About the MSN Degree
The Master of Science Nursing (MSN) is a CCNE-accredited online MSN program ideal for nurses who intend to work in the nursing field for a decade or longer. In today’s health care landscape, there is a growing recognition that nurses need more education to be fully functioning members of a health care team that contributes to the improvement of patient care and patient outcomes. With an MSN degree, a nurse will enjoy greater career mobility and expanded job options.
American Sentinel MSN online program students can further define their education by focusing on one of five relevant areas. All MSN degree students must choose one of five specializations:
- Case Management
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Nursing Education
- Nursing Informatics
- Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership
American Sentinel’s MSN degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). American Sentinel University announces that it will host a site visit for re-accreditation of its RN-BSN, RN-MSN, and MSN programs by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. You are invited to meet with the site visit team, attend a conference call or provide written comments. View complete details.
The curriculum of the MSN degree program is based on contemporary issues in health care today. Nurses study the improvement of health care, creating quality patient outcomes and how to foster strategic change in the health care delivery system. Embedded in the American Sentinel nursing curriculum is an emphasis on quality of care as guided by nursing-sensitive indicators.
In 2009, American Sentinel voluntarily adopted the competencies defined by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) project (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) as an integral part of all of our distance nursing degree programs. Those six competencies are:
- Patient-centered care
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Evidence-based practice
- Quality improvement
American Sentinel is one of a few nursing programs in the country to enhance its nursing curriculum by adopting the QSEN model. Our curriculum prepares nurses to improve the quality and safety of patient care and the health care organizations in which they work.
The nursing programs at American Sentinel University contain practice experiences. This is done to meet the accreditor requirement that RN to BSN, RN to MSN, MSN or DNP programs include practice experiences in the curricula to enable students to achieve the required educational competencies (AACN White Paper, Oct. 2012; DNP Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, 2006; ACEN 2013 Standards). These practice experiences have specific objectives, expected outcomes and competencies.
Practice experiences are not like the clinical experiences you completed to obtain your degree as a registered nurse. Practice experiences do not involve hands-on patient care. They are designed to provide you with the opportunity to apply the concepts and knowledge you learn in the nursing courses.
See Nursing Practice Experience Guide for more information.
Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of issues in nursing and health care, giving nurses the foundation and skills to expand their practice. Here are a few of the MSN degree program’s key courses:
- Diverse Populations in Health Care (N510): Students select a country and do an intensive study of the country’s economic and social climate and other factors that contribute to the country’s health status, including the influence of culture, women’s status and disease. Emphasizes the global nature of health care.
- Theoretical Foundations (N505): Introduces theories of human behavior through psychology, sociology and anthropology standpoints. Much broader than a typical nursing theory course, this course examines why humans behave in certain ways and how nurses can influence making good health care decisions.
- Modern Organizations and Health Care (N520): A contemporary course that addresses the structural and economic challenges in modern health care resulting from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- Research Design (N515): Focuses on evidence-based practice and how to evaluate current literature and guidelines, then incorporate these into one’s own nursing practice. Also discusses good qualitative and quantitative research principles.
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care Management (N550): Examines current case law as well as contemporary ethical issues in nursing practice, such as genomics and stem cell research, and end-of-life issues.
- Health Care Systems (N500): Discusses health care delivery systems and emerging models such as the movement toward accountable care organizations, as guided by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the MSN program will be able to:
- Assume roles as leaders and collaborators with other professionals and communities in planning, providing and evaluating health care.
- Enhance professional nursing practice through research and evidence-based practice.
- Use theoretical knowledge to guide advanced practice nursing.
- Conduct advanced practice research and leverage insights.
- Create new nursing models that expand the role of citizens in global society.
- Evaluate health policies and economics.
The mission of the RN to MSN and MSN program builds from the American Sentinel University mission, specifically to prepare highly qualified advanced practice professional nursing personnel to serve global health care communities as administrators, educators, and informatics specialists.