Nursing education began at Gardner-Webb in 1965 with an associate degree nursing program developed and implemented by Mrs. Grace C. Lee. The Gardner-Webb University Associate Degree Nursing program is the oldest existing program in North Carolina. The BSN/RN program was implemented in 1982 by Dr. Janie Carlton. In 1995, the GardnerWebb University School of Nursing was formed which consisted of the Associate Degree Nursing Program and the Bachelor of Science Program with Dr. Shirley Toney serving as the first Dean of the school. The Bachelor of Science pre-licensure program was approved by the NCBON for students to enter the fall of 2010. The Master of Science program was developed and implemented in 2001 with Dr. Rebecca Beck-Little being appointed as the director of the program. The Doctorate in Nursing Practice was developed in 2009 and admitted students for the first time in the summer of 2010. NLNAC accreditation has been maintained by the nursing programs at GWU beginning with the provisional accreditation of the ADN Program in 1968. Full accreditation was granted in 1970. Since that time, the ADN program has maintained continuous NLNAC accreditation. The Davis Nursing Program received initial accreditation in 1985 and has maintained continuous accreditation since that time. The MSN program received initial accreditation in 2002 with continued accreditation since that time.
NURSING ADMINISTRATION AND NURSING EDUCATION The Gardner-Webb University School of Nursing provides the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program which offers two areas of study designed to meet the needs of nurses seeking expanded roles in their profession: Nursing Administration and Nursing Education. The MSN Program is in the University’s Graduate School and is tailored for adult, working students. The degree with specialty concentration requires 30 to 36 semester hours of graduate credits. The Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Education is designed to prepare students to become professional educators in an academic or healthcare setting. This program of study allows students the opportunity to enhance their clinical expertise from a theoretical perspective and to apply nursing education and learning principles in practice settings. The Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Administration is offered in collaboration with the Graduate School of Business. This program of study seeks to prepare the professional nurse for leadership roles in healthcare organizations.
Application for admission to the MSN Program should be made through the Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies. ✦ A Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program (RN applicants with a Baccalaureate Degree in another field may be accepted but must meet additional requirements for graduation)
✦ Current unrestricted licensure as a Registered Nurse ✦ GPA of 2.7 on all undergraduate work ✦ Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) ✦ Official transcripts of all previous college studies ✦ Three letters of reference ✦ Evidence of satisfactory criminal background check and drug screen ✦ Immunizations as required by the university
LEARNING OUTCOMES ✦ Synthesize multi-disciplinary knowledge and scientific research to accomplish evidence-based nursing practice ✦ Integrate nursing knowledge and experiences in varied healthcare and educational settings ✦ Implement competent practice to meet the challenges of the changing health care environments through application of advanced knowledge, critical thinking, and decision making ✦ Acquire the knowledge and expertise that meet basic requirements for entry into doctoral study
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program is 50 semester hours and designed to meet the Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies established by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) and to prepare students for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Family Nurse Practitioners specialize in general or family care under the supervision of a practicing physician. FNPs are considered primary care providers (PCP) and have the ability to diagnose disease and order a course of treatment, manage chronic disease, order and evaluate diagnostic tests on patients, prescribe medications as needed for treatment, order physical therapy and other rehabilitation, conduct physical examinations, and educate patients about healthy behaviors. FNPs can take care of patients at all stages of life, including performing well-child check-up, prenatal care, primary care for adults, and care for the aging. Nurse Practitioners serve as physician extenders and are in high demand in the state. The average salary of NPs in North Carolina is around $83,000 per year.
Application for admission to the MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner program should be made through the Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies. Application deadline is April 15 each year for Fall admission. ✦ A Baccalaureate Degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution with a nationally accredited nursing program ✦ Current unrestricted licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse ✦ GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work ✦ 2 years of full time practice (one year = 2040 hours) in acute care over the past 3 years with a Statement of Description of work experience ✦ Current, official, satisfactory Criminal Background Check results from the STATE in which you reside AND any other state lived in during the past ten years ✦ Immunizations as required by the university
LEARNING OUTCOMES ✦ Utilize a scientific foundation to develop or improve practice processes and outcomes ✦ Assume the leadership role to improve access to quality and cost-effective health care and to advance practice ✦ Demonstrate technology and information literacy competencies, including clinical information systems, to improve health care ✦ Contribute to the development of health policy through analysis of ethical, legal, and social influencing factors, and recognition of the implications of health policy across disciplines ✦ Integrate ethical principles in practice at the individual, population, and system level ✦ Provide patient-centered care for previously diagnosed and undiagnosed patients as a licensed independent practitioner 5
The MSN/MBA dual degree program is a 63-semester-hour program. This interdisciplinary program combines nursing leadership with a working knowledge of business and managerial skills. Application for admission to the MSN/MBA Program should be made to the Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies and to the Graduate School of Business. A student will need to meet the requirements of the Graduate School and the Graduate School of Business when applying to this dual degree. In order to enroll students from a variety of backgrounds with the greatest potential for successfully completing the program, the following criteria for acceptance will be used:
✦ A Baccalaureate Degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution with a nationally accredited program. (RN Applicants with a Baccalaureate Degree in another field may be accepted but must meet additional requirements for graduation: an undergraduate general statistics course, a nursing health assessment course, and a community health course or nursing leadership/management course)
✦ Current unrestricted licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse
✦ GPA of 2.70 on all undergraduate work ✦ Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
✦ Transcripts of all previous college studies ✦ Three letters of reference ✦ Proof of satisfactory criminal background check with a residence verification statement ✦ Immunizations as required by the university If a person has already completed an MBA degree and wants an MSN/MBA degree, he/she must complete the fifteen hours of the MSN core and the fifteen hours of the nursing component. If a person has an MSN degree in Nursing Administration and wants an MSN/MBA degree, he/she must complete thirty hours of the MBA core courses, in addition to the six hours of MBA courses already completed within the MSN program.
The post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program at Gardner-Webb University is a 36-semester-hour program in three modules offering two areas of specialty education for students with a Master’s degree in nursing: Advanced Practice Leadership and Educational Leadership. Course work is presented in an executive format including 20-23 clock hours on campus in NC for student/ faculty collaboration and faculty presentations, clarification of theoretical content, learning objects, and course requirements. The remainder of the semester includes online lectures, presentations, writing assignments, and interactive class discussions using GWU’s distance learning system. Students enrolled in the Post-Master’s DNP Program acquire knowledge in nursing theory, research, policy, statistics, epidemiology, informatics, and nursing education or administration. Graduates are prepared to improve health care outcomes through evidence-based practice as they assume leadership roles as managers of quality initiatives, executives in healthcare organizations, and directors of clinical and academic programs.
CORE MODULE establishes the foundation for the Advanced Practice Leadership Module and the Educational Leadership Module. Advanced study in nursing theory, research, multivariate statistics, information systems, health care delivery systems, and policy prepare the student to progress to studies in his/her area of expertise.
LEADERSHIP MODULE prepares nurses to become administrative or academic leaders in their areas of practice. Students will choose from two courses of study: management and leadership for evidence-based practice focusing on epidemiology and disease control from a population perspective or education theory, evaluation, and curriculum design.
CAPSTONE MODULE prepares nurses for practice through immersion in the practice setting and completion of a Capstone project focusing on the translation of research into practice.
LENGTH OF STUDY The program is designed to be completed in six semesters of full-time study in which students complete six semester hours each semester for a total of 36 credit hours completed after achievement of a masterâ€™s degree. Students may also choose to attend on a part-time basis to complete the 36 credit hours. Students in the Post-Masterâ€™s DNP Program are allowed a maximum of seven years from the semester of entry to complete the program.
Application for admission to the DNP Program is made through the Gardner-Webb University Office of Graduate Admissions. In order to enroll students from a variety of nursing backgrounds with the greatest potential for successfully completing the program, the following criteria will be used for consideration of acceptance: ✦ Submit a Graduate School doctoral application (available online) ✦ Current unrestricted licensure as a Registered Nurse ✦ Submit official transcripts indicating an MSN degree from a regionally accredited institution with a nationally accredited program ✦ Certifications in practice area (if applicable) ✦ Immunizations as required by the University ✦ Three letters of recommendation (professional and academic) submitted on the provided form ✦ Validation of the number of hours of nursing practice completed post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program submitted on the provided form ✦ Validation of the number of years of specialty practice experience by employment completed post-master’s (employer(s) signature) ✦ Current curriculum vitae ✦ Written essay addressing your goals related to doctoral education in Nursing, including a description of a practice research interest ✦ Satisfactory criminal background check ✦ Interview with the School of Nursing Admissions Committee
Students’ learning outcomes are derived from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials for Doctoral Educations for Advanced Practice (2006), Institute of Medicine (IOM) Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality (2003) and the PEW Competencies for the 21st Century (1998) and build upon those of the Master of Science in Nursing Program. ✦ Recognize and incorporate theoretical and philosophical perspectives from nursing and other disciplines into the highest level of nursing practice, leadership and education ✦ Recognize and utilize science through analysis, translation, and application of knowledge from evidence-based practice research to promote excellence in nursing practice, leadership and education ✦ Synthesize, translate, initiate, direct, conduct and report evidence-based practice research studies and interventions to develop, improve and sustain clinical care, health care outcomes, eliminate health disparities and promote patient safety and excellence in care ✦ Provide leadership within healthcare and education systems relating to the use of information, information technology, communication networks, and patient care technology to support and improve patient care and systems ✦ Analyze the impact of healthcare policy on delivery systems and design change to support improved health outcomes for patients and communities and advocate for safety, quality and efficacy of care ✦ Lead multidisciplinary healthcare teams in collaboration and analysis of complex practice, organizational, and academic issues to improve patient and population outcomes ✦ Analyze and interpret epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental, and other appropriate scientific data related to individual, aggregate, and population health promotion and disease prevention ✦ Utilize evidence-based proactive guidelines for clinical projects and demonstrate in-depth knowledge and skills supportive of the practice of nursing and/or nursing leadership at the highest level 11 11
POST-BACCALAUREATE NURSING EDUCATION CERTIFICATE PROGRAM The purpose of the Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Education Certificate Program is to allow students to meet the North Carolina Board of Nursing requirement for nurse educators teaching in pre-licensure programs. Students completing the Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Education Certificate Program are academically prepared to take a national certification examination for Nurse Educators.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS ✦ Students must meet all requirements for admission to the MSN Program ✦ Students will receive academic credit for courses taken with a grade of B or better, which may be applied toward their MSN Degree
POST-MASTER’S NURSING ADMINISTRATION CERTIFICATE PROGRAM The purpose of the Post-Master’s Nursing Administration Certificate Program is to provide the opportunity for registered nurses currently holding a master’s degree in nursing to expand their professional role by gaining specialized knowledge in the area of nursing administration. Students completing the Post-Master’s Nursing Administration Certificate Program are academically prepared to take a national certification examination for Nurse Executives.
POST-MASTER’S NURSING EDUCATION CERTIFICATE PROGRAM The purpose of the Post-Master’s Nursing Education Certificate Program is to facilitate the education of master’s-prepared nurses for roles as nurse educators in an academic or clinical setting. Students completing the Post-Master’s in Nursing Education Certificate Program are academically prepared to take a national certification examination for Nurse Educators.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS ✦ Current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse ✦ Official transcripts documenting completion of a master’s degree in nursing
from an accredited institution
✦ Completed application to the Graduate School
✦ EMPLOYER PROGRAMS Some school systems, medical facilities, and businesses provide financial assistance to Gardner-Webb students. Prospective students should appeal to their central offices as to the availability of such funds.
✦ PRIVATE SOURCES Many companies and foundations offer assistance to students based on various qualifications. Students should investigate policies of their employers, as well as local civic organizations, to determine the availability of such funds.
✦ MILITARY/VETERAN’S BENEFIT The veteran’s benefit is awarded to eligible personnel. A DD-214 and a VA Application for Education Benefits must be submitted to the University’s VA Coordinator.
✦ FEDERAL AID The Federal Direct Stafford Loan, subsidized or unsubsidized, is available to undergraduate and graduate students.
✦ NURSE SCHOLARSHIPS The North Carolina Master’s Nurse Scholars Program, Foundation for the Carolinas, NET (Nurse Educators of Tomorrow), and National League for Nursing provide scholarships to qualified students.
✦ HELPFUL LINKS
COLLEGE FOUNDATION WWW.CFNC.ORG FINAID
Dr. Hefner is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and serves in a variety of leadership roles on state and national levels. She is the current vice-president of the North Carolina Nurses Association and serves on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing. She has received many awards and honors throughout her career in nursing. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and was recently elected to serve as a North Carolina Delegate to the American Nurses Association.
Cassandra Hefner DNP, RN, MSN, FNP-BC
â€œI am proud to be a graduate of Gardner-Webb University. I am grateful for the opportunity afforded me and hopeful for the doors my DNP will open for me.â€?