Aug 18, 2018  
2014-2015 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nursing MS

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The Nursing MS program prepares graduates for nursing  roles in a clinical area of either Adult Health Nursing or Community Health  Nursing, and in a functional role as Nurse Educator or Nurse Manager.   The  program objectives are to:

            1.  Model nursing care practice that demonstrates respect for human dignity, ethical responsibility, and interpersonal connectedness.

            2.  Master communication strategies to address complex health issues in a variety of forums and formats.

            3.  Evaluate the aggregate outcomes of nursing care using accepted professional standards and evidence-based benchmarks to effect quality of care within or across systems.

            4.  Implement evidence based nursing strategies that have been developed, tailored and evaluated with clients to maximize health.

            5.  Synthesize specialized and diverse knowledge  advancing nursing practice.

            6.  Assume a leadership role in advancing, fostering and maintaining nursing values and standards.

            7.  Influence nursing practice and health policy to shape care delivery to diverse and vulnerable populations.

            8.  Assume a leadership role in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members, and community partners to promote health, guide clients through the illness experience and to improve the health care  system.


The Nursing MS program is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing. The review process occurs on a regular, cyclic basis.

Graduates of the program are prepared to assume roles as nurse educators or nurse managers. Courses are scheduled to permit either full-time or part-time study.

The Nursing MS program consists of 37 credits for students in the Community Health option, and 39 credits for students in the Adult Health option.



Selection of a Clinical Option

Each student specifies one clinical option at the time of admission. Transfers to other options may be made on a space available basis if the student meets additional criteria specific to the other option. Changing options may result in loss of credits applicable to final degree.

Clinical Practicum

Clinical practica are essential components of MS level graduate nursing education and offer the best opportunity to apply new knowledge and specialized skills in each advanced nursing practice option.

Clinical experiences vary according to the focus of each option. Typically, there will be 12 hours of clinical each week in the practicum experiences.

Clinical placements are determined by agency/preceptor availability and student learning needs. It should be noted that appropriate clinical preceptors are typically only available during weekdays (although some exceptions do occur).


Adult Health Option

Adult Nurse Practitioner

(NOTE: This option will be inactivated when current students have graduated.)

The Adult Nurse Practitioner track prepares the student for management of primary and chronic health problems in adult populations. A foundation in pathophysiology, health assessment, and clinical pharmacology – in addition to precepted clinical practicuma – facilitates the development of diagnostic and management skills. A nursing framework emphasizing wellness and system wide client advocacy strategies is threaded throughout this track.

Upon completion of the Adult Nurse Practitioner track, students are eligible for the Adult Health Practitioner Examination offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The examination is now offered at approved computer centers throughout the year.

Total credits: 43


Clinical is based upon 4 clock hours for each clinical credit
Total clinical hours greater than 500
Total credits = 43

Advanced Practice

(NOTE:  This option will be inactivated when current students have graduated.)

The Advanced Practice track prepares the student in the area of education or a clinical specialist in medical-surgical nursing. Students complete a 27-30 credit core in the MS in Adult Health. They then select 12-15 credits in their functional area of interest (education; clinical specialist).

Select from either Clinical (CNS) or education focus

Education Focus: 15 credits

Select two from the following list: *

  • One course free elective or Independent study in Education (potential practicum hours). If supervised Teaching Assistant, hours can be counted toward teaching practicum hours - 3 credits

* Education focus selects 3 credits of practicum between 622 and 624; CNS selects 6 practicum credits (622; 624)

* Requirements for Advanced Practice exam = Advanced Assessment, Pharmacology, Pathophysiology and 500 hours practicum; if desired may slightly exceed 42 credits in Education focus

Total credits: 42

Community Nursing Option

(NOTE:  This option will be inactivated when current students have graduated.)

Advanced Practice

This track prepares graduates skilled in the advanced clinical practice of community nursing. Community nursing is defined as a focus on the health needs of population groups. The graduate will be proficient in synthesizing a combined theoretical framework from both nursing and public health, and in utilizing theory-based clinical decision making. Five clinical competencies are expected: beginning researcher, clinician, educator, consultant, and clinical program manager. The professional nurse with advanced practice skills is able to design and implement programs, using objectives from “Healthy People 2020” to target the needs of vulnerable populations. Students complete 33 credits in the MS in Community Health and 9 credits of functional options and  electives.

Function options

select one category below— either administrative, education, or general nursing knowledge:

Administrative: 6 credits

  • XXX Management elective - 3 credits
Education: 6 credits

General Nursing Knowledge: 6 credits

  • NUR xxx Elective - 3 credits

Total credits: 42


Clinical hours 1 credit = 4 hours
minimum 500 clinical hours

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