M.S. Nursing, Education Areas of Study

The WGU Master of Science in Nursing program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable graduates to design, implement, and manage nursing programs as well as effectively teach nursing courses.

MSN Professional Nursing Core

Organizational Leadership and Interprofessional Team Development
This graduate-level course builds on baccalaureate-level leadership knowledge to develop application skills in complex healthcare environments with diverse teams. Students will develop knowledge and competencies in the following areas: leadership theory, systems and complexity theory, advanced communication and building consensus.

Professional Presence and Influence
Professional Presence and Influence is a core course in the MSN program. This course is designed to help students see themselves as influential leaders in transforming health care. Professional practice includes therapeutic use of self, along with applications from the art and science of nursing. The presence of the nurse manifests the organizational mission and opens up possibilities for a richer patient experience as well as a more rewarding professional career.

Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
This course uses an integrated approach to learning by examining five common and important disease processes that represent significant challenges in American healthcare. These disease processes were chosen because of their prevalence and impact on the healthcare system and health of the nation. The course includes pathophysiologies, the associated pharmacological treatments, as well as social and environmental impacts.

Comprehensive Health Assessment for Patients and Populations
In this course students will learn about the principles of health assessment from the individual to the global level. Students will learn to perform a comprehensive functional health assessment that includes social structures, family history, and environmental situations, from the individual patient to the population.

Advanced Nursing Practice and Field Experience
In this course students will integrate and apply their learning in a clinical experience working with a nurse leader in their community by demonstrating the following: lead change and improve quality care outcomes; advance a culture of excellence; build and lead interprofessional teams; navigate and integrate care services; design innovative practives; translate evidence into practice. Students will complete the activities in this course in conjunction with the related course Advanced Nursing Practice Field Experience.

Advanced Information Management and the Application of Technology
In this course you will examine the complementary roles of the master’s level-prepared nursing information technology professionals, including informaticists and quality officers. You will analyze current and emerging technologies, data management, ethical, legal and regulatory, best-practice evidence, and bio-health informatics using decision-making support systems at the point of care.

Policy, Politics, and Global Health Trends
This course explores social, political, and economic factors influence policies that impact health outcomes in acute care settings in communities, nationally and globally. Nurse leaders need to understand the determinants of health as well as how legal and regulatory processes, healthcare finances, research, the role of professional organizations, and special interest groups/lobbyists impact health outcomes.

Contemporary Pharmacotherapeutics
This course provides the opportunity for students to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the therapeutic use of pharmacologic agents, herbals, and supplements. Students will explore the pharmacologic treatment of major health problems and examine the principles of pharmacogenomics. The effects of culture, ethnicity, age, pregnancy, gender, healthcare setting, and funding of pharmacologic therapy will be emphasized. Legal aspects of prescribing will be fully addressed.

Translational Research for Practice and Populations
This graduate-level course builds on baccalaureate-level statistical knowledge to help students develop skills in analyzing, interpreting, and translating research into nursing practice using principles of patient-centered care and applications to individuals and populations.

Nursing Education

Foundations of Nursing Education
This course examines the contemporary issues of nursing education. While traditional contexts for learning are included, students will also focus on modern technology and trends in nursing education. Students will explore curriculum development, educational philosophy, theories and models, instruction and evaluation, as well as e-learning, simulations, and current technology in nursing education.

Facilitating Learning in the 21st Century
In this course students apply traditional learning theories in contemporary nursing practice, using 21st-century educational paradigms. It addresses the big picture of application of principles of instructional design and instructional innovations. Students will examine and experiment with various educational ideas including: facilitating learning, facilitated learner development and socialization, assessment and evaluation strategies, and evaluation of course and program outcomes.

Future Directions in Contemporary Learning and Education
This course builds on previously developed concepts acquired in Foundations of Nursing Education and Facilitating Learning in the 21st Century. Changes in the economy, advancements in science, and the explosion of technology have created a paradigm shift in healthcare and healthcare education. The student explores how contemporary and futuristic education delivery methods and diverse student populations often require alternative forms of assessment, case study testing, adaptive learning environments, asynchronous learning, hybrid courses, traditional courses, and online distance learning techniques. In this course students will examine how to prepare and incorporate methods such as e-learning, simulations, and technology, and social media.

Nursing Education Field Experience
While the previous education courses focus on helping students build a deep understanding of theories of nursing education and form a philosophy of nursing education, this course requires the students to apply the competencies learned in a field experience with a preceptor.

Nurse Educator Capstone
The capstone is a scholarly project that addresses an issue, need, gap or opportunity resulting from an identified in nursing education or healthcare need. The capstone project provides the opportunity for the graduate nursing student to demonstrate competency through design, application and evaluation of advanced nursing knowledge and higher level leadership skills for ultimately improving health outcomes.