Online Graduate Nursing Programs Overview Webinar

View all blog posts under DNP | View all blog posts under MSN | View all blog posts under Nursing | View all blog posts under Videos | View all blog posts under Webinars

Graduate Nursing Chair, Kris Hendrickx, D.N.P., A.C.N.S.-B.C., F.L.A.G.F., joins UND enrollment advisors to provide an overview of the University of North Dakota’s online advanced nursing degrees: the Master of Science with a Major in Nursing and the Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Transcript

Diego Villasenor:

And welcome everyone who’s joining us today for our webinar, looking at our graduate nursing programs here at the University of North Dakota. My name is Diego Villasenor, and I’m one of the enrollment advisors here with our graduate nursing programs. I’m joined today by Janice Merlano, who is also one of our enrollment advisors, and the esteemed Kris Hendrickx, DNP and current chair of our graduate nursing programs. So, we’re excited to have all of you with us today. And we’re excited to share with you a little bit about us, as a school, and what our programs are.

Diego Villasenor:

So, what we’re going to do is for the next, maybe, 15 to 20 minutes, we’ll go ahead and give everyone an idea of who we are as a school and what our program looks like, so you can get to know us a little bit better. We encourage you, if you have questions, as they arise, please type them out in your chat, let us know. And, at the end, we’re going to make sure we answer all of your questions, and take new ones for our chair of our graduate nursing programs, Kris, to make sure that we can cover whatever is on your mind. With that being said, before we jump into everything, Kris are there any words you’d like to say before we get started?

Kris Hendrickx:

No. Just wanted to welcome everyone to the webinar. And please, as Diego said, forward any questions you have and we’ll try to answer them at the end of the presentation.

Diego Villasenor:

All right. So, we’ll go ahead and get started, then, with Jan, who’s going to give you a little bit of an idea of why people look at the University of North Dakota.

Janice Merlano:

Hello, everyone and welcome to our webinar. And, again, we’re very honored today to have Kris Hendrickx with us. And so, make sure you keep those questions coming. But people who come to the University of North Dakota, and some of the reasons that they have chosen our school to attend. The students that are in our program, they love this program. And they get to be in a program with like-minded individuals trying to accomplish the same goals. And most of our students come from small communities in the underserved population. And they know that at University of North Dakota, they’re going to get quality education, so they can give the patients the quality care that they deserve. So, that is mostly the reasons that they come to UND. We are very happy to have all of you. And, again, keep your questions coming because we want to make sure, since we do have the esteemed Kris with us today that she can answer all of questions. Thank you.

Diego Villasenor:

So to give you a little bit of an idea of who we are as a school, we are an old school. We’re coming up on 135 years, which we’re celebrating. We’ve actually been around, as a school, before North Dakota received its statehood from the federal government of the United States. And we were founded all the way back in 1883. So, we’ve had many, many, many, many, many decades of education experience of practice. And, in that time, we’ve earned various rankings, which we’re very proud of. And we encourage you to take a look at those. We have some posted now, but when I share this it’s really to express that throughout these many decades, as a school, really we’re dedicated to the quality of our education and to the commitment to you as a student. We’re dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s leaders. And so for you as a nurse, who’s thinking about possibly becoming a nurse practitioner, or for the NPs who are considering their DNP we want to make sure that we’re really able to dedicate to you and support you throughout the process.

Diego Villasenor:

But the big question is, well, what’s in it for you? And Jan is very good at explaining that. So, we’ll go ahead and turn to her again for that one.

Janice Merlano:

Well, what’s in it for you is, of course, you’re going to join our team to become a nurse practitioner, or get your doctor of nursing practice, which is a really big deal. I mean, most nurses they come into a program because they are devoted, and very caring about what they want to do, and the kind of care that they want to deliver to the patients. And so, this is more than just a job to people who are entering this phase of their education.

Janice Merlano:

But once you’re accepted with us, you will be assigned to a student support coach. So, you’re going to get a lot of touches from everyone. They’re going to make sure that they help you accomplish your goals, and answer questions for you. We do provide our online students with Office 365, and that’s for free. And this’ll help you transition into that master’s education.

Janice Merlano:

And your faculty, they’re dedicated, they’re competent, they’re caring. And, most of all, they’re professional. And they’re here for your success. We want to see you succeed, that’s why we’re here. And so, if you ever have any questions, or you need anything you do need to reach out to us because we will, I guarantee you, be reaching out to you.

Janice Merlano:

Also, your curriculum it is relative, it’s current, and it’s going to expand your knowledge, your nursing knowledge base, so that you will feel confident, and ready to go and be a nurse practitioner.

Janice Merlano:

And one of the huge things with this program is this has a 96% pass rate on the APRN certificate exam. That’s huge. So just, again, it’s telling you that you’re getting a top-rated education with the University of North Dakota. Diego?

Janice Merlano:

Okay. All right. So, let’s look at the nurse practitioner program tracks, okay? We have three. There is the adult gerontology primary care, this is for people wanting to do 13 all the way to the end of life. It is a 47 credit hour program, and it meets the needs of the aging population, and it promotes healthy behaviors. And so, you’ll be prepared to effectively speak with adults of all ages, even including people that are elderly and with disabilities.

Janice Merlano:

And then, we also have our family nurse practitioner, which is a 49 credit hour program. This is going to sharpen your ability to go deeper into interpreting tests, or even doing an exam, and establishing those diagnoses, and then managing treatment plans. This is very important because you’re going to provide care for the family focused, and you’re going to do acute chronic and preventative care for your patients across the lifespan.

Janice Merlano:

And then, our psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is a 49 credit hour program. And this is a practitioner that is really becoming more and more popular because people are finally realizing the need in the communities for mental health practitioners. And so, you’ll be working with individuals, families, and groups. And you’ll be assessing what those health needs are. So, you’re going to still be doing the diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders, but you can contribute to how the care is delivered, how the evaluation is done, and reform healthcare, which is something that we need.

Janice Merlano:

Okay, just keep your questions coming. For our programs, on the nurse practitioner side, they’re 7 week and 14 week courses, like I said, it’s 49 credit hours, except for the adult gerontology. The tuition is 765 per credit hour, that does not art include our fee, which is $71. And there is a non-refundable application fee of $35.

Janice Merlano:

We have listed the curriculum overview for all three of the nurse practitioner courses. And you can see that you do have some common courses that all of you will be involved with some of those. And then, as far as our nurse practitioner admission requirements, and most of you already know this information before you reach us as enrollment advisors, so you’ve completed your BSN or higher from an accredited institution. And you know that you have to have that 3.0 cumulative GPA, especially in the last two years of your nursing study. And you have a valid US RN license. We do prefer one year of work experiences as an RN, especially when it comes to the mental health track. That is very important that you do have experience in that area.

Janice Merlano:

We also ask that you provide three letters of recommendation from your recommenders. And, of course, we do need official transcripts from all of the institutions that you have attended. We will also request the nurse’s license verification reports to make sure that you do have a valid license, RN license. And then, of course, your resume and, again, the application fee is $35, which is non-refundable.

Diego Villasenor:

So, thank you Jan, for sharing all that in regards to our master’s of science program.

Diego Villasenor:

We’re going to take a closer look at our DNP program now. And for those of you who are interested in pursuing your master’s of science and earning your APRN specialization with us, if you want to, at some point, continue your relationship with, and maybe look at a DNP with us further down the line that’s absolutely a conversation we’re always willing to have. We enjoy forming those types of relationships with our students.

Diego Villasenor:

So, the very basic overview and the structure of the program, this is going to be a program where we’re going to have 14 week courses throughout the five semesters, which our students will be pursuing their doctoral level work. In terms of the amount of credit hours, it is going to be that 36 semester credit hours. And you’re going to see a very similar tuition, actually identical to what we just looked at for the master’s of science. So, we’re looking at the 765 per credit hour, if we include the $71 per credit hour fee it bumps up to, I believe, 836. Someone can do the math on that. Off the top of my head, I don’t quite remember exactly. And then, of course, we have the same non-refundable application fee of $35 as well.

Diego Villasenor:

But let’s look at kind of the meat and the potatoes, which is the curriculum. Everyone can see the list of courses posted right now, but to really give you an idea of what this curriculum is oriented towards is this DNP program is here to really make sure that we’re preparing you for the highest level of nursing practice that you can do. So, all of our courses here are very much oriented towards developing your expertise in quality improvement, and systems leadership. And your ability to influence health policy, and healthcare outcomes for individuals, for families, for underserved and vulnerable populations, and really try and build that in you. This is here for you to earn your doctoral degree, and to really help you develop those skills that come along with this and really reach that level. So, that’s what the curriculum online is oriented towards.

Diego Villasenor:

In terms of what we look for from our applicants we’re looking at, of course, that you have already completed your master’s degree or higher, if you already have a higher degree and want to look at another one, we’ll always take it, from an accredited nursing program. We need at least a minimum GPA of 3.0 and, of course, we also need you to have your active national certification in one of the APRN specialties.

Diego Villasenor:

For the application, for those who are interested, we’re looking for a goal statement, which really outlines your intentions at looking at this program and what you’re looking to develop. A minimum of three letters of recommendation. Of course, official copies of transcripts from every institution throughout your educational history. A verification of your license. A copy of your resume, we’re very interested in seeing kind of what your work history has been. And then, as mentioned before, the same non-refundable application fee of $35 as well. And that’s, at least, the very basic structure of what the curriculum and the intentions are for our MS Program, for our DNP program. You’re welcome to reach out to us at any time, if you would like to talk about it more, as well.

Diego Villasenor:

We’ll go ahead and start going over to the questions then, Kris.

Janice Merlano:

Okay, I have a student that has question. They want to know, for the family nurse practitioner, is this considered more of a primary care or an acute care program, the first part of the question? And they would also like to know where do people primarily work at when they have their FNP, Kris?

Kris Hendrickx:

Sure. Yes, so our programs are primary care focused. And FNPs work in a variety of settings. They can work in community health clinics, they work in specialty areas. Yeah, mainly, I mean just clinics and community health agencies.

Janice Merlano:

Okay. Thank you.

Diego Villasenor:

I have a question here for you as well, Kris. So, it was asked that, so some people, the context for this, view online education as maybe being lesser than a ground campus study, there’s a little bit of a stigma sometimes associated with it. So, as the chair of our graduate nursing programs can you speak to what you think makes our online courses just as good, if not, in some instances, better than your traditional ground study?

Kris Hendrickx:

Sure. Well, all of our courses, offered both online and on ground, have the same content. And that’s actually mandated by our accrediting agencies. They require that all sections meet the same objectives, and assess student learning the same way. Online courses are asynchronous allowing students to complete coursework as their schedules permit. And, also, when the information is there online, people can go back and review it as needed. Our online faculty post virtual hours at least two times a week at various times, so that they’re available to students working various shifts. So, I just think the online programs meet a lot of the needs of working adults that otherwise would not be able to attend courses.

Janice Merlano:

Okay. I have another question, this is more on the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. I have a student who has been looking for a program and they are noticing that they are not many programs that are available. And so, they want you to talk a little bit about how long that University of North Dakota has had the psychiatric mental health program. And just give a little background on that, if you could.

Kris Hendrickx:

Okay. I am not actually sure how many years the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program has been in place. I will say, I’ve been at the college 15 years, and it’s been there 15 years. So, it is well-developed, yeah.

Janice Merlano:

Okay. Thank you.

Diego Villasenor:

So, we discussed the general admissions requirements that we normally look for in our applicants, but what advice would you give for the nurses who are looking and considering becoming a nurse practitioner and pursuing their masters in the area, but really not sure if it’s the right path for them?

Kris Hendrickx:

Well, there is so much information out there. Nurse practitioners can work in so many different roles. It’s hard to I don’t know, I guess focus in one particular area. I think, the best thing that you could do is look at the information available online about the different roles of the NP. And then, I’d suggest researching the roles and talking to NPs in your area. If you have a clinic there in your town, you can talk to them about what’s available, look at jobs that are posted. It’s something that everyone has to decide for themselves, but it really is working at a high level, just you have to look at the research and see what’s what roles are out there. And if you feel that it’s of interest to you.

Diego Villasenor:

Thank you, Kris.

Janice Merlano:

Yes, thank you.

Janice Merlano:

Yes, we have another student that would like to know what would happen if they needed to drop out of the program because of some reason for a semester, is it allowed and what is the process?

Kris Hendrickx:

Well, currently, if a student has to drop out of the program they need to have permission, they have to meet with the track director, program director and discuss it. We can’t guarantee being able to come back in. They would have to wait until there’s a spot open for them because the FNP programs are in such demand. But the track directors do work with students and try to facilitate that.

Janice Merlano:

Okay. Thank you.

Diego Villasenor:

So, we have a question here about the DNP and it’s being asked if you could talk a little bit more about the DNP project that the DNP candidates pursue? What kind of interesting projects have you seen the candidate to do in your time?

Kris Hendrickx:

Yeah, I would love to talk about that because being a DNP myself, and former director of our DNP program there’s a lot of misunderstanding about DNP projects. The DNP project is actually not research. It’s, generally, quality improvement projects. And it’s actually the application of research that’s already out there and published to improve outcomes, or solve a problem.

Kris Hendrickx:

So, we have, obviously, a wide range of students from all the advanced practice areas NPs, psych mental health, CNSs, nurse anesthetists. And so, I’ll just give you some of the topics because the students are able to focus it on their area of practice, so there’s a lot of variability. Some of them that our students have completed, I’ll just give you the titles of some of their projects, Assessment of Chronic Dyspnea in Older Adults, Improving Screening and Outcomes for Postpartum Depression, Evaluation of an Ultrasound Guided Radial Artery Catheterization Training Program for Nurse Anesthetists. An Evidence-Based Education for Registered Nurses Working in a Delirium Role, Implementation of a Human Trafficking Response Protocol to a Reproductive Healthcare Setting, the Impact of Clinician Preparedness, Identification of Maltreatment in Children with Disabilities. HPV Vaccine Uptake Among Children in Somali Communities in Minneapolis, and Audience Specific Online Gatekeeper Training for Nursing Faculty, which was a response to increase student suicide risk.

Kris Hendrickx:

So, you can see, depending on your area of practice and your interest, in the DNP you’re able to focus on a problem that you see in your setting and that you’re interested in.

Diego Villasenor:

Thank you so much for sharing that. That’s some wonderful insight into our DNP program. Jan, do you have any additional questions that we’ve received?

Janice Merlano:

I do have one additional question and they would like you to talk a little bit about the certification, the pass rates for the different nurse practitioner programs.

Kris Hendrickx:

Okay. Well, we have very good pass rates. I, unfortunately, don’t have those figures in front of me, but I would be happy, if someone wants to send a forwarding email, to get those numbers for you.

Janice Merlano:

Okay. Thank you. I’m sure we can do that.

Kris Hendrickx:

I know Diego mentioned one of the pass rates for the certification. I believe psych has been 100% two years in a row.

Janice Merlano:

That’s wonderful.

Kris Hendrickx:

Yeah. FNP and AGNP are high, but I don’t want to throw out a figure without being sure about it.

Diego Villasenor:

Absolutely. I think that concludes all of the questions that we have, then. So, just to close out, again, thank you everyone for attending today. Thank you, Jan. Thank you, Kris, for your presence, for your contributions, and for giving us some more insight. And I hope everyone found this valuable.

Diego Villasenor:

We are accepting applications for the coming summer term. The application deadline is on March 1st, classes begin May 18th. You are welcome to reach out to us at any point. We would love to chat with you, get a better understanding of your situation, where you’re coming from, what you’re looking for, and really help you see if the program is a good fit for you. And we hope it will be.