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MSN Nursing Education

This online Master of Science in Nursing degree with a concentration in nursing education prepares nurses to teach patients and families, nursing students, nursing staff and health maintenance consumers. Through specialized course work, students gain necessary teaching skills to prepare them to become nurse educators, a complex role that requires high levels of pedagogical and clinical competency. The nursing education track requires students to complete 15 credits in nursing education as well as required MSN program and clinical core courses.

Although the program is offered online, certain courses require a one week campus visit in the fall.

This program is based upon and consistent with the mission and philosophy of Duquesne University. The Master of Science in Nursing degree requirements can be completed on a full-time (6 credits per semester) or part-time basis. After being accepted for admission to the MSN program, each student is assigned a faculty mentor who will assist the student in completion of a Program Plan. Students have up to five years to complete the program.

The Duquesne faculty is committed to nurturing a flexible and creative scholarly environment that encourages students to participate actively in scientific inquiry and research.



Download MSN curriculum grid

MSN Core Courses 25 credits
GPNG 523 Historical and Contemporary Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice 3 credit
GPNG 524 Evidence Based Nursing Practice and Policy Development 3 credits
GPNG 525 Organizational and Clinical Leadership in Nursing and Health Care 3 credits
GPNG 526 Health Care Ethics in Practice and Policy 3 credits
GPNG 527 Clinical Prevention and Population-Based Health Promotion 3 credits
GPNG 508 Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits
GPNG 510 Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing 3 credits
GPNG 528* Physical Assessment and Differential Diagnosis for APNs 4 credits
Specialty Courses 9 credits
GNED 500 Curriculum Design 3 credits
GNED 501 The Art of Teaching 3 credits
GNED 502 Evaluation in Nursing Education 3 credits
Theory and Clinical Courses 3 credits
GNED 504 Nursing Education Role Practicum 3 credits
Clinical Courses 3 credits
GNED 503 Advanced Clinical Nursing 3 credits

TOTAL = 40 credits

* Students enrolled in GPNG 528 are required to come to campus in November for 40 hours of clinical laboratory course work.

Revisions to courses and curricula are ongoing.

Program Outcomes

MSN Program Outcomes

The advanced practice nurse will synchronize the nurse competencies with patient characteristics in facilitating health care delivery as follows:

  1. Demonstrates clinical judgment within the context of the advanced practice role.

  2. Assumes a leadership role in creating a compassionate and caring environment to promote comfort and prevent suffering.

  3. Advocates collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to the design of comprehensive care to individuals/families, communities, and populations.

  4. Integrates theory, clinical inquiry, and evidence-based nursing practice into the advanced practice role.

  5. Participates in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health care systems to foster safe passage and excellence in health care delivery.

  6. Creates a culturally competent practice environment to enhance health care outcomes.

  7. Champions ethical decision making in all aspects of practice with self, patient/family, community, and health care delivery systems.

  8. Commits to life long learning for self and consumers.

AACN Synergy Model

The Synergy Model for Patient Care, developed by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, has been adopted by the faculty and integrated into the undergraduate and graduate nursing curriculums.  The core concept of the Synergy Model: the needs or characteristics of patients and families influence the characteristics or competencies of the nurse.  Synergy results when the needs and characteristics of a patient, clinical unit or system match those of the nurse.

The Synergy Model describes eight patient characteristics (needs) and eight nurse characteristics (competencies); patient needs drive nurse competencies.  Each individual characteristic is further delineated by levels of complexity or intensity.  The core competencies of the nurse include clinical judgment, advocacy, clinical practices, collaboration, systems thinking, response to diversity, clinical inquiry and facilitation of learning.  These eight competencies provide the basis for program and level outcomes in the undergraduate program.  An additional ninth program/level outcome focuses on the synergy between the nurse’s competencies and patient characteristics as it relates to patient outcomes.  Similarly, the graduate program outcomes are based on these same nurse characteristics but at a higher level. Underlying all competencies is the unique contribution of nurses to provide safe passage for patients and their families through the health care environment.

The table below illustrates the relationship between nurse competencies of the Synergy Model and the BSN program outcomes.

Nurse Competencies

Program Outcomes

Clinical Judgment Integrate clinical judgment skills when implementing care for individuals, families, groups, and community.
Advocacy Justify one’s practice through the implementation of the role of being a moral agent.
Caring Practices Display a caring attitude in all aspects of one’s practice.
Collaboration Initiate collaborative efforts for the improvement of care to individuals and for improvement in the health care delivery.
Systems Thinking Demonstrate the ability to utilize integrated systems analysis for the personal and professional navigation of the health care delivery systems.
Response to Diversity Integrate cultural sensitivity in caring for individuals/families of diverse populations.
Clinical Inquiry Engage in evidenced-based practice.
Facilitation of Learning Incorporate teaching into all aspects of one’s practice.
Impact of “synergy” nurse/patient characteristics and patient outcomes Evaluate the interrelationship of nurse competencies and the patient characteristics to patient outcomes.