Jul 23, 2024  
2023-2025 Catalog Volume XXXI Ver 1 
    
2023-2025 Catalog Volume XXXI Ver 1

Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program Information


Additional Requirements for Concentrations in Nurse Practitioner (NP) Concentrations

  1. Minimum of three recommendations from healthcare professionals who can rate the applicant’s academic and professional potential.
  2. A two-page typed personal statement of professional goals and objectives.
  3. A statement of understanding of the associated practicum requirements.
  4. Identification of potential clinical sites and preceptors for the NP practicum requirements
  5. Minimum of 2000 hours of nursing work experience employed as a registered nurse

Any applicant that does not meet the stated admissions requirements may request a review by the Admissions, Progression, and Retention (APR) Committee for conditional admission. These reviews are completed on a case-by-case basis. The APR Committee takes many factors into consideration when reviewing these requests, including but not limited to:

  1. Applicant’s work experience and accomplishments in the profession;
  2. Amount of time that has transpired between the applicant’s undergraduate degree completion and application to South College; and/or
  3. Grade point average in graduate work at other accredited academic institutions.

Concentration Overview

The South College Nurse Practitioner (NP) concentrations are designed to assist in preparing our future advanced practice registered nurses with competencies that include expertise in building accountable organizations through transformational leadership, interprofessional collaboration and relationship management, healthcare systems management, quality management, financial management, evidence-based practice and measurement, healthcare informatics, and health policy. We expect graduates of the program to become advanced practice registered nurses with a particular population focus and a full score of practice, which includes assessing patients, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, making diagnoses, and initiating and managing treatment plans.

The nursing faculty at South College seek to develop NP students to assume future roles, which comprise the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic illness, as well as preventive health care for individuals and families. Faculty aim to prepare NP students to demonstrate a commitment to family-centered care and understand the relevance of the family’s identified community in the delivery of care.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) have developed nationally recognized competencies for the educational preparation of advanced practice nurses. The respective board certification examinations are competency-based examinations that provide a valid and reliable assessment of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills for nurse practitioners. Certification aligns with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education. Once exam-takers complete eligibility requirements to take the certification examination and successfully pass the exam, they will be awarded a nationally recognized credential, which can be maintained by continuous licensure and satisfying the specific renewal requirements in place at the time of certification renewal. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification accredits this certification. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board (AANPCB) also provides a valid and reliable program for entry-level nurse practitioners to recognize their education, knowledge and professional expertise, as well as a process for validation of an advanced practice nurse’s qualifications and knowledge for practice as a nurse practitioner. The AANPCB offers the FNP certification examination, which is an entry-level competency-based examination that tests clinical knowledge in family/individual across the life span (prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, elderly, and frail elderly primary care).

The NP concentrations provides a balance of theoretical and practical coursework that further develops the critical thinking and analytical skills needed in today’s competitive and evolving healthcare environments. Students are challenged through didactic coursework and collaborative interaction with faculty and fellow students to identify, develop, and enhance their understanding in traditional and cutting-edge nursing graduate courses relating to the challenges of managing in healthcare environments. Nurse Practitioner students are able to tailor learning to their long-term professional objectives and interests through selection of topics in course papers and projects while taking their core and specialty courses. The clinical practicum course provides a unique opportunity to apply population-focused health care. The capstone course provides graduating students an intensive experience in critical analysis, designed to broaden students’ perspectives and provide an opportunity for the integration of knowledge gained throughout the curriculum.

Regardless of Concentration, all NP students must complete the same MSN core courses and the associated NP specialty courses.

Students are challenged through coursework and collaborative interaction with faculty and fellow students to identify, develop, and enhance their understanding in traditional and cutting-edge nursing graduate courses that relate to the challenges of managing care in diverse environments. The program’s didactic courses are completed primarily via an asynchronous online format using the Canvas learning management system to provide a quality, rigorous, and flexible learning experience for a diverse student body that comprises both traditional and nontraditional students. Didactic course content delivered primarily via an asynchronous online format provides flexibility and accommodates the schedules of working nursing professionals. Course materials and assignments emphasize collaboration, critical thinking, research, and student accountability. Faculty incorporate interactive online learning activities including, but not limited to, required readings, asynchronous forum-based discussions, synchronous online patient case discussions, online quizzes and exams, and evidence-based reviews to develop critical thinking/reasoning and professional communication with peers and faculty. To prepare students for their future roles, the program affords students the opportunity to develop professional competencies in practice settings aligned to the educational preparation.

Before being admitted to the MSN in Nursing with a nurse practitioner concentration, student applicants are required to identify potential clinical sites and preceptors in order to meet their practicum requirements. If a student wishes to complete clinical hours in a state other than where he/she resides and has a license, then the student must either obtain an RN license in the state for clinical rotations or provide an exemption provided by the State Board of Nursing.

Whenever necessary, the NP Program Director or the Clinical Coordinator will initiate and facilitate a new clinical affiliation agreement with organizations of the student’s choice, provided they meet all requirements. Clinical affiliations are limited to agencies in the U.S. (in states where the institution is approved to offer its programs). Tennessee is a member of the NC-SARA, and South College is a member institution. There are also other states that are not NC-SARA members in which South College may allow completion of the clinical practicum hours due to rules of these states.

Regardless of who identifies the clinical practice experience (student or faculty), the clinical practice experience must provide students the opportunity to integrate new knowledge into practice and be supervised and evaluated by faculty (CCNE, 2015). Additionally, the NP faculty are responsible for assessing the appropriateness of the clinical practice experience, including preceptor qualifications, types, and number of patients, setting/resources, etc. In some instances, the NP student may engage in a clinical experience at the student’s employing agency. However, if the students obtain clinical practice experiences at their workplaces, such experiences cannot be “business as usual.” Rather, the experiences must provide the opportunity for students to integrate new knowledge into practice, and the experiences must be appropriate to the expected student learning outcomes and program outcomes. As indicated previously, all clinical practice experience will be supervised and evaluated by faculty.

The program culminates with an NP practicum and a scholarly capstone project which are designed to broaden students’ perspectives and provide an opportunity for the integration of knowledge gained throughout the curriculum.

Student Health Requirements for Clinical Practicum

  • Current RN License: All graduate students are required to have documentation of a current RN license, in good standing, to practice as a registered nurse in their current state of residence.
  • Proof of Health Insurance: It is the responsibility of each student to provide his/her own health insurance. Students, for their own protection, are required by the clinical agencies to carry health insurance throughout the program. Students will not be allowed into the practicum unless they show evidence of health insurance.
  • CPR-American Heart BLS HCP: Students must maintain a current American Heart Association CPR card (level C).
  • Physical Exam/Health Screening: Prior to entering their first practicum, a health history and physical exam are required (current within six months) and documentation of current immunization is required. This data is used to confirm that a student is in good physical and mental health for participation in the program.
  • Tuberculin Skin Test: Required annually. If positive, proof of follow-up medical care is required. (If diagnosis of active tuberculosis is made, clearance from the Public Health Department is required before admission or for continuation in the nursing program.) In cases where a positive tuberculin test result is present due to previous exposure or vaccination, a chest x-ray or quantiferon gold and sign/symptom checklist will be required. http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/testing/default.htm
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine: The Hepatitis B titers are required for all students.
  • Tetanus/Tdap: Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Td/Tdap) vaccination require one-time dose of Tdap to adults younger than age 65 years who have not received Tdap previously or for whom vaccine status is unknown to replace one of the 10-year Td boosters.
  • Varicella: Evidence of immunity to varicella in adults includes any of the following:
    • Laboratory confirmation of immunity through lgG antibody detection. (Reference: MMWR (2007). Prevention of Varicella: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); 56(RR04); 1-40.)
  • Current Immunizations Records: Documentation is required. Some agencies will also require documentation of PPD, MMR, Varicella, and Hepatitis B immunizations or titers.
  • Background & Drug Screening through Castle Branch Students will assume the costs and responsibility of getting these completed as necessary prior to the clinical experience. Instructions for ordering these screenings can be found below.
  • Professional liability insurance is provided by South College. However, FNP Student Professional Liability Insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Photo ID (e.g., South College ID, driver’s license, passport)

All required health documentation must be on file in the School of Nursing prior to the beginning of clinical practicum courses. Failure to comply may result in the student being withdrawn from the course. Students not in compliance will be refused entry to the clinical site and absences during this time will be considered unexcused. These requirements are subject to change based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and regulatory agency requirements for healthcare provider immunizations.

Curricular Tracks for MSN FNP Concentration:

MSN with Concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner BSN-MSN Accelerated RN-MSN
Degree Earned MSN MSN
Full-Time Program Length in Quarters 6 8
Part-Time Program Length in Quarters 11 13

Total Credits for the Track

General Education Credits
Proficiency Credits by Licensure
Undergraduate Nursing Credits
FNP Core Credits
FNP Specialty Credits

74

0
0
0
38
36

153.5

61.5
0
18
24
50

Note: For applicants that are RNs who wish to pursue a BSN and then MSN, please see the RN/BSN section for requirements and then the BSN-MSN.