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With Quality Improvement & Safety Processes Minor

Year 1:


Organizational Project Management

The course provides an overview of the concepts, procedures and fundamental processes of project management for working professionals. Participants are introduced to the principles, tools and techniques of project management within an integrative framework. The course emphasizes that, for most organizations, projects are the primary means for implementing strategic initiatives.Course Objectives: 1) Understand and critically evaluate expectations, procedures and processes of program management as currently practiced in large for-profit enterprises; 2) Understand the content and processes and standards of prac tice as defined by the Program Management Institute (PMI); 3) Understand how to build and manage effective project teams; 4) Become familiar with the critical components of effective project plans. In addition to the scheduled meeting dates, additional class activities will be planned between faculty and students.

Negotiations in Healthcare

This course examines the process that leads to change in health care settings and situations. Students will develop skills that lead to effective negotiations in interpersonal and organizational settings. Included in the discussion are: concepts of organizational structure and power, negotiating in difficult situations, and the role of the health care professional in negotiation and change. The course also examines techniques leading to successful implementation of negotiated change in the practice setting.This course satisfies the Society & Social Structures Sector for Nursing Class of 2012 and Beyond.

Leadership Development in Healthcare

This course provides a conceptual and theoretical framework for examining the concepts of leadership, planned change and power/empowerment within selected environments; namely, health systems, health and public policy arenas, and professional and civil societies. Content focuses on characteristics of personal and professional leadership, places and types of leadership, theories of leadership and planned change processes and specific tools and practical experiences in leadership development.


Process Improvement Tools and Strategies

Process improvement as taught in this course often provides high-leverage, high visibility opportunities for showcasing coaching and leadership skills as a member, coach or leader of cross-functional process improvement teams. Cross-functional process improvement teams (running lean and six sigma projects) have evolved into a major pathway for developing leadership and coaching talent in such organizations as Baptist Healthcare, Federal Express, Ritz Carlton, Toyota Motor Co, General Electric and Motorola.Process improvement project leaders and team members use specific tools and capabilities to analyze as-is processes and to define and deploy new or improved processes that deliver better outcomes and customer satisfaction with less non-value added effort. Leading or serving on cross-functional process improvement teams creates opportunities to work and network with people from other parts of your organization and creates opportunities for visibility to executives and managers sponsoring strategic improvements. Participating in or leading process improvement is also a great leadership, coaching and professional development activity.

Systems Thinking in Patient Safety

This blended online/in-classroom graduate level course integrates principles of systems thinking with foundational concepts in patient safety. Utilizing complexity theories, students assess healthcare practices and identify factors that contribute to medical errors and impact patient safety. Using a clinical microsystem framework, learners assess a potential patient safety issue and create preventive systems. Lessons learned from the science of safety are utilized in developing strategies to enhance safe system redesign. Core competencies for all healthcare professionals are emphasized, content is applicable for all healthcare providers including, but not limited to, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, social workers and healthcare administrators, and may be taken as an elective by non-majors.

Also offered as: HQS 650.

History, Health and Social Policy

This course explores the impact of historical ideas, events, and actors on current issues in health and illness care. Topics include the movement from hospitals to health care systems; the changing definitions of professionalism and professional practice patterns; and the ways historical context shapes definitions of leadership roles and theoretical knowledge.


Current Issues In Health and Social Policy

Analysis of key contemporary issues in health and social policy that will provide students with a deeper understanding of the design and structure of the U.S. health care system, the policy initiatives that have shaped it, and the roles of the government, the private sector, and consumers and advocacy groups in setting the policy agenda. Seminars will examine the origins of each issue, the policies enacted and their effects, both intended and unintended, and will propose and debate the merits of alternative policy solutions. The role of health services and policy research in informing the policy debate and directions will be highlighted.

Introduction to Research Methods and Design

The relationships among nursing theory, research and practice will be examined. An emphasis will be placed on research competencies for advanced practice nurses (APNs), including understanding nursing research methods and strategies in order to evaluate research results for applicability to practice and to design projects for evaluating outcomes of practice. An understanding of statistical techniques will be integrated into the course and build on the required undergraduate statistics course. Published nursing research studies will be evaluated for scientific merit and clinical feasibility, with a focus on evidence-based practice.

Advanced Roles in Administrative Nursing Practice

Offered at the end of the Nursing and Health Care Administration or Health Care Leadership programs, this course prepares the graduate for entry into a myriad of administrative or leadership roles. Students will explore role responsibilities for various levels of management positions; health care consultants; health policy advocates; global health leaders; staff development directors; and administrators in non-traditional settings i.e., journal editors, professional associations etc.

Year 2:


Mastering Organizational Politics and Power

The purpose of this course is to explore, enhance, and expand the participants’ competence in organizational politics.  Students will observe political dynamics as they occur in their own organizations and will interview senior managers in other organizations to learn how political realities vary from one organization to another.  Theoretical ideas about a dimension of organizational politics of particular interest to each individual participant will be analyzed in a term paper.  In addition, each participant will keep a personal diary of political dynamics in his or her own workplace.  The course will also explore ways to master the political skills of networking, negotiating, influencing, leading, and following as well as developing a political strategy.   

Principles and Practice of Healthcare Quality Improvement

Healthcare delivery is complex and constantly changing. A primary mission of leading healthcare organizations is to advance the quality of patient care by striving to deliver care that is safe, effective, efficient, timely, cost-effective, and patient-centered (Institute of Medicine). The goal of this interprofessional course is to provide students with a broad overview of the principles and tools of quality improvement and patient safety in healthcare as well address the knowledge, skills and attitudes as defined by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) guidelines. It will provide a foundation for students or practicing clinicians who are interested in quality improvement and patient safety research, administration, or clinical applications.Content will address the history of the quality improvement process in healthcare, quality databases and improvement process tools and programs. Through the use of case studies and exercises students will be become familiar with the use of several quality improvement programs and tools. For example, the Plan-Do-Study- Act (PDSA) cycle, Six Sigma and the Toyota Production System known as Lean Production processes will be addressed. Students can use this course to identify the tools and design the methods that they plan to employ in a quality improvement or patient safety project in their area of interest.

Also offered as HQS 612.

Practicum: Quality Improvement in Healthcare

Building on coursework that provided a broad overview of the principles and tools of quality improvement and patient safety in healthcare, students will apply this knowledge through completion of a mentored quality improvement project in a healthcare organization. In collaboration with faculty and health organization preceptors, students will identify a quality improvement opportunity and develop specific project objectives including, but not limited to, the use of appropriate tools, identification of measureable aims and evaluation methods, sustainable recommendations for process improvement and a comprehensive report of findings and recommendations. This course is part of the Quality Improvement and Safety Processes in Healthcare Minor and should be completed by the student as the capstone course in that minor; students engage in 192 hours of on-site project work.