Jul 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Nursing Student Handbook 
2020-2021 Nursing Student Handbook [FINAL EDITION]

MSN and Post Master Certificate in Nursing Overview and Gaols

Preface and Accreditation and Approval

This Handbook will provide you with information about the programs of study and the policies and procedures specific to our School of Nursing. It should be used as a supplement to the Widener University Catalog, Widener University Student Handbook, and other University Publications. As such, the policies, procedures, regulations, requirements, standard of conduct and other information contained in such other publications are not reprinted herein, but are incorporated by reference herein as if all of the foregoing were set forth at length. All students are obliged to be familiar with and to comply with all of the policies, procedures, regulations, requirements, standards of conduct and other information set forth in such other publications.

The contents of this Handbook provide for the continuing integrity of the programs of study in the School of Nursing, thereby preparing you, the student, for professional roles. The University and the School of Nursing reserve the right and authority at any time to alter any of all of the statements contained herein, to modify the requirements for admission and graduation, to change or discontinue programs of study, to amend any regulation or policy affecting the student body, to increase tuition and fees, to deny admission, to revoke an offer of admissions, and to dismiss from the University any student at any time, if it is deemed by the University or the School of Nursing to be in the best interest of the University, the School of Nursing, the university community, or the student to do so. The provisions of this publication are subject to change without notice, and nothing in this publication may be considered as setting forth terms of a contract between a student or prospective student and Widener University. 

Accreditation and Approval

Widener University’s School of Nursing’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Post Master’s Certificate programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the MSN and Post Master’s Family (Individual across the Lifespan) CRNP option are approved by the State Board of Nurse Examiners of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Commission on Collegiate Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Nursing Education (CCNE) State Board of Nursing One DuPont Circle, NW P.O. Box 2649 Suite 530 Harrisburg, PA 17105 Washington, DC 20036 (717) 783-7142 (202) 887-6791

Handbook revised 9/09; 9/11 DRG/SDB/smd5/16 MED/GPC;8/20 MP/GPC

Widener University Goals

Rigorous academic expectations and high-impact educational practices that support intended learning outcomes

  • Articulate characteristics of rigorous academic expectations and practices.
  • Raise the level of academic rigor.
  • Expand the use of high-impact educational practices. 
  • Improve high-impact educational practices and student learning outcomes.
  • Promote a university culture where academic expectations and high-impact educational practices are developed, supported and rewarded.

A dynamic campus environment that immerses students in meaningful curricular, co- curricular, and extra-curricular experiences.

  • Increase students’ participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that promote student success.
  • Support and strengthen domestic and international university-recognized programs in order to engage students in global and multicultural activities.
  • Develop a campus infrastructure that promotes a vibrant living and learning environment.
  • Increase opportunities for student interactions outside the classroom with faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni.
  • Foster life-long commitments to the university in students and alumni.

A culture of leadership that inspires students, faculty, and staff to have a positive influence on their workplaces, professions, communities, and the world.

  • Position the university as a recognized international model for intellectual, scholarly, and experiential work on leadership.
  • Develop and assess professional and civic leadership attributes in students.
  • Provide collaborative academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programs and experiences for leadership development.
  • Engage faculty and staff with challenging leadership development opportunities.

A diverse university community that champions a culture of respect, civility, and inclusivity.

  • Continue to foster a campus climate that values multiple perspectives and experiences.
  • Prepare all students for success in a diverse and global society.
  • Expand and promote access, equity, and success for disadvantaged and underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • Create and sustain institutional structures and processes to support a culture of inclusivity.
  • Promote scholarship related to diversity and inclusive excellence.

Scholarship by faculty and students that enriches learning and advances knowledge within and across disciplines.

  • Strengthen a culture that values, promotes, and supports faculty and student scholarship.
  • Increase faculty participation in scholarly activities, including the scholarship of discovery, integration, teaching, application, and engagement, in addition to types of scholarship specific to particular disciplines.
  • Increase student participation in scholarly activities.
  • Increase collaboration between faculty and students in scholarly activities.

Civic engagement that furthers the university’s national and global leadership in educating engaged citizens and in contributing to the vitality and well-being of the communities we serve.

  • Create and enhance institutional structures and processes to advance the university’s leadership in civic engagement.
  • Increase the scope and impact of curricular and co-curricular civic engagement activities.
  • Increase support for developing strategic reciprocal partnerships that enhance student learning through civic engagement.
  • Enhance the university’s role as an anchor institution.

Enhance the university’s role as an anchor institution.

  • Optimize the university’s enrollment.
  • Achieve strategic initiatives through effective allocation and stewardship of human and financial resources.
  • Anticipate and adapt to the changing environment with innovative educational and business practices.
  • Construct and maintain facilities, including the technology infrastructure, that serve the diverse needs of the university community.
  • Adopt policies and practices that promote efficient use and conservation of natural resources.

Edited PAG 3/16

School of Nursing: Overview, Vision Statment, and Mission Statement


The School of Nursing is an integral part of Widener University. The University was founded in 1821 and has grown to become a multi-campus metropolitan university located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the state of Delaware. The University’s motto is “Reach higher. Go farther. Choose Widener.” The School of Nursing’s vision, mission and goals are reflective of and consistent with the vision, mission, and goals of the University.

Vision Statement

The Widener University School of Nursing aspires to be a preeminent school of nursing in a metropolitan university recognized for developing clinically prepared, scientifically oriented, technologically proficient, professional nurses who provide leadership as clinicians, educators, scholars and researchers to transform the health and quality of life of diverse communities in a global society.

Mission Statement

As a comprehensive School of Nursing we achieve our mission by creating a learning environment where curricula are connected to societal health issues through diverse community engagement. We lead by providing a unique professional nursing education in a challenging, scholarly, and supportive learning community. We engage our students through interactive teaching, professional role modeling, active scholarship, and experiential learning. We inspire our students to be professionals who demonstrate leadership in nursing practice, education, scholarship, and research throughout the global community. We contribute to the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

Approved by faculty 9/24/04    Reaffirmed by faculty 2/20/11/5/16

Student Transformation and Success

Approved by full faculty 02/29/16

Organizing Framework


The organizing framework of the Widener University School of Nursing is derived from the unique mission and vision of the university and the School of Nursing that addresses the needs of our community of interest. It embraces professional nursing standards and the essential concepts as articulated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials documents for undergraduate and graduate education. Foundational to the organizing framework are the metaparadigm concepts: human being, environment, health and nursing, which are incorporated throughout the curricula in all programs.

  • The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program prepares graduates to function as generalists in multiple settings.
  • The Master of Science and Post Master’s Certificate in Nursing (MSN) programs prepares graduates for leadership in diverse health care settings as advanced practice registered nurses.
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses to provide clinical leadership in the delivery of culturally competent, evidence-based, disease state management and/or system-based care.
  • The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program prepares scholars for educational leadership roles, disciplined inquiry, and the dissemination of new knowledge.

Definition of Essential Concepts (American Association of Colleges of Nursing)

Liberal Education 

The baccalaureate nursing curriculum provides a liberal education that includes broad exposure to multiple disciplines and ways of knowing, as well as in-depth study in the discipline of nursing. Learning outcomes include knowledge of human culture and the natural world gleaned from science, social science, mathematics, humanities, and the arts. Intellectual and practical skills, including written and oral communication; inquiry; critical and creative thinking; quantitative literacy; information literacy; teamwork; and integration of learning are additional outcomes of a liberal education. Civic responsibility and engagement demonstrate individual and social responsibility. Liberal education also fosters ethical reasoning, knowledge of diverse cultures, and a propensity for lifelong learning. The graduate curriculum builds upon the liberal education acquired at the baccalaureate level. (AACN, 2011; AAC&U, 2015).


Nursing education prepares its graduates to assume the role of the professional nurse – generalist at the baccalaureate level and advanced practice nurse at the graduate level. Nurses are prepared to be a provider of care, a designer/manager/coordinator of care, and an active member of the nursing profession within a global community. The nurse cooperates and collaborates with consumers, educators, and other health professionals in multidisciplinary settings to promote, maintain and restore health.

As a provider of care to diverse populations in a global community, the professional nurse must have a theoretical and evidenced based body of knowledge. Nurses are prepared to transform the health and quality of life of diverse communities using professional ethical frameworks and enhanced knowledge and by providing culturally sensitive care. As an advocate, the nurse engages in partnership with patients/clients – whether individuals, families, groups, or communities – to deliver high quality care, evaluate care outcomes, provide leadership in improving care, promote reduction of health disparities, and foster active participation in health care decisions. As an educator, the nurse must help individuals, families, groups, and communities acquire, interpret, and use information related to health care, illness, and health promotion.

The nurse must be a health care designer, manager, and coordinator using research findings and guided by evidenced based outcomes. As a designer of care, the nurse must design and implement high quality, evidenced based, cost effective care guiding the patient/client through the health care system. As a manager of care, the nurse must be a supervisor and evaluator of other health care providers; an interpreter of information related to health care, illness, and health promotion; and an information manager, assisting patients/clients in accessing, understanding, evaluating, and applying health related information. As coordinator, the nurse manages care to meet the needs of vulnerable populations in order to maximize independence and quality of life.

Core Competencies

Professional nursing requires strong critical thinking, communication, assessment, and technical skills as a foundation for the development of sound clinical judgment and decision-making. The nursing curricula are designed to provide graduates with course work and clinical experiences that promote the development of these essential core competencies for this practice discipline.

Core Knowledge

Nursing core knowledge builds upon the nursing essential core competencies. An appropriate set of values, an ethical framework, knowledge and action within the political and regulatory processes defining health care delivery and systems of care are required along with a commitment to lifelong learning. The School’s Mission Statement embodies the key concepts of core knowledge in its five- pronged approach to professional nursing education by creating curricula to address diverse societal health issues, promoting supportive and challenging learning environments, engaging students in scholarship and experiential learning, motivating students to demonstrate leadership in all areas of professional nursing, and contributing to the overall health and well-being of the communities we serve. Opportunities to explore emerging health care technologies are afforded to our students through a variety of course objectives and experiences.

Professional Values

Students enter nursing education already possessing a diverse set of personal beliefs and values. The delivery of health care and nursing education is fraught with moral dilemmas and the need to make ethical decisions based on professional values as well as the values of the patient/client. The School of Nursing promotes the development of professional values by providing curricula that incorporate the concepts of caring, altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice, and accountability.

Master of Science In Nursing Program Goal and Learning Outcomes 

Master of Sciene in Nursing Program Goal

The Master of Science in Nursing program prepares graduates to function as advanced practice nurses who are leaders in providing care to individuals across the life span, families, and populations in varied health care and/or educational settings. The graduate uses advanced knowledge in nursing and in related sciences and humanities to improve health care. Graduates are prepared as evidence-based practitioners who utilize theory, skills, and leadership concepts to guide practice to impact health outcomes.

Approved GPC 10/7/13; Full Faculty 11/4/13

Master of Science in Nursing Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Master of Science in Nursing Program, the graduate will:

  • Apply nursing, science, humanities, and ethical theories and information in the analysis of clinical problems, illness prevention, and health promotion strategies across diverse populations.
  • Analyze systems and work to create a culture of quality improvement and safety.
  • Use leadership knowledge and skills in initiating and maintaining effective working relationships and analyzing the impact of systems on patient outcomes.
  • Disseminate evidence-based practice decisions to advance clinical practice.
  • Use current technologies to deliver and coordinate care.
  • Collaborate with other health professionals to manage and coordinate care across systems.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of clinical prevention interventions that affect individual and population-based health outcomes that are culturally appropriate.
  • Provide safe, quality care to diverse populations in a variety of settings and roles.

Approved at Graduate Faculty Meeting Nov 14, 2012

Approved by Full Faculty December 14, 2012 Reviewed GPC 5/2016