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Uniformed Services University (Graduate School of Nursing)

In the fall of 1992, the Department of Defense received the authority along with an appropriation to plan and implement a nurse practitioner training program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). The intent of the legislation was to meet the needs for advanced practice nurses in the uniformed services to include the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Public Health Service.

Since academic resources were already in place at USUHS, the Graduate School of Nursing was created to provide programs leading to a Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN). The program areas initially targeted were Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA). The FNP program admitted its first students in August 1993. The CRNA program admitted students in June of 1994. Both programs have admitted students in the succeeding academic years. These students are being prepared as future federal advanced nurse practitioners and investigators of the discipline of nursing. The graduates represent the future Federal nursing leaders in their respective services and organizations. Excellence in clinical practice with the ability to respond to military mobilization, humanitarian needs and disaster relief during times of war and peace are hallmarks of the graduates of this program.

The USUHS GSN was granted a 5-year initial accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, the accrediting body for all nursing programs, in December 1996 and an 8-year accreditation in 2002. The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs accredited the CRNA program in 1994 and in 1997. The GSN received "Preliminary Approval" from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 1998 and was subsequently accredited in 2002 after a 2001 site survey. The FNP program meets or exceeds all standards established by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties.

Upon completion of the graduate degree, all students are prepared to take the appropriate national certification examination in their nursing specialty, where, historically speaking, they do very well.

As of December 2002. seventy students have graduated from the Family Nurse Practitioner program and are serving as nurse practitioners. Eighty seven students have graduated from the Nurse Anesthesia program and are serving as certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). There are currently 54 students in the School representing the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Public Health Service. Sixty students have graduated from the Distance Learning Post Masters Adult Certificate Program as of May 2001. Twelve students have graduated from the Resident Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program.


Educate students as advanced practice nurses, scientists and scholars for service as future leaders in military operational environments, federal health systems and university settings. In a dynamic educational environment, prepare graduate nursing students to provide care, teach and conduct research for the uniformed services and federal health care system during peace, disasters, war and other contingencies.


Develop a diverse interdisciplinary community of scholars who will collaborate with agencies throughout the military and federal government to: provide flexible, innovative, responsive education; conduct focused research consistent with the military and federal health system mission(s) and contribute appropriately to health services through faculty practice.

School name:Uniformed Services UniversityGraduate School of Nursing
Address:4301 Jones Bridge Road
Zip & city:MD 20814 Maryland

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Graduate School of Nursing Nursing School Location

Graduate School of Nursing Courses

This foundational didactic and human dissection course is designed to facilitate a thorough understanding of human anatomy. The student will acquire knowledge that will enhance understanding in all subsequent nurse practitioner clinical roles. The course will be presented in several different modalities: pure didactic content, laboratory dissection, and student presentations of anatomic features central to nurse practitioner practice. Students will be introduced to the interrelationships between human biology and the strengths and weaknesses of the human body under stress both physical and psychological. This introductory course will, therefore, be a spring-board to future clinical, as well as, readiness courses taught within the APN curriculum.

Advanced Health Assessment is designed to develop and expand the assessment skills necessary for advanced practice registered nurses to excel in their specialty. Advanced health assessment is a required core course for all master’s students enrolled in the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) during the first summer semester. Case study discussions are incorporated to develop communication skills necessary to relay pertinent patient findings to patients and other providers. Variations commonly seen in pediatric and geriatric populations will be highlighted, as well as cultural and racial assessment variants. Operational readiness, patient safety issues, and features unique to the federal health systems will be incorporated into content throughout the course. This course challenges the student’s critical thinking and problem solving abilities as they apply to acute and chronic health conditions.

The health assessment course is a first level didactic and skill component course designed to help the student develop the assessment knowledge and performance foundations necessary for advanced practice roles. Basic health assessment is a foundational course offered to both Family Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Anesthetists during their first 9-week summer semester. Because of the abbreviated time allocated to the course, lecture/labs will be held three or four times each week, for a total of approximately 30 didactic hours and 18 laboratory hours. Health maintenance and disease prevention are considered foundational topics throughout the curriculum. The "Putting Prevention into Practice" (PPIP) will be addressed as appropriate to the topics under discussion. This course challenges the student's critical thinking and problem solving abilities as they apply to acute and chronic health conditions of individuals and their families. The purpose of this course is to refine the student’s clinical assessment and documentation skills for use in their first clinical course as advanced practice nurses.

This core course introduces the student to the multiple roles of the advanced practice nurse within the Military, Civilian, and Federal Health Care systems. The professional, political, and cultural components of role are presented, as well as legal issues in advanced practice nursing. Principles of leadership, collaboration, conflict management, negotiation and power as related to the role of the APN within managed care environment are some of the topics discussed.
This course emphasizes the conduction of a preliminary review of the literature and identification of a potential research topic for the Scholarly Project. An overview of the research process, as well as the relationship of research to practice – building evidence for practice – is provided. Searching and critique of the literature within the context of evidence-based practice are stressed. Exploration of relevant topics for research is facilitated through multiple venues that include guest researchers, student presentations, and assigned searching of the literature. Identification of potential relevant researchable topics is discussed with faculty and guest researchers.

This APN core course meeting three lecture hours weekly provides the foundation for organ system disease and disorders through a physiologic systems approach. The physical laws and principles of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, renal, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems are presented emphasizing how these laws and principles can be applied to understanding the mechanisms nd complications of disease.

This core course introduces students to ethical and health care policy issues in federal and military practice. The course examines relationships among social, cultural, political, financial, clinical, and legal factors that influence health care delivery and public policy in the Federal Health Care Systems and in contingency operations. During this course, both ethical and federal health policy issues will be explored. Key ethical principles will be presented as a class topic and elaborated on by the speaker. Political topics will be correlated with health policy and professional development.

This course prepares students to critique, conduct, and use nursing research in advanced clinical practice. The students will explore the history of nursing research and build upon their basic knowledge of the research process and the application of research findings in clinical practice. Extensive review and critique of the literature are stressed. Identification of problems and development of relevant research questions are practiced with faculty guidance. Particular emphasis is placed on writing a review of the literature. Sampling, measurement, data collection, and data analysis are discussed. Ethical considerations of informed consent and the conduct f research are clearly articulated throughout the course.

This course is designed to assist students in obtaining the necessary pharmacologic content required to prepare them to function in an advanced practice role. The course is unique in that explores, adapts and applies principles of pharmacology to the management of patient care within both primary and perioperative settings. The focus of the course is on major categories of drugs, their effects, side effects, toxicity and dosages. The principles of pharmacodynamics (action of drugs) and pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) will be emphasized along with necessary modifications required for age, weight and race differences among patients. Students will be asked to consider the interaction between commonly prescribed drugs and anesthetic agents, as well as medication safety in the context of preparing a patient for a surgical procedure. This course will challenge student critical thinking and problem solving skills as they apply pharmacologic principles to a wide array of chronic and acute clinical conditions.

This core course provides the students with in-depth presentations of those aspects of pathophysiology that are relevant to advanced practice nursing. The changes in physiological parameters occurring during the disease process will be presented along with clinical correlations. An emphasis is placed on clinical cases that are reflective of the military medical theater of operations. Clinical correlates will be presented consisting of cases and the results of evidence-based research focus on diseases and conditions common in peacetime and during deployment. Emphasis is on patient safety and tertiary prevention.

This course explores leadership challenges facing the advanced practice nurse within the federal health care system as well as provides an introduction to the scope of management. Students evaluate leadership and managerial skills, analyze theories for problem resolution at the individual, unit and organizational level; research culturally diverse issues that create conflict; and explore barriers that negatively influence communication, management and leadership. Interactive group sessions allow multiple opportunities to learn skills in critical thinking, ommunication, management, leadership, teaching and knowledge integration.

This core course expands upon the basic principles of research, research problem formulation, and the quantitative and qualitative research methods used to conduct nursing research that were introduced in the first semester. More specifically, it focuses on the knowledge and technological skills needed to analyze and manipulate both quantitative and qualitative data. The utilization of computers and technology in research is emphasized.

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