The School of Nursing offers study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in nursing.
Master of Science Requirements
The purpose of the Master’s program is to prepare nurses for advanced practice with specialized knowledge, skills, and values. Graduates assume leadership roles in the health care system and the discipline of nursing by applying existing knowledge and using a spirit of inquiry to examine and test knowledge. Areas of Concentration include the following: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the program. The plan of study includes nursing and related courses according to the requirements for each area of concentration. Part-time and/or full-time plans of study are available. Each student completes a core curriculum in theory, research, statistics, legal, regulatory and policy aspects of advanced nursing practice. Additional courses in the areas of concentration are also required. A minimum of 2,080 hours of clinical experience as a Registered Nurse (RN) providing direct patient care is required prior to enrolling in NURS 5062 or 5362. For those candidates in the Neonatal Practitioner Program, all 2,080 hours must be from an RN neonatal clinical experience.
Accelerated Master of Science Requirements. An Accelerated Master of Science (M.S.) program is available for nurses with diplomas, associate degrees, or baccalaureate degrees in another field. No student may take more than 25% of course credits required for the master’s degree as a non-matriculated student. No student may transfer in more than 25% of course credits required for the master’s degree plan of study. The M.S. program requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above to earn the Master of Science degree in Nursing. Students must earn a “B” or better in all graduate courses with a NURS prefix in order to earn credit toward graduation. A student may only repeat one course with a NURS prefix throughout their graduate study. If a student does not earn a “C+” or better on the first try, a collaborative decision between the advisor and the student will determine if a repeat of the course is appropriate.
A final examination is required for graduation and is embedded in coursework for the respective tracks except for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, which requires an intensive immersion simulation based experience.
Doctor of Nursing Practice Requirements
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) Program offers a terminal degree in nursing for those interested in an advanced nursing practice role. D.N.P. advanced practice nurses are prepared to assume leadership roles as providers and administrators in healthcare settings or as clinical faculty in educational settings. The D.N.P. program focuses on education in the scholarship of application and integration. This program has two entry/matriculation points: post-Bachelor’s degree (B.S.-D.N.P.) and post-Master’s degree entry for those already holding RN or APRN licensure and certification with Master of Science (M.S.) preparation. The B.S. – D.N.P. Program encompasses a Nurse Practitioner concentration leading to the conferral of an M.S. degree as part of the B.S.-D.N.P. Program. This option allows students to begin advanced practice while continuing their doctoral studies. Advanced practice options available include the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, or the Neonatal Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The B.S.-D.N.P. Program options range in credits from 84-92 in total, dependent on area of concentration, as well as a D.N.P. Project and evidence of a minimum of 1,000 supervised clinical hours. The Post-M.S. Program of Study requires a minimum of 30 credits, a D.N.P. Project, and evidence of a minimum of 1,000 supervised clinical hours post-baccalaureate. A scholarly portfolio, a general exam and a D.N.P. project are required for graduation.
Optional Related Area Certificates. Health Professions Education Graduate Certificate: NURS 5700, 5710, and 5720. Holistic Nursing Online Graduate Certificate: NURS 5001, 5002, and 5003. Pain Management Online Graduate Certificate: NURS 5101, 5102, 5103, and 5104.
Doctor of Philosophy Requirements
The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program is to prepare nurse leaders who will advance the scientific body of knowledge that is unique to professional nursing practice. Educational experiences offered in nursing theory development, philosophy of nursing science, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and in advanced statistics. Study in specialty areas further supports the individual’s area of clinical interest. A general exam (publishable manuscript), a scholarly portfolio, and a dissertation (traditional five chapter or three manuscript based (excluding general exam) five chapters) are required for graduation.
Requirements for Clinical Practice
In addition to academic qualifications, UConn nursing students must possess the ability to consistently demonstrate a proficiency in five core areas for nursing students: motor, sensory, communication, behavior and critical thinking skills. These areas reflect the reasonable expectations of a nursing student performing the common functions of a registered nurse or an advanced practice nurse.
The ability to consistently demonstrate these personal and professional competencies are essential from admittance to graduation. Students must be capable of performing the skills of a nursing student.
Therefore, each nursing student must have the ability to learn and perform the following competencies and skills:
Motor: The student must possess sufficient motor capabilities to execute the movements and skills required to provide safe and effective nursing interventions. These include, but are not limited to:
- Coordination, speed and agility to assist and safely guard (protect), with safe and proper body mechanics, patients who are ambulating, transferring, or performing other activities.
- Ability to adjust and position equipment and patients, which involves bending or stooping freely to floor level and reaching above the head.
- Ability to move throughout the classroom or clinical site, and sit and stand for long periods of time to carry out patient care activities.
- Ability to perform patient care duties for up to 12 hours at a time, day or night.
- Ability to move or position patients and equipment, which involves lifting, carrying, pulling up to 30 pounds.
- Ability to guide, resist, and assist patients, or to provide emergency care, which involves standing, kneeling, sitting, or walking.
- Ability and dexterity to manipulate the devices used in giving nursing care.
- Ability to administer CPR without assistance.
Sensory: The student must be able to obtain information in classroom, laboratory, or clinical settings through observation, auscultation, palpation and other measures, including but not limited to:
- Visual ability (corrected as necessary) to recognize and interpret facial expressions and body language, identify normal and abnormal patterns of movement, to read or set parameters on various equipment, to discriminate color changes, and to interpret and assess the environment.
- Auditory ability (corrected as necessary) to recognize and respond to soft voices, auditory timers, equipment alarms, call bells, and to effectively use devices for measurement of blood pressure, breath sounds, etc.
- Tactile ability to palpate a pulse and to detect changes or abnormalities of surface texture, skin temperature, body contour, muscle tone, and joint movement.
- Sufficient position, movement and balance sensations to assist and protect patients who are ambulating, transferring, or performing other activities.
Communication: The student must be able to communicate effectively with peers, faculty, patients and their families, and other health care providers. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Ability to read at a competency level that allows one to safely carry out the essential functions of an assignment (examples; handwritten chart data, printed policy, and procedure manuals).
- Ability to effectively interpret and process information.
- Ability to effectively communicate (verbally and in writing) with patients and their families, health care professionals, and others within the community.
- Ability to access information and to communicate and document effectively via computer.
- Ability to recognize, interpret, and respond to nonverbal behavior of self and others.
Behavior: The student must be capable of exercising good judgment, developing empathic and therapeutic relationships with patients and others, and tolerating close and direct physical contact with a diverse population. This will include people of all ages, races, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, as well as individuals with weight disorders, physical disfigurement and medical or mental health problems. This also includes, but is not limited to:
- Ability to work with multiple patients, families, and colleagues at the same time.
- Ability to work with classmates, instructors, health care providers, patients, families and others under stressful conditions, including but not limited to providing care to medically or emotionally unstable individuals, situations requiring rapid adaptations, the provision of CPR, or other emergency interventions.
- Ability to foster and maintain cooperative and collegial relationships with classmates, instructors, other health care providers, patients and their families.
Critical Thinking: The student must possess sufficient abilities in the areas of calculation, critical problem solving, reasoning, and judgment to be able to comprehend and process information within a reasonable time frame as determined by the faculty and the profession. The student must be able to prioritize, organize and attend to tasks and responsibilities efficiently. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Ability to collect, interpret and analyze written, verbal, and observed data about patients.
- Ability to prioritize multiple tasks, integrate information, and make decisions.
- Ability to apply knowledge of the principles, indications, and contraindications for nursing interventions.
- Ability to act safely and ethically in the college clinical lab and in clinical placements within the community.
If a nursing applicant or student is unable to meet one or more of these areas due to a long-term or short-term disability, they may request consideration for an accommodation through the Center for Students with Disabilities. Prompt notice is essential for full consideration. The requirements for clinical practice apply for all programs which include a clinical component.
The programs are offered by the School of Nursing.