Walsh University Online MSN-FNP Program Overview Webinar
Walsh University Online MSN-FNP Program Overview Webinar

Walsh University Online MSN-FNP Program Overview Webinar

Presented Live: September 19, 2018

Learn more about Walsh University's CCNE-accredited online Master of Science in Nursing–Family Nurse Practitioner program during this webinar featuring Judy Kreye, Interim Dean in the Byers School of Nursing and Janet Finneran, Director of Graduate Nursing Programs. The online MSN-FNP program offers coursework that is online with thorough clinical preparation and two in-person intensive experiences.

Guest Panelists:

Judy Kreye, Interim Dean
Janet Finneran, Director, Graduate Nursing Program
Georgia Mourtokokis, Senior Enrollment Advisor
Katie Macaluso, Moderator

Full transcript below:

Katie Macaluso: Hello everyone and welcome. Thank you for joining us for today's webinar on the Master of Science and Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner online program, offered through Walsh University's Byers School of Nursing.

Before we get started, I'd like to cover just a couple of quick housekeeping reminders. You are in broadcast only mode which means you can hear us, but we cannot hear you. During the webinar, please feel free to type any questions you might have into the Q&A box located at the bottom of your screen. We've reserved some time at the end of this presentation to answer your questions, so please send those our way.

Alright. On our next screen is a list of presenters for today's webinar. I'm Katie Macaluso, and I'll be your moderator today. I'm joined by Georgia Mourtokokis, an admissions counselor for the online programs, whom many of you have already spoken with, and our featured speakers Dr. Judy Kreye, Interim Dean for the Byers School of Nursing, and Dr. Janet Finneran, Director of the Graduate Nursing Program.

On our next slide is a quick look at our agenda for today. We'll share information about Walsh University and highlights about the MSN-FNP program in the Byers School of Nursing. We’ll talk about the online learning experience, touch on the admissions process, and finally we'll save time for any questions you might have. So with that, I'm going to go ahead and turn over to Dr. Kreye to share a little bit more about the university.

Judy Kreye: Thank you, Katie. Walsh University is a small nonprofit Catholic University, with about 2,000 undergraduate students and about 1,000 graduate students. Our class sizes are all kept small. For graduate nursing courses, enrollment is kept at 20 students per class, and for clinical nursing courses, we keep those at 15, and those would be the FNP clinical courses. Clinical experiences are one-to-one, student-to-preceptor experiences. All of the nursing programs at Walsh are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, better known as CCNE.

The coursework for the FNP program is entirely online, with two on-campus intensives, which we'll talk about a little later in the presentation. The program consists of 61 credits and 650 clinical hours, and can be completed either full-time in seven semesters, or part-time in 10 semesters. Most of our students do attend full-time if their schedule allows, especially when clinical hours are required. Most nurses who work 12-hour shifts in self-schedule find that it's very doable. If you're working a Monday through Friday, nine-to-five job, it's a little more difficult, especially to complete the clinical requirements. If we have students that are working nine-to-five, Monday through Friday, they often go part-time or PRN when they have to do their clinicals.

We have two full-time starts; fall and spring, and we have a summer part-time start, but students who start in the summer can fall into the full-time track that fall. This is a wonderful option if you've been out of school for a while, or you've never taken a course online, it gives you the opportunity to get acclimated to the program before you go full-time. We pride ourselves with our highly qualified and caring faculty and success coaches, and we strive for open communication to help you successfully move through the program and troubleshoot quickly if issues arise. We ask our students to be proactive and notify your faculty if you're having difficulty, or you may receive an e-mail or a phone call from a faculty member or a success coach, if they notice you have not been engaged in the course room or have not submitted assignments on time. We understand that our students are adults, and are often working and have other family and personal responsibilities, but online education allows you the flexibility to complete coursework on your time. So some students like to work into the night and others get up very early in the morning or work on weekends. Online coursework allows you this flexibility.

Students begin the FNP program with core courses, such as pathophysiology, advanced health assessment or pharmacology. These courses are taken by all MSN students. So you'll be in class with students in the other tracks such as the nurse educator track. Once these courses are completed, then you'll branch off into the ones that are specific for the FNP. We do have a couple of courses that are very unique to our program, and they were developed after getting input from nurse practitioners who are currently working in the field. We have two health assessment courses, Nursing 614, Advanced Health Assessment, and that course focuses on the specific skills of assessment, system by system. The second course Nursing 640, Clinical Assessment and Management, that course follows advanced health assessment and focuses not only on assessment skills but also on developing differential diagnosis and then developing a beginning care plan. Another course unique to our program is Nursing 642, Clinical Pharmacology. After students complete the advanced Pharmacology course, then they're ready to take clinical pharm which focuses on prescribing and managing medication plans, as patients conditions, situations, or needs change. We have received excellent feedback from our students on all of these courses.

Once you complete the program, you'll be eligible to take either the AANP or the ANCC examination for certification. Once you're certified, you then would apply for licensure in your state. Walsh also offers global nursing experiences for all of our students. We currently have a yearly trip to Tanzania usually for two weeks in May. And also, to Haiti, that's typically scheduled sometime in the spring. If you're interested in traveling for cross-cultural Global Health experience, you can contact our Global Learning Office, and the information is on the website. As I mentioned earlier, our Family Nurse Practitioner program faculty are highly qualified, and they are current in practice. This means that clinical faculty are still working in practice in addition to their teaching, so they bring this experience to the course room for a very rich and current education. Each faculty member will identify within their course their timeline for feedback. So you just need to familiarize yourself within each course. In general, most faculty will respond within 24 to 48 hours. Our faculty are dedicated to your success as family nurse practitioners. So we do encourage you to keep a line of open communication with us. I'm going to turn over the presentation to Dr. Finneran.

Janet Finneran: Thank you, Judy. First off, I wanted to talk about the two on-campus requirements that Dr. Kreye was talking about earlier. We call these intensive experiences. So these experiences are on-campus requirements, and there are two of them, Intensive One which is essential skills, which I'll talk about first, and Intensive Two, which is advanced skills and professional practice which I'll talk about secondly. So we have these hands-on learning experiences on campus, because it makes us unique in the fact that some of these experiences you just can't do online, and you see some of them listed there, and so we bring you on to campus and you get to network with your fellow students that you've been talking with online and sharing information online and experiences online, you'll meet your fellow students and also the faculty that have been teaching you all along as well. So Intensive One is completed prior to your first clinical course, and that would be a three-day experience on campus at Walsh. We have a variety of activities. I have them listed here on the slide, and I wanted to talk in depth about some of them.

Janet Finneran: The advanced health assessment boot camp—This is where you have already had the advanced health assessment course by the time you reach this intensive. So in the advanced health assessment boot camp, we're just running you through a head-to-toe physical, going system by system and refreshing those skills. Then the following day, you will go to our local medical school, it's the Northeast Ohio Medical University, it's called neo-med. And that is probably about a half hour or so, from Walsh University. They have a wonderful simulation lab at neo-med, and we will take you out there and you will perform a head-to-toe physical, first getting a history, a head-to-toe physical on a real standardized patient. In addition to this standardized patient experience, we have well-seasoned physician graders who will be viewing your interaction with the standardized patient. And then afterwards, they come out and they give you excellent feedback on what you did wonderfully, and maybe some areas that you might need to improve on in your skills.

And then the patient who is well seasoned with all kind of students, med students, there's practitioner students, that patient will tell you what they felt. Like how did they feel, did they feel like they were comfortable talking to you, did they feel that you were understanding them, did they feel that you respected their privacy, things like that. So you get wonderful feedback from the physician and from the standardized patient. Then we also have a microscopy workshop in our microbiology lab, sort of, I don't know how many have used a microscope in so many years, but we have one of our professors who will show you the basics of using a microscope and then doing some looking at this is usually for women's health, looking at some samples of slide, things like that. Then we have a suturing workshop, as well, we have a people from our local Children's Hospital, they come in and they just go over basic suturing skills and that's very hands on. We also have an inter-professional collaboration workshop.

And then we start your clinical orientation. This is when faculty go over, and they just talk to you about expectations that you might have when you're moving into the clinical area, with the preceptor. During the clinical orientation you'll learn about our online reporting software, it's called Typhon, and that is where you'll be entering your hours, your clinical logs, things like that. We talk about preceptors, we talk about the clinical site. It's a great orientation right before you're going into the clinical area.

Next up is Intensive Two. This is advanced skills and professional practice. So again, you come on to campus, this one's a little shorter, it's two days. And this is taken right before you enter your second-to-last clinical course. So in this, we have a really great EKG interpretation workshop, and it's given by an acute care nurse practitioner who presents all over the state of Ohio on EKG interpretation; she's wonderful. We also have a radiology interpretation. Another NP, she'll just give you some sample lung and abdominal x-rays. Just some basic interpretation skills. The students really love that workshop. And then we also have an orthopedics workshop, where we at Walsh have a doctor of physical therapy program. So we take you up to the physical therapy department here at Walsh, and we introduced this last year, and the students really, really enjoyed it, and we have two PT professors who run you through orthopedic maneuvers. How to assess an orthopedic problem, and once you assess what do you do? So it's a great experience. And then we finally we bring in a professional panel. We have an attorney, we have a potential employer, we have a well-seasoned NP, a couple NPs that have been out and practiced a while, FNPs. And then we bring in a new NP. Somebody who may have just graduated, maybe a year in practice, and it's very informal. And it's a question and answer session. And that's how we end the Intensive Two.

I think those experiences are very valuable and well worth it to come on campus and get all of that expert opinion, expert instruction. The next slide is clinical. Dr. Kreye had mentioned that we have 650 precepted clinical hours, and these are all contained within the five clinical courses that you'll take as an FNP student, and I have it listed under there the areas. The first is Adults, and that has some online course work, of course, but also 100 hours that you'll have with a preceptor, in an adult setting. Then we have Pediatrics Adolescents, and that's another 100 hours. Women's health, 100 hours. The Women's Health is outpatient, so you'll be with the women's... with either an FNP, a physician or a women's health NP, it just depends with the population area.

So, then multiple chronic conditions is Adult Gerontology, that's 150 hours. And then finally, your final clinical course is, Families in Primary Care, and there's 200 clinical hours attached to that. So you are one-on-one with a preceptor in those different populate... Taking care of those different population of patients. We also allow our students to do an elective, so it's a 50 hour elective or 50 hours in a specialty area. It's not required, but if you have a special interest, you can pull 50 hours from the total of 650. And this occurs in the final two courses, Multiple Chronic Conditions and Primary Care. So we've had students who have wanted to get more information on better hone their skills in orthopedics. So they have to spend some time in an orthopedic setting. We've had students request to be in palliative care, pain management, mental health. So, it's that that I think is unique with our program, that you have that flexibility, if you have a special interest you could pull from those hours and go ahead and do that. And as for clinical placement, we have faculty and staff who assist you with securing a preceptor and getting a clinical site so you can get started on the 650 clinical hours.

So next, career outlook. Well, it's really a robust career outlook. FNPs are needed. There's so many settings where we practice. I'm an FNP myself, and I have worked in a private doctor's office and also in a health department, in an adult clinic at a health department. So it runs the gamut, primary care settings, ambulatory care settings. There's also the quick clinics, we call them quick clinics or convenient care clinics, usually in pharmacies, things like that. We have students who have gone here that are now working in those areas and clinics as well. So there's just a lot of movement, a lot of places that you'll find employment. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners found that in 2017, through a survey, that two of three graduates from all NP programs, graduate as family nurse practitioners. So the demand is there, there's a projected shortage of primary care by the year 2020, there's going to be a shortage of primary care providers and FNPs are right there to fill that gap.

The online experience is, of course, asynchronous, meaning that there's no set log-in times you can log into your coursework. Of course, there are due dates that are well-delineated when you start whatever course it is. So you work through meeting certain deadlines, but again, it's no set log-in times. What you learn online, especially in the clinical courses, will hopefully be mirrored in your clinical experiences when you're working with patients and your preceptors, so you're going to apply those content and skills that you've learned online. And then again just reiterating what Dr. Kreye said about faculty support and communication between our faculty here and the success coach, you should be able to contact and get some resolution to any questions or concerns that you have.

I think we'll turn it over to Georgia.

Georgia Mourtokokis: Thank you so much. I definitely would like to discuss admissions requirements and next steps. I know I’ve spoken with some of you and look forward to speaking with additional interested applicants. We do have upcoming terms and deadlines. As mentioned earlier, we have three different start dates a year. The spring and fall options are full-time start dates, with the summer being a part-time start date. For program entry requirements, what we look for is that you are a licensed registered nurse, with a bachelor's degree in nursing. You must have a 3.0 grade point average or higher from a regionally accredited school of nursing. To become an applicant to our program, you will need to submit an official application. We do not currently have an application fee. You will need to submit a current resume. We also require official transcripts from all schools of higher education attended. There is an essay requirement component, and the details of the essay requirements are found on our website, and will also be provided by myself in the admissions checklist when we do have a conversation. What we are looking for within the details of the essay is an explanation of why you want to become a family nurse practitioner in primary care.

There are additional details that you'll have to follow, but it is important to tell that story, and to really communicate that within the essay to have our acceptance committee learn more about you. We also require two recommendations from health care professionals. We do prefer that they are from the master's and/or doctorate level. If you have additional questions, I look forward to a conversation with you. You can email me, my name is Georgia Mourtokokis, I'm one of the senior admissions counselors here at Walsh. My email address is here on the slide for you, along with my phone number.

Katie Macaluso: Wonderful, thanks Georgia. So with that, we'll go ahead and head into our Q & A session. This is your chance to ask any questions that you might have had coming into this presentation, or about anything that's been presented that you now have follow up questions on. Go ahead and submit those to the Q & A box at the bottom of your screen. We'll do our best to get through as many of them as we can today. I'm going to go ahead and take a quick look and see what we have so far. Alright.

It looks like our first question is regarding exams and papers for the courses. The question is: do exams and paper assignments still occur at a specific time for the online program, or how does that work?

Janet Finneran: Okay. This is Jan Finneran. Yes, there are online exams, there are timed quizzes and exams that you take with a lockdown browser, but not all courses, it just depends on the course. So if a course does have quizzes or exams, they would be taken online. There's a lockdown browser that is on your computer that you must have to take the exam. They're typically timed, you get so much time and you are well aware of that. And then there are due dates for those. Typically our courses have modules. So on Fridays, we typically open the module for the following week, so you have the weekend to kind of take a look and see what's up, what's coming for the week, and then there are discussion questions online. There are also due dates for those that are well spelled out in every syllabus that you receive here as the program. You'll know, when something is due and when something is closing, such as the opportunity to take a quiz, the opportunity to respond in a discussion forum. There's also some courses that do require some written work, and there are also due dates again. And in your syllabus that'll be well delineated when these things are due. You typically will use them in the learning management system we have. There is an area for you to upload your paper or whatever the assignment is.

I did want to talk a little bit about the written assignments. We have a writing coach at Walsh University, that is specific for graduate in nursing, and a lot of our students choose this help, especially in the beginning. If you haven't done a lot of writing in a while, it's great to have this writing coach. There's no charge for her to look over your paper. She is not a nurse, but she is very well-versed in content, grammar sentence structure, and APA style for your references. And so the only thing you have to do is to be a little bit proactive. Proactive in the fact that if you have something to do, you have to get it to the writing coach and give her time to look at it. And again, all of her information for the writing coaches in every syllabus you received in the program. Do you have anything to add, Dr. Kreye?

Judy Kreye: No, but since we're talking about courses, I see there's another question about how long do the courses run? And how many do you typically take in a semester? And all of the courses will run for either eight weeks. So you may take two eight-week courses in a semester or we have 16-week courses. Full-time students may take one 16-week course, and then an eight-week course, the first eight-weeks, an eight-week course the second eight-weeks. So it's generally not more than that. We've tried to balance our schedules, so that some of the heavier clinical courses are with some of the lighter didactic courses, so that you can kind of manage that time.

Katie Macaluso: Terrific. It looks like our next question is: Is it possible to transfer in credits from an MSN program at another university? How many transferred credits can be transferred?

Judy Kreye: Yes, it is possible to transfer a master's credits in. We will allow up to nine transfer credits. And I think that's pretty typical for most universities. If we're unsure about sometimes titles of programs might be or titles of courses may differ somewhat, we may ask for the syllabus to take a look at the content before we accept its transfer.

Katie Macaluso: Okay. Perfect. Our next question is: I'm deciding between taking the program full-time versus part-time. Can you talk about how much time would be expected to devote to the program in part-time or a full-time scenario?

Judy Kreye: That's a hard thing to answer. But in general, when you think about a credit course, if you were taking course face-to-face, let's say, it's a three-credit course, and you go to class, once a week for three hours, the general expectation is that you would put in additional three hours for every hour you're in class. So nine hours of study. And so as I said earlier, we have a lot of students who take it full-time, but then you have to have excellent time management skills, or students who are a little concerned, not sure if they're going to do it, I encourage them to do it part-time. I will say that it's... You can start out full-time, and say, "Oh this is a little too much. I want to back off a little bit." You can go part time or vice versa. So you do have that option.

Katie Macaluso: Okay, thank you. Our next question is: How are students able to network in an online community versus having a more traditional on-campus setting?

Judy Kreye: Actually, I can tell you... I finished my doctorate program in an online program and I absolutely loved it. I loved interfacing with students in the program. It's surprising, but you do get to know your classmates quite well by their postings in the course room and so forth. There's also chat rooms in the course room that students can chat off aside from what the faculty member can see. [chuckle] So you do have that opportunity. And some classes will actually schedule synchronous sessions, which are not necessarily required, but they may do an introduction to the course and invite students in that way. And then of course, the on-campus intensives are great, that's just a great time to get to interface with your classmates.

Katie Macaluso: Okay. Thank you. Looks like our next question is: How much group work is involved in this program?

Judy Kreye: Oh, that's a good question. That's everybody's... I don't know what the right word is to that, but most students don't... like that are difficult with particularly with an online program to get a group together. And I will tell you that it is very minimal, and I'm trying to think of where there may be a project in research where you can work with a partner or a group.

Jan Finneran: We've really moved away from group projects partially because in an asynchronous program, it's very difficult sometimes to get all of your schedules together to complete a group project. So I would say in a word, it's minimal, if at all. Perhaps in research as Dr. Kreye said, there may be a group project, but we're really moving away from that just because of logistics.

Katie Macaluso: Okay. Alright, great. Looks like we have time for one more question. This question was actually just about the application itself, how long does it typically take to get a decision on an application?

Georgia Mourtokokis: Yeah, I can answer that. Typically, we shoot for a window of two weeks, two weeks is usually what we've seen so far, as far as turnaround, a lot of times that could be a lot sooner, but we allow for that two-week window to allow for our committee to have reviewed the application and definitely to come to a full decision.

Katie Macaluso: Okay. Alright. Terrific. Thank you, Georgia. Alright. So that wraps up our presentation in our Q&A session for today. Thank you all so much for joining us. On the screen is again Georgia's information, if you'd like to reach out to her by phone or email, with any additional questions about the program or to go in and get started on your application. We'll also be sending out a link within the next day to access the recording in case you'd like to go back to any of the information found today. So this concludes today's webinar, thanks again for coming and we hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. Take care.

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