Master Program in Nursing-Overview

Individuals and families deserve the chance to achieve optimal physical and mental health. This could be achieved through the collaboration of many sectors in general and the health care sector in particular. Nursing is one of the largest health care workforce in Jordan, thus they can help in providing the optimal health, especially if they are specialized in areas of advanced nursing. Advanced practice nurses can help provide clients with that opportunity by delivering health care in home, ambulatory, community-based, and hospital settings. 

The Hashemite University is the only university with a CNS program that covers seven areas of specializations. The curriculum of the Master's Degree in Nursing is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses as nurse specialists in advanced adult health, oncology, pediatric, maternity and women's health, psychiatric and mental health, community health, nursing leadership and management, and nursing informatics. We, at the Hashemite University, have started the Master's Degree in Nursing in three tracks; the Maternity and Women's Health Nurse Specialist Track, the Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Specialist Track, and the Oncology Nurse Specialist Track. Other tracts will be started in the near future.

The in-depth knowledge of a specialty area enables the advanced practice nurse to manage collaboratively the care for patients in a variety of settings: acute care, critical care, intermediate care, long-term care, ambulatory care, and home care. The Master's Degree in Nursing provides the opportunity to deliver continuity of care through assessment, teaching, case management, and evaluation. The scope of advanced practice is further enhanced by the ability to identify the need for and to participate in the development of nursing and health-related research studies.  In brief, the program will prepare the Nurse Specialist as an advanced clinician holding a master's degree who functions as an expert, leader, case manager, and consultant in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, and management of common acute and/or chronic illnesses. 

Following are the specific tracks descriptions:

The Oncology Nurse Specialist Track (ONS):
The Oncology Nurse Specialist track is designed to prepare advanced practice oncology nurses to assess and manage the care of patients with cancer and their families across the continuum of the illness. Principles of holistic care are integrated throughout the core body of specialty oncology knowledge in the curriculum. The focus is on managing complex oncologic problems and developing a model of evidence-based practice as an advanced oncology nurse. The whole trajectory of cancer care will be covered. This includes cancer screening and early detection, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, biotherapy, bone marrow transplantation, in-patient and ambulatory care, and hospice and palliative care. Special emphasis will be placed one certain car modalities such as primary care and case management. Students will receive their clinical training at Oncology Wards and at King Hussein Cancer Center and its Hospice services.   

The Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Specialist Track (PMHNS):
This track prepares students to assume an advanced practice role in community as well as institutional psychiatric and mental health care settings. The coursework is designed to provide the students with a wide range of advanced theoretical and clinical learning experiences in the areas of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness. The program will also prepare students in case management, professional leadership, and interdisciplinary collaboration across a wide range of health care settings. Students will be mentored by specialized psychiatric/mental health nurses in different clinical and community settings.  

The Adult Nurse Specialist Track (ANS):
This track prepares baccalaureate nurses for advanced practice nursing as Adult Nurse Specialists (ANS) in the areas of acute adult medical-surgical advanced nursing practice and acute/critical care.  The ANS focuses on providing care to adults experiencing physiologic problems and related social and behavioral concerns in primary, secondary, and tertiary health care settings. Expert knowledge and advanced practice concepts are applied to the care of individuals, families, and groups. The track prepares the NS to serve as an attending nurse, expert who provides care, guides others, serves as an expert resource, brings research to the bedside, and makes changes in the system to better patient care. Practicum associated with the course work offer rich learning environments for developing expertise in adult nursing and refining leadership skills and case management.

The Maternity and Women's Health Nurse Specialist Track (MWHNS):
The focus of this track is on the woman's health across the life span. Students will develop knowledge and skills regarding the care of normal as well as high risk prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum women as well as their newborns, and families. Emphasis is placed on the development of research skills fundamental to advanced maternity and women's health practice, and case management. Clinical training will be offered at selected clinical and community sites in the governmental, military, and private health sectors.   

The Pediatric Nurse Specialist Track (PNS):
The Pediatric Nurse Specialist program prepares graduates for expanded roles in the provision of advanced practice nursing care to pediatric patients and their families. The PNS collaborate with other multidisciplinary health care professionals throughout the system to make important and unique contribution to health care including design and implement evidence-based practice innovations, and serve as consultants for complex child health care problems. Courses focus on case management, disease prevention, health restoration, pediatric assessment, interviewing, parents counseling and advocacy, and management of pediatric health problems in acute (such as hospitals) and chronic care. Students will be trained at selected clinical and community sites in different governmental, military, and private health care institutions.
The Community Health Nurse Specialist Track (CHNS):
This track prepares students to assume advanced nursing roles in community health care and case management. Emphasis is placed on applied biostatistics, health promotion, disease prevention, and community health theory and practice. Students will be given the chance to practice in different community settings such as community health centers, school health, and occupational and environmental health.

The Nursing Management and Leadership Specialist Track (NMLS): 
The nursing management and leadership specialty prepares the nurse to assume a nursing management or leadership role in different health care settings. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of finance, business management, information management, and marketing resources management evaluation into the nursing management and leadership roles. Graduates of the program will be capable to perform in the capacity of a nursing director of a hospital or other health care facility with a great focus on case management, a nurse manager of a health unit, or shift supervisor in an in-patient health care facility. Students will be trained in different governmental, military, and private health care institutions.

The Nursing Informatics Specialist Track (NIS): 
This track prepares nursing students to enhance safety and quality of patient care through the assessment, implementation, and evaluation of informatics tools applied in the health care industry. Students will be able to analyze and evaluate technology applications in health care. Graduates of the program will be able to identify the usefulness of the available heath information and the information needed in nursing and health care, manage information technology, assess and implement the appropriate training strategies for nursing users of clinical information systems to meet the information changes in health care industry. Students will work as the liasion person between the heath care organization and the vendors by identifying the need for the electronic information and the appropriate user-friendly applications to meet the organizational objectives. In addition, students will acquire the following competencies: leading the project of clinical systems implementation, applying the appropriate theoretical frameworks in nursing informatics, and critical thinking and problem-solving skills to enhance the clinical information systems used in health care facilities. 

The length of study of this program is two years full-time. The curriculum consists of 33 credit hours including 560 in-depth clinical training hours (16 weeks/semester × 8 hours/training day × 4 credit hours/track =512) + (16 weeks/semester × 3 hours/week × 1 clinical training for the Advanced physical examination (lab)/track =48). Many International specialized nursing programs have 33-40 credit hours with a requirement to complete of 500 training hours before graduation. This indicates that the program of Master’s Degree in Nursing at Hashemite University is meeting the international standards. 

Of the 33 credits, 24 credits are compulsory and are as such shared for all tracks. The remaining 9 elective credits comprise the total theoretical and clinical hours required for the completion of the elected track. Therefore, the student will have to elect one track and take the whole set of elective courses specified for that track in order to become a specialist. In the first year of study, emphasis is placed on developing skills in health history taking, physical assessment, assessment of the elected specialty population, and advanced pharmacology. Students study scientific research and theory as a basis for developing conceptual models for advanced nursing practice. They also receive training in nursing management, its policies and ethics, and role development as an advanced practice nurse. During the final year, the focus is on building in-depth clinical expertise in a sub-specialty area, acquiring leadership in the elected area, and learning the principles and application of case management, and consultation. On completion of the Nurse Specialist track, students will be eligible for Nurse Specialist Certification in Jordan and abroad.