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Master of
Science in Nursing

Program Description

Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) is developing innovative advanced-practice nursing programs building on the CEPR approved Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree as part of the process in establishing the PHSU School of Nursing (SON).  The first advanced-practice program is the pre-licensure Master of Science in Nursing in Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) Degree.  Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) serve as the primary health care providers in many settings. The advanced-practice component of the Program focuses on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver nursing care to persons of all ages across primary care settings, including those in rural and under-served areas. FNP graduates are prepared for advanced clinical practice that involves individuals and families throughout the lifespan and across the health continuum promoting quality and safety, advocating for diverse patient populations, and agents of change for healthier communities.

Overview of the MSN/FNP Program

PHSU has developed an innovative, advanced practice nursing program.  The 60-credit hour MSN/FNP Program is sequentially structured and can be completed in approximately 1.5 years with full time enrollment. The Program curriculum is based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials for Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing and Clinical /Practice Learning Expectations for Master Programs.  FNPs serve as the primary health care providers in many settings. The advanced practice component of the program focuses on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver nursing care to person of all ages across primary care settings, including those in rural and under-served areas. FNP graduates are prepared for advanced clinical practice that involves individuals and families throughout the lifespan and across the health continuum promoting quality and safety, advocating for diverse patient populations and agents of change for healthier communities.

The Master Program provides individuals with the ability to implement evidenced-based practice in the delivery of professional nursing care based on higher-level competencies throughout a variety of clinical settings.  Evidence-Based practice incorporates scientific findings in the delivery of nursing care that includes both theory and practical clinical skills required by the field of nursing to provide leadership and render safe, culturally appropriate patient care. The Nursing Program consists of lectures, skills lab, and clinical practicums.  The clinical practicum occurs in a variety of settings including long-term care facilities, acute care hospitals and community-based agencies including public health departments, primary care offices, private clinics, and schools.

The nursing program coordinates the practicum experiences with each affiliated agency so that nursing students have exceptional experiences appropriate to each advanced nursing practicum.  Students will be supervised in all practicum by experienced program faculty, centers preceptors and other mentors in the field. The arrangements are contractual requiring a clear understanding of expectations among all individuals who participate, including students.

Mission of the Program

The MSN/FNP  Program supports the Mission of PHSU by seeking to improve the health of diverse populations by providing academically rigorous, evidence-based  in advanced practice nursing  in an intra-professional environment to prepare graduates who demonstrate excellence in advance nursing practice embracing equity and culturally effective care to patients, families, and communities, utilize informatics to support decision making, transform health care, and serve others through health promotion, and to have positive impacts through service to families and communities at local, national and global levels

Vision of the Program

The Nursing Program vision statement is future-oriented and supports the Vision of PHSU by aspiring to be recognized for excellence and innovation in education, leadership, advocacy, research, and culturally competent nursing practice.

After successfully completing the MSN/FNP degree, graduates will be able to:

  1. Integrate nursing and related sciences into the delivery of advanced nursing care to diverse populations.
  2. Apply ethical analysis and clinical reasoning to assess, intervene, and evaluate advanced nursing care delivery.
  3. Implement evidence-based plans based on trend analysis and quantify the impact on quality and safety.
  4. Demonstrate self-insight and professionalism through on-going analysis of the therapeutic use of self.
  5. Apply crisis intervention models to patients based on the analysis of data and evidence-based practice related to actual and potential mental health deviations.
  6. Provide safe, cost-effective nursing care in collaboration with members of the health care team recognizing the changing focus of mental health care from inpatient to community-based care.
  7. Enhance leadership in the field of nutrition education and behavior change in a variety of setting including individual, community and policy.
  1. Practice safe, high quality advanced nursing care based on concepts and knowledge from nursing and related disciplines.
  2. Strengthen the knowledge of self as an advanced practice nurse in caring for pediatrics, adolescents, adults, older adults, families, and communities when promoting quality and safe standards of care.
  3. Embrace the relationship of the NP’s role components critical to primary healthcare including power, negotiation, collaboration, advocacy change, ethics quality assurance, evidence-based competence, and professionalism.
  4. Apply leadership skills and decision making in the provision of culturally responsive, high quality nursing care, health care team coordination, and the oversight and accountability for care delivery and outcomes.
  5. Analyze current and emerging technologies to support safe practice environment and to optimize patient safety, cost effectiveness and health outcomes.
  6. Apply business and economic principles and practices, including budgeting, cost/benefit analysis, and marketing strategies to develop a business plan.
  7. Participate in the design and implementation of new models of care delivery and coordination.

Clinical training begins after the student has: (1) successfully completed the Physical Assessment for Advanced Practice Nursing course (2) complied with all clinical requirements, including  immunization documentations, (3) successfully completed prerequisite core course work,  and (4) received the appropriate clearance to attend the clinical practicum from the FNP program.

The clinical requirements and supporting documents for practicum must be submitted prior to beginning the first advanced clinical nursing course. These include the following:

1. Annual Standard Precautions (Bloodborne Pathogens – BBP) Training

All students are required to participate in BBP training annually.  All students must attend the specified safety orientation, and successfully complete blood – borne pathogen training prior to being allowed into clinical work. Students are expected to acquaint themselves with the location and contents of manuals, Minimum Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and posted notices related to Blood-Borne Pathogens. Additional information about this process is in the Clinical Practicum Handbook.

2. HIPPA Training

All students are subject to the US Department of Health and Human Services “Privacy Rule” contained in the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIP AA) of 1996. This federal law is designed to guarantee patient confidentiality and protects against the misuse or inappropriate disclosure of individually identifiable health information. As part of the clinical experience, students are allowed access to protected health information as necessary to provide patient care. Completion of the HIPAA Education Module is required prior to enrollment in clinical courses and annually thereafter. Illegal disclosure of patient confidential information is grounds for dismissal from the Nursing Program and carries the possibility of legal action.

3. CPR Certification

Submit the signed front and back copy of your card to the Nursing Program. CPR cards must be renewed before the due date for clinical requirements and may not come due for renewal at any time during the semester.

4. Health Insurance

Provide a copy of your current health insurance card or proof of coverage. If your name is not included on the card, you will be asked to submit a letter from your insurance company verifying your coverage. At any time should your coverage change, please copy and provide updated information.

5. Immunization and Tuberculosis Testing  

Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) adheres to the CDC norms on adult immunization. The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for maintaining the documentation of student immunization and PPD status. Immunization requirements are:

  • Hepatitis B: All nursing students are required to have been immunized against Hepatitis B. Such immunization consists of a series of three injections that should be completed prior to or as soon as possible after matriculation. Students who are not in compliance may be barred from participation in clinical activities at the discretion of the Associate Dean’s Office.

  • RubellaRubella immunity via history or documented vaccine or serological titer is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

  • Rubeola: Rubeola immunization is required for all students born after 1957. Students must provide physician documentation of receipt of two doses of vaccine or serologic evidence of immunity before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

  • MumpsMumps immunization is required. A physician documented history of immunization or documented evidence for immunity (serologic titers) is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

*Rubella, Rubeola and Mumps requirement is filled by 2 doses of MMR at least on year apart.

  • Polio, Tetanus, DiphtheriaStudents should be current in immunization against polio, tetanus and diphtheria. It is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

  • VaricellaStudents with a history of varicella should have it documented. Students without a history of varicella must have a titer for varicella antibody determined. Students with a negative titer are recommended to undergo varicella immunization. Non-immune students will not be permitted on some clinical services specifically Pediatrics Nursing.

  • Influenza: Students should have the influenza vaccine before entering the clinical clerkships. It will be available at a reasonable cost at PHSU Outpatient Clinic.

PHSU requires annual tuberculin (intra dermal) testing for actively enrolled students. Evaluation and management of nursing students with positive tests or those whose test becomes positive during nursing school will be evaluated through the PHSU outpatient clinic.

These requirements may vary according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommendation. (Refer to the complete Immunization Policy in the PHSU Catalog and the Student Policy Manual).

6. Professional Liability Insurance

All Nursing students need to have Malpractice/Liability Insurance. The coverage required is a policy that provides $1,000,000 for each medical incident and $3,000,000 aggregate. Additional information about this will be provided to each student prior to the first clinical course.

7. Alcohol, Tobacco, Illicit Drug and Violence

PHSU prohibits the abuse of alcohol within the academic community. The possession, distribution or use of illegal drugs is ground for immediate sanction, including dismissal. Smoking is prohibited on school grounds. Violence is not tolerated within the academic community or on the school or affiliated facilities. (Refer to the institutional policy in the PHSU l Catalog, the Student Policy Manual).

  • Have obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Have completed the following undergraduate prerequisites courses:

Courses 

Credits

Introduction to Nutrition                        

2

Human Anatomy and Physiology                

3

Microbiology with Lab                   

4

Human Growth and Development     

3

Introduction to Statistics          

3

  • Provide scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or EXADEP or equivalent admission examination.
  • Evidence of at least a year of clinical experience as a Registered Nurse.
  • Evidence of current valid Registered Nurse (RN) license.
  • Evidence of active membership of the Puerto Rico College of Nursing Professionals
  • Submit a 500-words written essay indicating your interest in family nurse practitioner.
  • Complete an interview with the Admission Committee.

Applicants must submit the following documents to the Admissions Office:

  • Complete the On-line Admissions Application.
  • Official transcript from all undergraduate and graduate universities attended
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in a 4.0- Point Scale.
  • Scores of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or EXADEP or equivalent admission examination.
  • Submit two certified letters of recommendation (faculty and supervisor).
  • Submit a 500-words written essay indicating your interest in family nurse practitioner.
  • Certificate of No Penal Record (Criminal Background check)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Copy of Registered Nurse (RN) license.
  • Copy of active membership of the Puerto Rico College of Nursing Professionals
  • Letter of an employer who evidences at least one year of clinical experience as a Registered Nurse.
  • Demonstrate English and Spanish proficiency in speaking, reading and writing
  • $85.00 Application Processing Fee (non-refundable)
Deadline to submit a complete application – May 30th

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