MSN Educator Track
The MSN program is happy to announce an opportunity for MSN students that have completed most or all of the MSN core courses and are interested in pursuing the Educator Track. Starting Fall, 2013 the MSN program will begin offering its first of four courses. In only 4 semesters, you will be able to graduate with an MSN degree by December, 2014. Please call us at 956-665-3491 for more information.
Masters of Science In Nursing Program (MSN)
The Master of Science in Nursing Program (MSN) is designed to prepare the graduate to use an expanded skill, theory, research, and knowledge base in advanced practice nursing. The program emphasizes preparation of students to meet the dynamic needs of the international, multicultural, and multilingual society of the Rio Grande Valley. The curriculum promotes the development of advanced critical thinking and inter-collaborative skills to be used in conceptualizing, synthesizing, and evaluating nursing and health care.
The curriculum of the MSN program assumes an undergraduate base in nursing, physiology, pharmacology, and health assessment. It complements the UTPA Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program in that both have an emphasis on health, its promotion, maintenance, and/or restoration. The major thrust is toward advanced practice in which the graduate is prepared to assume responsibility and accountability for health promotion, assessment, diagnosis, and management of problems within across the lifespan. A strong emphasis is placed on development of sound clinical decision-making skills including diagnostic reasoning.
There are five major concepts integrated throughout the curriculum:
1. Nursing as a critical thinking process,
2. The individual as a holistic being,
3. Health as a process,
4. Society as multicultural, and
5. Education as a facilitator of change.
Nursing in advanced practice uses a theory and research based nursing process to deliver and/or manage client care. Nursing focuses on a critical thinking process which is founded on concepts and principles leading to creative and intellectual processes.
The holistic individual is composed of integrated physiological, psychological, spiritual, cultural, and social needs. In recognition of the dynamic nature of these health needs, the nurse in advanced practice uses a holistic approach to critically evaluate and conceptualize care based upon an expanded knowledge base. Using the holistic concept in the curriculum differentiates nursing from other health professions by virtue of its approach to the entirety of individuals and health.
Since the health status of an individual or group is a changing phenomenon, it may be viewed as a process. In this process, individuals and groups respond to multiple stimuli by maintaining their present health status, moving toward increased wellness, or moving toward increased illness.
Society is composed of groups of individuals interrelating with one another, each from diverse cultural, ethnic, and environmental settings. Culture is composed of the values, behaviors, beliefs, and ideas shared by a group of individuals within society. The presence of many social groups, each with its unique culture, makes society multicultural.
Education facilitates change as evidenced by intellectual and professional growth. The graduate learning environment incorporates the principles of adult learning to promote the development of advanced critical thinking and inter-collaborative skills which may be used in conceptualizing, synthesizing, and evaluating management of nursing and health care problems.
This program prepares nurses for leadership roles in the promotion, restoration, and maintenance of health in a variety of settings. Cultural dynamics of the region receive special emphasis. The program is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of Nursing Education (CCNE).
In addition to meeting the general UTPA graduate admission requirements the MSN program has the following requirements
Applicants must complete an application to the UTPA Graduate School and choose the MSN Program. The application is available on-line at www.utpa.edu/grad . Applications are accepted throughout the year. However, the formal deadline is April 1st (or the first following business day if April 1st is a week-end date) for the next academic year beginning each Fall semester. Spring and Summer semester admissions are no longer offered to new MSN students. Please contact the Office of Graduate Studies at 956-665-3661 for further information.
To qualify for clear admission, an applicant must have:
- A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program
- Current licensure as a registered nurse in State of Texas
- Grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale in upper-division nursing and in any graduate courses
- A basic undergraduate statistics course
- Three satisfactory academic and/or professional references (submitted through online application system)
- Approval by the MSN Student Development Committee
- Immunization records showing freedom from active tuberculosis, immunity to hepatitis B and other diseases including measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, tetanus/diptheria, and any other required by the MSN Program (upon admission to the program)
- Clear criminal background check
An applicant with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution may be granted conditional admission to the graduate school if the applicant does not meet clear admission requirements, but has a 2.5 to 2.74 graduate admission GPA, and provides the graduate office with a letter from the program director or program chair, signed by the dean of the college, requesting a waiver of the clear admission graduate GPA. An applicant granted conditional admission may not enroll for more than 12 graduate hours total. The student must be accepted into a graduate degree program within this 12-hour time period or future registration will be put on hold. A student on probation who earns any graduate grade of less than a “B” will be denied further admission to the graduate school until such time that the requirements for clear admission are met. At the end of the semester in which a probationary student’s graduate GPA is 3.0 or better with no grade less than a “B,” the student’s admission classification will be changed to clear.
Transfer admission category is designed for students who are enrolled and in good academic standing in a graduate nursing program other than the UTPA graduate nursing program. Students who obtain permission may enroll in selected courses at UTPA by:
- Meeting basic requirements for graduate admission as a transfer student according to the UTPA Graduate Catalog
- Submitting a letter of intention to the MSN Program
- Obtaining consent of the instructor of the course being taught at UTPA
Transfer admission will follow university guidelines. A maximum of nine (9) graduate hours may be accepted following review by the MSN Student Development Committee.
The non-degree-seeking category is for those post-master's students who want to take courses, but are not working toward a degree. Non-degree students may enroll in selected courses by meeting the following :
- Submitting verification of current licensure as a registered nurse in the State of Texas
- Completing a Graduate Student Application online through the Office of Graduate Studies, meeting deadlines for admission
- Submitting a letter of application to the MSN Student Development Committee in the Department of Nursing
- Submitting official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Studies verifying a BSN or MSN degree
- Obtaining acceptance by the MSN Student Development Committee
- Upon admission, presenting immunization records showing freedom from active tuberculosis, immunity to hepatitis B, and other diseases including measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, tetanus/diptheria, and any other according the MSN Program.
Students admitted under the non-degree status who decide to obtain a degree may write to the Master of Science in Nursing Program Student Development Committee and apply to the graduate program. The application letter should include a petition that courses complete while under the non-degree status be credited toward the degree. A maximum of nine (9) hours with grades of "B" or better may be proposed toward the master's degree in nursing. At the time the application is reviewed, the student must have provided an official transcript, reference letters, evidence of current licensure as a registered nurse in the State of Texas and evidence of meeting the basic undergraduate statistics prerequisite.
In addition to the UTPA and the MSN requirements for admission, international students are required to have: Transfer admission will follow university guidelines. A maximum of 12 graduate hours may be accepted following review by the M.S.N. Student Development Committee. International Student Admission In addition to the University and departmental requirements for admission, the following are required:
- A minimum score of 500 on the TOEFL or 5.5 on IELTS. This score should be no more than two years old, but can be evaluated on an individual basis
- A course-by-course transcript evaluation by Foreign Credential Services of America (FCSA)
- A license to practice nursing in the state of Texas obtained prior to admission according to Board of Nurse Examiners’ rules and regulations
Upon completion of the MSN program, graduates have been provided the opportunity to enable themselves to:
1. Function as a scholar clinician with critical thinking skills;
2. Synthesize theories from natural, behavioral, and social sciences to support advanced clinical nursing and role development;
3. Evaluate the use of nursing theories as a base for advanced practice;
4. Participate in, evaluate, and use research to promote the body of nursing knowledge;
5. Practice at a beginning level in an advanced nursing role by:
a. Demonstrating critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning skills in clinical decision-making in the identification, evaluation, and management of health needs of clients;
b. Demonstrating development of a healing nurse-client relationship;
c. Reflecting competency in the teaching-counseling aspects of practice;
6. Demonstrate cultural competence in meeting the dynamic health needs of the international, multicultural, and multilingual society of the Rio Grande Valley;
7. Demonstrate beginning competency in the organizational and work role aspects of advanced practice including education, consultation, research, and management;
8. Function as a nursing leader in professional association activities, health policy formation, and legislative and regulatory issues;
9. Function as a multi-disciplinary collaborator in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of health care; and
10. Demonstrate preparation for continuing education in formal and informal programs of study