College of Mount St. Joseph Launches MSN and DNP Graduate Nursing Programs

Health Sciences, Press Releases

By: Jill Eichhorn

File Under: doctor of nursing practice, graduate degree, master of science in nursing, new program, nursing

The College of Mount St. Joseph received approval on March 19, 2012 from the Higher Learning Commission to implement new graduate degree programs in nursing.

The College of Mount St. Joseph received approval from the Higher Learning Commission to implement new graduate degree programs in nursing. The College has received grant awards from SC Ministry Foundation and Ethicon Endo Surgery, Inc., to support these programs.

The Department of Nursing will now offer an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) with two tracks, Nurse Educator and Nurse Administrator, and a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree with two tracks, Administration and Advanced Practice, beginning fall 2012. Ten-week courses offered in a blended learning format will provide the student with interactive learning strategies and opportunities to complete class projects to enhance their work. Offered in a part-time format, students can continue to work while enrolled in these programs. These programs are consistent with the Mount’s history of providing excellent educational experiences in a format that meets the needs of the students.

The Mount also offers a pre-licensure, “entry into practice” master’s degree for those students who have a non-nursing undergraduate degree. The program has recently been renamed “MAGELIN” (Master’s Graduate Entry Level Into Nursing), and at the recommendation of the accrediting body to be consistent with the MSN degree designation for the new degree offerings, will award a MSN degree. This program prepares students to take NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination) and enter the practice of nursing as a generalist.  Since its inception in 2004, this program has graduated 186 master’s prepared generalist nurses and has a five-year NCLEX-RN pass rate of 99.3%.

The Mount’s graduate nursing programs are the next step for its accomplished nursing program. The Mount’s 2011 nursing graduates recently scored third highest of all BSN programs in Ohio on the mandatory licensure examination, the NCLEX-RN with a 94.52% pass rate for the baccalaureate and entry into practice master’s students.

“The graduate nursing programs are the natural expansion for our very successful undergraduate nursing program,” said Susan Johnson, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the division of health sciences. “More career opportunities are evolving in health care for nurses with advanced education. Our programs will provide opportunities for nurses to advance their careers in the education, clinical practice and administration arenas. By offering a new master’s and doctorate program, we are fulfilling the educational need and turning out even more leaders in nursing care.”

More graduate nursing degrees are also designed to fulfill the needs in health care and the workforce. The Institute of Medicine, which studies quality in health care delivery, has recommended the number of nurses with a doctorate should double by 2020. This would provide more faculty to prepare nurses with a baccalaureate and enhance the quality of nursing care. The Mount is partnering with several local hospitals, such as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and TriHealth, to instruct cohorts of MSN and DNP candidates.

“We will never be where we need to be in health care unless we make these changes,” said Susan Allen, assistant vice president of the Center for Professional Excellence/Education at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center which is currently recruiting nurses to form cohorts of nurses getting their MSN and DNP. “Hospitals require nurses to have a stronger education foundation to improve the quality of care that patients receive. We need to raise the bar even more with post-graduate programs for nurses to think critically about health care solutions. The Mount’s graduate nursing program with its liberal arts foundation provides that.”

“Increasing our graduate offerings is consistent with the Mount’s mission of academic excellence,” said Darla Vale, Ph.D., dean of adult and graduate studies. “Graduate education is critical to developing leaders with highly skilled talent for roles that are increasingly requiring graduate degrees. The MSN and DNP programs will be valuable additions to our existing six graduate programs.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2018, more jobs will require people with advanced degrees, specifically an 18% increase in jobs requiring a master’s degree and a 17% increase for people with doctoral degrees. Graduate degrees achieving the highly skilled workforce are needed for the U.S. to compete effectively in the 21st century global economy.

For more information about the Mount’s MSN or DNP programs, please email msndnp@msj.edu.