Online MSN with a Clinical Nurse Leader Track Virtual Open House

Below is the transcript from the most recent online Master of Science in Nursing Virtual Open House.

[00:00:11.12] ZACK BERGLING: Hello and good evening. My name is Zack Bergling, and I'll be facilitating the conversation tonight with--

[00:00:20.19] ANN GOROWSKI: Hi, my name is Ann Gorowski. I'm a senior program manager here at Queens University of Charlotte in the School of Nursing. Tonight we're going to give you some background on Queens, share some details about the online Master of Science in Nursing with a clinical nurse leader, or CNL track, and how this program at Queens can provide an excellent learning experience and prepare you to advance in the nursing profession.

[00:00:44.62] Then we'll tell you more about our innovative online learning platform. Finally we will go over the admission requirements before opening it up to question and answers.

[00:01:00.04] ZACK BERGLING: So a little bit about Queens University of Charlotte. Queens is a private co-ed university founded in 1857 in Charlotte, North Carolina. We are ranked 18th among regional universities in the South by US News and have regional accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, our MSN program CCNE accredited and one of the largest producers of new RNs in North Carolina.

[00:01:29.33] A little bit of a background on the Presbyterian School of Nursing. The Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing joined Queens University of Charlotte in 2004 to form what is now the Presbyterian School of Nursing housed in the Queens Blair College of Health.

[00:01:46.27] Today the school draws from both of the institutions' best policies and backgrounds, traditions, histories to serve as health care resources for diverse communities, while still preparing students for leadership and nursing profession through its online degree program.

[00:02:10.04] So why earn your MSN? First and foremost, our coursework will prepare you to better-- be better qualified to care for your patients and be a better nurse by learning advanced skills and keeping up with the latest practices in the field. In addition to that, you may already know the earning your MSN could open up new doors to leadership and advancement opportunities in nursing by better preparing you for the challenges that you will experience in these said roles. Also students that show nurses with graduate degrees also feel a greater sense of satisfaction at work.

[00:02:43.06] In fact, some of our current online MSN students have given back the feedback that they have been able to apply what they have learned in the course work by providing ideas and making recommendations to their supervisors that have resulted in patient and workplace improvement which, in turn, goes back to show that the studies that do show and demonstrate that nurses with graduate degrees also feel a greater sense of satisfaction at work.

[00:03:10.64] ANN GOROWSKI: Now let's take a look as to why pursue the clinical nurse leader track. Before we dive into that, first I'd like you to join me in reading what one of our and MSN alums had to say about the CNL role, as it really does paint a really great picture. Caroline say, "the CNL will promote creating the best care plan for patients and their families. We are the glue that binds the different health care disciplines together so that information or detailed assessments are not missed." And that's exactly it. That exactly explains the CNL role. You really will be learning the skills as a clinical nurse leader that will prepare you to be a results-driven nurse, who is equipped to create a more efficient and effective care plan for your patient.

[00:03:57.25] You will be able to collaborate with fellow nurses and other health care providers to develop comprehensive evidence-based patient care plans. CNLs are highly skilled nurses dedicated to improving patient care outcomes by overseeing patient care coordination and assessing health risks, develop quality improvement strategies, implement evidence-based solutions, and facilitated team communication. A presence of a CNL has been proven to reduce complications, reduce length of stay, and reduce cost of care. It

[00:04:41.18] ZACK BERGLING: So why Queens? Why should you earn this degree at Queens University of Charlotte? First of all, you'll be getting the quality of a Queens education. Queens offers very personal approach to education, and this carries over to its online programs. Professors and staff know your name and are accessible to help guide you to your own personal success. You're not just a number here at Queens. Faculty know your name and are committed to each and every student's success and well being during the program and even beyond.

[00:05:08.53] The MSN faculty at Queens are all CNL certified and hold doctorate degrees, so you'll be learning experts in the field who have successfully already attained their CNL certification themselves.

[00:05:22.12] ANN GOROWSKI: And another great feature of our programs that really sets us apart from other schools, is our approach to the delivery of our programs. We work with nurses all day and talk with nurses every day. We know you have busy schedules, and nurses hours can really be all over the place. So when this program was designed, it was designed to meet your needs.

[00:05:46.34] We have you taking one class at a time to really focus in on that one subject matter and focus in on, you know, one set of reading assignments and one set of homework that you're learning and really build the relationship with other students as well with your professor. And by taking even just one class at a time, you can achieve a great work, life, school balance and finish your Master's in just two years.

[00:06:14.22] In addition to that, our tuition is among the most affordable for private regionally accredited universities. And all of this is available to you in a convenient online format. The classes are asynchronous, so there's no specific times when you must be logged into class, so you never have to worry about your teacher saying, OK, Tuesday at 6 o'clock, everyone make sure you're logged in. It can be done completely on your time. Our program is designed to offer working nurses the opportunity to really balance their personal, professional, and academic life needs. And, along with that, there is not on-campus residency required.

[00:07:02.07] Now let's take a look at the curriculum. The MSN program at Queens will prepare you to be an interdisciplinary, focused, and well-rounded nurse. Core course work provides advanced knowledge of nursing theory, research, informatics, and health policy. The courses that you will take specifically for the CNL track will focus on how to harness technological resources to make care more efficient in promoting collaboration, innovation, and critical thinking. Data analysis and evidence-based strategies will prepare you to design, implement and assess patient care plans.

[00:07:51.36] At the end of the program, you will also complete a clinical practicum in a facility near you.

[00:08:06.30] ZACK BERGLING: For some of you, this may be your first experience as an online learner, and you may have some questions and/or hesitations about what it is like to study online. Being a product of an online education myself, as my own Master's degree, I can assure you that advancements that we have made here at Queens have been more than sufficient [AUDIO OUT] those obstacles that you may encounter.

[00:08:26.25] Here at Queens, we also designed our program [AUDIO OUT] Quality of Education offered on campus in a flexible online format. We offer extensive support to our online students and have a very unique online learning platform that enables you to stay engaged with course work and interact with your instructors and fellow students on a regular basis.

[00:08:47.20] Let's have a closer look at the online learning platform called My Courses.

[00:08:59.08] Students will access course lectures, assignments via the virtual classroom called, again, My Courses, with various interactive features to help you optimize your learning, stay engaged and feel like part of a Queens community. This is the home page of My Courses. It provides quick access to upcoming events, assignments, course announcements, and your calendar. The latest lectures and even videos from your professors, if they post them, are accessible from this home page.

[00:09:27.88] As you can see, the instructor's contact information is in the upper right-hand corner, there's a course wall where you can post quick updates to your classmates and faculty, and you can even see who's online at the same time as you. Helps to work with collaboration and what not with your assignments.

[00:09:44.84] On top of all this, the great features of My Courses are available and fully accessible on a tablet or mobile device. You can literally do your homework from just about anywhere,

[00:09:59.46] ANN GOROWSKI: And here's a closer look at some other features in My Courses. It's easy to stay in touch with your peers throughout the program and really engage in conversations about assigned reading, using either the discussion forums and the integrated Skype video and chat features.

[00:10:23.01] ZACK BERGLING: One of the really cool and interesting features about My Courses is the built-in electronic portfolio tool. You can create a digital resume and collect all your best coursework and accomplishments in one place to really showcase to your employers your proficiency with the knowledge that you've obtained.

[00:10:45.68] ANN GOROWSKI: All right. So before we move into the question and answer session, let's go ahead and briefly go over the application requirements. Along with the completed application form, applicants must provide transcripts from their undergraduate studies. You must also provide a statement of purpose, with your goals for pursuing the MSN program. Now applicants must also have a BSN degree and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in upper level nursing courses. If you have lower than a 3.0, that is OK. You can still reach out to us, contact us, and we can discuss your potential-- the potential eligibility for a probational admission.


[00:11:40.52] ZACK BERGLING: Excellent. So now it's time for our question and answer session. Go ahead and please type in any questions that you have with into the questions tab, again, located on the right-hand side of your screen. We will do our best to answer as many questions as absolutely possible, as time permitting, of course.

[00:11:59.30] ANN GOROWSKI: So take the next minute, minute and a half or so to type in your questions, and we'll get started with that here in just a minute.


[00:12:46.65] ZACK BERGLING: OK. Excellent. Well, we have some questions that are coming in, and we can tell some students are actively typing out their questions right now as well. So we'll get started on our first one that's coming up. So, Ann, if you could expand on what are some of the responsibilities of a CNL and what their day would encompass, I guess.

[00:13:05.43] ANN GOROWSKI: OK. OK. So what are the job responsibilities of a CNL?

[00:13:10.94] ZACK BERGLING: Correct.

[00:13:11.80] ANN GOROWSKI: All right. Well, a CNL pretty much has a hand in everything. The scope of duties really involves drafting health care plans for patients, leading processes and teams, utilizing data to design and implement evidence-based practice, and anticipate problems with colleagues or patient care. CNLs really work towards bettering the care of a population of patients in their unit by making recommendations as they see fit, based off of the data they collected and analyzed. I hope that answers your question.

[00:13:49.45] ZACK BERGLING: Next slide. Thank you. I have another one coming in, and it kind of is similar to the one that you were just answering-- or maybe just expand upon iit-- but, in your opinion, Ann, what is the job market exactly like right now, currently, for a CNL and in the future.

[00:14:05.96] ANN GOROWSKI: OK. The job market for a CNL. Well, a CNL is a new world. It is relatively new in the nursing field, relatively speaking, but it is definitely a growing role. Definitely growing here in the health care industry, and it's becoming more widely recognized in today's complex care environment. With the program outcomes CNLs are able to drive, the demand for CNLs will just continue to grow, especially amid the challenges with the Affordable Care Act, and the aging baby boomer population. You know, really CNLs do not need to worry about their job prospects, because their CNL skills are valuable in really just about every care setting.

[00:14:47.74] There was actually a study I found not too long ago, conducted by the CNC. I pulled some of the stats. It's actually 96% of the respondents indicated that they apply their CNL knowledge in their current role, and 92% feel that there are a more important member of their team. And then 87% said, you know, they feel they are valued as an employee, because they are a CNL.

[00:15:17.06] ZACK BERGLING: Great. That's some great job security with that position, so--

[00:15:19.62] Ann GOROWSKI: Indeed.

[00:15:20.67] ZACK BERGLING: Awesome. Here's another one coming in, and it kind of relates, I guess, to a student's practical knowledge for their clinicals. Will there be assistance in finding a setting for my practicals?

[00:15:33.24] ANN GOROWSKI: OK. So, as we discussed earlier in the presentation that, yes, you do have a practicum you have to do, and it can be at a facility near you. If you do need assistance, the nursing department is more than willing to help you

[00:15:47.14] out with any sort of connections we have in your current area. This is a great topic to discuss with a program manager for your specific situation, your specific case, so if you did the assistance, we could just make sure we got that assistance for you. So the answer to that is, yes, there will be assistance.

[00:16:05.82] ZACK BERGLING: Thanks, Ann. Excellent. OK, wonderful. So there is-- I guess some students have some concerns about the level of support they're going to get on an online environment. This student, in particular, is-- I guess, a little bit out of state, so to speak. So how best can we assist students with their-- what supporter are we able to offer an online student, I guess.

[00:16:30.52] ANN GOROWSKI: OK, so-- It sounds like, OK, so what kind of offer do we give our online students? What kind of offer-- or what kind of support will they have? You know, this is a great question as, for many students, taking online courses, this may be your first go at taking an online course. So we definitely took that into consideration with this program, and we wanted to offer you the best level support that we could.

[00:16:55.46] It really starts at the very beginning with your assigned program manager, who is your main point of contact all the way through your first week of class. The role of us as program managers is to help you put your admissions file together, answer the questions you have, make sure you're set up on the system, make sure you're comfortable with everything. Really be just that go-to person in case you have any questions or any concerns. Our main goal is to really take care of everything on the front end so, that way, when the first day of class comes, you really feel prepared to just hit the ground running.

[00:17:31.03] Now, once you start the program, you're not just left alone. You get a student service coordinator. You'll get somebody else who follows you through the rest the program. So that go-to person for the rest of the program. The student service coordinator also sits in everything from registration, book ordering, accessing the courses, and submitting your assignment. So, again, any questions, any concerns you have, you have that one point of contact that you can turn to throughout the two-year program.

[00:18:01.51] Now the other major point of support that you'll have is our 24-hour, seven day a week, access to the IT support desk. Again, in working with nurses all day, every day, I know your schedules are all over the place, and I talk to students regularly that say their study time is 2AM, 3AM, 11PM. Don't worry. If you have any questions, you can call this number. You can get a human on the phone, and they can assist you with whatever your issue may be. So there's definitely a small army here of support for you.

[00:18:40.14] ZACK BERGLING: Excellent. And we can definitely go into that in a little bit more detail, because you'll have program managers like myself, like Ann, like Patricia here, really to also guide you through the process as well, so that's a great question. Thanks so much for that.

[00:18:51.50] ANN GOROWSKI: Yes, definitely great question.

[00:18:53.16] ZACK BERGLING: So apparently we have a student that has taken the GRE, and they want to know if they can utilize that to help with their admission requirements.

[00:19:04.22] ANN GOROWSKI: Well they can definitely add the GRE scores to their file. It's definitely not required. I'm sure many of the people on the call that are looking into an MSN program have seen a lot of schools do require a GRE, or some sort of standardized graduate test. We do not require the GRE, the GMAT, anything like that. We will be looking, again, more so at your GPA in those upper-level nursing courses. So no. It is not required. But if you have already taken it, we can also add at the score to your file if you'd like.

[00:19:42.59] ZACK BERGLING: Excellent. Thank you very much, Ann. Appreciate that. So we definitely hit on some of these key features of the program, and I-- if you could just elaborate, I have a student that's really just asking for, I guess, what sets Queens University of Charlotte apart from other universities around the nation.

[00:20:02.98] ANN GOROWSKI: Well, I mean, other than the fact you get to work with Zack and I, you know, one of the things that I absolutely love about our school is the small class sizes we have. With the upcoming terms, and with all of our MSN semesters, we only admit up to 20 students per semester. We really want to keep these small class sizes, because we think that it really allows better access to your professor, one, and it allows you a chance to really build the relationship with your fellow classmates as well the professor. And that's definitely something that we value here at our school. And with the small classes, you can really focus in, and the teachers can focus in on that personal attention and the mentoring. So if you did have questions, if you did have concerns, if you want to collaborate with your professor, that they have that time available.

[00:20:50.45] And like Zack was saying early in the presentation, the professors will get to know you on a first-name basis. So that mentoring opportunity is available there. I love the support system that we provide our students. Again, from the PMs-- the program managers-- to the student service coordinators and IT support desk.

[00:21:08.66] I love the different media tools that are integrated in my courses. I mean, you get a chance to see who's online the same time you are. You can chat with them. I know a lot of students utilize the Skype feature, which is really unique to our system, which is really awesome to use. And the other great thing that stands us apart is our students. I mean, we admit great students into this program and students that want to be interactive and want to engage with other students and, you know, that really set our program apart.

[00:21:37.84] ZACK BERGLING: Absolutely. It's definitely not a check in the box degree. We're looking for individuals to be a positive contributor to their own society, to their own organization, what have you. So if you're looking to really expand your knowledge base and be a more positive impact within your organization, within your community, this would be probably one of the best fits for you as well.

[00:21:58.89] So that there's a couple other questions coming in as well, Ann--

[00:22:01.67] ANN GOROWSKI: All right.

[00:22:02.34] ZACK BERGLING: --and if you can help me with them, I would really appreciate it.

[00:22:04.04] ANN GOROWSKI: I certainly hope I can.

[00:22:06.08] ZACK BERGLING: All right. So I have one student who says her job is extremely busy. She's working somewhere around 12-hour shift days, which you kind of alluded to before in the past, so if you could kind of elaborate on how long it takes to complete the program and, I guess, how long the classes are as well.

[00:22:22.17] ANN GOROWSKI: OK. So, as far as the way our program is set up, we kind of touched on this a little bit earlier in the presentation. What we have, you take one class at a time, and each class takes eight weeks. Again, we do the one class at a time for this reason of we know nurses are busy. You know, they put a lot of hours into work and then, of course, have things outside of work that they're involved in as well. So one course at a time to really focus in. Each class is eight weeks. If you were to take a class every eight weeks, you are still set to finish in two years.

[00:23:00.18] Now we do understand life happens and things come up, and you may have to take a class off, and that is completely fine. All that we ask is that you do complete the program within a four-year time frame.

[00:23:13.83] ZACK BERGLING: Great. So could you possibly kind of give us some idea on what a typical week would look like, I guess then-- as far as for the hours, I guess, that you would be spending studying and what not.

[00:23:26.72] ANN GOROWSKI: OK OK. So as far as per course, the amount of time that you're going to spend on each course, like week to week, can really vary from individual to individual. I know myself, I like to read and reread and highlight and underline and take notes and then note cards and color coordinate everything, so I may be on the higher end of our spectrum, whereas I know some people, they just read the information. They've got it and are good to go. On average, what we think, and what we've heard as feedback from our students, to really set yourself up for success, try to set aside about 10 to 12 hours a week on your schoolwork. That does include reading, assignments, everything like that. So it's a safe answer here but, again, it varies from person to person, but kind of an overall general answer would be about 10 to 12 hours per week.

[00:24:20.09] ZACK BERGLING: Great. Excellent. Thank very much.

[00:24:22.31] ANN GOROWSKI: You're welcome.

[00:24:26.58] ZACK BERGLING: I don't see any-- there are some specific questions coming in right now. Know that we will be reaching out to you to answer those specific personal questions on a case-by-case basis, so we will definitely be reaching out to you. So at this time, I'd say that we're going to wrap up our Q&A session here. Again, any of those specific questions, we will be reaching out to you on a personal basis to answer that and take care of that for you, OK?

[00:24:55.97] ANN GOROWSKI: And definitely don't hesitate, that once presentation is over, if you do happen to think of any additional questions, on your screen you'll see our contact information. Feel free to reach out to us any time. Again, there is Zack here, myself and our other partner, Patricia. We're more than happy to answer the questions that you may come up with. Of course, for any of you on this presentation tonight-- this open house-- you know you're ready. You want to get back into school, you know this is the right fit for you. Feel free to give us a call. We'll go through the rest of the application process with you, and just kind of take it from there.

[00:25:32.01] So thank you everybody for joining us today. We definitely look forward to hearing from you. And, like Zack said, for any questions that we weren't able to get to, we will reach out to you personally and answer those questions. So thank you again everyone, and have yourself a great night.

[00:25:47.33] ZACK BERGLING: Thanks again folks. We look forward to seeing you online next time for spring of 2015. Thanks so much.

[00:25:53.17] ANN GOROWSKI: Have a good night.