Dr. James C. Pace, Dean of the College
Suite 4002E, Health Sciences and Business Administration Building

Dr. LaGary Carter, Associate Dean of the School of Health Sciences
Suite 4002C, Health Sciences and Business Administration Building

Dr. Mark Reinhardt, Associate Dean of the School of Nursing
Suite 4002D, Health Sciences and Business Administration Building

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers programs that lead to a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.), a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), and to a Master of Science (M.S.) in Exercise Physiology.

The Master of Science in Nursing

Master’s nursing education builds on baccalaureate nursing education and prepares nurses for specialized clinical roles. The M.S.N. program offers three primary care clinical tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, and Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The master’s degree (M.S.N.) programs in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone 202-887-6791; Fax 202-887-8476. Questions about accreditation status may be addressed to this organization.

All students take a common core before entering the clinical track options. The common core includes advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment.

MSN Program Objectives

  1. Synthesize knowledge from a variety of evidence (conceptual models and theories from nursing and related disciplines, practice wisdom, and ethics) in advanced nursing practice.
  2. Employ scientific inquiry and other ways of knowing to validate, refine, and develop knowledge relevant to advanced nursing practice and the delivery of health care services.
  3. Effect health policy and promote change through leadership, innovation, and management expertise.
  4. Practice advanced nursing in collaborative relationships across disciplines and with communities.
  5. Demonstrate health care informatics literacy within the context of advanced nursing practice.
  6. Promote culturally competent systems that reflect the global context of health.
  7. Implement strategies for ongoing personal and advanced professional development through professional involvement, lifelong learning, and fostering an appreciation for doctoral study.

Examples of Outcome Assessments

  1. Each student must pass a comprehensive examination which tests communication, critical thinking, advanced discipline knowledge, and the ability to synthesize.
  2. Each student must demonstrate application of theory, practice, knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving by completion of a grand rounds presentation.

To Apply Online, click here

The Doctor of Nursing Practice

The BSN-DNP Program

The BSN-to-DNP program offered at VSU is a 10-semester, 81 credit hour program of study that is a pathway for students who have completed their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and desire to complete their MSN and DNP degrees. The program offers a seamless transition to obtaining both the MSN and the DNP. It also offers an MSN opt-out option at Semester 7 with the ability to return within 3 years to complete the last 3 semesters for attainment of the DNP. The DNP graduate is prepared and equipped for advanced nursing practice and leadership in an increasingly complex health system.

Post-Master's DNP Program

The Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program offered at VSU is a 5-semester, 38 credit hour program of study. The DNP program prepares graduate Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) for leadership roles in an increasingly complex healthcare system as well as for utilizing evidence-based practice to design, implement, and evaluate change for improved health outcomes. With its online format, the Post-Master's DNP option allows the working APRN the flexibility to learn while working.

DNP Program Objectives

  1. Present opportunity for seamless transition to advance nursing practice and leadership.
  2. Prepare advanced practice nurses for an increasingly complex practice, education, and leadership role.
  3. Improve the quality of health care by advancing nursing education through evidence-based practice and quality improvement initiatives.
  4. Prepare advance practice nurses with communication skills to foster intra- and inter-professional teams in consulting and collaborating to enhance patient outcomes, including vulnerable populations, and to create change in complex healthcare delivery systems in response to local, regional, and/or global community needs.
  5. Prepare to develop, integrate, synthesize, and evaluate scientific underpinnings for advanced nursing practice in the DNP role.
  6. Synthesize system theories, health economics, and ethics resulting in improved quality and health outcomes.
  7. Critically appraise research findings to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based practice that result in safe and effective culturally competent clinical outcomes for individuals and populations in the DNP role.
  8. Employ information systems and patient care technologies, applying ethical, regulatory, and legal principles, to facilitate system interoperability and transform patient care to maximize healthcare outcomes.

The Master of Science in Exercise Physiology

The Master's level education in Exercise Physiology builds on baccalaureate education and prepares students for specialized roles as Exercise Physiologists.

MS in Exercise Physiology Program Objectives

  1. Synthesize knowledge from conceptual models and theories of exercise physiology and related fields, practice wisdom, and ethics in advanced exercise physiology.
  2. Employ scientific inquiry and other ways of knowing to validate, refine, and develop knowledge relevant to exercise physiology and related disciplines.
  3. Effect health policy and promote change through leadership, innovation, and management expertise.
  4. Utilize advanced exercise physiology concepts in collaborative relationships across disciplines and with communities.
  5. Promote culturally competent systems that reflect the global context of health.
  6. Implement strategies for ongoing personal and advanced professional development through professional involvement and lifelong learning.

Examples of Outcome Assessments

  1. Each student must pass a comprehensive examination that tests communication, critical thinking, advanced discipline knowledge, and the ability to synthesize.
  2. Each student must demonstrate application of theory, practice, knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving by completion of an internship project or thesis.

To Apply Online, click here

Health Sciences Exercise Physiology (HSEP)

HSEP 6050. Applied Resistance Training for Specific Populations. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: Admitted to the masters' degree in Exercise Physiology or consent of instructor. Specific program design and facilitation for sport, occupation, and health including the tactical athlete. The course emphasizes needs analysis, periodization, energy balance, and injury prevention based on ACSM and NSCA certifications.

HSEP 6080. Exercise Electrocardiography. 3 Hours.

An introduction of the 12-lead electrocardiogram as it relates to graded exercise testing, training, and functional evaluation. The course is designed particularly to assist the clinical exercise physiologist in developing the skills required for quickly identifying electrocardiographic patterns at rest and during exercise.

HSEP 6160. Exercise Psychology. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program or permission of the instructor. This course will review the relation of physical activity and physical fitness to stress and mental health, and explanatory models of exercise patterns.

HSEP 7000. Research Methods in Exercise Physiology. 3 Hours.

An advanced study of the research process, including the development of the research question and hypothesis, review of the literature, research design, data acquisition and analysis, and scientific writing.

HSEP 7010. Advanced Exercise Physiology. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate Admission status. A study of the applied principles of physiology with special emphasis on the integration of organ systems in adapting to the requirements of muscular activity during exercise. The course will also include applied laboratory experiences/assignments within the Human Performance Laboratory and outside the classroom.

HSEP 7020. Advanced Exercise Physiology II. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admitted to the master's degree program in Exercise Physiology or consent of instructor. a continuation of advanced study of the applied principles of exercise physiology with special emphasis on the cardiovascular system, gas transport, and physiological challenges, responses, and adaptations to environmental extremes.

HSEP 7060. Exercise Physiology Laboratory Methods. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission into the graduate program or permission of the instructor. A study of common evaluative, diagnostic, and experimental procedures used in exercise physiology. The course provides theoretical and laboratory experiences for the evaluation of human performance and hands-on exposure to cardiopulmonary stress testing, metabolic testing, body composition assessment, muscular strength and endurance evaluation, biomechanical analysis, health risk appraisal, and other assessment methods.

HSEP 7100. Advanced Pathophysiology. 3 Hours.

Also offered as NURS 7100. Prerequisite: Graduate admission status or permission of the instructor. Advanced principles of human physiology and pathogenesis of disease. This course builds on basic knowledge of pathophysiology, focusing is on etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations of disease processes commonly encountered in the clinical setting.

HSEP 7120. Environmental and Occupational Physiology. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program or permission of the instructor. The analysis of human performance and functional capacity in various environmental and occupational settings. Topics will include, but are not limited to, tissue disorders, human physical capabilities and limitations, pre-employment testing, work-site analysis and the prevention of illness and injury.

HSEP 7170. Advanced Exercise Testing & Prescription for Special Populations. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission into the graduate program or permission of the instructor. The student will examine the recommended exercise testing and prescription methodology for the apparently healthy, athletic and those with various diseases and disabilities. Emphasis is placed upon the physiological responses and adaptations of individuals based on gender, ethnicity, and age to cardiovascular and resistance training. Research surrounding the role of exercise in women's health will be reviewed. Special emphasis will be placed upon the endocrine, immune, cardiopulmonary, reproductive, neurological and musculoskeletal system.

HSEP 7200. Exercise and Nutrition as Medicine. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission to te master's degree program in Exercise Physiology or consent of instructor. An advanced study of the impact of exercise and nutrition in optimizing human performance and the effectiveness in the management, treatment, and reversal of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

HSEP 7400. Exercise Physiology Seminar. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission into the graduate program or permission of the instructor. Advanced study of exercise physiology requiring lecture, discussion, reading and synthesis of the current literature, and student presentations. Topics will change each time the course is offered. Course must be taken twice for credit.

HSEP 7950. Exercise Physiology Internship. 3-6 Hours.

Prerequisite: Completion of all academic coursework, graduation checklist, and satisfactory score on the written and oral comprehensive examination. The student is required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week. Required completion of 100 or 200 supervised contact hours for 3 or 6 credits, respectively at an approved internship site. Students must enroll in a minimum of 6 hours for HSEP 7950 prior to graduation. HSPE 7950 may be repeated for credit.

HSEP 7990. Directed Study in Exercise Physiology. 1-3 Hours.

Prerequisites: Admitted to the masters' degree program in Exercise Physiology and consent of instructor. Specialized study in Exercise Physiology under the direction of a Health Science graduate faculty member.

HSEP 7999. Thesis. 1-6 Hours.

Prerequisite: Permission of student's major thesis advisor. Original research towards the thesis. Students must enroll in a minimum of 6 hours for HSEP 7999 prior to defense of the thesis. HSEP 7999 may be repeated for credit.

Nursing (NURS)

NURS 7100. Advanced Pathophysiology. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate admission status. Advanced principles of human physiology and pathogenesis. This course builds on basic knowledge of pathophysiology. The focus is on etiology, pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of disease processes commonly encountered in advanced nursing practice.

NURS 7101. Role Transition: Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice. 2 Hours.

An introduction to the history, competencies, and professional roles of the advanced practice nurse. Students will explore, analyze, apply, and evaluate attributes influencing advanced nursing practice and healthcare.

NURS 7110. Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice. 2 Hours.

Examination of philosophies and theories that frame advanced nursing practice. The evolution of nursing knowledge and roles in advanced nursing practice are explored with an emphasis on analysis and application of nursing models and related theories using critical thinking and clinical reasoning strategies within a framework of altruism, dignity, integrity, and social justice.

NURS 7150. Nursing and Health Care Information Systems. 2 Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Analysis on current and emerging nursing and health care information systems for evidence-based practice, documentation, and evaluation of client care outcomes. Emphasis is on use of information and communication technologies to assess, document, and evaluate client outcomes and enhance accessibility of care.

NURS 7160. Health Care Delivery Systems, Economics, and Policy. 2 Hours.

A foundation for participation in health policy and understanding the economic impact of health planning. Content focuses on organization of health care delivery systems, health care financing and economics implications, and the role of the provider in policy making. Emphasis is on analysis of health policy; integration of clinical management processes; and use of personal, personnel, and material resources in clinical systems.

NURS 7200. Advanced Health Assessment. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7100. Corequisite: NURS 7200L. Expands the knowledge of physical assessment principles specific to the role of the APN. The student will develop assessment proficiency related to history and physical examination of clients through the lifespan, including psychiatric-mental health and related supportive assessments. Students will analyze, implement and evaluate principles in the clinical setting.

NURS 7200L. Advanced Health Assessment Practicum. 2 Hours.

Prerequisite: NURS 7100. Corequisite: NURS 7200. Focus will be on common deviations from normal. Populations across the lifespan will be included.

NURS 7220. Advanced Evidence-Based Practice. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7011 or graduate statistics course, and 7110. Evaluation and use of nursing and health care research and other scholarly inquiry in advanced nursing practice. This course focuses on strategies and skills in retrieving, evaluating, and using evidence to plan quality health care, initiate change in health care systems and processes, and improve health care outcomes.

NURS 7230. Advanced Pharmacology. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: NURS 7100. The pharmacokinetic processes and drugs used in advanced nursing practice. Emphasis is on pharmacologic management of patients in independent and collaborative primary care practice, including professional and statutory issues related to prescribing.

NURS 7250. Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practice. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission to MSN program or permission of the instructor. Introduction to theories, concepts, models, and ethics relevant to the Advanced Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse. Emphasis is placed on neurobiological, developmental, and psychodynamic theories of mental illness in the care of persons or populations with or at risk for mental illness.

NURS 7251. Advanced Psychopharmacology. 2 Hours.

Prerequisite: NURS 7230 or permission of the instructor. Principles of Psychopharmacology required for the prescription and management of medications by advanced practice psychiatric nurses for the treatment of psychiatric disorders across the lifespan.

NURS 7251L. Advanced Psychopharmacology Practicum. 1 Hour.

Pre or Corequisite; NURS 7351 or permission of instructor. Application of psychopharmacology to the prescription of and management of medications for the treatment of psychiatric disorders across the lifespan.

NURS 7252. Family Systems and Group Process for Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: NURS 7250 or permission of the instructor. Analysis of theories and current trends in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of psychiatric disorders and promotion of mental health within a social systems framework. Focus is on application of family systems theory and group dynamics to advanced practice psychiatric mental health nursing.

NURS 7328. Advanced Practice Nursing: Women's Health. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, 7220, and 7230. Holistic and comprehensive care of multicultural childbearing and post childbearing women with reproductive, gynecologic, and general non-reproductive needs/problems using diagnostic and therapeutic skills for health promotion/disease prevention, and management. Students will integrate pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and diagnoses to design and implement evidence-based plans of care.

NURS 7328L. Advanced Practice Nursing: Women's Health Practicum. 2 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, 7220, 7230; Pre or Co-requisites: NURS 7328. Clinical primary practice and management of acute and chronic illnesses in childbearing and post childbearing women with reproductive, gynecologic, and general non-reproductive needs/problems.

NURS 7329. Advanced Practice Nursing: Pediatrics. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, 7220, and 7230. Holistic and comprehensive care of multicultural neonates, infants, children and adolescents using diagnostic and therapeutic skills for health promotion/disease prevention and management. Students will integrate pathophysiology; advanced health assessment, and diagnoses to design and implement evidence-based plans of care.

NURS 7329L. Advanced Practice Nursing: Pediatrics Practicum. 2 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, 7220, 7230; Pre or Co-requisites: NURS 7329. Clinical practice in primary care with neonates, infants, children and adolescents with acute and chronic health problems.

NURS 7330. Advanced Practice Nursing: Adult Health I. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, and 7230. Co-requisite: NURS 7220. Holistic and comprehensive care of multicultural adolescents, adults, and older adult using diagnostic and therapeutic skills in disease management. Students will identify pathophysiology, discriminate among evidence-based diagnoses, and treatments and implement plans of care.

NURS 7330L. Advanced Practice Nursing: Adult Health I: Practicum. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, and 7230. Co-requisite: NURS 7220. Clinical practice in primary care with adolescents, adults and older adults with acute and chronic health problems.

NURS 7348. Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing for Individuals Across the Lifespan. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: NURS 7250. Advanced nursing management of individuals with acute and chronic mental health problems. Therapeutic foundations for short-term intervention with adults experiencing time-limited crises and who have no long-term mental health problems, and adults with persistent conditions that are stabilized, but confronting short-term stressors and for those needing long-term therapeutic case management.

NURS 7348L. Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing for Individuals Across the Lifespan Practicum. 3 Hours.

Pre- or Corequisite: NURS 7348: Diagnosis and management of individuals with psychiatric disorders and mental health problems. This course focuses on development of skills in clinical decision making, comprehensive and focused assessment, interpretation of data, establishment of therapeutic relationship with individuals, and interprofessional collaboration.

NURS 7350. Advanced Practice Nursing: Adult Health II. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, and 7230. Co-requisites: NURS 7220. Holistic and comprehensive care of multicultural adolescents, adults, and geriatric populations using diagnostic and therapeutic skills for health promotion/disease prevention and management. Students will integrate pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and diagnoses to design and implement evidence-based plans of care.

NURS 7350L. Advanced Practice Nursing: Adult Health II Practicum. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: NURS 7200, 7200L, 7220, 7230. Clinical practice in primary care with adolescents, adult, and older adults with acute and chronic health problems.

NURS 7352. Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing for Families and Groups Across the Lifespan. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: NURS 7252. Advanced nursing management of groups and families across the lifespan. Focus is on family systems, group process and strategies for psychotherapy applied to the advanced practice nursing role.

NURS 7352L. Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing for Families and Groups Across the Lifespan Practicum. 3 Hours.

Pre or Co-requisite: NURS 7352. Diagnosis and management of groups and families with psychiatric disorders and mental health problems across the lifespan. Focus is on family systems, group process, and implementation of counseling and psychotherapy applied to the advanced practice nursing role.

NURS 7590. Nurse Practitioner Capstone. 6 Hours.

Prerequisites for AGNP: NURS 7100, 7101, 7110, 7150, 7160, 7200, 7200L, 7220, 7230, 7330, 7330L, 7350, 7350L. Prerequisites for FNP: NURS 7100, 7101, 7110, 7150, 7160, 7200, 7200L, 7220, 7230, 7328, 7328L, 7329, 7329L, 7330, 7330L, 7350, 7350L. Prerequisites for FPMHNP: NURS 7100, 7101, 7150, 7160, 7200, 7200L, 7220, 7230, 7250, 7251, 7251L 7252, 7329, 7330, 7348, 7348L, 7350, 7352, 7352L. Prerequisites for Post-Master's students is based on the gap analysis completed upon admission. Synthesis of evidenced-based knowledge and clinical skills. Emphasis is on health promotion, disease prevention, and clinical practice in primary care with adults and older adults.

NURS 8310. Epidemiology and Biostatistics. 3 Hours.

Admission to the DNP program. Application, analysis, and interpretation of distribution, risk, and prevention of disease in populations. Principles and methods of epidemiologic investigation including patterns of illness in populations and research designs for investigating the etiology of disease are explored. Bio-statistical measures are utilized to determine risk, incidence, and prevalence of populations.

NURS 8311. Population Health. 3 Hours.

Admission to the DNP Program. The implementation and analysis of population-based disease prevention and health promotion strategies to achieve national and international goals for improving aggregate, community, environmental, occupational, and cultural/socioeconomics dimensions of health. The course focuses on issues affecting health, including communicable and non-communicable disease, emergency preparedness, and the impact of disparity and social determinants on health.

NURS 8312. Health Care Informatics. 3 Hours.

Admission to the DNP program. Analysis and synthesis of information science concepts, principles, and methods to generate knowledge for best practice. The course focuses on application of research; management of individual and aggregate data; assessment of efficacy of decision support, productivity, and web-based learning tools; and evaluation of integrated communication systems.

NURS 8313. Leadership and Ethics. 4 Hours.

Admission to the DNP program. Emphasis is on the ethical principles and responsibilities used in interprofessional practice healthcare decisions. Application of ethically sound solutions to complex issues related to individuals, populations, and systems care will be studied.

NURS 8314. Translating Research into Practice. 3 Hours.

Admission to the DNP program. The synthesis and integration of knowledge related to translation of research into practice, evaluation of practice, and design of activities aimed at improving health care practices and outcomes, and participation in collaborative outcome-driven research.

NURS 8315. Process Improvement and Evaluation. 3 Hours.

Admission to the DNP program. An examination of the concepts of quality improvement and its role in the quality and safety of health care systems and patient outcomes. Exploration of the methods, models, and tools used to evaluate practice variation and minimize risk of harm to lead change across complex organizational systems.

NURS 8316. DNP Project Seminar. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission to the DNP Program, NURS 8314; NURS 8311. Graded "Satisfactory" or Unsatisfactory". Development and design of an evidence-based project focusing on quality improvement aimed at practice and/or systems level change to enhance health outcomes for a population of interest. Completion of a minimum of 100 clinical hours is required.

NURS 8317. Organizational Policy and Practice. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission to the DNP program. Analysis of health care policy and advocacy for change to improve health care delivery at multiple organizational levels. The course focuses on evaluating the influence of political and economic conditions on health policy and the delivery of quality care.

NURS 8318. DNP Project. 1-4 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission to the DNP Program: NURS 8316. Graded “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory”. Implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of previously proposed evidence-based practice interventions for quality improvement aimed at practice and/or systems level change to enhance health outcomes for a population of interest. Completion of 400 Clinical hours is required in this two semester course.

NURS 8319. Systems Leadership. 3 Hours.

Prerequisite: Admission to the eDNP program. The integration of management theories into the nursing process for the delivery of advanced practice nursing services in a variety of systems. Healthcare financial planning, budgeting, reimbursement, and decision-making strategies are applied to healthcare organizations. Theoretical models, analytical methods, and evaluation strategies are explored.