Patient meeting with doctor

Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Practitioner

Be part of the next generation of nurse practitioners, with the advanced skills and knowledge you need to provide high-quality health care.

Prepare yourself for the next step in your nursing career with this predominately online program offering three specialty tracks to choose from:

  • Adult/Gerontology Acute Care
  • Family/Individual Across the Lifespan
  • Psychiatric/Mental health

All three speciality tracks include Post-Masters Certificate options for those students who enter the program with an existing MSN degree.

The NP program includes a minimum of 720 clinical hours, with faculty-assisted and approved clinical practicums. State of the art simulation techniques and rigorous curriculum ensure that our NP graduates are ready to provide high-quality care. 

The Nurse Practitioner faculty are seasoned, graduate-level nursing faculty who maintain a clinical practice in the specialty areas they teach. The flexible online course schedules allow registered nurses to continue full or part-time employment while preparing for this degree.

At the successful completion of the MSN-NP program students are eligible to take the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) board exam. Family Nurse Practitioner graduates may take the ANCC or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) board exams.

For more information please contact: NP@pacollege.edu

Requirements

Applicants will be evaluated through a competitive admission process by the graduate nursing faculty, which will include NP prepared faculty. Applicants must meet the following minimum entrance requirements:

All Applicants Must Submit:

  • Copy of professional license
  • One official transcript from every college or university attended.
  • A written statement clearly identifying the applicant’s career goals and how admission to the program will facilitate professional objectives
  • Two letters of recommendation; at least one from an NP/MD/DO who can attest to the applicants clinical knowledge and clinical ability. One recommendation from a nursing leader with an MSN or doctoral degree (nursing supervisor/manager or prior professor).
  • A curriculum vitae or resume

The applicant is responsible for assuring that PA College receives all the necessary materials by the application deadline.

Master of Science in Nursing (Nurse Practitioner Tracks)

  • Current United States Registered Nurse licensure in the state where clinical practice will occur.
  • A Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution. If a student does not possess a BSN, refer to RN to MSN Bridge requirements.
  • A preferred undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
  • An undergraduate course in statistics.
  • An undergraduate health assessment course.
  • An interview with the Nurse Practitioner Program Director or designee and members of the Nurse Practitioner faculty.
  • Two years relevant clinical experience in nursing.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume highlighting relevant nursing accomplishments and experience.

Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate

  • Master’s degree in nursing from an accredited school of nursing.
  • A preferred graduate GPA of 3.5 on a 4-point scale.
  • An interview with the Nurse Practitioner Program Director or designee and members of the Nurse Practitioner faculty.
  • Two years of relevant clinical experience in nursing.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume highlighting relevant nursing accomplishments and experience.

RN to MSN Bridge Option

An RN who holds a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing may be granted conditional acceptance into a graduate program. This RN must be a graduate from a regionally accredited pre-licensure program. In order to fulfill admissions requirements, the applicant must complete the following three required courses: IPC 401 Research in Health Care, NUR 420 Nursing Leadership and Management and NUR 430 Nursing in a Global Society.

  • The applicant must complete the three required courses with a grade of “B” or higher within 12 months of conditional acceptance. Upon satisfactory completion of these courses, the applicant’s status will be changed from conditional to full acceptance, and the applicant will be permitted to begin graduate coursework.
  • If a student does not achieve a minimum grade of “B” for a course, the student may repeat the course one time. If the student is unsuccessful on the second attempt, the student will lose conditional acceptance to the MSN program.
  • Applicants may appeal to the appropriate Program Director or designee for additional time to complete the required courses.
  • Applicants may be exempted from one or more of these required courses upon submission of a transcript that verifies satisfactory (“B” or higher) completion of an equivalent course at a regionally accredited institution.
  • After successfully completing all requirements and admission to the MSN program, the student may progress directly into graduate-level courses.
  • The BSN is not awarded in the RN to MSN Bridge Program.

Curriculum

The curriculum consists of MSN core courses, nurse practitioner core courses and courses specific to the chosen track. The curriculum is organized to continue the development of values, understandings, knowledge, and skills needed in all aspects of practice as a NP and emphasizes specialty areas. It is also consistent with State Board content requirements and all courses reflect each of those content elements. The following indicates the number of credits and the number of clinical hours for each track:

Students entering the NP program will choose one of the population-focused tracks and complete all courses to meet eligibility requirements to become nationally certified and licensed as a NP.

Adult/Gerontology Acute Care:
Total Credits: 52
Total Clinical Hours: 720

Family/Individual Across the Lifespan:
Total Credits: 53
Total Clinical Hours: 720

Psychiatric/Mental health:
Total Credits: 51
Total Clinical Hours: 720

Sample Plans of Study

Sample curriculum plans for each track are found below:

Master’s Degree NP Program

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Fall 1Spring 1 Summer 1
IPC 511 Graduate ResearchNUR 700 Epidemiology & Population Health NUR 643 Health Promotion in an Integrated Care Model
IPC 512 Health Care Policy & Finance IPC 601 Leadership in Healthcare
Fall 2 Spring 2 Summer 2
NUR 640 Advanced Pathophysiology NUR 641 Advanced Pharmacology NUR 642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
NUR 500 NP Role Development NUR 652 Advanced Pharmacology for Critical Care
Fall 3 Spring 3 Summer 3
NUR 740 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP I NUR 742 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP II NUR 744 Adult Gero Acute Care NP III
NUR 741 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum INUR 743 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum II NUR 745 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum III

Family Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan

Fall 1Spring 1Summer 1
IPC 511 Graduate ResearchIPC 601 Leadership in HealthcareNUR 643 Health Promotion in an Integrated Care Model
IPC 512 Health Care Policy & FinanceNUR 700 Epidemiology & Population HealthNUR 644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts
Fall 2Spring 2Summer 2
NUR 640 Advanced PathophysiologyNUR 641 Advanced PharmacologyNUR 642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
NUR 500 NP Role DevelopmentNUR 651 Advanced Psychopharmacology
Fall 3Spring 3Summer 3
NUR 720 Family NP Across Lifespan INUR 722 Family NP Across Lifespan IINUR 724 Family NP Across Lifespan III
NUR 721 Family NP Practicum INUR 723 Family NP Practicum IINUR 725 FNP Practicum III

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Fall 1Spring 1Summer 1
IPC 511 Graduate ResearchIPC 601 Leadership in HealthcareNUR 643 Health Promotion in an Integrated Care Model
IPC 512 Health Care Policy & FinanceNUR 700 Epidemiology & Population HealthNUR 644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts
Fall 2Spring 2Summer 2
NUR 640 Advanced PathophysiologyNUR 641 Advanced PharmacologyNUR 642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
NUR 650 Neuroscience of Mental HealthNUR 500 NP Role DevelopmentNUR 651 Advanced Psychopharmacology
Fall 3Spring 3Summer 3
NUR 730 Psych/Mental Health NP INUR 732 Psych/Mental Health NP IINUR 734 Psych/Mental Health NP III
NUR 731 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum INUR 733 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum IINUR 735 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum III

Post-Master’s Certificate Curriculum (Advanced Standing)

Certificate options will be available for all applicants with an MSN. A gap analysis will be completed at the time of admission in order to develop an individualized plan of study based on previous coursework and clinical experiences.

Gap Analysis

A gap analysis is a process that involves portfolio review at the time of admission and determination of appropriateness for waiver of didactic and practicum requirements, based on the previous coursework and clinical experiences. This process will be used for students who are MSN-prepared. The purpose of the gap analysis is to build on previously attained skills, to maximize the student’s academic experience, and to avoid unnecessary redundancy.

Post-Master’s Certificates NP Program

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner*

Fall 1Spring 1Summer 1
NUR640 Advanced PathophysiologyNUR641 Advanced PharmacologyNUR652 Advanced Pharmacology for Critical Care
NUR643 Health Promotion in an Integrated Care ModelNUR500 NP Role DevelopmentNUR642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
Fall 2Spring 2Summer 2
NUR740 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP INUR742 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP IINUR744 Adult Gero Acute Care NP III
NUR741 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum INUR743 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum IINUR745 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum III
Clinical Hours720
Total Credits37
*Upon admission to the program, a gap analysis will be done, and an individualized plan of study will be developed.

Family Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan*

Fall 1Spring 1Summer 1
NUR640 Advanced PathophysiologyNUR641 Advanced PharmacologyNUR642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
NUR500 NP Role DevelopmentNUR651 Advanced Psychopharmacology
NUR644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts
Fall 2Spring 2Summer 2
NUR720 Family NP Across Lifespan INUR722 Family NP Across Lifespan IINUR724 Family NP Across Lifespan III
NUR721 Family NP Practicum INUR723 Family NP Practicum IINUR725 FNP Practicum III
Clinical Hours720
Total Hours38
*Upon admission to the program, a gap analysis will be done, and an individualized plan of study will be developed.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner*

Fall 1Spring 1Summer 1
NUR640 Advanced PathophysiologyNUR641 Advanced PharmacologyNUR642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
NUR643 Health Promotion in an Integrated Care ModelNUR500 NP Role DevelopmentNUR651 Advanced Psychopharmacology
NUR650 Neuroscience of Mental HealthNUR644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts
Fall 2Spring 2Summer 2
NUR730 Psych/Mental Health NP INUR732 Psych/Mental Health NP IINUR734 Psych/Mental Health NP III
NUR731 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum INUR733 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum IINUR735 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum III
Clinical Hours720
Total Credits36
*Upon admission to the program, a gap analysis will be done, and an individualized plan of study will be developed.

Course Delivery

The hybrid NP Program offers some courses exclusively online, and others through a blend of online and face-to-face meetings. NP specialty courses meet eight to sixteen hours per semester on campus for an On-Campus Intensive (OCI). NUR 642 may meet on campus for additional health assessment practice sessions, in the Center for Clinical Excellence.

The following tables list the format for course delivery, including the MSN Core courses (which are requirements for all tracks), the nurse practitioner core courses (also requirements for all tracks), and the program-specific courses for each NP track:

MSN Core Courses

CoursesCreditsFormatClinical Hours
IPC 601 Leadership & Role Development312 weeks online0
NUR 700 Epidemiology & Population Health312 weeks online0
IPC 512 Health Policy & Finance312 weeks online0
IPC 511 Graduate Research312 weeks online0

NP Core Courses

CoursesCreditsFormatClinical Hours
NUR 500 NP Role Development112 weeks online0
NUR 640 Advanced Pathophysiology312 weeks online0
NUR 641 Advanced Pharmacology312 weeks online0
NUR 642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning312 weeks blended0
NUR 643 Health Promotion in an Integrated Care Model312 weeks online0

Population-focused Courses: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care NP

CoursesCreditsFormatClinical Hours
NUR 652 Advanced Pharmacology for Critical Care312 weeks online0
NUR 740 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP I412 weeks blended0
NUR 741 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum I412 weeks blended240
NUR 742 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP II412 weeks blended0
NUR 743 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum II412 weeks blended240
NUR 744 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP III412 weeks blended0
NUR 745 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum III412 weeks blended240

Population-focused Courses: Family/Individual Across the Lifespan

CoursesCreditsFormatClinical Hours
NUR 644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts212 weeks online0
NUR 651 Advanced Psychopharmacology212 weeks online0
NUR 720 Family NP Across Lifespan I412 weeks blended0
NUR 721 Family NP Practicum I412 weeks blended240
NUR 722 Family NP Across Lifespan II412 weeks blended0
NUR 723 Family NP Practicum II412 weeks blended240
NUR 724 Family NP Across Lifespan III412 weeks blended0
NUR 725 Family NP Practicum III412 weeks blended240

Population-focused Courses: Psych/Mental Health NP

CoursesCreditsFormatClinical Hours
NUR 650 Neuroscience of Mental Health112 weeks online0
NUR 651 Advanced Psychopharmacology212 weeks online0
NUR 644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts212 weeks online0
NUR 730 Psych/Mental Health NP I312 weeks blended0
NUR 731 Psych/Mental Health NP I Practicum412 weeks blended240
NUR 732 Psych/Mental Health NP II312 weeks blended0
NUR 733 Psych/Mental Health NP II Practicum412 weeks blended240
NUR 734 Psych/Mental Health NP III312 weeks blended0
NUR 735 Psych/Mental Health NP II Practicum412 weeks blended240

Course Descriptions

MSN Core Courses

IPC 511 Graduate Research

This course provides an overview of quantitative and qualitative research methods commonly used for systematic inquiry in health care. Current research literature is evaluated. Quantitative and qualitative techniques of data analysis are also examined.

IPC 512 Health Policy and Finance

This course provides a framework to analyze policy issues and processes relating to current economic, financial, and political issues affecting health care.  It introduces and integrates concepts of public policy formation, economics, and financial management to enable the learner to better interpret trends and innovations in national healthcare to their own organization.

IPC 601 Leadership in Healthcare

This course emphasizes effective leadership competencies for working within interprofessional healthcare teams. Theoretical leadership concepts are synthesized in relation to personal and professional values with emphasis placed on leading diverse teams for healthcare improvement.

NUR 700 Epidemiology Population Health

Advanced concepts and methods of epidemiology and other topics as they relate to population-based practice are emphasized. Social determinants of health and illness are examined within the context of care delivery for individuals and aggregates/populations.

NP Core Courses

NUR 500 NP Role Development

Students are introduced to the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) role and the population-focused nurse practitioner competencies.  The historical and theoretical foundations for the evolution of advanced nursing practice are explored.

NUR 640 Advanced Pathophysiology

Pathophysiologic processes of diseases across the lifespan are explored within the context of health promotion, disease prevention and evidence-based practice.

NUR 641 Advanced Pharmacology

The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, adverse drug effects, precautions and drug interactions of broad categories of drugs are examined. Safe prescribing of therapeutic agents are addressed within the context of specific populations.

NUR 642 Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning

This course focuses on developing advanced health assessment skills needed to formulate differential diagnoses in the care of individuals across the lifespan.

NUR 643 Health Promotion in an Integrated Care Model

The focus of this course is on the theoretical and scientific basis for health promotion of diverse populations across the lifespan.

Population-focused Courses: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP

NUR 652 Advanced Pharmacology for Critical Care

This course addresses the pharmacological management of acute physiologic dysfunction and/or failure of young adults through older adults. Emphasis is on strategies for physiologic system stabilization and achievement of optimal outcomes.

NUR 740 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP I

This diagnosis and management course introduces the student to the critical thinking needed for assessing and managing the care of acute and complex chronically ill young adults through older adults with medical illnesses.

NUR 741 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum I

Students begin integrating the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner competencies in the clinical setting. Emphasis is on the refinement of skills needed for accurate diagnosis and initial management of acute and/or complex chronic medical illness in young adults through older adults.

NUR 742 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP II

This second diagnosis and management course focuses on increasing competence in the care of acute and complex chronically ill young adults through older adults with emphasis on selected illnesses related to medical and surgical sub-specialties.  System influences on health outcomes are emphasized.

NUR 743 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum II

In this second clinical practicum, students demonstrate increased competency in the diagnosis and management of acute and/or complex chronic illness in young adults through older adults in medical and surgical sub-specialties. Improved accuracy in data collection, depth of knowledge and efficiency of performance are emphasized.

NUR 744 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP III

This final diagnosis and management course in acute care focuses on increasing competence in the analytic skills used for clinical decision-making in assessment and management of the critical and/or unstable, complex chronically ill young adults through older adults.

NUR 745 Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Practicum III

In this final clinical practicum students demonstrate proficiency in managing complex adult and older adult patients in critical care settings with conditions that may result in rapid physiologic deterioration or life-threatening instability.  Improved accuracy in data collection, depth of knowledge and efficiency of performance are emphasized.

Population-focused Courses: FNP

NUR 644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts

This course focuses on practical application of concepts of integrated care. Emphasis is on evidence-based brief therapeutic interventions that can be used to influence positive behavioral change and promote a healthy lifestyle.

NUR 651 Advanced Psychopharmacology

This course provides an in-depth study of the pharmacologic management of mental health disorders for safe prescribing.

NUR 720 Family NP Across Lifespan I

This diagnosis and management course introduces the student to strategies for health promotion, disease prevention, assessment and management of selected episodic and chronic diseases commonly encountered in the primary care setting.

NUR 721 Family NP Practicum I

Students begin integrating the Family Nurse Practitioner competencies in the clinical setting. Emphasis is on the refinement of skills needed for accurate diagnosis and management of common conditions encountered throughout the lifespan

NUR 722 Family NP Across Lifespan II

This second diagnosis and management course in primary care focuses on increasing competence in the analytic skills used for clinical decision-making in assessment and management of individuals and families presenting with selected episodic and chronic diseases.

NUR 723 Family NP Practicum II

In this second clinical practicum students demonstrate increased competency in the diagnosis and management of episodic and chronic medical conditions in individuals.  Improved accuracy in data collection, depth of knowledge and efficiency of performance are emphasized.

NUR 724 Family NP Across Lifespan III

This final diagnosis and management course in primary care focuses on refinement of analytic skills used for clinical decision-making in assessment and management of individuals and families presenting with selected episodic and chronic diseases commonly encountered in the primary care setting.

NUR 725 Family NP Practicum III

In this final practicum course, students demonstrate proficiency and flexibility of thinking in the analytical skills required for clinical decision making in the primary care setting. Emphasis is on skills needed for smooth transition to practice as an independent nurse practitioner.

Population-focused Courses: Psychiatric/Mental Health NP

NUR 650 Neuroscience of Mental Health Disorders

This course focuses on the neuroscientific concepts underlying common mental health disorders. The relationships between neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry to neuropsychiatric symptoms and behaviors are emphasized.

NUR 651 Advanced Psychopharmacology

This course provides an in-depth study of the pharmacologic management of mental health disorders for safe prescribing.

NUR 644 Application of Integrated Care Concepts

This course focuses on practical application of concepts of integrated care.  Emphasis is on evidence-based brief therapeutic interventions that can be used to influence positive behavioral change and promote a healthy lifestyle.

NUR 730 Psych/Mental Health NP I

This diagnosis and management course introduces strategies for health promotion, disease prevention and management of selected mental health conditions commonly encountered in mental health settings.  The theoretical basis for the application of individual psychotherapeutic approaches is emphasized.

NUR 731 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum I

Students begin integrating the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner competencies in the clinical setting.  Emphasis is on the performance of the comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and the application of psychotherapeutic modalities needed for accurate diagnosis and management of mental health disorders across the lifespan.

NUR 732 Psych/Mental Health NP II

This second diagnosis and management course in psychiatric/mental health care focuses on increasing competence in the analytic skills used for clinical decision-making in assessment and management of individuals and families presenting with selected mental health conditions.  Emphasis is on the theoretical basis for family-centered psychotherapeutic modalities.

NUR 733 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum II

In this second clinical practicum, students demonstrate increased competency in the diagnosis and management of mental disorders. Emphasis is on improved accuracy in data collection, depth of knowledge and efficiency of performance.

NUR 734 Psych/Mental Health NP III

This final diagnosis and management course in psychiatric/mental health care focuses on refinement of analytic skills used for clinical decision-making in assessment and management of individuals and families presenting with selected mental health conditions.  Emphasis is on the theoretical basis for group psychotherapeutic modalities.

NUR 735 Psych/Mental Health NP Practicum III

In this final clinical practicum, students demonstrate proficiency in the diagnosis and management of mental disorders. Emphasis is on skills needed for smooth transition to practice as an independent nurse practitioner.

Faculty

Lisa Johnson

Lisa A. Johnson, DrNP, ACNP-BC

Email: np@pacollege.edu
Phone: 774-571-0864

Lisa A. Johnson, DrNP, ACNP-BC, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Nurse Practitioner Program at PA College of Health Sciences. Dr. Johnson also serves as the Track Coordinator and lead faculty for the Adult-Gero Acute Care NP Track. She is a board-certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and maintains a clinical practice in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Tower Health Network with Digestive Disease Associates.

Dr. Johnson has also practiced in the areas of Infectious Diseases and Bone Marrow Transplant ICU. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, she was an ICU nurse. Dr. Johnson obtained her Bachelors Degree in Science from Wilkes University (99), Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts (04) and her Doctoral Degree from Drexel University (11). She has served previously as the Director of Acute Care NP Track at Drexel University and DeSales University and Director of the DNP Program at LaSalle University prior to joining the PA College of Health Sciences Graduate Nursing faculty in 2016.

Dr. Johnson is a member of several professional organizations including the PA Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), and serves on many committees within the College.

Andrea Wolf

Andrea M. Wolf, DNP, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, PMHCNS-BC

Email: np@pacollege.edu
Phone: 717-371-4497

Andrea M. Wolf, DNP, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, PMHCNS-BC is an Associate Professor and Track Coordinator/lead faculty for the Family Nurse Practitioner Track. Dr. Wolf received her BSN from Temple University, her MSN from University of Pennsylvania, and her DNP from Case Western Reserve University. She has been an FNP at Lancaster Family Practice Associates, currently part of the UPMC/Pinnacle Healthcare System, since 1991.

Previously, she worked in pediatrics, women’s health and emergency care. Volunteer work includes medical mission trips to Nicaragua where she helped to establish a primary care clinic. She also provided women’s health to incarcerated women at the Lancaster County Prison.

Dr. Wolf has been an NP educator since 1995 and has led NP programs at other institutions including University of Delaware, York College of Pennsylvania, and Widener University. She has developed NP and DNP curricula for post-masters and post-baccalaureate programs. She is a member of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) where she served on the Board of Directors from 2014 to 2018 and is currently a member of the NONPF Preceptor and Faculty Development Committee. Dr. Wolf is also a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.