James Madison University

Chronic Illness Minor

Description:


The interdisciplinary minor in chronic illness prepares students from any major to understand and respond to the impacts of chronic illness on the individual, family, the health care system, and society. Knowledge and strategies to address the prevention and the management of chronic illness across its trajectory will enhance the skills and abilities of students who plan to practice in any profession. The minor is open to all undergraduate students at JMU. The minor requires a minimum of 18 credits with no more than 6 credits in the student’s major counting toward the minor.  

Steps to Declare Chronic Illness Minor


  1. Consult with your academic advisor regarding the feasibility of your workload to complete the minor in addition to your major requirements.
  2. Contact the Registrar and complete the “Change or Declaration of Major Form”.

Course Requirements for the Chronic Illness Minor


Core Classes:

  • NSG 390:  Impact of Chronic Illness  (3 credit hours)
  • NSG 391: Living Successfully with Chronic Illness (3 credit hours)

*** Students completing the Nursing major must plan to take both NSG 390 and 391 prior to starting major courses

Additional required credits:

Select 12 credits from the following courses. Students completing the Nursing Major should select 6 credits.  Not all elective courses are offered each semester.

  • EXED 306: Lifespan Issues for Individuals with Disabilities (3 credit hours)
  • GERN/SOCI 280: Social Gerontology (3 credit hours)
  • GERN 305: Programs and Services for the Elderly (3 credit hours) *GERN/SOCI 280 is a pre-requisite
  • PSYC 304: Death and Dying: Thanatology (3 credit hours)
  • SOWK 332: Community Mental Health Practice (3 credit hours)
  • SOWK 442: Social Work in Health Care (3 credit hours)  *SOWK 332 is a pre-requisite
  • NSG 310: Helping Persons in Pain (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 311: End of Life Care (1 credit hour)
  • NSG 313: Issues and Applications of Family Caregiving (1 credit hours, may be taken twice)
  • NSG 320: Innovative Diabetes Health Education (1 credit hour)     
  • NSG 321: Introduction to Client Education (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 322: Integrative Health Care (1 credit hour)
  • NSG 323: Cardiovascular Health and Illness (1 credit hour)
  • NSG 326: Care and Consideration for Children with Special Needs (1 credit hour)
  • NSG 328: Life, Death and the "Dash" Between (1 credit hour)
  • NSG 329: Best Practices in Diabetes Care (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 490/HHS 490: Exploring Universality and Diversity in Promoting Health; Costa Rica (2 credit hours )
  • NSG 490: Study Abroad Australia (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 490: Study Abroad Kenya (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 490/IPE 490: Ethical Decision Making: an Interprofessional Approach (1 credit hour)
  • NSG 490:  Understanding Sexuality across the Health-Illness Continuum (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 490: Environmental Health and You (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 490: Behavioral and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 490:  Issues in Family Violence (1 credit hour)
  • NSG 490: Combating Childhood Obesity
  • NSG 490: History taking/History telling:  Narratives of Chronic Illness and Disability (2 credit hours)
  • NSG 490: Sick in America (1 cr)
  • NSG 490: Healthy Health Policy (2 cr)

*Special topic courses or other courses not listed can be applied to the minor with the approval of the minor coordinator. Courses must have a strong correlation with chronic illness.

Benefits of the Chronic Illness Minor


  • The prevalence of chronic illness will continue to increase in both the young and old. As the U.S. population ages, knowledge and strategies to manage chronic illness are increasingly important for students in many professions.
  • The more you know about the prevention and management of chronic illness the more likely you can positively influence these life changing conditions. When a chronic illness cannot be prevented it can be managed to reduce the impact and improve the health of the individual and the overall health of society.
  • The greatest proportion of the United States and a large proportion of other countries health care dollar are directed to those with chronic illness. The more you know how these monies are managed the more valuable you can be to an employer.
  • With the increasing complexity of healthcare knowledge and specialization in a variety of disciplines, no one healthcare professional can meet the complex needs of patients with chronic illness. In the environment of specialization, communication across disciplines would naturally decrease. This dilemma can be reduced through a better understanding of the interdisciplinary approach. The interdisciplinary education gives the student the opportunity to view chronic illness through a variety of perspectives. The knowledge will better prepare the individual to work collaboratively to better deal with the issues associated with chronic illness.
  • A minor will provide a way to focus additional academic work that complements the nursing major.

FAQ About the Chronic Illness Minor


  • Do I have to take the courses in a specific sequence?
    Answer: No. The minor was designed that the courses can be taken in any sequence, except if the particular course has a prerequisite that must be met before enrolling in the course (i.e. GERN/SOCI courses). It is up to the student to ensure that prerequisite is met. Although the two core courses are not restricted to Chronic Illness minors, we encouraging the student to declare the minor prior to taking the core courses.  The core courses can be taken in any order or simultaneously.
  • Can my 2 credits of nursing electives required for my nursing major be applied to the minor?
    Answer: Yes, as long as they are chronic illness electives.  If you are accepted to the Nursing program, 2 credit hours of electives used for the Chronic Illness minor can also count towards the nursing major.  You need to complete a minimum of 6 credits of Chronic Illness electives in addition to the 6 credits of core Chronic Illness courses for a total of 12 credits. 
  • What if I have taken a class I believe should be accepted as credit for the Chronic Illness minor but is not listed as an elective option?
    Answer: You can apply to have the class reviewed by the course coordinator. If the coordinator feels there is sufficient justification to consider the course, the coordinator will present that course to the Department of Nursing Curriculum Committee to seek formal acceptance or rejection of the credits. Be aware that no more than 6 credits of the student’s major can be applied to the minor.

Questions about the Minor? Contact:
Christina Lam, MSN, RN
Chronic Illness Minor Coordinator
Department of Nursing
James Madison University
224 Burruss Hall
(540) 568-7616
russelck@jmu.edu

Announcements


  • Clarification of Comments Made in Harrisonburg Daily News Record, September 24, 2013:  Today, in the Daily News Record, a comment was made and highlighted that the Department of Nursing would eliminate the Nurse Practitioner programs at the Master's entry for practice.  This statement was made in error.  At this time, there are no plans to eliminate the Master's level Nurse Practitioner programs.  We will continue to monitor accreditation standards and requirements regarding entry to practice and will make decisions accordingly.
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