TTUHSC El Paso’s Newest Degree Positions Nurses for Leadership Roles

TTUHSC El Paso’s Newest Degree Positions Nurses for Leadership Roles

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has approved a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso). The degree will prepare nurses for positions in management and administration in the health care field.

Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing

The seven-semester program will be offered by the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON) and is set to begin in spring 2018. The part-time program will provide students a unique combination of online courses with on-campus intensive experiences. This differs from a similar M.S.N. at The University of Texas at El Paso that is in a completely online format.

“Traditional on-campus programs may be difficult for working nurses and while entirely online programs are flexible, they are not always effective in fully engaging students,” says Penny Cooper, D.N.P., R.N., assistant dean for graduate programs at the GGHSON. “That’s why we’re going to offer a hybrid of the two formats, giving students the opportunity to experience and benefit from both learning environments.”

The program, which focuses on producing the nursing leaders of the future, was developed in response to several national reports, including the 2010 report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The report emphasized the importance of nurses being full partners alongside physicians and other health care professionals, encouraging nurses to achieve higher levels of education.

To help achieve this national goal, the M.S.N. program will include leadership-focused courses to learn about business, finance, and policy, among others. This knowledge will ultimately prepare graduates to become decision-makers who can influence health care delivery in complex health care systems.

The degree will also provide unique interdisciplinary experiences not found anywhere else in the Paso del Norte region. Nursing students will learn from faculties of the nursing, medical and biomedical science schools. This inter-professional approach will prepare students to communicate effectively with a variety of professionals in future health care settings — an opportunity that can only be provided at a health sciences center.

“The GGHSON is the only school of nursing on the U.S.-Mexico border that resides in an academic health sciences center,” explains GGHSON Dean Jeanne Novotny, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN. “That means we provide our graduate students with a unique environment in which to study, and a framework for our graduates to be valuable contributors to any community or health care system, no matter where they decide to practice.”

Successful completion of the M.S.N. degree will lead to professional growth and employment opportunities. Graduates may seek positions such as charge nurse, manager, administrator, or chief nursing officer (CNO).

The degree was officially approved by the THECB on Thursday, April 20.

Those interested in the program should contact the GGHSON Office of Students Affairs at 915-215-6124 or