Advanced practice nurses have opportunities to serve as innovative leaders and skilled practitioners, and contribute to the improvement of nursing practice and healthcare. The demand for nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse educators, and nurse administrators/executives continues to grow in the rapidly changing and expanding health care environment.
Graduate study provides the opportunity to examine historical and contemporary perspectives of emerging theory and practice and to utilize academic, clinical, and research activities to contribute to the body of theory relevant to nursing practice. Graduate study also provides an avenue for the development of knowledge and skills, the utilization of technology necessary to practice with a high level of expertise, and the opportunity for specialization in advanced practice.
The Mission Statement of the Department of Nursing is to provide and promote baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral nursing education in an environment which emphasizes the development of individuals as professional nurses with a vision of their own power, and a clear sense of self and their professional role. The department endeavors to prepare graduates who are critical thinkers, who utilize, transmit, and develop new knowledge through systematic models of scholarly inquiry, and who demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning. Preparation for excellence in nursing practice is achieved through the integration of arts and sciences, humanistic concern for the health and well-being of others, and an awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity in a pluralistic society. Russell Sage College strives to prepare graduates within a global and technological context. Graduates are expected to assume leadership roles as professionals, and citizens in organizations to shape and influence health care delivery, nursing education, and the welfare of society.
The Graduate Nursing Program at Sage has been a leader in providing education for advanced practice for more than 30 years. Alumni are employed in leadership and advanced practice roles in New York and many other states. The graduate program is designed to:
- Provide for advanced study in a specialized area of clinical nursing;
- Provide preparation for the role of educator, clinical specialist, nurse practitioner, or administrator/executive in nursing;
- Prepare nurses for leadership and executive roles utilizing evidence-based practice to advance nursing theory and science.
Russell Sage College is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education. The Department of Nursing is a member agency of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, the National League for Nursing, and the Council of Deans of Nursing in Senior Colleges and Universities in New York State. The baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in nursing at Russell Sage College are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791. All nursing programs are registered with the New York State Education Department.
Applicants to the Department of Nursing must be a Registered Professional Nurse and meet Sage Graduate School admission requirements. In addition, students entering the Graduate Program in Nursing must have a 3.0 GPA and have successfully completed an undergraduate statistics course within three years of admission or demonstrate competency by a portfolio or upon advisement.
A B.S./M.S. option exists for undergraduate nursing students at Russell Sage College who meet certain criteria. These criteria include: recommendations from two faculty members, completion of 21 credits of nursing courses, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. RNs may request admission directly into the B.S./M.S. sequence.
RNs with Bachelor’s Degree in Fields Other Than Nursing
Official transcripts and professional work experience will be evaluated. Certain undergraduate nursing prerequisites (normally NSG 331, 332, 402 or 404 and 406) will be required to prepare the student for advanced study in nursing.
Nurse Practitioner Certificate (Post-Master's Certificate)
Upon completion of the Master’s Degree or Post-Master’s Certificate curriculum, graduates receive a certificate of completion as a nurse practitioner from Russell Sage College. Nurse practitioner students must complete a minimum number of clinical hours depending on their specialty for program completion, and to be eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center certification exam.
Students may attend the M.S. degree program with a major in nursing on a full-time or part-time basis. The majority of programs take a minimum of four to five semesters for full-time students. Selected required courses are available during the first summer session.
Students enrolled in clinical courses need to submit evidence of the following, one month prior to each clinical course:
- Current licensure as a Registered Professional Nurse;
- Current professional liability insurance (as a student nurse practitioner if in a NP program);
- Required immunizations, titers, and tuberculin test (within six months of clinical);
- Recent physical exam (within three months of starting a clinical course);
- Current CPR preparation.
Graduates who complete the required number of clinical hours are eligible to take the advanced-level certification examinations offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for clinical nurse specialists, administrators, or nurse practitioners. Graduates of the nurse practitioner tracks are eligible for registration in New York State as nurse practitioners in their designated specialty area.
Working students, full-time students, and those commuting long distances will find courses conveniently scheduled. Courses are offered during the daytime and evenings on a weekly, every-other-week, or weekend institute basis. Several classes are offered partially online. It may be possible to take two or three courses on one particular day.
Individualized program plans are made for each student to insure that students complete their programs within the required seven year time limit. Each student is expected to maintain a current plan with a faculty advisor so that course needs can be anticipated.
Completion of the Master of Science Degree in Nursing includes the selection of one nursing clinical specialty, and one functional role area. It may also be possible through elective courses to pursue a second clinical specialty or functional role (each student is assigned a faculty academic advisor who will assist in the development, and review annually of the academic program plan).
The following grid identifies the possible initial program selection combinations.
Functional Role Options
|-||Clinical Specialist||Educator||Admin/Exec||Nurse Practitioner|
|Clinical Specialty Options||-||-||-||-|
|Adult Gerontology Acute Care (Post-Master's)||-||-||-||*|
|Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP||-||-||-||*|
|Psychiatric-Mental Health NP||-||-||-||*|
Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program (AGPCNP)
The practitioner role necessitates a strong clinical background. Therefore, applicants need to have at least one year’s full time experience (2,000 hours) as a registered professional nurse before beginning nurse practitioner clinical courses. The autonomous and collaborative roles of the nurse practitioner in primary care demand socialization into those roles, knowledge of multiple practice models, and development of accountability for direct provision of health care services. Clinical experiences with faculty and preceptors provide a variety of experiences with physicians and nurse practitioners in varied geographic locations, and with clients from different social, cultural and economic backgrounds. There are intensive clinical placements with preceptors. A total of 500 clinical hours and 42 credits are required in order to meet the changing professional expectations in this practice area, and to be eligible to take the ANCC certification exam.
Family Nurse Practitioner Program (FNP)
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) has a combined clinical and functional role. The practitioner role necessitates a strong clinical background in evaluating clients and making judgments about interventions. Therefore, applicants need to have a least one year’s full time experience (2,000 hours) as a Registered Professional Nurse before beginning FNP clinical courses. The autonomous and collaborative roles of the nurse practitioner in primary care demand socialization into those roles, knowledge of multiple practice models, and development of accountability for direct provision of health care services. Clinical experiences with faculty and preceptors include a variety of physicians and nurse practitioners, geographic locations, and clients from different social, cultural, and economic backgrounds. There are intensive clinical placements with preceptors. A total of 700 clinical hours and 48 credits are required in order to meet the changing professional expectations in this practice area, and to be eligible to take the ANCC certification exam.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Graduates are eligible to be certified by New York State as psychiatric nurse practitioners and to take the examination for certification at the national level from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. A total of 48 credits and 500 clinical hours are required to meet the changing professional expectations in these practice areas.
Consistent with the changing health care system, graduates of this program will have the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills to provide primary and continuing mental health care: promote mental health, prevent mental illness, and diagnose and treat clients who demonstrate acute and chronic mental illness and/or substance abuse. Treatments include counseling, psychotherapy, and prescribing drugs.
A sound theoretical base of neurobiology, physiology, pharmacology, and human behavior theories provide the underpinnings for courses and practica related to comprehensive mental health assessment, diagnostic formulations, and therapeutic interventions. Psychotherapeutic processes include individual, group, and family therapy. Further, graduates would be qualified to provide case management, conduct and develop psycho-education programs, supervise support service staff, and provide consultation in non-psychiatric settings.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Administrator or Educator
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Administrator
Graduates of this track have a theoretical base of human behavior theories and psychopathology as underpinnings in psychotherapeutic processes which include mental health assessment, diagnostic formulations, and include therapeutic interventions in individual and group treatment modalities. Additionally, graduates have course work and practica in administration, finance, and delivery systems.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Educator
Graduates of this track have a sound theoretical base of neurobiology, human behavior, and psychopathology as underpinnings in psychotherapeutic processes which include mental health assessment, diagnostic formulations, and therapeutic interventions in individual, group, and family treatment. Additionally, graduates have course work and practica in the educator role in academic and health service agencies.
Adult Health Nursing Program
Graduate preparation in Adult Health Nursing at Sage prepares baccalaureate prepared nurses for careers in varied advanced practice roles with responsibility for the design, delivery, management and evaluation of quality across a continuum of health care and nursing education settings. The Adult Health Nursing Program prepares advanced practitioners for education, leadership, and advanced clinical practice roles within specialty areas of choice. Graduates of the program are in advanced practice roles such as case managers, resource nurses, clinical leaders, educators, and administrators/executives in acute, chronic, ambulatory, and home care settings. In addition, they have careers that include working within professional organizations, state and county health departments, nursing education, research, and consultation. The emphasis in this program focuses on the development of expertise in a combination of direct care and indirect care roles utilizing evidence-based practice.
Students select a clinical practicum specific to the course requirements and clinical focus. In order to be eligible to take the ANCC exam in their specialty areas, graduates of the program must complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours.
Community Health Nursing Program
The Community Health Nursing Specialty is designed to develop practice depth in health and wellness intervention strategies and community-based program development.
In addition to the clinical focus of the program, students may choose a functional area of 9 to 12 credits in administration or education. There are electives in the program which students may use to pursue particular interests. For example, students interested in administration may take courses in administration or budgeting. Students interested in an individual client care focus may choose courses in Advanced Pathophysiology, and/or Client Coping. For those individuals interested in population-based practice, selected GNT courses are recommended.