Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Nursing School Review


The Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences has been referred to as the “West Point of Medicine.” The roots of the program began in World War II, but the idea didn’t become a reality until the 1970s when the military draft ended. Congress passed legislation that was signed into law in 1972, creating the school.

USU offers a multi-service environment, with students from all branches of the military and the Public Health Service. Students attend in exchange for seven years of service commitment after graduation.

Half of all students enrolled at USU have no prior military experience, so field exercises are part of the curriculum. The Graduate School of Nursing enrolls about 160 students each year.

Nursing Programs

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nurse Anesthesia Program

This program prepares nurse anesthetists to provide quality care. Graduates are allowed to take the certification exam. The program is 30 months long and takes 82 credit hours to complete.

To apply to any MSN program, students must be a commissioned officer in the military or a service sponsored civilian, and hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. They also need to have competitive GRE scores, three recommendation letters, meet the writing requirement, have a nursing license, provide original transcripts, have Basic Life Support certification, and have a resume.

Students will also need to meet the Nurse Anesthesia program specific requirements of having taken Statistics and Biochemistry within the last five years with a B or better, have at least one year of acute care RN experience, be ACLS and PALS certified, and have an interview.

MSN – Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Program

This program trains students for advanced practice in a perioperative setting. Graduates are able take the CNS certification exam. The program takes 24 months, and requires 64 credit hours and 500 clinical hours to complete.

To apply to this program, students must meet the MSN criteria listed above. In addition, they will need to have two years of perioperative nursing experience, have CNOR certification, and ACLS certification.

MSN – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program

For nurses training for advanced practice roles, this program takes 24 months and 64 credit hours to complete. Students will also complete a master’s thesis or scholarly project.

To apply to this program, students must meet the MSN criteria listed above. Also, they will need to have an interview, and it is preferred that they have two years of experience in psychiatric nursing.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program

This program readies nurses for an advanced practice role. This program is 24 months, and graduates will be able to take the national FNP certification exam. Students will complete 65 credit hours and over 900 hours of clinical practice.

To apply to this program, students must meet the MSN criteria listed above. It is also recommended that they have two years of experience in ambulatory or outpatient practice.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program offers the highest level of advanced practice training. Students will choose a specialty of Nurse Anesthesia, Perioperative CNS, Psychiatric NP, or Family NP.

To apply to this program, students must be a commissioned officer in the military or a service sponsored civilian, and hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. They also need to have competitive GRE scores, three recommendation letters, meet the writing requirement, have a nursing license, provide original transcripts, have Basic Life Support certification, and have a resume. They may be asked to interview.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science

The PhD program is for the nurse researcher, and requires at least 91 credit hours to complete.

When applying to this program, nurses in the military have priority, and agency sponsored civilians will be considered as space is available. Applicants must have an MSN degree with a GPA of at least 3.0, a current nursing license or be eligible for one, a curriculum vitae, GRE scores, transcripts, a statement of their reason for pursuing a PhD, a match to current faculty research, computer literacy, three reference letters, and an interview.

Contact:
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

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