Master of Science in Nursing
The mission of the Master of Science in Nursing Program at University of the Pacific is to provide students with a superior, competency based, learner-centered educational experience that will prepare advanced professional nurses to lead change in complex systems of health care while engaging in collaborative partnerships to improve patient-centered care and population health outcomes.
The accelerated graduate program is designed for working professional nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and can be completed in 4-6 semesters (three semesters per year). The program is online with two in-person seminars on the Sacramento campus (one per year), to provide access and educational flexibility for working professional nurses.
Students can select one of three advanced clinical care tracks: Primary Care Management, Diabetes Care Management, and Rehabilitation Management. The curriculum has been developed by nationally recognized context experts in Rehabilitation Nursing, Diabetes Management, Population Health, Improvement Science, Instructional Design, and Education. BSN prepared nurses from diverse settings, both acute and non-acute, will find the curriculum to be relevant, forward thinking, and designed to address current societal needs for the clients they serve.
The foundational courses for the first academic year include master of science core courses (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, MSN Essentials 2011, 2020), advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacology. As the program is designed to prepare advanced clinical care experts, knowledge and skills are acquired in population health, epidemiology, health care systems, and a preceptor led clinical practicum. To integrate new knowledge and skills students will develop, implement and evaluate an evidence-based improvement project to complete the final synthesis course.
The MSN program at University of the Pacific will seek national accreditation (new applicant status) through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The program was developed based on the national accreditation standards. Following CCNE accreditation timelines, the program will submit a comprehensive self-study document in Summer 2021, host a scheduled site visit in Fall 2021, and receive notification of accreditation decision in Spring 2022. New applicant status is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.
More information on the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and its accreditation standards may be obtained by accessing the documents at https://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE. Additional information can be obtained from CCNE at 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 887- 6791.
For the most current information regarding the application process and requirements, please visit the website.
Master of Science in Nursing
Students must complete 32 semester units with a Pacific cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to earn the master of science in clinical nutrition degree. Students can select one of three advanced clinical care tracks: Primary Care Management, Diabetes Care Management, and Rehabilitation Nursing.
|NURS 201||Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice||3|
|NURS 203||Interprofessional Health Care Theory, Ethics, and Quality Improvement||3|
|NURS 205||Health Care Policy and Delivery||3|
|NURS 207||Nursing Issues and Leadership||3|
|NURS 209||Foundations of Specialty Practice I||3|
|NURS 211||Foundations of Specialty Practice II||3|
|NURS 215||Synthesis Project||3|
|NURS 219||Population Health||3|
NURS 200. Pathophysiology. 3 Units.
Students examine complex physiologic processes essential to an understanding of disease. Disease management concepts are explored in relation to body systems. Age specific alterations are correlated with clinical and medical diagnostic findings to provide the student a basis for biomedical and nursing clinical decision-making, diagnostic reasoning, and pharmacotherapeutics. Prerequisites: Admission to ELMSN program.
NURS 201. Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice. 3 Units.
This course provides the foundational knowledge base for advanced nursing research and the core principles of evidence-based practice. Students will gain knowledge and skills to critically appraise and analyze evidence and then disseminate the evidence in a scholarly way including papers, posters, and presentations. This course prepares the student to find and use evidence to support individual clinical practice and appropriately apply evidence to different population-based settings. Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Science Nursing Program. Epidemiology NURS 217.
NURS 202. Professional Nursing. 1 Unit.
This course provides an overview and a historical perspective of the profession, social contexts, professional standards, ethical standards, legal issues, and socialization into the profession. This course assists the student to gain a state-wide and national perspective for the profession. Current issues will be discussed. Evidence-based practice and theory are introduced to focus students on current strategies to advance patient outcomes and improve health care. Students will be required to demonstrate competency in researching a PICO question. PICO guides evidence based practice research. (P = Patient or Population, I = Intervention, C = Comparison or Controls, O = Outcomes.
NURS 203. Interprofessional Health Care Theory, Ethics, and Quality Improvement. 3 Units.
Interprofessional Health Care Theory, Ethics, and Quality Improvement (3 units) - This course explores the theoretical and ethical basis of nursing practice, drawing on interprofessional and interdisciplinary perspectives in the health sciences and humanities. The role of the master’s prepared nurse in theory development, theory-based practice and ethical decision-making within collaborative interprofessional teams is emphasized. Quality, safety, and collaborative practice are universal values used as a framework for leading change to improve healthcare systems and outcomes. Improving the quality and safety of health care services requires multiple knowledge disciplines, effective communication, collaboration and teamwork. Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Science Nursing Program. Students in other School of Health Sciences (SOHS) programs may take this course as an elective with the permission of the instructor.
NURS 204. Health Assessment. 4 Units.
This competency-based course prepares students to complete a health history and the knowledge and skills to complete a physical exam on individuals across the lifespan. In addition, students will appreciate cultural variations, demonstrate psycho-social sensitivity and knowledge of genetic and nutritional assessments. The learning activities of the course will provide the students with practice skills to complete a systems exam and documentation of findings. Prerequisites: Admission to the ELMSN program.
NURS 205. Health Care Policy and Delivery. 3 Units.
This course covers current challenges faced by the U.S. health care delivery system and how health policy, both historically and today, has sought to address these challenges. This system is compared with those of other nations to highlight its relative strengths and weaknesses. The course will consider health care concerns associated with population and public health, including how the behavior of individuals and groups influences health. Risk factors associated with vulnerable populations are identified and discussed. We will also explore the logistics of the health care system, including how it is organized, who makes up the workforce, how health care is financed, the costs and value of health care, how it is managed, and the role of information technology in this sector. Finally, we will take look at the future of health care delivery in the U.S. and of health care policy. Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Science Nursing Program. Students in other School of Health Sciences (SOHS) programs may take this course as an elective with the permission of the instructor.
NURS 206. Pharmacology. 3 Units.
This course will provide fundamental knowledge for students on the pharmacological knowledge for interventions for disease management, health prevention and health promotion. Students will study pharmacotherapeutic agents used to manage acute and chronic disease including drug actions and potentials side effects. Fundamental principles of safe and effective administration of pharmacotherapeutics are emphasized. Prerequisites: Enrollment in the ELMSN program.
NURS 207. Nursing Issues and Leadership. 3 Units.
This course explores the current complex health care systems in healthcare organizations to achieve The Triple Aim (IOM, 2010). Master’s prepared nurses are needed to advance from expert clinician to become transformational leaders to participate in changing challenges into opportunities for positive change to improve patient and healthcare outcomes. Students will explore their leadership strengths and area for improvement to advance their leadership capacity. Leadership skills needed for transformational leaders are studied and competencies mastered. The leadership role of the master’s prepared nurse in organizational and system change including new practice models are emphasized. Prerequisites: Admission to the MSN Program.
NURS 208A. Nursing Fundamentals. 3 Units.
Foundational nursing competencies and techniques are accomplished in this course. Students will develop critical thinking abilities in the role of communicator, educator, and caregiver. Students will develop fundamental competencies in maintaining a safe and hygienic environment, medical asepsis and infection control, principles of body biomechanics and mobility, basic gastrointestinal and urinary care, oxygen therapy and airway management, calculation of drug doses and safe medication administration. Prerequisites: Enrollment in the ELMSN program.
NURS 208B. Nursing Fundamental Lab/Practicum. 2 Units.
Students will apply theory, critical thinking, and the nursing process to gain mastery of selected fundamental competencies through practice in the skills/simulation lab. Clinical experiences may be incorporated with local health care faculties to provide opportunities for students to perform history taking, health histories and assessments. Corequisites: NURS 208A.
NURS 209. Foundations of Specialty Practice I. 3 Units.
This advanced pharmacology course is designed to prepare advanced practice primary care clinicians and managers with the knowledge of pharmacologic principles and the pharmacologic actions of the major drug classes. Pharmacological treatments will be discussed in relation to physiologic systems, with emphasis on the application of these agents. This course further studies best practices for medication management for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Hyperlipidemia, and Community Acquired Pneumonia. With increased knowledge the advanced practice primary nurse will assume a leadership role in overseeing best practices for medication safety in any setting to enhance quality and safety and improved patient outcomes. Prerequisites: Students in good standing in the MSN Program. Students in other School of Health Sciences (SOHS) programs may take this course as an elective with the permission of the instructor.
NURS 210. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. 2 Units.
To promote Healthy People 2030 nurses requires additional competency in patient education, theory, and practice. Theoretical constructs and literacy are emphasized to incorporate the social determinants of health for improving health promotion and prevention. This course provides the foundational knowledge for patient education and theoretical and practical strategies to attain competency in motivational interviewing to promote behavior change. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and COPD, and hypertension are prioritized for promoting behavior change and health promotion.
NURS 211. Foundations of Specialty Practice II. 3 Units.
Specialty Practice II provides the graduate nursing student with comprehensive and systematic health assessment and physical examination skills to conduct health assessments for adults and older adults. Advanced cognitive and psychomotor skills allow graduate students the opportunity to practice using a diagnostic reasoning process. Students will conduct health histories, health assessments, focused review of systems, and physical exam techniques to inform diagnostic reasoning for a differential diagnosis. Students will incorporate anticipatory guidance and health promotion to establish a patient centered plan of care. Prerequisites: Students in good standing in the MSN Program. Students must be enrolled in the companion course Foundations in Specialty Practice III. Students in other School of Health Sciences (SOHS) programs may take this course as an elective with the permission of the instructor.
NURS 212A. Nursing of Adults and Older Adults I. 4 Units.
Application of nursing theory and evidence based practice in caring for adults and older adults with both acute and chronic health conditions in acute and sub-acute health care settings. Emphasis is placed on the delivery of safe, patient-centered care integrating knowledge of psychophysiology and pharmacotherapy, developmental theories, and the human response to illness.
NURS 212B. Clinical Practicum: Nursing of Adults and Older Adults I. 3 Units.
Through clinical experiences, students will develop the psychomoter and critical thinking judgement skills to provide safe, patient-centered team based care to adults and older adults. Students demonstrate safe administration of of medications and the clinical skills that meet both agency and Evidence-Based guidelines required for nursing practice. Completion of 135 clinical hours.
NURS 214A. Mental Health Nursing Care. 3 Units.
Introduction to mental health nursing services and nurse-person and nurse-group communication patterns. Focus is on interdisciplinary collaboration, teaching-learning, and change -resistance patterns with health promotion, disease prevention, and care of individuals, families, and communities of diverse and cultural backgrounds with acute an chronic mental health conditions. Nursing services with special populations, including the homeless and issues regarding abuse, neglect, trauma, and substance abuse are explored.
NURS 214B. Clinical Practicum: Mental Health Nursing Care. 2.5 Units.
Clinical learning experiences with persons with emotional or a medical diagnosis of mental illness in both inpatient and community treatment settings. Focus is on the therapeutic communication in nurse-person, nurse-group, nurse-community patterns of relating, and care of the individuals and families with acute and chronic mental health problems. Collaborative health promotion and disease prevention strategies are emphasized for diverse populations. Students will engage in OSCE simulations to augment leaning.
NURS 215. Synthesis Project. 3 Units.
Each student will complete an Evidence-Based Practice Improvement Project related to their specialty area of concentration under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students may build on a clinical topic from previous courses. The project will be a culmination and integration of previous coursework and new knowledge. The project will include a systematic review of the literature, an implementation plan with timeline, data analysis, outcome measures, and produce data to assess effectiveness and sustainability. The project will be summarized into a scholarly paper with the expectation for further dissemination. Prerequisites: All required MSN courses completed or concurrent.
NURS 216A. Nursing of Adults and Older Adults II. 4 Units.
Building on the integrated knowledge and competencies from Nursing of adults and Older Adults I students will integrate new theories and knowledge to care for complex and chronically ill clients in acute and sub-acute settings. Emphasis is placed on the delivery of safe, patient-centered, team based care incorporating health promotion, disease prevention and patient family education.
NURS 216B. Clinical Practicum: Nursing of Adults and Older Adults II. 3 Units.
Through advanced clinical experiences, students will enhance their psychomotor and critical thinking/judgment skills to provide safe, patient-centered, team-based care to adults and older adults with complex health conditions. Students demonstrate safe administration of medications and the clinical competencies that meet both agency and EBP guidelines. Completion of 135 clinical hours. Prerequisites: Satisfactory Completion of NURS 212A and NURS 212B. Corequisite: Enrollment in NURS 216A.
NURS 217. Epidemiology. 3 Units.
Due to the changing landscape of health care and health care reform the role of the health care manager is evolving. Principles and application of epidemiology with its population-based perspective will serve as the focal point for planning, organizing, and evaluating health care services. Communities disease and consumption of health services are analyzed using epidemiological data. This course provides foundational knowledge for the advanced practice primary care nurse manager to understand how to use epidemiology data to plan, organize, and evaluate quality improvement efforts to enhance patient outcomes. Students will learn how to study the health needs for the populations they serve and determine what study design(s) best provide the needed data. Students will use relevant biostatistical data derived by epidemiology principles to study patient outcomes. Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Science Nursing Program. Students in other School of Health Sciences (SOHS) programs may take this course as an elective with the permission of the instructor.
NURS 218A. Maternity and Women's Health Care. 2 Units.
This course emphasizes applying nursing theory and evidence based clinical judgment in the care of low and high risk antepartum, intrapartum, post partum, and care of neonatal newborns for clients and families of diverse cultural backgrounds. Family theory, systems theory, developmental theories and the nursing process serve as an organizing framework for this population of clients and families.
NURS 218B. Clinical Practicum: Maternity and Women's Health Care. 2 Units.
In this practicum course, students will use theory and evidenced based clinical judgment in the care of low and high-risk antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum and neonatal clients. Students will gain skills and competencies in critical thinking/clinical judgment, psychomotor and communication skills in the care of antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum clients neonates and families. Students will complete 90 hours and participate in simulated learning experiences.
NURS 219. Population Health. 3 Units.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 and the Institute of Healthcare Improvement Triple Aim (2008) provided the incentive to develop programs and initiatives aimed at improving the health of all Americans. Population health is referred to as the study of the distribution of health outcomes within a population, the health determinants of health that impact these populations, and the policies and interventions that affect the determinants. The collection of health care outcome data and its analysis serve as the framework for targeted program development, implementation, and evaluation of effectiveness. Population health interventions encompass health promotion, disease prevention as well as caring for the sick. This course provides the student with a comprehensive overview of population health.
Prerequisites: Admission to the Master of Science Nursing Program. Epidemiology NURS 217.
NURS 220A. Nursing Care of Children. 3 Units.
This course applies nursing theory and uses evidence-based clinical judgement in the care of children and adolescents with acute and chronic illnesses, An additional focus will be on child growth and development, health promotion, health prevention, and family-centered care of diverse populations.
NURS 220B. Clinical Practicum: Nursing Care of Children. 3 Units.
This course provides clinical care experiences in acute, chronic, an ambulatory health care care settings. Family -centered care provides the framework for this course. Students will participate in clinical skills and simulated learning experiences.
NURS 222. Evidence-Based Research in Health Care. 3 Units.
The role of the master's prepared nurse in knowledge generation, dissemination and application within collaborative interprofessional teams is emphasized. Students gain knowledge and skills to critically appraise an analyze research findings to apply best evidence to improve practice and appropriately apply evidence to different population-based settings. This course prepares the student to identify a topic for their clinical improvement project.
NURS 224. Leadership and Management in the Clinical Setting. 3 Units.
This course introduces the leadership roles and management functions of professional registered nurses with the structure of the organization. The management process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling provides the structure for the course. Emphasis is given to organizational theory, management theory, and behavioral theory. Accountability for quality assurance in the provision of nursing care, multidisciplinary communication, and collaborative relationships are emphasized. Various modes of inquiry, including the nursing process, problem-solving models, and decision-making tools are utilized for analyzing complex leadership and management problems common to nurse leaders and managers.
NURS 226. Quality and Safety and Health Care Improvement. 3 Units.
Improvement science has emerged to provide a research focused framework for healthcare improvement for systems, safety, and policy. In this course students will acquire valuable skills, and Institute of Healthcare Improvement tools, to assess a problem area for future improvement. Students will analyze a clinical problem in their practice setting and develop an evidenced based improvement plan.
NURS 228. Population Health and Applied Epidemiology. 3 Units.
Students will examine individual, collective, environmental, and organizational factors that affect the health of human populations. The focus will include concepts of population assessments for high risk patients, in both acute care and community-based settings. Emphasis will include risk assessment, health promotion, illness prevention and protection to promote improved management of high acuity clients and populations. Student will use descriptive and analytical approaches to evaluate the distribution of disease within a select population. Interventions for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention will be explored in the broader context of the the social determinants of health to promote well being of individuals and communities. Prerequisites: Statistics.
NURS 230. Informatics and Technology in Health Care. 3 Units.
This course examines nursing informatics and healthcare technologies related to the speciality practice area, with emphasis on the role of the master's prepared nurse in the use of technology to promote quality care and positive outcomes. It examines technology's role in EBP, nursing education, and health care applications of information technology. Topics include health care applications, ethical and legal issues, and challenges related to the use of informatics.
NURS 232. Clinical Improvement Project I. 2 Units.
The student will identify a clinical topic (faculty approved) for the clinical improvement project. Students will conduct a comprehensive literature and systematic review of the selected topic. This learning activity will assist the student to focus their project and synthesize previous coursework for the MSN capstone project. The plan will include the design for the implementation of a quality improvement system project or EBP improvement project to improve patient outcomes. Using APA, a bibliography of resources will be submitted with the project plan.
NURS 234. Health Systems Leadership. 3 Units.
This course studies the complex health care systems of today and the challenges nurse leaders face to champion improvement in health care delivery systems to improve patient and population health outcomes. Master's prepared nurses are needed to advance from expert clinician to transformational leaders to engage in innovation, positive change and actively participate in evidence-based collaborative interdisciplinary solutions. Students will assess their leadership strengths and areas for improvement to develop an action plan to build leadership capacity. Students will acquire competencies in leadership and facilitation skills, organizational assessments, financing of health care systems, and theories of change to design new practice models.
NURS 236. Advanced Pharmacology. 3 Units.
In this course students will gain advanced pathophysiologic and pharmacological knowledge of chronic illnesses and management of complex high acuity illnesses that impact our health care systems. Management of diabetes will include a skills practicum of medication management, including CGM, and current diabetic medications to assist clients to better manage their blood glucose. Prerequisites: NURS 206.
NURS 238A. Public Health and Population-Based Nursing. 3 Units.
This course is designed to assist the nurse to meet the Scope and Standards for Public Health Nursing. These 17 standards provide a broad scope of practice to assess, diagnose, identify, plan, implement, and evaluate a public health and community-based intervention plan. The health of the community and subgroups within the community are the focus of this course. Students will apply nursing and public health standards to promote health, prevent disease, and restore health of the population groups. Prerequisites: NURS 228. Corequisites: NURS 238B.
NURS 238B. Clinical Practicum: Public Health and Population-Based Nursing. 2.5 Units.
This practicum will provide students with a community and public health perspective of the population they serve. Students will complete experiential learning in multiple health care settings and develop an EBP public health community based intervention plan to improve the health of a population. Prerequisites: NURS 228. Corequisites: NURS 238A.
NURS 240. Advanced Concepts in Nursing Practice. 2 Units.
Building on the integrated knowledge and competencies from Nursing of Adults and Older Adults I and II, students will care for complex and emergent clients in acute care setting. Emphasis is placed on the delivery of safe, patient-centered, team-based care incorporating health promotion, disease prevention and patient/family education. Core competencies from previously taken Medical-Surgical nursing courses are emphasized, with the focus of the care of adults with acute conditions.
NURS 242. Advanced Preceptored Clinical Immersion. 5 Units.
Students will complete 225 clinical hours under the guidance of a faculty mentor and program approved preceptor. Students will coordinate clinical days with the preceptor. The course is designed to provide an in-depth clinical experience for students to assist with their transition to professional practice.
NURS 244. Advanced Professional Role & Advocacy. 2 Units.
The role of the master’s prepared nurse in advocacy and leadership relate to policy development and innovation in health care delivery is emphasized. This course explores current nursing and health care issues within the context of transformational leadership strategies.
NURS 246. Care Coordination and Transition Management. 2 Units.
This course prepares nursing students to integrate care coordination and transition management into practice throughout the continuum of care. Students are co-enrolled in the preceptored immersion course; therefore, students will identify complex care patients (with approval of their preceptor) to meet course objectives.
NURS 248. Clinical Improvement Project II. 3 Units.
Using the guidelines for the Clinical Improvement Project, each student will complete a scholarly written paper for the Clinical Improvement Project. In addition, students will complete a poster(conference quality) of their project and present findings in their clinical agency. Dissemination of research findings will be presented at a research forum, hosted by faculty, to share projects with the health science and graduate professional community.
NURS 287. Practicum. 1-5 Units.
This course provides experiential learning opportunities related to the specialty practice area. Students work with qualified nurse preceptors to explore current best practices, evidence, and leadership strategies in the clinical setting. Practicum hours are computed based on 3 clinical hours: 1 credit hour ratio (within a 15-week semester). A total of 240 hours is completed averaging 16 hours a week. Students may extend this practicum for a second semester NURS 287B if they require additional weeks to complete the practicum hours. Students are required to complete a minimum of two units in NURS 287A to progress.
Prerequisites: All required MSN courses completed or concurrent.
- Integrate, translate, and apply evidence and evolving evidence from nursing and other academic disciplines to inform clinical judgment an innovation into nursing practice in diverse healthcare settings.
- Demonstrate person-centered care that is holistic, just, respectful, and compassionate, and reflects the differences, values, needs, and preferences of the patient as a full partner in their care.
- Integrate clinical prevention, health promotion, and population health knowledge in the planning, design, management and evaluation of health care services for individuals, families, and aggregate populations.
- Generate, synthesize, translate, apply and disseminate research and evidence to advance patient outcomes and improve health care systems.
- Analyze organizational and systems of care and use quality improvement science strategies, tools, methods, and performance measures to improve safety and outcomes of patients and care systems.
- Engage in relationship centered leadership to build and sustain collaborative interprofessional teams to optimize care, enhance the experience, improve outcomes, and reduce costs.
- Integrate meaningful data obtained from information and healthcare technologies to monitor, manage, and improve the delivery of nursing and healthcare services in accordance with best practices.
- Participate in the health policy development process and employ advocacy strategies to influence health and healthcare.
- Formulate and cultivate a professional nursing identity that is accountable to patients, society, and the profession.
- Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership competencies for ethical and critical decision-making to build effective working relationships that result in high quality and safe systems of healthcare.
- Incorporate advanced knowledge and competencies into nursing specialty practice to improve healthcare outcomes at the individual, populations, or systems level.