Academic Program Overview

Interprofessional education (IPE) is defined as occasions when students from two or more professions learn with, from, and about each other to improve collaborative practice and the outcomes of health care. The goal is to develop health care practitioners who effectively engage in interprofessional collaborative practice to deliver safe, high quality, accessible, patient-centered care from themoment they enter healthcare practice.

IPE is a University-wide effort involving faculty, staff and students from all of the University’s academic programs.

Our vision for IPE at SMU is to create “Graduates who bring to life an inclusive, respectful and collaborative approach to person-centered care.” Our IPE mission is to “Provide a learning environment in which interprofessional teaching, practice, service, and research experiences are integrated and valued as key components in the preparation of health science graduates to become engaged and productive healthcare team members.”

The 2021-2022 academic year will see the pilot of SMU’s new “IPE Passport” system which will help faculty and students develop, offer and track various IPE experiences. For information about the passport or any of the IPE experiences described below, please send an email to ipe@samuelmerritt.edu.

The School of Nursing offers an accelerated baccalaureate program (ABSN) for candidates with degrees in other fields. The program recognizes each individual’s past experiences and academic achievements and builds upon these assets. It provides a mechanism for graduates with non-nursing degrees to change careers efficiently and effectively. 

The program is designed to be completed in 12 months. The curriculum includes three terms of intensive study at a rapid pace. The format is different from Samuel Merritt’s traditional BSN program, however the goals, student learning outcomes, and foundational concepts are the same.

The ABSN is offered on the Oakland campus, the Sacramento Campus, and the San Francisco Peninsula Campus in San Mateo.

Program Learning Outcomes
The prelicensure nursing programs, built upon a foundation of science and liberal arts education, prepare individuals for beginning professional practice and provide a foundation for graduate study. Based upon the School’s philosophy and purposes, upon graduation, the student will:
1. Demonstrate respect for the inherent dignity of individuals and groups in the delivery of nursing care within an appropriate moral, ethical and legal framework.
2. Integrate theory, research and knowledge from nursing, the physical, behavioral sciences, and humanities to improve the quality of care provided to clients.
3. Use effective communication principles in facilitating professional relationships with clients, families, and health care system colleagues.
4. Demonstrate clinical reasoning in planning, delivering and evaluating care directed at disease prevention, health promotion and restoration, across the life span to diverse clients.
5. Critically analyze research findings for application in the provision of therapeutic, evidence-based nursing interventions.
6. Analyze the effects of changing social, cultural, legal, economic, global political and ethical trends on healthcare policy, financing and regulatory environments.
7. Collaborate effectively with multidisciplinary practitioners to promote illness prevention and the health and welfare of individuals, families and communities.
8. Apply standards of practice within an ethical decision making framework in the provision of nursing care that meets clients’ health care needs.
9. Use leadership and management principles in the delegation and supervision of nursing care while retaining accountability for the quality of care given to the client.
10.Use emerging health care information technologies to evaluate client care and advance client education.
11. Articulate a philosophy of self-care and professional development.

Students looking to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) may enter the University in one of three ways:
1. Generic BSN Transfer Entry: Samuel Merritt University admits transfer students in the fall and spring semesters. The Generic BSN is only offered in Oakland. The BSN program is a two year program (4 semesters).
2. Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN): The ABSN is designed for someone who has his/her bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. The ABSN is completed in 12 months of intensive nursing theory courses and clinical education. The ABSN program is offered in Oakland, San Francisco Peninsula, and Sacramento.
3. RN to BSN Program: The RN to BSN program is designed for working Registered Nurses who want to earn a BSN. Admission is in spring and fall semesters. The program is part time (6 units per semester) over five semesters (20 months). Students are expected to take all courses in a semester and each semester in sequence.

Goals
The goals of the Baccalaureate Nursing Programs are to:
• Educate professionals who are grounded in the liberal arts and the discipline of nursing and who demonstrate competence in practice, skills in inquiry, and who are guided by ethical and humanistic values.
• Offer baccalaureate education in nursing for learners with varied educational and cultural backgrounds who are capable of providing health care to diverse client populations and exercising leadership in a variety of settings.
• Provide a forum for analysis of issues in nursing and health care that supports the preparation of graduates who are client advocates and who are able to facilitate change in health care environments.
• Provide an environment in which faculty and students engage in scholarly activities in order to contribute to the body of nursing knowledge through practice, education, and research.
• Prepare graduates who are consumers of research with an ability to translate research findings into practice and who are prepared for graduate education.
• Prepare graduates who contribute to the advancement of nursing as a profession and to the improvement of health care through participation in professional organizations
• Prepare professionals who are capable of exercising citizenship in a world community and have an appreciation for community service, life-long learning, and an enriched human existence.

Curriculum
Education for the professional nurse emphasizes liberal and professional education, skilled nursing practice, values, and attitudes. The curriculum for the preparation of the nurse in the Baccalaureate Nursing Programs is based upon the philosophy of the faculty and student learning outcomes, as well as knowledge and theory from various disciplines and nursing. The liberal learning and science requirements from our partner colleges have been designed to meet both Samuel Merritt University’s requirements for liberal learning as well as those required by our accreditation bodies. Four major concepts are used to provide organizational focus in nursing courses. These concepts include person, environment, health, and nursing.

Program Learning Outcomes
The prelicensure nursing programs, built upon a foundation of science and liberal arts education, prepare individuals for beginning professional practice and provide a foundation for graduate study. Based upon the School’s philosophy and purposes, upon graduation, the student will:
1. Demonstrate respect for the inherent dignity of individuals and groups in the delivery of nursing care within an appropriate moral, ethical and legal framework.
2. Integrate theory, research and knowledge from nursing, the physical, behavioral sciences, and humanities to improve the quality of care provided to clients.
3. Use effective communication principles in facilitating professional relationships with clients, families, and health care system colleagues.
4. Demonstrate clinical reasoning in planning, delivering and evaluating care directed at disease prevention, health promotion and restoration, across the life span to diverse clients.
5. Critically analyze research findings for application in the provision of therapeutic, evidence-based nursing interventions.
6. Analyze the effects of changing social, cultural, legal, economic, global political and ethical trends on healthcare policy, financing and regulatory environments.
7. Collaborate effectively with multidisciplinary practitioners to promote illness prevention and the health and welfare of individuals, families and communities.
8. Apply standards of practice within an ethical decision making framework in the provision of nursing care that meets clients’ health care needs.
9. Use leadership and management principles in the delegation and supervision of nursing care while retaining accountability for the quality of care given to the client.
10.Use emerging health care information technologies to evaluate client care and advance client education.
11. Articulate a philosophy of self-care and professional development.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program currently offers two entry options. One is a 24-month post-MSN professional program and the other is a 44-month post-baccalaureate professional program for registered nurses with either a nursing or non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Both are designed to prepare graduates to practice at the highest level of advanced nursing practice. A graduate will demonstrate leadership in a clinical or administrative specialty area and a commitment to improve healthcare outcomes via practice, policy change, or practice leadership.

The post-MSN entry is designed for advanced practice nurses (nurse
practitioners, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives) and nurses in organizational leadership positions who have a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Potential applicants with a non-nursing master’s degree may undergo a portfolio review to demonstrate competency in the AACN Master’s Essentials.

The SMU program curriculum offers a focus on either Organizational Practice or Clinical Practice. Students in either of these areas will register for the same courses. The curricular differentiation for these two practice areas will manifest in the student’s DNP project. The curriculum will be offered almost completely through online courses using distributed learning technology and is designed to accommodate the student who must continue to work full- or part-time while undergoing doctoral study. Students are admitted as a cohort and are strongly advised to progress sequentially through the courses designated in each semester.

Students will be required to attend an on-campus orientation session early in the program and once per year as part of the DNP project courses.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs, providing graduates with the knowledge and skills essential for accountability in advanced practice. The nurse prepared in the SMU DNP program will be a valuable counterpart to the nurse prepared in a PhD nursing program. The DNP graduate will focus on developing systems of care based on research application, while the PhD prepared nurse conducts research to provide new knowledge.

Upon acceptance into the DNP program, and prior to enrollment in the program, the student must complete the on-line orientation course on the Samuel Merritt University Canvas site. Access will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Admitted students may petition for a maximum of up to nine (9) transfer credits after submitting a formal request and supporting documents from previously completed Master's and/or doctoral courses.

Students must have 1000 clinical practice hours in their academic program completed by the end of the DNP program. These practice hours must have been attained during supervised educational experiences (e.g., the clinical hours completed during the student’s MSN program together with the clinical hours in the DNP program).

The post-baccalaureate entry is designed for nurses who are also seeking their Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificate in addition to their DNP degree.

Applicants for both entry points must have a current RN license in resident state, successful completion of statistics within the past three years, demonstrate proficiency in computer word processing and internet skills and fulfill all other admissions requirements.

Accreditation Statement
The DNP program is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the DNP program will be prepared to:
● Continue clinical or organizational practice in their area of expertise,
demonstrating specialized competencies as defined by the specialty
organization, and using defined assessment and decision-making skills,
systems thinking, collaborative teamwork models and outcomes evaluations to improve the delivery of care.
● Analyze and utilize scientific knowledge from nursing as well as other
scientific disciplines, as the underpinnings for the highest level of nursing
practice.
● Use analytic methods to critically appraise existing literature and current
research to determine and implement best evidence for nursing practice.
● Support and improve patient care delivery and healthcare systems through the utilization of information systems and technology.
● Design, influence and implement healthcare policies that affect practice
regulation, access, safety, quality, efficacy, financing, ethics and social justice.
● Develop and evaluate healthcare delivery methods within an organizational structure to meet current and future needs of diverse patient populations.
● Employ consultative and leadership skills with intraprofessional and
interprofessional teams to create change in healthcare and complex
healthcare delivery systems.
● Analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental and other appropriate scientific data related to individual, aggregate and population health and develop strategies and/or care delivery systems using concepts related to community, environmental, and occupational health as well as the cultural and socioeconomic aspects of health.
● Assume leadership roles in nursing, education, and healthcare.

The graduate program in nursing prepares nurses for advanced roles. A
minimum of 36 semester units of study is required for the master’s degree, but specific tracks may require more units of study to provide adequate mastery of theory and clinical skills appropriate for advanced roles. Two types of entry options are offered: the entry-level, first professional degree for college graduates who are seeking to become nurses (ELMSN), and the online post-professional master’s degree for students who are already registered nurses. 

The graduate curriculum is designed to prepare students to meet specific
competencies at the completion of the program. Core courses, courses with a research focus, and courses in the specialty area are sequenced in order to enable students to develop advanced nursing skills progressively as they move through the program. A graduate level synthesis project is required as a final graduate-level project.

Graduate Education
We believe that new knowledge and advances in science, philosophy, and
technology necessitate advanced preparation to enable the practitioner to make complex decisions in delivering health care to individuals and groups. Graduate education programs for the professional must be conducted in an environment in which scholarship, research, creativity, clinical practice, and professional activity are valued. The development of graduate students’ critical inquiry skills and abilities is central to clinical practice and the evolution of the profession. Furthermore, we believe that students admitted to the graduate programs acquire skills in inquiry and scholarship in conjunction with expert faculty who direct study, inspire problem-solving, and promote professional growth.

Goals
The goals of the Master of Science in Nursing program are to:
• Prepare nurses for advanced nursing roles in case manager, family nurse practitioner, and nurse anesthetist.
• Prepare graduates for leadership roles in the health care system at the
regional, state, and national levels.
• Prepare nurses who can identify researchable problems, participate in
conducting research, and promote the use of research findings in practice.
• Provide the foundation for doctoral study.

Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN) Case Management
Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN) Family Nurse Practitioner

Designed for college graduates seeking a new career in nursing, the entry-level master’s degree program (ELMSN), offers preparation for RN licensure and a choice of two graduate tracks on the Oakland campus and the Sacramento Campus. The ELMSN program at the Oakland campus admits students in the fall semester; the program at the Sacramento campus admits students in the spring semester.
The graduate options in the ELMSN program include: case management (CM) and family nurse practitioner (FNP). All options have identical full-time coursework for the first four semesters, after which, students may take the RN licensure examination. The case management track includes an additional three semesters and the FNP track an additional six semesters. Both tracks are designed for either full or part-time study after licensure. In order to progress into the seventh semester in the CM and FNP programs, ELMSN students are required to have passed the NCLEX examination.

Program Learning Outcomes
The prelicensure nursing programs, built upon a foundation of science and liberal arts education, prepare individuals for beginning professional practice andprovide a foundation for graduate study. Based upon the School’s philosophy and purposes, upon graduation, the student will:
1. Demonstrate respect for the inherent dignity of individuals and groups in
the delivery of nursing care within an appropriate moral, ethical and legal
framework.
2. Integrate theory, research and knowledge from nursing, the physical,
behavioral sciences, and humanities to improve the quality of care
provided to clients.
3. Use effective communication principles in facilitating professional
relationships with clients, families, and health care system colleagues.
4. Demonstrate clinical reasoning in planning, delivering and evaluating care directed at disease prevention, health promotion and restoration, across the life span to diverse clients.
5. Critically analyze research findings for application in the provision of
therapeutic, evidence-based nursing interventions.
6. Analyze the effects of changing social, cultural, legal, economic, global
political and ethical trends on healthcare policy, financing and regulatory
environments.
7. Collaborate effectively with multidisciplinary practitioners to promote
illness prevention and the health and welfare of individuals, families and
communities.
8. Apply standards of practice within an ethical decision making framework
in the provision of nursing care that meets clients’ health care needs.
9. Use leadership and management principles in the delegation and supervision of nursing care
while retaining accountability for the quality of care given to the client.
10.Use emerging health care information technologies to evaluate client care and advance client education.
11. Articulate a philosophy of self-care and professional development.

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program focuses on preparing
family-oriented primary care providers for multicultural and underserved
populations. FNPs are advanced practitioners of nursing with a specialty in primary health care. They provide ongoing comprehensive care to individuals, families, and communities. FNPs are responsible for health promotion and maintenance, diagnosis, treatment, and management of health problems, consultation with other health care providers, and referral as indicated. FNPs function independently and interdependently with other providers of healthcare. Practice is based on concepts of family health nursing research and theory, as well as concepts from other related disciplines such as medicine and pharmacy. Students complete 49 graduate units and are awarded a Master of Science degree upon completion and are eligible for state and national certification. Full
or part-time study is available for students who are licensed as registered nurses. The online program admits three times per year: Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters.

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon graduation the student will:
1. Provide family-oriented primary health care:
a. Elicit a detailed and accurate history, perform the appropriate physical
exam, record pertinent data, and develops and implements a plan of care.
b. Perform and/or order and interpret relevant diagnostic studies.
c. Perform appropriate office procedures.
d. Provide health promotion and disease prevention.
e. Integrate cultural considerations in the provision of primary care.

2. Consult and refer within an interdisciplinary practice model.

3. Collaborate with patients and families to provide evidence-based primary care that is theoretically sound.

4. Assume a leadership role in the profession at local, state, national and
international level.

5. Produce quality work that demonstrates graduate level scholarly work and can withstand peer review.

The FNP curriculum consists of 49 semester units, including interdisciplinary core courses, FNP specialty courses, clinical practica, and internship. The program includes two required 3 day intensives on campus. A total of 630 clinical hours are required. Clinical placements are available throughout Northern California in a variety of ambulatory settings. Applicants may be required to assist in finding clinical sites if from areas that are out of state or live in areas with few clinical resources. Master’s prepared, advanced practice nurses serve as most of the primary preceptors. The curriculum and clinical sites reflect the track’s emphasis on serving multicultural and underserved populations. The program is offered on a year-round basis with admission each semester. Full-time students complete the program in five semesters; part-time students complete the program in six semesters. The curriculum is consistent with the highest national standards, including guidelines established by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.


 


 

Samuel Merritt University, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Northern
California, offers a graduate program in nurse anesthesia leading to the Master of Science in Nursing. The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Successful completion of graduation requirements qualifies the student to take the national certification examination (NCE) to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Clinical practice rights are granted by reciprocity in all states after successful completion of the NCE.

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who provide the full range of anesthesia and related patient care services. They are responsible for the direct administration of anesthesia care and the provision of services required for patients throughout the perioperative course, in all current anesthetizing locations - surgical and obstetric suites, interventional radiology suites, and other areas in which anesthesia specialty skills are required. CRNAs work in a variety of settings including tertiary care hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, health maintenance organizations, and military and public health service centers. CRNAs nationwide are employed either as independent providers in collaboration with surgeons and dentists or in collaborative team practice with physician anesthesiologists.

Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Program of Nurse Anesthesia will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes/behaviors in:
1. Maintaining patient safety, as evidenced by the ability to:
a. Be vigilant in the delivery of patient care.
b. Protect patients from iatrogenic complications.
c. Participate in the positioning of patients to prevent injury.
d. Conduct a comprehensive and appropriate equipment check.
e. Comply with all current patient safety goals outlined by both the Joint
Commission and the National Patient Safety Foundation. Utilize standard
precautions and appropriate infection control measures.
f. Effectively implement skills and principles of Anesthesia Crisis Resource
Management.
g. Refrain from engaging in extraneous activities that abandon or minimize
vigilance while providing direct patient care (e.g., texting, reading, emailing, etc.).

2. Providing individualized perianesthetic management by
demonstrating the ability to:
a. Provide care throughout the perianesthetic continuum.
b. Use a variety of current anesthesia techniques, agents, adjunctive drugs, and equipment while providing anesthesia.
c. Administer general anesthesia to patients of all ages and physical
conditions for a variety of surgical and medically related procedures.
d. Provide anesthesia services to all patients, including trauma and
emergency cases.
e. Administer and manage a variety of regional anesthetics.
f. Function as a resource person for airway and ventilatory management of
patients.
g. Possess current advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) recognition.
h. Possess current pediatric advanced life support (PALS) recognition.
i. Deliver culturally competent perianesthetic care throughout the anesthesia experience.
j. Perform a comprehensive history and a physical assessment.

3. Critical thinking, by demonstrating the ability to:
a. Apply knowledge to practice in decision making and problem solving.
b. Provide nurse anesthesia care based on sound principles and research
evidence.
c. Perform a preanesthetic assessment and formulate an anesthesia care
plan for patients to whom they are assigned to administer anesthesia.
d. Identify and take appropriate action when confronted with anesthetic
equipment-related malfunctions.
e. Interpret and utilize data obtained from noninvasive and invasive
monitoring modalities.
f. Calculate, initiate and manage fluid and blood component therapy.
g. Recognize and appropriately respond to anesthetic complications that
occur during the perianesthetic period.
h. Pass the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse
Anesthetists (NBCRNA) certification examination.

4. Communication skills, as evidenced by the ability to:
a. Effectively communicate with individuals influencing patient care.
b. Utilize appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication in the
delivery of perianesthetic care.

5. Professional role, by demonstrating the ability to:
a. Participate in activities that improve anesthesia care.
b. Function within appropriate legal requirements as a registered professional nurse, accepting responsibility and accountability for his or
her practice.
c. Interact on a professional level with integrity.
d. Teach others.
e. Participate in continuing education activities to acquire new knowledge
and improve his or her practice.
f. Demonstrate knowledge of wellness and chemical dependency in the
anesthesia profession through completion of content in wellness and
chemical dependency.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) of all courses in the Program of Nurse
Anesthesia (PNA) curriculum are aligned with the above listed outcomes set by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) are determined by Samuel Merritt University’s commitment to performance excellence.

The nurse anesthesia program is 27 months in length. The academic curriculumis composed of basic science coursework, basic and advanced clinical anesthesia applications, and MSN core courses. A significant amount of simulation-based learning (utilizing human patient simulators in high-fidelity environments, screen-based microsimulation, and hybrid simulation techniques) is integrated into the program curriculum.

The 23-month, full-time clinical residency includes rotations at selected health care facilities throughout the greater Bay Area, the Sacramento metropolitan area, and the Central Valley. The degree is awarded upon successful completion of 66 required graduate credit hours. Due to the intensive and rigorous nature of the program, full-time enrollment is required once clinical rotations are initiated and outside employment is strongly discouraged. Students will spend approximately 60 hours per week in study, class, and clinical practice.

Post-Master’s Certificate Track
The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs has approved this program as eligible to accept and graduate qualified registered nurses who already hold an MS degree in nursing. Successful graduates of the post-professional curriculum described in this section, will receive a certificate of completion that qualifies them to sit for the national certification examination in nurse anesthesia. The curriculum for these students is the same in scope, sequence and program length with the exception of required hours in nursing research, health care policy, and theoretical foundations (9 credits maximum), which may be transferred to this institution from another accredited college or university at which the original degree was obtained. Synthesis requirements of the School of Nursing will be required of all post-masters certificate students.

Three-Year Track
The Samuel Merritt University Program of Nurse Anesthesia provides the
opportunity for students to complete the initial year of enrollment on a part-time basis. During this period, students will complete 9 units of designated coursework not specific to anesthesiology, and then enter the program full-time at the next regular fall admission. There is no part-time option available once the student has entered the full-time program. This option is designed for the student seeking early admission to accommodate geographical moves, gain more critical care experience or prepare in other ways for full-time study. Admission requirements are identical to those for students entering the full-time program immediately upon initial enrollment.

The purpose of this track is to prepare nurses with advanced theory and practice in a systematic case management approach to the delivery of health care to diverse populations. Case management emphasizes collaborative methods of coordination, continuity, and quality of care within a cost-sensitive perspective. Graduates will be prepared to practice in various case-management settings including provider-, client-, and payer-based models.

Program Learning Outcomes
1. Ensure coordination, continuity, and quality of care for a selected
population.
2. Assume nursing case management roles in a variety of health care
settings.
3. Demonstrate a clinical nursing foundation in the application of case
management principles.

Samuel Merritt University’s RN to BSN program is designed to help working RNs gain the attitudes, skills, and knowledge needed to change health care delivery. As an RN to BSN student, you will start the program with a meditation course to help strengthen your therapeutic presence and enrich your self-care practices. You will deepen your knowledge of the evidence and science that supports expert nursing care. You will hone your communication and teamwork skills. Because much of the health care system is designed for industry rather than patients, we will build your confidence and leadership skills to transform “delivery systems” into healing environments.

Program Learning Outcomes
The RN to BSN nursing program builds on a foundation of science and liberal arts, strengthens professional practice, and provides a foundation for graduate study. Based on the School’s philosophy and purposes, upon graduation, learners will:
1. Demonstrate respect for the inherent dignity of individuals and groups in
the delivery of nursing care within an appropriate moral, ethical and legal
framework.
2. Integrate theory, research and knowledge from nursing, the physical,
behavioral sciences, and humanities to improve the quality of care
provided to clients.
3. Use effective communication principles in facilitating professional
relationships with clients, families, and health care system colleagues.
4. Demonstrate clinical reasoning in planning, delivering and evaluating care directed at disease prevention, health promotion and restoration, across the life span to diverse clients.
5. Critically analyze research findings for application in the provision of
therapeutic, evidence-based nursing interventions.
6. Analyze the effects of changing social, cultural, legal, economic, global
political and ethical trends on healthcare policy, financing and regulatory
environments.
7. Collaborate effectively with multidisciplinary practitioners to promote
illness prevention and the health and welfare of individuals, families and
communities.
8. Apply standards of practice within an ethical decision making framework in the provision of nursing care that meets clients’ health care needs.
9. Using transformative principles of unitary caring science, develop self and others to enhance the interprofessional nursing role in teams and organizations.
10. Use emerging health care information technologies to evaluate client care and advance client education
11. Articulate a philosophy of self-care and professional development.

Curriculum
Education for the professional nurse builds on the liberal arts and sciences and skilled nursing practice, values, and attitudes. The RN to BSN curriculum is grounded in Caring Science, and applicable knowledge and theory from nursing and other disciplines. The RN to BSN program is a part-time program with sequential coursework. Students are expected to take all courses in a semesterand each semester in sequence. Normally all courses are taken in residence.

HISTORY
Established in 1994, the graduate program in Occupational Therapy graduated its first class in August, 1996. In 2016 the Occupational Therapy Department added the entry level doctoral program, the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD). The first OTD students graduated in 2019. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in occupational therapy with advanced skills in leadership, advocacy, research and clinical skills. The department's proposal to offer an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree was approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC, now the WASC Senior College and University Commission, WSCUC), and accreditation was received by ACOTE in 2018. The MOT program is fully accredited until 2027.

MISSION
The Occupational Therapy Program offers master and doctoral level professional education for the preparation and continued development of skilled clinicians using a Mind/Body Model that recognizes the wholeness of each individual. Our mission is to provide transformational professional educa tion that prepares students to provide holistic, client-centered, and evidence based occupational therapy to diverse communities in a continuously evolving healthcare environment.

PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY
The Occupational Therapy Program recognizes the importance of treating the whole person in the context of their physical, psycho-social, cultural, and spiritual realm. We believe that human occupation, or engagement in purposeful activities, promotes a holistic recovery process. The philosophy of Adolph Meyer has provided the theoretical foundation for the program. Meyer believed that human occupation follows the biological rhythms of life, whereas work, play, rest, and sleep constitute rhythms that promote balance. The program is committed to ongoing development and research to determine how human occupation provides a vehicle for the interconnectedness of a person's daily activities, social support, values, rituals, and how one's community contributes to their well being. Our belief about the nature of learning is that individuals have unique differences and learning styles and that the complexity of each person's experiences, values, and knowledge impact the learning process. It is our belief that learning is dynamic and that knowledge is built upon a solid foundation. We facilitate the process of Bloom's Taxonomy; knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Students must take an active role in their learning process as adult learners.

Master of Occupational Therapy Program
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon graduation the student will:
● Synthesize knowledge and concepts from the sciences and liberal arts
with occupational therapy theory to provide comprehensive service to
persons with limitations in occupational performance.
● Demonstrate logical thinking, critical analysis, problem-solving, creativity, and independent clinical judgment in the provision of occupational therapy.
● Provide a broad range of functional performance skills to individuals and
families from diverse and multicultural populations throughout the lifespan.
● Utilize oral, nonverbal, and written communication skills to develop and
maintain therapeutic, goal-directed interactions with individuals, families,
caregivers, staff, and community groups.
● Design, evaluate, and implement therapeutic strategies directed toward
assisting individuals, team members, and community groups in preventing
disease, promoting health, and maximizing occupational performance.
● Participate in scientific inquiry designed to improve occupational therapy
practice and to enhance the occupational therapy profession.
● Maintain responsibility and accountability for service provision to assure
adherence to legal, ethical, and professional standards.
● Collaborate with other professionals as a leader, advocate, and team
member.
● Demonstrate a commitment to the core values of the University.

HISTORY
Established in 1994, the graduate program in Occupational Therapy graduated its first class in August, 1996. In 2016 the Occupational Therapy Department added the entry level doctoral program, the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD). The first OTD students graduated in 2019. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in occupational therapy with advanced skills in leadership, advocacy, research and clinical skills. The department's proposal to offer an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree was approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC, now the WASC Senior College and University Commission, WSCUC), and accreditation was received by ACOTE in 2018. The MOT program is fully accredited until 2027.

MISSION
The Occupational Therapy Program offers master and doctoral level professional education for the preparation and continued development of skilled clinicians using a Mind/Body Model that recognizes the wholeness of each individual. Our mission is to provide transformational professional educa tion that prepares students to provide holistic, client-centered, and evidence based occupational therapy to diverse communities in a continuously evolving healthcare environment.

PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY
The Occupational Therapy Program recognizes the importance of treating the whole person in the context of their physical, psycho-social, cultural, and spiritual realm. We believe that human occupation, or engagement in purposeful activities, promotes a holistic recovery process. The philosophy of Adolph Meyer has provided the theoretical foundation for the program. Meyer believed that human occupation follows the biological rhythms of life, whereas work, play, rest, and sleep constitute rhythms that promote balance. The program is committed to ongoing development and research to determine how human occupation provides a vehicle for the interconnectedness of a person's daily activities, social support, values, rituals, and how one's community contributes to their well being. Our belief about the nature of learning is that individuals have unique differences and learning styles and that the complexity of each person's experiences, values, and knowledge impact the learning process. It is our belief that learning is dynamic and that knowledge is built upon a solid foundation. We facilitate the process of Bloom's Taxonomy; knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Students must take an active role in their learning process as adult learners.

 

Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates are prepared to:
1. Competently provide physical therapy for individuals with movement dysfunction across the lifespan in the most common practice settings.
2. Use sound clinical reasoning to guide physical therapist practice, integrating best available evidence from the literature, clinical experience, and patient/client’s perspectives and values.
3. Provide person-centered physical therapy with compassion, caring, and humility.
4. Integrate an understanding of structural and social determinants of health into their physical therapist practice.
5. Engage in critical reflection to learn from practice to improve quality of care.
6. Communicate and collaborate effectively as members of interprofessional teams.
7. Engage in disease prevention, health promotion, and wellness services for the care of self, individuals, and groups.
8. Actively engage in the profession of physical therapy through participation in professional associations, service to the community, and advocacy for the health needs of individuals and society.
9. Act responsibly with sound reasoning, integrity, and courage to achieve a just resolution of ethical problems that affect individuals, organizations, and society.
10. Exhibit continuous professional development in behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics consistent with excellence in practice.
11. Effectively use data, information, and technology to support decision-making as physical therapists working in complex systems.

The DPT Curriculum
The DPT curriculum is a sequential curriculum in which courses build on foundational sciences and social sciences frameworks. Students are expected to use knowledge from prior coursework, building knowledge and expertise as they progress through the curriculum. In the Patient and Client Management course series, students will learn to perform an examination, evaluate the examination to formulate a diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care, and provide interventions for patients with movement related impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions encountered by physical therapists. Emphasis will be placed on the
development of fluid, proficient psychomotor skills used in practice. Students will also use evidence-based decision making with increasing levels of criticalanalysis and complexity in reasoning and decision making.

MASTER PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT DEGREE

The Physician Assistant Department offers a 27 month entry-level master’s degree program. Upon  completion of program requirements, graduates are prepared to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).

Program Learning Outcomes

The Physician Assistant Department has developed five Program Learning Outcomes to guide curricular change and development, and determine competency of graduating Physician Assistants. Graduates of the PA Program are expected to demonstrate competence in the following outcome areas:

PLO 1 Medical Knowledge:  Acquisition and comprehension of scientific content related to the theory and practice of medicine. Physician Assistant students are expected to:

●   Demonstrate mastery of principles of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology necessary for entry level clinical practice as a physician assistant;

●   Demonstrate competency in obtaining an adequate medical history necessary to evaluate, diagnose and formulate a patient-centered treatment plan for patients with commonly encountered medical, surgical and behavioral conditions;

●   Demonstrate competency in physical examination skills necessary to evaluate, diagnose and formulate a patient-centered treatment plan for patients with commonly encountered medical, surgical and behavioral conditions;

●   Understand pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic principles of patient health management and wellness;

●   Demonstrate the application of medical knowledge and critical thinking necessary to develop an accurate differential diagnosis in patients presenting with common medical, surgical and behavioral conditions;

●   Apply current health care screening and maintenance recommendations for patients across the lifespan.

PLO2 Communication Skills & Teamwork: Effective communication and professional exchange of information are essential to creating therapeutic and ethically sound relationships. These skills include verbal, non-verbal, written and electronic communication with patients, their families, physicians, specialists and all members of the health care team. Physician Assistant students are expected to:

●   Develop and demonstrate effective, professional and ethical interpersonal and communication skills;

●   Demonstrate maturity, flexibility and emotional stability appropriate for working in the health 
care setting;

●   Demonstrate competency in oral and written communication that meet the medical and legal standards established for health care professionals;

●   Demonstrate their ability to work effectively with other healthcare professionals.

PLO 3 Patient-Centered Care: Physician Assistant students are expected to learn to provide patient care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values. Moreover, students are expected to learn that patient values guide all clinical decision making practices. Physician Assistant students are expected to:

●   Understand the influence of culture, biases and attitudes on health and health care practices

●   Demonstrate empathy, respect and appropriate sensitivity to perspectives, values and cultural norms that are other than one’s own

●   Access and utilize evidence-based recommendations and guidelines for patient-centered clinical practice

●   Effectively demonstrate skills in obtaining patient history that addresses the unique preferences, values, needs and cultural/spiritual norms of each patient and his/her family, and develop patient management plans that are in concordance with those elements

●   Work effectively with other members of the health care team, including the patient and family, to provide care that is responsive to the patient’s needs

●   Utilize patient education and counseling techniques, including information technology, that are appropriate and responsive to a patient’s age, preferences, values, culture and norms.

PLO 4 Professional Development: Professionalism is the expression of positive values and ideals as care is delivered, and it involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one’s own. As members of a health care profession, it is imperative that the highest professional standards be maintained at all times. Physician Assistant students are expected to:

●   Conduct themselves in a professional manner in all academic and clinical settings;

●   Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, reliability, responsibility, empathy, respect and integrity;

●   Demonstrate professional relationships with other health care providers;

●   Demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional development and ethical practice;

●   Demonstrate culturally appropriate care in a diverse patient population.

PLO 5 Evidence based practice: Evidence based practice includes the process through which Physician Assistant students engage in utilizing informational technology to access medical research and information for the purpose of providing medical care. Physician Assistant students are expected to:

●   Locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health;

●   Critically evaluate medical literature using their knowledge of study design and statistical methods to inform their clinical practice;

●   Identify and evaluate current medical literature to enhance their medical knowledge;

●   Identify and evaluate current medical literature used in clinical decisionmaking related to best practice standards.

 

DOCTOR OF PODIATRIC MEDICINE DEGREE
The educational program leading to the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree consists of a comprehensive curriculum in the preclinical and clinical sciences. The didactic coursework is completed during the first three years of the program.
Clinical rotations begin at the start of the second academic year in June. During the summer months, second-year students begin to participate in clinical rotations, which cover biomechanics, radiology, general, and primary podiatric medicine. The majority of the third year and the entire fourth year are devoted to clinical rotations at inpatient and outpatient facilities, both in the Bay Area and throughout the United States.

 

CSPM Program Learning Outcomes

August 9, 2017

Prior to graduation each DPM student must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the faculty, the following Program Learning Outcomes.  The knowledge and skills will be attained as a result of the didactic instruction and clinical training received in the courses and clinical rotations and clerkship assignments from year one through year four:

  1. Be knowledgeable in the preclinical sciences and use this knowledge as a foundation for learning outcomes two through nine.
    1. Describe and explain the bodies of knowledge concerning normal human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and the structure and function of the human body.
    2. Describe and explain the causes of disease and the consequences of altered structure or function of the human body and its organ systems.
    3. Describe and explain pharmacological principles and interventions.
    4. Describe and explain the role of microbes, parasites and the diseases that they cause.
    5. Describe and explain the structure and function of the immune system.
  1. Formulate successful patient management strategies based upon sound, applicable diagnostic and assessment skills.
    1. Apply knowledge of the preclinical sciences in clinical decision-making and patient care
    2. Perform and interpret a history and physical examination.
    3. Identify and interpret common clinical, laboratory, imaging, gait and other studies used to diagnose pathologies.
    4. Describe, recognize and explain the pathologic manifestations of common conditions of the lower extremity.
    5. Formulate appropriate differential diagnoses and plans of management.
    6. Select and administer, under supervision, appropriate medical and surgical treatments.
    7. Recognize patients with life threatening emergencies and institute initial therapy.
  1. Identify and perform clinical practice behaviors that hallmark professionalism, empathy and ethical decision-making.
    1. Describe, explain and follow the ethical boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship.
    2. Describe, explain and follow state and federal laws governing the practice of the profession.
    3. Describe, explain and demonstrate the principles of bioethics, including customary and accepted standards of professional practice.
    4. Describe, explain and demonstrate principles of self-regulation of the profession.
    5. Practice with honesty and integrity, avoiding conflicts of interest.
    6. Identify, value, and practice empathetic patient care.  
    7. Demonstrate compassion and caring in patient care.
  1. Select, interpret and apply the scientific literature to clinical practice.
    1. Recognize and interpret the strengths and weaknesses of the medical literature.
    2. Explain and follow principles of research methodology in the analysis of levels of evidence.
    3. Use CME among other sources to optimize patient outcomes
    4. Explain and apply the principles of evidence based medicine in clinical decision making.
    5. Retrieve, interpret, manage, and use biomedical information to solve problems and to make decisions relevant to the care of individuals and populations.
    6. Assess actual patient outcomes versus evidence based outcomes or standards of care practice guidelines.
  1. Acknowledge, value, and respect the role of all health care professionals.
    1. Demonstrate effective collaboration with other health care professionals to promote the delivery of quality health care services.
    2. Identify and perform appropriate referrals to other healthcare providers and agencies.
  1. Understand healthcare systems and policy.
    1. Describe and explain the role of stakeholders in healthcare.
    2. Describe and explain basic healthcare insurance products and third party reimbursement, including but not limited to fee for service, independent practice associations (IPA), preferred provider organizations (PPO), health maintenance organizations (HMO) and capitation.
    3. Describe and explain basic types of professional insurance.
    4. Describe and explain the role of federal and state regulations in medical practice.
    5. Describe and explain basic legal considerations in medical practice and risk management.
  1. Facilitate the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health for culturally diverse individuals, groups, families, and communities.
    1. Describe and explain the role of the healthcare advocate and operate as an advocate for healthcare rights for all individuals.
    2. Describe and explain the importance of non-biological determinants of poor health and of the economic, psychological, social, and cultural factors that contribute to the development and continuation of maladies.
    3. Demonstrate a commitment to provide care to marginalized patients in underserved populations.
    4. Describe and explain the basic principles of public health, health promotion, disease prevention and clinical epidemiology.
  1. Acknowledge professional responsibility.
    1. Recognize and participate in opportunities to enhance development of the profession.
    2. Commit to life-long learning.
    3. Commit to actively participate in community service..
  1. Demonstrate effective verbal, written and technological interactions in communication with patients, families and colleagues and in information retrieval.
    1. Exchange information accurately.
    2. Exhibit empathy in all communications.
    3. Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with patients, families and colleagues.
    4. Effectively use and value interpersonal skills related to gender, social, cultural and economic differences.
    5. Demonstrate active listening.

 

The Public Health Certificate – “Interprofessional Approaches to Public Health” – offers Samuel Merritt Students an innovative addition to their current degree programs. The certificate program aspires to prepare healthcare personnel to apply population-based concepts in diverse healthcare settings and to move beyond theory to understand public health with emphasis on the current state of public health through the lens of pandemics.

The certificate is designed to be completed on-line and asynchronously. The online certificate program can be completed in as little as a year but at the student’s own pace.

Program Learning outcomes:

1. Understand epidemiological methods and their application to public health efforts

2. Describe the use of biostatics and informatics common to the public health literature

3. Demonstrate knowledge of data analysis in support of public health solutions

4. Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and societal levels

5. Understand the role of and processes relate to assessment in public health planning

6. Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs

7. Remember basic principles and tools of budget and resource management

8. Discuss multiple dimensions of the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence

9. Advocate for political, social or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations

10. Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation

11. Perform effectively on interprofessional teams

12. Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

13. Delineate & describe effective self-care practices that optimize individual effectiveness and reduce potential for burn-out among public health care professionals.