Course Descriptions

NU 700 Theoretical Components of Nursing Science     3 CH
This course involves the study of knowledge shared among members of the nursing discipline, the patterns of knowing and knowledge development, criteria for evaluating knowledge claims, and the philosophy of science. The nature of theory, theory development in nursing, and significant conceptualizations of nursing will be discussed. Through guided search and discussion, doctoral students will become knowledgeable about the utilization of middle range theory to guide nursing practice.

NU 710 Healthcare Policy, Advocacy, & Ethics     3 CH
This course will explore the interrelationship between policy, advocacy, and ethics on clinical practice and healthcare/nursing administration. The nurse’s role in healthcare policy and planning will be examined. An overview of issues in healthcare policy and planning, including the sociopolitical and economic context of health and health-seeking behaviors will be provided. Healthcare policy and planning at the local, state, and federal levels will be considered. Recurring issues in clinical practice will be examined for how legislation and regulation impacts care. This course will examine the structure and function of legislative and regulatory organizations, governance, public relations, and global healthcare issues. Broader social issues common to the care of underserved and vulnerable populations will be examined. Ethical dimensions of public policy formulations and implementation will be highlighted.

NU 720 Leading Quality Initiatives & Information Systems in Healthcare     3 CH
This course will introduce the fundamentals of patient safety and quality improvement (QI) in a variety of healthcare settings. Emphasis will be placed on the development, implementation, and evaluation/measurement of evidence-based healthcare QI practices. Management of complex system change within the healthcare environment will be reviewed as part of the QI process. Patient safety will be an important concept throughout this course in which key issues will be examined. Information Systems (IS) will also be addressed throughout this course for best application to the QI process along with daily practice needs. This course will allow the learner to identify key processes involved in optimal patient safety, outcomes, and the overall delivery of healthcare services.

NU 721 DNP Project Topic Development     1 CH
In the first of six clinical seminars, Doctor of Nursing Practice students will—under the guidance of DNP-lead faculty mentors, nursing faculty, and external advisors—synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project over the course of the DNP program. This first seminar will assist DNP students in developing the abstract, problem statement, evidence review plan, and evaluation.

NU 722 DNP Project Methodology Development     1 CH
In the second of six clinical seminars, Doctor of Nursing Practice students will—under the guidance of DNP-lead faculty mentors, nursing faculty, and external advisors—synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project over the course of the DNP program. This second seminar will assist DNP students in developing the methodology including but not limited to: setting, sample size, description of measures with reliability and validity, procedures for implementation, and plans for data analysis or evaluation.

NU 723 DNP Project Proposal Presentation     1 CH
In the third of six clinical seminars, Doctor of Nursing Practice students will—under the guidance of DNP lead faculty mentors, nursing faculty, and external advisors—synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project over the course of the DNP program. During the semester, students will present their proposals in an oral format for the three members of their DNP project team.

NU 724 Responsible Conduct of Research     1 CH
In the fourth of six clinical seminars, Doctor of Nursing Practice students will—under the guidance of DNP-lead faculty mentors, nursing faculty, and external advisors—synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project over the course of the DNP program. During this fourth seminar, DNP students will be required to complete research ethics education through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The lead faculty mentor will guide the students in Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies, procedures, and approval process both at Sacred Heart University and from all institutions where they are conducting data collection and analysis.

NU 725 DNP Project Implementation & Data Analysis     1 CH
In the fifth of six clinical seminars, Doctor of Nursing Practice students will—under the guidance of DNP-lead faculty mentors, nursing faculty, and external advisors—synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project over the course of the DNP program. During this fifth seminar, DNP students will be in the implementation phase of the research, including data collection and data analysis. Students will report results of the DNP project using appropriate statistics and analysis.

NU 726 Final DNP Project Presentation, Dissemination, & Evaluation     1 CH
In the last of six clinical seminars, Doctor of Nursing Practice students will—under the guidance of DNP lead faculty mentors, nursing faculty, and external advisors—synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project over the course of the DNP program. During this sixth seminar, DNP students will be summarizing the conclusions of the DNP project. Students will conclude with recommendations for future research and a final summary. Lastly, during this final semester, students will publically present their DNP projects in an oral format for the three members of their DNP project team.

NU 730 Advanced Biostatistics & Research Design     3 CH
This course is designed for doctoral students to develop an understanding of advanced biostatistics and research design. Students will learn key concepts forming the basis of inferential statistics. They will also learn about commonly used statistical tests in nursing and healthcare literature. Lastly, students will learn about quantitative research designs.

NU 740 Epidemiology & Population Health     3 CH
The primary focus of this course is to equip students with a foundation in clinical prevention and population health. This course introduces students to the methods used by epidemiologists to assess factors associated with the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations and to read, interpret, and apply literature using epidemiologic and statistical methods. Topics include a discussion of the historical background as well as practical applications of epidemiology, methods for identifying and evaluating sources of health applications of epidemiology, methods for identifying and evaluating sources of health information, calculation of key epidemiologic measures and investigation techniques, and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs. Current concepts of public health, health promotion, evidence based recommendations, determinants of health, environmental/occupational health, and cultural diversity and sensitivity are integrated throughout the course. Specifically, this course examines methods for describing disease rates and other vital statistics; cohort, case-control, and cross sectional studies; odds ratios, relative risks, their confidence intervals, and tests of significance; and concepts of confounding, effect modification, and bias. A basic understanding of introductory biostatistics is required for this course. This foundation will enable students to analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, occupational, and environmental data in the development, implementation, and evaluation of clinical prevention and population health.

NU 741 Teaching Learning Principles & Curriculum Design in Advanced Nursing Education     3 CH
The purpose of this elective course is to provide students the opportunities to examine research-based educational theory and evidence-based teaching/learning strategies to design and implement instruction for diverse learners and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of instruction. In addition, analysis and synthesis of theories and concepts related to curriculum development and evaluation in education are emphasized. A practicum experience is a required component of the course.

NU 742 Leadership in Advanced Nursing Education     3 CH
The purpose of this elective course is to engage students in an analysis and synthesis of concepts and theories basic to the nurse educator in a leadership role in academia. Emphasis is on current issues and trends in nursing education, the role of the DNP nurse educator, knowledge necessary for success in a leadership role such as the accreditation process and the relationship between the school/department of nursing and state board of nursing. In addition, relevant topics such leadership theory, policy, and legal and ethical issues will be discussed. A practicum experience is a required component of the course.

NU 750 Clinical Scholarship & Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice     3 CH
This course will introduce graduate students to doctoral nursing scholarship. Scholarship involves the translation and synthesis of research findings and their application into clinical or organizational practice, affecting and influencing specific outcomes. Scholarship includes the integration and dissemination of new knowledge. This course will prepare the doctoral student to evaluate the most current and highest levels of evidence—evidence that is designed to improve clinical or organizational outcomes related to an identified topic of interest—and to translate the evidence into individual practice environments. This course will use analytic methods to critically appraise the evidence from a variety of sources. Based on these analyses the doctoral student will be given the tools to evaluate a randomized control trial, a meta-analysis, and a review of clinical practice guidelines. This course will review the dissemination of knowledge and will include discussion on grant application submission. This course will provide the foundation to support the doctor of nursing practice project.

NU 760 Strategic Leadership & Collaboration in Healthcare Organizations     3 CH
In this course, organizational and systems leadership skills for advanced leadership practice to improve clinical healthcare systems and promote excellence in care are enhanced. Focus is on transformational leadership, strategic visioning and planning, collaboration with the healthcare team to make data driven decisions at both the micro- and macrosystems level. Understanding of how healthcare is financed and the implications for healthcare organizations is applied. In this course students will identify and build their terminal doctoral projects.

NU 770 Advanced Care of Special Populations     3 CH
This course is designed to enable the doctoral student to refine and expand the diagnostic and management skills necessary to care for vulnerable and disenfranchised populations. The elimination of health disparities has been identified as an area of research emphasis by the National Institute of Nursing Research. This course examines health determinants and health disparities within the United States as well as in the global community. The student will examine health disparities and the burden of disease within social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental contexts using a systematic, multidisciplinary approach. Given the complexity of care, growth of information and biomedical technology, an aging and increasingly diverse population, and worsening disparities in care, this course will prepare the student to fill the growing societal need for expert clinicians. This course focuses on the complex management of healthcare problems experienced by special populations across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on content specific to the special populations in the areas of infectious disease, psychiatric care, and care of medically underserved populations such as the homeless, refugee populations, and the incarcerated. Case examples and clinical experiences are provided that allows students to become increasingly independent in their own clinical practice with respect to critical thinking and problem-solving. Emphasis in role development is placed on effecting change and integration of the multiple roles for advanced practice nurses in an interdisciplinary, integrated health system.

NU 780 Leadership in Chronic Disease Management & Aging Populations     3 CH
This course is designed for graduate students in the DNP program who seek to gain leadership skills and knowledge in the management of chronic disease and aging populations. Doctoral students will synthesize knowledge from physiological, psychological, and sociological/cultural perspectives that are important to the aging person and their families. Evidence-based practice guidelines are used to support clinical management plans and optimal patient outcomes for geriatric clients in both inpatient and primary care settings. Ethical principles will be used to guide clinical decision-making when complex problems or issues create a dilemma in the delivery of care to elderly populations (i.e., elder abuse, reimbursement-driven care, and advanced directives). The application of advanced nursing practice theory into supervised clinical practice will be included and emphasized.

NU 810 DNP Scholarship & Advanced Practice I     3 CH
Under the guidance of their DNP Project Lead advisor and clinical mentor, students will synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project. Seminars will focus on guiding the student through all aspects of implementation and evaluation of their DNP project. Critique and peer review will be a major focus of the seminars. A role transition colloquium will assist the student in preparing for expanded roles and self-reflection. Clinical residency experiences will be individually designed within the context of the focus of the student’s track selection and scholarly interests.

NU 820 DNP Scholarship & Advanced Practice II     3 CH
Under the guidance of their DNP project dissertation advisor and clinical mentor, students will continue to synthesize, integrate, and translate newly acquired knowledge and skills in the implementation and evaluation of their selected project. Seminars will focus on guiding the student through all aspects of evaluation. Critique and peer review will be a major focus of the seminars. A role transition colloquium will assist the student in preparing for expanded roles and self-reflection. Clinical residency experiences will be individually designed within the context of the focus of the student’s track selection and scholarly interests.