May 23, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2015 - 2016 
Graduate Catalog 2015 - 2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, MSN

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School of Nursing

Julka Hall 238
(216) 687-3598

Maureen M. Mitchell, EdD, RN, Graduate Program Director

Programs of Study

MSN Degree

  • Population Health:  Specialized Population
  • Population Health:  Forensic Nursing
  • Population Health:  Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Population Health:  Nursing Education
  • Population Health:  Nursing Executive

MSN/MBA Degree


The MSN program is based on the principles of population health and is designed to prepare graduates with advanced knowledge, competencies, and skills in the nursing care of populations (aggregates). The graduate will have in-depth skills in population assessment, demography, epidemiological assessment and data analysis, evaluation of research, survey research, data projections, cost-benefit analysis, and the ability to apply nursing theory, population theory, ethics, cultural awareness, and political strategies to design, implement, and evaluate population health programs. Students may select from five tracks available, according to their interests and professional goals. In keeping with the rules and regulations of the Ohio Nurse Practice Act, the program does not prepare nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists; graduates are not eligible to apply for a certificate of authority in the State of Ohio.

Membership & Accreditation

The School of Nursing is a member of the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.  The graduate program in Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Faculty Research

Program faculty members have research specializations in a wide variety of areas, allowing them to help graduate students explore many potential research topics.The many partnerships in which the School of Nursing is involved also provide opportunities for collaboration with practitioners in community settings.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

 Admission to the School of Nursing

Applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing program must meet the minimum requirements established by the College of Graduate Studies and the School of Nursing. Requirements for admission include:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in nursing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher*
  2. Successful completion of an undergraduate or graduate-level statistics course completed in the last five years with a grade of B or better
  3. An active license as a Registered Nurse in the applicant’s U.S. state of residence
  4. Submission of a Cleveland State University graduate Admission Application and fee
  5. Submission of official academic transcripts from all postsecondary schools attended
  6. Submission of a School of Nursing Graduate Programs Application
  7. Contact information for two professional references whom the admission committee can contact to discuss the applicant’s ability to be successful in graduate study
  8. Identification of a population on which the student will focus during his or her program of study.
  9. Submission of a 3-5 page typed essay explaining why the applicant wants to earn an MSN; how such a graduate degree fulfills the applicant’s personal and professional goals; and the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies that the applicant hopes to develop during the educational process.

*An applicant who does not meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement may still be considered for admission as a non-degree graduate student.  See below for more information.

Applicants must submit the Cleveland State University application for Graduate Admission with the application fee. All application materials should be submitted to  Campus 411 All-In-One Enrollment Services. The office will forward materials to the School of Nursing.

The Graduate College application deadline is March 1 for the Fall semester.  The School of Nursing application deadline is April for the Fall semester.  Applications received after the deadline may be considered on a space-available basis.

Students may pursue the program on a full- or part-time basis. The University mandates a six-year time limit to complete master’s degree requirements.

Non-Degree Status

A total of twelve credits of graduate nursing course work may be taken as a non-degree graduate student.  No nursing course may be taken beyond this limit.  Students who wish to progress in nursing course work must apply for admission as a degree-seeking student to the College of Graduate Studies and to the School of Nursing.  Students may use this non-degree status as an opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory graduate-level academic performance in order to be considered for degree-seeking status.

In order to take graduate-level nursing course work as a non-degree student:

  1. The student must apply to the College of Graduate Studies as a non-degree student.
  2. The student must meet the College of Graduate Studies’ admission requirements for a non-Degree student.
  3. The student is not required to complete a School of Nursing application at this time.
  4. The student may take NUR courses on a space-available basis only.
  5. The student may be required to meet SON requirements in order to register for the nursing courses (BSN/RN).
  6. The student must request permission to register for courses each semester through the School of Nursing Recruiter/Advisor.
  7. The students may only register for the following Nursing courses
  • NUR 501  Introduction to Population Health Nursing
  • NUR 502  Theory Development in Nursing
  • NUR 503  Evidence-Based Practice
  • NUR 505  Introduction to Epidemiology and Demography: A Nursing Perspective
  • NUR 510  Ethics for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • NUR 511  Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Crisis Theory
  • NUR 520  Curriculum Development in Nursing

Clinical Practica

Students admitted to the Graduate Nursing Program take 600-level courses which include a clinical component.  In the clinical component, students develop competencies enacting the roles of the population health nurse expert with their population of focus in several different care environments.  During these learning experiences, graduate students interact with members of their population, health care professionals, interest groups, and others who are involved with their population.  These opportunities enable the student to use the Precede-Proceed Model, nursing theory, and other concepts, theories, and frameworks to promote the health of aggregates.

Program and Health Data

All degree-seeking students are required to have current and complete program and kept current health data on file in the School of Nursing.  This includes documentation of licensure as a registered nurse, professional liability insurance, CPR certification, current immunizations, and background checks.  This information is required by clinical sites, as well as accrediting agencies.

Program and Health data are due within 60 days of admittance into the Graduate Nursing Program.  No 600-level Nursing course may be taken unless all Program and Health Requirements are met.  If this requirement is not met, a hold will be placed on the student’s registration for classes until all requirements are met and appropriate documentation has been received by the School of Nursing.

Thesis Option

Students may elect to complete a thesis for the Clinical Nurse Leader, Forensic Nursing, Nursing Education, or Specialized Population tracks.  Students who choose this option will complete NUR 601  Nursing Research and substitute a thesis for the capstone practicum course (NUR 606  or NUR 626  ) as part of their program of study.  The thesis option requires the student to plan and carry out a research project, or develop a scholarly essay.  Any student who selects this option will develop and submit a paper for publication to a refereed journal and publicly present and defend the thesis.

A student who chooses to complete a thesis should select a thesis advisor early in the program, preferably by the completion of the 500-level courses.  The advisor helps the student establish an Advisory Committee of Nursing faculty from the student’s area of interest and an external member from a  cognate area.  After the committee has been established, the student prepares a research proposal that must be approved by the Advisory Committee.  The committee members also monitor the thesis project.

Students should enroll in NUR 699  each semester in which they are involved with their thesis.  See the Academic Regulations section of this Catalog for additional information on thesis requirements.

Exit Requirements

Graduation is based on the successful completion of the required courses and clinical experiences, a professional evaluation portfolio, and a thesis where the student has chosen to pursue the thesis option. Students are expected to plan and implement a clinical project to address the needs of their population of focus. Each student is expected to make an oral presentation of his or her project and develop a manuscript for submission to a refereed journal.  NUR 606  Capstone Practicum in Population Health Care and NUR 626  Capstone Practicum in Nursing Education are the capstone courses in the program.

Programs of Study

Required Coursework - Specialized Population

34 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree.

The focus in population health prepares graduates to practice in the evolving health care delivery system. Currently, managed care puts all decisions in the context of population-based data. Nursing activities—designed and implemented according to care maps and critical pathways—are grounded in aggregate data analysis. Graduates are prepared to function collaboratively in acute care settings or community-based settings, to manage health care of population groups, and to work with populations to plan programs to address health concerns. The program enables graduates to practice with populations across care settings, to assume leadership roles in the health care delivery system, and to pursue doctoral education.

Required Coursework - Forensic Nursing

34 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree

The forensic track allows students to choose victims or perpetrators of crime or traumatic events as their population of interest.  Students will apply the principles of population health to nursing strategies required for the scientific investigation, treatment, and health care of victims/perpetrators due to violence, criminal activity, or traumatic events across care settings.  Students will acquire the in-depth knowledge and skills required to interface the law, forensic science, law enforcement, mental health, and the health care and judicial systems.

Required Coursework - Clinical Nurse Leader

31 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree.

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) track is designed to meet the Ten Assumptions for Preparing Clinical Nurse Leaders (AACN, 2007).  This track prepares nurses to be leaders in the health care delivery system across all settings in which health care is delivered. Courses prepare students to design, implement, and evaluate client care by coordinating, delegating, and supervising direct care provided by the health care team. 

Note: The CNL role is not one of administration, but rather a provider and manager of care to individuals or cohorts within a unit or health care setting.

Required Coursework - Nursing Education

38 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree

The nursing education track prepares Registered Nurses to teach and supervise nursing students and professional nurses in clinical settings, with a focus on the care of specificially identified populations or a cognate area. Coursework focuses on curriculum development and implementation, faculty and student roles, and the evaluation and supervision of nursing students. Graduates of this program may seek employment in schools of nursing, continuing education programs, and in organizational and leadership education programs in health care facilities. Graduates may also choose to pursue doctoral studies in Nursing Education.

Students who complete the MSN in Nursing Education have completed the educational requirements required to apply for the National League for Nursing’s Certification for Nurse Educators.

Required Coursework - Nursing Executive

38 credit hours leading to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree

The executive track in the MSN program is designed for individuals who have a minimum of five years of advanced professional experience and a BSN with a master’s degree in a discipline other than nursing. The student would be able to apply up to 10 credits from a previous master’s degree, as per University guidelines, provided the credit hours are applicable to the MSN curriculum. Course sequencing would allow the student to earn the degree in one calendar year.

The curriculum is structured so that the graduate student will take all of the core courses in the Master of Science in Nursing major.  In addition, the student will develop an individual program of study with the graduate program director based on previous experience and educational preparation.  Students may be able to demonstrate achievement of program and course objectives in part, through portfolio submission.  Portfolio submission requires course enrollment but may allow students to meet course objectives based on indivudual professional accomplishments and expertise.  All students in the executive track are expected to be full-time students and graduate in one calendar year.

Area of Concentration Courses

Students must complete 20 credit hours based on their individual program of study.

Examples of Individual Programs of Study

Student with BSN, MBA
Application of MBA credit to MSN
NUR 503 Evidence Based Nursing Practice (3 credits)
NUR 603 Finance (3 credits)
Elective credit (5 credits)
Total credit hours:  11


Student with BSN, MPH
Application of MPH credit to MSN
NUR 503 Evidence Based Nursing Practice (3 credits)
NUR 602 Health Care Policy (3 credits)
Elective credit (2 credits)
NUR 505 Epidemiology (3 credits)
Total credit hours:  11


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