Apr 15, 2024  
Graduate Studies Catalog 2015-2016 
Graduate Studies Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Dr. Dona Rinaldi-Carpenter, Chairperson, Nursing


Dr. Mary Jane S. Hanson, Director, Graduate Nursing Program


Department Faculty: Professors – Dona Rinaldi-Carpenter, RN, Marian Farrell, RN, CRNP, CNS, Mary Jane S. Hanson, RN, CRNP, CNS, Sharon Hudacek, RN, CNS, Margarete Lieb Zalon, RN, CNS; Associate Professors – Barbara Buxton, RN, CNS, Mary Jane Di Mattio, RN, Patricia Harrington, RN, Lisa Ann Lesneski, RN, Catherine P. Lovecchio, RN, Kimberly Subasic, RN, Patricia Wright, RN, CNS;  Assistant Professors – Teresa Conte, RN, CRNP,  Ann Feeney, RN, CNM, CRNP, Jo Ann Nicoteri, CRNP; Faculty Specialists - Anne Culp, RN, CRNA; Susan Elczyna, RN, CRNA; Bernard Gilligan, RN, CRNA; Mary Kovaleski, RN, CNS; Linda Lewis, RN, Wendy Manetti, RN, CRNP; Susan Scanland, RN, CRNP; Annette T. Tross, RN, CRNP; Cristen Walker, RN, CRNP.

The Department offers course work leading to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with specialization in either the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track, Adult-Gerontology Nursing (AG) track, or Nurse Anesthesia (NA) track. The Department also offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree for nurses who hold advanced practice certification as either certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), or certified nurse midwives (CNMs). In addition, a post-master’s certificate option is also available for registered nurses (RNs) who already have a master’s degree in nursing from a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredited program, and who wish to become Family Nurse Practitioners or Nurse Anesthetists.

M. S. N. Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master’s program, the graduate is prepared to: 1. Integrate knowledge from nursing and other disciplines to provide evidence-based care to diverse populations at an advanced practice level.  2. Apply leadership skills that emphasize ethical principles and critical-decision making to promote quality and safety in master’s level nursing practice.  3. Articulate the process of quality improvement and apply quality and safety principles within an organization.  4. Incorporate research outcomes within the clinical setting to resolve practice problems and disseminate results.  5. Utilize informatics and patient-care technologies to deliver nursing care at an advanced practice level.  6. Employ advocacy strategies to promote health and improve health care.  7. Establish interprofessional relationships to mobilize resources and coordinate quality health care.  8. Engage in master’s level nursing practice in accordance with applicable specialty nursing standards, integrating concepts of patient-centered and culturally appropriate clinical prevention and population health activities.  9. Demonstrate master’s level knowledge and competencies in nursing and relevant sciences to influence healthcare outcomes for individuals and populations.  10. Articulate a commitment for continuous professional development and service to others based on Jesuit values.

Program of Study

The graduate nursing program is comprised of seven core courses that cover advanced physiology and pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, advanced clinical assessment, issues in advanced practice nursing, research methodology, theory and research application, and nursing ethics. These core courses provide the foundation for graduate nursing study and subsequent practice. In addition, each student is required to take all of the advanced practice specialty courses in the selected track of study. The specialty courses are listed under each track heading.

Admission Requirements

An applicant for the degree program must possess a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program; have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 or other evidence of ability to complete successfully a graduate program such as grades in other post-baccalaureate courses, scores from national graduate school entrance examinations, or a record of progressively higher work experiences; and be licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Pennsylvania. The applicant should have a minimum of one year direct clinical nursing practice and have satisfactorily completed undergraduate or equivalent approved courses in basic physical assessment and statistics. The applicant must submit three professional references and a 300-word essay identifying career goals, demonstrating communication and writing skills. A personal interview with the program director or a faculty member to clarify goals and objectives is required.  See the nurse anesthesia section of this catalog for additional admission requirements for the NA track.

Applicants for the certificate program must possess a master’s degree in advanced practice nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program. Additionally, they must comply with the same admission requirements as for the degree program (except for the essay) as listed above.

A registered nurse with a baccalaureate degree who wishes to take graduate level courses without necessarily pursuing a graduate degree may make application for Non-Degree status (refer to Admission and Registration ).

For the FNP and AG tracks, students may begin course work in either the fall or spring semester. Applicants must be admitted before starting classes.  Completed applications must be received at least one month prior to the start of the semester of expected enrollment.

The NA track admits students for the fall semester only.  Completed applications must be received by October 1 of the year prior to expected enrollment.  

Thesis Option

Candidates for a Master of Science in Nursing degree may opt to do a thesis. Students who wish to pursue the thesis option should consult with the program director. Those who opt to do a thesis are governed by The University of Scranton graduate thesis policy.

Academic Regulations

Graduate nursing students are expected to conform to the regulations stated in both The University of Scranton Graduate Studies Catalog and the Department of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook.

Students must receive a grade of Satisfactory in the clinical practicum courses. The grade is based upon both faculty and preceptor evaluations of the student’s ability to meet course objectives and demonstrate safe advanced nursing clinical practice. A grade of Unsatisfactory will result in the failure of the practicum and dismissal from the program.


The AG and FNP tracks can be completed in two years of full-time study or three to five years of part-time study, depending upon when the student enters the graduate program. The post-advanced practice certificate master’s degree can be completed in two years of part-time study. Students are accepted for fall and spring semesters. Core graduate courses are offered every year. The specialty courses are on a two-year rotation and are offered every other year.

Graduate courses for the AG and FNP tracks are usually offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Each course meets one night per week in the fall and spring semesters. Full-time students attend classes two nights per week; part-time students usually attend classes one night per week. Clinical practicum hours are arranged on the basis of preceptor availability.

The NA track is full-time only and can be completed in 28 months of continuous full-time study beginning with the fall semester.

Capstone Experience

All graduate nursing students are expected to complete successfully a comprehensive examination as their capstone experience and part of their graduation requirements.

Health Requirements

The health requirements for the Department of Nursing are to assure that the student:

  1. maintains that level of health necessary to complete the course of studies and ultimately to perform the duties of a professional advanced practice nurse.
  2. is free of any illness or disease that may endanger the health and welfare of themselves and others.

The pre-clinical physical examination shall include a complete physical examination administered by a certified nurse practitioner or physician with verified evidence of the following:  current negative tuberculin skin test (PPD) within previous 12 months; immunization for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis within the previous ten years; immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella OR documented laboratory immunity.  Influenza vaccine is required each year for the current flu season.  The deadline date to receive the influenza vaccine is October 31.  In addition, students are required to submit proof of Hepatitis B immunization or sign a declination form.

The PPD skin test must be administered every 12 months while the student is in the clinical nursing courses.  Documented evidence of the test must be presented to the graduate program director or designee.  If the PPD test is positive or the student has a history of a positive PPD, a chest X-ray or Quantiferon Gold TB laboratory test is required.  The PPD can be obtained at Student Health Services, which has a facility in the Roche Wellness Center at 1130 Mulberry Street.

In the event that specific agencies have further requirements, it is expected that students will meet the agency’s requirements.  Copies of each student’s health record will be kept separate from the academic record in a secure locked file for five years after graduation.  Students will need to meet other requirements if deemed necessary by the agency.  This is subject to change.


The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The CCNE is a resource for information regarding tuition, fees and length of accredited nursing programs. Requests for information should be directed to:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
One Dupont Circle, NW
Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
(202) 887-6791