Welcome to Research College of Nursing. We are very pleased that you have chosen us for your graduate education. Six tracks are currently available, which includes the Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner, Executive Practice & Healthcare Leadership, Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Leader, and RN-MSN track. Graduates from our program will be eligible for respective certification examinations once degree 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 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. Complete information about the program is found at researchcollege.edu. The website has a link for Current Students, then MSN and Post Masters students. The link contains information, forms, and resources referenced in this guide. Please refer to it frequently. This guide also will link you to a personal connection with the Interim Director of the Graduate Program, Julie Nauser who will be happy to answer your questions, or visit with you about graduate school.

Program History

Research College of Nursing 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 RCN 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, Research College of Nursing proposed the initiation of a Master of Science in Nursing Program with a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) option. Unlike the undergraduate program who is in partnership with Rockhurst University, the graduate program is operated solely by Research College of Nursing.  Initial accreditation was granted by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of College and Schools in August, 1995.

The first actual class was admitted into the Family Nurse Practitioner Track in January of 1997. Three students were awarded a Master of Science in Nursing (FNP option) in August 1999. In 2010, the program started an Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner track. This track graduated its first cohort in December 2012.

The Executive Practice & Healthcare Leadership track was initiated in 2001.  This program is designed to prepare nurse executives who serve as leaders in the ever changing healthcare system.

Our Clinical Nurse Leader track began in fall of 2010, and will graduate its first cohort in December 2014.

In fall of 2012, we began our RN-MSN program and this track will graduate its first cohort in December 2014.

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. Support funding is available from The Research Foundation which assists our students with the cost of tuition books and incidental expenses. For information, please contact Stacie Withers

Four certificate programs are presently offered at Research College of Nursing:  Nurse Educator, Executive Practice & Healthcare Leadership, Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner.  See the catalog for information regarding the certificate requirements.

Building security

The college building is secured at all times. Students will complete a security access form available from the Administrative Secretary Jennifer Cooper. The building is open to students from 6am-10pm.

Organizational Chart and Committees

The graduate program is under the administrative leadership of the Dean and Graduate Program Director. The Graduate Curriculum Committee meets monthly and seeks the input of graduate students in the committee process. Each year, graduate students are invited to represent the graduate student body by participating in the committee meetings. Input provided by students is very valuable to the committee.


All policies related to the graduate program can be found in the college catalog. Research College of Nursing Catalog available on the college website. It is updated annually.


The comprehensive admissions policy is printed in the catalog.

Students may be admitted to Research College of Nursing as an Unclassified Student or a fully admitted student. Students who are interested in taking a limited number of courses complete the Unclassified Student Application. The Interim Director of the Graduate Program; Julie Nauser will serve as advisor for all unclassified students. Students may take up to 3 credit hours as an unclassified student before making application for full admission. Undergraduate Students enrolled at Research College of Nursing may take a total of 9 credit hours as an unclassified student.

Students interested in full time study complete the application form for full admission through Nursing CAS, www.nursingCAS.org. Applications for admission to either  Nurse Practitioner option are reviewed twice per year in March and August. A rolling admission process is in place for the other tracks. Once admitted, students will receive a letter of admission and will be assigned an academic advisor.

Transfer Credit

Students can submit up to nine credit hours for transfer credit. If you wish to have coursework evaluated for transfer, please complete the Request to Transfer Form” and email to Julie Nauser.

Accessing Email

Each student will have a college email address that will by used for all official college communication. Students must complete an email access form (also included in your application to the program) to be entered into the system. Please make a point of regularly checking this email for information about enrollment , courses changes, policy changes, and other essential information.

The instructions to access email are below and also on this website. (Directions to Access Research College of Nursing Mail). If you have completed the HCA Computer Access Form and submitted it to Jo Hoglund, then you should be able to access the college email. You will need your 3/4 ID…3 letters and 4 numbers, e.g. abc1234. If you do not know your 3/4 ID, you need to call the HCA Service Desk at 276-4357 (276-HELP). It is very important that you be able to access and check your Research College of Nursing email! All official college announcements are sent to students via the Research College of Nursing mail.

Off-Campus Access Instructions

Remote address: Go to: https://midwest.ns.medcity.net

Features of remote access

  • Virtual Desktop Technology
  • Connects you at work or at home
  • Connection time is 75% faster
  • Quick one time enrollment
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac

Login Screen

User ID: 3/4 UID

Password: Network/PACs password

Download Citrix Client

 The “Download Client” dialog box appears. Click the Download button. Click Run on the “File Download” dialog box. The hCare access client will begin installing on your machine.

Enrollment in Remote Access

Before you can log in to VDI, you must first enroll by setting up your security challenge questions.

Select a challenge question, enter your answer and click continue.

** Once you set up your challenge questions, you will have to answer two of the four questions when logging on to VDI.


From this point forward logging in on this machine will consist of clicking the hCare access link, providing your user name and password and your desktop will display.

The desktop will resemble the ones you are familiar with inside the HCA facilities.

Time Outs

This system is designed to automatically log off after 20 minutes of no activity.

Outlook Web Access

On the Outlook Web Access login page, enter hca/3-4 ID. For example, hca/abc1234. Then enter your password. If login was successful, your Outlook Web Access (OWA) should open, displaying all your email.

If you have any questions, please contact the HCA Service Desk 24/7 at 816-276-4357.

MacIntosh Computers

MacIntosh computers and Safari internet browser are now compatible for access to the HCA domain.

If you’re using a Mac, it is possible to check your HCA Outlook Web Access email via the Simplified Remote Access, by downloading the latest version of Opera browser for your operating system.

This scenario has been tested with successful results. 

Disconnect vs. Log off

Disconnect – Use this option if you have to be away from the system temporarily. This will end your session, freeing the machine to allow someone else to log in.

Log off – Use this option if you are ending your session for the day.

Compatible Browsers

MS XP – 32 bit OS, IE 6, 7 & 8-32bit *

VISTA – 32 & 64 bit OS, IE 7 & 8-32bit *

Windows 7 – 32 & 64 bit OS, IE 8 32bit*

Mac – 10.5, 10.6 OS X, Safari 5*

* Alternative approved browsers Chrome 6 and Firefox 3.6

My Home Computer is a Mac

What if your home computer is a Mac? hCare access is compatible with Mac’s operating system and utilizes Mac’s web browser, Safari.

Also, you can access VDI from an I-pad. Please see your IT Technical Resource Coordinator for details.


When you are on-campus, you are already on a HCA computer and CANNOT use the remote access to check email.

Instead, just launch the browser (Internet Explorer). This opens up the HCA Intranet page. Now hover your mouse arrow over the word “APPLICATIONS” along the top of the Intranet page, then from the drop-down menu that appears, select “Web Mail” at the bottom of that drop-down menu.  This opens up the Outlook Web Access login page. (Follow the Outlook Web Access login instruction listed above). In the main Research College of Nursing 2525 building, you will use the HCA Guest Access feature.

Computer/Electronic Requirements

As you know, computers have become a necessary device for educational systems. We have compiled a list of computer requirements for your reference, on the website.

Distance Learning

Our website, researchcollege.edu will be your source for a wide variety of information, from course offerings, textbook requirements, to our computer policy. It is recommended that you visit the Current Student section and click on MSN and Post Masters. This section houses the vast majority of the information you will need. The Catalog and the Graduate Student Guide in particular contain important policies.  You will want to spend some time reading through those. 

All of the courses you will be taking at Research College of Nursing will be offered through a course management system called Blackboard (Bb). The URL for your courses is https://courses.rockhurst.edu.   A login is required for accessing your courses. Your username will be your lastnamefirstname e.g. smithsue. To get your Blackboard password you will log into https://courses.rockhurst.edu, click on “Forgot Password”, click on Research College of Nursing Graduate Student and complete option #2. You must use your college email address. You will receive an email to your RCN email account which will ask you to create and verify a password. At this point you should be able to log into Blackboard successfully. You will have access to your courses three business days before the actual start date of the course.

If you have questions about Blackboard our Director of Web-Based Education, Sheryl Max may be of assistance to you.


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.


Our registration process is designed to be as convenient and student friendly as possible. Students are assigned an academic advisor by their track coordinator after they have been fully admitted.  Students should contact their advisor to set up a plan of study. After students complete the admission process, the steps in the registration process are as follows:

Step 1 Establish a meeting to review the program of study for your track with your advisor.

Step 2 Complete the registration form and submit it electronically to your advisor.  You will receive registration confirmation from the Registrar 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. The student request to change tracks will be reviewed as a new admission with the competitive, current applicant pool. Changes will be made based on the student qualifications, as well as space available. Students will meet the degree requirements in the track they have chosen. Students complete the Change of Track Form and forward it to Camelia Williams.

Graduation Year Cohort Change (Nurse Practitioners Only)

Students will sometimes enter the program in a designated track, and design a program of study with a projected year of graduation. This projected year of graduation is designated as a “Cohort Group”. Sometimes, students decide to change graduation cohort groups. Students will complete the “Graduation Cohort Change” form, and submit it to their advisor who will review the request with respect to curriculum requirements, and enrollment numbers. Changes are made based on the order in which the request was received and space availability. The advisor will notify the student if a change is possible.


Students have access to electronic library resources. 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.

Research Requirements

Students will be taking a Graduate Nursing Research Course to meet research requirements during the course of the program. Students may opt to take one of the following courses:  Research Project, Research Thesis, or Research Utilization. A copy of the research project requirements can be found on the researchcollege.edu website.

Practicum/Preceptor Guidelines

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 researchcollege.edu. Students and preceptors must meet the established guidelines.

Clinical Requirements

In order to enroll and participate in clinical courses, students must complete the clinical requirements. Please see the college catalog for practicum course requirements or click on the link here to find the requirements on our website.

Degree Completion

Two semesters before the anticipated graduation date, students MUST complete the Degree Candidacy Form and return to their Academic Advisor and the Registrar. Research College of Nursing holds one graduation ceremony per year, in December. When a student completes their degree requirements, they are awarded a diploma or certificate. Information about graduation dates will be sent to you via the Research College email system.