Learn More and ApplyNursing RN to MSN (MSN)

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  • The RN to MSN curriculum provides for seamless progression for the Registered Nurse (RN) with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) to the master’s degree (MSN) after completing the BS in nursing and matriculating to the MS in nursing.
  • The RN with an associate degree (ADN) in nursing and a BA/BS in another field may proceed directly to pursuing the MSN in nursing while taking three bridge level nursing courses.
  • The RN with a BSN may proceed directly to pursuing the MS in nursing.
  • The RN to MSN program will be offered online except for the clinical component. Students will be required to complete clinical nursing experiences, which will be undertaken in their home communities with appropriate local professional mentors.  The master’s component of the program prepares practicing nurses to meet the core expectations of a master’s education in nursing and to assume the role of a nurse educator, nurse administrator, family nurse practitioner (FNP), or adult gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP). Students choosing the nurse administrator track will also earn a certificate in Health Administration from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) along with the MS in Nursing from DePaul University. The certificate program focuses on interprofessional collaboration and are interdisciplinary in nature. Following successful completion of the nurse practitioner tracks (FNP or AGNP), students will be able to sit for the national certification exam.
Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Completion of Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at DePaul
Degree Requirements Shared with BS Requirements 26
Graduate Core Courses 12
Track Requirements 16-32
Total Hours Required 54-70

Learning Outcomes

1)  Develop an advanced level of patient and family care management with emphasis on interdisciplinary population health focused on a culture of safety and quality that prevents harm.

a.  NA competency: Integrate client-centered and culturally appropriate concepts and approaches in strategic planning to meet population needs for clinical prevention and appropriate care services for diverse populations.
b.  NP Competency: Synthesize data from evidence and other disciplines to improve one’s practice.
c.  NP Competency: Utilize professional practice at the highest level of accountability to render care to patients while respecting patient wishes and maintaining culturally competency

2)  Design, conduct, and evaluate scholarly inquiry in nursing science using nursing concepts and theories with a focus on translational science.

a.  NE competency: Synthesize findings from health professions education research within the practice of nursing education to support competency development in learners.
b.  NA competency: Apply scientific findings from nursing, physiological sciences, public health, quality improvement, and management science in an organization for the continual improvement of nursing care delivery.
c.  NP Competency: Advocate for high quality, cost-effective care by working with healthcare teams, patients and policy advocates to improve health care.
d.  NP Competency: Promote approaches to clinical practice that observes not only the interdependence of clinical practice and policy but also considers the ethics at both the legal and social context.

3)  Evaluate health care systems in regard to the use of information systems technology, quality improvement, culturally relevant care models and tracking of performance outcomes.

a.  NE competency: Use current technological tools to ensure the best quality interprofessional education foundation for nursing.
b.  NE competency: Analyze current nursing education issues including but not limited to use of technology in teaching/learning, contemporary pedagogies, and measuring educational outcomes.
c.  NA competency: Use current information systems technology, quality improvement concepts, and outcomes analysis to ensure effective health systems management.
d.  NP Competency: Utilize clinical information systems in a way that allows for clinical documentation and evaluation to enhance patient safety.

4)  Examine professional nursing practice roles of autonomy, integrity, social justice, and ethics in light of Vincentian heritage and values and other influences and value systems.

a.  NA competency: Participate in health policy analysis and health policy formation relative to specific health care issues relevant to practice as an administrator.
b.  NP Competency: Promote a culture of excellence by providing peer review and implementing improvement interventions proactively.
c.  NP Competency: Translates new knowledge regarding clinical guidelines to improve patient outcomes both individually and in collaborative partnerships.

Degree Requirements

​As part of the master’s component of the RN to MSN program, students will choose to specialize in one of four tracks:

Each track requires several courses plus a capstone experience and required practicum. The specific required coursework for each track can be found by navigating to the respective page. Following completion of the specialty, a graduate certificate in Heath Administration is conferred by Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.​ 

Student Handbook

A complete list of policies specific to this program of study is contained in the Student Handbook that is updated regularly on the website for the School of Nursing. The complete RN-MS student handbook can be found here: Post Licensure Student Handbook.

Retention Policies

MS Degree, Post Graduate Certificate, and DNP Degree Seeking Students
1. To be retained in the nursing program, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater in all academic work at the University.
2. To earn credit, students must earn a grade of B- or better in all courses. Graduate students who receive a grade between C+ to D in any nursing course will have the opportunity to repeat the course a maximum of two times only. Student who receive a grade of F will be dismissed from the program
3. Students who drop below the required cumulative GPA of 3.0 will be placed on probationary status. Students who have less than the required GPA for two consecutive quarters will be dismissed from the program.
4. In accordance with the nursing licensing regulations, students found to be convicted of serious crimes (felonies, substance abuse) will be reviewed by the Admission, Progression and Retention Committee and may be suspended or dismissed from the program.
The SON expects a respectful environment conducive to teaching and learning from all students. Inappropriate conduct is defined as any action that interferes with the creation and maintenance of an effective learning environment. Students are expected to display civility in all aspects of their educational experience at DePaul University. Appropriate student conduct is outlined in detail in the SON Professional Development Guidelines (Appendix B). Appropriate student conduct includes, but is not limited to: being punctual for all classes; displaying courtesy; maintaining professional standards and safe practice in the clinical areas; maintaining academic integrity; avoiding leaving the classroom/clinical area other than during designated breaks and only with the permission of the responsible faculty member; fostering a positive learning environment by respecting the ideas and opinions of others; not talking during class or engaging in activities that distract the attention of others, including keeping cell phones and pagers set on silent mode; respecting others, including not making sarcastic or disrespectful remarks, using foul language or swearing; not threatening others; and remaining emotionally calm without inappropriate outbursts. Students are expected to follow the chain of command in resolving issues. Students displaying inappropriate conduct may be asked to leave the classroom, clinical area, or meeting. Inappropriate conduct will be documented with a written copy of the incident being placed in the student’s file. Such incidents of inappropriate conduct will then be reported to the Director of the SON, with copies sent to the Associate Directors of the Program and the Admission, Progression, and Retention Committee. Additional sanctions for inappropriate conduct may be imposed, including dismissal from the nursing program. For additional information, please see both the University Student Handbook-available online, as well as the “Student Misconduct Process” outlined below.
5. Students are required to immediately notify the SON of any arrests or convictions during the program of study. The SON may elect to suspend the student until the criminal charge has been resolved. The SON may elect to dismiss the student for a criminal conviction.

Progression Policies

1. All students must attend an orientation session before beginning the nursing program of studies.
2. All students must meet with their assigned academic advisor before the first quarter of their program to review their official program of studies for the current academic year. The student is responsible to sign the cover sheet of the Student Handbook and upload it to Castle Branch.
3. Students are responsible for scheduling a meeting with their assigned academic advisor or program director at the end of the first academic year and at least once during each subsequent academic year to review progress in the program and plan for the following year. Appointments should be made via Blue Star in Campus Connect. Advisors may not be available during the months of July and August. Please plan accordingly.
4. A student may not register for any course that has a prerequisite if that student has an incomplete in the prerequisite course.
5. Students may not attend classes in a course for which enrollment is blocked. No credit will be awarded for assignments completed when not officially enrolled in a course. This includes assignments previously completed and turned-in for courses taken in the past.
6. All required health records, evidence of CPR certification, criminal background checks, licensure, personal health insurance etc. must be kept on file in the SON. It is each individual student’s responsibility to keep all of their records up-to-date. Drug screens are required for clinical placements. See student health requirements for further information. Failure to have all records present and up-to-date before the start of each course will result in inability to attend the clinical component of the course.

Academic Integrity Policy

Violations of academic integrity in any form are detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas. Violations of academic integrity include but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, fabrications, falsification or sabotage of research data, falsification of clinical data, destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources, academic misconduct, and complicity. If an instructor finds that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the appropriate initial sanction is at the instructor's discretion. An instructor may choose to file an academic integrity violation with the university. Actions taken by the instructor do not preclude the college or the university from taking further action, including dismissal from the university. Conduct that is punishable under the DePaul Academic Integrity Policy.

Academic Integrity Policy Extension for Clinical and Service Settings

DePaul University is committed to education that engages its students, faculty and staff in work within Chicago's institutions and communities. As DePaul representatives to our partner institutions and community organizations, we ask that you take seriously your responsibilities to these institutions during service and clinical experiences and internships. The community and its institutions are extensions of the DePaul classroom. The University's Academic Integrity Policy and Code of Responsibility apply to professional interactions as well.

Student Advising/Program of Study

1. A faculty advisor will be assigned to each student upon acceptance to the program. The advisor will assist in developing an appropriate program of studies according to the student’s preferences, abilities, and anticipated course availability. Students are required to meet with their advisors during their first quarter in the program, at the end of the first academic year and once per academic year following.
2. Classes are scheduled so that a full-time student can complete the typical program of studies in the designated time frame. Part-time students or students taking courses out-of- sequence, may experience delay in obtaining necessary courses for timely progression in the program
3. Students who change to their progression plan must follow the steps below. Students need to be aware that they may experience delay in obtaining necessary courses for timely progression in the program.
     A. Meet with his/her academic advisor
     B. The academic advisor and student will develop an adjusted program of study that the student will follow
4. The student is responsible for setting-up an appointment with the designated advisor to develop an individualized program of studies.
5. The student is responsible for obtaining a copy of the program of studies worked out during the faculty-student advising session.
6. The student is responsible for enrolling in classes in the sequence identified in the program of studies. Should circumstances interrupt or delay registering for the designated classes, students must notify the Associate Director of the Program and faculty advisor for modification of the planned program of studies.
7. The student is responsible for meeting all prerequisites to courses for which the student is registering
8. The student is responsible for scheduling periodic student-advisor, and student- instructor conferences.
9. The student may not register for any courses until all conditions of admission are completed. Students who are not in compliance will be withdrawn from the course(s) for which they are currently registered. Students will be denied progression in the program up to and including being denied graduation until all requirements are met.

Clinical Guidelines

The student acknowledges that all DePaul University and SON academic and conduct policies remain in place during clinical experiences. The student also agrees to comply with all of the policies set forth by the clinical site. The student understands that failure to comply with university or SON policies or the policies of the clinical site may result in sanctions, including removal from the clinical site and/or the course. The student understands that it is his/her responsibility to immediately notify his/her clinical instructor in the event that the student encounters problems with his/her mentor, preceptor, or staff at the site or at the site generally. Post licensure students are expected to find clinical preceptors and/or mentors at clinical sites preferably in which DePaul University has an affiliation contract with.
If none exists then a request for a clinical affiliation contract must be secured and signed by both institutions. Additionally, a request for a clinical preceptor agreement must be submitted using a Request for Letter of Agreement form along with the preceptor’s CV or Preceptor Profile and copy of verification of licensure in the state.

Process for Establishing a Mentor

Please see the step-by-step process. Students are responsible to complete this process.

Unsafe Clinical Performance

A student is responsible for implementation of safe patient care during the supervised clinical practicum. Unsafe behavior can result in suspension from the clinical site, student remediation, failure of the course, and/or dismissal from the program. Unsafe practice is defined as behavior that has the potential to cause serious harm to a patient. Examples of unsafe clinical behavior in clinical practice include, but are not limited to:

Unsafe practice patterns include but are not limited to:
1. Violating HIPAA requirements
2. Violating OSHA requirements
3. Performing a procedure outside the domain of nursing
4. Performing a procedure in which he/she has not been prepared
5. Failing to use universal precautions
6. Administering treatments/medications in any form via any route without consent and/or supervision from the clinical instructor.
7. Advising patients about diagnosis or prognosis or referring patients to treatments, agencies, medications, without first discussing such with the clinical instructor.
8. Asking a staff nurse to supervise any procedure without consent of the clinical instructor.
9. Inability to correctly calculate math/medication problems
10. Knowingly exposing patients, colleagues, and others to actual or potential life threatening communicable diseases.
11. Stealing drugs, supplies, or belongings from an agency or patient.
12. Removing copies of patient care documents from healthcare agencies.
13. Removal of patient identification.
14. Failure to adhere to DePaul School of Nursing and/or clinical agency policies.
15. Falsifying patient records or fabricating patient experiences.
16. Neglecting to give appropriate care.
17. Providing patient care in a harmful manner or exhibiting careless or negligent behavior in the process of providing care to a patient.
18. Refusing to assume the assigned care of a patient, or failing to inform the instructor of an inability to care for a patient.
19. Willful or intentional physical or emotional harm to a patient.
20. Failure to report an error in assessment, treatment, or medication or failure to report an unusual occurrence or an adverse reaction.
21. Failure to comply with DePaul’s Drug Free Campus policy.
22. Performance not in compliance with stated student expectations as outlined in lecture or course syllabi.
23. Failure to know proper vital sign ranges as well as failure to notify instructor or patient’s nurse of critical vital sign value.

Any student whose pattern of behavior demonstrates unsafe clinical practice that endangers a patient, colleague, or self in the clinical area will be suspended immediately from the clinical experience. The faculty of record will meet with the student to discuss how the unsafe behavior came about and potential complications from said behavior and prepare written documentation of the event. This will be forwarded within 24 hours to the course coordinator. A copy of this document will be placed in the student file and forwarded to the Director of the School of Nursing, Assistant Director of the program, and Admissions, Progression and Retention Committee. If appropriate, an incident report will be filed at the clinical site.

If, in the clinical instructor’s clinical judgment, a student is unsafe to continue in the clinical practicum, the clinical instructor will take the following steps:
1.Dismiss the student for the remainder of the clinical day. The instructor will follow institutional guidelines as appropriate.
2. Contact the course coordinator and the Assistant Director of the Program.
3. Submit a written report of the incident to the Assistant Director’s office within one working day. The Assistant Director will contact the Registrar to put a hold on the student’s grade; the student will not be allowed to withdraw from the course at this time. The clinical instructor will schedule a meeting with the student within 24 hours of the incident or as soon as is practical, and prepare a written report that describes the incident that resulted in the student’s dismissal from clinical. The student will be given a copy of the report at this time.
4. The clinical instructor will advise the student that he or she will not be able to return to clinical until the meeting with the Assistant Director takes place.
5. Within 3 working days, or as soon as is practical, a meeting will be held. In attendance at the meeting will be the clinical instructor, the student, the course coordinator and the Assistant Director of the Program. The student may have his or her advisor present at the meeting. A decision regarding the student’s continuation in the program will be made. This meeting will determine whether the student will be administratively withdrawn with a grade of F or is allowed to return to complete the clinical. The clinical instructor initiating the meeting is not involved in the decision regarding the student’s progression in the program. A decision is made at the meeting and communicated to the student.
6. The documentation related to unsafe clinical practice will be kept in a secured file within the SON offices.
7. The Admissions and Progression and Retention Committee (APR) reviews any administrative course withdrawal resulting in an F. The APR will determine if the student is dismissed from the program or may return in an appropriate quarter per the procedures of the APR. The student may elect to appeal this decision per procedures in the student handbook.

Clinical Performance Limitation Related to Temporary Disability

A student who incurs an injury or has any other physical limitation of a temporary nature must notify the clinical instructor and course coordinator and provide documentation from his/her health care provider that he/she is able to safely carry out the duties of a student in the clinical setting. This must occur as soon as possible and prior to attendance at clinical. The final decision as to whether the student is allowed in the clinical setting rests with the clinical agency.

Clinical Probation/Remediation

A student requires a contract when one or more course objectives are not being met. These behaviors, if not addressed, put the student at risk for receiving a non-passing final grade in the course. The process is initiated as soon as course faculty recognizes that a student's performance or behavior may jeopardize the successful completion of a course. The contract can be initiated at any time during the quarter.

The contract is documented on the Student Faculty Contract form (Appendix A in the Student Handbook) and is completed by the course faculty. The faculty will document, in writing, on the contract form, the areas of deficient student performance and identify behaviors the student will need to demonstrate in order to receive a passing grade. The student will receive a copy of this contract. The student’s academic advisor will be notified as will the Assistant Director of the Program. The academic advisor will follow-up with the course coordinator regarding the student’s remediation progress. By the end of the quarter (or completion of the course in the event of a withdrawal), the student must demonstrate satisfactory remediation of all areas of concern noted in the contract without further additional deficits or risk failing the course. Once the contract requirements have been met, the instructor should document this on the form and both student and instructor should sign the form. A completed copy can be given to the student; another copy is send to the Coordinator of Data Management for tracking purposes; another copy is placed in the student’s file.

Confidentiality

Patient/Client Privacy
1. The student is expected to adhere to the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses and act in accordance with the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
2. Confidentiality is the protection of a client’s privacy through careful use of oral and written communications. The client’s right to privacy is safeguarded by judicious protection of confidential information. The student should adhere to the University Social Media guidelines found at https://www.depaul.edu/Pages/social-media-guidelines.aspx. Social Media policy (Appendix C) regarding maintenance of confidentiality and protection of privacy as it relates to communication via social media.
3. A client’s chart is a legal document. Information from the client and chart is confidential and can’t be disclosed to those who are not caring for the client. All entries must be accurate and legible. No part of the client’s Medical record can leave the office or clinic setting.
4. Information communicated by clients to students may not be repeated to anyone outside of the direct care team. Care should be taken when in the corridors, lounge, classroom, dining rooms, or other public areas, so that conversations are not overheard.
5. An individual can withhold any information about himself/herself that he/she desires. Nursing students must be especially careful regarding the invasion of the client’s privacy.
6. Students should use only the initials of the client when filling out history & physical exam forms, SOAP notes and any other documents which are a part of their educational experience.

Unprotected Exposures

In the event of any unprotected exposure to blood or body fluids, the student is to follow the procedures of the DePaul University School of Nursing Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan.

Exposure at Outside Facility while Performing Duties within Student Role

Any student incurring such an exposure should follow both DPU’s post exposure policy as well as the institution’s policy where the exposure occurred. All student exposure incidents while conducting learning or training activities under the SON must be reported to the Safety Officer or his/her designee as soon as possible, but no later than one business day after the incident.

Students are encouraged to speak with their health care provider about any additional follow-up post-exposure prophylaxis that may be recommended.

When possible, the Safety Officer, his/her designee, or institution where the exposure took place, will look into testing the exposure source individual for HIV, hepatitis B, and/or hepatitis C. Testing of the source individual's blood does not need to be repeated if the source individual is already known to be infected with HIV, hepatitis B, and/or hepatitis C.

Student Injury and Incident Policy

In the event that a student is injured (or involved in an untoward incident1) while in the clinical setting, the student should immediately notify the clinical instructor. The clinical instructor should assist the student to seek immediate health assessment and response following all policies and procedures of the clinical setting that pertain to the type of injury sustained. The clinical instructor must notify the course coordinator of the event by the end of the clinical day.

If a student is injured (or involved in an untoward incident) on the campus while conducting learning or training activities, the student must notify the instructor or faculty member in charge of the activity immediately. The instructor or faculty member in charge must call 911 if the injury is serious. The instructor or faculty member is to notify DePaul Public Safety and follow university policy for all injuries.

All student injuries (or untoward incident), whether they occur at DePaul University or off campus while conducting learning or training activities under the School of Nursing require that DePaul Public Safety is notified, that a public safety report is filed and the DePaul Environmental Health and Safety Incident Report form (DEHSIR), which can be found here, is completed. All must be completed within 1 business day of the incident. The incident must also be reported to the School of Nursing Safety Officer or the SON Safety Officer designate as soon as possible but no later than one business day after the incident. When reporting to the SON Safety Officer, the student is to include a copy of the completed DEHSIR.

If a student reports an incident in which the harm to student is not physical but rather psychological or emotional, clinical faculty should notify the associate director of the program who will direct the student to appropriate DePaul University resources.

Once the student has been seen by a health care professional for the injury (or untoward incident) and completed all reporting processes required by the university and clinical setting, the student should contact his/her health care provider for any further treatment or health care follow-up that is needed. The student may wish to contact the DOS office if the student has concerns or questions.

Student Clinical Requirements

It is mandatory that all students have all of their clinical requirements completed and a copy in their CastleBranch Profile account through www.CastleBranch.com by 60 days before the start of NSG 483. It is the responsibility of the student to insure that all clinical requirements are kept current. Students must submit copies of updated lab results, and renewed skills PRIOR to the anniversary of the expiration date. Non-compliance with clinical requirements will result in the student’s withdrawal from their clinical course and subsequent delay progression in their program of study. Please see the Clinical Health Requirements. The student must submit COPIES (NOT ORIGINALS) to Castle Branch.

The School of Nursing may not be able to place students in a clinical setting if there are positive findings on the criminal background check. As a result, a student will not be able to complete the requirements of the program.

The School of Nursing may not be able to place students in a clinical setting if there are positive findings on the drug screen. As a result, a student will not be able to complete the requirements of the program.

Drug Use and Testing

In accordance with De Paul University policies, the School of Nursing will impose disciplinary sanctions upon any student found to be in violation of laws or policies relating to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs or alcohol. Nursing students may be required to have a ten-panel drug screen based on clinical affiliates’ requirements. Release forms must be signed to have the results sent to the Clinical Placement Coordinator.

If a student’s drug test is positive, secondary or confirmatory testing will be performed and the student will be expected to cooperate with interviews and follow-up procedures to ascertain and endeavor to confirm whether there was an explanation for the positive test result that did not involve illegal conduct, e.g., ingestion of lawful drugs, food, or beverages that could cause positive results.

If the positive test is confirmed and no sufficiently credible explanation of relevant lawful conduct is forthcoming, clinical placement in a clinical course and successful completion of the program will be jeopardized due to failure to qualify for placement and/or successful completion of the program. Students with confirmed positive tests and/or no sufficiently credible explanation of relevant lawful conduct will be advised that the De Paul University School of Nursing cannot place them in a clinical setting. As a result, a student would not be able to complete the requirements of the program.

Access to Student Records

1. A student may have access to his/her personal student record upon request. Confidentiality is maintained with all student files. Release of information is granted upon written request by the student.
2. No specific or detailed information concerning specific medical diagnoses will be provided to faculty outside the department, administrators, or even parents, without the expressed written permission of the individual in each case. This position with respect to health records is supported by amendment to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Health officials and other institutional officers must remember that all confidential medical/health care information is protected by statutes and that any unauthorized disclosure may create legal liability.

Graduation

DePaul University awards degrees to students who successfully completed their program. All requirements of the University, College, and SON must be met.
The student must Apply to Graduate for degree conferral and commencement by the deadline posted in the academic calendar.