Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies

A Message from the Dean

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Fairfield University's Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies (the Egan School). In selecting Fairfield for your graduate education, you have chosen to join a community where excellence is valued and innovation is embraced. In the Jesuit tradition, the Egan School strives for Cura Personalis, or education of the whole person. The result of such an education is the development of advanced healthcare professionals, who are morally reflective healthcare leaders and scholars. Our students work to enhance the health and quality of life of individuals, communities and populations with consistent sensitivity to cultural differences and issues of social justice.

Healthcare has advanced greatly over the past century. Advances in medicine and technology have afforded society an unprecedented opportunity for extended quality and quantity of life. The current challenge before graduate education is to work within an interprofessional team to achieve the highest level of health for those in our care. Our educational programs are prepared to meet this challenge as graduate students in nursing, healthcare administration and nutrition are educated together. Our faculty are recognized around the world for their expertise in addressing the broad issues that impact global health. These faculty are empowered to provide every student with the necessary tools and resources to become successful healthcare leaders.

You have chosen Fairfield for your graduate education because of the excellence of our programs and our outstanding faculty. As you gain new knowledge and skills, you will experience the dedication our faculty members have to your development. The relationships you build with your fellow classmates and faculty members will substantially impact your life and career, and the effects will extend long past your days as a student at Fairfield. As leading educators and scholars, our faculty contribute internationally recognized research and life-saving knowledge for the benefit of society.

The Egan School offers forward-thinking graduate programs leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctorate of Clinical Nutrition (DCN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Master of Healthcare Administration (MHCA), and MSN/MBA. Our goal is to use a team approach to prepare the next generation of healthcare leaders with a sufficient depth and breadth of expertise to effectively collaborate as partners. Our graduates are prepared to lead inter-professional teams to enhance quality and safety of patients and families throughout environments of care.

Our ability to provide these exceptional graduate programs is accomplished through our strong partnerships with over 100 healthcare agencies, including private practice, acute care hospitals, schools, community agencies, clinics, and long-term care facilities. Throughout these environments of care, students are provided with educational experiences to increase knowledge, skills and understanding of the issues that impact society. The result is the graduation of competent and compassionate healthcare leaders who will change healthcare today and for many years in the future.

Meredith Wallace Kazer, PhD, CNL, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, FAAN
Dean and Professor, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies

Overview

The Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at the Egan School are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The DNP program in Nurse Anesthesia is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). The DNP program in Nurse Midwifery is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). The DCN program in Clinical Nutrition has been granted candidacy for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Mission Statement

Consistent with the mission of Fairfield University to develop men and women for others, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies inspires students to become leaders across social and healthcare environments. These students are actively engaged with faculty in practice, policy, scholarship, and service. As a modern Jesuit institution, a central focus of our care is to improve health outcomes with particular attention given to the needs of under-served or vulnerable populations.

Purpose Statement

To inspire students to become leaders across social and healthcare environments who improve health outcomes for all, inclusive of under-served or vulnerable populations.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to inspire professional leaders who demonstrate excellence across environments of care. Building on a tradition of caring, our commitment is to provide evidence-based, culturally sensitive inter-professional nursing and health studies education that promotes social justice and facilitates reflection and life-long learning.

Certification

The DNP and MSN degrees fulfill the academic requirements toward national certification. Family Nurse Practitioner students sit for certification through ANCC or AANP, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students sit for certification through ANCC, Nurse Anesthesia students sit for certification through the COA, and Nurse Midwifery students sit for certification through AMCB. Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwifery, or Nurse Anesthetist certification provides the necessary credentials to apply for and receive an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse license in the state of Connecticut. Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Anesthetists are required to have an APRN license in Connecticut to have prescriptive privileges and receive third-party reimbursement. The DCN program prepares students to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Eligibility Requirements

The curricula leading to degrees in nursing and clinical nutrition from Fairfield University requires students to possess essential non-academic skills and functions required to engage in clinical practice. It is within the sole determination of Fairfield University and the Egan School to assess and determine whether a student meets these skills and functions. Eligibility Requirements for participation and completion in the nursing and nutrition programs shall include, but are not limited to, the following six capabilities:

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment; student must be able to examine, interpret, analyze, and synthesize material for problem solving and evaluation of patient situations and own performance.

  • Ability to assess, plan, establish priorities, implement and evaluate patient outcomes.
  • Ability to calculate appropriate dosages for specific medications.
  • Ability to use good judgment in establishing priorities and making appropriate decisions in client care.

Interpersonal and Communication

Relationship & communication abilities appropriate for interacting sensitively with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Ability to accurately and clearly communicate appropriate information regarding patient status and response to care, both orally and in writing.

  • Interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with patients/families and members of the healthcare team.
  • Ability to gather and record patient data concerning history, health status and response to care.
  • Ability to give and follow verbal and written reports and directions to patients, families, and members of the health care team.

Sensory Abilities

Ability to observe, identify, and obtain information in order to assess, plan, provide and evaluate interventions; student must possess adequate sensory abilities or be able to demonstrate appropriate and safe compensation for deficits.

  • Visual acuity necessary to observe physical changes in health status, prepare and administer medications, and gather reference material and patient data from written and digital sources.
  • Auditory ability to differentiate normal and abnormal heart, lung, & bowel sounds.
  • Tactile ability to differentiate temperature and anomalies of the skin, as well as unsafe patient care devices.
  • Cognitive ability sufficient to read and understand directions, assignments, and patient documents.

Motor Skills and Mobility

Sufficient mobility, including the gross and fine motors skills needed to provide safe and competent care, in both routine and emergency situations.

  • Sufficient motor skills necessary to perform physical care such as ambulation, positioning, and assist with activities of daily living as needed.
  • Fine motor skills needed for basic assessment such as palpation, auscultation, and percussion.
  • Mobility sufficient to carry out patient care procedures such as suctioning, positioning, and drawing up medication into a syringe.

Emotional Stability

Emotional stability for providing care safely to patients and their families within a rapidly changing and often stressful healthcare environment; the ability to monitor and identify one's own and others' emotions, and use the information to guide thinking and actions.

  • Integrity needed to make ethical decisions and honor the professional code of nursing or clinical nutrition.
  • Emotional ability to maintain calm in a crisis and emergency situation.
  • Ability to develop mature relationships with the healthcare team and modify behavior in response to constructive feedback.

Physical Health and Abilities

Physical health and stamina sufficient to provide care to diverse patient populations.

  • Sufficient energy and ability to manage a typical patient assignment in a variety of settings for a standard clinical day.
  • Physical health necessary to care for those who are immuno-compromised, incapacitated, and/or otherwise vulnerable.

Health and Professional Requirements

All students in the DNP and MSN programs must provide proof of current Connecticut RN or APRN licensure and, if born after 12/31/1956, documentation of measles and rubella, prior to starting the program.

The graduate nursing program at Fairfield University requires the successful completion of the clinical component of the curriculum. Most clinical sites require students to complete a criminal background check and drug screening before participating in clinical placements. In addition, national certification agencies may determine that persons with criminal convictions are not eligible to sit for national certification examinations and state laws may restrict/prohibit those with criminal convictions from acquiring a professional license to practice following graduation. Therefore, it is the policy of the Egan School that all admitted students must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check and drug screening prior to starting the program, need to repeat it prior to participating in the clinical component of the curriculum, and may be required more than once to repeat it depending on agency placement. These will be completed at the student’s expense at a location designated by the University. Fairfield University and the Egan School have no obligation to refund a deposit or any tuition or otherwise accommodate students in the event that a criminal background check or drug screening renders the student ineligible to complete required courses or clinical placement(s).

In addition, prior to starting clinical practicum courses, students must provide documentation of the following health and professional requirements. All documentation is submitted directly to CastleBranch, which tracks student health requirements:

  • Current Connecticut RN License (for all MSN and DNP students).
  • Current Connecticut APRN license (for Advanced Practice MSN-DNP students). Please note a copy of both your APRN and RN License must be provided.
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Healthcare Provider (American Heart Association (AHA) or American Red Cross certified only) is required. Please note that the American Heart Association certifies for two years. Students must remain certified throughout the program. In addition, students in the Nurse Anesthesia program must also provide documentation on ACLS (AHA only) and PALS (AHA only) certification.
  • Student Nurse Practitioner Liability Insurance for all BSN-DNP and MSN students in the Family and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner tracks or Student Nurse Midwife Liability Insurance for students in the BSN-DNP Midwifery track.
  • Professional APRN Liability Insurance (for Advanced Practice MSN-DNP students).
  • OSHA certification. Fairfield University Egan School OSHA training requirements must be met each year prior to clinical practica.
  • Annual physical examination and non-reactive Mantoux test.
  • Immunizations. Proof of immunization/titre must be provided for hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and diphtheria-tetanus.

Arrangements for clinical practica will not be made until all health and professional requirements are met and students are cleared for clinical by CastleBranch.