Apr 18, 2024  
2010-2011 Academic Catalog 
2010-2011 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nursing M.S.

Margaret L. Hodge, R.N., M.S.N., Ed.D., Chair

Carolyn T. Martin, R.N., Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator
Phone: (209) 664-6591

Office:  Demergasso-Bava Hall — DBH 260
Phone:  (209) 667-3141

View information for the Department of Nursing .

The primary purpose of the Master of Science in Nursing is to develop skilled professionals able to assume positions of leadership, which contribute to the health, education, and social structure of the community, state, and nation.  The core curriculum provides students with knowledge essential to all nurses prepared at the master’s level.  Graduates will be able to critique and evaluate research findings and to apply research findings in order to provide high quality care, initiate change, and implement evidence-based nursing practice.  Students will have an understanding of health care policy, health care organizations, and financing of health care which will prepare them to assume leadership positions in an ever-evolving health care system.  In addition, knowledge of ethical decision making principles and health disparity issues will help to assure that appropriate and sensitive health care is provided.

Students electing the concentration in education will be prepared to assume roles in nursing education in either an academic or service setting.  The concentration in gerontological nursing will prepare nursing professionals to meet the growing demands of an aging population.  Furthermore, specialization in this area will provide graduates with essential content to function as managers, providers, and organizers of health care for geriatric patients/clients. 

Requirements for Admission to the Graduate Program in the Department of Nursing

  1. Admission to the CSU Stanislaus Graduate School;
  2. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.  If the bachelor’s degree is in a discipline other than nursing, an Associate Degree in Nursing is also required;
  3. Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale);
  4. A minimum score of 400 on the verbal and math sections of the GRE and a minimum score of  4 on the analytical writing portion or 400 on the Millers Analogy;
  5. Current license to practice as a registered nurse in the state of California;
  6. Successful completion (minimum grade of C) of an undergraduate statistics course;
  7. Three professional references; and,
  8. Résumé with cover letter indicating professional goals.

The Department of Nursing Admissions Committee takes into consideration each of the requirements related to rendering an admission decision.  Applicants who do not meet all of the requirements but whose credentials reveal potential ability for master’s study are reviewed on an individual basis.  Applicants may be required to fulfill specific prerequisites or other conditions of admission prior to an admission decision or may be admitted on a provisional basis.  Provisional admission status requires the student to meet specific requirements before full admission status is granted.  Students with an Associate Degree in Nursing and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline will be admitted on a provisional basis and must complete 12 units of bridge courses prior to being fully admitted to the Master’s program.  Master’s level courses are normally restricted to students admitted to the graduate program.  With approval of the nursing graduate director, graduate core course work may be pursued prior to admission if the student has provisional admission status.  Enrollment in graduate course work does not guarantee admission to the nursing program.

The Master of Science degree requires completion of 36 units distributed as follows:

  1. Fifteen units of core courses;
  2. Eighteen units of graduate coursework in a concentration or specialization including 3 to 5 units of elective course work at the undergraduate 4000 level or graduate level;
  3. Students in both concentrations may choose between Thesis, Project, or Comprehensive Examination.  This choice should be made early in the program.  Students should consult with the graduate adviser for current policies.  Students choosing the Thesis or Project will enroll in 3 units of culminating experience.  Students electing to complete the comprehensive examination will not receive units for the examination so they must enroll in an additional 3 units of elective coursework.

Students with an Associate Degree in Nursing an a non-nursing bachelor’s degree will also be required to complete the following bridge courses in order to continue to progress through the graduate program.  In addition, students must pass the WPST prior to being admitted to the graduate program.

*Availability of the bridging courses would correspond with the current RN-BSN roadmap.

Requirements for Continuation in the Program

Students in the graduate nursing program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the degree.  No grade lower than a “B-” will be accepted in courses taken to satisfy degree requirements.  Students who fail to maintain a GPA of 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and will be notified of the conditions required for removal of probation.



In addition, students must complete 3 units of upper division 4000 level or graduate level elective course work, to be determined in collaboration with the graduate advisor.


In addition, students must complete 3 units of upper division 4000 level* or graduate level elective course work, to be determined in collaboration with the graduate advisor.  Students interested in education are strongly encouraged to take NURS 5200, Teaching and Learning in Nursing.


In order to fulfill the 36 unit requirement, students electing to take the comprehensive examination must take an additional 3 unit elective course, approved by the graduate advisor.

Culminating Experience

A culminating experience is required for completion of the graduate program in nursing.  Students may choose from one of three options:  1) thesis, 2) project, or 3) comprehensive examination.

The thesis is the written product of a systematic investigation of a significant problem in nursing.  The thesis clearly identifies the problem, states major assumptions, explains the significance to nursing, proposes the sources for and methods of gathering information, collects and analyzes data, and offers a conclusion or recommendation.  The finished product must demonstrate evidence of originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation.  The formal paper will demonstrate potential for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The project is a comprehensive and significant undertaking appropriate to the practice of nursing.  Completion of a project will provide the student with a body of evidence-based knowledge on a specific clinical question of significance to nursing.  Examples of appropriate projects:

  1. Conducting and writing a systematic review of the literature.  A systematic review of the literature should include:  the problem statement and research questions, search strategy, sampling plan for identification of relevant studies including inclusion and exclusion criteria, systematic means of reviewing and evaluating the studies, data analysis, and conclusions based on the quality, quantity, and consistency of evidence.
  2. Developing a Practice Improvement Project (PIP).  The student will design and implement a population-based practice improvement project addressing identified practice-related problems or questions.  This option strongly emphasizes collaboration between advanced practice nurses and community agencies and includes working with an agency using practice data to provide answers, which are responsive to the needs of clinicians, administrators, and policy makers for improvement of programs or practices.  This project can take the form of either assessment or outcome evaluation.

The finished product is expected to demonstrate originality, critical and independent thinking, and appropriate organization and format.  The formal paper will demonstrate potential for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The comprehensive examination includes a written and oral examination that requires students to demonstrate mastery of coursework in their area of clinical expertise.  Emphasis is placed on demonstration of the relevance of coursework for practice.  Questions are developed and evaluated by the student’s comprehensive examination committee with the approval of the department graduate committee.  The student prepares a written response to the examination questions which is submitted to the committee for review prior to the oral examination.  The oral comprehensive examination allows the student the opportunity to present and support the written responses to the questions.   The examination evaluates the graduate student’s ability to analyze and synthesize clinical and theoretical knowledge gained in their course of study.  The student must demonstrate independent thinking, appropriate organization, critical analysis, and accuracy.

Note: Once a student enrolls in the culminating experience, they must maintain continuous enrollment through registration in either NURS 7005 Continuing Thesis or Project, or NURS 7006 Continuing Comprehensive Examination.