University offers master's degree for new health care role

Program prepares students with degrees in different fields for work as clinical nurse leaders, information set for Monday | April 1, 2005

Xavier is leading the way for the future of health care in America by being the only university in Ohio to offer a Master of Science in Nursing: Direct Entry as a Second Degree (MIDAS) tied to the new emerging health care role of Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).

A new report by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services shows one of Ohio’s hottest occupations through 2012 will be nursing. The report predicts there will be 4,510 new nursing jobs every year through 2012.

The department of nursing is offering an information session specifically on the MIDAS program on Wednesday, April 6.

MIDAS, which will begin classes this fall, is geared towards individuals who have an undergraduate degree in a field other than nursing and have a desire to be a nurse leader through the role of CNL.

“The CNL role is a national response to the health care needs of individuals and families at the point of care,” said Susan Schmidt, department of nursing chair. “A CNL will be able to assess a patient’s needs by looking at the whole picture and then provide coordinated care for that patient. This is especially important as healthcare systems are becoming increasingly complex.”

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in collaboration with a broad array of leaders from the practice environment called for the creation of this new nursing role in 2003. The goal is to improve the quality of patient care and to prepare nurses with the competencies needed to thrive in the current and future health care systems.

“In addition, there are growing concerns about the nursing shortage,” Schmidt said. “That shortage is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for complex health care grows. The CNL will also help address this area.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services report agrees stating nursing jobs will increase because of “the need to care for an aging population with a longer life expectancy combined with medical advances that make new treatments available.”

During the two-year full-time program, MIDAS students will take courses in such topics as general nursing, illness management, pharmacology, pathophysiology/health assessment, public policy, epidemiology and economics.

Upon completion of the course work, students will be eligible to sit for the National Licensure Examination. Once they have passed they will complete a 12-week clinical residency. Students will graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing.

Xavier has partnered with several area organizations as part of the residency program including TriHealth, Summit Behavioral Healthcare, Cincinnati Veterans Administrations Hospital and St. Luke Hospital in Kentucky.

Xavier’s CNL initiative is supported by the AACN. Applications are now being accepted. Contact Marilyn Gomez at 513 745-4392 or Gomez@xavier.edu for information or an application packet.

The MIDAS program is pending approval by the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) at the March 2005 meeting. Once approval is received from the OBN, the applications will be processed.