Jul 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, MSN

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College Nursing
Academic Award Master of Science in Nursing
Credits Required 36 semester credits
Faculty Lead Tiffany Zyniewicz
CIP Code 51.3801

**The master’s degree in nursing program at Northwest University is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.**

Mark and Huldah Buntain College of Nursing

Mission Statement:  The Buntain College of Nursing of Northwest University prepares graduates to answer their call to serve God throughout the world and lead others by using their professional expertise as nurses.

The Buntain College of Nursing’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree emphasizes leadership, nursing education, policy development and regulatory practice, program evaluation, nursing research, quality improvement, cross-cultural practice and spiritual appreciation. You will gain specialized experience and knowledge with the design and implementation of a scholarly project aligned with your nursing interests.  There is also the opportunity for a unique global and educational travel experience and. Graduates of the MSN program are prepared to tackle the changing healthcare landscape as the next generation of change agents, innovators, and leaders.

Program Learning Outcomes

Scholarly Inquiry

  1. Research Methodology:  Formulate research questions and hypotheses and determine appropriate research methods that support reliable findings and valid conclusions.
  2. Informatics as a lens:  Search available data sets for trends and associations that guide the formulation of effective and efficient health care initiatives.
  3. Focused clinical exploration:  Demonstrate clinical competence rooted in study of the assessment, physiology, pathophysiology, research, and clinical guidelines of a nursing clinical area of focus.

Servant Leadership

  1. Ethical debate:   Write and provide a scholarly defense for a set of personal ethical and spiritual guidelines for servant leadership in an array of settings and moral dilemmas.
  2. Cultural humility:  Integrate cultural understanding and sensitivity into health communications, assessments, interventions, programs, and policy in order to lead diverse groups toward the achievement of optimal health outcomes.
  3. Educational expertise:  Lead others toward wellness and social good through the employment of curriculum development and pedagogical approaches that are sensitive to the developmental, cultural, and motivational characteristics of the target audience.
  4. Policy and advocacy:  Conceptualize and lead efforts to enhance health-related, public policy.

Outcome Orientation

  1. Quality and Safety Improvement:  Identify opportunities for quality improvement, safety promotion, and risk management and propose systematic approaches to implement continuous quality improvement efforts.
  2. Evidence-based practice:  Be adept at finding evidence and applying research recommendations that produce healthy outcomes.


  1. Research utilization:  Apply research recommendations to health care delivery situations and subsequent research agendas. 
  2. Concept adaptation:  Assess the applicability of innovations from different settings and disciplines to current health care delivery opportunities and propose means by which to adapt innovations to new health care settings.
  3. Technology utilization:  Apply and evaluate the efficacy of technology to the achievement of health goals.

Admission Requirements

All students complete an application to Northwest University as part of the admission requirements to the Buntain College of Nursing (BCON).

  • Graduate of an accredited Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing program.
  • Clinical RN nursing practice is current within two (2) years of application to the MSN Online Program.
  • Current and unencumbered RN license in Washington, Oregon, or Montana.

Transfer Credits

  • All RNs are required to have formal nursing and post high school level education transcripts evaluated by NU transcript evaluation services to determine acceptable transfer credits.
  • Students may transfer a successfully completed 3-semester credit or equivalent college level course in statistics from an accredited institution towards their degree requirements.
  • (MATH 1313 Introduction to Statistics is available through NU Online courses)


Students who do not achieve an 80% (B- or 2.70) in each nursing course and an overall 3.00 GPA throughout the sequence of nursing courses may progress but are placed on academic probation. Prior to entering NURS 4664, all courses with a grade less than a B- (2.7) must be repeated.

Academic Probation

Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress towards graduation are placed on Academic Probation. Probation is a temporary status intended to help focus students’ efforts while concentrating the program’s resources to address and remedy the causes of insufficient academic progress. Probation is not intended as a punitive measure but as a warning and a time for necessary improvement. Probation, however, could lead to further academic penalties and financial aid restrictions as deemed necessary by the program or federal guidelines.

A student may be placed on probation for one of the following reasons:

  1. A student fails to maintain a grade of B- or higher in all courses and/or a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. In addition, the student must retake the course with less than a B- within a time period determined by the Faculty Lead.
  2. A student fails to meet the criteria of professional behavioral standards, including, but not limited to: emotional stability, interpersonal skills, maturity, and ethical conduct.

Program administrators and faculty will continue to provide guidance and support in helping the student to assume responsibility for his or her academic success.

A student will be taken off of probation when:

  1. A grade of B- or higher in all courses the following semester and a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA are achieved.
  2. The student meets the criteria of professional behavioral standards, including, but not limited to: emotional stability, interpersonal skills, maturity, and ethical conduct according to the student’s yearly evaluation as assessed by faculty.


Students who do not achieve a 3.0 GPA will not be allowed to progress into the final course NURS 5913 Scholarly Project. On occasion students are faced with major health problems or changes in personal circumstances that make progression in the nursing program difficult. Students are encouraged to seek faculty counsel or advice early so that there is opportunity to plan how to best meet their educational goals. In the event that dismissal/withdrawal is recommended by faculty or requested by students, the Buntain College of Nursing Student Affairs Committee will seek to assure that appropriate policies have been followed and that concerns of both student and faculty have been adequately considered.

Practice Experiences

The MSN program includes 230 practice experience hours that are completed in various immersive activities with the guidance of preceptors, mentors, or faculty. Practice experiences can typically be completed near the student’s area of residence.

  • Practice experience hours are integrated into eight of the twelve MSN courses and range from 15-60 hours per semester.
  • Some courses offer more than one practice experience opportunity where students may choose the experience most beneficial for their learning and adaptable to their life schedule.
  • Students are encouraged to take advantage of the optional faculty-led global educational experience.
  • Fees associated with elective educational travel experiences are determined relative to the on-site costs of these experience. Students make their own travel arrangements and payments in order to arrive and depart from a designated city in a timeframe enabling students to participate in all faculty-led educational experiences.

Additional Practice Experience Requirements

Practice experiences in the nursing program require applicants to submit the following records to an online data collection service.

  1. Health history and physical examination that includes immunization and vaccination documentation and titer levels, conducted and signed by a licensed healthcare practitioner:
  2. Immunizations
  • DPT series and any subsequent Boosters.
  • One booster after age 19 must be a Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) vaccine.
  • Hepatitis B series & proof of positive titer
  • MMR series or proof of positive titer
  • Polio series
  • Varicella series or proof of positive titer
  • Influenza (annual requirement)
  1. A two-step TB test or TB IGRA done at the time of entry into the program according to instructions provided by the College of Nursing.

  • Documentation of an annual TB screening is conducted each year to demonstrate eligibility to participate in practice experiences;

  1. Current American Heart Association (AHA) provider-level CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) card;
  2. A national background check, OIG, GSA, and Washington State WATCH are required. Students seeking admission to the nursing program must be aware a record of criminal conviction may impact admission. Students should discuss this matter with the Dean before making final application to the nursing program. Any criminal incidences occurring during the nursing program must be reviewed immediately with the Dean.
  3. Proof of health insurance.
  4. Proof of malpractice insurance.
  5. RN license.
  6. The following records are optional but may be required if the student chooses to participate in international travel as part of NURS 5383.
    1. Hepatitis A series
    2. A current and valid passport 

Scholarly Project

A key outcome of the MSN program at Northwest University is the completion of a scholarly project that results in a scholarly capstone or thesis over the course of six semesters. Examples of acceptable scholarly capstones are a quality improvement project, an educational intervention project, assessment of a curriculum gap and a proposed intervention, or program or educational evaluation project. A thesis is generally a qualitative or quantitative research study carried out in a designated setting. Acceptable thesis study designs for completion in the BCON MSN program are a pilot study, case study, or descriptive study.

Both scholarly capstone and thesis options require systematic review and analysis of the literature on a topic of relevance to the student’s intended specialty focus as an advanced practice nurse. Both options require supervision by a faculty committee and involve an in-depth exploration of a topic with the expectation that the quality of the student work is at a level suitable for submission for publication in the scientific literature.

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