Redesigned MSN programs in informatics and leadership launch in fall 2019

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing recently redesigned two of its Master of Science in Nursing specialty programs and relaunched them with revised curricula, educational formats and degree requirements. The programs, Nursing Informatics (NI) and Nursing and Health Care Leadership (NHCL), are now accepting applications for admission in fall 2019.

In announcing the redesigned specialty programs, VUSN Dean Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing, said that the school recently re-evaluated the two specialties to determine if there were newer or better ways to serve students and prepare them for leadership roles. “Nursing, perhaps above all professions, understands the need to periodically revise programs of study to meet the needs of a rapidly changing health care system and incorporate the best practices, thinking and evidence,” she said.

One major change for the two specialties was making them part time only, which is a significant draw for many registered nurses who want to continue working full time while obtaining a master’s degree. Both programs will be offered in a modified online learning format that allows students to complete degree requirements without relocating or giving up employment. The programs will incorporate on-campus interactive immersion experiences periodically during the program of studies.

As part of the relaunch, all members of the fall 2019 NI and NHCL classes will receive scholarships valued at 10% of their first-year tuition.

Curricular changes for Nursing Informatics incorporate newly emerging informatics competencies, concepts and innovations, as well as customized practicum experiences. VUSN’s leadership specialty has been renamed Nursing and Health Care Leadership based on feedback from nursing professionals; it incorporates stronger experiential learning, new collaborations with Nursing Informatics and a focus on real-world learning.

Associate Professor of Nursing Patricia Sengstack, DNP, FAAN, has been named academic specialty director for Nursing Informatics. Associate Professor of Nursing Rick Watters, PhD, will serve as interim director for Nursing and Health Care Leadership.