Graduate Catalog • 2012-2013

Master of Science in Nursing

The primary purpose of the Master of Science in Nursing program is to prepare nurses to function in the role of educators or administrators. The program will foster development of nursing leadership skills that will enable graduates to assess and evaluate nursing and health-care practice systems, educational methods and research findings, while also equipping students to develop evidence-based practice changes in health-care agencies or academic institutions.

The mission of the Cedar Crest College Master of Science in Nursing Program is to educate and prepare future nurse leaders to function in the roles of nurse educator or nurse administrator within a global community.

Graduates of the MS in Nursing program will become leaders in nursing education or administration. The program emphasizes technological competency and information literacy within the field of nursing. In addition, the program stresses the impact of national and global events on nursing education, administration, and the delivery of health care so that as future nurse leaders, they may respond to areas of need through research and public policy. By presenting the discipline as dynamic and not static, the program will educate students to strive not only for future careers as nurse educators and nurse administrators but for leadership positions in the field as well. Graduates also will be prepared to continue their education in doctoral programs of study.

The Nursing Department

The Cedar Crest College Nursing Department’s facilities are housed in the Hamilton Boulevard Building, a state-of-the-art facility that is one of the finest of its kind in the region. The 33,000 square foot building includes: three multi-media labs including a health assessment lab, a maternal and pediatric lab, and an adult health lab; a fully equipped nursing unit that simulates a hospital environment; a simulation center with 2 adjacent computerized learning mannequin laboratories and a separate control/observation room; a community health lab set up to replicate a home-care environment; convertible classrooms, and conference facilities to accommodate 300 persons. The Hamilton Boulevard Building provides high speed wireless Internet and also houses a computer lab for student use. All nursing faculty offices are located in the Hamilton Boulevard Building.

Full-time faculty contributing teaching and research to the program include:
Nancy DalPezzo, PhD, RN, Chairperson of the Nursing Department, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Rocky Mountain University
Nancy Johnston, PhD, CRNP, Associate Professor of Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University
Sandra Leh, PhD, RN, CNE, Director of the Undergraduate Nursing Program, Associate Professor of Nursing, Widener University
Sharon Melincavage, DEd, CRNP-BC, CNE, Assistant Professor of Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University
Mae Ann Pasquale, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Wendy J. Robb, PhD, RN, CNE, Director of the Graduate Nursing Program, Associate Professor of Nursing, Widener University

Program Goals and Learning Objectives

The Master of Science in Nursing program at Cedar Crest College has five educational goals. Demonstrated mastery of the associated competencies indicates achievement of the programmatic goals.

  1. Synthesize knowledge from a variety of resources and experiences to develop a comprehensive, ethical approach to nursing care delivery in a global society. Competencies:
    • Critically evaluate knowledge and theories from nursing and other disciplines for their contribution to nursing practice.
    • Facilitate the provision of comprehensive and culturally sensitive health care to diverse populations.
    • Apply theoretical frameworks to guide professional nursing practice.
    • Model, integrate, and establish accountability for nursing codes and standards of practice.
  2. Articulate the issues and trends that affect the social, economic, political, and institutional forces that influence nursing and health care delivery. Competencies:
    • Interpret the impact of state and federal legislation on nursing practice, education and administration.
    • Recognize the effect of globalization on the health and welfare of diverse populations.
    • Identify the impact of economics on health care delivery, education, and quality outcomes.
    • Engage in interdisciplinary efforts to address health care and education needs.
  3. Function as a change agent and leader to improve the quality and outcomes of health care in accordance with professional nursing standards and evidence-based practice. Competencies:
    • Model cultural sensitivity when advocating for change.
    • Integrate a long-term, innovative, and creative perspective in the nurse educator/administrator role.
    • Participate in interdisciplinary efforts to address health care needs locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally.
    • Evaluate organizational effectiveness and implement strategies for organization change.
    • Promote innovative and creative practices in education and administration.
  4. Reflect an awareness of self and others and convey ideas in a variety of contexts. Competencies:
    • Integrate oral, written and electronic communication skills to disseminate information.
    • Develop interdisciplinary networks to promote an environment that fosters creativity.
    • Create an environment that recognizes and values diversity.
    • Skillfully use information technologies to support processes and decision-making.
  5. Critically appraise and utilize scientific, expert, and other sources of knowledge to ensure quality outcomes in the context of evidence-based practice. Competencies:
    • Translate evidence into recommendations for clinical, educational and administrative realms.
    • Foster an evidence based practice organizational culture.
    • Assemble, synthesize, and disseminate evidence into practice, policies and programs.
    • Guide the interdisciplinary team to choose evidence-based approaches to decision making.

Upon completion of the Nursing Education track, the graduate will be able to:

  • Create an environment in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings that facilitate student learning and achievement of desired cognitive, affective, and psychomotor outcomes.
  • Recognize the responsibility for helping students develop as nurses and integrate the values and behaviors expected of those who fulfill that role.
  • Use a variety of strategies to assess and evaluate student learning in classroom, laboratory and clinical settings, as well as in all domains of learning.
  • Formulate program outcomes and design curricula that reflect contemporary health care trends and prepare graduates to function effectively in the health care environment.
  • Function as change agents and leaders to create a preferred future for nursing education and nursing practice.
  • Maintain competence in the educator role through the commitment to and pursuit of continuous quality improvement.
  • Engage effectively in scholarship as an integral component of the nurse educator role.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the educational environment within which the student practices and recognize how political, institutional, social, and economic forces impact the role of nurse educator.

Note: Adapted from the National League for Nursing Core Competencies of Nurse Educators with Task Statements (2005).

Upon completion of the Nursing Administration track, the graduate will be able to:

  • Function effectively as a leader within a health care system.
  • Use systems thinking to evaluate the impact of nursing decisions on the health care organization as a whole.
  • Apply knowledge of health care policy, regulations, economics, budgeting, and finance to improve organizational effectiveness.
  • Lead and manage a diverse human workforce.
  • Develop collaborative relationships within the health care system, the community and academia.
  • Locate, evaluate and apply best evidence to improve organizational effectiveness and patient outcomes.
  • Determine patient care quality improvement goals in accordance with national quality initiatives.
  • Use information systems to access and analyze data for use in planning for patient care and health care system processes.
  • Apply legal and ethical standards to health care operations.
  • Facilitate change within health care organizations.

Admissions Requirements

Students are admitted to graduate programs at Cedar Crest College on the basis of individual qualifications. Requests for application materials and all correspondence relating to admission should be addressed to:

Cedar Crest College
School for Adult and Graduate Education
100 College Drive
Allentown, PA 18104-6196.
Phone: 610-740-3770
Fax: 610-740-3786
Online Application Materials:

Students are encouraged to visit the campus to discuss their educational plans. Upon request a campus visit may be arranged along with an opportunity to meet with the Director of the Graduate Program in Nursing. For more information, please contact Dr. Wendy Robb at 610-606-4666, x3480 or

A rolling admissions policy is in effect for this program. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a continuing basis throughout the year.

The general admissions requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing program are as follows:

  • Completed application form with a non-refundable application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program
  • Current RN license
  • Minimum of 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in a BSN program
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher education
  • Current resume with a professional goal statement
  • Completion of undergraduate statistics, research, and health assessment courses with a grade of C or better
  • Two (2) professional recommendations preferably from nurses with graduate degrees, including:
    • Current employer
    • Nursing Professor
    • Other nursing professional
  • Completion of an interview with the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program and/or representatives from the Graduate Nursing Program Committee
  • Recent relevant practice in nursing preferred (a minimum of 1 year)
  • Satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for all applicants who are non-native English speakers.

Upon admission into the Master of Science in Nursing program, students will be required to submit the following documents:

  • Valid CPR certification (American Heart Association Basic Life Support for health care Providers or American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Copy of current nursing license
  • Clearances*:
    • Child Abuse
    • FBI
    • Report of Health Evaluation
    • Completed health forms with lab work attached; including 10 point drug and alcohol testing

*Clearances must be completed the semester prior to the first clinical practicum course.

Please be advised that any student not clinically cleared for clinical courses by the last day of the add/drop period will be automatically dropped from that course. Late clearances will not be accepted.

Provisional Acceptance

Provisional acceptance will be considered for students who do not meet all admission criteria. Once granted provisional acceptance into the program, the student must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the first 6 credits. Provisional acceptance is intended to allow students the opportunity to verify their level of readiness for graduate study. An individualized remediation plan may be developed to assist a student do so.

Visiting Student

Candidates may apply as a non-degree visiting student and take a maximum of 6 credits from the entry level nursing courses. Upon completion of those credits, the student must apply for admission.

Admissions Decisions

The Graduate Nursing Program Committee will make final admissions decisions on the basis of the following criteria: GPA, interview with the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program, letters of recommendation, work experience and background. The Graduate Nursing Program Committee reserves the right to ask the prospective candidate for additional information. Each candidate will be considered from a holistic perspective.


Matriculation is required for any student who plans to receive financial aid and/or a graduate degree. A student applies for matriculation by submitting a completed application for admission to the School of Adult and Graduate Education. After submitting a complete application, students receive a letter from the College informing them of the decision concerning their acceptance as a degree candidate. Students are matriculated into the program once they have registered for classes during their first semester of academic study.

Graduate programs may permit non-matriculated and visiting students to enroll in graduate courses on a case-by-case basis. In the event that a graduate course reaches its enrollment maximum, matriculated students are given preference over non-matriculated students.

Transfer Credit Policy

Students entering the program may transfer up to 6 credits of coursework. The transferred coursework, however, must be equivalent to courses listed in the curriculum and must have been completed within five years of the date of enrollment in the program (the first day of classes of a student’s first academic year). In order for course work to be considered for transfer students must submit a course description, course syllabus if available, and transcript indicating the student’s achieved grade for the course. Once matriculated in the program, students will not receive any credit for coursework taken at another institution.

Degree Program Retention Policy

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to remain in the Master of Science in Nursing program. A student whose GPA falls below a 3.0 will be given one semester to raise his/her GPA to 3.0. During that semester the student will be permitted to take courses but will be on “academic probation.” If the GPA does not meet the 3.0 requirements by the second semester, the student will be asked to leave the program. A student may appeal this decision within 30 days of receipt of a notification that they are being asked to leave the program. Please see the appeals process outlined in the Academic Services and Policies section of this catalog.

Leaves of Absence

Students wishing to take a leave of absence from the program may request to do so in writing to the Director of the Graduate Nursing program. The granting of the requested leave is at the discretion of the Director and the Graduate Nursing Committee pending approval from the Dean of Adult and Graduate Education. A granted leave of absence has no bearing on the maximum period of candidacy.

Maximum Period of Candidacy

The graduate nursing program is a part-time program, which can be completed in as few as six semesters or as many as twelve semesters. All efforts will be made to ensure that students progress according to their chosen progression path and complete the program requirements on this time line. Typically, it is expected that all students will complete program requirements within seven academic years. However, it is recognized that exigent circumstances may prevent some students from doing this. Students requesting more time to complete the program must make the request formally in writing to the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program explaining the reasons for the extension request. Students granted the request for extension will be granted a maximum of one academic year (beyond the expected graduation year) to complete the program.

Completion of the Graduate Program and Graduation

To successfully complete the Master of Science in Nursing Program, a student must adhere to the following:

  • Successfully complete all the requirements for the program.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Apply to the Registrar for graduation by the published application deadline.
  • Fulfill all financial responsibilities to the College.

Graduate Tuition and Fees

Master of Science in Nursing Application fee (non-refundable) $30.00
Nursing Graduate Tuition, per credit $710.00
Full-Time/Part-Time Student Activity Fee, per semester $10.00
Full-Time Technology Fee, per semester $100.00
Part-Time Technology Fee, per semester $50.00
Evidence-based Practice Project Fee $145.00
Note: The College reserves the right to change fees and charges as necessary. Books, supplies, identification badges, criminal clearances, and other programmatic costs are not included in tuition.

Graduate Assistantships in Nursing

Graduate assistantships are designed to promote the educational goals and objectives of the Masters program by providing students with opportunities to actively participate in a range of instructional and research activities that serve to promote mastery of knowledge in the field of nursing science. To this end, graduate assistants are placed with individual graduate nursing faculty and may participate in one or more of the following learning experiences:

  • The development of new laboratory or simulated exercises for undergraduate nursing students.
  • Assisting faculty in the instruction of undergraduate coursework as well as in the assessment of student performance in the laboratories and clinical areas.
  • Serving as a lecturer or primary instructor in the event that assigned faculty is absent.
  • Providing background information in the form of literature searches for faculty projects.
  • Participating in professional activities associated with the Nursing Program.

Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship are asked to do so as part of the admissions process or can apply directly through the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program. To be eligible to receive an assistantship, a student must:

  • Be enrolled for a minimum of 3 credits during each semester of the academic year they are applying for the assistantship.
  • Maintain matriculation status in the graduate nursing program.
  • Submit an application requesting an assistantship to the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program.
  • Successfully interview with the faculty member(s) with whom the student will be placed.

Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis by the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program in consultation with the Graduate Nursing Committee and faculty to whom graduate assistants will be assigned. Students may apply for a part time assistantship (60 hours per semester) or a full time assistantship (120 hours). The number of assistantships available in any given academic year and the stipend to be awarded to each graduate assistant is determined by the Director in consultation with the Dean of The School of Adult and Graduate Education and the Provost. The decision of the Director in regard to award recipients is final and is not subject to appeal.

Program of Study for the Master of Science in Nursing Degree

The Master of Science in Nursing curriculum encourages students to further their clinical expertise while developing proficiency in the specialties of nursing education or nursing administration. This 38-credit academic program allows students to choose either a Nursing Education or Nursing Administration track.

A curricular emphasis on evidence-based practice prepares graduate students to translate and integrate current best practices, contribute to nursing’s unique body of knowledge, and advance the profession of nursing. Graduates will be prepared to assume leadership positions in a variety of nursing education and nursing administration roles and will be equipped to influence change within the health care delivery systems of the twenty-first century.

Master of Science in Nursing (38 credits)

NUR 510 Conceptual and Theoretical Foundations for Nursing (Core course, 3 credits)
NUR 512 Research for Evidence-Based Nursing Practice (Core course, 3 credits)
NUR 514 Informatics and Technology in Nursing (Core course, 3 credits)
NUR 516 Issues and Trends Relevant to Nursing (Core course, 3 credits)
NUR 520* Vulnerable Populations: Nursing Perspectives (Practice course, 3 credits)
NUR 522* Advances in Clinical Practice (Practice course, 3 credits)
NUR 525* Clinical Nursing Practicum (Practice course, 4 credits)
NUR 528 Nursing in a Global Community: A Study Abroad (Elective Course, 2 credits)
NUR 531* Curricula in Nursing Education (Role course± 3 credits)
NUR 533* Teaching Strategies for the Nurse Educator (Role course± 3 credits)
NUR 535* Nurse Educator Practicum (Role course± 5 credits)
NUR 541* Nursing Care Delivery Systems (Role course§ 3 credits)
NUR 543* Resources for the Delivery of Nursing Care (Role course§ 3 credits)
NUR 545* Nurse Administrator Practicum (Role course§ 5 credits)
NUR 558* Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Preparation (EBP course 3 credits)
NUR 559* Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Translation (EBP course 2 credits)

* Course section specialty assignments provide students with an opportunity to focus on a practice specialty. Specific section numbers will be evident on student transcripts to indicate a graduate’s focus within a specialty practice area, e.g. -71 Acute Care, -72 Adult Health, -73 Community Health, -74 Gerontology, -75 Maternal Child, -76, Mental Health, -77 Pediatric Health, -78, Women’s Health, and -79 Other. This allows students who are taking the same course to work within a specialty practice area and demonstrate this focus to future employers or institutions of higher education via the transcript.

Courses in the CORE component of the program do not have a practice specialty section. All courses in the PRACTICE, ROLE and EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE components offer students the option of a specialty practice section. Students have the option of selecting a specialty section, but are not obligated to choose one. If no specialty section is selected, the course will be listed by the course number only. Students are permitted to change their specialty sections with subsequent courses. Specialty sections within courses indicate that the course work has been completed in the identified specialty practice area. In courses with a clinical component students are required to perform their clinical hours in the specialty practice area. In addition, course work would be required in this area.

Classes are planned to accommodate the schedules of working professionals and to allow students to attend classes only one day per week. Visiting and provisional students may take up to 6 credits prior to matriculation. Small class size and student to faculty ratios, state-of-the-art facilities, and nationally funded expert faculty with eminent research programs help to distinguish Cedar Crest’s program from others.


Accreditation: In March 2012, the Master of Science in Nursing program was awarded Initial Accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC) at 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, 404.975.5000.

Course Progression

The Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to provide students with maximal flexibility through several progression options. Students can progress through the program at their own pace. The degree can be completed in as few as two years of part-time study by taking two courses per semester, or in four years by taking one course per semester. Progression guides assist students in planning course sequence in accordance with perquisite requirements.


A student accepted to the Master of Science in Nursing Program will be assigned an academic advisor who will work with the student in planning the program of study, and as a mentor for professional development. Faculty advisors are assigned by the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program based upon a review of student interests. Students wishing to request a specific faculty advisor, should submit this request in writing to the Director.

Graduate Nursing Program Orientation

The orientation process for new students entering the graduate nursing program includes:

  • Membership in the Master of Science in Nursing Program "My Cedar Crest" virtual group
  • A comprehensive Graduate Nursing Program Orientation Manual
  • Face-to-face Orientation Program prior to the start of classes conducted by The School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE)

Upon acceptance into the program and registration for courses, new students are sent an invitation to join the My Cedar Crest group specifically reserved for students in the graduate nursing program. This website contains important information including access to the program handbooks, hyperlinks to a variety of College resources, lists of preceptors who have been used in the program, guidelines for the Evidence-based Practice Project and more.

The Graduate Nursing Program Orientation Manual is provided to students. In-depth instruction related to Information Technology services and how to access email, eCollege and My Cedar Crest are provided, as well as information on literature searches and the Library services, tutoring and The Writing Center and formatting information related to APA style and online access to writing experts via Smart Thinking. Contact numbers for key personnel and student campus information are included for convenience.

Prior to the start of classes, students are strongly encouraged to attend a formal Orientation Program conducted by the School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE), which provides in-coming students an opportunity to informally network with current students. Obtainment of parking passes, ID cards and trips to the book store are facilitated and classroom tutoring related to computer access is provided.

Graduate Student Handbook

Each student will be given a copy of the Graduate Student Handbook prepared specifically for the Master of Science in Nursing Program. The purpose of the handbook is to provide students with information pertaining to the curricular requirements, policies and procedures associated with the program. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves and understanding the information presented in the Graduate Student Handbook. Questions regarding the content of the handbook should be directed to either the student’s faculty advisor or the Director of the Graduate Nursing Program.

Funding for Professional Development

The Graduate Nursing program at Cedar Crest College provides funding to support student led professional learning projects that have a significant impact on the nursing profession through the Dollars for Scholars Program.

Students may apply for awards of up to $500.00 to support professional development and scholarship when presenting an oral presentation or poster at a forum that is directly related to course content as determined by the Graduate Nursing Faculty Committee. These funds may be used for conference registration, travel expenses, or printing of the poster.

In order to be considered for a Graduate Nursing Dollars for Scholars Award students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be in good academic standing (academically and financially).
  2. Complete the Dollars for Scholars Application form prior to the official Commencement ceremony in the May following their completion of the program.
  3. Write a brief explanation (one page limit) on how the conference or event meets the objectives of the Graduate Nursing Dollars for Scholars Program.
  4. Provide a preliminary cost summary required for attendance and presentation at the conference.
  5. Include a copy of the scholarly work that will be presented.

Lillian Brunner Master of Science in Nursing Award

The Lillian Brunner Master of Science in Nursing Award is presented to the graduating student in the Master of Science in Nursing program who has exemplified the highest standards of graduate level scholarship through exceptional writing, scholarly discourse and the translation of current best evidence into nursing practice. The award is presented yearly in May at the College's Awards Ceremony. Students who have completed the program in August are eligible to receive the award in the following May. The recipient is determined by members of the Graduate Nursing Program Committee. All decisions of the committee are final.

Sigma Theta Tau, The International Nursing Honor Society Theta Rho Chapter

The Cedar Crest College Nursing Honor Society was established in the Spring of 1981. The first group was inducted into the Society on April 23, 1981. Through the efforts of many Society members, by-laws were developed according to the recommendations of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing. In April 1986, the Nursing Honor Society was chartered as Theta Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.

As described in the Chapter by-laws, the purposes of the Nursing Honor Society are to: recognize superior achievement, recognize the development of leadership qualities, foster high professional standards, encourage creative work, and strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession.

To apply for membership in the Theta Rho Chapter, the graduate student must meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed at least 10 credit hours of the MS in Nursing program
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Meet the expectation of academic integrity.

Graduate students who meet eligibility criteria may apply for membership online at Theta Rho will review the application and notify the candidate of their acceptance. The Induction Ceremony is held in the Spring semester. The Sigma Theta Tau Honor cord is available to members to wear with their graduation gown at the Commencement Exercises.