Master of Science in Nursing

Program Director: Paulette Thabault
Program Coordinator: Janice Hansen

Norwich University offers the Master of Science in Nursing with concentrations in Healthcare Systems Leadership, Nursing Informatics, and Nursing Education. The program is fully approved by the Vermont State Nursing Board and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Beginning in the December 2020 term, Norwich University will revising its existing curriculum. The new curriculum will require students to l take two, three-credit seminars each term or, for those enrolled in a specialty Nurse Practitioner track, two, two-credit seminars or clinicals. The revised program will offer concentrations in Healthcare Systems Leadership, Nursing Informatics, Nursing Education as well as Nurse Practitioner tracks in: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Adult Gerontology (ACNP-AG), and Psychiatric and Mental Health. Each Nurse Practitioner track is a 45 credit-hour program of study. 

The Norwich University Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Healthcare Systems Leadership is a 36 credit program that provides graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as nurse leaders in a variety of health care settings.

The Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Informatics is 36 credit program that prepares the graduate to function in a variety of information systems leadership roles and to sit for the national certification examination.

The Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Education is a 40 credit program that prepares the graduate to assume roles in formal academic settings or in staff development positions. 


The Master of Science in Nursing program prepares visionary nurse leaders who demonstrate advanced critical thinking, communication, and decision making skills to ensure quality outcomes within the complex systems of the health care continuum. Graduates initiate and effectively utilize research findings to improve outcomes, as well as utilize knowledge of health promotion, health care policy and systems, change and finance to effectively manage available resources in the changing health care environment. Masters prepared nurses utilize this knowledge base integrated with theories from nursing and related disciplines to create and implement ethical practices and policies to improve the environment in which health care is delivered.

The Masters prepared nurse engages in an expanded scope of practice that is characterized by critical analysis of problems and creative problem solving, and application of theories in the decision making process. The graduate manages change effectively and utilizes effective communication skills and technologies to create collaborative partnerships within nursing and across health care disciplines. Graduate education prepares the nurse to identify and evaluate personal and organization values and to implement ethical decisions and strategies to improve outcomes.

Program Outcomes

  • Initiate and effectively utilize research findings to improve outcomes across the spectrum of nursing environments.
  • Integrate knowledge of health promotion, health care policy and systems, change and finance to effectively manage available resources in the nursing environment.
  • Integrate theories from nursing and related disciplines to create and implement ethical practices and policies to improve nursing practice.
  • Critically analyze problems and demonstrate theory based problem solving in making decisions across a variety of nursing settings.
  • Plan and manage change effectively.
  • Incorporate the knowledge and skills related to informatics and technology to effectively improve nursing practice.
  • Implement effective communication skills to create collaborative partnerships within nursing and across health care disciplines.  
  • Apply the principles of translational science and implementation/improvement science, advocacy and appreciative inquiry in the context of the advanced nursing role.

Core Curriculum for Nurse Educator and Nurse Practitioner (27 credits):

NR 541: Advanced Pharmacology 3 credits

This course builds on the student’s understanding of fundamental pharmacological principles, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism, and dose-response relationships and includes the study of major pharmacological classes related to common disease processes.  The course explores the major pharmacological drug classes and their application to the principles of therapeutic decision-making, including legal and ethical implications.

NR 543: Advanced Pathophysiology 3 credits

This course examines pathophysiological processes integral to the understanding of human health conditions and disorders across the lifespan. Objective and subjective manifestations of common health problems resulting from environmental, genetic, and stress-related maladaptation are assessed and analyzed. Assessment findings, diagnostic testing, and interventions for specific health problems are discussed. The etiology, epidemiology, and pathophysiology of disorders are reviewed within the context of age, gender, lifestyle and sociocultural determinants. Principles of pathophysiology are applied to recognize clinical signs and symptoms consistent with human health conditions. The impact of health promotion and disease prevention on pathophysiological processes across the lifespan are explored.

NR 523: Health Care Systems, Nursing Leadership and Advanced Nursing Role 3 credits

This course examines the healthcare system and guides students to assess and analyze the healthcare system in the context of advanced practice nursing and the role of advanced practice nurses. The student explores organizational and system science, change theories and social change theories in its application to healthcare. Healthcare leadership including theory and styles as well as contemporary approaches, ethical practice and leadership strategies are examined. Inter/intra professional communication, teamwork, consultation, diversity and collaboration are discussed as cornerstones for patient safety, optimal health outcomes and accountability in health care. The student analyzes and evaluates the intersection of current and emerging healthcare system challenges and advanced practice role dimensions.

NR 514: Epidemiology and Population Health 3 credits

This course provides a foundation of key concepts essential to population-focused nursing, the aggregate, community or population as the unit of care. The focus of the course is on health promotion/disease prevention with emphasis on the advanced nursing role in clinical prevention of disease and care of populations. Applying concepts of primary, secondary, and tertiary health promotion across the lifespan, the student relates the basic concepts of epidemiology to multiple domains of population health, using epidemiology to better understand, characterize, and promote health at a population level.  Disease prevention and health promotion of populations are examined through the study of the occurrence and distribution of health-related states or events, including the study of social determinants of health.

NR 513: Advanced Physical Assessment 3 credits

This course builds upon basic health assessment and guides the student to obtain a complete and accurate health assessment, including history, physical examination, and commonly used screening tools, as a foundation for advanced nursing practice with clients across the life span. The course emphasizes critical analysis and synthesis of physical exam data, relevant health history data, critical risk appraisal of the physical and mental status, assessment of nutrition, and anticipatory guidance relevant to health promotion and disease prevention. At the conclusion of the course, the student will utilize distance learning technology to demonstrate a comprehensive physical health assessment.

NR 524: Health Policy, Advocacy and Economics in Healthcare 3 credits

This course examines healthcare delivery in the United States, to include the role of public policy, advocacy, and industry regulation. Health policy perspectives and the analytical tools to understand the national policy-making environment are integrated throughout the course. Key policy issues and core constructs for analysis include national health expenditures and cost containment strategies, patient access and health disparities, health care quality and performance improvement, and workforce policy. Health care reform, future directions and trends, and policy innovations are examined for their impact on advanced nursing practice, service delivery, and health outcomes. Health systems of other developed and developing countries are examined to gain a global perspective and appreciation for a variety of health system attributes.

NR 533: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of quality improvement science, and its application to quality and safety in healthcare.  The student examines quality improvement models in the delivery of healthcare and measures for quality improvement initiatives.     Foundations of health care quality and the science underlying patient safety and quality improvement, design and select effective health care measures are explored. The course includes analysis and processes related to patient safety problems using tools such as human factors analysis and discusses systematic quality improvement approaches including the Model for Improvement (MFI) and Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) models to address quality improvement challenges, and strategies to lead a culture of change.

NR 534: Informatics & Healthcare Technologies         3 credits

This seminar reviews concepts important to implementing and sustaining effective use of technology in the clinical environment.  Security and privacy for the protection of privileged information, effective policy development, testing and implementation are examined.  Concepts of change management as well as informatics role in community/population health monitoring and management are explored.  The student studies the use of technology to generate new evidence, the potential influence of emerging technologies on clinical practice and the importance of developing a caring practice in a high technology environment

NR 593: Advanced Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice 3 credits

This course focuses on the use of the research process in developing new nursing knowledge and applying to an evidence-based practice. The student examines and develops research questions considers theoretical frameworks, methods of data collection and analysis, and the interpretation and use of study findings in providing evidence based care of individuals, families, and communities.  The importance of scientific integrity and ethical standards are emphasized and ethical issues in the conduct of research are explored.  The student is prepared to critically appraise and utilize research, and identify researchable problems within the context of his/her own practice.

NR595: Residency (0 credits) 

Students are required to attend a one-week, on-campus Residency Conference the June following or concurrent with their final course. 

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Track:

NR 590Advanced Pharmacology - Population Focus: Family2
NR 611Family Nurse Practitioner I (adult and geriatric)2
NR 612Family Nurse Practitioner I Clinical2
NR 613Family Nurse Practitioner II (adult and geriatric)2
NR 614Family Nurse Practitioner II Clinical2
NR 615Family Nurse Practitioner III (women and children)2
NR 616Family Nurse Practitioner III Clinical2
NR 617Family Nurse Practitioner IV (women and children)2
NR 618Family Nurse Practitioner IV Clinical2
Total Cr.18

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Adult Gerontology (ACNP-AG) Track:

NR 591Advanced Pharmacology--Population Focus: Adult and Geriatric2
NR 621Adult Geriatric Acute Care I2
NR 622Adult Geriatric Acute Care 1 Clinical2
NR 623Adult Geriatric Acute Care II2
NR 624Adult Geriatric Care II Clinic2
NR 625Adult Geriatric Acute Care III2
NR 626Adult Geriatric and Acute Care III Clinical2
NR 627Adult Geriatric Acute Care IV2
NR 628Adult Geriatric and Acute care IV Clinical2
Total Cr.18

Psychiatric and Mental Health NP Track

NR 592Advanced Pharmacology--Population Focus: Mental Health2
NR 631Psychiatric and Mental Health NP I2
NR 632Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical I2
NR 633Psychiatric and Mental Health NP II2
NR 634Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical II2
NR 635Psychiatric and Mental Health NP III2
NR 636Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical III2
NR 637Psychiatric and Mental Health NP IV2
NR 638Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical IV2
Total Cr.18

The September 2020 start date will be the last enrollment for this curriculum map. Students entering the MSN program in December 2020 or later should consult the Revised MSN Curriculum Map.

Curriculum Map 

Term 1
NR 512
Term 2
Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice6
Term 3
Quality Improvement, Informatics & Healthcare Technologies6
Term 4
Concentration course(s)
Term 5
Concentration course(s)
Term 6
Concentration course(s)
Residency 10
Total Cr.36-40

Curriculum Requirements

The program’s first three seminars (18 credits) are common core content seminars and provide the foundation for specialization, addressing the study of health care delivery systems, ethical issues, and theoretical bases for nursing, leadership, and research. The remaining seminars (18 credits) address the specific content essential for either the concentration in nursing administration or in nursing education. 

Core Courses (18 credits)

NR 5126
NR 522Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice6
NR 532Quality Improvement, Informatics & Healthcare Technologies6
Culminating Academic Requirement
NR 595Residency0
Total Cr.18

Concentrations (18 - 22 credits)

Healthcare Systems Leadership Concentration
NR 546Leadership in Healthcare Organizations6
Select two of the following
Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Healthcare6
Healthcare Resource Management6
Healthcare Management6
NR 566Strategic Planning and Management in Healthcare6
Total Cr.18
Nursing Informatics Concentration
NR 547Theoretical and Practice Foundations of Nursing Informatics6
NR 557Strategic Planning and Practice Applications in Nursing Informatics6
NR 567Using Informatics to improve Nursing Practice6
Total Cr.18
Nursing Education Concentration
NR 541Clinical Concepts: Advanced Pharmacology3
NR 542Clinical Concepts: Advanced Health Assessment3
NR 543Clinical Concepts: Pathophysiology for Disease Management4
Students may substitute the following for NR 543
ClinicalConceptsADV Pathophys11
ClinicalConceptsADV Pathophys21
ClinicalConcept ADV Pathophys31
ClinicalConceptsADV Pathophys41
NR 551Theoretical Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction6
NR 561Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation6
Total Cr.22

One-Week Residency

All degree candidates of the Master of Science in Nursing are required to attend a one-week Residency Conference on the Norwich University campus, during which they may attend professional presentations, participate in roundtable discussions with faculty, and present papers. The one-week residency is a degree requirement.

Faculty Member Institution at which highest degree was earned
Jonathon Brown, DNP George Washington University
Janet Dupont, PhD Capella University
Betty Fair, PhD University of Texas
Emily Gessner, DNP Northeastern University
Jean Gordon, DBA Nova Southeastern University
Jo Anne Grunow, PhD Rush University
Lisa Hawthorne, PhD University of San Diego
Nancy Kupka, DNS Rush University
Mario Ortiz, PhD Loyola University
Linda Tjiong, DBA University of Sarasota
Richard Watters, PhD University of Western Australia
Hope Williamson, DNP University of Miami