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Graduate Nursing Department

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Work with leaders in the nursing field to further your career and redefine excellence in advanced nursing practice. Our expert faculty are with you every step of the way as you enter the dynamic field of nursing and health professions.

Graduate Nursing

The College of Nursing and Health Professions Graduate Nursing Department offers various graduate level nursing degree programs and graduate nursing certificate programs to help students advance their careers in nursing and health professions.

As a part of the Graduate Nursing Department, you will join a community of clinicians, researchers, faculty, and students in your journey toward advanced nursing practice. 

Students can choose from exciting career paths and take courses that span the gamut of nursing education. Whether you want to focus on clinical practice, research, nursing leadership, becoming an entrepreneur, or are interested in a wide variety of nursing education roles, the Drexel Graduate Nursing Department has a program pathway for you.

We invite you to explore the degree programs offered through this department that will help you begin your career in nursing. Please explore our web pages for a wealth of information about our programs, students, faculty, research and clinical practice.

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01/14/21

December 9, 2020

When the announcement about a new home for the College of Nursing and Health Professions was made in May 2019, no one could have imagined that construction would be delayed by a global pandemic. It was expected that groundbreaking would be in spring 2020 with a substantial completion delivery of mid-2022. Beginning in late July, it is still the hope to maintain the same timeline.

Google Earth screenshot of the location of the Drexel Academic Tower

With CNHP being the first occupants of the new facility, some of the College of Medicine’s administrative functions, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies and its first- and second-year medical program will join the College in phases. President Fry, in a message to the University in late 2019, said “at the new academic building, many of Drexel’s health-related programs will be under one roof, enhancing opportunities for interdisciplinary education in a facility that affords health sciences students, faculty and professional staff the best possible environment for continued development and growth.”

03/15/21

The highly respected and for-credit Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program is designed for Drexel University undergraduate students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Dornsife School of Public Health. The program, created by Roberta Waite, EdD, professor, associate dean for Community-Centered Health & Wellness and Academic Integration and executive director of the Stephen & Sandra Sheller 11th St. Family Health Services, consists of three in-person courses completed consecutively in the fall, winter and spring quarters and taken in conjunction with regular program courses.

Graphic of the four pillars of the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows program The unique format—group activities, workshops, round table debates and panel discussions—enable fellows to become more self-aware by analyzing strengths, weaknesses, privilege and biases in a very supportive and safe space. Fellows are encouraged to explore their values, purpose and beliefs, and in some cases, redefine their understanding of leadership. Mentors, a crucial part of the program, assist students in doing the challenging work necessary to develop professional networks, build their toolkits of enhanced interpersonal and leadership skills and reach their individual. Together fellows, faculty and mentors examine complex, and sometimes uncomfortable, issues from multiple perspectives while working interprofessionally with students from different majors.

In 1966, at the Second Annual Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights held in Chicago, The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman.” Macy helps students align their developing leadership styles with their own values and ethics. This will guide fellows in addressing the societal issues and concerns they will encounter in their careers through the lens of social justice. The Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program faculty prepares students—the future health care and service workforce—to contribute creative, innovative solutions to promote health justice. This year's teaching faculty included Ebony White, PhD, assistant clinical professor in Counseling and Family Therapy, Alecia Fox, PhD, assistant clinical professor in Graduate Nursing, and Kimberly McClellan, EdD, assistant clinical professor in Undergraduate Nursing.

The 2020 – 2021 cohort consists of second- and third-years students in nutrition, nursing, health sciences, public health, behavioral health counseling and health services administration. They share, like every cohort, their reasons for applying to Philadelphia's only undergraduate leadership fellows program and what has been most impactful from their experiences. Applications are now being accepted for 2021-2022.

Read their Stories

Image of the 2020-2021 Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program cohort on a zoom call.

03/01/21

Escape Room exercise simulation for exam preparationA bevy of nursing students surround a Philadelphia hospital bed in which a man lays supine, struggling to breathe. They evaluate the patient as quickly as possible, taking vitals and asking him questions – but he’s confused and unable to provide succinct answers. Two nurses work together to help shift the man forward so they can use a stethoscope to assess his breathing from behind, when they find a sheet of paper with a QR code printed on it. The group looks at each other, wide-eyed in surprise, and one pulls out a phone to scan the code. They are rewarded with a clue to the man’s condition. As they continue to examine the patient and his surroundings, they find and solve more pieces of this puzzle.

Across the room, another team pours over objective data, including the patient’s lab results and EKG. They, too, find QR codes and are presented with clues that confirm what they’ve found in his chart. The two groups then come together to share their findings with each other. Between the environmental, context and electronic clues, they correctly diagnose their patient with heart failure and escape the room.

At the College of Nursing and Health Professions, undergraduate students are engaged in a simulation lab built on a similar premise to the concept of an Escape Room. This is not a team of seasoned nurses in a hospital setting, but a group of ten accelerated career entry nursing students in their Pathophysiology (patho) exam review. Their professors, Jen Carroll, MSN, assistant clinical professor, and Penny Parker, MSN, at the time an assistant clinical professor but now adjunct, along with help from countless CNHP faculty members, most notably Kate Morse, PhD, assistant dean for Experiential Learning and Innovation, created a class period of games, including this escape room scenario, a homemade board game, a VR experience and a rousing round of Jeopardy, to not only make exam review fun, but to also make the material more memorable.

Escape Room and Confusion board game simulation for exam preparationThey were attracted to this idea specifically because “Escape rooms are these problem-based scenarios that utilize teamwork, team communications and a set of clues and help people make sense of these clues and escape the room. Research shows escape rooms support and promote student engagement and allow for the problem solving we want them to do,” explained Parker. “The students become an active participant in a fun learning modality.”

Carroll came up with the idea during faculty orientation in her first week working at Drexel. “There were many presentations about Drexel’s emphasis on experiential learning, and I thought, wouldn’t it be so cool to have these undergraduate students do an escape room?” she recalled. She brought Parker on board and the two took the idea to Morse who helped bring their concept to life.

This is an example of gamification of learning, a form of active learning in which students participate, interact and engage with the material using gaming elements in the learning environment. Competition or motivation to win prizes make learning fun and encourage student engagement and can create an addiction to learning. “It gives them that little squirt of dopamine that keeps them going back for more,” said Morse.

Bringing games into the classroom isn’t just for fun—there is science behind it. When learners actively participate, it triggers multiple sections of the brain, including the hippocampus, and helps facilitate new connections within it. This then converts short term into long term memory, or memory retention. “We actually remember more deeply what we learn when we are either emotionally activated, having fun or when there's some salient experience,” Carroll elaborated. By engaging with the material students are able to better understand and apply it, not simply memorize facts.

In the debrief following the exam review activity, Carroll said she could see students connecting all of the dots between their patho knowledge and why they solved certain clues in certain ways.

Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive. When asked if they plan to run the escape room again, Parker exclaimed “Heck yeah!” to which Morse added “We have big plans.”Escape Room and virtual reality simulation for exam preparation

By Maggie McCrea

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