A Quick Preview of Some Core and Elective Courses

Smiling nurse wearing scrubs.Earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an excellent path to either providing direct patient care or assuming a leadership role within the healthcare system. Progressing your nursing career from BSN to MSN can open exciting doors. The courses you might take while earning your Master of Science in Nursing help build a strong foundation of knowledge and also provide knowledge in specialty areas. Let’s explore some of the courses you might take when earning your master’s in nursing online.

  1. Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology

    This is a core course that all students earning an MSN degree take. This course is fundamental because every student needs a strong foundation in evidence-based practices to support the delivery of effective and efficient healthcare. In this class, students earning a Master of Science in Nursing complete projects and individual applications to organize, evaluate, and use health information and information technology to enhance evidence-based practices. The evidence-based practices learned are used to improve nursing practice and healthcare outcomes in various nursing specialties.1

  2. Essentials of Evidence-Based Practice

    The practice of nursing is based on techniques that have been tested to ensure they are safe, high quality, and cost effective. In this course, students earning a Master of Science in Nursing gain an understanding of nursing theory in both research and practice. Research literature is used to differentiate and critique research designs, appraise statistical data, and analyze evidence.2 This course helps students to critically evaluate research and use the findings to enhance their nursing practice.

  3. Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership

    This course helps prepare students earning an MSN degree to exercise leadership to prepare them, and the organizations they work for, to adapt and flourish in the rapidly changing healthcare industry. This includes exploring how changes in the healthcare system are leading to changes in the nursing profession.3 Students in this course will also examine and discuss theories and learn strategies related to leadership in nursing and management.

  4. Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health

    Political decisions impact both the healthcare industry and the patients receiving healthcare services. In this course, students earning a Master of Science in Nursing study healthcare reform and how it impacts healthcare delivery, population health, and the practice of nursing. Policies that influence the structure, financing, and quality in healthcare are evaluated, and the global system of healthcare delivery is also examined. A combination of discussions, case studies, and other activities are utilized to examine the effects of the legal and regulatory processes on nursing practice, healthcare delivery, and population health outcomes. As part of this course, students will also examine ways to influence policy and support the passage of new healthcare reform legislation and regulations.4

  5. Advanced Pharmacology

    Those earning a Master of Science in Nursing to advance their career as a nurse practitioner will likely need a course in advanced pharmacology. Students in this course learn concepts and principles of drug therapy across the life span of patients. Students also learn the advanced principles of pharmacology, including pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics, by analysis of common drug classes prescribed by nurse practitioners. This course also helps students prepare to examine complex decisions in the management and treatment of certain acute and chronic diseases using both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic methods.5

A Master of Science in Nursing is a degree that can help you advance your career in many areas of nursing. As we have seen by looking at just some of the courses available, an MSN degree from an accredited online college will help you build a strong foundation of knowledge in the field as well as knowledge in specialty areas. And earning a degree online can provide you with the necessary skills to take the next step in your career in nursing while not disrupting the most important aspects of your life.

Courses that students take while earning a Master of Science in Nursing degree cover the most important topics for a career in nursing. An MSN degree can help you take the next step toward a rewarding career helping deliver healthcare or shaping the healthcare system.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


1 Source: www.waldenu.edu/masters/msn-public-health-nursing/curriculum/bsn-track
2Source: www.waldenu.edu/masters/msn-nurse-practitioner-family/curriculum/bsn-track
3Source: www.waldenu.edu/masters/msn-nurse-practitioner-acute-care/curriculum/bsn-track
4Source: www.waldenu.edu/masters/msn-nurse-practitioner-adult-gerontology/curriculum/bsn-track
5Source: www.waldenu.edu/masters/msn-psychiatric-mental-health-nurse-practitioner

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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