University Catalog 2005-2006

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

(Skip Outline)

Phone: 703-993-1901
Web: cnhs.gmu.edu

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the State Board of Nursing approved the baccalaureate nursing program in 1974. Since that time, the program has grown from a department of nursing to a school of nursing. In 1993, the school was reformulated as the College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS) to provide the breadth needed to respond to dramatic and dynamic fundamental changes occurring in healthcare. The college's community-based curriculum has become a national and international model, serving to inform and guide curriculum change as decentralization trends move the focus of healthcare from the institutional to regional and local community-based care.

The mission of CNHS is to equip professionals to provide leadership, care, and services related to health promotion, wellness, disease prevention, and quality of life through the promotion of physical, social, and environmental health practices. Graduates practice in a variety of roles in settings that are complex, multicultural, and dynamic. The college is a resource for health promotion to the university, as well as to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Administration

  • Shirley Travis, Dean
  • Rosemarie C. Brenkus, Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs
  • Christena Langley, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs
  • Teresa Panniers, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in Nursing
  • Farrokh Alemi, Acting Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in Health Science

Faculty

  • Professors: Ailinger, Butler, Carty, Feeg, Johnson-Brown, Maddox, Meiners, Metcalf, Silva, Sorrell, Travis, Wakefield
  • Associate professors: Alemi, Baghi, Chong, Dawson, Douglas, Fisher, Gaffney, Jennings, Moore, Noble, Panniers, Redmond, Vail, Wu
  • Assistant professors: Atherton, Boland, Boyd, Brenkus, Carle, Cangelosi, Cofer, Davidson, Holaday, Kodadek, -Langley, McDaniel, Normile, Pawloski, Roberts, Rudowski, Smoczaynski, Willis, Young
  • Instructors: Alsace, Blasser, Boyd, Davis, Dickman, Durham, Durr, Gillette, Liss, Maradiegue, McClean, Merritt, Miklancie, Moss, O'Donnell, Obalde, Robertson, Stoehr, Urban, Venske
  • Lecturers: Brown, Courtney-Jenkins, Heddlesston, Henry, McGihon, Morton, Sharp

Student Health Services

The George Mason University Student Health Services is operated through a partnership between CNHS and University Life.

Course Work

CNHS offers all course work designated NURS and HSCI in the "Course Descriptions" chapter of this catalog.

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Degrees and Pathways

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Traditional
  • Accelerated Master's Degree for Traditional Students
  • LPN-BSN
  • RN-BSN
  • Second Degree
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science
  • Health Systems Management (traditional and accelerated pathways)
  • Healthcare Coordination (traditional and accelerated pathways)
  • Assisted Living
  • Gerontology

Graduate Degrees and Pathways

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Nurse Administration
  • Advanced Clinical Nursing
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-MSN
  • Master of Science in Health Science
  • Gerontology
  • Master of Science in Health Systems Management
  • Health Systems Management
  • Health Policy Analysis
  • Health Information Systems
  • Assisted Living Management
  • MSN/MBA
  • Nursing, PhD

Certificates

  • Nutrition (undergraduate)
  • Gerontology (undergraduate and graduate)
  • International Health (graduate)
  • Nursing Administration (graduate)
  • Nursing Education (graduate)
  • Conflict Resolution for Health Professionals (graduate)
  • Quality Improvement and Outcomes Management in Healthcare Systems (graduate)
  • Health Information Systems (graduate)
  • Assisted Living Administration (graduate)
  • George Mason/George Washington University Post Master's Nurse Practitioner (adult and family)
  • Biostatistics
  • Healthcare Security and Privacy

Undergraduate Programs

The undergraduate nursing program uses a community-based curriculum to prepare students to deliver superior nursing care, and provide leadership in nursing in the increasingly complex and challenging field of modern healthcare. Graduates are in demand as professional nurses in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community health and other healthcare agencies. The program emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention, capitalizing on early detection of potential health problems, health maintenance in ambulatory services, and preparation for the managerial responsibilities of nursing. The program is accredited by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Attendance at the first meeting of all nursing courses (lectures, on-campus laboratories, and agency laboratories) is mandatory.

Nursing Professional Development

Continuing nursing education is a commitment of CNHS and Mason. Activities are planned to meet the special needs of individuals and groups in the community. CNHS offers opportunities for credit and noncredit courses. Contract courses are offered in a variety of healthcare agencies in the Northern Virginia area. These credits can be applied to a program of study in nursing.

Comments and suggestions for programming from the healthcare community are welcomed. For information about specific activities, call 703-993-1910.

Nursing, BSN

The BSN degree prepares graduates to function as professional nurses in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and the community. The community-based program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Special accelerated pathways for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) take into account the needs of the working RN and LPN. A 12-month, full-time accelerated pathway for students with a baccalaureate degree outside of nursing also is offered. (The Saudi Scholarship Project students complete this program in a 15-month sequence.) Students interested in these pathways must contact the nursing program before admission. All pathways lead to completion of the objectives of the undergraduate program.

Clinical nursing begins at the junior level. Students must complete a prenursing curriculum, and be admitted to junior standing or to one of the accelerated pathways. This does not apply to students who are already registered nurses.

Acceptance Into Junior Standing in Nursing

Students who are interested in pursuing a major in nursing must make an additional and separate application for junior standing through CNHS. (This does not apply to students who are already RNs.) To be eligible to apply for junior standing, traditional prenursing students must complete the specified general education requirements, which apply to the degree, by the end of the spring semester. LPN students who desire to be full-time students must complete all prerequisite general education requirements by the end of the semester preceding entry into the nursing major. Students must earn a C or better in psychology (6 credits); sociology or anthropology (3 credits); BIOL 124 and 125 (8 credits); and BIOL 246 and 306 (4 credits).

Admission to the nursing program is competitive. It is based on a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in the prerequisite university general education course work (wherever taken) required for the degree (excluding electives, U.S. history, western civilization, global understanding, information technology, and English 302). The acceptable GPA may increase each year based on the number of spaces available in the nursing program.

Transfer students and those changing their majors to nursing are ranked downward from 4.00 on the basis of the number of junior spaces available in any given year. Students admitted as prenursing freshmen must have a minimum GPA of 3.00.

Students are accepted for junior standing each fall. The application deadline is April 1, and students are notified of their status in early June. LPN students desiring to be full-time students in the spring semester must submit an application by November 15. Part-time LPN students are admitted in the fall and spring semesters. Permission to register for NURS 330, 331, 332, and 333 requires prior acceptance into junior standing in nursing. Full-time nursing requires carrying a heavy schedule; therefore, outside obligations should be limited to ensure success.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the degree must present at least 120 credits. Specific requirements for the BSN are as follows.

Credits
Language arts, culture, and global understanding 24
ENGL 101 and 302 (3 credits of humanities are a prerequisite to ENGL 302) 6
Communication 3
Ethics 3
Literature (at 200 level or above, does not include ENGL 101 and 302) 3
U.S. history 3
Western civilization 3
Global understanding 3
Social and behavioral sciences 9
Sociology or anthropology 3
Psychology (PSYC 100 and 211)
(Any psychology for RNs and LPNs)
6
Natural sciences and mathematics 21
BIOL 124 and 125 8
Microbiology (BIOL 246 and 306) 4
Statistics (STAT 250) 3
Normal nutrition (HSCI 295) 3
Information technology 3

Nursing major

NURS 330, 331, 332, 334, 335, 337, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 410, 425, 436, 440, 441, 442, 451, 453, 455, 465

58–62

Electives
(No more than 3 credits of nursing electives may be used to satisfy this requirement.)

4–8
Total 120

Students pursuing a BSN must take BIOL 124 and 125. This will meet the natural science portion of Mason's general education requirements. Nursing students are exempt from the general education requirement of a fine arts course.

Nursing students must take an approved synthesis course (NURS 465, 3 credits).

Mason provides opportunity for credit by exam in several courses for students presenting evidence of previous education. Programs of study are based on student needs.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Mason requires all students to complete at least one course in their majors designated "writing intensive" at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in nursing fulfill this requirement by successfully completing NURS 465.

Academic Grade Standards

Students who earn a nursing course final grade lower than C must repeat the course and earn a grade of C or higher. In these cases, students are placed on "nursing academic warning." They must notify the assistant dean for undergraduate programs in writing, within two weeks of final exams, of their intent to repeat the course. Students should be aware that space may not be available in some clinical nursing courses that they may need to repeat. Although placement attempts will be made, students must understood that they may have to sit out a semester or more until space becomes available.

Students may repeat only one time a nursing course in which they earned a grade lower than C. Those who fail to earn a C or higher after repeating the course are dismissed from the nursing program. Those who earn a grade of C or higher may resume progress in the sequence of required courses. Earning a grade of less than C in a second nursing course results in dismissal from the nursing program.

Nursing majors who fail a course must repeat the course and earn a C or higher to resume progression in classes with NURS/HSCI prefixes. Before the course is repeated, the student may not register for any other courses with a NURS or HSCI prefix.

Professional Conduct Policy

CNHS reserves the right to place on probation, suspend, or dismiss any student from the program who does not demonstrate professional conduct. This includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse and insubordination as well as behavior that threatens the safety of a client, another student, a faculty member, or other healthcare provider when the behavior occurs within the context of the academic program. The student has the right to appeal. The process for implementation of this Professional Conduct Policy is documented in the CNHS handbook.

Readmission

Readmission to the nursing program for nonacademic or professional infractions is not automatic. Former students must apply in writing for readmission to the assistant dean for undergraduate programs by September 1 for the spring semester, February 1 for the fall semester, or November 1 for Summer Term. The letter should include a description of the circumstances surrounding the nonacademic suspension; a description of interim activities; steps taken to support success upon readmission; reasons readmission is justified; and rationale to support expectation of success upon readmission. Students meeting the above criteria are considered for readmission on a space-available basis. Students have the right to appeal unfavorable decisions.

Leave of Absence

Students in good standing may request a leave of absence from the nursing program of up to two semesters. Readmission following the leave of absence is granted only on a space-available basis.

Appeal Process

Faculty members in the nursing program are generally the best judges of a student's professional performance. However, some students may feel that their judgment of readmission or dismissal is unfair. In such cases, the student should ask the assistant dean for undergraduate programs to reconsider the decision. If the student remains dissatisfied, the matter may be appealed to the dean. If the dean believes the student may have a legitimate complaint, the dean will appoint a committee of three faculty members and a student peer to review the decision. After the committee thoroughly reviews the student's case, it will issue a written recommendation to the dean with a copy to the assistant dean.

Background Check

Clinical agencies mandate that all students have a criminal background check. Information obtained from the background check may result in a student's inability to perform clinical activities in the healthcare facilities and therefore, will disqualify the student from entering or continuing in the nursing program. Students must pay a fee for the background check. Students also are responsible for notifying the assistant dean of student academic affairs of any arrests, regardless of adjudication, that occur after acceptance and during enrollment in the program. Failure to promptly notify the assistant dean of student academic affairs may be grounds for dismissal from the nursing program.

Undergraduate Honors Program

The undergraduate honors program provides opportunities for highly motivated, self-directed students seeking enriched course work and research involvement. Highly qualified students in any of the nursing and health science programs are eligible to participate in specialized course work while working closely with an honors faculty advisor and graduate students. The undergraduate honors program includes a minimum of 6 credits, or two to three semesters, accomplished through nursing courses designated as honors courses. These courses could be a section of an existing course or special courses developed for the honors program, such as Honors Colloquium. Other honors course work includes independent study courses designated as honors courses, and add-on honors credits completed in conjunction with an existing required nursing course (up to 2 credits are earned for additional work required of an honors student). All honors courses include the word "honors" so they are easily identified in the catalog, Schedule of Classes, and registration forms for specialized courses, and on student transcripts.

Criteria for admission to the undergraduate nursing honors program are as follows:

  • Mason students awarded general education honors and achieving a 3.00 GPA in the prerequisite course work for junior standing are accepted into the nursing honors program. All other interested traditional students apply during the first semester of junior-level nursing course work. Interested LPN and RN pathway students apply while taking NURS 334.
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.500 or better. They must submit a short essay; a letter of reference from a teacher familiar with their academic abilities; and a letter of reference from a colleague able to speak to the applicant's leadership potential, and past and future community involvement.

Final decisions on acceptance are made by the College of Nursing and Health Science Honors Admissions Committee. Students admitted to the nursing honors program do not constitute more than 10 percent of the graduating students receiving BSN degrees each year.

Student Learning Portfolio

All students in CNHS initiate a learning portfolio during the first semester of junior year. The purpose is to provide evidence of a student's ability to meet programmatic outcomes as a care provider; designer, manager, and coordinator of care; and member of the profession. The portfolio also demonstrates development of professional values and behaviors by providing evidence of work completed throughout the nursing program. A "Best Works" portfolio at the conclusion of the nursing program evaluates program outcomes and is used for ongoing professional development. Each course requires elements of the portfolio and is integrated into the course syllabus.

NCLEX Assessment

All students are required to take a computerized version of a practice NCLEX-RN exam in the first semester of their senior year. Students must achieve a score of 80 percent or higher. Students who do not achieve this score must complete an individualized study program, repeat the NCLEX review exam, and score 80 percent or above. Successful completion of the NCLEX review exam is required to receive a passing grade in NURS 465.

Special Requirements

Fees and expenses specific to the nursing program are as follows: laboratory equipment kit, standardized testing, uniforms, stethoscope, name pin, books, course materials, transportation to and from agencies, CPR certification, review of health forms, immunizations, and any other additional fees as mandated by clinical agencies, such as the criminal background check.

A one-time lab fee is required of all students before beginning the first semester of nursing. A one-time health records review fee of $10 is required for all students before their first clinical rotations.

Nursing students are required to obtain a health examination and immunizations before registering for their first clinical course. Students must complete two of the three hepatitis B immunizations in accordance with current U.S. Public Health Service recommendations before entering the first clinical setting. The cost of the immunizations is the responsibility of the student. Student immunization records are monitored at CNHS's Office of Student Academic Affairs, which charges a small fee for this service.

Clinical agencies sometimes require additional records and documentation, such as criminal background checks, before student participation. Any cost is the responsibility of the student.

Student assignments are based on the learning needs of the student without regard to the HIV or HBV status of the client. Failure to practice universal precautions and blood-borne pathogen safety results in dismissal from the nursing -program.

No student or faculty member is discriminated against or denied admission to the nursing program for the sole reason that the student or faculty member has been exposed to, infected, or diagnosed with HIV or HBV. In the event that a student has a clinical experience or practicum exposure to body fluids of a client, procedures and appropriate incident reports are to be completed according to institutional and nursing policies. Information related to exposure or infection is confidential, and dissemination of such information is based on the need-to-know criteria that apply generally in healthcare situations. A complete and detailed HIV/HBV policy is available in the CNHS's Office of Student Academic Affairs.

Academic Affairs

All students are required to have an active Mason e-mail account. Students are responsible for their own uniforms and transportation. Student liability insurance is provided by the university. Students are strongly advised to maintain health insurance coverage at all times. An accident and health insurance plan is available through Mason. Students are responsible for their own healthcare, including emergency care. The nursing program assumes no financial responsibility for the healthcare of students.

All students must have CPR certification before entering the first clinical nursing course, and maintain it through the remainder of the program. Either the American Red Cross Professional Rescuer or the American Heart Association Basic Life Support is required.

The drop period for nursing courses offered for fewer than 14 weeks is three weeks.

Because knowledge, skills, and behavior patterns in the major field of this program are so vital to the health and perhaps even the survival of individuals or groups being served, failure or borderline achievement cannot be tolerated. Therefore, the faculty of the nursing program has established, with approval of university faculty and administration, special major field quality standards that go beyond the general university quality standards printed elsewhere in this catalog.

RN and LPN Licensure Requirement

RN and LPN students are required to submit a copy of their license prior to entering the first nursing course.

Health Science, BS

The BS in health science prepares students to become managers and clinicians in a variety of settings including hospitals; clinics; schools; community health, home care, long-term care, employee health, and managed care organizations; group medical practices; manufacturing, medical technology and supply organizations; insurance industry; and financial consultant services. Two pathways are available: health systems management and healthcare coordination.

The program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis; special accelerated pathways for graduates of allied health technical programs take into account the needs of the adult learner. Interested students should contact the health science program before admission. All pathways lead to completion of the objectives of the undergraduate health science program. The major begins at the junior year. A minimum grade of C must be obtained in all health science courses.

Students must check with their advisor to ensure that all university general education requirements have been met prior to graduation. Students may substitute three, 3-credit health science courses for the internship with the approval of the advisor, depending on work experiences.

Program Requirements

Health Systems Management Traditional Pathway
Language arts and humanities 27
ENGL 101 and 302 6
COMM 101 3
PHIL 309 3
Literature 3
U.S. history 3
Western civilization 3
Fine arts 3
Global understanding 3
Behavioral and social sciences 6
SOCI 101 or ANTH 114 3
PSYC 100 3
Natural science and mathematics 14
BIOL 103 and 104 8
STAT 250 3
Information technology 3
Business and management 21
ECON 100 or 103 3
MSOM 300, 301, 302, 303 and 304 or 305 15
BULE 302 3
Health science major
HSCI 302, 303, 332, 378, 436, 440, 453, 465, 498
33
Electives
(two must be in HSCI)
19
Total 120
Concentration in Assisted Living Administration

Students must meet all requirements listed in the health systems management traditional pathway with the exception of the two health science electives and 3 credits of general electives. These courses are replaced with the following courses: HSCI 307, 480, and either 492 or 585. An internship is required. Students complete this internship either in Senior Services (HSCI 498, 9 credits) or Hospitality Services (15 credits; 9 credits for HSCI 498 and 6 credits independent study).

Healthcare Coordination Traditional Pathway
Language arts and humanities 33
ENGL 101 and 302 6
COMM 101, 305, and 320 9
PHIL 309 3
Literature 3
Fine arts 3
U.S. history 3
Western civilization 3
Global understanding 3
Behavioral and social sciences 12
SOCI 101 or ANTH 114 3
PSYC 100, 211, and 321 9
Natural sciences and mathematics 14
BIOL 124 and 125 8
IT 103 3
STAT 250 3
Business and management 9
ECON 100 or 103 3
MGMT 301 and 312 6
Health science major
HSCI 250, 295, 332, 344, 378, 402, 436, 440, 453, 465, 498
39
Electives
(two must be in HSCI)
13
Total 120

Students pursuing the healthcare coordination pathway in the health science major must take BIOL 124 and 125 to meet the natural science portion of Mason's general education requirements.

Health Systems Management Accelerated Pathway for Students with Associate's Degree in Allied Health
Language arts and humanities 27
ENGL 101 and 302 6
COMM 101 3
PHIL 309 3
Literature 3
U.S. history 3
Western civilization 3
Fine arts 3
Global understanding 3
Behavioral and social sciences 6
SOCI 101 or ANTH 114 3
PSYC 100 3
Natural science and mathematics 14
BIOL 103 and 104 8
Information technology 3
STAT 250 3
Business and management 21
ECON 100 or 103 3
MSOM 300, 301, 302, 303, and 304 or 305 15
BULE 302 3
Health science major
HSCI 302, 303, 332, 334*, 378, 436, 440, 465, 498
55
Total 120

* Upon completion of bridge course HSCI 334, students are awarded 19 advanced placement credits from the associate's degree program.

Healthcare Coordination Accelerated Pathway for Students with Associate's Degree in Allied Health
Language arts and humanities 33
ENGL 101 and 302 6
COMM 101, 305, and 320 9
PHIL 309 3
Literature 3
Fine arts 3
U.S. history 3
Western civilization 3
Global understanding 3
Behavioral and social sciences 12
SOCI 101 or ANTH 114 3
PSYC 100, 211, and 321 9
Natural science and mathematics 14
BIOL 124 and 125 8
IT 103 3
STAT 250 3
Business and management 9
ECON 100 or 103 3
MGMT 302 and 312 6
Health science major
HSCI 250, 295, 332, 334*, 344, 378, 402, 436, 440, 465, 498
52
Total 120

* Upon completion of bridge course HSCI 334, students are awarded 13 advanced placement credits from the associate's degree program.

Students pursuing the healthcare coordination pathway in the health science major must take BIOL 124 and 125 to meet the natural science portion of Mason's general education requirements.

Gerontology Track

Admission Requirements

The gerontology concentration is designed for students interested in providing services to the elderly in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, community health centers, home health and senior centers, senior housing, and long-term care centers. The program provides foundational knowledge in health science and aging, and is suitable for students who wish to function as clinicians, managers, and advocates for the elderly. Students will be able to synthesize health science knowledge with gerontological knowledge and skills and apply it to the rapidly developing field of aging to improve the quality of life for a growing population. The degree is desirable for students who wish to prepare for a beginning career in gerontology, for workers already in the field, and individuals seeking to increase their understanding of the aging process and human development.

Students from a variety of disciplines may be admitted to this program. Students must show a capacity for undergraduate work, and must be prepared to complete a 128-credit practicum experience of six to eight hours per week in an appropriate organization.

Students must submit a completed Mason application and satisfy university-wide general admission requirements as specified in this catalog.

Applicants must also submit certified copies of all secondary and college transcripts, and proof of satisfactory scores on the SAT or ACT. Applicants whose native language is not English should submit TOEFL results. Other requirements for international applicants are specified in this catalog.

Degree Requirements

Students must satisfy Mason's general education requirements for the BS degree, and CNHS requirements for the BL in health science degree, gerontology track. They must complete 120 credits of undergraduate course work. This includes 41 credits of general education requirements, 6 credits of CNHS prerequisites, 36 credits of health science and gerontology specialization core requirements (including 9 credits of gerontology internship), and 37 credits of electives for health science and gerontology specialization.

Program of Study

Please refer to the "Course Descriptions" chapter of this catalog for descriptions.

Credits
General Education 41
ENGL 101 and 302 6
COMM 101 3
Statistics 250 3
Literature 3
Fine Arts 3
Anatomy and Physiology 6
U.S. History 6
Western Civilization 3
Global Understanding 3
Psychology 101 3
IT 3
CNHS Additional Prerequisites 6
Sociology 101 3
Philosophy 151 or 309 (Ethics) 3
Health Science and Gerontology Specialization Core Requirements 36
HSCI 480 Health Aspects of Aging 3
SOCI 441 Sociology of Aging 3
PSYC 415 Psychology of Aging 3
HSCI 307 Philosophy and Management of Assisted Living 3
HSCI 453 Healthcare Research 3
HSCI 332 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 3
HSCI 436 Leadership and Management in Healthcare 3
HSCI 440 Community Health and Epidemiology 3
HSCI 490 Gerontology Internship 9
HSCI 465 Professional Transition Seminar 3
Electives for Health Science and Gerontology Specialization 37
Gerontology Electives 6
Non-Gerontology Electives 3
Health Science Electives 28
Total credits 120

Minor in Nutrition

The minor in nutrition offers a variety of courses for students pursuing undergraduate degrees at Mason. Students who may be interested in completing the minor include those pursuing degrees related to nutrition, health and education. The minor is intended to increase knowledge of nutrition issues. This minor is not equivalent to the registered dietitian license, and does not provide a license to practice therapeutic nutrition.

Minor Requirements

Applications are encouraged from all areas at Mason. Application is made through CNHS. Students are required to take an introductory nutrition course such as HSCI 295. To complete the minor, students are required to pass 15 credits of undergraduate or graduate course work. At least 6 credits must be completed at Mason, and no more than 3 credits of C- or D in the minor are accepted.

Course Requirements
Credits
Required Courses 12
HSCI 420 Strategies for Nutrition 3
HSCI 421 Community Nutrition 3
HSCI 422 Nutrition Throughout the Lifecycle 3
HSCI 423 Nutrition and Chronic Illness 3
Electives (Select one) 3
CHEM 102 Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry 3
CHEM 463 General Biochemistry 3
HSCI 530 Nutrition: A Global Perspective 3
HSCI/NURS 583 Food and Culture: Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition 3

Certificate in Gerontology

The undergraduate certificate program in gerontology prepares students for work with older adults, as well as with professionals who are already working with the elderly. The program provides a background of basic knowledge in gerontology, and prepares students in professional skill areas such as counseling, recreation, social work, nursing, and administration.

The certificate program is administered by the CNHS. Three other academic units participate in the program: the College of Education and Human Development, Department of Psychology, and Department of Sociology and Anthropology. A Gerontology Certificate Committee determines program policy and curriculum.

Academic advising and an application form are available through CNHS.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate program consists of 24 credits. Students receiving the certificate must already hold a baccalaureate degree, or have earned one from Mason by the time they receive the certificate.

The 24 credits are divided as follows:

  • A minimum of 12 credits selected from the following:
    • HSCI 480; NURS 505, 570; PRLS 315, 415; PSYC 415; SOCI 441; and SOCW 483
  • 6 credits in a practicum in gerontology: PSYC 548, 549. Students must have completed at least 9 credits of core courses before enrolling in the practicum.
  • 6 credits of electives selected from the following:
    • HEAL 110, 323, 480; HSCI 332; PHED 415, 450, 499; PRLS 210, 310; PSYC 211, 325, 326, 415, 423; PUAD 502, SOCI 350, 390, 599; SOCW 300, 351, 352; reading and research in gerontology from any department

Undergraduate Certificate in Nutrition

This program offers a variety of courses in nutrition for future and present healthcare professionals, researchers, and others who are commonly faced with community-related nutrition issues. The program is intended to help healthcare professionals and others who would like to increase their knowledge in nutrition. This certificate is not equivalent to the registered dietitian license and does not provide a license to practice therapeutic nutrition.

Certificate Requirements

Applicants need not have a bachelor's degree in nursing. Applications are encouraged from all areas of nursing and health sciences. Application is made through CNHS. A requirement for the certificate is 24 credits of undergraduate or graduate coursework.

Program of Study
Credits
Required Courses 21
HSCI 295 Nutrition for Health Professionals 3
HSCI 420 Strategies for Nutrition Education 3
HSCI 421 Community Nutrition 3
HSCI 422 Nutrition Throughout the Lifecycle 3
HSCI 423 Nutrition and Chronic Illness 3
One sociology or anthropology course (which may include HSCI/NURS 583) 3
One developmental course such as psychology or education. 3
General Nutrition Electives
(Select one that has not been taken as a required course)
3
CHEM 102 Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry 3
CHEM 463 General Biochemistry 3
HSCI 530 Nutrition: A Global Perspective 3
HSCI/NURS 583 Food and Culture: Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition 3

Graduate Programs

Nursing, MSN

The MSN program is accredited by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing. The program prepares nurses for a variety of leadership roles in the healthcare delivery system. The adult, adult and gerontological, and family nurse practitioner primary care tracks are part of a collaborative program with George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. These tracks have been approved by the state boards of nursing and medicine in Virginia. The track in advanced clinical nursing prepares nurses to provide and manage care of individuals, families, and groups, including the chronically ill, the elderly, and others with self-care limitations. The track in nursing administration prepares nurses to function in management positions in hospitals, nursing homes, community health agencies, and other health-related facilities.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting graduate admission requirements, applicants program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 for the last 60 credits of undergraduate work, hold an active license as a registered nurse, and submit three letters of recommendation. Although the GRE is not formally required, applicants may be asked to submit GRE scores at the discretion of the school when it believes those scores will lead to a clearer presentation of the applicant's qualifications. Applicants must have successfully completed undergraduate statistics as well as a graduate bivariate statistics course.

Students applying to the tracks in advanced clinical nursing and all the nurse practitioner tracks must have a health assessment skills continuing education course 18 months prior to taking NURS 514. In addition, applicants to the nursing administration track are required to have the equivalent of one year's experience in direct patient care as a registered nurse. It is recommended that students applying to the advanced clinical nursing track have the equivalent of one year's experience in direct patient care as a registered nurse.

Students applying to any nurse practitioner track are required to have a minimum of one year experience in direct patient care.

Special Requirements

Graduate students are required to have annual health examinations and immunizations before enrolling in practicum courses. Students enrolled in the advanced clinical nursing, adult, adult and gerontological, and family nurse practitioner primary care tracks must be in the process of completing a hepatitis B immunization series when they enroll for their first practicum course. Nursing administration students who have practicum placements in healthcare agencies also must be in the process of completing a hepatitis B immunization series when they enroll for their first practicum course. Student health and immunization records are monitored at CNHS's Office of Student Academic Affairs, which charges a small fee for this service. All students are required to have an active Mason e-mail account.

Degree Requirements

The master's program in nursing requires 37–48 graduate credits. Of these, a 13-credit core consists of course work in the theoretical foundations of nursing, applications in nursing research, a seminar in the ethics of healthcare, and a course on the organization of nursing and healthcare delivery systems. The nursing administration and advanced clinical nursing tracks require an additional 25 credits. The adult, adult and gerontological, and family nurse practitioner primary care tracks require an additional 29 credits; the family nurse practitioner track requires an additional 35 credits. A graduate course in which a grade of C or below is earned may be repeated only once. Graduate students (both master's and doctoral students) may repeat no more than two courses in their total program of study.

RN-MSN Pathway

This pathway allows registered nurses who have completed 63 general education credits and have demonstrated substantial involvement in professional nursing within the past two years to earn the MSN degree with a minimum of undergraduate course work. Three credits of the 63 credits are earned from a computer course. Students entering a major through this pathway must meet all the requirements for admission to that major.

Admission Requirements

In addition to fulfilling admission requirements for degree status at Mason, applicants to this pathway must hold a current license to practice nursing; be graduates of an accredited nursing program; have earned a 3.00 GPA in 63 general education credits at an accredited institution; and demonstrate substantial involvement in professional nursing within the past two years as a registered nurse in clinical practice.

Program of Study
Credits
Bridge (established course)
NURS 623 Clinical Concepts in Community-Oriented Primary Care
After completion of the bridge course, students choose one of the three tracks and meet all requirements of the graduate program.
3
Core Courses (required of all students)
NURS 660 Seminar in the Ethics of Healthcare 3
NURS 680 Theoretical Foundations Related to Nursing 2
NURS 685 Applications in Nursing Research 3
NURS 686 Projects in Nursing Research 2
NURS 688 Organization of Nursing and Healthcare Delivery Systems 3

Nursing Tracks (select one): Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Clinical Nursing, or Nursing Administration

Adult Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care
NURS 623 Clinical Concepts in Community-Oriented Primary Care 3
NURS 746 Practicum in Adult Primary Care Nursing I 6
NURS 748 Practicum in Adult Primary Care Nursing II 8
Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care
NURS 623 Clinical Concepts and Community-Oriented Primary Care 3
NURS 746 Practicum in Adult Primary Care Nursing I 6
NURS 748 Practicum in Adult Primary Care Nursing II 8
NURS 780 Practicum in Gerontological Primary Care Nursing I 3
NURS 781 Practicum in Gerontological Primary Care Nursing II 3
Family Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care
NURS 623 Clinical Concepts in Community-Oriented Primary Care 3
NURS 720 Practicum in Family Primary Care Nursing I 4
NURS 721 Practicum in Assessment and Management of the Developing Family 8
NURS 722 Practicum in Family Primary Care Nursing II 8
Related Discipline Support Courses(at George Washington University)
NURS 552/HCS 205 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology * 4
NURS 554/HCS 207 Practicum in Advanced Health Assessment* 2
NURS 561 Clinical Decision Making* 2
NURS 547 Pharmacology* 4
NURS 548 Advanced Pharmacology in Disease and Pathophysiology 1
* Co-listed with George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. All courses offered at GWU are charged at GWU tuition rates.
Advanced Clinical Nursing Major
Advanced Clinical Nursing Core 7
NURS 514* Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Clinical Major 1
NURS 550 Pathophysiologic Bases for Major Health Deviations 3
NURS 513 Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Clinical Major 3
* Students need a continuing education health assessment course before taking the credit health assessment course.
Choose from one of the following concentrations
Basic Concentration 18
NURS 773 Advanced Clinical Nursing I 3
NURS 776 Advanced Clinical Nursing II 3
NURS 775 Advanced Specialty Practice I 3
NURS 778 Advanced Specialty Practice II 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Note: A continuing education health assessment course with a skills component is required within 18 months of beginning the first clinical practicum.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Concentration 24
NURS 773 Advanced Clinical Nursing I 3
NURS 776 Advanced Clinical Nursing II 3
NURS 775 Advanced Specialty Practice I 6
NURS 778* Advanced Specialty Practice II 6
Elective 3
Elective 3
Note: A continuing education health assessment course with a skills component is required within 18 months prior to taking NURS 514.
* Students need a continuing education health assessment course before taking the credit health assessment course.
Advanced Clinical Nursing Electives
Elective courses supporting the clinical focus 6
Nursing Administration
NURS 763 Administrative Theory in Nursing 3
NURS 765 Practicum in Nursing Administration I 3
NURS 766 Administrative Strategies in Nursing 3
NURS 768 Practicum in Nursing Administration II 3
Nursing Support Courses
NURS 654 Nursing Administration Financial Management 3
or HSCI 703 Financial Management of Health Systems 3
Management/organizational theory 3
Recommended courses include LRNG 601, PUAD 620, PSYC 632, or SOCI 602
Nursing or related discipline support course 6

\

 

Credits
MSN Courses
NURS 660 Seminar in the Ethics of Healthcare 3
NURS 680 Theoretical Foundations Related to Nursing 2
NURS 685 Applications in Nursing Research 3
NURS 686 Projects in Nursing Research 2
NURS 763 Administrative Theory in Nursing 3
NURS 765 Practicum in Nursing Administration I 3
NURS 766 Administrative Strategies in Nursing 3
NURS 768 Practicum in Nursing Administration II 3
NURS 794 Organization of Nursing and Healthcare Delivery Systems 3
HSCI 703 Financial Management of Health Systems 3
MBA Courses
MBA 603 Managerial Economics and Decisions of the Firm 3
MBA 612 Managing Costs and Evaluating Performance 1.5
MBA 613 Financial Reporting and Decision Making 3
MBA 623 Marketing Management 3
MBA 633 Statistics for Business Decision Making 3
MBA 638 Managing Operations and Technology for the Digital Enterprise 3
MBA 643 Managerial Finance 3
MBA 653 Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management 3
MBA 663 Introduction to Information Technology and Management 3
MBA 673 Legal Environment for Management 3
MBA 678 Strategy and Policy 3

 

Credits
Core Courses 24–27
HSCI 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System 3
HSCI 501 Introduction to Biostatistics 3
HSCI 707 Healthcare Law and Ethics 3
HSCI 586 Process Improvement for Health Services 3
HSCI 740 Management of Health Information Systems 3
HSCI 710 Health Policy and Management Practicum (Capstone) 3
HSCI 712 Epidemiology and Health Service Research 3
HSCI 715 Health Economics 3
PUAD 620 Organizational Behavior 3
Concentration in Health Systems Management (15 credits)
HSCI 702 Managerial Accounting in Healthcare Organizations 3
HSCI 703 Financial Management of Health Systems 3
HSCI 704 Contemporary Issues in Health Policy and Management 3
HSCI 705 Strategic Management and Marketing in Healthcare 3
HSCI 706 Integrated Health Systems 3
Concentration in Health Policy Analysis (15 credits)
HSCI 542 Health Policy 3
HSCI 866 Healthcare Public Policy 3
PUAD 640 Public Policy Process 3
HSCI 730 Healthcare Decision Analysis 3

Choose one of the following:

  • PUBP 711 Rational Choice and Uncertainty: Modeling Judgment
  • PUBP 713 Policy and Program Evaluation
  • PUBP 730 National Policy Systems and Theory
  • PUBP 762 Social Institutions and Public Policy
  • PUBP 753 Ethics in Public Policy
Concentration in Health Information Systems
HSCI 720 Health Data Integration 3
HSCI 601 Electronic Commerce and Online Marketing Health Services 3
HSCI 709 Healthcare Databases 3
HSCI 745 Healthcare Security Policy 3
One additional non-health science elective course or year-long independent project in development and management of a health information system.

Concentration in Assisted Living Administration

  • HSCI 650 Assisted Living and Operations Management
  • HSCI 651 Assisted Living Sales and Marketing
  • HSCI 702 Managerial Accounting in Healthcare Organizations
  • HSCI 703 Financial Management of Health Systems
  • An elective from the following list:
  • HSCI 637 Normal Aging and Health Deviation
  • HSCI 585 Core Management of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders
d in the Peace Corps.

Fgrathrough CNHS.

Credits
Required Courses 9
CONF 501 Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution 3
CONF 713 Lab and Simulation I: Interpersonal and Intergroup Conflict 3
CONF 738/HSCI 635 Research Seminar in Health and Conflict (final course) 3
Electives (suggested) 6
ANTH 631 Refugees in Contemporary Society 3
CONF 703 Conceptions of Practice 3
CONF 709 War, Violence, and Conflict Resolution 3
CONF 731 Conflict in Organizations 3
CONF 745 Leadership Roles in Conflict and Conflict Resolution 3
HSCI/NURS 542 Health Policy 3
PHIL 510/NURS 660 Ethics in Healthcare 3
Total 15

To earn the certificate, students must complete all courses with a 3.00 GPA. Students who already hauate credits. To earn the certificate, students must complete all courses with a 3.00 GPA.

Required Core Course 6
HSCI 637 Normal Aging and Health Deviations 3
SOCI 686 Sociology of Aging 3
Gerontological Electives (minimum 3 credits)
HSCI 505 Case Management 3
PSYC 592 Death, Dying, and Grieving 3
Other Electives (minimum 3 credits)
HSCI 580 Alternative Healthcare Practices 3
EDCD 525 Advanced Human Growth and Development 3
EDCD 605 Introduction to Counseling Theory and Practice 3
EDCD 607 Advanced Counseling and Development 3
PHED 630 Exercise, Health & Fitness Program Development 3
SOCI 651 Health Systems Delivery
Practicum Requirements 6
HSCI 770 Gerontology Practicum 1
HSCI 771 Gerontology Practicum 2
Total 18 credits

 

Credits
Required courses 12
HSCI 699 International Healthcare Practicum 3
NURS 543/HSCI 543 Global Health: Trends and Policy 3
NURS 583 Food and Culture: Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition 3
ANTH 631 Refugees in Contemporary Society 3
Electives 6
CONF 501, 709, 720
HSCI 530, GEOG 581
SOCI 523; NURS 577, 578
Total 18

in nursing. Application is made through CNHS.

Credits
Required courses 6
NURS 763 Administrative Theory in Nursing 3
NURS 765 Practicum in Nursing Administration I 3
or NURS 768 Practicum in Nursing Administration II 3
Electives
Graduate courses as approved by the student’s advisor
9
Total 15

T

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in nursing. Application is made through CNHS.

Credits
Required courses
EDRS 531 Educational and Psychological Measurement 3
NURS 610 Curriculum Development 3
NURS 657 Perspectives in Nursing Education 3
NURS 658 Practicum and Seminar in Nursing Education
(Those who qualify for a 3-credit practicum because of their educational experiences may choose the remaining 3 credits from courses designated by the graduate nursing program.)
3–6
Total 15

To earn the certificate, students must complete all courses with a 3.00 GPA.

Course of Study
Course Credits
NURS 552/HSCI 205 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology 4
NURS 561/HSCI 206 Clinical Decision Making 2
NURS 554/PHARM 207 Practicum in Advanced Health Assessment 2
NURS 547/PHARM 208 Pharmacology for Health Science Students 3
NURS 548/HSCI 208 Pharmacology in Disease and Pathophysiology 1
NURS 754/HSCI 209 Advanced Adult Primary Care* 4

*NURS 754/HSCI 209: Due to GWU tuition structure, both didactic and practicum are included in t

Course Credits
NURS 751/HSCI 212 Primary Care of the Developing Family 5
NURS 753/HSCI 214 Diagnosis and Management of the Developing Family 4
NURS 752/HSCI 213 Advanced Family Primary Care 8

Graduate Certificate in Assisted Living Administration

This 15-credit certificate is offered as part of the overall Program in Assisted Living Administration within CNHS. It provides multidisciplinary education in assisted living and senior housing management and marketing, gerontology, and health science. Courses enable students to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information relative to the aging population, the evolution of assisted living and senior housing services within the U.S. health system, the application of business practices to these services, and current regulatory and policy issues. Additional focus is on biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging, including Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Certificate Requirements

The following courses (3 credits each):

  • HSCI 585 Care and Management of Persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders
  • HSCI 637 Normal Aging and Health Deviations
  • HSCI 650 Assisted Living Management and Operations
  • HSCI 651 Assisted Living Sales and Marketing
  • HSCI 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System
Additional Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a health-related field or business administration or management, or a non-health or business bachelor's degree and a minimum of two years professional experience in the healthcare industry. Students must complete all courses with a 3.00 GPA to earn the certificate.

Certificate in Quality Improvement and Outcomes Management in Healthcare Systems

This program prepares working clinicians and administrative support staff in healthcare organizations to implement quality-improvement initiatives and manage populations of patients to optimize efficiency and effectiveness of care and services. Participants acquire the knowledge and ability to work in interdisciplinary healthcare teams using the tools and techniques of statistical process control, and selected methods and tools from operations research and quality improvement. Additionally, they use information management technology and qualitative decision-making applications to identify opportunities for clinical and administrative improvement, support decision-making optimization, and improve health-service outcomes for identified populations.

Certificate Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree. Application is made through CNHS.

Credits
Required courses 12
HSCI 501 Introduction to Biostatistics 3
HSCI 586 Process Improvement for Healthcare 3
HSCI 709 Healthcare Databases 3
HSCI 730 Healthcare Decision Analysis 3

Electives
Graduate courses as approved by the student’s advisor. For the elective, students are encouraged to take HSCI 547 Regulatory Requirements for Healthcare Systems.

Note: A course in basic computer skills (credit or noncredit) and HSCI 678 Introduction to the U.S. Health System (mandatory for students without recent working experience in the U.S. health system) are considered optional for students who already possess the requisite knowledge and skills. They are required for those who do not.

3–6
Total 15–18

To earn the certificate, students must complete all courses with a 3.00 GPA

Certificate for Health Information Systems

This certificate prepares clinicians and healthcare managers to develop and manage health information systems and electronic commerce services. Students learn the development and management of systems and service related to patient records, enterprise data management in health industry, and Telehealth. The certificate is ideal for people with technical and programming skills who have been promoted to new managerial positions in the healthcare industry and wish to enhance their understanding of healthcare issues and management techniques. It is also ideal for clinicians and managers with little background in database management who wish to gain more skills and understanding about organizing health databases.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree. No prior computer programming training is needed, although knowledge of HTML language is assumed. Application is made through CNHS.

Program of Study

The certificate is comprised of 15 credits (five, 3-credit courses.) If the student does not have recent, relevant experience in the U.S. health industry, HSCI 678 The U.S. Health System (3 credits) is required, thus bringing the number of required credits to 18.

Courses are as follows:

  • Prerequisite: Course in U.S. health systems
  • Required 3-credit courses
    • HSCI 586 Process Improvement for Health Services
    • HSCI 709 Healthcare Databases
    • HSCI 720 Health Data Integration
    • HSCI 601 Electronic Commerce and Online Marketing for Health Services
    • HSCI 740 Management of Healthcare Information Systems

Certificate in Biostatistics

This program prepares participants to apply statistical methods to quantitative analysis of healthcare issues. It is aimed at health scientists and professionals in government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as professionals in pharmaceutical companies, research hospitals, public health agencies, and other medical research organizations who design medical experiments and analyze and interpret increasingly complex healthcare data. The program will also help prepare students to begin careers in such organizations.

The certificate is a joint graduate certificate program from the Department of Applied and Engineering Statistics in the School of Information Technology and Engineering and the graduate health science program in CNHS. Courses are taught by faculty members from both programs.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in a discipline related to health science or statistics, with a GPA of 3.00 in the last 60 credits. Such fields include, but are not limited to, medicine, biology, nursing, health science, biostatistics, statistics, mathematics, and psychology. A course in mathematics (calculus is recommended) at the undergraduate level with a grade of B or higher is required for admission to the program.

Program Requirements

The student must complete one course from each of the five groups.

  • STAT 535 or 554
  • STAT 665 or 668
  • HSCI 800 or STAT 656
  • HSCI 801 or STAT 662
  • HSCI 730

A minimum of 6 credits must be taken through the health science program.

Master of Science in Health Science, Gerontology Track

Admission Requirements

This program is designed for students interested in providing services to elderly, conducting research, or influencing public policy concerning aging and the elderly, as program planners and evaluators, and administrators or managers in the field of aging. Opportunities are provided to develop leadership skills in this rapidly developing field, and to advocate for a fast growing population of elderly. The degree is suitable for students to wish to prepare for a career in gerontology, executives or practitioners already in the field, and individuals who wish to increase their understanding of the aging process and human development.

Students from a variety of disciplines may be admitted to this program. Students must show a capacity for graduate work, and must be prepared to complete a 128-credit practicum experience or six to eight hours per week in an appropriate organization.

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree and have earned a 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale. They should submit a completed graduate application. Students may be admitted provisionally if their GPA is less than 3.00, but they are also required to submit GRE or MAT test scores. Students admitted provisionally must achieve a 3.00 GPA in the first 12 credits of graduate work. If they fail to do so, they will be terminated.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 36 credits of graduate course work: 12 credits of gerontology concentration, 12 credits of health science concentration, 6 credits of practicum, and 6 credits of electives. A graduate course in which a grade of C or below is earned may be repeated only once. Graduate students may repeat no more than two courses in their stated program of study. Students must achieve a 3.00 GPA to graduate.

Program of Study
Credits
Health Science Core (minimum of 12 credits)
HSCI 501 Introduction to Biostatistics 3
HSCI 712 Epidemiology and Health Services Research 3
PUAD 620 Organizational Behavior 3
NURS 660 Ethics of Healthcare 3
Gerontology Track (minimum of 12 credits)
HSCI 578 Cultural Competence and Diversity in Healthcare
HSCI 637 Normal Aging and Health Deviation
HSCI 762 Aging and health Policy
SOCI 686 The Sociology of Aging
Gerontology Practicum 6
HSCI 770 Gerontology Practicum I 3
HSCI 771 Gerontology Practicum II 3
Electives (minimum of 6 credits)
Electives should be selected to provide a focus in a particular role related to gerontology such as gerontological case manager or health educator; or manager, director, or program developer in a gerontological setting. A listing of the electives is provided. Students must confer regularly with their advisor for ongoing guidance and mentoring.

Nursing, PhD

The PhD program in nursing builds on the MSN degree and requires 61 credits beyond the master's degree. The objective of the program is to prepare nurses for executive roles in selected areas of nursing and healthcare. Graduates of the program will do the following:

  • Exemplify administrative and leadership characteristics essential to assuming executive roles
  • Conduct and support research in nursing and healthcare ethics, healthcare administration, health policy, and nursing education

Influence the formation and implementation of public policy in healthcare through analysis of sociocultural, economic, fiscal, political, ethical, and governmental processes

Admission Requirements

In addition to fulfilling admission requirements for degree status in CNHS, applicants must hold a master's degree in nursing from an accredited program equivalent to 30 credits, or a master's degree in a related health field with a baccalaureate degree in nursing. They must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.50 on a 4.00 scale in a master's program. They also must show evidence of one year of experience as an RN prior to enrollment. Other requirements are as follows:

  • GRE scores and for international students, a TOEFL score of at least 250 (computer-based) or 600 (paper-based)
  • Evidence of current licensure to practice professional nursing. Students on foreign student visas must present evidence of their country's nursing licensure or the equivalent.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources, with at least two of the references from people who have had contact with the applicant within the last two years
  • Interview with one or more members of the Graduate Admissions Committee
  • Writing sample describing goals in pursuing preparation for the PhD
  • Evidence of prerequisite graduate level course work in applied statistics (past two years) and organizational behavior in (past five years)

Students are admitted for fall semester only. All materials for admission must be submitted to Mason's Admissions Office by March 1 of the year of application.

Degree Requirements

To earn the PhD in nursing, students must have earned a minimum of 91 graduate-level semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, and a minimum of 61 graduate-level semester credits beyond the master's degree. Of the 61 credits, 49 must have been earned at Mason; 12 may be transferred and applied with approval. Students must supply official transcripts documenting satisfactory grades for graduate level semester credits (as designated by the educational institution where taken) as well as official catalog descriptions of each course petitioned for transfer. All transfer credits must receive approval from the director of the program. Other requirements are as follows:

  • Successfully complete the program of study outlined in the PhD curriculum.
  • Successfully complete a written doctoral candidacy comprehensive exam after completing all PhD credit requirements, except NURS 998 and 999.
  • Successfully pass the final oral doctoral dissertation defense, and submit the doctoral dissertation approved by the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, director of doctoral program, and CNHS dean. This is submitted in the approved format to the Mason library and director of the doctoral program.

Complete application material for graduation and the PhD degree in accordance with prevailing Mason policies.

Program of Study

The curriculum includes the nursing core (21 credits), research core (19 credits), and nursing and related discipline electives (9 credits). Before advancing to candidacy and enrolling for dissertation credit (12 credits), students must have their program of study approved by CNHS and the director of the CNHS doctoral program.

Internship in Healthcare Administration/ Policy/Ethics

Students are required to enroll in NURS 874 Internship in Healthcare Administration/Policy/Ethics, a one-semester, 4-credit internship that includes seminars, for experiential learning in healthcare administration. Students are assigned to a doctorally prepared executive, who serves as the preceptor in the student's field of emphasis. A field experience of at least 120 hours is required. NURS 874 is scheduled at the end of the course sequence in the program of study.

Advancement to Candidacy

After students have successfully completed the qualifying exam and all required course work, the director of the CNHS doctoral program approves advancement to candidacy.

Dissertation Proposal

The proposal must focus on a topic in nursing, and must be approved by the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, doctoral program director, and CNHS dean. The dissertation proposal and written dissertation must be consistent with the guidelines outlined in Guide for Preparing Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Projects.

Doctoral Dissertation

Before enrolling for dissertation credit, the student must have advanced to candidacy. The completed dissertation must be approved by the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, doctoral program director, and CNHS dean.

Final Oral Doctoral Exam

The chair of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, upon preliminary approval of the doctoral dissertation by the committee, petitions the doctoral program director in the CNHS to schedule the final oral doctoral exam, which includes a defense of the doctoral dissertation. The final oral doctoral exam also demonstrates the candidate's intellectual command and maturity of judgment in the area of emphasis chosen by the candidate and approved by the Doctoral Dissertation Committee. At the close of the final oral doctoral exam, the Doctoral Dissertation Committee makes a final judgment regarding approval of the doctoral dissertation and successful completion of PhD degree requirements.

Time Requirements

Students must complete all planned course work, excluding electives, and must advance to candidacy within six years of admission to degree or provisional status in the PhD program. The student must successfully complete the doctoral dissertation, final oral doctoral exam, and all PhD degree requirements within five years following the semester of advancement to candidacy.

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing nursing education is a commitment of CNHS and the university. Activities are planned to meet the special needs of individuals and groups in the community. CNHS offers opportunities for credit and noncredit courses. Contract courses are offered in a variety of healthcare agencies in the Northern Virginia area. These credits can be applied to a program of study in nursing.