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Master’s Exam Orientation . By Debra Gayer, PhD, RN Exam Coordinator. What is the Master’s Exam?. A qualifying exam required for graduation from the Master of Science program in nursing. To fulfill this requirement the Sinclair School of Nursing requires each student to write a paper.

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Master s exam orientation

Master’s Exam Orientation

By Debra Gayer, PhD, RN

Exam Coordinator


What is the master s exam
What is the Master’s Exam?

  • A qualifying exam required for graduation from the Master of Science program in nursing.

  • To fulfill this requirement the Sinclair School of Nursing requires each student to write a paper.

  • All students enrolled after Summer 2002 are required to take and pass the exam in order to graduate.

  • All students graduating Fall 2010 will only have the literature review exam option.


Who is required to take the exam
Who is required to take the exam?

  • All Master’s students are required to take the exam unless they completed their M1, program of study form prior to Summer of 2002.

  • You may be in any of the specialty areas such as CNS, Public Health, NP, Educator, Administrator.


Where can you get information about the master s exam
Where can you get information about the Master’s Exam?

  • The Master of Science Handbook has information about the Master’s Exam and is located at

    http://www.nursing.missouri.edu/academics/msn.php

  • Examples of papers are on the network in PDF files.


What are the different formats for this exam
What are the different formats for this exam?

  • Currently you may write your exam as:

    1) a research proposal;

    2) a critical review of the literature;

    3) a problem-solving paper or

    4) a clinical guideline paper.

  • However students graduating Fall 2010 will only have the literature review option.

  • As you do your coursework, think about the type of paper that most appeals to you.

  • Remember that this paper is the culmination of your studies.


Where do i start
Where do I start?

  • Throughout your Master’s program you will write papers that may be used as the basis for your exam.

  • For example, you will be writing a research proposal for your research methods class.

  • You may want to use this as the basis for your paper – use the comments you receive to help you in revising the paper.

  • The standards for this paper are set to evaluate your overall knowledge from the program.


What are the guidelines for review for this exam
What are the guidelines for review for this exam?

  • The faculty has developed specific guidelines for each type of Master’s Exam.

  • These guidelines are very specific; however, the goal is for you to integrate your previous learning and to synthesize this information and form a conclusion.

  • One guiding principle is that students are expected to explore the literature in depth.


What do you mean by exploring the literature in depth
What do you mean by “exploring the literature” in depth?

  • One key element of all of the Master’s exam papers is the need to review the literature with regard to the chosen topic.

  • This means more than a one-time trip to the library or library website.

  • Planning for this review will be critical.

  • HINT: Whenever you are doing the coursework for your various classes, keep in mind that any references form the basis for your exam.


How can i know what type of exam i should take
How can I know what type of exam I should take?

  • All exams include a review of the literature – so all potential test-takers may begin here.

  • In your coursework you will be required to review nursing literature and write papers, these can be used as the basis for your Master’s Exam.

  • HINT: you will need to revise and add to your previous work before you submit it for a Master’s Exam.


When is the master s exam offered and how do i become eligible
When is the Master’s Exam offered and how do I become eligible?

  • The Master’s Exam is offered during the fall and winter semester; however, it is not offered during the summer semester.

  • To be eligible for the exam, you must have completed your core courses, Theory, Research, Evidence-based Practice and/or N8900 Research Practicum with a “B”. You may be taking a clinical practicum course and the Role Transition course the same semester as you submit the exam.

  • We would encourage you to submit your exam during your 2nd to last or last semester of coursework.


Do i need to apply for the exam
Do I need to apply for the exam? eligible?

  • Yes – there is a short application form to be completed. This will help to assure your readiness for the exam.

  • The Application for the Master’s Exam is obtained from Thom Bowling. All you need to do is complete the application and send it back to Thom Bowling bowlingt@missouri.edu and “cc” to me gayerd@missouri.edu as a rtf attachment.

  • We will then send you your number and information about returning the exam.


Do i need to register for the exam
Do I need to register for the exam? eligible?

  • If you are taking courses the semester you take your exam then you just need to complete the application for the Master’s Exam.

  • If you are NOT taking courses the semester you take your exam then you must register through MU Direct for the - Graduate Master Exam. You can do this through myZou – under course catalog – Miscellaneous – master exam (8999). You pay for an equivalent of a one hour course. However you will not have access to the student resources or library. If you need this you will need to register for a one hour problem course.

  • If you need assistance, please contact Thom Bowling at bowlingt@missouri.edu and cc Deb Gayer gayerd@missouri.edu for assistance.


When do you need to start preparing for the exam
When do you need to start preparing for the exam? eligible?

  • You should be preparing for the exam throughout your master’s program.

  • We encourage you to select a topic of interest and build on this topic throughout your courses.

  • For example, if you are interested in working with people who have osteoarthritis, use this topic in your research course and in evidence-based practice.


What if i want to change my topic
What if I want to change my topic? eligible?

  • You can decide on your topic at any time. The sooner you focus on a topic the better.

  • Changing your topic means that you will have to become familiar with the literature in this new area of interest.

  • Consult your adviser for help in this area.

  • You may write this exam on a topic that you choose – so the decision is yours.


What style of writing and bibliographic style should i use
What style of writing and bibliographic style should I use? eligible?

  • This paper is a formal nursing paper that is not to exceed 30 pages not counting the References and Appendices.

  • It should be a minimum of 20 pages of content not including the references

  • It should be typed and double-spaced in 12 point font with margins of 1 -1 ½ inches. We suggest that you use Arial font.

  • We require APA (5th ed.) published format.


How long will it take for me to write the master s exam
How long will it take for me to write the Master’s Exam? eligible?

  • Hopefully you will begin to think about the Master’s Exam topic from the beginning of your Master’s program.

  • Accumulate references along the way.

  • Stop and smell the roses – everyone needs to take a break now and then – then get back into writing this paper.


Are there other options
Are there other options? eligible?

  • There is an oral examination option; however, the guidelines for content are the same as for the paper.

  • This option is primarily designed for those who have English as a second language.


What is the submission schedule
What is the submission schedule? eligible?

  • Orientation is generally the 1st – 3rd week of the semester depending on student availability.

  • You must apply for the exam by Friday of the 4th week of the semester.

  • You will be given a number and instructions for the exam submission.

  • The exam is due on Friday of the 6th week of the semester.

  • The exam is offered in the Fall and Winter only.

  • See schedule on the Master of Nursing web site.


Who will grade my exam
Who will grade my exam? eligible?

  • There will be two faculty readers for each exam.

  • Faculty will not know whose exam they are reading – only the exam number.

  • Readers are assigned on the basis of their knowledge of your topic and on their expertise in the style of your paper.

  • You may request readers; however, due to the variable number of exams we cannot assure you that these will be your readers.


How will i know that i passed
How will I know that I passed? eligible?

  • Readers are given time to carefully read and review your writing.

  • If there is any question about your paper, a third reader is assigned.

  • The Exam Coordinator will notify all students of their pass/fail status on Tuesday of Week 11 of the semester. You will receive a letter in the mail.

  • You may receive your results in person if you come to my office (S429) on Friday of Week 11 by appointment. I will ask you for a form of identification with your picture on it.


What happens after the exam results are in
What happens after the exam results are in? eligible?

  • The graduate school will be notified that you have passed the exam and are now eligible for graduation.

  • If you do not pass the exam, you will be given instructions on how to resubmit the exam – usually during the following testing period.

  • We want all students to succeed – so we will work with you throughout your program of study.


Guidelines for the master s exam
Guidelines for the Master’s Exam eligible?

All guidelines are available in the MS Handbook- can be download from the Master of Science in Nursing web page.

  • Research Paper

  • Review of the Literature

  • Problem-Solving Paper

  • Clinical Guideline Paper


Who can help with the exam preparation
Who can help with the exam preparation? eligible?

  • If you have questions regarding the exam process, please contact the Exam Coordinator.

  • If you have questions related to your topic or the style of paper that you will choose, work with your course faculty and your faculty adviser.

  • Potential readers are not allowed to review your paper and make suggestions for improvement prior to submission unless this paper is part of your regular course requirements.


Resources
Resources eligible?

  • The Health Sciences Library – the librarians are great people to work with either in person or online. Go to http://www.muhealth.org/%7Elibrary/

  • Your advisor

  • A colleague – to read over your paper and critique.


Approval of the question purpose of the paper
Approval of the question/purpose of the paper eligible?

  • We request that you talk with your advisor regarding the research question or purpose of your paper prior to submission.

  • The advisor can certainly help you to finalize the purpose of your paper.

  • IT IS VITAL THAT YOU HAVE A CLEARLY STATED PURPOSE OR RESEARCH QUESTION.

  • Have your advisor approve of this purpose prior to proceeding with the paper for the best possible outcome.


Other resources
Other resources eligible?

  • Galvan, J.L. (2006). Writing Literature Reviews A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences(3rd ed.). Glendale,CA: Pyrczak.

  • Pan, M.L. (2004). Preparing Literature Reviews (2nd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak.


Helpful hints for success
Helpful Hints for Success eligible?

  • Choose your topic early in the program and use your coursework to help you in collecting literature related to your topic.

  • As you write course papers, keep in mind that you will need to write this final paper.

  • If you write a paper for a class, talk to the faculty about using it as the basis for your exam. Poor papers lead to poor exams, but good papers will provide the framework for a passing exam.


Questions
Questions ??????? eligible?

  • You are welcome to call me

    Debra Gayer, PhD, RN, CPNP

    Master’s Exam Coordinator

    at (573) 882-0295 or e-mail me

    at gayerd@missouri.edu for other

    questions that may arise.