Admission

Applicants are offered admission to the Master of Science in Nursing program on the basis of intellectual capacity, performance, maturity, clarity of goals, and other qualities appropriate to graduate study in nursing. Not all of these qualities are measured in absolute terms, and the decision to make an offer of admission is based on a balanced appraisal of the total application record.

Admission Requirements   The applicant must:

  1. Have completed a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an NLN accredited school;
  2. Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate study;
  3. Provide validation of health assessment skills;
  4. Be licensed as a registered nurse;
  5. Demonstrate satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination;
  6. Submit three satisfactory academic and professional recommendations;
  7. Submit a clear statement of educational and professional goals.
  8. Beginning Fall 1996, an undergraduate statistics course is required for admission.
Admission Procedures   Applications for admission are obtained from the Office of Student Affairs, Master's Program, School of Nursing. In addition to submitting the completed application, the applicant must:
  1. Request that official transcripts of all academic work and validation of health assessment skills be forwarded by the institutions to the Office of Student Affairs, Master's Program, School of Nursing.
  2. Obtain three statements of recommendation from persons who can speak directly to her/his ability to pursue graduate study. The statements of recommendation are to be sent by the writers of the recommendations to the Office of Student Affairs, Master's Program, School of Nursing. Forms to be used are in the application packet.
  3. Take the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants are urged to take this examination as early as possible. Address inquiries to the Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, N.J. 08540, or to the Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, Box 1502, Berkeley, CA 94701.
Application Deadlines   The completed application and the $40 application fee must be received by the following dates: April 1 for summer session admission and fall semester admission; and December 1 for spring semester admission. Students who do not meet these deadlines but are accepted to the master's program will be admitted for the following session.

All correspondence concerning admission should be addressed to Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Office of Student Affairs, School of Nursing, McLeod Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Matriculation   Once a student has been admitted into the Master of Science in Nursing program he/she has one calendar year in which to matriculate. A student who fails to begin classes within one year must re-apply for admission.

Special Student Status   Under special circumstances, students with baccalaureate degrees in nursing may complete a maximum of two graduate nursing courses without formally seeking admission to the degree program. Special Student Status will be granted only when there are vacancies available. An application for Special Student Status, obtained from the Office of Student Affairs, must be submitted prior to the registration period for the semester in which the student desires to enroll. Admitted students receive priority for enrollment in courses which are oversubscribed. Completion of coursework as a special student does not guarantee admission to the program.

Students wishing to take UVA off-Grounds, credit courses at a UVA Continuing Education Center may take a maximum of six credits which will be accepted towards the master's degree if the courses meet program requirements. This is in lieu of taking two on-Grounds courses as a special student in the School of Nursing. Decisions about the acceptability of a course are determined by the faculty advisor or course professor depending on whether the course is a required course or an elective.

Academic Regulations

Degree Requirements
  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 36 credits of approved graduate courses for students in the clinical specialist tracks; 55 credits of course work for students in the primary care nurse practitioner track; 47 credits of course work for students in the acute/critical care nurse practitioner track, and 57 credits of course work for students in the combined nurse practitioner/clinical specialist tracks. Course requirements are specified under the section on Program Description.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all course work as specified in policy on grades with a final cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B).
  3. Completion of all requirements for the degree within five calendar years after matriculation into the program.
  4. Enrollment and payment of tuition and fees for no fewer than two regular semesters or the equivalent.
Grades   The standing of a master's student in each course is indicated by one of the following symbols: A (very distinguished), A- (distinguished), B+ (very good), B (satisfactory), B- (acceptable), C (unsatisfactory), F (failure). A minimum grade of "B-" is required in all courses offered for any graduate degree. If a student receives a "C" grade in any School of Nursing course, the course must be repeated. A grade of "C" in any other course requires repeating the course and earning a satisfactory grade or earning a minimum grade of "B-" in an alternate course. Students who receive more than one "C" grade are automatically dropped from the program. Any "F" grade results in the student being dropped from the program. A grade of Incomplete is a non-grade designation given for a course. The Incomplete designation will be recorded as an F if it is not removed within one calendar year, or prior to graduation, whichever comes first.

Transfer of Credit   Students may receive transfer credit for a maximum of two graduate level courses completed at other accredited institutions. In order to be accepted for transfer, the courses must have been completed with a minimum grade of B.

Credit for transfer courses will be determined following evaluation of each student's course work and overall plan of study. Evaluation of credits for transfer will not occur until after the student is admitted to the program. Information on the procedure for transfer of credit is available from the Office of the Associate Dean.

Application for Degrees   Applications for degrees may be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean. Formal application for master's degrees to be conferred must be submitted by students to the School of Nursing Office of the Associate Dean no later than October 1 for fall, February 1 for spring, and June 1 for summer. A student who has been listed as a degree candidate and then fails to complete degree requirements must reapply. A student who has been registered for a degree and then fails to meet the requirements for the degree must pay a fee of $10 for the preparation of a new diploma.

Acceptance of Degrees   Formal commencement exercises are held only once a year, in May. All those who have completed the program in August or December are invited to attend the exercises the following May.

Voluntary Withdrawal   An official application to withdraw must be approved by the Dean of the School of Nursing or his/her designate. Withdrawal applications may be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean. The application must then be endorsed by the Associate Dean. Student identification cards will be collected at the time of withdrawal.

A student will not be given permission to withdraw later than two weeks before the beginning of the examination period in any semester except for providential reasons.

A student who withdraws from the University for reasons of ill health must obtain permission from the Department of Student Health; and subsequent medical clearance from the Department of Student Health is required for readmission.

Readmission After Voluntary Withdrawal   Readmission to the Master's Program of the School of Nursing is not automatic. After absence of a semester or longer, a former student must apply for readmission to the School of Nursing. Application for readmission must be made to the Associate Dean, by December 1 for spring semester or April 1 for fall semester. Readmission following a withdrawal or leave of absence will be granted only if space is available.

Leaves of Absence   The Associate Dean may grant leaves of absence to students for a semester or a session upon written application which states the reason for temporarily leaving the University.

Program Description

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Tracks   The 36 credit curriculum leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing is designed to prepare nurses for advanced practice roles with opportunities for specialization in an area of clinical concentration. Students in the program complete core courses in nursing theory, research, epidemiology/population-based assessment, resource management and health policy as well as a clinical area in adult health nursing, community/home health nursing, critical care nursing or psychiatric-mental health nursing. Elective credits complement and expand the program. The program may be completed in one calendar year of full-time study (two semesters and two six-week summer sessions). Part-time study is available.

Students may enter one of the CNS tracks after completing a baccalaureate in nursing or they may progress after satisfactorily meeting the criteria for progression in the Second Degree to MSN program. The entire sequence of courses for the Second Degree to MSN program may be found in the Undergraduate Record.

Descriptions of the specific areas of clinical concentration are as follows:

Adult Health Nursing   Adult health nursing emphasizes the preparation of nurses for advanced practice roles in the care of adults with acute or chronic health deviations. Advanced practice roles include clinical practice, teaching, consultation research and management. Students work with faculty and preceptors to develop knowledge, clinical expertise and leadership abilities in directing the nursing care of selected client population in hospitals, clinics and/or rehabilitation settings.

Acute/Critical Care Nursing   The critical care nursing option is designed to prepare practitioners with advanced skills in the care of critically ill individuals. Emphasis is placed on examining human responses and functional patterns of critically ill individuals and designing appropriate nursing care strategies for managing patients in critical care settings. Clinical experiences are designed to provide relevant opportunities in the five components of the advanced practice role: expert clinician, manager, researcher, teacher and consultant.

Mental Health-Psychiatric Nursing   This area of concentration prepares nurses for advanced practice in the field of psychiatric-mental health nursing. A major emphasis is placed on critical consideration of scientific information about neurostructural-neurochemical, cognitive, behavioral, social and cultural correlates of psychiatric illness in the context of the advanced practice of psychiatric mental health nursing. Supervised clinical practice is directed toward the application of the above emerging scientific knowledge to patient care through psychiatric mental health nursing interventions with the persistently mentally ill, geriatric and other special populations. Prevention of mental illness, unnecessary disability and relapse, and the integration of supportive services to maintain function and quality of life are major themes throughout the curriculum. Faculty work closely with students to develop individualized clinical experiences in acute, chronic and community settings.

Community and Home Health Nursing   This area of concentration prepares nurses for advanced practice in promoting the health of individuals, families, groups and communities. Emphasis is on assessing the health status and health delivery systems of communities and the care needs of individuals and groups and designing nursing interventions in organizationally complex settings. Courses provide the required knowledge and expertise needed to plan and evaluate care in community settings, including home health, primary care clinics and public health departments. The focus is on care management to assure continuity of health service delivery for individuals and groups.

Program Course Work   The ratio of clinical hours to credits is 4.1. Courses will be taught only if there is a sufficient number of students registering for them. Semester schedules published by the Office of the Registrar must be consulted for courses to be offered during a given semester.

Tentative Course Sequences for the Clinical Nurse Specialist Tracks

Adult Health Nursing
Fall Semester

GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 584 Pathophysiology (4)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)
GNUR 730 Adult Health Seminar I (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)
GNUR 702 Family Health Promotion (3)
GNUR 731 Adult Health Seminar II (3)
GNUR 732 Adult Health Practicum I (3)

Summer Session
GNUR 590 Health Policy and Issues (3)
GNUR 707 Health Informatics (2)
GNUR 733 Adult Health Practicum II (4)
GNUR 791 Resource Management I (3)

Acute/Critical Care Nursing
Fall Semester

GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 584 Pathophysiology (4)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)
GNUR 760 Seminar I: Intro to Clinical Decision Making in Bio-System Dysfunction (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)
GNUR 590 Health Policy & Issues (3)
GNUR 707 Health Informatics (2)
GNUR 736 Critical Care Practicum I (3)
GNUR 761 Seminar II: Problem Based Clinical Decision Making in Complex Patients (3)

Summer Session
GNUR 737 Critical Care Practicum II (3)
GNUR 791 Resource Management I (3)
Elective (3)

Community/Home Health Nursing
Fall Semester

GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)
GNUR 700 Health Assessment of Communities (3)
GNUR 721 Care Management in Community and Home Health (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)
GNUR 702 Family Health Promotion (3)
GNUR 722 Community and Home Health Care Systems (3)
GNUR 723 Community and Home Health Practicum I (3)

Summer Session
GNUR 590 Health Policy and Issues (3)
GNUR 724 Community and Home Health Practicum II (3)
GNUR 791 Resource Management I (3)
Elective (3)

Mental Health-Psychiatric Nursing
Fall Semester

GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)
GNUR 770 Biological Basis of Mental Health and Mental Illness (3)
GNUR 771 Psych-Mental Health Nursing Seminar I (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)
GNUR 702 Family Health Promotion (3)
GNUR 773 Theoretical Foundations of Mental Health-Psychiatric Nursing (3)
GNUR 774 Mental Health-Psyc Practicum I (3)

Summer Session
GNUR 590 Health Policy and Issues (3)
GNUR 775 Mental Health-Psych Practicum II (3)
GNUR 791 Resource Management I (3)
Elective (3)

Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Track   The 55 credit curriculum leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing prepares nurses for advanced practice as family nurse practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners or women's health nurse practitioners. Students in the program complete core courses in nursing theory, research, epidemiology/population-based assessment and health policy. In addition, courses in advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, family health promotion, nutrition and advanced health assessment are required of all students in the primary care nurse practitioner tracks. Clinical seminars and preceptorships are designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as nurse practitioners in primary care settings. The program may be completed in four semesters and one summer (12 weeks) of full-time study. Full-time study is recommended but part-time study is available. One year prior relevant experience is required for admission to the primary care nurse practitioner tracks.

A 57 credit curriculum leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing combines preparation for advanced practice in a specialty area with the knowledge and skills required of a primary care nurse practitioner. Students in the program complete core courses as described in the previous paragraph as well as selected courses in an area of clinical specialty. Combined programs are available in community/home health and psychiatric- mental health. The program may be completed in four semesters and one summer session (12 weeks) of full-time study. Full-time study is encouraged but part-time study is available. One year prior relevant experience is required for admission to the combined track.

Tentative Course Sequence for Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Track

Family, Women's Health or Pediatric/Nurse Practitioner
Fall Semester

GNUR 564 Nutrition in Health Promotion (2)
GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 584 Pathophysiology (4)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)
GNUR 590 Health Policy & Issues (3)
GNUR 702 Family Health Promotion (3)
GNUR 707 Health Informatics (2)

Summer Session
GNUR 550 Pharmacology (3)
GNUR 551 Advanced Health Assessment (3)
GNUR 566 Primary Care Seminar I (3)
GNUR 568 Primary Care Preceptorship I (3)

Fall Semester
GNUR 567 Primary Care Seminar II (3)
GNUR 569 Primary Care Preceptorship II (3)
GNUR 572 Collaboration Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)
Elective (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 570 Primary Care Seminar III (3)
GNUR 571 Primary Care Preceptorship III (6)
GNUR 572 Collaboration Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)

Mental Health-Psychiatric/Nurse Practitioner
Fall Semester
GNUR 584 Pathophysiology (4)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)
GNUR 770 Biological Basis of Mental Health/Mental Illness (3)
GNUR 771 Psych-Mental Health Nursing Seminar I (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 590 Health Policy & Issues (3)
GNUR 702 Family Health Promotion (3)
GNUR 773 Theoretical Foundations of Mental Health-Psych Nursing (3)

Summer Session
GNUR 550 Pharmacology (3)
GNUR 551 Advanced Health Assessment (3)
GNUR 566 Primary Care Seminar I (3)
GNUR 568 Primary Care Preceptorship (3)

Fall Semester
GNUR 567 Primary Care Seminar II (3)
GNUR 569 Primary Care Preceptorship II (3)
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 570 Primary Care Seminar III (3)
GNUR 571 Primary Care Preceptorship (6)
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)

Community & Home Health/Nurse Practitioner
Fall Semester
GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 584 Pathophysiology (4)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)
GNUR 700 Community Assessment (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)
GNUR 590 Health Policy & Issues (3)
GNUR 702 Family Health Promotion (3)
GNUR 722 Community/Home Health Care Systems (3)

Summer Session
GNUR 550 Pharmacology (3)
GNUR 551 Advanced Health Assessment (3)
GNUR 566 Primary Care Seminar I (3)
GNUR 568 Primary Care Preceptorship (3)

Fall Semester
GNUR 567 Primary Care Seminar II (3)
GNUR 569 Primary Care Preceptorship II (3)
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)
GNUR 721 Care Management in Community/Home Health (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 570 Primary Care Seminar III (3)
GNUR 571 Primary Care Preceptorship III (6)
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)

Acute/Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Track   A 47 credit curriculum leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing is designed to prepare nurses for advanced practice as acute/critical care nurse practitioners. This option prepares students for a scope of practice beyond that of other advanced practice roles in acute care. Students in the program complete core courses in nursing theory, research, epidemiology/population-based assessment, and health policy. In addition, emphasis is placed on the refinement of advanced health assessment skills and acquisition of knowledge in advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, diagnostic reasoning, clinical decision making and advanced therapeutics. Clinical seminars and preceptorships are designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice in the full continuum of acute care services. The program may be completed in two semester and two summer sessions (12 weeks each) of full-time study. The program is designed to begin in the summer. One year prior relevant experience is required for admission.

Tentative Course Sequence for Acute/Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Track

Summer Session
GNUR 550 Pharmacology (3)
GNUR 551 Advanced Health Assessment (3)
Elective (3)
GNUR 738 Forensic Nursing (3) or GNUR 762 Immunocompetence in VulnerablePopulations (3)

Fall Semester
GNUR 580 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
GNUR 584 Pathophysiology (4)
GNUR 585 Epidemiology/Population Based Assessment (3)
GNUR 760 Seminar I: Introduction to Clinical Decision Making in Bio-System Dysfunction (3)

Spring Semester
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)
GNUR 582 Research Processes for Health Care Practitioners (3)
GNUR 707 Health Informatics (2)
GNUR 761 Seminar II: Problem Based Clinical Decision Making in Complex Patients (3)
GNUR 763 Acute/Critical Care Preceptorship I (3)

Summer Session
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)
GNUR 590 Health Policy & Issues (3)
GNUR 764 Acute/Critical Care Preceptorship II (3)
GNUR 765 Acute/Critical Care Preceptorship III (3)

Second Degree to MSN Track   The baccalaureate and master's curricula have been modified to provide a three year plus one summer session track leading to the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing degrees for non-nurses. With the exception of a complete course sequence of human anatomy and physiology, specific general education courses are not required for admission based on satisfactory completion of a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited institution. During the first two years, students meet requirements for the baccalaureate through satisfactory completion of a combination of baccalaureate and master's courses. Students who have met progression standards of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B), a minimum of B- on all graduate level courses and licensure to practice as a professional nurse are permitted to progress to the master's portion of the program. During the third year of the program, students complete requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing in one of the clinical nurse specialist tracks. Students wishing to progress to the primary care or acute/critical care nurse practitioner tracks must have one year prior relevant experience in order to progress to the master's portion of the program.


MSN/MBA Joint Degree Program

The School of Nursing and the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration offer a joint degree program designed to prepare managers of health care agencies who possess a unique blend of clinical and administrative skills. Graduates of the program will be prepared to assume senior level positions in hospitals, corporate offices, ambulatory care and long-term care agencies. In addition, they will also be prepared to contribute to health policy development. The program may be completed in two and one-half years of full-time study. Applicants must be registered nurses holding at least a baccalaureate degree in nursing and they must meet all admission requirements for both the School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Business. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs.


Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Program

The Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Program is designed to provide the Master's prepared nurse with the necessary skills and knowledge to assume the role of a primary health care provider in various clinical facilities. The necessary nursing and medical skills include: psychosocial and physical assessment through health history and physical examination; identification, screening and triage of acute minor illness followed by consultation/ referral to a physician; nursing and medical management of commonly encountered acute, minor, and chronic illnesses in collaboration and consultation with a physician; knowledge of community needs and resources available for health promotion; health teaching, guidance, and counseling of clients and their families about illness and prevention and health promotion, maintenance, and management.

Other areas explored in the nurse practitioner program include the changing health care delivery system, the expanded role of the nurse, and nursing issues, particularly as they relate to the nurse practitioner.

An essential part of the nurse practitioner program is the clinical preceptorship. This preceptorship immediately follows the didactic/clinical portion of the program and is arranged at an agency/physician's office that reflects the clinical content of the family nurse practitioner program.

The practitioner program is approved by the Joint Committee of the Boards of Nursing and Medicine in Virginia. Graduates are eligible to apply for practitioner certification by this Joint Committee and are also eligible to sit for National Certification Examinations.

Admission

Applicants must:
  1. Have completed a master's degree in nursing from an NLN accredited school of nursing;
  2. Be licensed as a registered nurse;
  3. Submit three satisfactory academic/professional recommendations;
  4. Submit a clear statement of educational and professional goals;
  5. Submit validation of basic health assessment skills;
  6. Be available for an interview if requested.
Applications for admission may be obtained from the School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs. In addition to the application form, the applicant must: (1) request that official transcripts of academic work be forwarded to the School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs, and (2) obtain three statements of recommendation from persons who can speak directly to her/his ability to pursue post-graduate study. The statements of recommendation are to be sent by the writers of the recommendations to the Office of Student Affairs, School of Nursing.

The completed application and application fee must be postmarked no later than April 1 for September enrollment.

Grades

The standing of a post-graduate student in each course is indicated by one of the following symbols: A (very distinguished), A- (distinguished), B+ (very good), B (satisfactory), B- (acceptable, and C (unsatisfactory). A letter grade of C is considered unsatisfactory and unacceptable for completion of the program.

Nurse Practitioner Program Completion Requirements

To qualify for a Nurse Practitioner Certificate, the student must: (1) satisfactorily complete the specific nurse practitioner program; (2) satisfactorily complete the clinical preceptorship; and (3) have a minimum grade average of B.

Course Work

Tentative Course Sequence Post-MSN Nurse Practitioner

Summer Session
GNUR 550 Pharmacology (3)
GNUR 551 Advanced Health Assessment (3)
GNUR 566 Primary Care Seminar I (3)
GNUR 568 Primary Care Preceptorship (3)

Fall Semester
GNUR 564 Nutrition in Health Promotion (2)
GNUR 567 Primary Care Seminar II (3)
GNUR 569 Primary Care Preceptorship II (3)
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development/Multidisciplinary Practice (1)

Spring Semester
GNUR 570 Primary Care Seminar III (3)
GNUR 571 Primary Care Preceptorship (6)
GNUR 572 Collaborative Role Development /Multidisciplinary Practice (1)