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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Jul 21, 2019
 
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of Nursing



http://www.nursing.pitt.edu/

The School of Nursing was established as an independent school of the University by action of the Board of Trustees in April 1939 and was opened in September of the same year. The University conferred the degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education for the first time in August 1939. The University conferred the first Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees in February 1942.

The first Master’s degree was awarded in 1944, and the first Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1957. The first Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree was awarded in 2008

Mission

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, founded in 1939, is one of the oldest programs in baccalaureate and doctoral education in nursing in the United States. As one of the nation’s distinguished schools of nursing, the resources of the School constitute an invaluable asset for the intellectual, scientific, and economic enrichment of health care in Pennsylvania, the nation, and throughout the world.

The School of Nursing’s mission is to:

  • provide high-quality undergraduate education in nursing;
  • maintain and develop superior graduate programs in nursing that respond to the needs of health care in general and nursing in particular within Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world;
  • engage in research and other scholarly activities that advance learning through the extension of the frontiers of knowledge in health care;
  • cooperate with health care, governmental, and related institutions to transfer knowledge in health sciences and health care;
  • offer continuing education programs adapted to the professional upgrading and career advancement interests and needs of nurses in Pennsylvania; and
  • make available to local communities and public agencies the expertise of the School of Nursing in ways that are consistent with the primary teaching and research functions and contribute to the intellectual and economic development in health care within the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

Contact Information

University of Pittsburgh
School of Nursing
Student Affairs & Alumni Relations Office
239 Victoria Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-624-4586 or 1-888-747-0794
E-mail: sao50@pitt.edu
www.nursing.pitt.edu

Master’s Program Admission Process and Admission Criteria

http://www.nursing.pitt.edu/degree-programs/master-science-nursing-msn/msn-applicationadmission

Applications are available online at www.nursing.pitt.edu. Admission criteria are described on the school’s Web site (http://www.nursing.pitt.edu/degree-programs/master-science-nursing-msn/msn-applicationadmission). Complete applications will be reviewed and interviews (face to face or by telephone) will be conducted prior to an admission decision. The School offers master’s admission to only the Clinical Nurse Leader, Informatics, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Anesthesia (the last cohort of master’s students was admitted in August, 2016) majors/areas of concentration. The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing admits a FALL COHORT ONLY to all MSN Program areas of concentration. The application deadlines for all areas are February 15th and May 1st. International students are advised to apply by the February 15th deadline. Complete applications received by February 15th will be reviewed and an admission decision will be made by June 1. Complete application received by the May 1st deadline will be reviewed and admission decisions made by June 30th. Applicants must apply online at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=up-nurs

Applications to the Master Program in nursing are reviewed by the faculty in the applicant’s Major/Area of Concentration. Applicants must meet the criteria listed below. Qualified applicants are considered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin,
ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era.

Applicants must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from an ACEN (NLN), ACICS, or CCNE accredited program.
  • A current license to practice nursing in a state or territory of the United States. All students must obtain a Pennsylvania license prior to beginning clinical courses.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher in the undergraduate degree.
  • Relevant clinical experience (specified by the Major/Area of Concentration).
  • A pre-admission interview. If the applicant resides at a great distance, a telephone interview may be conducted.
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE may be waived if the GPA is 3.5 or higher.
  • Pre-requisite statistics course within the last 10 years with a grade of B- or better.
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s capacity and potential for master’s study from each of the following (these can be uploaded into the online application) (/apply-now): The director or a faculty member from the most recent academic program attended (if applicant has been a nursing student in the last 5 years); a recent employer; and a person who can speak to the applicant’s professional work.
  • A typed essay (500-word minimum) stating your philosophy of nursing; reasons for wanting to study in a particular area of concentration; what you expect from the master’s program; and your future career goals.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Admission Process and Admission Criteria

http://www.nursing.pitt.edu/degree-programs/doctor-nursing-practice-dnp

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses within a clinical focus (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse-midwife or nurse anesthesia) or a systems focus (Health Systems Executive Leadership). Graduates are prepared for advanced practice at a new level of state-of-the-art science expertise with grounding in evidence based practice.

This practice-focused doctoral program will prepare nursing leaders for the highest level of clinical nursing practice. Throughout the program students will develop the clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills to design and implement programs of care delivery which significantly impact health care outcomes and have the potential to transform health care delivery. Graduates with this terminal clinical degree will be prepared for roles in direct care or indirect, systems-focused care.

In today’s health care environment advanced practice nurses require complex clinical skills and sophisticated knowledge of the evidence-base for practice. Graduates of the DNP will be able to affect the health care delivery system by being superb clinicians, by evaluating the evidence base for nursing practice, by becoming leaders in the clinical arenas, by establishing standards and policies, and by meeting the needs of today’s diverse health care systems.

The DNP Program has multiple points of entry and allows for three types of prospective students: post-baccalaureate RNs, including: current master’s degree nursing students; RN Options students; and advanced practice nurses and nursing administrators who have completed a master’s degree from an CCNE, ACICS or ACEN [NLN] accredited program of nursing. Nurses with a PhD can also seek a DNP.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing admits a FALL COHORT ONLY to all DNP Program areas of concentration except the Nurse Anesthesia BSN to DNP major which admits a SPRING TERM COHORT only. The application deadlines for all areas are February 15th and May 1st. International students are advised to apply by the February 15th deadline. Complete applications received by February 15th will be reviewed and an admission decision will be made by June 1. Complete application received by the May 1st deadline will be reviewed and admission decisions made by June 30th.

Applicants must apply online at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=up-nurs.

Admission to the DNP Program

The DNP Program admits BSN graduates, advanced practice nurses and nursing administrators who have completed a graduate  degree in nursing from a CCNE, ACICS, or ACEN [NLN] accredited program in nursing.*
* BSN graduates with a master’s in other areas may be considered for admission.

BSN to DNP

  • Current RN license in U.S. state/territory or locale where student will complete clinical requirements
  • ≥ 3.0 GPA in BSN (from ACEN [NLN], ACICS, or CCNE accredited program)
  • GRE: Verbal & Quantitative sections ( competitive score), Analytical Writing  ( ≥ 3)
  • Pre-requisite statistics course within the last 10 years with a grade of B- or better.
  • Clinical experience  for select focus areas ** required or preferred for selected majors and concentrations

MSN to DNP

  • Current RN license in U.S. state/territory or locale where student will complete clinical requirements
  • ≥ 3.0 GPA in MSN (from an accredited program) or master’s in related field (must have BSN from an accredited program)
  • GRE: Verbal & Quantitative sections ( competitive score), Analytical Writing ( ≥ 3)
        (may be waived if MSN or master’s in related field with GPA ≥ 3.5)
  • Pre-requisite statistics course within the last 10 years with a grade of B- or better.
  • Clinical experience for select focus areas**
  • Nurse Anesthesia MSN to DNP (additional requirements)
          1) current Nurse Anesthetist certification in US state/territory or locale where student will complete the DNP Scholarly Project 
          2) Minimum of 3.0 GPA in MSN  or MS in Nurse Anesthesia from an accredited program

RN-DNP

Applicants to the RN-DNP program must graduate from a CCNE, ACICS or ACEN [NLN] accredited associate degree program or diploma school of nursing. A student may be admitted to the DNP program pending satisfactory completion of the 24 graduate bridge credits and completion of the BSN.

**Clinical Experience for Select Focus Areas

  • Neonatal NP: Equivalent of 2 years full time (within last 5 years) nursing care of critically ill newborns, infants, and children in critical care inpatient settings (preferably Level III NICU) Students may enroll in pre-clinical courses while obtaining practice experience
  • Health Systems Executive Leadership: 2 years of management experience
  • Nurse Anesthesia BSN to DNP:
    Minimum 1 year full-time ICU/critical care nursing experience (within last 5 years) by start of program (may apply if employed in ICU/critical care and will have required experience before admission term)
  • Nurse-Midwife: One year nursing experience in a Labor and Delivery unit preferred, but will consider applicants demonstrating other interest/experience in women’s health.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Admission Process and Admission Criteria

http://www.nursing.pitt.edu/degree-programs/doctor-philosophy-phd

Admission to the PhD program is assessed through interviews, references, standardized testing, and a written statement of goalsThe PhD program follows a FALL TERM ONLY COHORT ADMISSIONS process. Applicants to the PhD program must submit their completed applications by February 1. Complete applications received by February 1 will be reviewed and admission decisions made prior to June 1. Application decisions (except for international applicants) will be communicated electronically (by e-mail). Applicants must apply online at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=up-nurs. The School offers BSN-PhD and MSN-PhD options. Applicants are expected to be RN’s. The School of Nursing also offers a currently matriculating BSN to PhD option, in which a student who has not yet completed the BSN can be admitted conditionally into the PhD program pending successful completion of their BSN. Interested applicants should contact the Student Affairs & Alumni Relations Office at 412-624-4586 for further information.

Admission to the PhD Program

Admission to the PhD program is assessed through interviews, references, standardized testing, a written statement of goals, and a second writing sample. Documentation of academic success and achievement of competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years are required.

The doctoral faculty strongly recommends that students develop knowledge of and experience with word processing, database management, and computerized literature searches prior to applying to the PhD program.

Length of Program

The post-master’s full-time student (MSN to PhD) is comprised of 48 credits minimum, and students may complete the program in approximately two and a half depending upon the nature and complexity of research for the dissertation. Twenty-four credits are granted from the prior master’s program. For courses taken prior, an evaluation of the content of a course taken elsewhere must be approved by the Director of the PhD Program to determine its comparability with the coursework at the University of Pittsburgh. Students entering the MSN to PhD program will work with their academic advisor to conduct a gap analysis to review prior research-related coursework to determine if additional research core coursework is needed beyond that specified in the MSN to PhD curriculum plan. The part-time student may complete the program in three to four years. The statute of limitations for completion of the MSN to PhD track is eight consecutive calendar years from the first term of registration for credits that are in the required curriculum plan for the doctoral degree. (MSN to PhD track)

The BSN to PhD program requires 72 credits minimum. Students admitted to the BSN to PhD track are expected to enroll full-time, and the program can be completed in three years, depending on the complexity of research for dissertation. Students are also encouraged to consider obtaining a simultaneous master’s degree such as the Clinical Nurse Leader. The statute of limitations for completion of the BSN to PhD track is 10 consecutive calendar years from the first term of registration for credits that are in the required curriculum plan for the doctoral degree.

For more information, see Policy 208.

 

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program prepares nurse scholars who will discover and extend scientific knowledge that advances the science and practice of nursing and contributes to other disciplines. Graduates can assume leadership roles within research teams, health care systems, and schools of nursing in academic institutions.

The PhD program of study provides a coherent series of courses, seminars, and discussions designed to develop in the student a mature understanding of content, methods, and values of the discipline of nursing and its relation to other fields. The curriculum includes courses in the philosophical underpinnings and theoretical foundations for research, and research design, measurement and intervention development. Courses also include advanced statistics, advanced quantitative and qualitative methods, the responsibilities and activities of scientists, and the art and science of teaching and learning. Students work closely with faculty researchers from nursing and other disciplines. Each student also participates in two mentored research experiences. The first is the Apprenticeship Practica, wherein students affiliate with a mentor’s established research team over time to explore the scientific literature, develop, plan, and implement an apprenticeship research project, and disseminate findings. This experience allows for the opportunity to acquire individualized and tangible research skills within a mentored application environment which is additive to and precedes the dissertation experience. The second mentored research experience is the students development and implementation of their independent dissertation project, culminating in dissertation defense. Students simultaneously prepare and submit applications for competitive research funding.

Admission of Students from Other Countries (MSN, DNP, and PhD)

Students from other countries applying to the School of Nursing should apply using the same admissions process and admissions criteria described above. The application should be completed in English and be accompanied by official academic credentials with notarized English translations. Applicants must successfully complete the TOEFL or IELTS if English is a second language. Applicants must also have a professional nursing license. The following links specify the licensure requirement for the MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. Applicants who need to apply for a professional nursing license are encouraged to visit the Pennsylvania State Board website which contains information for internationally educated nurses applying to take the NCLEX-RN examination.

Insurance and Health Care Requirements

All students admitted with full or provisional status are required to participate in a University liability insurance policy annually and to have a physical examination upon admission. All admitted students are required to submit Act 33, 34 and 73 clearances completed within 3 months of admission. Individual students must meet additional health requirements of clinical agencies, such as drug testing and annual testing for tuberculosis. Current CPR certification is required prior to enrollment in clinical courses. Students are required to carry health insurance for the duration of their study, which will cover payment for treatment and follow-up procedures related to injury or medical problems incurred during graduate study. The University of Pittsburgh makes insurance programs available to graduate students (see: http://www.hr.pitt.edu/benefits/student-in).

Financial Assistance

http://www.nursing.pitt.edu/scholarship-opportunities

The sources of awards and aid may include: professional nurse traineeships, graduate student assistant positions, graduate student researcher positions, teaching assistant positions, teaching fellow positions, school scholarships, pre- and postdoctoral training grant fellowships, federal Stafford Loans, private loans, and emergency aid.

Academic Policies

http://www.nursing.pitt.edu/resources-students/policies

All students in the School of Nursing are governed by School of Nursing and University policies. Therefore, it is essential that students regularly review and familiarize themselves with those policies, both general and graduate. Question about policies should be directed to the academic advisor or to their respective program, major or area of concentration director/coordinator. Policies of particular importance deal with admission criteria, registration processes, transfer of credits, acceptable academic status, warning and probation, readmission, requirements for degree completion, academic integrity, unsafe clinical performance, and impaired clinical performance.

Advising

Each new student who is admitted to the graduate program is assigned a faculty advisor from the specific major area to which the student is admitted. The faculty advisor provides some initial orientation to the school, the University, and the program requirements. Each student meets at least once a term with the advisor for course selection and other academic advising, although students and advisors can meet additionally as needed. The advisor is actively involved if there are academic concerns.

Each student also can use the staff in the Student Affairs & Alumni Relations Office in the School of Nursing to obtain information about sources of financial aid, scholarships, school policies, registration, course availability, University resources, and community resources for help with personal problems. An online general orientation program is mandatory for all new students.

General Degree Requirements

To earn the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) the student must demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement in required coursework prescribed by the curriculum with an overall academic achievement of a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00. Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination is also required for the MSN, BSN to DNP and PhD in nursing. The DNP requires a DNP project and the PhD requires successful defense of an original dissertation.

Application for Graduation

Each candidate for graduation must file an official Application for Graduation in the Nursing Student Affairs & Alumni Relations Office at least three months before the degree is to be completed, otherwise there is a fee assessment after the deadline. Students are required to be register for at least 1 credit at the University during the term in which they are graduating.

Major and Degree Options

The School of Nursing offers the following graduate degrees:

  • The Master of Science in Nursing with majors and areas of concentration in the following areas:
    • Nurse Anesthesia*
    • Nurse Practitioner
      • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Specialty Role
      • Clinical Nurse Leader
      • Nursing Administration*
      • Nursing Informatics

*not currently accepting applications

  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
    • MSN to DNP Options
      • Nurse Practitioner
        • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner
        • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
        • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Clinical Nurse Specialist
        • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
        • Adult-Gerontology (CNS)
      • Nurse Specialty Role
        • Health Systems Executive Leadership
      • Nurse Anesthesia
    • BSN to DNP Options
      • Nurse Practitioner
        • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) Nurse Practitioner
        • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
        • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
        • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Clinical Nurse Specialist
        • Adult-Gerontology (CNS)
      • Nurse Specialty Role
        • Health Systems Executive Leadership
      • Nurse Anesthesia
      • Nurse-Midwife

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing (including the BSN to PhD and MSN to PhD options.) 

*not currently accepting applications

Special Academic Opportunities/Programs

The School of Nursing offers a variety of special programs within its master’s and doctoral programs:

Minors

Students in the Master’s program, the DNP program and the PhD program have the option of completing a minor in nursing education, nursing informatics, nursing research, nursing administration, and gerontology for nurse practitioners, or health care genetics. The minimum credits required to obtain a minor is 9-12 credits.

Post-MSN/DNP Certificates

Post-MSN/DNP certificates are available in nursing education, health care genetics, nursing informatics, nursing research, gerontology for nurse practitioners, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The certificate options require a minimum of 15 credits; additional credits may be required depending on the certificate program and previous graduate course work. All students admitted to a nurse practitioner certificate programs must meet all curriculum requirements of the full graduate degree program, either through previous course work or credits earned during the certificate program. Individual review of transcripts will determine the exact number of credits needed to meet curriculum requirements.

The School of Nursing also offers coursework that allows students to obtain level-one school nurse certification through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Admission criteria for master’s level certificate programs include:

Evidence of successful completion of MSN, DNP or other relevant first professional degree
Relevant work experience
Three letters of recommendation
Satisfactory interview with program faculty
Current RN license if the certificate program includes clinical experiences.

School of Nursing Faculty

School of Nursing Faculty  

Program and Course Offerings

Other Courses