In our MSN Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialization, you can build upon your core competencies to successfully work in high-acuity environments.
This track requires that you fulfill general education requirements. Once you meet these requirements, you can begin the foundations courses for the MSN.
If you already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), see the BSN Track.
Start dates are offered each quarter so you can begin your program when it is convenient for you. Enrollment in this nurse practitioner specialization is currently open to new students.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||NURS 3101||Course||Issues and Trends in Nursing||Credits||(6 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 3151||Course||Foundations of Nursing Research||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4006||Course||Topics in Clinical Nursing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4211||Course||Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4221||Course||Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6002/6003||Course||Foundations for Graduate Study||Credits||(3 cr.)|
In this course, students are provided with an overview of the evolution of nursing as a profession and introduced to their new role as scholar-practitioners. They examine changes in the U.S. healthcare delivery system, the importance of information technology, and measures that promote quality, safety, and better health outcomes in patient care. Students consider major issues and trends in contemporary nursing and healthcare practice, including the influence of socioeconomic, ethical, legal, and political variables and professional values. Through weekly discussions and assignments, students explore and share personal experiences in the context of contemporary nursing issues, such as the nursing shortage, workforce challenges, healthcare financing, professional organizations, and diversity. They are challenged to examine and propose solutions to these nursing issues in addition to those in their workplace. Students reflect on Walden's mission of social change and its impact on their future nursing practice as a scholar-practitioner. Because this is the first nursing course within the RN/BSN program, students learn to use Walden University's resources to enhance writing skills. Students are also introduced to the tools essential to success at Walden.
Nurses must understand research in order to effectively participate in the provision of evidence-based nursing care. Students in this course learn the foundational elements of the research process, refine information-literacy skills, and develop an understanding of ethical research. Students investigate each step of the research process and complete a critical examination of quantitative and qualitative research relevant to their nursing practice. Students are given the tools to analyze nurse-sensitive indicators and clinical practice guidelines.
Nurses play a critical role in the care of patients with major acute and chronic health problems. They are accountable for clinical outcomes and for promoting quality and safety in patient care through the use of information technology. Students in this course will examine their role in the evaluation of nurse-sensitive indicators, standards, and core measures to develop an evidence-based practice approach to care. Students explore the relationship of genetics and genomics to health and illness as well as infection-control issues. The nurse's role in palliative and end-of-life care and complementary and alternative therapies is also explored. Students apply course concepts and demonstrate an understanding of nursing interventions and agency policy to improve nursing practice.
Students in this course focus on application of theories and concepts from nursing and public health sciences in assessing health status; preventing and controlling disease; and promoting a healthier population by working with families, aggregates, communities, and healthcare systems. Students apply systems thinking by using epidemiological and community assessment techniques to examine populations at risk, health promotion, and levels of prevention with special emphasis on ethnically diverse and vulnerable populations. Major local, state, and national health issues are considered, including communicable disease, chronic illness, environmental and occupational health, bioterrorism, emergency and disaster preparedness, and response. Practice experiences provide learning experiences in population-based health promotion by collaborating with interdisciplinary public health partners in a local community. (1 credit of practicum equates to 72 clock hours of student practice experience hours.)
Contemporary nurses who wish to influence the current healthcare system must equip themselves with the knowledge and competencies to lead in times of pressure, constant change, and innovation. Quality Improvement science provides a rich set of tools and techniques and has been adopted by most nursing leaders. Nurses are expected to lead with quality improvement knowledge and competencies. Students in this course work toward gaining these skills by focusing on real practice problems and developing evidence-based solutions. They also learn skills and techniques in team building; strengthening interpersonal, communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration; promoting meaningful use of data to gauge improvements and problem solving; translating day to day practice problems to long term strategy for organizational growth; and identify strategies to manage organizational change. Students apply course concepts through case studies. Through this practice experience, students gain professional knowledge from nursing leaders in practice the application of quality improvement science. (1 credit of practicum equates to 72 clock hours of student practice experience hours.)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students receive a foundation for the student’s academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments focus on introducing students to resources that support success, development of graduate-level writing skills and use of APA, academic integrity, and the development of a professional development plan based on the student’s chosen specialization.
|Course Code||NURS 6050||Course||Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6051||Course||Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6052||Course||Essentials of Evidence-Based Practice||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6053||Course||Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership||Credits||(5 cr.)|
In today's rapidly changing healthcare delivery system, decisions made within the political arena impact the future of healthcare systems and the populations that healthcare professionals serve. In this course, students examine healthcare reform and its impact on healthcare delivery, population health, and nursing practice. They evaluate policies that influence the structure, financing, and quality in healthcare and examine healthcare delivery from a global perspective. Through discussions, case studies, and other activities, students examine the effects of legal and regulatory processes on nursing practice, healthcare delivery, and population health outcomes. Students also examine ways to advocate for promotion and preservation of population health and gain the necessary skills to influence policy and support changes effected by the passing of new healthcare reform legislation.
Evidence-based practice is an essential nurse competency that supports the provision of effective and efficient care. Through team projects and individual applications, students learn how to organize, evaluate, and use health information and knowledge to critically appraise and use information technology to enhance evidence-based practice. Students also apply evidence-based practice to improve advanced nursing practice and healthcare outcomes across organization, public-health, and consumer-health settings.
Nurses base practice on sound and tested evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. Students have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the development and relationship of nursing theory, research, and practice in this course. Through a variety of online activities and coursework, students explore the role of nursing theory in both research and practice. They examine research literature to differentiate and critique various research designs, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method models; appraise statistical data; and analyze evidence. Acquired knowledge helps students evaluate research critically to make decisions about use of findings to enhance practice.
Students in this course will develop leadership skills to transform nursing and adapt organizations in response to the turbulent healthcare environment. They will develop and apply theory-based leadership competencies to create the organizational cultures needed to achieve quality patient outcomes. Students will also explore evidence-based strategies to create healthy work environments that empower nurses and build collaborative interprofessional teams.
|Course Code||NURS 6501||Course||Advanced Pathophysiology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6521||Course||Advanced Pharmacology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6512||Course||Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||PRAC 6566||Course||Management of the Acutely Ill Adult-Gerontology Patient||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||PRAC 6540||Course||Advanced Practice Care of Frail Elders||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||PRAC 6550||Course||Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings I||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||PRAC 6560||Course||Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings II||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Advanced practice nurses must be equipped with an in-depth understanding of pathophysiological disease processes across the lifespan. In this course, students focus on understanding the biophysiological processes, the deviations from these processes, and an in-depth examination of the scientific concepts related to the biology of disease processes. Advanced practice nursing students learn how normal organ systems function and how organ systems are interrelated to help the body maintain homeostasis. Through knowledge of pathophysiological disease processes, students gain the information needed to develop appropriate treatment plans for patients across the lifespan. Students explore a variety of topics, such as immunity, inflammation, cancer genetics, and cardiovascular disease. They also examine a range of disease processes, including hematologic, renal, neurologic, gastrointestinal, and reproductive disorders.
A solid foundation in the concepts and principles of drug therapy across the lifespan is essential to the work of advanced practice nurses. Students in this course apply the advanced principles of pharmacology, including pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics, by analysis of common drug classes prescribed by advanced practice nurses across the lifespan. Factors influencing successful therapy such as effectiveness, safety, acceptability, cost, genetic/environmental influences, complementary regimens, and patient behaviors are considered. Through this course, students prepare to examine complex decisions in the management and treatment of selected acute and chronic diseases across the lifespan through pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic agents. Advanced practice nursing students will have a more in-depth understanding of drug legislation and regulation for prescribing drugs.
The physical and emotional well-being of patients and families can be complex and multifaceted. Advanced practice nurses need to have the knowledge and ability to provide safe, competent, and comprehensive physical health assessments. Students in this course focus on concepts and skills to assess patients across the lifespan. They learn to use diagnostic reasoning, advanced communication, and physical assessment skills to identify changes in health patterns. Students also use a systematic approach through which they focus on the assessment of patients with acute and chronic health problems. The advanced skills of suturing, reading 12 Lead EKGs, and interpreting X-rays will be covered. Students engage in course assignments that emphasize risk assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and evidence-based assessment across the lifespan.
This course is the first of three clinical courses in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care curriculum. Students will explore and integrate concepts of pathophysiology, pharmacology, assessment, and collaborative management of adolescents, adults, and older adults who are acutely / critically ill or experiencing an exacerbation of a chronic health problem. The clinical focus is on the role of the acute care nurse practitioner working with an interdisciplinary team across settings to facilitate the patient’s return to optimal health. Topics included cardiac, pulmonary, and renal issues as well as cardiac, septic, distributive, neurogenic, and hypovolemic shock.
The frail elderly are a subpopulation characterized by inactivity and weight loss. In this course, students focus on the complex healthcare and management needs of the frail elderly by advanced nurse practitioners in community settings. Students learn to plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic regimens through the analysis of case studies and the actual care of frail elderly in various settings. Additionally, students examine content related to end-of-life care and caregiver issues to gain the knowledge and sensibilities needed to implement positive change for the quality of life available to this vulnerable population. NURS 6501, NURS 6512, NURS 6521, and NURS 6531.)
The complex assessment and care of patients in the hospital setting will require advanced practice nurses to obtain the specialized skills necessary to provide quality care for patients in these acute care settings. This course is designed to prepare students to provide care for acutely ill and critically ill patients. Students in this course will be introduced to the role of the advanced practice nurse, while gaining confidence in caring for acutely ill patients. Through course assignments and clinical practice in the acute care setting they will plan, implement, and evaluate care for critically ill patients. Students will also increase their knowledge of pharmacologic management of hospitalized patients, while applying knowledge gained through previous coursework.
Students in this course advance their clinical competence in the care of patients in acute care settings by building on knowledge and skills gained in NURS 6550. Through clinical practice, students build confidence as they begin the transition from student to advanced practice nurse. Classroom activities and case studies enable students to explore the complex healthcare system, including multiple governmental, social, and personal resources available to acutely ill adults across the age continuum. Clinical experiences in hospital settings provide students with the continued opportunity to develop, implement, and evaluate management plans for adults and older adults with complex acute, critical, and chronic illness. The application of knowledge in the management of patients and the collaboration between the advanced practice nurse and the patient, family, and interprofessional healthcare team are emphasized.
*The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.
Walden currently cannot enroll residents of the following states/districts into any Nurse Practitioner specializations: Louisiana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.
Note on certification
The MSN nurse practitioner specializations are designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for national nurse practitioner certification exams, which are required for practice as a nurse practitioner in most states. Because no graduate program can guarantee that graduates will be permitted to practice as a nurse practitioner upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate Board of Nursing or state agency to determine specific certification exam requirements. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to national certification exams; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice as requirements vary widely. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information about nurse practitioner certification exams, students should visit the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners at www.aanpcertification.org, American Nurses Credentialing Center at www.nursecredentialing.org, or other nurse practitioner certification exam websites.
Note on Licensure, Authorization, Endorsement, or Other State Credential Necessary to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner
The MSN nurse practitioner specializations are designed to prepare graduates with an active registered nurse (RN) license to practice as nurse practitioners. However, each state Board of Nursing has its own academic and certification requirements and issues its own credential for an RN to be permitted to practice as a nurse practitioner in that state. Because no graduate program can guarantee that graduates will be permitted to practice as a nurse practitioner upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate Board of Nursing or state agency in the state in which he or she wishes to practice to determine specific requirements. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance relating to the state-by-state requirements for practice as a nurse practitioner; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to the practice as a nurse practitioner in the state in which he or she intends to practice as requirements vary widely. Learn more about professional licensure. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential. For more information about the requirements to practice as a nurse practitioner, students should contact the appropriate Board of Nursing or state agency.