MS in Nursing - Patient Quality and Safety

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Online Nursing Master's Degree - Patient Quality and Safety Concentration

Based on the the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) ''The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health'' competencies for nurses, the 13-course, 39-credit online Nursing master's degree with the Patient Quality and Safety Concentration incorporates interprofessional communication and collaboration, and understanding of healthcare systems and processes that contribute to risk reduction,evidence-based practice, knowledge of the healthcare environment, leadership, accountability and professionalism.

The MSN was specifically developed to address the core competencies as defined by IOM, which are critical thinking/critical decision-making, communication, ethics, human diversity / cultural humility, global health care, professional development, accountability, assessment, nursing technology and resource management, and professional values / social justice.

Our MS in Nursing Patient Quality and Safety Concentration focuses on healthcare quality improvement, risk assessment, communication, legal issues, and strategies that contribute to building a culture of safety and assuring accountability and reliability in care processes, among others.

Online Nursing Master's Degree – Patient Quality and Safety Concentration Required Courses

IHP-605: Error Science, Risk Assess & Disclosures
This course focuses on error theory and systems thinking as well as methods for risk assessment and safety improvement, including high-risk contexts for error occurrence. Students will be introduced to what is currently known about effective methods for error disclosure. Students will develop proficiency with patient safety risk assessment and improvement methods, principles of safe system design, apology and related patient safety priorities. The course includes a discussion of the legal issues prevalent in the current health care environment.
NUR-604: Healthcare Quality and Improvement
This course focuses on the knowledge, skills, attitudes needed to assure quality patient and family centered care provided through interdisciplinary collaborative care. Students will focus on strategies that contribute to building a culture of safety assuring accountability and reliability in care processes. Health policy issues access to care, and cost issues are addressed including pay for performance, quality outcomes, and nurse sensitive outcomes, with a special focus on healthcare reforms focus on quality.
NUR-606: Communications and Collaboration
This course introduces advanced communication strategies for patient safety success in the current healthcare environment. Course topics include: enhanced communication skills, individual and group design/presentation techniques, hand-off, chain of command, critical thinking strategies and skills, stress and time management, group process and group dynamics. This course challenges the students to use creative and critical thinking to become a creative patient safety/problem-solver and leader working within a complex healthcare environment.

MSN Core

HIM-500: Healthcare Informatics
Students will learn the history and current state of healthcare and how the industry uses information systems. Throughout the course students will discuss types of information systems, such as the electronic medical record (EMR), laboratory and radiology systems and more. Students will also study trends in new practices, such as telemedicine and home healthcare, and how they function in various healthcare settings. Finally, students will explore how these and other industry trends, with the use of technology, can improve patient care.
IHP-501: Global Health and Diversity
Global Health and Diversity is a problem-based course designed to give students an overview of health promotion issues, explore selected current topics in health and health policy from a national and global perspective, and investigate the consequences these issues have for the health status of international populations and society. This course will provide the theoretical foundation to allow the practitioner to design interventions that promote health and behavior change in a target population. The concepts of health literacy, consumer advocacy, and their impact of health promotion will be explored.
IHP-504: Healthcare Policy and Financing
Developed for the health care administrator and providers, this course prepares students with a full understanding of financial planning, control measures and financial management to effectively examine and address the complex financial challenges within the healthcare sector. Analysis and identification of healthcare financial trends, finance sources and reimbursement models will be addressed.
Must be enrolled in MSN program
IHP-505: Leadership in Clinical Microsystems
This course covers clinical microsystem concepts, tools, techniques, and processes within the context of a clinical or supporting microsystem. This course will use current theories to approach issues related to the redesign of healthcare services to improve quality, add value, reduce variation and improve morale, by empowering frontline caregivers. This course builds upon the Dartmouth Hitchcock Microsystem Improvement Curriculum and the QSEN Graduate Nursing Competencies.
Must be enrolled in MSN or MSM program
NUR-500: Advanced Nursing Concepts
In this course students analyze historical and evaluate current nursing concepts and theories. Students will examine the linkages of empirical, aesthetic, ethical, personal, and sociopolitical patterns on knowing with the conceptual models and paradigms of nursing. Students will explore the components of conceptual-theoretical-empirical structures for theory-generating and theory-testing research.
NUR-506: Evidence-Based Practice
Graduate students will build upon previous learning of nursing research and evidence-based practice in order to become proficient in critiquing, generating, and translating research evidence into nursing practice. Emphasis will be placed on identifying researchable clinical questions, analysis of research findings for evidence-based practice, ethical issues in nursing research, and the selection of methods that may be used to generate research evidence for practice.
Take NUR-515 and HCM-525 or MBA-501
NUR-635: Teaching and Learning in Nursing
This course covers instructional frameworks, learning environments, and classroom and student management and motivation techniques. Learners explore theories associated with optimizing the teaching experience and student outcomes and gain an understanding of the teaching, learning, communication, and motivation strategies used for specific learning situations and student populations. Learners identify various learning barriers and formulate appropriate teaching strategies to address them, including acknowledging and using emotional intelligence. As part of this course, learners are required to teach in an online course room. Must be enrolled in MSN program.
Must be enrolled in MSN program
QSO-640: Project Management
This course includes the study of concepts, tools, and practices of project management. The course adopts a managerial process approach to Project Management, which consists of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the project. Major topics will include project scope, project time, project cost, project quality, project risk, project resources, project communications and how to be an effective project manager. Cases are utilized to integrate the learning in the course and provide decision- making experience for the student.

* The MBA 501 pre-requisite course is waived.

Capstone Courses

NUR-680: Nursing Capstone Seminar
Students critical analyze proposals for healthcare quality and safety plans, or clinical problems as developed by student participants. To be taken concurrently with NUR-681
Senior standing (30 credits or more)
NUR-681: Nursing Capstone Project
Students design and analyze a healthcare issue, proposal of policy options, recommendations for action or an evaluation strategy for a selected healthcare setting. Students are evaluated according to criteria, negotiated in advance, that demonstrate current industry best practices. To be taken concurrently with NUR-680.
Senior standing (30 credits or more)

Online Nursing Master's Degree – Patient Quality and Safety Concentration Outcomes

Program Outcomes:

  • Develop continuous improvement of the patient care process through analysis and measured change to current clinical programs in the inpatient and outpatient environments.
  • Integrate the use of communication skills, information systems and standardized language in relation to clinical outcomes and continuous performance measures
  • Develop the research and education programs necessary to advance the national patient safety agenda.
  • Create patient safety and patient care outcomes through educational programs.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of continuous improvement processes.
  • Create a capstone project for oral and written presentation on a Patient Safety Issue.

MSN students must have:

  • An active unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse.
  • An earned bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing program and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Daily access to the Internet.

Students with a GPA below 3.0 but higher than 2.67 are eligible for provisional acceptance. These students must achieve a grade of B+ or better in their first graduate nursing course to be fully accepted into the MSN program.

MSN CNL Approved States:
This program is currently offered only in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Wyoming.

    CCNE Accredited Nursing Program


    The Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing programs at Southern New Hampshire University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).