Nursing

Overview of the Nursing Major

MCLA gates logo with Bachelor of Science in NursingThe nursing program prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensing Examination in Nursing for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), a required credential for nursing practice. The curriculum integrates MCLA’s strong liberal arts foundation such as humanities, physical and social sciences with theoretical and clinical courses in professional nursing guided by the Quality and Safety Education in Nursing (QSEN) Core Competencies. The program also provides a strong foundation to successfully pursue graduate study in advanced nursing practice roles.

MCLA Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program’s Mission 

Students in the nursing program

MCLA BSN Program’s mission is to prepare baccalaureate nurses who will enhance the health status of rural underserved communities through excellence in nursing education and practice. The program is rooted in MCLA’s strong liberal arts foundation of the humanities, the arts, and the physical and social sciences. We are dedicated to the College’s mission of excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active responsible citizenship.

MCLA BSN Program’s Vision 

Our vision is that MCLA BSN Program will be an exemplary baccalaureate nursing program offered in a public liberal arts environment that is nationally recognized for improving healthcare in rural underserved communities experiencing health disparities.

MCLA in 4

MCLA in 4A sample 4-year plan showing a possible sequence of courses in this major.

 

Courses of Study

NURS 200 Introduction to Contemporary Nursing (3 credits)

Introduces the student to the major concepts and ideas forming the context of contemporary professional nursing practice including professional standards of practice and development of professional behaviors. The evolution of nursing, nursing practice, and nursing theory is explored. This course is intended to help students develop a beginning personal philosophy of nursing as well as a foundation for quality and safety in professional nursing practice.

NURS 201 Adult Physical Assessment (4 credits)

Explores the concept of health and patient-centered assessment, integrating the essentials of communication, professionalism, safety, quality care, and evidence-based practice. The student will develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to perform a health assessment within the context of the nursing process. The laboratory focus is on the performance of assessment skills through data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
Hands-on Lab Component

Students in a mock-up nursing stationNURS 202 Fundamentals of Nursing (5 credits)

Focuses on the acquisition of the basic knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for providing safe, patient-centered care. Emphasis is on the nursing process, functional health patterns, communication strategies, clinical reasoning and decision making, and professional role development. The clinical focus is on the beginning application of nursing knowledge and evidence-based practice interventions in the laboratory setting and with selected patients in clinical settings.
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 210 Pathophysiology/Pharmacology I (3 credits)

Introduces the basic concepts and principles of pathophysiology and pharmacology. Students will study the science of pharmacology to develop an understanding of medications and their interactions in human disease and the mechanisms that govern them. Students will examine the pathophysiological and pharmacological phenomena that produce alterations in human physiology and the resulting human response to pharmaco-therapeutic interventions. Topics are arranged by major body system. 

NURS 211 Medication Dosage Calculations (1 credit)

Builds upon the student’s basic math skills to calculate safe medication dosages, convert measurement systems, select appropriate dosage calculation tools for medication administration, and determine the parameters for safe medication administration. This course is intended to prepare the student nurse for safe, patient centered administration of medications, and accurate documenting in both traditional and electronic records.

NURS 301 Nursing Care of the Adult and Older Adult I (6 credits)

Focuses on the beginning clinical reasoning for common health problems of the adult and older adult building on prior knowledge and skills gained in the NURS201 and NURS202. The roles and responsibilities of the nurse in the acute care setting in relationship to safety, quality, legal, and ethical issues will be discussed. Evidence-based practice and standards of care are integrated in course content, laboratory exercises and clinical experiences. 
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 302 Nursing Care of the Adult and Older Adult II (6 credits)

Builds on prior knowledge and skills gained in NURS301 Nursing Care of the Adult and Older Adult I. Evidence-based practice and standards of care are integrated in course content, laboratory exercises and clinical experiences with exposure to a diverse patient population experiencing varying levels of wellbeing. The roles and responsibilities of the nurse in the acute care setting in relationship to safety, collaboration, discharge planning, and health education will be discussed.
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 303 Mental Health Nursing (4 credits)

Focuses on nursing care of individuals, families, and/or groups when mental health alterations exist. Specific psychiatric diagnoses are examined including but not limited to the following: anxiety/depressive disorders, substance related disorders, suicidal behaviors, and dissociative disorders. Current trends in mental health nursing are explored in course content and clinical experiences. The professional role is expanded through the development of skills as a nurse counselor.
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 304 Nursing Care of Children and Families (4 credits)

Explores family and developmental theories and pediatric practice in didactic and clinical experiences. Communication, health history, growth and development, social and cultural influences of the pediatric client are explored. Applying concepts enables students to provide anticipatory guidance and empowerment of parenting. Leadership skills are demonstrated in the clinical setting through participation within the healthcare team for the purpose of meeting the patient and family needs. 
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 305 Maternal-Newborn Nursing (4 credits)

Focuses on developing the skills necessary to provide safe, quality-driven care to the childbearing family. A major focus will be the healthy and at-risk mother and baby within the context of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum/neonatal periods.  Evidence-based practice is emphasized in the theoretical and clinical components of this course.  Concepts related to perinatal physiology, genetics, psychological and developmental theories as well as cultural awareness are explored.
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 310 Pathophysiology/Pharmacology II (3 credits)

Builds on NURS210, with the introduction of further advanced concepts and principles of pathophysiology and pharmacology. Students will develop a deeper understanding of medications and their interactions in human disease and mechanisms that govern them. Students will continue to examine the pathophysiological and pharmacological phenomena that produce alterations in human physiology and the resulting human response to pharmacotherapeutic intervention. Topics are arranged by major body system.

NURS 400 Nursing Research (3 credits)

Introduces the student to the quantitative and qualitative research process in nursing and examines the relationship between nursing theory, research, and practice. The foundation for how to conduct, interpret, critique, and apply nursing research findings into clinical practice is emphasized. This course familiarizes the student with the concept of evidence-based practice and the use of research-based findings for the purpose of informing decisions about care delivery.

NURS 401 Population-based (Community) Health Nursing (4 credits)

Focuses on the assessment and identification of a priority public health need for a focused population. Working in communities, students will apply public health principles of epidemiological investigation, assessment of social and environmental influences on health and identification of societal resources. By partnering with individuals, families, and communities in activities to improve health and avoid illness, students will appreciate the nursing leadership needed for a healthier society.
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 402 Nursing Leadership and Management of Care (5 credits)

Explores leadership and management theories that facilitate entry-level nursing graduates to become leaders at the bedside, among inter-professional groups, and in the community. Classroom and clinical experiences are designed to build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for visionary leadership. Emphasis is placed on the role of the professional nurse in promoting safe, cost-effective care in a rapidly and radically changing healthcare environment.
Hands-on Lab and Clinical Practice Components

NURS 410 Senior Seminar (Issues and Trends in Nursing) (2 credits)

Promotes synthesis of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Competencies.   A primary focus of this seminar is to solidify knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for the role transition from student to professional nurse.  Emphasis will be placed on how nurses impact quality patient outcomes through inter-professional collaboration, evidence-based practice, safety and informatics.  

NURS 411 Preparation for Professional Licensure (2 credits)

Assists in preparing the senior nursing student for success in the profession, including the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). It includes history of the NCLEX-RN, current test plan, skills in reading and understanding standardized test item formats, and techniques to maximize self-confidence and improve test performance.

 

MCLA has applied for Prerequisite Approval status through the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing for the operation of its Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Program