LU's Distance Nursing Grad Program Tailored to Community Health Nurses

Liberty University.

School Overview
 Serves: USA
 Accredited by: SACS-COC
 Enrollment: 9 terms per year
 Financial Aid: Yes
 Scholarships: Yes

Learning on Your Own Terms

Liberty University's Masters of Science in Nursing in Community Health indicates a general trend in graduate nursing-a turn toward micro-specialization. Community health is a field of nursing that remains largely under populated with well-trained RNs. LU's graduate program also offers a specialization in Acute Care; both concentrations fall outside the typical menu for MSN degrees.

The nursing field is quickly changing. In the throes of a national nurse shortage, healthcare at large is taking steps to attract new nurses to the profession. Nursing is renowned for job security; even during economic hard times nurses have flexible career options and good salaries. There are already many new nurses getting the message. But the shortage of RNs is not only rooted in a lack of newbies in the field, but also in the condition of experienced RNs-many are heading into early retirement, and others are leaving their jobs due to burn-out. This population is being urged to pursue advanced degrees, instead, employ their years of intense patient care to advanced practice, such as Community Health nursing.

Community Heath nurses work with larger and more diverse populations. They may work in private or public healthcare settings, and often are instrumental in design and delivery of cost-effective healthcare. They are often engaged in supervisory or management responsibilities and may function in executive and administrative positions which allow them the opportunity to affect public and community health delivery, design effective health care policy, and even manage teams of community healthcare personnel.

Requirements for Admission to LU's MSN

Applicants must have a completed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with a previous GPA of 3.0, a valid RN license, and a strong work and study ethic. At least a year of clinical experience is expected, as well.

Online students must be clear on the demands of a distance-learning paradigm. Convenient, though it may be in terms of flexibility, it is nevertheless demanding in that participants often must schedule study time late at night, and even on the weekends. Candidates that are self-motivated to succeed do well in these types of degree programs.

Curriculum

There are two parts to the MSN: the fundamental graduate nursing courses and the specialized community health coursework, much of which is packaged into hands-on clinicals. Distance students are not required to be on Liberty's campus, but may schedule their own clinicals locally with the guidance of a faculty-approved preceptor.

Core nursing courses consist of general requirements in advanced topics, such as nursing theory, evidence-based research, pharmacology, and pathophysiology. Specialized theory courses, other than hands-on community health clinicals, include: topics and issues facing community health nurses, and population-specific health promotion.

Career Opportunity

Community Health nurses are often traditionally found in outpatient clinics and school systems, in both urban and rural areas. However, community nursing programs train RNs for population-based healthcare, which is applicable to a wide range of situations, including corrections, mental health facilities, and even private settings, such as business and industry where occupational nurses are used.

Liberty University offers a generous mix of traditional, blended, and distance degrees programs within the design of a Christ-centered educational model.

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