Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Permalink: https://nursingpaperessays.com/capstone-synthes…ssignment-papers/ ‎

This week marks the conclusion of your involvement in the practicum. Take a few minutes to consider the practicum professional development objectives you established in Week 1, as well as the goal and objectives you identified for your Practicum Project. What have you learned about yourself as a scholar-practitioner as you engaged in your practicum activities? How have your experiences in the practicum enhanced your specialty skills and expertise? Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Journal Entry 3

This week, you complete and submit your second journal entry. Your journal draws from evidence, concepts, and/or theories you have examined in this program, especially those related to your specialization. What have you observed during your Practicum Experience that you would like to analyze through your journal writing?

To prepare:

Reflect on your Practicum Experiences in Weeks 8-11.

Think about the evidence, concepts, and/or theories (evidence) learned throughout this program and your specialization. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Analyze a problem, issue, or situation that you have observed during your Practicum Experience.

Using a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources of evidence, consider what you have observed within the context of your specialty using appropriate concepts, principles, and theories. Give special attention to observed events that vary from the scholarly literature. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Determine how the problem, situation, or issue was handled in a manner that is consistent and a manner that is inconsistent with the theory, concepts, and principles detailed in the evidence.

Given the various evidence-based approaches that can be used in handling the observed problem, situation, or issue, think about a plan for approaching the matter differently. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

To complete the Practicum and Journal Entry:

In your saved version of the NURS 6600 Practicum Journal document, do the following:

Describe a problem, issue, or situation that you have observed during your Practicum Experience (no more than a half page).

Using no fewer than three peer-reviewed sources of evidence, analyze what you have observed within the context of your specialty using appropriate concepts, principles, and theories. Give special attention to observed events that vary from scholarly literature. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Explain how the problem, situation, or issue was handled in a manner that is consistent and a manner that is inconsistent with the theory, concepts, and principles detailed in the evidence.

Given the various evidence-based approaches that can be used in handling a problem, situation, or issue, formulate a plan for approaching the matter differently. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Include references immediately following the content.

Use APA style for your journal entry and references.

NURS 6600 Capstone Synthesis Practicum – Walden University

Students in this course apply the MSN curriculum experience by translating knowledge into practice by designing, developing, and implementing a project in a professional healthcare setting. By using the culmination of learning, students gain the opportunity effect positive social change within the healthcare delivery environment in the roles of change agent and nurse. The result of the practicum experience provides students with an experience through which they develop their passion as a practitioner while enhancing the nurse role as an advocate for social change within the context of a scholarly presence

NURS 6600 Capstone Synthesis Practicum – Walden University

NURS 6600 Capstone Synthesis Practicum – Walden University Required Course Readings
The links are for required readings found in the Walden databases ONLY. For all other readings, see your course resources.
Enter your myWalden user name and password at the prompt to access NURS 6600 Capstone Synthesis Practicum – Walden University. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

In Week 1, you developed your practicum professional development objectives. How have your experiences thus far in the practicum contributed to your growth as nurse leader-manager or nurse informaticist? What difficulties, if any, have you experienced, and how might this affect the achievement of your objectives?

In this Discussion, you assess your progress toward fulfilling your practicum professional development objectives and consider how you could enhance or alter your activities to achieve your aims. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

To prepare:

Reflect on the practicum professional development objectives you developed and outlined in your Practicum Professional Experience Plan in Week 1.

Keeping in mind the practicum activities you have engaged in thus far, consider the following questions:

How have these activities helped to promote your professional development?

Are you satisfied with your progress toward meeting your objectives? If not, what will you do to ensure you achieve them before the end of your Practicum Experience? As a reminder, you must complete all of your practicum hours on or before Day 5 of Week 11. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

What challenges or unexpected opportunities have arisen at your practicum site? How has this affected your professional development?

Think about the experiences you may have in the forthcoming weeks. Do you foresee any particular challenges on the horizon? If so, what is your plan for addressing those challenges?

Think about the time you have spent with your Preceptor. How has this time enhanced or changed your understanding of the role and functions of the nurse leader-manager or nurse informaticist?

Post an assessment of your progress toward achieving your practicum professional development objectives, including how your involvement in specific practicum activities has contributed to your development. Explain what you will do to ensure you achieve your objectives by the end of your practicum. Summarize challenges or unexpected opportunities that have arisen, as well as any challenges that you anticipate may arise. Explain how you will address those challenges. Finally, summarize what you have learned about the role and functions related to your specialization through time spent with your Preceptor. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days, using one or more of the following approaches:

Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.

Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.

Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

Required Readings

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Cipriano, P. F., & Murphy, J. (2011). The future of nursing and health IT: The quality elixir. Nursing Economic$, 29(5), 286–289.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

“Technology tools will continue to revolutionize how we plan, deliver, document, review, evaluate, and derive the evidence about care” (p. 289). This article examines how nurses can use information technology to transform nursing and redesign the health care system. It focuses on the use of technology to promote quality and notes that technology can also be used to address challenges in education, research, leadership, and policy. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

McKimm, J., & Swanwick, T. (2009). Setting learning objectives. British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 70(7), 406–409.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article clarifies the terminology associated with learning objectives and explains how learning objectives relate to professional development and the transformation from novice to expert. It also introduces common pitfalls when setting learning objectives and provides suggestions for avoiding them. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Murphy, J. (2011). The nursing informatics workforce: Who are they and what do they do? Nursing Economic$, 29(3), 150–153.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The author examines the nursing informatics workforce, explaining that professionals in this well-established specialty area can play an integral role in transforming health care.

Sørensen, E. E., Delmar, C., & Pedersen, B. D. (2011). Leading nurses in dire straits: Head nurses’ navigation between nursing and leadership roles. Journal of Nursing Management, 19(4), 421–430.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

“Successful nursing leaders navigate between nursing and leadership roles while nourishing a double identity” (p. 421). In this article, the authors examine how individuals in key professional roles negotiate between and apply nursing and leadership skills. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Warm, D., & Thomas, B. (2011). A review of the effectiveness of the clinical informaticist role. Nursing Standard, 25(44), 35–38.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The authors investigate the application of specialized knowledge and expertise to facilitate the appropriate use of emerging technologies in clinical settings. They argue for informaticists’ involvement in strategic development and delivery of information management and technology initiatives to promote patient-centered outcomes. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Wilkinson, J. E., Nutley, S. M., & Davies, H. T. O. (2011). An exploration of the roles of nurse managers in evidence-based practice implementation. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 8(4), 236–246.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

In this article, the authors examine the role nurse managers should play in leading and facilitating evidence-based practice.

Armstrong, P. (2013). Bloom’s taxonomy. Retrieved from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/pedagogical/blooms-taxonomy/

Vanderbilt University provides this overview of Bloom’s taxonomy. This site also presents the original and updated versions of the taxonomy along with verb suggestions for each level.

Clark, D. (2013). Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains. Retrieved from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html

This article addresses three domains of learning: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.

University of Central Florida, Office of Experiential Learning (n.d.). Writing SMART learning objectives, Retrieved from http://explearning.ucf.edu/registered-students/tips-for-success/writing-smart-learning-objectives/195

This blog post focuses on the distinction between learning outcomes and objectives. Consider this information as you develop your practicum professional development objectives this week. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Center for Teaching & Learning. (2013). Writing objectives using Bloom’s taxonomy. Retrieved from http://teaching.uncc.edu/articles-books/best-practice-articles/goals-objectives/writing-objectives-using-blooms-taxonomy

This resource outlines elements of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Document: Practicum Professional Experience Plan (Word Document)

Use this form to develop your Practicum Professional Experience Plan as outlined this week.

Document: Practicum Professional Experience Plan (Word Document)

Use this form to develop your Practicum Professional Experience Plan as outlined this week.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Walden University practices a policy of nondiscrimination in admission to, access to, and employment in

its programs and activities. Walden does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion or

creed, marital status, disability, national or ethnic origin, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or

other legally protected status.

Walden is committed to providing barrier-free access to its educational services and makes appropriate

and reasonable accommodations when necessary. Students requesting accommodations per the

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must contact the Office of Disability Services at

disability@mail.waldenu.edu.

This publication represents current curricula, educational plans, offerings, requirements, tuition, and

fees. These may be modified or discontinued from time to time in the university’s sole discretion to carry

out the university’s purposes and objectives. Neither the provisions of this document nor the acceptance

of students through registration and enrollment in the university constitutes a contract or an offer of a

contract.

Find information on costs, occupation types, completion rates, and median loan debt for this program at

http://programdata.laureate.net/walden/master-of-science-in-nursing.html.

Walden University is a registered trademark of Walden University, LLC.

© 2017 Walden University, LLC

http://www.hlcommission.org/
mailto:disability@mail.waldenu.edu
http://programdata.laureate.net/walden/master-of-science-in-nursing.html
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page iv

Contents Section 1. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

Purpose of This Manual ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1

Walden University ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1

Vision ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1

Mission ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1

Social Change ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

School of Nursing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

Vision ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

Mission ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

Goals ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

MSN Program Outcomes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

Nurse Practitioner Licensure ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

Note on Certification …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Note on Licensure, Authorization, Endorsement, or Other State Credentials Necessary to Practice as

a Nurse Practitioner ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

Field Experience Terms …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

Practicum ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Practicum Site ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

Primary Care………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5

Acute Care …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Supervision ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

Field Experience Roles ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Preceptors …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Students ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Practicum Course Faculty Members ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page v

Clinical Instructors ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

Specialization Coordinators …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

Program Director …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

Field Education Coordinators …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

Working Together ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

Field Experience Regulatory Requirements ……………………………………………………………………………….. 10

State Requirements ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

State Board Requirements …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Non-U.S.-Based Student Requirements …………………………………………………………………………………. 11

Licensure Review………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Section 2. NP Practicum Program ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13

Specializations Overview…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

Required Activities …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

Individualized Learning Objectives ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 16

Conference Call ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16

Journal and Time Log ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17

Performance Evaluation ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19

Formal Preceptor and Student Feedback ………………………………………………………………………………. 19

Course-Specific Guidance………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19

Section 3. Getting Started …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26

Finding Practicum Sites and Preceptors …………………………………………………………………………………….. 26

Tips for Practicum Site and Preceptor Search…………………………………………………………………………. 26

Choosing a Site …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27

Choosing a Preceptor ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27

Change of Preceptor …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 29

Affiliation Agreements With Practicum Sites ………………………………………………………………………….. 30

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page vi

Completing and Submitting the Practicum Application ……………………………………………………………….. 31

Policy on Electronic Signatures …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31

Verification Documents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 32

Obtaining the Required Information …………………………………………………………………………………….. 33

Application Deadlines …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 35

Field Site Onboarding Requirements ………………………………………………………………………………………… 37

Practicum Approval and Start ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38

Application Approval …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38

Practicum Course Registration ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 38

Application Steps ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 39

Section 4. Practicum Policies ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 41

Student Conduct and Responsibilities ………………………………………………………………………………………. 41

Academic Standing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 41

Student Professional Competence Policy ………………………………………………………………………………….. 42

Problem Behaviors ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42

Inappropriate and/or Unprofessional Conduct ………………………………………………………………………. 42

Critical Behaviors ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43

Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment Policies ……………………………………………………………………. 43

Nondiscrimination ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 43

Sexual Harassment ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 44

Problem Resolution and Process ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 45

Section 5. Frequently Asked Questions ………………………………………………………………………………………… 48

Section 6. Contact Information ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51

School of Nursing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 51

Other Important Resources …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

Field Education Resource Links …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page vii

Academic Advising Team …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

Office of Disability Services ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

Section 7. Programs of Study ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 53

MSN Core Courses …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 53

MSN NP Specialty Track Courses ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 53

Course Descriptions ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 56

Section 1. Introduction

Purpose of This Manual

Welcome to the field experience component of Walden University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

program. This manual describes the structure and timing of the classroom-based and on-site practicum

experiences and the policies students must follow to be successful in the nurse practitioner (NP)

specialties. For more information about the nursing programs, students should refer to the School of

Nursing Handbook.

This manual is intended to provide MSN-NP students with information they need related to practicum

policies and procedures as well as to serve as a reference for practicum preceptors and other practicum

personnel.

This manual refers to the Walden University Catalog and the Walden University Student Handbook for

specific information on university policies and courses. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers. These resources can be accessed at

catalog.WaldenU.edu.

Note: Walden University reserves the right to make program changes as needed to help ensure the

highest quality program.

Walden University

The MSN program at Walden University is designed to promote Walden University’s vision, mission, and

ongoing commitment to social change. These guiding principles serve as a framework for the program

curriculum and outcomes and are included here as a reference.

Vision

Walden University envisions a distinctively different 21st-century learning community where knowledge

is judged worthy to the degree that it can be applied by its graduates to the immediate solutions of

critical societal challenges, thereby advancing the greater global good.

Mission

Walden University provides a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to

transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they can effect positive social change.

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments
http://catalog.waldenu.edu/
http://catalog.waldenu.edu/
http://catalog.waldenu.edu/
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 2

Social Change

Walden University defines positive social change as a deliberate process of creating and applying ideas,

strategies, and actions to promote the worth, dignity, and development of individuals, communities,

organizations, institutions, cultures, and societies. Positive social change results in the improvement of

human and social conditions.

School of Nursing

Vision

The School of Nursing envisions recognition as a preeminent 21st-century school of nursing in which the

contributions of nursing, health, and related sciences will transform the provision of nursing services

along the continuum of care and across the human lifespan to meet the needs of individuals and local

and global communities.

Mission

The School of Nursing provides academically rigorous and culturally and contextually relevant

educational programs, based on the scholar-practitioner model, for a diverse array of nursing

professionals seeking enhancement of critical-thinking skills, abilities to select and implement evidence-

based practices, and core and specialty nursing knowledge in order to transform society.

Goals

The goals of the School of Nursing at Walden are to:

1. Empower nursing professionals through academic advancement that enhances personal growth,

professional development, and academic achievement.

2. Create an educational environment where learners are able to build on their existing

transformational and professional nursing knowledge, skills, and integrative abilities.

3. Educate nursing professionals with consideration for the complex needs of the diverse learner while

upholding professional nursing standards.

4. Encourage learners to integrate biopsychosocial, nursing and health theories, research, and

evidence-based practice that exemplify professional nursing standards.

5. Prepare professional nursing leaders who are empowered to promote social change for individuals,

groups, and organizations locally, nationally, and globally.

MSN Program Outcomes

At the end of the MSN program, students will be able to:

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 3

1. Synthesize organizational/systems leadership for cost-effective specialist nursing practice that

contributes to high-quality healthcare delivery, advancement of the nursing profession, and social

change.

2. Critique evidence-based literature drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives and pertinent

research to guide decision making that demonstrates best practices for specialist nursing practice in

a global society.

3. Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies

that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to specialist nursing care.

4. Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate using audience-specific oral, written, and

information technology for professional delivery of specialist nursing care.

5. Evaluate health needs of diverse populations for necessary teaching/coaching functions based on

specialist nursing knowledge to restore/promote health and prevent illness/injury.

6. Exhibit ongoing commitment to professional development and value of nursing theories/ethical

principles (altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice) in accordance with ethically

responsible, legally accountable, specialist nursing practice. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

7. Implement specialist nursing roles to promote quality improvement of patient-centered care in

accordance with professional practice standards that transform health outcomes for diverse

populations.

Nurse Practitioner Licensure

Note on Certification

The MSN-NP specializations are designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for national NP

certification exams, which are required for practice as an NP in most states. Because no university

program can guarantee that graduates will be permitted to practice as an NP upon graduation,

Walden encourages students to consult with the appropriate Board of Nursing or state agency to

determine specific certification exam requirements. Walden enrollment advisors can provide

information relating to national certification exams; however, it remains the individual’s

responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national

certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice as requirements vary widely.

Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or

programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information about NP

certification exams, students should visit the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners at

www.aanpcertification.org, the American Nurses Credentialing Center at

www.nursecredentialing.org, and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses at www.aacn.org.

file:///C:/Users/spotler/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.Outlook/ZK3VPQH1/www.aanpcertification.org
file:///C:/Users/spotler/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.Outlook/ZK3VPQH1/www.nursecredentialing.org
file:///C:/Users/spotler/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.Outlook/ZK3VPQH1/www.aacn.org
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 4

Note on Licensure, Authorization, Endorsement, or Other State

Credentials Necessary to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner

The MSN-NP specializations are designed to prepare graduates with an active registered nurse (RN)

license to practice as NPs. However, each state Board of Nursing has its own academic and

certification requirements and issues its own credential for an RN to be permitted to practice as a

NP in that state. Because no university program can guarantee that graduates will be permitted to

practice as NPs upon graduation, Walden encourages students to consult with the appropriate

Board of Nursing or state agency to determine specific requirements in the state in which they wish

to practice. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance relating to the state-by-state

requirements for practice as a NP; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand,

evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to the practice as a NP in the state in which he

or she intends to practice as requirements vary widely. Walden makes no representations or

guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain

state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential. For more information about

the requirements to practice as a NP, students should contact the appropriate Board of Nursing or

state agency. After graduation, all certification, credentialing, and licensure forms and requests

must be sent to Nursing Licensure at nurslicensure@mail.waldenu.edu.

Field Experience Terms

For the purposes of this manual, the following terms are defined in this way:

Practicum

A practicum is a distinctly defined supervised on-site experience in which students develop applied skills

and integrate professional knowledge in the provision of advanced practice nursing care. All NP

students must complete four practicum courses, with a minimum of 576 hours of supervised clinical

experience (144 hours in each course). The didactic (classroom) and clinical components of the courses

are integrated. The courses vary by specialization:

 Students in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) specialization must complete NURS 6531, 6540, 6550, and 6560.

 Students in the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) specialization must complete NURS 6531, 6540, 6551, and 6565.

 Students in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialization must complete NURS 6531, 6541, 6551, and 6565.

 Students in the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) specialization must complete NURS 6640, 6650, 6660, and 6670.

mailto:nurslicensure@mail.waldenu.edu
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 5

Practicum Site

A practicum site is a health agency or other appropriate setting at which students have supervised,

applied practice experiences that are consistent with their education and training. Officials at practicum

sites enter into an affiliation agreement with Walden, stating they will provide appropriate support and

supervision for students during the practicum experience. Virtual sites are not allowed for practicum

courses.

In general, students must spend the majority of their clinical experience time in general primary care

settings seeing a good overall mix of age groups over the lifespan (FNP) or with adolescents and adults

(AGACNP, AGPCNP) with a broad range of health promotion, disease prevention, and acute and chronic

health problem assessment and management needs. Appropriate practicum sites for the AGPCNP/FNP

specializations can include physician’s offices (family practice, pediatric practice, women’s health, or

internal medicine); clinics that provide primary care, such as health departments; and hospital-based

primary care clinics. AGACNP students may use some of these sites in NURS 6531 and 6540 and acute

care facilities for NURS 6550 and 6560.

Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners will have practicum experiences in a wide range of setting

with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. NURS 6640 and NURS 6650 focus on psychotherapy

practice where NURS 6660 and NURS 6670 are integrative experiences (psychopharmacology coupled

with psychotherapy).

Primary Care

A primary care practice serves as the patient’s first point of entry into the healthcare system and as the

continuing focal point for all needed healthcare services. Primary care practices provide patients with

ready access to their own personal physician. These practices provide health promotion, disease

prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and

chronic illnesses in a variety of healthcare settings. These practices are organized to meet the needs of

patients with undifferentiated problems, with the vast majority of patient concerns and needs being

cared for in the primary care practice itself. Primary care practices are generally located in the

community of the patients, thereby facilitating access to healthcare while maintaining a wide variety of

specialty and institutional consultative and referral relationships for specific care needs. The structure of

the primary care practice may include a team of physicians and non-physician health professionals.

Appropriate settings for primary care should be in outpatient primary care settings.

All students in NP specializations require primary care experiences. FNP students must complete all

clinical hours in primary care settings, AGPCNP students may complete clinical hours both in primary

care and specialty care settings, and AGACNP and PMHNP students may complete clinical hours in

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 6

primary care, specialty care, and acute care settings. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Acute Care

Acute care refers to a level of specialty care focused on the management of severe injuries, urgent

medical conditions, exacerbation of chronic illnesses, and/or recovery after surgical procedures. Acute

care settings provide patients with secondary healthcare services that address active healthcare

problems. Acute care practices provide access to healthcare teams that span the gamut of nursing,

medical, and surgical specialties. Acute care practitioners perform assessments, order and interpret

diagnostic tests, formulate diagnoses, perform procedures, and develop and/or implement treatment

plans. The quintessential acute care setting is the in-patient hospital, but acute care is also provided in

emergency rooms, urgent care centers, or surgery centers. Essentially, comprehensive care of patients

with acute, critical, and/or exacerbated, complex, chronic conditions falls under the realm of the acute

care provider regardless of the practice setting. The acute care provider is specialized in addressing the

needs of high acuity patients along the illness-to-wellness spectrum.

Supervision

Supervision by a preceptor is composed of a tutorial and mentoring form of instruction in which

practicum preceptors monitor students’ activities in the practicum during the provision of primary care

and facilitate learning and skill-development experiences. Preceptors guide students and provide

feedback on their practicum work.

Field Experience Roles

Preceptors

Preceptors are qualified practitioners within a clinical site who are responsible for guiding students’

practicum experiences (see Preceptor Requirements in Section 3). Preceptors must be employed at the

field site. Walden expects preceptors to be accessible to students and to provide guidance and feedback

that promotes growth of knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with Walden’s educational

goals as well as with best nursing practices. Preceptors provide mentoring and guidance appropriate to

students’ roles in their clinical sites, including ongoing feedback about the students’ progress in meeting

clinical goals.

Students

Students at Walden are considered to be adult learners who are capable of seeking educational

opportunities to meet their personal and professional goals. Walden expects students to collaborate

with faculty members and be self-directed to meet educational requirements. Students work with

faculty members, clinical instructors, and preceptors to ensure they obtain a well-rounded educational

experience.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 7

Students are expected to complete adhere to the following:

 Develop a learning contract to meet course objectives and outcomes for the practicum.

 Adhere to the learning contract as established by the student, clinical instructor, and preceptor.

 Comply with the policies and protocols established by the practicum site.

 Seek direct and indirect supervision from the clinical instructor and preceptor.

 Be appropriately prepared for each laboratory and clinical experience.

 Incorporate theory and research into clinical practice to provide evidence-based care to patients.

 Provide safe, competent, and quality care under the supervision of the clinical instructor and preceptor.

 Maintain an ethical and professional manner at all times.

 Use acquired knowledge and clinical skills for appropriate clinical setting.

 Use various educational resources to provide evidence-based care to patients.

 Be on time and be prepared for each clinical session.

 Develop a clear and concise plan to meet course outcomes.

 Be respectful and professional.

 Participate in regular conferences with the clinical instructor.

 Seek regular feedback from the clinical instructor and preceptor about progress in the clinical setting.

 Adhere to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines at all times.

 Maintain a clinical journal, time logs, patient logs, and other pertinent clinical records as required by the clinical instructor and/or preceptor.

 Be adaptable and flexible learners.

 Evaluate the course, clinical experience, and preceptor.

 Develop long-term and short-term goals during the program.

 Participate in group and individual conferences.

 Complete the required hours needed for the didactic and clinical portions of the courses.

 Complete all course assignments satisfactorily.

 Contact the clinical instructor and practicum site if unable to attend a clinical experience.

 Use critical-thinking skills and sound clinical judgment in providing patient care. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Students With Disabilities

The School of Nursing at Walden will not discriminate on the basis of disability and is committed to

providing all qualified students with disabilities equal access to its programs, services, and activities in

accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 8

In postsecondary education, it is the students’ responsibility to self-identify disability status and register

with the Office of Disability Services prior to requesting accommodations. To register, students should

submit documentation of disability along with Walden’s Accommodation Request form to

disability@mail.waldenu.edu.

The process and form are available from the Office of Disability Services. Students with disabilities

requesting accommodations to access field experiences, such as a practicum and/or internship, should

register with the Office of Disability Services prior to registering for those field experiences and clarify

their specific accommodation needs. In most cases, field experience sites have their own systems for

ensuring equal access for employees/interns with disabilities. The Office of Disability Services will help

address any gaps in those systems.

Practicum Course Faculty Members

Walden nursing faculty members, who are doctorally prepared, teach the didactic portion of the courses

and communicate with clinical instructors and preceptors regarding the students’ successful mastery of

all competencies prior to recording the final course grades. Practicum course faculty members

collaborate with students and clinical instructors and inform specialization coordinators about any

difficulties that arise during the practicum experience. Didactic faculty members may also serve as

clinical faculty.

Clinical Instructors

Clinical instructors are a critical element of the NP student practicum experience. These instructors

monitor and assess appropriate learning experiences to facilitate students’ achievement as it relates to

the practicum course objectives. The clinical instructors are NPs responsible and accountable for

assuring that students meet the course objectives at a specific practicum site and work closely with

preceptors.

Clinical instructors communicate on a regular basis with NP students and their preceptors regarding

student progress and learning needs; they are also available to resolve problems that may arise. Clinical

faculty make practicum site visits (virtually and/or physically) to review students’ experiences and the

appropriateness of the setting. Clinical instructors are responsible for evaluating the students’ clinical

work.

Specific clinical instructor responsibilities include the following activities:

 Providing guidance to students in formulating the learning contract.

 Conferring with students individually and in groups.

mailto:disability@mail.waldenu.edu
http://ecampus.waldenu.edu/c/Student_Faculty/StudentFaculty_436.htm
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 9

 Assigning student grades following review of the learning outcome measures identified in the course and the learning contract.

 Completing final student evaluations in Meditrek.

 Forwarding all evaluation forms to the specialization coordinator.

The clinical instructors and their assigned students should touch base very early in the quarter and

arrange date(s) for the site visit(s). Students should turn in their subjective, objective, assessment, plan

(SOAP) notes and their journal entries to their clinical instructors and maintain their time logs within

Meditrek. The clinical instructors are the students’ primary resource regarding any problems or issues

that arise related to the practicum experience.

Specialization Coordinators

Specialization coordinators are doctorally-prepared Walden faculty members whose primary role

regarding the MSN practicum is to oversee the experience for a given MSN specialization (i.e., AGACNP,

AGPCNP, PMHNP, or FNP). The specialization coordinators are an important resource for students

during the program, especially if any problems arise during the practicum.

Program Director

The program director (PD) is a doctorally-prepared full-time academic administrator who reports to the

dean and supervises the specialization coordinators and faculty. The PD’s primary role is to maintain the

quality and integrity of the degree program and oversee day-to-day program management. While

working with specialization coordinators, the PD supports students throughout the MSN-NP program,

including during the practicum experience.

Field Education Coordinators

Field education coordinators are Walden employees who help students understand the practicum

policies and procedures. They answer questions about the practicum application process, review

materials to ensure that students have completed all required application and documentation steps, and

work collaboratively with the specialization coordinators and the PD throughout the approval process.

Once practicum applications have been approved, the field education coordinators ensure that students

are enrolled in their appropriate practicum course. Field education coordinators are assigned to

students by region and are available to students via e-mail, phone, or appointment. Students can find

their field education coordinator online at

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/contactus.

Working Together

Walden’s program directors, director of field placement, specialization coordinators, field education

coordinators, practicum course faculty members, and clinical instructors are committed to working

collaboratively with students and preceptors to support the successful completion of practicum

experiences.

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/contactus
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 10

Process for Mentoring and Evaluation of Students

The practicum process is collegial, with the recognition that NP students are adult learners who are

capable of critical self-reflection, open to constructive feedback, and responsible for their own learning.

Expectations for clinical practica performance correlate with the stage of the students’ learning; i.e.,

greater clinical practicum expertise is anticipated as students’ progress through the program.

Once students enroll in a practicum course, they are mentored and evaluated by their preceptor and a

Walden clinical instructor who is assigned to them at the beginning of the quarter. Preceptors provide

the experiences, supervise students, and provide evaluations to the clinical instructors. Practicum course

faculty members grade students’ coursework and, in general, return students’ written work within

Walden guidelines on returning grades. Students are encouraged to consult with practicum course

faculty members by phone or e-mail about their progress throughout the quarter as stipulated in the

course syllabus.

Students meet with their clinical instructor during the first or second clinical practicum seminar of the

quarter. Clinical instructors are experienced NPs who grade students’ written work (SOAP notes, clinical

logs, and reflections); in general, clinical instructors return students’ written work within Walden

guidelines on returning grades. Students are encouraged to consult with clinical instructors by phone or

e-mail about their progress throughout the quarter as stipulated in the course syllabus. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Clinical instructors also maintain contact with students and preceptors throughout the quarter to

determine whether the students’ learning needs are being met at their practicum site and to monitor

students’ clinical progress. This culminates in a clinical practicum evaluation toward the end of the

quarter. Clinical instructors arrange a time with students to evaluate the students’ clinical performance.

Students should make sure that the date and time of the evaluation is agreeable with the preceptor, and

if this is an on-site visit, that an appropriate number and type of clients are scheduled. During these

visits, instructors provide students with mentorship and supervision during one or more patient

encounters.

Field Experience Regulatory Requirements

State Requirements

The ability for students to complete a required practicum in each state depends upon the statutes and

regulations of that state. It is the students’ responsibility to know and understand the statutes and

regulations of that state and whether completion of the required practicum is permitted. Students

should inform the field education office when moving to another state to ensure successful completion

of practicum is permitted.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 11

State Board Requirements

Some state boards of nursing have additional approval requirements. Because of these additional state

board requirements and approvals, students who will perform their clinical practicum experience in the

following states must submit their applications via Meditrek at least 11 weeks (one quarter) prior to

starting their practicum course as late applications will NOT be accepted for these states:

 Alabama: (http://www.abn.alabama.gov/nursing-programs/#tab-outofstate

 Wyoming: https://nursing-online.state.wy.us/Default.aspx?page=57

 Rhode Island:

http://www.health.ri.gov/partners/boards/nurseregistrationandnursingeducation/

 Tennessee : http://tn.gov/health/topic/nursing-board

Non-U.S.-Based Student Requirements

To be approved for the field experience, non-U.S.-based students must adhere to the following:

 Students must apply through the International Office.

 Students must be licensed in a U.S. state and complete their practicum in that state.

 Students must comply with all other requirements required of U.S. students.

 Students should contact nursing field education coordinators early to ensure that they have

found an acceptable preceptor and meet all the other requirements.

Licensure Review

The School of Nursing Field Education Office will conduct a routine professional license verification

search and verification review as part of the practicum application process. This search and review will

be completed for all students applying for practicum and all candidates for preceptorship. Information

for this review will be gathered through NURSYS®, state boards of nursing, state medical boards, or any

other applicable professional credentialing authority. Any information attached to a professional license

verification will be reviewed by the School of Nursing’s Licensure and Compliance department. The

information that will be reviewed includes past and present credentialing information, such as state

licensing board orders, consent agreements, letters of reprimand or censure, complaints, malpractice

claims, settlements, and awards or other indication of action taken against the license by the

professional credentialing authority.


https://nursing-online.state.wy.us/Default.aspx?page=57
http://www.health.ri.gov/partners/boards/nurseregistrationandnursingeducation/
http://tn.gov/health/topic/nursing-board
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 12

This information will be reviewed as part of the application and preceptor approval process. Practicum

applications will not be approved until this review has been completed.

If a student has a past or present order, consent agreement, letter of reprimand, censure or complaint,

or any other information issued by the professional credentialing authority regarding the student’s

professional license, the student will be required to inform their field site and preceptor of this

information. The field site and preceptor will need to confirm that the student will be able to complete

field experience at the site prior to the approval of the student’s practicum application. Written

documentation from the field site and preceptor, which confirms that (a) the field site is aware of the

past or present board issued information (as described previously) and (b) the field site has agreed to

accommodate the practicum placement, must be submitted to the Walden University SON field office. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

It is recommended that students review their preceptor’s license verification prior to submitting their

practicum application. This can be done online through NURSYS or the corresponding state board of

nursing website if the preceptor is a nurse, or by reviewing the preceptor’s license verification provided

by their professional licensing authority (medical board, Department of Health, etc.)

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 13

Section 2. NP Practicum

Program

Specializations Overview

The practicum experience helps students transition from the role of learner to that of scholar-

practitioner. To achieve this transition, students engage in a relationship with a clinical instructor and

preceptor, focusing on roles and role functions and the achievement of individualized learning

objectives. The primary objective of the practicum is to provide students with the basic skills necessary

to serve as midlevel providers of primary care to selected populations and to prepare students to take

the appropriate national certification exam.

 Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP): Students in the AGACNP

specialization engage in clinical experiences in which they focus on the provision of acute and

chronic care for young adults (including adolescents and emancipated minors), adults, and

older adults (including young-old, old, and old-old adults), including health promotion and

assessment and management of acute and chronic health problems. There is a special emphasis

on managing the care of acutely ill adults in a variety of settings including hospital settings.

The content in the AGACNP specialization builds on concepts related to acute and chronic

illness and its impact on individuals and families. This program educates students to work in

an inpatient setting.

 Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP): Students in the

AGPCNP specialization engage in clinical experiences in which they focus on the provision of

primary care for young adults (including adolescents and emancipated minors), adults, and

older adults (including young-old, old, and old-old adults), including health promotion and

assessment and management of acute and chronic health problems in primary care settings and

specialty care. The content in the AGPCNP specialization builds on concepts related to the

trajectory of chronic illness and its impact on individuals and families. This program educates

students to work in an outpatient setting.

 Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): In this specialization, students are provided with the

knowledge and skills necessary to manage health problems of individuals at any age. The

management courses address the illnesses across the lifespan that are commonly encountered

by advanced practice nurses in primary care settings. This program educates students to work

in an outpatient setting.

 Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): Students in the PMHNP

specialization engage in a wide range of mental health services across the lifespan provided to

patients and families in a variety of settings. The PMHNP content focuses on psychiatric

disorders, stress and anxiety disorders, organic brain disorders, and substance abuse issues.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 14

Required Activities

Students must satisfactorily complete all the requirements of their practicum courses (Table 1) in

accordance with the information provided in the course syllabi. Students complete the didactic portion

of the track online. They must receive a grade of Satisfactory (S) for the clinical components in courses

that have integrated didactic (theory) and practicum components to successfully pass the course. They

earn 5 quarter credits and receive a letter grade on a 4.0-grading scale for each course. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Table 1. NP Practicum Courses by Specialization

Course AGACNP AGPCNP FNP PMHNP

1

NURS 6531 –

Advanced Practice

Care of Adults Across

the Lifespan

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6531 –

Advanced Practice

Care of Adults Across

the Lifespan

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6531 –

Advanced Practice

Care of Adults Across

the Lifespan

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6640 –

Psychotherapy

With Individuals

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr.

[144 hours])

2 NURS 6540 –

Advanced Practice

Care of Frail Elders

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6540 –

Advanced Practice

Care of Frail Elders

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6541 – Primary

Care of Adolescents

and Children

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6650 –

Psychotherapy

With Groups and

Families

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr.

[144 hours])

3

NURS 6550 –

Advanced Practice

Care of Adults in

Acute Care Settings I

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6551 – Primary

Care of Women

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6551 – Primary

Care of Women

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6660 –

Psychiatric-

Mental Health

Nurse

Practitioner Role

I: Child and

Adolescent

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr.

[144 hours])

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 15

Course AGACNP AGPCNP FNP PMHNP

4

NURS 6560 –

Advanced Practice

Care of Adults in

Acute Care Settings II

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6565-

Synthesis in

Advanced Nursing

Practice Care of

Complex Patients in

Primary Care

Settings

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6565 –

Synthesis in

Advanced Nursing

Practice Care of

Complex Patients in

Primary Care

Settings

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr. [144

hours])

NURS 6670 –

Psychiatric-

Mental Health

Nurse

Practitioner Role

II: Adults and

Older Adults

(Didactic—3 cr.;

Practicum—2 cr.

[144 hours])

Total

Hours

Required

576 576 576

576

Prerequisite Notes: Prior to beginning the practicum component, students must have satisfactorily

completed NURS 6501 – Advanced Pathophysiology, NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and

Diagnostic Reasoning, and NURS 6521 – Advanced Pharmacology. Students enrolled in NURS 6512 must

have access to or purchase the following tools to complete the course:

 Otoscope and ophthalmoscope.

 Stethoscope.

 Reflex hammer and tuning fork (256 cps).

 Penlight, measuring tape, and pocket eye chart.

Students must complete a minimum of 576 hours of direct patient care during the four courses.

Students may start logging practicum hours within each course on the second day of the course

provided that they have received a practicum approval notice from the field education coordinators and

their clinical instructor approves. Students may not log any hours before the start of the course, receive

practicum application approval from the Field Experience office, are registered for the practicum course,

and receive approval from the clinical instructor. They must complete all 144 practicum hours for each

course by the end of Week 10. Each clinical course has a suggested number of patients that must be

seen to complete the course. Please check this number with the faculty member in each clinical course

at the beginning of the term.

The following activities count toward required practicum hours:

 Activities that are directly related to the completion of practicum goals and objectives.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 16

 Shadowing the preceptor (no more than 8 hours).

 Attendance at meetings while in the clinical setting.

The following activities are not included as practicum hours:

 Travel time related to and from practicum activities.

 Requirements mandated by clinical agencies.

 Communication (e.g., e-mails, phone calls), unless conferencing.

 Assignments related to the didactic portion of the course.

 Conferences.

Individualized Learning Objectives

Walden expects that the practicum experience will allow students to focus on developing and

strengthening discrete skills as well as integrating a range of skills into a coherent professional identity.

Students set specific goals for the practicum experience that are consistent with their professional

preparation and coursework. These goals inform the evaluation of their competencies at the end of the

practicum.

In the first week of the practicum, students formulate two to three individualized learning objectives

that they want to achieve during their practicum experience; these objectives are based on their

previous assignments, practicum experiences, practice setting, and interests. As students approach the

practicum, they should reflect on their coursework and identify two to three areas in which they feel the

need for further growth or with which they might want application-level experience.

Students should discuss the ideas they identify with their preceptors and determine if the necessary

resources are available at their placement sites. Then they prepare a set of measurable learning

objectives, using Bloom’s taxonomy, that specify what they want to achieve.

Conference Call

Shortly after the initiation of the practicum course, clinical instructors coordinate a conference call with

students and preceptors, which is intended to ensure that

 the clinical goals of the practicum are being addressed,

 students and preceptors understand the key points of the clinical experience,

 an opportunity for questions is provided, and

 any problems are identified and resolved.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 17

The clinical instructor informs students of the requirements and procedures for setting up this call. The

call is designed to be supportive of students and to monitor the fit of the site for meeting their

educational goals and needs. It also offers students and clinical instructors the opportunity to

collaborate with preceptors, answer any outstanding questions and, when needed, identify, address,

and resolve any difficulties students may be experiencing at the practicum site.

Journal and Time Log

Journal

Students must periodically submit a journal entry showing how theoretical underpinnings may apply to a

selected practicum experience and how that one aspect of their practicum is consistent with or different

from learned theory.

The purpose of the journal is to identify activities, issues, or problems that show how theory is or is not

applied and supported in the nursing practice specialization. Drawing from theoretical constructs

learned in this program and the specialization content, learning outcomes, and competencies, students

analyze their practicum experience.

In a one-page journal entry (250–300 words), students reflect on their practicum experiences and

discuss how practices they observe or conduct differ from (or are in agreement with) substantiated

theory. Students focus on one instance of this similarity or gap for each journal entry.

In each journal entry, students do the following:

 Describe a selected observed activity or situation (no more than half of a page).

 Analyze observations in the context of a selected theory. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 State conclusions regarding the fit of the selected theory to the selected event.

 Offer recommendations for improving the fit, if needed.

 Include APA-style citations and references. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Students must submit a journal entry when due, even if they are not on-site that week. If they are not

on-site for a week in which a journal entry is due, they must reflect on experiences from any of the

previous weeks of the practicum.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 18

Daily Time Log

Using Meditrek, students keep a log of the time they spend on practicum activities. Each log entry must

be linked with an individual practicum learning objective or a graduate program objective. Students

should track their hours in Meditrek as they are completed. Students submit time logs the same weeks

that journal entries are required. Time logs are signed off by preceptors and clinical instructors at the

end of the course after the completion of hours.

The time log must include the following:

 Dates.

 Course.

 Clinical Faculty. Be sure to include the clinical instructor, not the didactic faculty member, in Meditrek. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 Preceptor.

 Total time for the day.

 Notes/Comments.

Patient Log

Using Meditrek, students keep a patient log of the time they spend with each patient.

The patient log must include the following:

 Date.

 Course.

 Clinical Faculty. Be sure to include the clinical instructor, not the didactic faculty member, in Meditrek.

 Preceptor. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 Patient Number.

 Client Information.

 Visit Information.

 Practice Management.

 Diagnosis.

 Procedure.

 Treatment Plan and Notes.

 IV Medication.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 19

Performance Evaluation

During the first week of a practicum course, students develop a set of individualized practicum

objectives for the experience that supports the course overall objectives and is approved by the clinical

instructor. During the second week, students arrange a conference call between their preceptors and

clinical instructors to discuss the practicum objectives and the activities planned during the practicum

hours. A second and third conference call with preceptors and clinical instructors occurs at midpoint and

at the end of each practicum course. In the 10 weeks that follow, clinical instructors closely follow

students’ activities through guided, posted discussions on the engagement of students with their

preceptors to accomplish practicum objectives. Additionally, activities are reported to clinical instructors

through eight journal entries. Also, clinical instructors review the time logs and journal entries to

determine student progress three times during the 11 weeks.

Preceptors use a formal evaluation to communicate student progress to the clinical instructor twice

during the practicum—at midterm and at the end of the course. Clinical self-evaluation is required as

part of the process at the conclusion of the practicum experience, along with an evaluation of the entire

process by the preceptor. Over the length of the course, preceptors and clinical instructors

communicate often through e-mail and by phone conferences to meet the needs of students. Faculty

members give the final grade, which is based on didactic and clinical grades. The clinical instructor

provides the clinical grade to the faculty member teaching the course. Students and preceptors must

follow guidelines for submitting evaluations as posted in each course.

Formal Preceptor and Student Feedback

At the middle and end of each practicum course, students and preceptors are required to complete an

online evaluation of their performance and experience. By Week 8, both students and preceptors will

receive an e-mail from Meditrek with directions on how to log in and complete an evaluation. Students

will use the same user name and password provided to them for the application submission. Preceptors

will receive new login information or be reminded of their login information if they had a previous

student. Evaluations are due in Week 10.

These evaluations will not only provide information about the progress of individual students but also

help program leadership to continuously work on the course review and improvements. Students

receive an Incomplete (I) grade if any of the above evaluations are not received by the posted deadlines. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Course-Specific Guidance

The following are suggestions, listed by specialization, for students to consider when choosing a

preceptor and site for each required practicum course. Students can also consult the course descriptions

in the catalog and at the end of this manual as a guide.

http://catalog.waldenu.edu/
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 20

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

NURS 6531 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults Across the Lifespan

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Primary care ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Family

practice ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Internal medicine ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP,

MD, DO, PA.

 Possible Site Choices: Family practice, internal medicine practice, or primary care clinic.

Additional sites that may be acceptable include university health services, health departments,

community health centers, urgent care or clinics, depending on the services provided. No

specialty clinics.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Cancer Centers of America

NURS 6540 – Advanced Practice Care of Frail Elders

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Primary care ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Family

practice ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Internal medicine ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP,

MD, DO, PA. Hospitalist.

 Possible Site Choices: Long-term care, hospice, palliative care, or assisted living/Alzheimer’s

facility. Hospital or specialty care facility, ACE units (Acute Care for Elderly).

 Nonacceptable Sites: Surgery centers, emergency departments, emergent care clinic, critical

care units.

NURS 6550 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings I

 Possible Preceptor Choices: ANP, AGACNP, FNP, MD, DO, PA.

 Possible Site Choices: Acute care hospital setting.

NURS 6560 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings II

 Possible Preceptor Choices: ANP, AGACNP, FNP, MD, DO, PA.

 Possible Site Choices: Acute care hospital setting.

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)

NURS 6531 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults Across the Lifespan

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Primary care ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Family

practice ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Internal medicine ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP,

MD, DO, PA. Practice cannot have a specialty.

 Possible Site Choices: Family practice, internal medicine practice, or primary care clinic.

Additional sites that may be acceptable include university health services, and retail clinics.

Health departments and community health centers may be appropriate, depending on the

services provided.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Surgery centers, emergency departments, emergent care clinics or Long

Term Care Facilities.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 21

Note: Free clinics may be considered as a clinical site, but they are appropriate only for NURS

6531 because the majority of patients seen are adults. The operating hours in these types of

clinics may not enable the student to obtain the required minimum of 144 hours. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

NURS 6540 – Advanced Practice Care of Frail Elders

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Primary care ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Family

practice ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Internal medicine ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP,

MD, DO, PA.

 Possible Site Choices: Family practice and internal medicine, long-term care, hospice, or

assisted living/Alzheimer’s facility.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Surgery centers, emergency departments, home health, and emergent

care clinics.

NURS 6551 – Primary Care of Women

(There is no OB component for AGPCNP students)

 Possible Preceptor Choices: MD, DO, FNP, PA, WHNP, CNM, ANP, AGNP.

 Possible Site Choices: Any family practice, internal medicine practice, primary care clinic,

health department clinic or Planned Parenthood that provides a minimum of 50% women’s

care, which can include GYN, pap smears, birth control, menopause, STDs.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Infertility Clinics

NURS 6565 – Synthesis in Advanced Practice Care of Complex Patients in a Primary Care

Setting

Possible Preceptor Choices: Primary care ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Family

practice ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, PA. Internal medicine ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP,

MD, DO, PA. Specialty sites ANP, AGNP, FNP, GNP, MD, DO, and PA.

 Possible Site Choices: Family practice, internal medicine practice, or primary care clinic.

Additional sites that may be acceptable include specialty care clinics, urgent care, long-term

care facilities, rehabilitation unit, university health services, pain management, hospice, cancer

centers, health departments, community health centers, depending on the services provided.

Acute care may be appropriate in certain circumstances.

Nonacceptable Sites: Surgery centers, emergency departments, emergent care clinics, retail

clinics.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

NURS 6531 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults Across the Lifespan

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Primary care MD, DO, PA, FNP, AGNP. Family practice MD,

DO, PA, FNP, AGNP. Internal medicine MD, DO, PA, FNP. The practice cannot have a

specialty.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 22

 Possible Site Choices: Family practice, internal medicine practice, or primary care clinic.

Additional sites that may be acceptable include health departments that provide primary care

and retail clinics (e.g., Walgreens Healthcare Clinic).

 Nonacceptable Sites: Acute care facilities (hospitals, surgery centers, emergency departments,

emergent/urgent care clinics), specialty clinics, long-term care facilities, university health

services, hospice care centers, pain management centers, home care and cancer centers.

 Note: Free clinics may be considered as a clinical site, but they are appropriate only for NURS

6531 because the majority of patients seen are adults. The operating hours in these types of

clinics may not enable the student to obtain the required minimum of 144 hours.

NURS 6541 – Primary Care of Adolescents and Children

All patients seen must be children or adolescents in a pediatrics (newborn – 17 years)

practice, well and/or sick.

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Pediatrician MD or DO. FNP, PNP, and PA in pediatrician’s

office.

 Possible Site Choices: Pediatrician office, family practice, primary care, or health department

clinic.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Acute care facilities (e.g., hospitals, surgery centers, emergency

departments, emergent/urgent care clinics), specialty clinics, long-term care facilities,

university health services, hospice care centers, pain management centers, cancer centers.

NURS 6551 – Primary Care of Women

Note: 40 hours must be related to prenatal care.

 Possible Preceptor Choices: OB/GYN MD, DO, Nurse Midwife, FNP, PA, WHNP.

 Possible Site Choices: OB/GYN practice, family practice, internal medicine practice, primary

care clinic, or health department clinic that contains a minimum of 50% women’s care,

including prenatal and postnatal care.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Infertility Clinics

NURS 6565 – Synthesis in Advanced Nursing Practice of Complex Patients in a Primary

Care Setting

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Primary care MD, DO, PA, FNP. Family practice MD, DO, PA,

FNP. Internal medicine MD, DO, PA, FNP. The practice cannot have a specialty.

 Possible Site Choices: Family practice, internal medicine practice, primary care clinic. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Additional sites that may be acceptable include health departments that provide primary care

and urgent care facilities.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Acute care facilities (e.g., hospitals, surgery centers, emergency

departments, emergent care clinics), specialty clinics, long-term care facilities, university

health services, hospice care centers, pain management centers, cancer centers.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 23

Note: Students in the PMHNP program will need to complete 144 hours of practicum in EACH of the four

practicum courses. It is acknowledged that a variety of factors will influence the number of clients seen,

but students should strive to see as many clients possible each clinical day. Although a minimum

number of patients to be seen has not been established, the clinical experience should last for a

duration of no less than 8 weeks to increase the likelihood that students will be exposed to a wide range

of clients with different mental health care needs.

NURS 6640 – Psychotherapy with Individuals

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (who engages in

psychotherapy—not only medication management, if the preceptor is seeing patients for 15 minute

medication checks, this is NOT psychotherapy), psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist,

psychiatrists (who engage in psychotherapy—not only medication management, if the preceptor is

seeing patients for 15 minute medication checks, this is NOT psychotherapy), licensed social worker,

license mental health counselor/professional counselor [no spiritual counselor unless licensed to

provide psychotherapy services in his/her state], licensed psychologist, other appropriately

licensed/certified mental health professional.

 Possible Site Choices: Private practice, community psychiatric center, college counseling center,

employee assistance program (EAP) sites, or assisted living/Alzheimer’s facility; hospital or specialty

care facility, drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers, crisis centers, community counseling centers Long-

term care, hospice, palliative care, or any other site where individual therapy takes place (to be

determined on an individual basis).

 Nonacceptable Sites: Home Health and Tele-Psychiatry.

NURS 6650 – Psychotherapy with Groups and Families

 Possible Preceptor Choices: Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (who engages in

psychotherapy—not only medication management, if the preceptor is seeing patients for 15 minute

medication checks, this is NOT psychotherapy), psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist,

psychiatrists (who engages in psychotherapy—not only medication management, if the preceptor is

seeing patients for 15 minute medication checks, this is NOT psychotherapy), licensed social worker,

license mental health counselor/professional counselor [no spiritual counselor unless licensed to

provide psychotherapy services in his/her state], licensed psychologist, other appropriately

licensed/certified mental health professional.

 Possible Site Choices: Private practice, community psychiatric center, college counseling center,

employee assistance program (EAP) sites, or assisted living/Alzheimer’s facility; hospital or specialty

care facility, drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers, crisis centers, community counseling centers, Long-

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 24

term care, hospice, palliative care, or any other site where group and family therapy takes place (to be

determined on an individual basis). Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 Nonacceptable Sites: Home Health and Tele-Psychiatry.

NURS 6660 – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role I: Child and Adolescent

 Possible Preceptor Choices: PMHNP, PMHCNS (if they have prescriptive authority in their state of

practice and their job includes prescription of medications; additionally, they must be actively

engaged in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients—not occupying an exclusively

administrative/educational role), child/adolescent psychiatrist.

 Possible Site Choices: Pediatric hospice/palliative care, hospital or specialty care facility, private

practice, community psychiatric center, high school/college counseling center, drug/alcohol

rehabilitation centers, crisis centers, community counseling centers, any other site where psychotropic

medications are prescribed to children or adolescents (appropriateness of sites to be determined on an

individual basis).

 Nonacceptable Sites: Home Health and Tele-Psychiatry.

NURS 6670 – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role II: Adults and Older

Adults

 Possible Preceptor Choices: PMHNP, PMHCNS (if they have prescriptive authority in their state of

practice and their job includes prescription of medications; additionally, they must be actively

engaged in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients—not occupying an exclusively

administrative/educational role), adult/geriatric psychiatrist.

 Possible Site Choices: Private practice, community psychiatric center, college counseling center,

employee assistance program (EAP) sites, or assisted living/Alzheimer’s facility; hospital or specialty

care facility, drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers, crisis centers, community counseling centers, long-

term care, hospice, palliative care, or any other site where psychotropic medications are prescribed to

adults/older adults (appropriateness of sites to be determined on an individual basis).

 Nonacceptable Sites: Home Health and Tele-Psychiatry.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 25

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 26

Section 3. Getting Started

Finding Practicum Sites and Preceptors

Students should read this manual and refer to the practicum application submittal resources to begin

the practicum process. Walden provides guidelines for how to choose a preceptor as well as a practicum

site; however, because Walden students are located around the world, they have the flexibility to secure

their own sites based on their region/location. Students will select a practicum site and initiate contact

with a potential preceptor who meets the qualifications and may be interested in working with them.

It is recommended to start the search process for a field site and preceptor early in the program as it

takes time to secure a field site. Most students should have their first preceptor nominee and a

practicum site identified by the middle of their second term.

Students should keep in mind that they are taking four courses that focus on different populations and

may need three to four different preceptors and sites over the course of their program.

A completed application must be submitted via Meditrek by the practicum application deadline date

(refer to Application Deadlines—Table 2). The student must submit the application in Meditrek in order

for the application to be reviewed and processed. Applications in incomplete status will not be

reviewed.

Tips for Practicum Site and Preceptor Search

Securing a practicum site and preceptor can be as intensive as a job search. The SON Field Experience

Office recommends some of the following tips for students when they are beginning the search process.

Students should:

 Review the tutorial, which includes tips to market themselves to potential preceptors and field

sites: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/ld.php?content_id=10419574.

 Contact Career Services to update their résumé and cover letters with a focus on finding a

practicum field site. Career Services can also provide mock interviews to prepare students for

speaking with potential preceptors. The Career Services website can be found at:

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/home.

 Review the field site list on the Field Education website

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments. This is a list of field

sites that Walden University School of Nursing students have used in the past. It doesn’t

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/ld.php?content_id=10419574
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/home
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 27

necessarily mean that the site will be able to accommodate each student or that an active

affiliation agreement is on file, but it is a good place to start.

 Use their professional and personal network to make connections. Develop a profile on

professional networks (e.g., LinkedIn) to network; research field sites; connect with colleagues,

alumni of Walden, and a variety of other professional nursing related groups.

 Research professional nursing associations and organizations to find preceptor resources.

 Contact their state board of nursing to see if they have a list of available preceptors or resources.

 Schedule an appointment with the regional nurse field education coordinator or field education

coordinator to discuss other tips and ideas for securing a preceptor and field site. An appointment

can be scheduled online at: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/contactus.

Please keep in mind that the field education coordinator cannot place a student at a site, but the

coordinator may have further advice for students.

 Schedule an appointment with the specialization coordinator (contact information listed in

Section 6). Specialization coordinators cannot place students at a site, but they may be able to

offer suggestions or advice on potential preceptors or practicum experiences.

Access the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) student resources center, which

may be helpful in finding a field site and preceptor (http://www.aanp.org/education/student-

resource-center/connecting-with-nps).

Choosing a Site

Students should consider their career goals after graduation when they are choosing a practicum site.

They must match their practicum setting and the preceptor that they nominate with their goals, within

the specific guidelines of the course. To finalize their education, students must have an opportunity to

apply their acquired knowledge, concepts, and skills. To do this, students may need to travel to a setting

other than their own practice setting.

Students may complete the practicum where they work. However, their practicum experience must be

 in a different setting than their usual assigned employment role or work, and

 completed outside of their normal working hours.

Students should follow the appropriate procedure at the field site to secure a practicum rotation and to

understand the field site requirements prior to beginning the practicum.

Choosing a Preceptor

Students must identify a potential preceptor and determine if the individual is interested in working

with them. If so, they must find out whether this individual meets the qualifications to serve as

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/contactus
http://www.aanp.org/education/student-resource-center/connecting-with-nps
http://www.aanp.org/education/student-resource-center/connecting-with-nps
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 28

preceptor. Instructions on how to nominate a preceptor are provided later in this section in the

instructions on how to complete the application. Students can contact their nursing field education

coordinator to obtain feedback about whether the chosen preceptor is an acceptable candidate. Nursing

field education coordinators can be contacted via e-mail at Nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu.

Preceptor Requirements

Prior to approval, the preceptor’s license and certification (if applicable) is verified and the curriculum

vitae or résumé is evaluated by the nursing field education office, with final approval by the

specialization coordinator. Approval is based on the preceptor meeting the following criteria: Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 Holds a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing.

 Is currently a registered nurse with an active, unencumbered license to practice as a nurse practitioner (NP) in the particular area of specialization and in the specific state. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 Has national certification in an area of advanced practice nursing specialization (i.e., FNP, AGACNP, AGNP, PMHNP, certified nurse midwife (CNM), adult, women’s health, or

pediatric NP.

 Has a minimum of 1 year of postgraduate experience and a current job role relevant to the MSN specialization.

 Is able and willing to commit to the preceptor role for the practicum experience.

 Is employed at the field site where the practicum takes place.

 Must not be a relative or significant other.

 Must not be the student’s direct or immediate supervisor.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PRECEPTOR REQUIREMENTS:

 To learn the role of the nurse practitioner, it is required that at least two preceptors be NPs

in an area of practice clearly relevant to meeting the objectives of the NP program/specialty. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Preceptors may only be used twice during the four practicum courses. Students may only use the

same preceptor for two of their four practicum courses.

 Physicians (MDs, DOs) and physician assistants (PAs) may serve as preceptors but also must be

credentialed and licensed to practice in the population-focused and/or specialty area of practice. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

In addition, this area of practice should be clearly relevant to meeting the course objectives of the

student’s NP program and meet the course specific guidelines. Students are not allowed to use

MDs or PAs for all four courses as at least two preceptors must be NPs. (Note: PAs may not

serve as preceptors in the PMHNP program).

 Physician assistants (PAs) do not count as meeting the requirement of having two NPs as

preceptors.

 Students cannot use the same preceptor at the same field site when they are doubling up

practicum courses during the same quarter.

mailto:Nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 29

Use of the Same Preceptor for Multiple Practicum Courses

Obtaining approval to use the same preceptor for all four practicum courses is not allowed. Students are

able to use the same preceptor for a maximum of two times for all practicum courses. Each practicum

course has different requirements. It is unlikely that one preceptor will have the expertise with a

sufficient number of all four populations for students to acquire the appropriate training. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Remember, this is the students’ opportunity to learn, and selecting a preceptor that meets only the

minimum requirements will likely result in an inadequate experience.

Note: Approval of the preceptor must occur prior to the student starting the practicum course and

logging hours. Students cannot begin logging practicum hours until their practicum application is fully approved and have been registered for the course. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Licensure Review of Preceptors: A routine professional license verification will be completed for all

candidates for preceptorship. Any negative information, both past and present, that is part of the

license verification will be reviewed by the School of Nursing’s Licensure and Compliance

department. Some examples of this information are disciplinary orders issued by a professional licensing

board, malpractice information and letters of complaint, censure, or reprimand. This information will be

reviewed as part of the preceptor approval process. It is recommended that all students review their

preceptor’s license verification prior to submitting their practicum application.

Co-Preceptor Option

In some cases, there may be someone who would be an ideal preceptor, but he or she does not meet all

the requirements. For instance, an individual may be a nurse but not have a graduate degree in nursing. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

If students find themselves in this situation, then they have an option to nominate this person as their

co-preceptor, provided they also nominate a preceptor who fulfills the requirements of having a

master’s or doctorate in nursing. The co-preceptor assists the partner preceptor to ensure that the

quality of the practicum work is at the master’s level and relevant to nursing. When students complete

their practicum application, as described later in this section, they must provide a fully completed

application for both their preceptor and their co-preceptor. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Change of Preceptor

Because circumstances change, sometimes students need to change preceptors before their practicum

experience begins or during their practicum experience.

For Students Who Need to Change Their Preceptor Before the Practicum Course Begins:

Students will need to notify the field education office as soon as possible if a preceptor changes before

the practicum begins so that a new application can be opened by the field education office and

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 30

submitted by the student. If the new preceptor involves a new practicum site, then a new affiliation

agreement will also be needed, which may delay the practicum experience until a later term.

For Students Who Need to Change Their Preceptor After the Practicum Course Begins:

Students will need to notify the field education office and the faculty member who is teaching the

practicum course so that the faculty member can contact the specialization coordinator. The

specialization coordinator will contact the field office to open a new application. Students must submit a

new replacement application for the new preceptor to be approved. If the new preceptor involves a new

practicum site, then it is likely the practicum experience will be delayed. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Affiliation Agreements With Practicum Sites

Affiliation agreements are a necessary part of giving students the opportunity to solidify their learning

through practicum experiences. An affiliation agreement is a legal contract between Walden and a

practicum site. The affiliation agreement is not the same as the Preceptor Signature Document.

Accreditation standards require that an affiliation agreement be in place before students start their

practicum.

Coming to a mutual agreement about the affiliation agreement can take time, sometimes several weeks

or months. In most cases, Walden is able to reach a mutual agreement with students’ practicum sites. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

There are times, however, when Walden is unable to do so. If there is reason to believe that the

affiliation agreement between Walden and a site will not go through, Walden will notify students. If

there is enough time, Walden works with students as they try to find a new preceptor and site, even if

the Office of Field Experience is continuing to work with the first site. Students are strongly encouraged

to arrange for alternative practicum sites as back-up options.

Walden requires that affiliation agreements are finalized for each and every field site where practica will

occur. If students plan to complete practicum hours at multiple sites, an application must be submitted

and approved for each and every field site and preceptor. If students plan to complete practicum hours

with a contract agency and will be logging hours at multiple sites, an application must be submitted and

approved for each physical field site. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Student can monitor the progress of the affiliation agreement process on their application checklist in

Meditrek.

Delays

In some cases, the affiliation agreement may fail with a planned practicum site and it may be too late for

students to find a new site prior to the start of the term. If this happens, students are delayed a term

while they find a new site. Students are allowed a limited extension to apply for the next term so that

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 31

they can prepare a new application. Walden is not able to predict or control delays, but they are avoided

if possible.

Field Site Administrator—Affiliation Agreement Contact

Preceptors may know whom to contact at practicum sites; otherwise, students should ask if their

practicum site has an education or staff-development manager or a risk manager. The affiliation

agreement may be handled by a dean, chief nursing officer, director, CEO, or other administrator; large

organizations may have an on-site legal department and an attorney who signs affiliation agreements. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

The person who signs the agreement must be authorized to do so by the practicum site. The individual

authorized to sign the agreement is usually not the preceptor. It is very important to enter the correct

contact information in Meditrek for the contact at the field site because inaccurate information will

delay processing.

Completing and Submitting the Practicum Application

The practicum application consists of multiple parts that students must submit via Meditrek. Students

must submit their practicum application via Meditrek by the application deadline. Students will receive

Meditrek login and password information approximately 6 months prior to the practicum course start.

Application instructions for Meditrek can be found on the field office website. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Students are notified in a timely manner when their applications are due via course e-mail and course

announcement. Students should be aware of their program of study and anticipate when they will be

ready to begin practicum. Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisor with any questions

about their program of study.

Important note: Each practicum course requires a separate application. This is necessary because each

practicum course has distinct requirements. Students must also submit a new and separate application

each time they wish to change preceptors and/or practicum sites. If a student is using multiple

preceptors for one course, separate applications must be submitted for each preceptor. If students are

using multiple field sites to complete practicum hours, separate applications must be submitted for each

field site.

Policy on Electronic Signatures

Walden manages the clinical application processes in a nearly paperless environment, which requires

reliance on verifiable electronic signatures, as regulated by the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.

Legally, an electronic signature can be the person’s typed name, e-mail address, or any other identifying

marker. An electronic signature is just as valid as a written signature as long as both parties have agreed

to conduct the transaction electronically. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 32

Verification Documents

To consider and approve clinical applications, Walden requires certain documents:

 Verification of the students’ current nursing license in the state where students plan to complete their clinical practicum experience.

 Verification of students’ professional liability insurance for at least $1 million per incident; $3 million aggregate. Students must submit a memorandum or certificate of insurance

coverage for the active policy. Students must have their own professional liability policy

even if their employer or practicum site has a policy that covers students. The liability

must cover the student as a nurse practitioner student. This must clearly be stated in

the verification documents submitted. Most insurance companies offer this coverage.

Information on how to obtain liability insurance can be found on the field education under

the Resources tab at

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments. Walden will

work with students to resolve issues with their insurance if students provide early

notification and a clear explanation. Students should contact the nursing field education

coordinators at nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu.

 Verification of preceptors’ unencumbered professional licenses in the state where students plan to complete their practicum.

 Preceptors’ résumés or curricula vitae (CVs). If no résumé or CV is available, a brief letter that includes degrees and years awarded, practice specialty, current place of employment,

and certifications held will be accepted. A copy of the preceptors’ LinkedIn profile will be

accepted.

Note: If the preceptor has been a preceptor with Walden recently, students can upload a

letter from the preceptor to authorize the field education office to utilize his or her résumé

on file including the year the preceptor worked with previous Walden students.

 Onboarding requirements—verification of background check, health screenings, drug test, etc. If the field site requires additional onboarding requirements, students must complete

the screening process through CastleBranch.. The field education office will return the

student’s application in Meditrek, after the student submits the application and the

affiliation agreement is approved. The student will receive an e-mail requiring completion

of the onboarding process through CastleBranch.

License Review: The School of Nursing Field Education Office will conduct a routine professional license

verification search and review as part of the practicum application process. This search and review will

be completed for all students applying for practicum and all candidates for preceptorship. Information

for this review will be gathered through NURSYS, state boards of nursing, state medical boards, or any

other applicable professional credentialing authority. Any information that is attached to a professional

license verification will be reviewed by the School of Nursing’s Licensure and Compliance department. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

The information that will be reviewed includes past and present credentialing information, such as state

licensing board orders, consent agreements, letters of reprimand or censure, complaints, malpractice

claims, settlements, and awards or other indication of action taken against the license by the

professional credentialing authority.

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments
mailto:nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 33

This information will be reviewed as part of the application and preceptor approval process. Practicum

applications will not be approved until this review has been completed.

If a student has a past or present order, consent agreement, letter of reprimand, censure or complaint,

or any other information issued by the professional credentialing authority regarding the student’s

professional license, the student will be required to inform their field site and preceptor of this

information. The field site and preceptor will need to confirm that the student will be able to complete

field experience at the site prior to the approval of the student’s practicum application. Written

documentation from the field site and preceptor, which confirms that (a) the field site is aware of the

past or present board issued information (as described previously) and (b) the field site has agreed to

accommodate the practicum placement, must be submitted to the Walden University SON field office.

It is recommended that students review their preceptor’s license verification prior to submitting their

practicum application. This can be done online through NURSYS or the corresponding state board of

nursing website if the preceptor is a nurse, or by reviewing the preceptor’s license verification provided

by their professional licensing authority (medical board, Department of Health, etc.)

Obtaining the Required Information

Students need to submit their practicum application via Meditrek by the application deadline (see Table

2). The following information and documents are required to submit a complete application. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Meditrek

Meditrek will provide the student’s user name and password.

 Students will receive one user name and password, directly from Meditrek,for the entirety of their use with Meditrek.

 Students should receive this information prior to their first practicum course, approximately 6 months prior to practicum start. If students have not received their password 1 month before

their application is due, they should contact nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu.

 Students can utilize Meditrek to monitor the status and progress of their applications each term.

 Students can access Meditrek here: https://edu.meditrek.com/Default.html.

Preceptor Nominees

Preceptor nominees will provide

https://edu.meditrek.com/Default.html
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 34

 A license in the state where the student is completing the practicum; the license must show the nominee’s name and the expiration date and must be the nominee’s highest licensure.

The field education office will accept a copy of an online verification of the license

including a screen shot of the verification saved as a PDF, Word document, or other types

of verification document reports from an online source.

 A CV or résumé, which must show the nominee’s name, all of his or her formal education, and current job description. If the nominee does not have a résumé, the field education

office will accept a short bio or a LinkedIn profile. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 A current e-mail address; this is important because the preceptor signature document is sent via e-mail for nominees to sign, and preceptors will receive communication about

evaluations via e-mail. Please double-check the validity of the e-mail address.

 Credentials.

 Phone number.

 The current position and a description of how it will meet the required objectives of the practicum course.

 Preceptor Signature Document. The preceptor signature document is e-mailed to the preceptor at the time students enter preceptor information on the Meditrek application. The

preceptor should review the document, complete it in its entirety, and sign the document. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Students must obtain this document from the preceptor to upload the Meditrek application.

The signature document is an official form and requires the signature from the preceptor.

This document is different from the affiliation agreement.

Practicum Sites

 Students need to identify, with the help of the preceptor and/or practicum site contact, who the appropriate individual is at the practicum site that can speak to the affiliation

agreement. This individual may be the CEO, dean, contracts manager, site director, human

resources, owner, or president. Large organizations may have an on-site legal department

that reviews such agreements and may have an attorney who signs affiliation agreements.

 Once the proper contact has been identified, students need to record the person’s name, title, e-mail address, and phone number and to let him or her know to expect an e-mail from

Walden University regarding the affiliation agreement. Students need to ensure correct

contact information is entered in Meditrek as wrong contact information will delay

processing.

Student

 Student’s Walden ID number and Walden e-mail address.

 Proof of student’s professional liability insurance: must show coverage dates and coverage amounts (required minimum of $1 million per incident and $3 million per aggregate). Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Students must submit a memorandum of certificate of insurance coverage for the active

policy.

Must show coverage as a “Nurse Practitioner Student”: students may have to contact their

insurance company and get this updated on the certificate. Some companies will provide a separate

letter indicating that the student is covered as a nurse practitioner student.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 35

 Student’s RN license in the state in which the practicum will be completed: must show student’s

name and the license’s expiration date and must be the student’s highest licensure. The field

education office prefers a document from an online verification of licenses.

Note: If the status of a student’s RN license changes at any point after the student is

admitted/enrolled into a nursing program, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Director of

Compliance and Licensure (nurslicensure@mail.waldenu.edu). Status changes, such as actions or

restrictions placed on a student’s RN license, can affect the student’s ability to engage in practica.

 The preceptor signature document, signed by the preceptor: This document is sent directly to the

preceptor via e-mail when students submit the preceptor information section in Meditrek. Students

need to follow up with the preceptor to obtain the signed document and then upload it in Meditrek

to complete their application.

Note: Students are responsible for uploading all documents in Meditrek to complete their

application. If students have a co-preceptor or mentor, they must complete and submit a separate

application for the preceptor and co-preceptor. For the most up-to-date information regarding

applications and Meditrek, including webinars, tutorials, and FAQs, refer to the field experience

website.

CastleBranch for Onboarding Requirements

CastleBranch is a secure platform to complete a background check, drug test, health screenings, and

other onboarding requirements of the field site. If the field site needs additional onboarding

requirements, students must complete a profile package through CastleBranch. The field education

office will return the students’ application through Meditrek, after the students submit their application

and the affiliation agreement is approved. Students will receive an e-mail requiring completion of the

onboarding process through CastleBranch. Students complete the screening requirements online at

http://walden.castlebranch.com. Students will need to resubmit their practicum application in

Meditrek after successful completion of the screening process through CastleBranch. If screening

requirements are needed, students must complete ALL the requirements listed in CastleBranch to begin

their practicum. The practicum application will not be approved until ALL the requirements are

complete.

Application Deadlines

Walden advises students to submit their application via Meditrek early. Experience has shown that the

applications that are completed in a hurry and submitted near the deadline are most frequently those

that are missing items or have other problems.

mailto:nurslicensure@mail.waldenu.edu
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son
http://walden.castlebranch.com/
http://walden.castlebranch.com/
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 36

The deadline for submitting the NP practicum application is the first day of the quarter before the

students wish to begin the practicum, as shown in Table 2. Students must be sure that they understand

the deadline. For example, if students plan to enroll in NURS 6531 (the first NP course with a practicum)

in the summer quarter, their practicum application is due by the first day of the spring quarter. The

deadline is firm. Applications received after the deadline will be held for processing until the next

quarter. Generally, field education coordinators will begin reviewing applications after the application

deadline.

Students must submit a separate application for each field site and preceptor every quarter, even if the

field site and preceptor remain the same. Students will not be registered for practicum courses if there

is not an approved application on file. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Note: Because of some state board requirements and approvals, late applications will not be accepted

from students who will perform their clinical practicum experience in Alabama, Rhode Island,

Wyoming, or Tennessee.

Table 2a. Deadlines for Practicum Applications

If students plan to enroll in a clinical course in

this quarter:

Their application is due the FIRST day of this

quarter.

Fall Summer

Winter Fall

Spring Winter

Summer Spring

Table 2b. Deadline for Practicum Applications (2017–2018 School Year)

Term Term start Dates Application date

Fall 2017 8/28/17 to 11/19/17 Application deadline for Fall 2017 is

5/29/17

Winter 2017 11/27/17 to 2/18/18 Application deadline for Winter 2017

is 8/28/17

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 37

Field Site Onboarding Requirements

Walden University strives to provide the best possible programs and educational experiences for

students. The goal in the School of Nursing is to make the practicum placement process as efficient and

effective as possible for students. One step toward achieving this goal is requesting that students

complete onboarding requirements, which will allow students to meet the onboarding requirements of

a greater number of healthcare systems and practicum sites. The field site onboarding requirement

process is completed through the university’s designated provider, CastleBranch and could include the

following screenings: criminal background check, health and immunization screening, drug test, Basic

Life Support (BLS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and/or Health Insurance

Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) training, and federal excluded provider check. Students are

responsible for all expenses incurred through completion of the onboarding process and must submit

payment directly to CastleBranch.

When ordering the background screening, students will be provided a Disclosure and Authorization form

by CastleBranch, which all students must sign in advance of obtaining the background check. The

Disclosure and Authorization form is required by federal law. Although the Disclosure and Authorization

form references an employment check, it also applies to students applying for field experience.

Nursing students who plan to complete field experience may be required to complete a profile with

CastleBranch, Walden’s designated vendor, if their field site requires such verification for onboarding.

Students planning to engage in field experience whose field site’s onboarding requirements include

screenings and/or verifications, WILL NOT be permitted to start their field experience until their

CastleBranch profile package is complete.

The onboarding requirements for a field site are outlined in the affiliation agreement between the field

site and Walden University. Walden must abide but the requirements outlined in the agreement with

the field site. This applies to all students, even if the student is an employee of the field site because this

practicum course is in a student role and not an employee role.

Spring 2018 2/26/18 to 5/20/18 Application deadline for Spring 2018 is

11/27/17

Summer 2018 5/29/18 to 8/19/18 Application deadline for Summer 2018

is 2/26/18

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 38

When onboarding requirements are outlined in the affiliation agreement, and the field site agreement is

finalized, the field education office will contact students via e-mail. Some healthcare systems and field

sites mandate screening requirements that may not be included in the affiliation agreement. Therefore,

it is strongly recommended that all students complete the CastleBranch screening process in

preparation for field site onboarding requirements in case a field site has onboarding requirements that

are not included in the affiliation agreement with Walden. If students choose not to complete a profile

in CastleBranch and their field site requires onboarding requirements, those students will not be

permitted to begin their field experience until all requirements are complete. If students need to

complete onboarding requirements and have not completed a CastleBranch profile, their field

experience may be delayed until the next quarter. Students complete requirements online at

http://walden.castlebranch.com/. Any questions regarding the purchase of a screening package can be

answered by CastleBranch at 1-888-723-4263. For questions regarding the field site, onboarding

requirements or practicum application regarding this process, please contact

sononboarding@mail.waldenu.edu.

Practicum Approval and Start

Application Approval

 The nursing field education coordinators will process the students’ practicum applications and

notify students if applications are incomplete or if changes are needed. Incomplete applications

may be delayed until a later term. Late applications will be delayed until a later term.

 The nursing field education coordinator or a qualified designee will review the students’

application materials. If an application is denied, students will be notified and, in most cases,

they will be given an opportunity to revise their application within a short amount of time.

 If an application is approved, a Practicum Approval Notice will be sent by Meditrek to the

preceptor and to the students.

Practicum Course Registration

Students will be registered upon full approval of their application. Field education coordinators will

submit registrations to the Registrar scheduling department after the practicum application is approved.

Registration begins approximately 4 weeks prior to term start and is processed on a weekly basis.

Registration for the practicum courses is subject to review, based on whether students meet course

prerequisites and have an approved practicum application on file. Students who do not meet the

application requirements and deadlines found in this manual will be dropped from the practicum

course until all appropriate documents are on file and approved and all course prerequisites are met.

If students believe they have met all the requirements for starting the practicum and do not see the

course registration on their myWalden page, they should contact the nursing field education

coordinators at nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu. Students cannot start logging practicum hours

http://walden.castlebranch.com/
mailto:sononboarding@mail.waldenu.edu
https://my.waldenu.edu/portal
mailto:nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 39

until their practicum application is fully approved in Meditrek and they have been registered for the

practicum course.

Application Steps

1. When students successfully submit their application, they will receive an automatic e-mail from

Meditrek stating it was submitted and finalized. Applications will not be reviewed until an

application is officially submitted in Meditrek.

2. The application and the affiliation agreement are two separate entities and are worked on

simultaneously.

3. Students can log in to Meditrek at any time to see the status of their application by clicking on

the course on their list of applications. The application statuses are listed below.

4. Students will receive an e-mail with one of the following responses regarding their application: Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 The application has been returned for further work: The e-mail will identify what students need to correct. Students will need to log back into Meditrek, select the

application, correct the error, and then re-submit. Students will then get another e-mail that

the application has been re-submitted.

 The application has been approved. Students are approved to complete practicum at the approved field site with the approved preceptor during the approved quarter. The practicum

course registration will be processed after the application has been approved.

Application Status

Students can monitor the progress of their application review and approval in their checklist in

Meditrek. The statuses are as follows:

 Closed: The application is closed due to inability to approve the application. Students are e-mailed with specific details for the closed application. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 Incomplete—Started: Students have started the application but haven’t submitted the application in Meditrek. The application will not be reviewed until it is submitted

in Meditrek.

 Incomplete: Students have started the application and submitted the practicum site information but have not submitted the application in Meditrek. The application will

not be reviewed until it is submitted in Meditrek.

 Submitted: The application was submitted to Walden and is ready for review by the Field Experience staff.

 Returned: The application was submitted and reviewed by a field education coordinator and returned to the student for further work due to issues with the

application. The application will not be further reviewed until the issues are resolved

by the student and resubmitted in Meditrek.

 Pending: The application has been submitted and being reviewed by the Field Experience staff.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 40

 On-Hold: All aspects of the application have been reviewed but is pending approval for the field site affiliation agreement and possible onboarding requirements. No

further action is needed by the student.

 Approved: Everything is approved, including the affiliation agreement. Student is approved for practicum and will be registered for the practicum course. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 41

Section 4. Practicum

Policies This manual contains only select policy information. Students should consult the student handbook for

complete information about university policies and procedures.

Student Conduct and Responsibilities

The following expectations for conduct and behavior apply to all constituents of the university, including

students, faculty, and staff. The university supports and expects its members to comply with the

principles developed by the International Center for Academic Integrity, as follows:

 Honesty: An academic community of integrity advances the quest for truth and knowledge by

requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research, and service.

 Trust: An academic community of integrity fosters a climate of mutual trust, encourages the

free exchange of ideas, and enables all to reach their highest potential.

 Fairness: An academic community of integrity establishes clear standards, practices, and

procedures and expects fairness in the interactions of students, instructors, and administrators.

 Respect: An academic community of integrity recognizes the participatory nature of the

learning process and honors and respects a wide range of opinions and ideas.

 Responsibility: An academic community of integrity upholds personal accountability and

depends upon action in the face of wrongdoing.

Walden is committed to conducting its affairs in accordance with this code in a socially responsible and

ethical manner consistent with the Walden community’s respective educational, research, scholarly, and

social change missions. As such, Walden supports a code of conduct that is consistent with applicable

federal, state, and local laws guaranteeing nondiscrimination for all protected classifications, as well as

with the university’s nondiscrimination policies. In addition, members shall not conduct themselves

either inside or outside of the classroom in a manner that is unduly disruptive or unethical or that might

lower the status or damage the reputation of the university.

Academic Standing

All Walden students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout their studies,

including the practicum, in accordance with university requirements.

http://catalog.waldenu.edu/
http://www.academicintegrity.org/icai/home.php
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 42

Student Professional Competence Policy

There can be situations in which students maintain satisfactory academic standing but exhibit behaviors

that raise questions about their capacity as professionals. There are a number of professional skills and

characteristics that are important for those who provide services to children, adolescents, and adults, as

well as to professional organizations, in a variety of settings. These interpersonal/professional skills

include, but are not limited to, adherence to ethical standards published by professional organizations,

professional deportment, sensitivity to client issues, and appropriate use of supervision. Situations can

arise in which faculty members, students, or other professionals observe behaviors by other students

that demonstrate a lack of appropriate interpersonal or professional skills. The purpose of this policy is

to provide a set of procedures that Walden faculty members will use to address such issues.

For the purposes of this procedure, a distinction is made between different types of behaviors that

impede student development. These include (a) problem behaviors, (b) inappropriate and/or

unprofessional conduct, and (c) critical behaviors.

Problem Behaviors

Problem behaviors occur when a student’s attitude and/or behavior is of concern and requires

remediation but is not unexpected for professionals in training. These types of behaviors include, but

are not limited to, performance anxiety, discomfort with clients of diverse ethnic backgrounds, and lack

of appreciation for agency rules and expectations. These types of behaviors

 can typically be remediated with feedback and further training and supervision,

 do not result in the potential for physical and/or emotional harm to others,

 are limited in duration, and

 will likely not develop into an inappropriate and/or unprofessional conduct situation.

Inappropriate and/or Unprofessional Conduct

Inappropriate and/or unprofessional conduct is defined broadly as an interference in professional

functioning that is reflected in one or more of the following ways:

 An inability and/or unwillingness to acquire and integrate professional standards into one’s repertoire of professional behavior. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 An inability to acquire professional skills to reach an acceptable level of competency.

 An inability to control personal stress and/or excessive emotional reactions that interfere with professional functioning.

Problems typically become identified as inappropriate and/or unprofessional conduct when they include

one or more of the following characteristics:

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 43

 The student fails to acknowledge, understand, or address the problem when it is identified, resulting in further manifestations signifying a more pervasive problem. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 The problem is not merely a reflection of a skill deficit that can be remediated by academic or didactic training. In this case, a group of professional experts (e.g., practicum course

faculty members and preceptors) determines that the deficit is likely not correctable.

 The quality of services delivered by the student is sufficiently negatively affected. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 The problem negatively affects other students’ learning.

 A disproportionate amount of attention and intervention by training personnel and/or instructors is required to remediate the problem.

 The student’s behavior does not change as a function of feedback, remediation efforts, and/or time.

Critical Behaviors

While critical behaviors can occur in the online learning environment, they are most likely to manifest

during face-to-face meetings (e.g., residencies, meetings associated with coursework, practicum

settings). Critical behaviors put, or have the potential to put, students or faculty members (including

one’s self) at risk for physical harm or serious emotional distress. These types of behaviors include, but

are not limited to, the following:

 Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 Carrying a weapon.

 Harassing, sexual or other types.

 Having thoughts of suicide.

 Abusing verbally.

 Exhibiting psychological problems (e.g., those associated with such things as psychosis or mania). Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

 Threats of harm, intimidation, and abusive or threatening postings.

These behaviors may result in legal, law enforcement, medical, and/or mental health interventions. The

procedures for addressing these behaviors are covered in the Review Process for Code of Conduct

Violations section of the student handbook.

Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment Policies

In Walden’s Code of Conduct, the university maintains the following nondiscrimination and

nonharassment policies.

Nondiscrimination

Walden University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination by or against members of the

university community on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion,

http://catalog.waldenu.edu/
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 44

age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, or other protected characteristics in the

admission to, access to, or treatment or employment in any of its programs or activities.

Sexual Harassment

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits sexual discrimination in educational settings.

Walden’s Sexual Misconduct policy, which includes policies related to sexual discrimination, sexual

harassment, and sexual violence may be found in the Walden Student Handbook and by visiting

https://www.waldenu.edu/experience/support-services/student-safety-title-ix.

If you have been a victim of any form of sexual violence, harassment, or discrimination (or know

someone who has), whether at a Walden-sponsored event or at your field experience site, your first

priority is your own personal safety. After you are safe, please contact either your field experience

coordinator or Walden’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for receiving and

processing, in a timely manner, reports from students, faculty, staff, and administrators regarding rights

and responsibilities concerning Sexual Misconduct in violation of Title IX. Any questions or complaints

regarding Title IX may be referred to the Walden University Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX

Coordinator or to the Office of Civil Rights.

Walden University’s Title IX Coordinators

Title IX Coordinator Gina Dyson, Director, Student Affairs

Phone: 443-220-7016

E-mail: gina.dyson@mail.waldenu.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator Julie K. Ogren, Associate Director, Student Affairs

Phone: 612-312-2376

E-mail: julie.ogren@mail.waldenu.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Academic Residencies

RoChelle Gilbert, EdD, Associate Director, Academic Residencies

Phone: 612-308-9254

E-mail: rochelle.gilbert@mail.waldenu.edu

https://www.waldenu.edu/experience/support-services/student-safety-title-ix
mailto:gina.dyson@mail.waldenu.edu
mailto:julie.ogren@mail.waldenu.edu
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 45

Problem Resolution and Process

During their practicum, students may be vulnerable to any number of difficulties that can pose barriers

to a successful learning experience. By the time students reach the end of the program, they are

entering the work setting and should demonstrate effective problem-solving skills in many difficult

situations. However, students are not expected to resolve practicum problems alone. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Practicum Site Personnel

If a problem develops between students and their practicum preceptor (or other site personnel), they

should consult the appropriate individual at Walden to help determine the appropriate strategy to

resolve the problem in an informal manner: first, students should consult the practicum course faculty

member, and then, if needed, they may consult the specialization coordinator.

Significant problems that arise in the practicum setting should be addressed using the process available

to employees at the site and as officially documented in the site affiliation agreement signed for the

practicum experience. The appropriate Walden faculty or staff member will assist students in preparing

any necessary documentation and will closely monitor the progress of the problem resolution, including

any grievance process.

The specialization coordinator and/or program director should inform the School of Nursing’s dean

about any unresolved issues and must formally document the efforts to resolve the issues presented.

The dean will review the efforts to resolve the problem and inform students of other possible recourse

options.

Walden Faculty or Staff Members

Consistent with ethical guidelines, in nearly all situations, students should initially address any concerns

directly with the faculty or staff member involved (e.g., practicum course faculty member, specialization

coordinator) and attempt to resolve the issue at an informal level, before proceeding to a request for

intervention (e.g., from the program director or dean). Failure to address the problem at the program

level may delay resolution, as the problem will likely be referred back to the program level. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

There shall be no retaliation against any student who identifies a problem or seeks assistance in

resolving a conflict involving a member of Walden’s faculty or staff, including those students who

choose to file a formal grievance.

Step 1. Consult the Program Director

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 46

If a problem develops between students and their practicum course faculty member (or other faculty or

staff member), the program director will help students determine the appropriate strategy to resolve

the problem in an informal manner. The faculty or staff member and/or the program director should

fully inform the dean about any unresolved issues and document all attempts to resolve the issues

students have presented. All parties should receive copies of any documentation after it is submitted to

and approved by the appropriate dean.

Step 2. Consult the Dean

If students are not able to resolve the problem with the support and intervention of the program

director, they should approach the dean to seek guidance and/or intervention. The dean should already

have copies of all the documentation of the problem and resolution efforts. The dean will initiate further

investigation of the concern. Students may be offered counseling or other needed supports at the

dean’s discretion.

Step 3. Consider Filing a Grievance

If the dean is unable to facilitate resolution of the problem, students may consider filing a grievance

following Walden University’s grievance procedure, as described below. Note: Filing a grievance may

initiate reassignment of one or more of the involved parties for a reasonable period to allow for an

appropriate investigation of the situation. The right to confidentiality, both of the complainant and of

the accused, will be respected to the extent possible insofar as it does not interfere with the institution’s

legal obligation or ability to investigate allegations of misconduct brought to the university’s attention or

to take corrective action when it is found that misconduct has occurred. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

A formal grievance must be identified as such in writing and directed to the chief academic officer, using

the electronic Student Academic Appeals form. The grievance normally should originate no more than

30 calendar days following a resolution decision by the dean or designee (refer to Step 2) concerning the

complaint or conduct that gave rise to the grievance. The chief academic officer initially reviews the case

to determine appropriate action, which can include referring the matter to an appropriate university

office for review. If the conflict is resolved at this stage, no further action is necessary.

Step 4. Hearing Committee

If the conflict cannot be resolved at the initial review stage, the chief academic officer appoints a

hearing committee to review the allegations. A written decision from the committee will be delivered in

as timely a manner as possible, while allowing for appropriate investigation and consideration, not to

exceed 60 calendar days from the date the complaint is filed with the chief academic officer, unless the

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/studentaffairs/forms#s-lg-box-9925251
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 47

committee notifies the parties of the need for an extension to properly complete the process. The

written records are confidential but available for on-site review by the person(s) directly involved.

In all cases, the decision of the chief academic officer is final and not subject to appeal. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 48

Section 5. Frequently

Asked Questions How long is my practicum?

There are four courses in the nurse practitioner specializations with practicum components. Each course

is 10 weeks long and requires a total of 144 hours of direct patient care, for a total of 576 hours,

completed by the end of week 10.

Can I take two practicum courses concurrently?

Walden recommends completing one clinical course at a time because of the number of hours (144)

that need to be completed during one 11-week quarter. A Fast Track option has been developed for

some of the NP specialties and is available through Academic Advising. You may contact your advisor to

determine if you qualify. If you are approved to complete two clinical courses simultaneously, you would

be responsible for the 288 hours (144 hours per course) in addition to the didactic coursework.

Do I have to finish all the practicum hours during each course?

Yes, you must complete the required practicum hours during each course.

What if I do not complete all of my practicum hours during a course?

You should not have any problems accumulating enough hours. If you are concerned about this, you

should contact your practicum course faculty member immediately.

When should I submit my practicum application?

You must submit the practicum application via Meditrek no later than the first day of the quarter prior

to the quarter in which you plan to start the practicum. (If you live in Alabama or Wyoming, you must

submit the practicum application on the first day of the quarter two quarters prior to the quarter in

which you plan to start the practicum.) You should review the deadline information in this manual. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Application materials received after their respective deadlines are not processed until a later term.

What is the earliest I can submit my practicum application?

Walden encourages early submission of the practicum applications via Meditrek.

My site provides liability insurance coverage for me. Do I still need to have

my own?

Yes. All Walden students beginning a practicum are required to purchase professional liability insurance.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 49

Who at my practicum site should I designate in Meditrek as the practicum

site affiliation agreement contact?

The affiliation agreement contact must be a site administrator who has the authority to sign legal

agreements. Often, this person is the CEO, contracts manager, site director, human resources staff

member, owner, or president. Large organizations may have an on-site legal department that reviews

such agreements and may have an attorney who signs affiliation agreements.

If my potential preceptor does not have a master’s degree in nursing, can I

still nominate him or her for my practicum?

You should make every attempt to find a preceptor who meets all the requirements outlined in this

manual. If you know of someone who you believe is an ideal preceptor but who does not meet these

requirements, then you should follow the instructions for using a co-preceptor or mentor. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

When can I begin my practicum?

You may begin your first practicum experience after they have successfully completed all prerequisite

coursework, submitted their practicum application documents, received notification of approval of their

practicum application, and been enrolled in the practicum course. You must be in good academic

standing to begin the practicum experience. If you are unsure of your academic standing, you should

contact the Academic Advising Team at academicadvising@mail.waldenu.edu.

My site wants me to begin practicum activities before I start the practicum

course. Am I allowed to start early?

No. You must wait until the second day of the practicum course and after receiving instructor approval

of your objectives before beginning their practicum activities. Any hours accumulated prior to the

second day of the practicum course are not accepted.

Can my practicum experience be virtual?

No. Walden does not offer an option for doing the practicum virtually. All clinical hours must be in an

approved clinical site in direct care of patients. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

Can I be paid for my practicum?

No. You cannot engage in a paid practicum experience under any circumstances.

How can I obtain professional liability insurance?

Walden does not endorse a particular insurance provider. Students usually obtain professional liability

insurance coverage through companies such as Mercer, March, or Nurses Service Organization (NSO).

How do I know if I have to complete onboarding requirements?

Onboarding requirements of the field site will be outlined in the affiliation agreement between Walden

and the field site. Once the affiliation agreement is finalized, the field education office will contact you

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 50

via email to complete the screening process through CastleBranch. You must complete all the

requirements through CastleBranch in order to begin practicum.

Do I need to complete onboarding requirements in CastleBranch if I am an

employee of the field site?

Yes, even employees must complete the onboarding requirements of the field site because Walden

must attest to these requirements for all students. Students are not in an employee capacity at the field

site during practicum so Walden must verify and attest to field site requirements.

Will my preceptor be compensated?

Although Walden University School of Nursing does not compensate preceptors financially for

preceptorships, they are provided with the following benefits:

 Verification document of hours precepted to utilize for continuing education and licensure renewal

requirements.

 Access to free continuing education opportunities provided by Walden’s School of Nursing

Continuing Education program for nurses.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 51

Section 6. Contact

Information

School of Nursing

Nursing Field Education

Nursing field education website: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son

Practicum application questions: nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu

Evaluation questions: nurseevals@mail.waldenu.edu

Nursing field education coordinators: nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu

NP Specialization Coordinators

NP Specialization Coordinators

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner AND Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse

Practitioner

Salma Hernandez, DNP, ACNP-BC: salma.hernandez@mail.waldenu.edu

Family Nurse Practitioner

Phyllis D. Morgan, PhD, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP: phyllis.morgan@mail.waldenu.edu

Stefanie Gatica, DNP, FNP-BC: Stefanie.gatica@mail.waldenu.edu

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD(c), PMHNP-BC, CNS-PMH, GNP-BC, CARN-AP, MAC,

CASAC, CNE, NEA-BC, APHN-BC, CPH, MCHES, FACHCA:

timothy.legg@mail.waldenu.edu

MSN Nurse Practitioner Specializations Program Director

Linda Steele, PhD, ARNP, ANP-BC: linda.steele@mail.waldenu.edu

Dean for the School of Nursing

Andrea Lindell, RN, PhD, ANEF: andrea.lindell@mail.waldenu.edu

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son
mailto:nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu
mailto:nurseevals@mail.waldenu.edu
mailto:nursefieldtraining@mail.waldenu.edu
mailto:phyllis.morgan@mail.waldenu.edu
mailto:timothy.legg@mail.waldenu.edu€
mailto:timothy.legg@mail.waldenu.edu€
mailto:linda.steele@mail.waldenu.edu
mailto:andrea.lindell@mail.waldenu.edu
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 52

Students should begin their inquiry at the level at which their question is most likely to be answered.

Delays in obtaining information may result if students inquire first from an administrator and must be

referred to a more appropriate resource person.

Note: Students should be familiar with the information in this manual, the School of Nursing Handbook,

and the nursing field education website before contacting a School of Nursing faculty member or staff

member for help.

Other Important Resources

Field Education Resource Links

Quick Answers: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/home#s-lg-box-4293425.

Meditrek Webinars: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments

Tutorials: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments

How to Submit an Application: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk9OCfNE-cg&feature=youtu.be

Schedule an Appointment With Field Education Coordinators From the Region:

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/contactus

Academic Advising Team

Academic advisors are available at 1-800-WALDENU (1-800-925-3368), option 3, Monday through

Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central time. Students can also e-mail advisors for the MSN program:

academic.advising@mail.waldenu.edu.

Office of Disability Services

The director of disability services can be reached by phone at 1-612-312-1205, or e-mail at

disability@mail.waldenu.edu. For more information, visit the Office of Disability Services.

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/home#s-lg-box-4293425
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments
http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments

http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/contactus
mailto:disability@mail.waldenu.edu
http://inside.waldenu.edu/c/Student_Faculty/StudentFaculty_436.htm
MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 53

Section 7. Programs of

Study

MSN Core Courses

Course Credit Hour(s)

NURS 6001- Foundations for Graduate Study 1

NURS 6050 – Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health 5

NURS 6051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through

Technology

5

NURS 6052 – Essentials of Evidence-Based Practice 5

NURS 6053 – Interprofessional Organization and Systems Leadership 5

Total 21

MSN NP Specialty Track Courses

FNP Track Courses AGNP Track Courses AGACNP Track Courses PMHNP Track Courses

NURS 6501 – Advanced

Pathophysiology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6501 – Advanced

Pathophysiology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6501 – Advanced

Pathophysiology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6501 – Advanced

Pathophysiology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6512 – Advanced

Health Assessment and

Diagnostic Reasoning

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6512 – Advanced

Health Assessment and

Diagnostic Reasoning

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6512 – Advanced

Health Assessment and

Diagnostic Reasoning

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6512 – Advanced

Health Assessment and

Diagnostic Reasoning

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6521 – Advanced

Pharmacology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6521 – Advanced

Pharmacology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6512 – Advanced

Pharmacology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6521 – Advanced

Pharmacology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6531 – Advanced

Practice Care of Adults

NURS 6531 – Advanced

Practice Care of Adults

NURS 6531 – Advanced

Practice Care of Adults

NURS 6630 –

Psychopharmacologic

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 54

Across the Lifespan

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

Across the Lifespan

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

Across the Lifespan

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

Approaches to

Treatment of

Psychopathology

(Didactic—5 cr.)

NURS 6551 – Primary

Care of Women

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6551 – Primary

Care of Women

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6540 – Primary

Care of Frail Elders

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6640 –

Psychotherapy with

Individuals (Didactic—3

cr., Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6541 – Primary

Care of Adolescents and

Children (Didactic—3

cr., Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6540 – Primary

Care of Frail Elders

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6550 – Advanced

Practice Care of Adults

in Acute Care Settings I

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6650 –

Psychotherapy with

Groups and Families

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6565 – Synthesis in

Advanced Practice of

Patients in Primary Care

Settings (Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6565 – Synthesis

in Advanced Practice of

Patients in Primary Care

Settings (Didactic—3

cr., Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6560 – Advanced

Practice Care of Adults

in Acute Care Settings II

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6660 –

Psychiatric Mental

Health Nurse

Practitioner Role I:

Child and Adolescent

(Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

NURS 6670 –

Psychiatric Mental

Health Nurse

Practitioner Role II:

Adults and Older

Adults (Didactic—3 cr.,

Practicum—2 cr.)

56 cr. (with Core

Courses)—576

Practicum Hours

56 cr. (with Core

Courses)—576

Practicum Hours

56 cr. (with Core

Courses)—576

Practicum Hours

61 cr. (with Core

Courses)—576

Practicum Hours

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 55

Note: A Fast Track option is available for certain NP tracks. Students should contact their academic

advisor for information to see if they qualify. In some circumstances, practicum courses may be taken

out of order. Students must file a petition through Academic Advising to do this. However, NURS 6565

must always be the last class.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 56

Course Descriptions

NURS 6501 – Advanced Pathophysiology (5 cr.)

Advanced practice nurses must be equipped with an in-depth understanding of pathophysiological

disease processes across the lifespan. In this course, students focus on understanding the

biophysiological processes, the deviations from these processes, and an in-depth examination of the

scientific concepts related to the biology of disease processes. Advanced practice nursing students learn

how normal organ systems function and how organ systems are interrelated to help the body maintain

homeostasis. Through knowledge of pathophysiological disease processes, students gain the

information needed to develop appropriate treatment plans for patients across the lifespan. Students

explore a variety of topics, such as immunity, inflammation, cancer genetics, and cardiovascular disease.

They also examine a range of disease processes, including hematologic, renal, neurologic,

gastrointestinal, and reproductive disorders.

NURS 6512 – Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning (5 cr.)

The physical and emotional well-being of patients and families can be complex and multifaceted.

Advanced practice nurses need to have the knowledge and ability to provide safe, competent, and

comprehensive physical health assessments. Students in this course focus on concepts and skills to

assess patients across the lifespan. They learn to use diagnostic reasoning, advanced communication,

and physical assessment skills to identify changes in health patterns. Students also use a systematic

approach through which they focus on the assessment of patients with acute and chronic health

problems. The advanced skills of suturing, reading 12 Lead EKGs, and interpreting X-rays will be covered.

Students engage in course assignments that emphasize risk assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and

evidence-based assessment across the lifespan.

NURS 6521 – Advanced Pharmacology (5 cr.)

A solid foundation in the concepts and principles of drug therapy across the lifespan is essential to the

work of advanced practice nurses. Students in this course apply the advanced principles of

pharmacology, including pharmacogenomics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, by analysis of

common drug classes prescribed by advanced practice nurses across the lifespan. Factors influencing

successful therapy such as effectiveness, safety, acceptability, cost, genetic/environmental influences,

complementary regimens, and patient behaviors are considered. Through this course, students prepare

to examine complex decisions in the management and treatment of selected acute and chronic diseases

across the lifespan through pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic agents. Advanced practice nursing

students will have a more in-depth understanding of drug legislation and regulation for prescribing

drugs.

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 57

NURS 6531 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults Across the Lifespan (5 cr.)

In this course, students learn how nurse practitioners master the art and science of clinical decision

making among adult populations. Students focus on the diagnosis and management of primary

healthcare needs and problems of the adult and elderly adult. They engage in a variety of course

assignments that focus on physical and behavioral disease processes central to diagnosing illnesses as

well as planning, implementing, and evaluating therapeutic treatment programs for acute illnesses

commonly encountered in a primary healthcare setting. Students gain confidence in clinical experiences

in a primary healthcare setting where they learn to plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic regimens

for adult patients with common acute and chronic illnesses. (Prerequisite(s): NURS 6501, NURS 6512,

and NURS 6521.)

Note: This course requires a minimum of 144 practicum hours.

NURS 6540 – Advanced Practice Care of Frail Elders (5 cr.)

The frail elderly are a subpopulation characterized by inactivity and weight loss. In this course, students

focus on the complex healthcare and management needs of the frail elderly by advanced nurse

practitioners in community settings. Students learn to plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic

regimens through the analysis of case studies and the actual care of frail elderly in various settings.

Additionally, students examine content related to end-of-life care and caregiver issues to gain the

knowledge and sensibilities needed to implement positive change for the quality of life available to this

vulnerable population. (Prerequisite(s): NURS 6501, NURS 6512, NURS 6521, and NURS 6531). Note: This

course requires a minimum of 144 practicum hours.

NURS 6541 – Primary Care of Adolescents and Children (5 cr.)

How can a nurse practitioner master the art and science of clinical decision making among pediatric

populations? This course provides students with the opportunity to answer this question as they

examine content related to the primary healthcare of children and adolescents while focusing on

common health problems. Students learn how to identify, diagnose, and manage these problems. They

also gain confidence in clinical experience in a primary healthcare setting that provides opportunities to

assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic regimens for acute and chronic illnesses

commonly found in children and adolescents. (Prerequisite(s): NURS 6501, NURS 6512, NURS 6521, and

NURS 6531).

Note: This course requires a minimum of 144 practicum hours.

NURS 6550 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings I (5 cr.)

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 58

The complex assessment and care of patients in the hospital setting will require advanced practice

nurses to obtain the specialized skills necessary to provide quality care for patients in these acute care

settings. This course is designed to prepare students to provide care for acutely ill and critically ill

patients. Students in this course will be introduced to the role of the advanced practice nurse, while

gaining confidence in caring for acutely ill patients. Through course assignments and clinical practice in

the acute care setting they will plan, implement, and evaluate care for critically ill patients. Students will

also increase their knowledge of pharmacologic management of hospitalized patients, while applying

knowledge gained through previous coursework. (Prerequisite(s): NURS 6501, NURS 6512, NURS 6521,

NURS 6531, and NURS 6540). Note: This course requires a minimum of 144 practicum hours. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

NURS 6551 – Primary Care of Women (5 cr.)

How can a nurse practitioner decide what is important to focus on in a 15- to 30-minute appointment

with a woman seeking primary care? Students in this course gain opportunities to teach and promote

wellness in women through the process of screening for commonly seen in gynecological disorders.

Students learn to analyze data to interpret results for the benefit of women seeking assistance with

planning healthy lifestyle behaviors. They also gain clinical experience in a primary healthcare setting

that provides opportunities to increase competence in diagnosis, treatment, referrals, or follow-up care

with a concentration on improving patient outcomes. (Prerequisite(s): NURS 6501, NURS 6512, NURS

6521, NURS 6531, and either NURS 6540 or NURS 6541). Note: This course requires a minimum of 144

practicum hours. Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

NURS 6560 – Advanced Practice Care of Adults in Acute Care Settings II (5 cr.)

Students in this course will advance their clinical competence in the care of patients in acute care

settings by building on knowledge and skills gained in the NURS 6550. Through clinical practice, students

will build confidence as they begin the transition from student to advanced practice nurse. Classroom

activities and case studies will enable students to explore the complex healthcare system including

multiple governmental, social and personal resources available to acutely ill adults across the age

continuum. Clinical experiences in hospital settings will provide students with the continued opportunity

to develop, implement, and evaluate management plans for adults and older adults with complex acute,

critical, and chronic illness. The application of knowledge in the management of patients and the

collaboration between the advanced practice nurse and the patient, family, and interprofessional

healthcare team are emphasized. (Prerequisite(s): NURS 6501, NURS 6512, NURS 6521, NURS 6531, and

NURS 6550). Note: This course requires a minimum of 144 practicum hours.

NURS 6565 – Synthesis in Advanced Practice Care of Complex Patients in Primary Care Settings (5 cr.)

Students in this synthesis course will focus on clinical competence in primary care settings by building on

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 59

knowledge and skills gained in previous courses. Through clinical practice, students will build confidence

as they begin the transition from the role of registered nurse to advanced practice nurse. Classroom

activities and case studies will enable students to explore the salient nurse practitioner practice issues

involved in the delivery of safe, competent, quality and cost-effective care of patients in a dynamic

healthcare system. Clinical experiences in primary care settings will provide students with the continued

opportunity to develop, implement, and evaluate management plans for patients with complex health

conditions. The application of knowledge in the management of clients and collaboration among the

advanced practice nurse and the client, family, and interprofessional healthcare team are emphasized.

(Prerequisite(s): NURS 6501, NURS 6512, NURS 6521, NURS 6531, and either NURS 6540 or NURS 6541,

and NURS 6551). Note: This course requires a minimum of 144 practicum hours and must be the last

course in the curriculum.

NURS 6630 – Psychopharmacologic Approaches to Treatment of Psychopathology (5 cr.)

At times, psychotherapy is not enough to alleviate the emotional difficulties that some patients face. To

that end, psychopharmacologic approaches are needed. Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners

(PMHNPs) must have a strong basis in psychopharmacology, extending from a prior education in

pharmacology, to make appropriate medication choices for their patients. Learners in this course

consider psychopharmacologic approaches to major mental health disorders including, but not limited

to, major depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders as well as psychotic disorders.

Learners explore key considerations associated with medication selection, monitoring of efficacy, and

long-term management.

NURS 6640 – Psychotherapy With Individuals (5 cr.)

Psychotherapy involves giving more than “good advice.” For the psychiatric mental health nurse

practitioner (PMHNP) to be effective, deliberate approaches to therapy must be used that are consistent

with evidence-based practices. Learners in this course are introduced to a variety of therapeutic

techniques that can be used during psychotherapy sessions with individuals across the lifespan.

Emphasis is placed on evidence-based applications of various therapeutic approaches for a wide range

of psychiatric issues. The focus of the practicum experience is on psychotherapeutic approaches with

individuals. (3 cr. didactic, 2 cr. practicum; 144 hrs.)

NURS 6650 – Psychotherapy With Groups and Families (5 cr.)

Managed care has ushered in a new era of effective mental health services. To that end, the psychiatric

mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) must know how to optimize not only his or her time, but also

the treatment benefits associated with family and group therapy. In this course, the emphasis is on the

concept of treatment of the family unit. Group dynamics and benefits associated with group therapy are

MSN Practicum Manual: Nurse Practitioner Specializations (April 2017) Page 60

also emphasized along with introducing the learner to techniques that can be used in group therapy

settings. The focus of the practicum experience is on the treatment of the family unit as well as the

provision of group psychotherapy.

(3 cr. didactic, 2 cr. practicum; 144 hrs.)

NURS 6660 – Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role I: Child and Adolescent (5 cr.)

Working from a lifespan approach, this first practicum course for the psychiatric-mental health nurse

practitioner (PMHNP) is an introduction for the learner to child and adolescent psychiatry. Emphasis is

placed on the psychiatric and/or mental health disorders that begin in childhood and adolescence and

topics include psychiatric assessment, differential diagnosis, application of diagnostic criteria,

appropriate diagnostic testing, and diagnostic formulation. The learner will select a combination of

psychotherapeutic modalities coupled with psychopharmacologic approaches to treat common

psychiatric mental health conditions of children and adolescents. The focus of the practicum experience

is on application of didactic concepts to actual patient care situations. (3 cr. didactic, 2 cr. practicum;

144 hrs.)

NURS 6670 – Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role II: Adults and Older Adults (5 cr.)

Continuing from the lifespan approach, the learner in this final course for the psychiatric mental health

nurse practitioner (PMHNP) focuses on psychiatric mental health issues that occur in adults and older

adults. Selection of assessment approaches for the adult and older adult as well as differential diagnosis,

application of diagnostic criteria, appropriate diagnostic testing, and diagnostic case formulation will be

undertaken. The learner will use both psychotherapeutic approaches coupled with

psychopharmacologic approaches to treat common psychiatric mental health conditions of adults and

older adults. Through these practicum experiences, learners will focus on the application of didactic

concepts to patient care situations. (3 cr. didactic, 2 cr. practicum; 144 hrs.). Capstone Synthesis Practicum Journal Assignment Papers.

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