A nationally recognized nursing school at a top-rated public university
The University of Connecticut is a public research university located in Storrs, between Hartford and Providence. The university is among the top twenty public schools in the US, according to US News & World Report, and UConn's School of Nursing is home to top-rated graduate degree programs as well. US News rates UConn among its Best Nursing Schools for its master's and doctor of nursing practice degree programs. Forbes magazine rates UConn among America's Best Research Universities and America's Best Public Colleges.
UConn's affiliation with the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, as well as other clinical partners across the state, expand students' practical learning opportunities. Among the school's on-campus resources for nursing graduate students are the nationally known Thomas Dodd Research Center and the Homer Babbidge Library. The School of Nursing's Josephine Dolan Collection focuses on the history of nursing.
A wide range of master of science nursing options for many career paths
UConn's School of Nursing offers master's level, post-master's, and doctoral nursing programs, with flexibility to accommodate a variety of career goals and workloads. For example, there are two pathways to the Master of Science in Nursing in addition to the traditional BS/BSN to MS/MSN sequence. The RN to MS program gives NLN-accredited diploma- and associate's degree-holders the opportunity to complete their bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing. The RN to MS program at UConn is also available with a slightly different course plan for registered nurses who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing.
The Master of Science in Nursing degree program at the University of Connecticut is part- or full-time and online. Students also work with a diverse group of medical mannequins in the Clinical Resource Center's Simulation Lab and undertake clinical practica for hands-on experience. Students in the MS in Nursing degree program may choose from concentrations including:
-Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner
-Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
-Family nurse practitioner, and
-Neonatal nurse practitioner
The master's degree program at UConn is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. (CCNE).
Post-master's degree certificate programs at UConn
Registered nurses with master of science in nursing degrees and a grade point average of at least 3.0 are eligible to apply for the University of Connecticut's post-master's certificate programs. Areas of clinical concentration include:
-Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
-Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
-Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Each certificate program requires completion of 26 to 30 credit hours over the course of five semesters.
Doctoral degree programs in nursing for leadership and research careers
Nurses seeking a doctoral degree have two programs to choose from at the University of Connecticut. The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) is open to students with a master's degree in nursing with a wide range of specialties, including:
-Clinical nurse leader
-Clinical nurse specialist
-Nurse practitioner, or
The DNP program is also open to BS/BSN degree holders who want to earn a master's degree and advanced practice certificate while pursuing their doctoral degree. The goal of the DNP program is to prepare students for leadership and expert practice.
The PhD in Nursing at UConn prepares students for research and health policy development roles. The pathways to a PhD in Nursing at the school include full-time and part-time BS to PhD programs as well as part- and full-time PhD programs for students who already have a master's degree in nursing.
A commitment to interprofessional health education
The School of Nursing at the University of Connecticut offers students interprofessional learning opportunities alongside students of pharmacy, social work, dentistry, and medicine. This interprofessional approach helps nursing students gain experience and develop skill in collaborating with teams of healthcare professionals. One example is UConn's nationally known Urban Service Track. It brings students in all these disciplines together with physician assistant students from Quinnipiac University to work with patients in under-served city neighborhoods.
A healthy climate for academic research
Students can learn alongside professional nurses and researchers at UConn's yearly ATHENA Research Conference, where presentation topics range from critical care to professional ethics. Students wishing to pursue their own research projects can get guidance and support from the School of Nursing's Center for Nursing Scholarship. UConn AIMS (Analytics and Information Management Solutions) uses patient data to find ways to make healthcare more collaborative and to give patients better information for descision-making.
UConn's School of Nursing also runs three programs designed to address specific care needs and best practices:
-GOT Care! Geriatric Outreach and Training with Care
-Center for Correctional Health Networks
-Center for Advancement in Managing Pain
Each program involves interprofessional collaboration with researchers, practitioners, students, and patients in the community.
Accomplished faculty members in the School of Nursing
UConn's School of Nursing has several dozen faculty members, some of whom have dual appointments in the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Among the faculty members who direct programs within the nursing school is Sandra Bellini, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, CNE, who directs the Neonatal Advance Practice Program and who helped to develop and launch the Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree program at UConn. Denise Bourassa, MSN, RN, CNL, contributes to the Interprofessional Education mission across the university and has received multiple awards for academics and the application of nursing research in practice. Joy Elwell, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, is a practicing Family Nurse Practitioner who directs the DNP program, serves on the School of Medicine Faculty, and has earned national acclaim for her legislative efforts on behalf of the nurse practitioner profession.
Xiaomei Cong, PhD, RN, leads the Center for Advancement in Pain Management. Her areas of research include neonatal stress, pain responses, and the impact of stress and pain on infant development. She also leads a program of research to examine genetic vulnerabilities to chronic symptoms and alterations in the gut microbiome that influence health outcomes in adolescents and young adults. Cheryl Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN, is Board of Trustees distinguished professor and acclaimed author of several nursing textbooks. Her program of research is focused on postpartum depression and traumatic birth. Angela Starkweather is Professor directs the National Institute of Health-funded P20 Center for Accelerating Precision Pain Self-Management. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing she has served as Chair of the Genomic Nursing and Health Care Expert Panel, and serves on various professional committees including as an Ambassador of the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing, Council for Advancement of Nursing Science, and the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses Clinical Practice Guidelines Board.
Notable alumni from the School of Nursing
The School of Nursing has graduated many students who have gone on to be leaders in their fields. Among them are Christine Meehan, a 1974 graduate whose career has taken her from ICU nurse to medical device company founder to angel investor for medical tech companies run by women. Other UConn nursing students have built careers in clinical practice, hospital administration, healthcare training services, the federal government, and universities including Yale and the University of California, San Francisco.
Many scholarship and financial aid options for graduate nursing students
There are more than a dozen University of Connecticut scholarship programs that are open to graduate nursing students, as well as two scholarships exclusively for students in the nursing PhD program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Full-time graduate students may be eligible for research and teaching assistantships and federal nurse traineeships that provide tuition support. Interested students should contact the School of Nursing's Admission and Enrollment Services office for a complete list of financial aid options.
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