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MSU-Bozeman graduates its first master's prepared Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) students.

Jamie (Lorang) Besel, a Montana native and ICU nurse from Billings, and Aven Strand, a career US Air Force Major from Texas, are the first two master's students to complete the requirements of the Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) option at MSU-Bozeman College of Nursing this spring. "MSU-Bozeman College of Nursing is an extraordinary institution for learning, as I have experienced first hand from both my undergraduate and graduate studies," says Jamie, who also completed three elective courses in teaching. Both students have been graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) during the time they have been students in the program. Most recently, Jamie has served as a faculty member on the Billings campus of the College of Nursing under a State Board of Nursing waiver for faculty who are completing their graduate nursing education. Aven has taught as a Clinical Resource Registered Nurse (CRRN) on the Great Falls campus of the College of Nursing for the past two years. Both students have indicated their high level of satisfaction with the program and their readiness to take on leadership responsibilities in the CNS role.

These two students were the first to embark upon the Adult CNS option, which prepares advanced practice nurses in the care of adults with complex acute and chronic health problems. The part-time option is a six-semester program, which can be completed in three years while nurses continue to work in their current nursing positions. A full-time individualized plan of study can be developed for students who want to complete the program in two years. Courses are primarily delivered via distance delivery methods including teleconference, interactive video and WebCT (on the Internet) with only one trip to Bozeman at the beginning of the fall semester each year. Three times during the year students attend class over interactive video from one of the College's campus sites in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls or Missoula. The program prepares graduates to take the American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC) Clinical Nurse Specialist national certification examination for Adult Health Nursing (previously known as the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Medical-Surgical Nursing certification examination).They are then eligible to be licensed as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in the CNS category.

In addition to the Adult CNS option and the continuing Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) option (both generic and post-masters certificate), the College of Nursing offers three elective education courses for those interested in teaching in nursing programs or in clinical facilities. The College is also engaged in the planning process for an additional Master's option with fewer credits, which may be available as early as Fall 2007 pending final approval and grant funding. For all options, admission requirements include a baccalaureate degree in nursing with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, GRE scores of 1000 (combined verbal and quantitative), three strong letters of reference, a positive interview with a member of the admissions committee, and satisfactory completion of the following undergraduate courses: health assessment, community health, research, and statistics. An essay is also required. The deadline for preliminary applications is January 15th each year and the completed final applications are due February 15th each year.

More information about these program options can be obtained by contacting Lynn Taylor in the MSU-Bozeman College of Nursing at (406) 994-3500 or lynnt@ and visiting the College's website at:
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Title Annotation:Education Under the Big Sky; Montana State University
Publication:The Pulse
Geographic Code:1U8MT
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Previous Article:Continuing Education update.
Next Article:Dangerous new threat to RN rights!

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