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    Harding University
  Aug 17, 2022
2014-2015 Graduate and Professional Catalog 
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2014-2015 Graduate and Professional Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Carr College of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing


Program Description

Harding University Carr College of Nursing (HCCN) will offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track beginning in fall 2015. Successful completion of this degree program prepares the advanced practice registered nurse to apply for national certification, and prepare for a variety of rewarding roles in the health care system. The program focus will be patients throughout the lifespan in primary care settings. As state and federal decisions shape the future of health care and advanced nursing practice, the graduate will be positioned to make a significant impact on safe, quality patient care.

The faculty of the FNP program work within HCCN and the Center of Health Sciences. The curriculum is 45 semester credit hours in length, and requires 720 practicum hours. The program is offered year round with a hybrid online format, and can be completed full-time within 2 years. There are three required on-campus workshops each year. A post-Master's option is available. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to sit for national certification. Organizations offering national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner include the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

The MSN program is located in the Carr College of Nursing. For more information call (501) 279- 4475 or email

The HCCN Graduate Student Handbook contains a comprehensive description of all policies and procedures that apply to graduate students.


Dean: Susan Kehl, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E.

Family Nurse Practitioner Program Director: Dona Clarin, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., S.A.N.E.-P


Cathleen M. Shultz, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E., F.A.A.N., A.N.E.F.

Associate Professor:

Janice Bingham, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C.
Gregory Brooks, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-C.
Susan Kehl, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E.
Jerry Myhan, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C.

Assistant Professor

Dona Clarin, D.N.P., R.N., F.N.P.-B.C.
Tara Sanders, M.S.N., M.A., A.P.R.N., A.C.N.P.-B.C., R.D.

Mission of HCCN and the MSN Program

The College of Nursing’s mission statement is “Developing Nurses as Christian Servants.”

The mission of the HCCN and the MSN program is congruent with the mission of Harding University. The HCCN undergraduate and graduate programs share a common philosophy. The graduate nursing program fosters a supportive environment for registered nurses to develop as an advanced practice nurse. The graduate program’s purpose is to provide an evidence based, quality education that leads to an understanding and philosophy that is consistent with Christian ideals. The concepts of the MSN student learning outcomes and curricular strands are derived from the HCCN undergraduate program and national expectations.

Curriculum Strands and Student Learning Outcomes

The core values, outcomes, and competencies for Master’s programs of the National League of Nursing (NLN), and the essentials of Master’s education in nursing from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) serve as foundations for the HCCN MSN curriculum strands and student learning outcomes. The influences of Christian principles, values and the mission of Harding University as a faith-based institution are integrated throughout the curriculum. The concepts of the MSN student learning outcomes and strands are also derived from the HCCN undergraduate program.

At the completion of this program, the advanced practice graduate will be prepared to: 

  Strand Student Learning Outcome


Clinical Reasoning Demonstrate clinical reasoning in making holistic advanced practice clinical judgments for safe and quality nursing care relevant to comprehensive client problems encountered in primary care settings.



Implement research findings and evidence-based best practices in the provision of advanced practice nursing to enhance safety and quality in care.

Analyze disparities in knowledge or evidence, articulate research questions, and evaluate outcomes of advanced practice nursing for refinement of safety and quality.


Leadership Demonstrate accountability for client and system quality outcomes, acting as a change agent, and client advocate.

Analyze political, legal and ethical influences in health care systems that affect health policy and economics.


Collaboration Communicate and collaborate with clients, families and health team members for client and system quality outcomes, and to foster supportive personal and professional growth.


Christian Ethics Demonstrate commitment to Christian principles, professional ethics, and standards of advanced practice to provide culturally competent, patient -centered care to clients and families in local and global communities.


 National League for Nursing. (2010). Outcomes and competencies for graduates of practical/vocational, diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate, master’s, practice doctorates, and research doctorate programs in nursing. New York: National League for Nursing.


The MSN program is applying for candidacy of accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One DuPont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036-1120. This program is not guaranteed as a candidate for accreditation or initial accreditation. The undergraduate program is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Admission Requirements

The policies and criteria are conveyed to prospective students via the Harding University Graduate and Professional Catalog, HCCN Graduate Student Handbook, letters, phone calls, electronic communication, and personal interviews.

Admission to the MSN program is competitive.

The standards for admission to the MSN FNP program at HCCN are as follows:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in nursing with an upper division nursing major from a nursing program accredited by a nursing accreditation body and from a regionally accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution.
  2. Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale. If the GPA is below 3.0, conditional acceptance may be considered.
  3. Satisfactory completion of basic inferential statistics, health assessment, and nursing research courses; each completed with a final letter grade of “C” or higher.
  4. A minimum score of 400 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or a total of at least 295 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Students with lesser scores may be considered for conditional admission if the GPA is 3.0 or above.
  5. If the applicant was not born in the United States or in a country where English is not the official language, the applicant may document their English proficiency based on the following criteria:
    1. An official TOEFL iBT composite score of at least 83 with a minimum speaking requirement of 26/30 or 90%. The test must have been taken within the last calendar year of admission. An official TOEFL exam score report reflecting successful completion must be received no later than the application date. The TOEFL iBT can be taken in the Harding University Testing Office. The test is an expense to the student. Please contact that office for details at 501-279-4415 or online at
  6. Unencumbered current, compact or state R.N. license
  7. Proof of 2000 hours of work experience as an R.N. before registering for any practicum course.
  8. Evidence of meeting health related requirements is required.
  9. Evidence of current health and liability insurance maintained throughout the program.
  10. Evidence of current CPR for health care providers maintained throughout the program.

Applications for admission to the graduate program will be considered when all materials are collected to a centralized application source (CAS), and a $50 application fee has been submitted to HCCN.

Application processes are required through HCCN. Students may apply for admission in the fall or spring. Applicant interviews and candidate selection occur as application packets are completed. Complete detailed information regarding application cycles and deadlines is available on the web site at Completion of GRE or MAT admission testing is necessary for candidate selection. Official GRE scores can be sent directly to Harding using the institution code 6267. Official MAT scores can be sent directly to Harding using institution code 1846 or the MAT can be taken at the Harding University Testing Center who will provide the scores directly to HCCN.

The following items are required:

  1. Online applications are available through the Carr College of Nursing and NursingCAS.
  2. Official transcripts of all completed academic courses must be submitted through Nursing CAS.
  3. Completion of MAT or GRE and scores submitted.
  4. Three references pertaining to academic and professional work.
  5. Submission of health related requirements (see below).
  6. Completion of the criminal background check.
  7. Verification of current unencumbered RN license for state of residence and/or practice.
  8. Submission of professional paper addressing career goals with two references in American Psychological Association (APA) format (includes in-text citation and reference list); limited to two typed, double-spaced pages).
  9. Application for admission to the graduate program will be considered complete when all materials are collected in NursingCAS, and a supplemental application (pdf) with the $50 application fee submitted to HCCN.

All applicants fulfilling the requirements will be invited for a personal interview with HCCN faculty. Applicants are expected to demonstrate professional demeanor and dress, interpersonal skills, professional communication, and integrity throughout the process.

Following the selection process, students will receive a letter of acceptance, admission as an alternate, or non-acceptance. If a student receives a non-acceptance letter, he or she may re-submit an application after one calendar year.


Health Related Requirements


Requirement Explanation of Requirement
Personal health report with proof of requirement immunizations Signed by a physician or nurse practitioner
Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap)

Must have a dose every 10 years.

Must update Tdap if TD is > 2 years old.

 Measles (rubeola) Those born since January 1, 1957, must have two (2) doses since 12 months of age. The two (2) doses must be at least 30 days apart.
 Mumps Those born since January 1, 1957 must have at least one (1) dose since 12 months of age.
 Rubella  At least one (1) dose since 12 months of age is required.
 Hepatitis A Two doses are needed for lasting protection. These doses should be given at least 6 months apart.
 Hepatitis B The completed 3 dose series is required before contact with patients in clinical settings. Positive titer is required.
 Varicella (chickenpox) All clinical students must document evidence of immunity to varicella. The requirement may be met by any of the following:
  1. Documentation of varicella immunization. Immunization for adolescents and adults is a series of two (2) doses 4 to 8 weeks apart.
  2. Positive varicella titer.
Tuberculin Skin Test or Chest X-ray Annual documentation of this is required to enroll or continue in clinical courses.
Seasonal Flu (by October 1 for fall semester and by January 1 for spring semester) Must have documentation of annual seasonal flu vaccine or signed “declination” form
CPR Certification for Health Care Providers Certification must be updated every 2 years.
Proof of Health Insurance Proof must be maintained in the file during the duration of the program.
Criminal Background Check Cleared check must be present in the file
 Drug Screening Drug screening will be required annually. Students may be asked to complete a variety of types of screens at the discretion of the Director or as required by practicum facilities.

 Vaccination requirements for those students, who may be 60 or older before applying for admission or during the program, are available upon request.

Program Fees and Incidental Expenses

Beyond tuition and university fees, graduate nursing students incur personal incidental expenses for which students are personally responsible. These include, but are not limited to a computer, mobile computing device, clinical expenses, health-related expenses, standardized tests, certification preparation and examination fees, health insurance, liability insurance, uniforms, equipment, transportation, and personal costs while attending campus activities.

Computer requirements

Proficiency in basic computer skills (word processing, databases, Internet searches, and email) is expected of all entering students. Courses will be offered with an online format, and will require personal access to high speed Internet with video and audio streaming capacities. Students are required to have a computer upon entry to the program. Other minimum technology requirements and a mobile computing device will be identified following admission to the program.

Equipment Requirements

All students will be required to purchase or have equipment to meet program requirements. An equipment list and the dress requirements will be provided after admission.

Liability Requirements

Each student will maintain professional liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $2,000,000 per incident, and $5,000,000 in the aggregate prior to direct care clinical experiences. The policy must be maintained throughout the program. The cost of the policy is paid by the University.

Travel Requirements

Clinical experiences will necessitate travel to a variety of primary care sites. Students are responsible for all costs associated with clinical experiences. Transportation and food are the most common out-of-pocket expenses. Some sites may require arrangements for accommodations which will also be the student’s responsibility.

All students are required to have access to a motor vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and current auto liability insurance throughout the program.

Students are required to travel to the Searcy campus for on-campus orientations and varied course activities. Schedules will be announced prior to each semester, and students are to arrange schedules accordingly.

Background Check Requirements

Criminal background checks with cleared acceptable results are required prior and within the year to final admission to the program. Students are to consent, submit, and successfully complete a criminal background check through a program selected vendor as a condition for final admission to the program. This process requires a legible set of fingerprints to be sent to the selected vendor, and the fees are to be paid by the students. The Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will generate the reports. The student is required to submit proof of completion to the HCCN student files, and may be required to submit copies to one or more clinical facilities.

Certain conditions may disqualify for admission to the program. If a student determines that he or she may have a non-eligibility condition in his or her history, or was not cleared in the Criminal Background Check process, the application to the program may be denied.

Conditions that may disqualify students for admission to or progression in the HCCN graduate program: 

  1. A nursing license that has a pending investigation or is encumbered
  2. Any criminal offense including those pending appeal, such as has the student:
    1. Been convicted of a misdemeanor?
    2. Been convicted of a felony?
    3. Pled nolo contendere, no contest, or guilty?
    4. Received deferred adjudication?
    5. Been placed on community supervision or court-ordered probation, whether or not adjudicated guilty?
    6. Been sentenced to serve jail or prison time? Court-ordered confinement?
    7. Been granted pre-trial diversion?
    8. Been arrested or have any pending criminal charges?
    9. Been cited or charged with any violation of the law?
    10. Been subject of a court-martial; Article 15 violation; or received any form of military judgment/punishment/action?

*May only exclude Class C misdemeanor traffic violations.

Students are required to submit a urine or blood sample for random drug testing as required by the program and clinical sites. These costs are the students’ responsibility. A positive drug screen results in program dismissal. Both criminal background checks and drug screens are common pre-employment procedures, and required for professional practice.


 Degree Requirements


Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN