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Curriculum

Below is the core course of study for the Nursing and Healthcare Administration program. Program faculty provide advice regarding selection of electives based on your career interests.

The 14 CU Nursing and Healthcare Administration Program combines 10 CUs of coursework in nursing and healthcare administration, 1 CU of a nursing leadership elective with 3 CUs of elective courses with 3 CUs of elective courses in other schools across the Penn Campus.

Core courses (8 course units):

NURS540
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.

NURS549
Human Resources Management in Healthcare

Today’s healthcare industry continues to be highly turbulent in nature presenting many challenges for leaders in the workplace. Competency in workforce planning and recruitment, selection and retention of top talent for organizational innovation and growth are essential for nursing leaders. Utilizing the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Competencies (2006) as a curricular guide, this course emphasizes human resources management skills essential for any nurse leader to address employee relations challenges and provide for an enriching work environment.

NURS612
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.

NURS650
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.

NURS651
Healthcare Informatics

This course is designed to introduce the student to fundamental concepts and issues surrounding technology and information management in today’s rapidly changing health care environment. Emphasis will be placed on defining informatics and the models and theories used in its development. To prepare the student to take a leadership role in information system design and selection the class will study the process of information systems analysis, implementation and evaluation involving functional, organizational and human aspects.

NURS699
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.

NURS748
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.

NURS790
Health Care Economics & Business Planning

This course introduces important economic concepts related to healthcare. Fundamental analytical tools of health economics are discussed. Focus is placed on the management of financial resources in the healthcare industry particularly in inpatient and ambulatory care settings. Specific emphasis is on applied accounting, budgeting, and capital planning. Students will engage in strategic planning, stakeholder analysis and benchmarking efforts.

And one of the following two courses:

NURS547
Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice

This course is designed to advance students’ understanding of the research process, methods of scientific inquiry, and analytical techniques. Students acquire knowledge of systematic approaches used by scientists to design and conduct studies. Course content prepares students to appraise quantitative and qualitative research, and evaluate the scientific merit and clinical significance of research for translation into practice. Evidence-based guidelines are examined and rated for strength of evidence and expert consensus using evidence grading systems and defined criteria. Students engage in variety of creative learning experiences to facilitate appreciative inquiry, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based practice. Quality improvement, comparative effectiveness analyses, information science, and electronic health systems technology demonstrate the capacity for measurement and surveillance of nursing-sensitive and other outcomes used to evaluate quality nursing care and test interventions. Ethical, legal and health policy implications for research are explored. This course serves as the basis for scientific inquiry about human experiences to address important problems that require solutions and to expand the research and the evidence base for professional nursing practice.

NURS 547 is a graduate-level research methods course approved for Penn BSN students only.

NURS637
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.

Nursing Leadership elective (1 course unit)

Students select an elective with their program advisor but the below course is highly recommended:

NURS548
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.

Elective courses (3 course units):

BUSI001
Business Elective #1

Students are required to take 6 cu worth of Business Electives from the Graduate Wharton Division. With permission, courses taught in Organizational Dynamics may be slotted into these Electives.

BUSI002
Business Elective #2

Students are required to take 6 cu worth of Business Electives from the Graduate Wharton Division. With permission, courses taught in Organizational Dynamics may be slotted into these Electives.

BUSI003
Business Elective #3

Students are required to take 6 cu worth of Business Electives from the Graduate Wharton Division. With permission, courses taught in Organizational Dynamics may be slotted into these Electives.

Practicum courses (1 course units):

NURS654
NURSING ADMINISTRATION PRACTICUM I (0.5 CU)

This course focuses on Healthcare strategic planning and the role of the Nursing Executive/Leader in that process. The course will involve the development of a business plan for a selected internal organizational project. The content will include use of executive Dashboards, sources of internal and external data.

NURS655
NURSING ADMINISTRATION PRACTICUM II (0.5 CU)

This administrative practicum will be individually tailored to meet each student’s career goals. Students will be placed with an expert role model who in most instances will be a practicing nurse executive. The setting may vary according to the student’s interests and objectives. Examples include acute care, home care, long term care, occupational health, community based clinics, consulting groups and political/legislative experiences.