Graduate Student Guide
Welcome to Research College of Nursing. We are very pleased that you have chosen us for your graduate education. Graduates from our program will be eligible for the FNP, ENP, and Nurse Educator certification examination, once degree and certification requirements are met.
This document is intended to guide you as you enter into our system. Some of you are quite familiar with Research College of Nursing (RCN) and some of you are participating from a distance. We hope that this will serve as a reference to answer your questions, and link you to the support you need. Information about the program is found at Research College of Nursing. The website has a link for Masters and Post Masters students. That link contains information and forms, and resources referenced in this guide. Please refer to it frequently. This guide also will link you to a personal connection with the Graduate Program Director, Dr. Lynn Warmbrodt who will be happy to answer your questions, or visit with you about graduate school.
Research College of Nursing (RCON) first considered the addition of a graduate program in 1989. The health care environment was rapidly changing with an emphasis on community-based, cost-contained, managed primary care. With the potential for more publicly funded health care, opportunities for advanced practice nurses seemed likely, especially in underserved, rural or vulnerable populations. It was within this environment that the RCON graduate program was initiated. Other factors were also influential. A needs assessment was conducted in preparation for the North Central Association self-study which indicated a desire for advanced practice nursing education, particularly in the area of family nurse practitioner education. The college was stable with capable administrative leadership and faculty. There was favorable acceptance of the concept in the immediate community. While there were two other public university-based programs in the area, their enrollments were limited.
In 1995, RCON proposed the initiation of a Master of Science in Nursing Program with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) option. Unlike the undergraduate program, the graduate program is operated solely by RCON. Initial accreditation was granted by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of College and Schools in August of 1995.
The first actual class was admitted into the Family Nurse Practitioner Option in January of 1997. Three students were awarded a Master of Science in Nursing (FNP option) in August 1999.
The Nurse Executive: Healthcare Leadership in collaboration with Rockhurst Helzberg School of Management was initiated in 2001 this program is designed to prepare nurse executives who serve as leaders in the ever changing healthcare system. Students complete 12 credit hours from Rockhurst University, which are then transferred to RCN.
In response to the faculty shortage in nursing education, Research College of nursing initiated a nursing education track. This track is designed to prepare nurse educators in either academic or staff development positions. Federal grants are available. Support funding is available from The Research Foundation has assisted our students with the cost of tuition books and incidental expenses. Funding continues to be available.
The Nurse Faculty Loan Program, sponsored by the federal government pays for full tuition and books for students who are wiling to go to school full time. For repayment of the loan, graduates will teach for 4 years in a college of their choice.
Two certificate programs are offered at RCN. Both the Nurse Educator track and the Nurse Executive: Health Care Leadership tracks offer certificates. See the catalog for information regarding the certificates.
The college building is secured at all times. Students will complete a security access form available from the Administrative Secretary Sherry Owens the building is open to students from 6am-10pm.
Graduate student office
An office for local graduate students is on the first floor of the college. The office has two computers, and a printer for your convenience. There are materials of interest to graduate students available there, including research projects completed by previous students. Students can obtain a key to the office from Adm Secretary. Sherry Owen
Organizational Chart and Committees
The graduate program is under the Administrative Leadership of the Dean, Associate Dean and Graduate Program Director. The Graduate Curriculum Committee meets monthly and seeks the input of graduate students in the committee process. Each year, a graduate student is invited to participate in the committee meetings. Input provided by students is very valuable to the committee. Committee minutes are available to students on the S drive.
All policies related to the graduate program can be found in the college catalog. Research College of Nursing Catalog. It is updated annually.
The comprehensive admissions policy is printed in the catalog.
Students may be admitted to RCN as an Unclassified Student or a fully admitted student. Students who are interested in just taking a limited number of courses complete the Unclassified Student Application The Graduate Program Director; Dr. Lynn Warmbrodt will serve as advisor for all unclassified students. Students may take up to 9 credit hours as an unclassified student before making application for full admission.
Students complete the Application Form for full admission.
Once admitted, students will receive a letter of admission. They will be assigned an academic advisor. All Executive Nurse Practice (ENP) students will be advised by the ENP track coordinator, Dr. Elaine Hardy, who communicates directly with the Executive Nurse Practice students about the registration process at both Research College of Nursing and Rockhurst University.
Transfer Credit Students can submit up to nine credit hours for transfer credit in the FNP and Nurse Educator track. Executive Nurse Practice students can transfer 3 credit hours. If you wish to have coursework evaluated for transfer, please complete the following form and return to RCN.
The official college email address will be used for all official college communication. Students complete an email access form and will be entered into the system. Please make a point of regularly checking this email for information about registration, courses changes, policy changes, and other information.
As you know, computers have become a necessary device for educational systems. We have compiled a list of computer requirements for your reference.
Many of the courses you will be taking at RCN will be offered in an online format on the WebCT platform. There are many resources available to you to support you in online learning. Please visit our website for our online learning tutorials. Our Director of WebBased Education, Sheryl Max may be of assistance to you, as well as the Rockhurst Help Desk
If you are a graduate student your username for WebCT is your last name first name e.g. smithjohn. The initial password is last name first name e.g. smithjohn. If you have forgotten your password, please email the Director of Web-Based Education at Research College of Nursing.
The URL to WebCT is: webct.rockhurst.edu please note there is not a "www" in front of this URL Please make it a favorite or bookmark this website.
You will be given access to WebCT three days before the course officially begins. If WebCT is new to you then please go through all the WebCT tutorials.
Do these tutorials in this order:
- Lesson One: Browser Check and Setting
- Lesson Two: Welcome to My WebCT
- Lesson Three: Welcome to the Course's Homepage
Other Helpful tutorials:
- Global Calendar
- Discussion Threads
- Compiling Content Modules
All policies can be found in either the Research College of Nursing Catalog or the Research College of Nursing Guide to Student Life. Students should pay particular attention to the Graduate Academic Policy.
Registration. Our registration process is designed to be as convenient and student friendly as possible the steps in the registration process are as follows:
Step 1 Review the program of study for your track.
- ENP Worksheet
- FNP Worksheet
- NEd Worksheet
Step 2 Complete the registration form. Students electronically submit their registration form to their advisor, and will receive confirmation that they are registered as well as a bill from the financial office. Our registrar is Camelia Williams
Change of Track Students will sometimes enter the program in a designated track and decide at some point to change tracks. This is perfectly acceptable. Students will meet the degree requirements in the track they have chosen. Students complete the Change of Track Form
Library/OVID Students have access to electronic library resources via OVID. They will be notified of their SECURE password relative to their track each academic year. Kitty Serling at Ferris Library in Research Medical Center at 816-276-4309 may be of assistance in using. You may also complete the OVID tutorial. Research Requirements
Students will be taking a Graduate Research Course, and meeting research requirements during the course of the program. . A copy of the research project requirements can be found on the www.researchcollege.edu website.
Students in Practicum courses will be asked to identify preceptors to provide clinical experiences. Students will select preceptors in accordance with the preceptor guidelines which are on the www.researchcollege.edu Students and preceptors must meet the established guidelines.
Clinical Requirements In order to participate in clinical courses, students must complete the clinical requirements found in the Practicum Course Requirements.
Graduation The semester before the anticipated graduation date, students complete the Degree Candidacy Form. Research College of Nursing holds one graduation ceremony per year, in December. When a student completes their degree requirements, they are given a diploma. Information about graduation dates will be sent to you via the Research College email system.