
Second Semester
NURS 542M MSN Seminar II 1
NURS 550M
NURS 550L
Adult Health III
and Adult Health III Lab
5
NURS 553M Health Systems Ldrshp & Mgt 2
NURS 610 Healthcare Policy and Advocacy 3
 Credits11
Third Semester
NURS 543M MSN Seminar III 2
NURS 580M Transition to Profess Nursing 2
1st half of summer
NURS 560M
NURS 560L
Nursing Care of the Child
and Nursing Care of the Child Lab
3
NURS 553L Health Systems Ldrshp &Mgt Lab 3
 Credits10
 Total Credits66