Nursing, MS: Current Students

  • Announcements and News Contact Information

    Nashat Zuraikat, PhD, RN
    Professor, Master’s Program Coordinator
    Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions
    236 Johnson Hall
    1010 Oakland Ave.
    Indiana, PA 15705-1063

    Coordinator’s Office Hours for the Semester:

    Office hours during the Spring are Monday 1:00–3:00 p.m., Tuesday 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. , and Thursday 1:00 p.m. –3:00 p.m.. E-mail to arrange an appointment.

    Department hours are at the bottom of the page.

    Back to top

    Advising Information

    Students are assigned an academic advisor within the Nursing and Allied Health Professions Department at the time of admission. The advisor is responsible for assisting the student with the development and implementation of the Program of Studies Plan. All changes in the student’s Program of Studies Plan must be approved by the advisor before the student registers for classes. The student maintains the responsibility for fulfilling program requirements, meeting deadlines, etc.

    Students must meet with their advisor each semester prior to registering for course work. The advisor will help students plan their course schedule, select electives, approve transfer credits, and provide guidance with program requests in a timely fashion. The advisor also plays an integral role in assisting the student with completion of the portfolio project, which is a graduation requirement. The graduate nursing coordinator is an additional resource for discussion of university and departmental policies and program requirements. Students may also refer to the School of Graduate Studies and Research catalog for additional policy information.

    Back to top

    Resources and Information

    Progress Requirements

    University and Departmental Degree Candidacy

    Students are reviewed for degree candidacy the semester following the completion of 12 hours of graduate credits. Students must be enrolled in course work to be considered for candidacy status. To be admitted to candidacy, students must have:

    1. Achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all graduate course work
    2. Met all program requirements to the satisfaction of the department
    3. Completed a departmental Program of Studies Plan. The student and advisor will design a Program of Studies Plan that will direct the selection of courses throughout the program. A written copy will be given to the student and a copy incorporated into the student’s nursing file.

    Students who are not granted candidacy after completing 12 graduate credits must satisfy all candidacy requirements during the next semester. At the end of this additional term, students will be granted candidacy or may be asked to leave the master’s degree program.

    Additional Requirements

    The student must submit proof of the following documents through the time the student is registered for courses which involve a clinical component. These courses include:

    • NURS 731 — Nursing Administration Capstone I
    • NURS 732 — Nursing Administration Capstone II
    • NURS 743 — Nursing Education Practicum
    1. Professional liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 personal coverage/$3,000,000 aggregate coverage
    2. Documentation of successful completion of a CPR course offered by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross
    3. Current RN license
    4. Health records Students in the graduate nursing program must comply with health requirements of the department. Before entering the first clinical setting students are required to have:
      • Health history and physical examination (within one year)
      • The following immunizations:
        • DPT/DTaP/Tdap (within the last ten days)
        • MMR (2)
        • Polio
        • HBV ( or waiver)
        • The following titers:
          • *Rubella titer (within one year)
          • *Varicella titer
          • Two-step tuberculin skin test (This is required in accordance with CDC guidelines for health care providers.)
            1. If the skin test is positive, a negative chest X-ray is required. Negative TB skin test (or chest X-ray) must be in effect for entire academic year.
            2. If the skin test and chest X-ray are positive, student will be required to undergo medical treatment in accordance with the CDC guidelines before starting his/her practicum experience.
          • Students will meet all additional requirements of the clinical site. These requirements may include drug screening.*Titers are required. Vaccinations or history of illness with the disease is not acceptable as proof of immunity. If not immune on the first titer, the student must receive Rubella and/or Varicella immunization and be re-titered to verify immunity.Recent health records completed in the last year will be acceptable.
    5. FBI Criminal History Check and Background Check. All students who will be in a clinical agency need to comply with the following request: Beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, all nursing students, regardless of whether you live in-state, out-of-state, or out-of-country, must complete the FBI Criminal History Check and Background Check (fingerprinting process).

    The information above is due to the departmental graduate secretary by August 1 for Fall courses and December 1 for Spring courses. These requirements must be received by the dates indicated or the student will not be permitted to remain enrolled in the course.

    Back to top

    Graduate Program in Nursing Student Handbook

    Additional information for Masters of Science students can be found in the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook

    Portfolio Project

    MSN students should follow the Portfolio Project Guidelines.


    A portfolio is a collection of items which represent the student’s assessment of her/his progress toward achieving the objectives for the master’s degree in the Nursing program.


    The portfolio project will enable the student to:

    • become fully aware of program objectives
    • focus course work and other professional activities on topics and projects that will facilitate achievement of program outcomes and personal, professional goals
    • track progress in meeting program outcomes and personal goals
    • reflect on projects and activities in a manner that will support synthesis of knowledge, values, and skills essential for an advanced practice nurse
    • support the development of communication skills

    The portfolios also assist the faculty in program evaluation and accreditation activities.


    As one of the program requirements, each graduate student is required to develop a portfolio according to the stated guidelines. An orientation to the portfolio project is part of the initial graduate student orientation session. Additional guidance is available from the student’s academic advisor, graduate coordinator, and from faculty members teaching graduate level courses.

    Building the portfolio is an ongoing process, and each student is required to submit the portfolio for presentation and faculty review by April 15 of each academic year in which the student is enrolled in course work. The final portfolio is due in the semester in which the student graduates (April 1 for May and August graduates, November 1 for December graduates).

    At the end of each academic year, the student is required to attend the departmental “Annual Outcomes Activity” in May. This session, scheduled outside of class time, is designed to bring all graduate students and faculty members together for a series of activities. They may include small group interviews pertaining to program satisfaction, professional activity updates, and reports on various department activities. Students may also be asked to participate in focus group discussions to collect data on graduate program satisfaction and the portfolio project. Broad topics that focus on university, faculty, and curriculum are explored and discussed.

    Back to top