Aurora University: RN to MSN Program Review
Aurora University, 347 South Gladstone Avenue, Aurora, Illinois 60506-4892
Aurora University (AU) is a non-profit university that offers residential, full-time and part-time programs that lead to bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. Two other campuses are located in Woodstock, Illinois and in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The main campus is located at 347 South Gladstone Avenue, Aurora, Illinois 60506-4892. The School of Nursing at Aurora University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Two tracks are available, which are the Master of Science in Nursing – Administration and the Master of Science in Nursing – Education.
The MSN program at AU requires 38 credits, including a thesis or research project. Students receive training in nurse leadership and management or in designing curriculum and evaluating the work of student nurses, depending on the concentration chosen. Students in either track complete 32 credits of core courses before the coursework required for their chosen concentration. Admission requirements include being a graduate of an undergraduate nursing program with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Nurses with lower grade point averages are considered for admission on an individual basis. The applicant must have a Registered Nurse license to practice in Illinois or Wisconsin. An applicant should include three recommendation letters and an essay describing why the nurse wants to pursue a career in an advanced nursing role. An interview with the School of Nursing Review committee is also required.
The School of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing Bridge Option is also offered at Aurora University. This program is designed for those with bachelors degrees in a field other than nursing. Students may choose from the concentrations of Administration and Nursing Education. Application requirements include a bachelors degree or an associates degree in nursing with at least a 3.0 grade point average. Applicants must have a current Registered Nurse license in Illinois and must have at least one year of experience working in a clinical setting. Three recommendation letters must also be submitted in addition to a current curriculum vita or detailed resume. Also, an essay explaining why the applicant wants to complete a graduate nursing degree is required. The final step is to complete an interview with the nursing faculty.
Benedictine University: RN to MSN Program Reviews
5700 College Road
Lisle, Illinois 60532
Benedictine University is located at 5700 College Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532. The University is a private Catholic institution that was established in 1887 by the Benedictine monks. The University offers an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program: Graduate Nursing Studies at Benedictine University. The online MSN program has two concentrations that provide training for students to fill advanced nursing roles that are in great demand after they graduate. These are the Nurse Educator and Nurse Executive leader tracks. This program is an affordable way for nurses to complete their MSN at their own pace as they work online.
The MSN Nurse Educator concentration provides training for nurses to educate patients, students, and colleagues in their role as a Nurse Educator. Graduates are prepared to teach at the undergraduate level at universities and colleges, nursing schools, or in clinical settings. They also learn to teach patients in a variety of settings or to function as a community educator. Twenty-one credits are required in addition to the 18 core courses to complete this program. The Nurse Executive Leader concentration prepares nurses for a leadership role in healthcare settings. It requires 18 credits plus 18 credits of core courses. Most students complete their concentration in two years.
Admission requirements include a bachelors degree in nursing with a grade point average of at least 2.75. The applicant must be a licensed Registered Nurse in the U.S. and must provide a Statement of Goals and one letter of professional recommendation. Applicants must also complete the Student Success Strategies Orientation Exercises to finalize acceptance into the MSN program.
Bradley University: RN to MSN Program Review
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, Illinois 61625
Bradley University was established in 1897 and is a private university located at 1501 West Bradley Avenue, Peoria, Illinois 61625. Bradley University’s Department of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The Graduate Program is organized to allow students to explore advanced nursing practice roles. Once a graduate nursing student decides on the role that is to be pursued, choices of concentrations are Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, or MSN-General.
The MSN Nursing Administration program takes two years to complete a total of 36 credits that can be completed in two years plus one summer session. A directed research option requires 7 credits and the thesis option requires 5 credits. Students choose one of these to complete. The Nursing Education program can be completed in two years plus one summer session, and it also requires a research project or thesis to complete. In addition, a Registered Nurse (RN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is also offered at Bradley University. Students choose from one of the two concentrations after completing the prerequisites for the masters program. A fourth entry point for nurses into the MSN program is for those who have a certificate or diploma of advance practice, but do not have a masters degree. This concentration requires 30 hours of credits to complete.
The masters program in nursing at Bradley University can be completed full-time in one and one-half years, although most students finish in about two years. After meeting the admission requirements for the Graduate School, applicants should submit three recommendation letters, a resume, and proof of their nursing license.
DePaul University: RN to MSN Program Review
1 East Jackson
Chicago, Illinois 60604
DePaul University is the largest private Roman Catholic university in the United States. It is also one of the 10 largest private universities in the country and the largest private university in the state. It was founded in 1898 to serve the children of immigrants. The University is located at 1 East Jackson, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The two main campuses are in Lincoln Park and in the downtown Loop area. Suburban campuses are also located in Rolling Meadows, O’Hare, Oak Forest, and Naperville. U.S. news and World Report has rated DePaul in the Top Tier of national colleges and universities. The magazine has also rated DePaul as one of the top institutions in the country for service learning in which volunteer work is used to instruct students. The Princeton Review rated the University as Number One in the country in “Diverse Student Population.”
The School of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Concentrations include the following programs:
Masters Entry to Nursing Practice
Nurse Practitioner Program – Advanced Practice Adult Nursing
Nurse Practitioner Program – Advanced Practice Family Nursing
Advanced Practice Nursing – Nurse Anesthesia
Those with bachelors degrees in a field other than nursing may apply to the Masters Entry to Nursing Practice program. Pre-licensure training in nursing courses and clinical practice prepare students to take the NCLEX for their Registered Nurse license before beginning the masters nursing program. Applicants must have a bachelors degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0. They must also take the GRE and earn minimum scores. Applicants who are not native English speakers must also have acceptable TOEFL scores. A personal statement, curriculum vitae or resume, and two professional reference letters must also be submitted. There are also prerequisite courses that are required before beginning the program that requires a total of 107 credits. This program can be completed on a full-time basis in two years plus one summer session once prerequisites have been completed.
The Adult Nurse Practitioner program requires that 70 credits are completed. The full-time program takes one year plus a summer session to complete. The Family Nurse Practitioner program requires that 76 credits are completed, and both Nurse Practitioner concentrations require at least 600 hours of clinical experience. The University’s Nurse Anesthesia requires that students spend an average of 56 hours on study and clinical experience each week on a full-time basis. Admission requirements for all of the MSN programs have the same requirements, except that Nurse Anesthesia applicants must have one year of full-time experience working in a critical unit as a RN.
Elmhurst College: RN to MSN Program Review
190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3285
Elmhurst College is a private college in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is located at 190 Prospect Avenue. The college is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and focuses on service-oriented learning. It was founded in 1871 as a theological seminary to train teachers. Today, Elmhurst College offers a Masters of Science in Nursing degree program with areas of concentration in Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator, or Nurse Administrator. All three programs require that 33 credits are completed, and they all share the same core course requirements.
Applicants to the program must have a bachelors degree in nursing with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. They must also have a Registered Nursing license in Illinois and three recommendations. A goal statement, current resume, and a successful interview are also required. Students must have college-level oral and written communication skills and computer literacy. A variety of financial aid options are available to graduate nursing students, including federal government loans and scholarships from a variety of sources.
Elmhurst College also offers a Registered Nurse (RN) to Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Option. This program is designed for the RN who has a bachelors degree in another area. A bridge program provides the necessary background for completing the masters degree nursing courses. Admission requirements for this program are having an associates degree in nursing with a grade point average of 3.0 or better, three recommendation letters, and one year of full-time work experience as a RN.
Governors State University: RN to MSN Program Review
Governors State University
1 University Parkway
University Park, Illinois 60484-0975
Governors State University (GSU), located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, Illinois 60484-0975 where undergraduate and graduate level programs are offered. GSU was founded in 1969 and offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The Department of Nursing requires that applicants use the automated admissions system called Nursing Centralized Application Service (CAS) to apply to the graduate masters program in nursing. The MSN program offers a web-enhanced program with concentrations in Nursing Administration, Clinical Nurse specialist, and Family Nurse Practitioner. The program offers convenient scheduling with full-time or part-time options. The small student to faculty ratio and accessible faculty ensure that students receive the training that is necessary for today’s advanced practice nursing roles.
The MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist concentration prepares nurses for careers in leadership with the general nursing skills that they develop in this program. Admission requirements are a bachelors degree in nursing and a valid license as a Registered Nurse in Illinois. A grade point average of 3.0 is required, but nurses with lower grade point averages are admitted conditionally. A biographical sketch of personal goals must also be submitted. The University’s MSN Nursing Administration concentration provides training in management and issues in healthcare that the nurse needs to know to fill a position as a manager or leader in a hospital or other facility. Admission requirements for this program are the same as for the Clinical Nurse Specialist MSN concentration.
GSU also offers a MSN Family Nurse Practitioner concentration for nurses who want training for future careers in advanced practice nursing. The Family Nurse Practitioner provides primary care to all members of the family. At the completion of the program, graduates take the national certification exam to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Illinois State University: RN to MSN Program Review
Illinois State University
Campus Box 5810
Normal, Illinois 61790-5810
Illinois State University (ISU) was established in 1857 and is the oldest public university in Illinois. The University places a strong emphasis on research and offers both undergraduate and graduate level programs, including a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Three different specialization sequences are offered in the MSN program, which are Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Systems Administration, and Clinical Nurse Leader. All three concentrations are offered in online and on-site formats. Admission requirements to the MSN program include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on the last 60 hours of credits completed. Nurses must also have a Registered Nursing license.
The Family Nurse Practitioner program that leads to a masters degree in nursing is taught on-site except for four core courses that consist of a hybrid format, combining online and on-site classes. Students complete courses that teach them the necessary knowledge and skills to provide primary care to all family members. Graduates then take the national certification exam to be able to practice in a variety of healthcare settings. Students complete 660 hours of clinical experience and 44 credits, and they may choose from a full-time program that takes two years plus one summer semester to complete.
The University’s Nursing Systems Administration MSN program has mostly an online sequence. Four core courses are a combination of online and on-campus classes. Graduates of this program take the exam for Certification in Nursing Administration. The Clinical Nurse Leader MSN program emphasizes nursing leadership and care environment management. This track requires a 360 hour residency in the last semester of the program. Nurses who graduate from this program may take the exam for certification as a clinical nurse leader, but are not eligible for advanced practice licensure. They are prepared to teach student nurses in the State of Illinois. All of the MSN tracks are available on either a full-time or part-time basis.
Lewis University: RN to MSN Program Review
Lewis University is a private Roman Catholic university that is located in Romeoville, Illinois. The University offers undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as accelerated programs for adults. It was founded in 1932 as a technical school by the Lasallian Brothers who are affiliated with the Catholic Church. Lewis University is the ninth largest non-profit university in the state. U.S. News and World Report ranked Lewis University in the top tier of universities in the Midwest, placing it at Number 58 out of 144 universities. The Princeton Review rated the University as one of the “Best Midwestern Colleges,” rated 23 out of 158 colleges and universities.
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Lewis is designed for working adults. It offers flexibility in scheduling and part-time as well as full-time programs that lead to advanced nursing practice roles. Concentrations in the masters of science in nursing program are offered in the following:
Adult Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)/Master of Business Administration (MBA) Dual Degree
To be admitted to the program, applicants must be a Registered Nurse (RN) and must be licensed in their state. They must also have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on their undergraduate coursework. A current resume or curriculum vitae, and two recommendation forms must also be submitted. In addition, an admission essay and all official transcripts are required. Nurses must be graduates of a bachelors degree in nursing program or of an associate degree in nursing plus a bachelors degree in another field. Financial aid is available for the graduate program, including the REACH Your Goals Scholarship Program for adults in the Chicago area. Adults over the age of 25 who enroll in graduate studies may apply for this program. Other scholarships are also available.
Loyola University: RN to MSN Program Review
1032 West Sheridan Road
Chicago, Illinois 60660
Loyola University is located at 1032 West Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60660. Loyola is a private Jesuit university that is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church; The main campus is located at 1032 West Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60660. The university has six campuses located in the Chicago area plus a permanent campus in Rome, Italy and host programs in Beijing, China, and Vietnam. Founded in 1870, the University offers many graduate programs, including a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). U.S. News and World Report rated Loyola number 119 among national universities. It is also often named as a “best value” school by the magazine.
The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers the following concentrations in their Master of Science in Nursing programs:
Nurse Practitioner Tracks:
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
Clinical Nurse Specialist Tracks:
Adult-Gerontology with Cardiovascular Subspecialty
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
Other tracks offered:
Health Systems Management
Population-Based Infection Control and Environmental Safety
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)/Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Registered Nurse (RN)-Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Loyola University offers both online programs and in-class courses in the evening at the Loyola University Health Systems campus. Admission requirements include a completed online application and three recommendation letters. Nurses should also provide a personal statement and GRE test scores. The GRE is mandatory for all applicants with undergraduate nursing degree grade point averages under 2.69. Those with a grade point average of 2.77 to 2.99 who meet all of the other requirements do not need to take the test and may be admitted on strict probation. Applicants must also have a current license as a registered nurse in the U.S. and must be eligible for endorsement in Illinois. Nurses applying to the Nurse Practitioner program who have experience in the particular concentration they want to enter are considered for admission before those without experience.
The University’s RN to MSN program is an accelerated program for nurses with a diploma or associate degree in nursing who want to move right into the MSN program. Students must complete 22 credits in the University Core Courses, undergraduate nursing courses that include a Bridge to Professional Health, and the masters degree nursing courses. Loyola University has many different graduate nursing scholarships and also offers a variety of financial aid options to students.
McKendree University: RN to MSN Program Review
701 College Road
Lebanon, Illinois 62254
McKendree University is located at 701 College Road, Lebanon, Illinois 62254. It was established in 1828 as the Lebanon Seminary and is the oldest college in the state. The University is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. U.S. News and World Report rated McKendree as number 20 in Regional Midwest Colleges, and it is classified as a Tier I university. Nurses who want a low student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1 may want to consider this school in which half of the classes have fewer than 15 students. Besides the main campus in Lebanon, Illinois, McKendree University also has locations in Louisville and Radcliff in Kentucky, and at the Center at Scott Air Force Base. Accelerated Instruction at McKendree is available at a variety of sites in Illinois, and the University also has an online program.
The University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is available online. There are two available tracks in the MSN program, which are Nurse Educator and Nurse Manager/Administrator. Students may choose to take all courses online, but the 500 level courses are available at the Louisville location in an on-campus format one night each week. When these classes have been completed, students take 600 level courses online. Admission requirements are a bachelors degree in nursing with an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. Each application is examined on an individual basis, and all of the applicant’s experience is considered when accepting students into the program.
Millikin University: RN to MSN Program Review
1184 West Main Street
Decatur, Illinois 62522
Millikin University is a four-year university that also offers a graduate program in nursing, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). It is a small university with a student to faculty ratio of 11.6 to 1 and small class sizes. Millikin was founded in 1901 by the businessman, James Millikin. The University is located at 1184 West Main Street, Decatur, Illinois 62522. The Master of Science in Nursing program offers four tracks that lead to advanced practice roles for nurses. These are the Clinical Nurse Leader Track, MSN Nurse Educator Track, MSN Masters Entry into Nursing Practice Track, and the MSN Nurse Anesthesia Program Track.
The Registered Nurse (RN) who is accepted into the MSN program must have a grade point average of at least of 3.0 on undergraduate studies for all programs with the exception of the MSN Masters Entry into Nursing Practice Track that requires at least a 3.25 grade point average. All tracks except for the Entry into Nursing Track require that applicants hold a current RN license in Illinois. Applicants with grade point averages under those that are required must take the Graduate Record Exam. All applicants are required to submit three recommendation forms, submit a written statement of goals related to the graduate nursing program, and a current resume or curriculum vitae.
The RN who enters the MSN Clinical Nurse Leader Track needs to complete 36 credit hours with 400 practice hours for training in general advanced nursing. Graduates are then eligible to take the certification exam for licensure as a Clinical Nurse Leader. Nurses who want to teach in an academic setting or in healthcare settings facilitating staff development are able to complete their MSN Nurse Educator program at Millikin University. A total of 36 credits with 400 practice hours are required. Graduates may then take the Certified Nurse Educator exam.
The University designed the MSN Masters Entry into Nursing Practice Track for those who already have a non-nursing bachelors degree who want to enter the field of nursing. Students must attend the program five days a week for 30 months, and they take the NCLEX-RN after the pre-licensure curriculum is completed. The Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam is taken at the completion of the program. Prerequisite courses must be completed before beginning the pre-licensure curriculum.
Millikin’s Nurse Anesthesia Program Track prepares the RN by providing training in the advanced practice nursing specialty of nurse anesthesia. Students complete around 2,500 hours of clinical experience, and they do not follow the university calendar. Applicants must have a bachelors degree in nursing and must have completed all prerequisite courses. They must also have certification in Basic Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. At least one year of experience in adult intensive care is required as well. After the program is completed, students take the national certification exam to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.
North Park University: RN to MS Program Review
North Park University
3225 West Foster Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625-4895
North Park University, located at 3225 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625-4895, The University is a Christian institution that is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church. It was founded in 1891 for Swedish immigrants who settled in the Chicago area around this time. The benefits of completing a graduate nursing degree at the University are that courses may be completed part-time, and classes are very small. Classes for the Master of Science (MS) in nursing program are held on weeknights in Chicago and at the Arlington Heights campuses. Also, the Registered Nurse (RN) with a high grade point average of over 3.3 on coursework from the bachelors degree in nursing has a good chance of receiving a scholarship.
North Park University School of Nursing offers their MS with a major in nursing in the following concentrations:
Leadership and Management
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner
Dual masters degrees are also offered in connection with the School of Business and Nonprofit Management. Only students in the Leadership and Management concentration may take these courses that require an additional 24 credits of study. The second degree may be the following:
Master of Business Administration
Master of Management
Master of Nonprofit Administration
The University Financial Aid Office is devoted to helping students receive the financial aid needed to complete their graduate degree in nursing. There is federal financial aid offered at the University.
Northern Illinois University: RN to MS Program Review
Northern Illinois University
1240 Normal Road
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
Northern Illinois University (NIU) has its main location in DeKalb, Illinois at 1240 Normal Road. It was founded in 1895 and began as a normal school to provide college educations for teachers. This large state university and research institution offers nationally accredited programs in many areas, including nursing. U.S. News and World Report ranks NIU as Number 194 and Forbes ranks it as Number 595.
NIU has a graduate program in nursing that leads to a Master of Science (MS) in nursing. Students may choose one of the advanced practice specialties that include family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner, nursing education, or adult clinical nurse specialist. At the completion of the program, students may sit for national certification exams. The University offers the choice of completing the program on either a part-time or full-time basis. Students may also select a thesis option that requires at least three additional hours to complete. A maximum of six credits may be transferred from another university’s graduate nursing program. Most classes are held in the evening to accommodate the working RN, and several courses are offered online. Classes meet only one time each week.
Admission requirements include a Registered Nursing license in the U.S., a bachelors degree in nursing, and a grade point average of at least 3.0 for the last 60 hours of work on the bachelors degree. The nurse must also submit three professional reference letters, a written goal statement, and the nurse must have worked at least 2,000 hours in a clinical setting. Graduate Record Exam scores are not considered for admission to the program.
Olivet Nazarene University: RN to MSN Program Review
Olivet Nazarene University
One University Avenue
Bourbonnais, Illinois 60914-2345
Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) is located at One University Avenue, Bourbonnais, Illinois 60914-2345. Founded in 1907, ONU was established as a grammar school. The University is affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene Christian denomination. Olivet Nazarene University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program that takes approximately 18 months to complete 34 credits. The cohort model is used with accelerated classes that are mostly offered online. Students are required to be at the campus for several sessions as well as for one weekend. The program is offered at many different locations in the Chicago area.
The MSN program at the University offers two specialization tracks, the Education track and the Leader/Manager track. Another masters nursing program offered at the University is the Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner program. Nurses complete most courses online in an accelerated format and must meet at the University campus only a few times. There are 41 credits required to complete the program that takes 25 months of coursework and clinical practice.
All masters degree in nursing students complete the core courses before moving into those needed for their specialty. Practicum experiences are also required. Applicants to the program must be currently licensed in Illinois as a Registered Nurse and must have a bachelors degree in nursing. Candidates must have the goal of moving into an advanced level of nursing or to become a nurse educator who teaches students nurses in an academic setting. MSN students qualify to take the appropriate certification exams at the completion of their program.
Resurrection University: RN to MSN Program Review
3 Erie Court
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
Resurrection University, located at 3 Erie Court, Oak Park, Illinois 60302, offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The University first began in 1914 as the West Suburban Hospital School for Nurses. This Roman Catholic institution focuses on the values of justice, compassion, service, and excellence. The University is part of Presence Health, which is the largest Catholic health system in the state. The MSN program offers majors in the following tracks:
Clinical Nurse Leader
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Nurse Practitioner – Family Nurse Practitioner
Nurse Practitioner – Adult Nurse Practitioner
Resurrection University offers many ways for students to receive financial aid, including federal student loans and scholarships. They also have small classes that make learning easier for many students who receive the individual attention. Admission to the graduate program in nursing requires that students have a bachelors degree in nursing. A grade point average of at least 3.0 is required and a current Registered Nurse license in Illinois. Applicants must also submit an essay on one of the four college principles. A resume or curriculum vitae is also required. The MSN specialties require the completion of 40 credits, except for the Nurse Practitioner track that requires 41 to 44 credits.
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science: MS in Nurse Anesthesia Program Review
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
3333 Green Bay Road
North Chicago, Illinois 60064-3095
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a private graduate school located at 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, Illinois 60064-3095. The University was begun in 1912 as the Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine. The University is named after Dr. Rosalind Franklin who provided the data and scientific basis for description of the structure of DNA, considered to be the most important discovery in modern biology. The University offers a Master of Science (MS) in Nurse Anesthesia program.
The curriculum for the nurse anesthesia program includes 27 months of study consisting of 9 terms. Interested Registered Nurses must send their personal statement, three recommendation letters, and curriculum vitae with their application to the University. An overall grade point average of 3.0 is required on undergraduate general and nursing courses. Applicants must have a Baccalaureate of Science degree in nursing or in a related field and must be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in the U.S. Although one year of experience in a critical care setting is required, three years of experience is preferred. The Graduate Record Examination must also be taken, and adequate scores must be forwarded to the University. An interview with the Nurse Anesthesia Department Admissions Committee is also required.
Once admitted into the MS program, students must maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average. The program consists of 27 months of continuous full-time study. Students first learn to work with simulated human patients during the first portion of the program before beginning to provide anesthesia to real patients. Students complete clinical rotations at many healthcare sites in Illinois, Wisconsin, and in Indiana. At the completion of the program, students qualify to take the national certification exam that leads to certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Rush University: RN to MSN Program Review
600 South Paulina Street, Suite 440
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Rush University, located at 600 South Paulina Street, Suite 440, Chicago, Illinois 60612, is a private institution on the West Side of Chicago. It was established in 1972 and is part of the Rush University Medical Center. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is offered with two specialties, including one for non-nurses and one for Registered Nurses.
The Generalist Entry Masters with a Focus in Clinical Leadership program is designed for students who have a bachelors degree in a field other than nursing. It prepares students to become nurse clinicians with a focus on nursing leadership. This fast-paced program is a full-time curriculum that requires working five days each week until completion. Students complete coursework as well as clinical practice at Rush University Medical Center and other healthcare settings in the Chicago metropolitan area. There are eight prerequisite courses that must be completed before beginning the program.
Admission requirements include a bachelors degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, a personal essay statement and three professional recommendation letters. If an applicant’s grade point average is under 3.25, the GRE must be taken and satisfactory scores must be submitted. The College of Nursing is beginning to use the NursingCAS online system for applicants to use when applying to their nursing programs.
The Registered Nurse (RN) may complete the MSN program, Clinical Nurse Leader. It takes two years to complete this program that has a part-time curriculum. Courses are all offered online, and there is a clinical residency requirement that students may complete at their place of employment. Students may choose to take two additional electives that lead to an additional role component in education or management in addition to the clinical nurse leader focus. Application requirements are the same as for the Generalist Entry Masters with a Focus in Clinical Leadership program.
Nurse Practitioner programs at the University currently require that students complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. The Nurse Anesthesia program has also been changed to a DNP course of study.
Saint Anthony College of Nursing: RN to MSN Program Review
Saint Anthony College of Nursing
5658 East State Street
Rockford, Illinois 61108-2468
Saint Anthony College of Nursing has been in existence for over 90 years. It is a Roman Catholic college that is affiliated with the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. The main campus of the college is located at 5658 East State Street, Rockford, Illinois 61108-2468. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is offered with concentrations in Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Family Nurse Practitioner. Admission requirement include a Registered Nurse (RN) license in the state of practice, a bachelors degree in nursing with a grade point average of at least 2.8, and a statement of professional, educational, and career goals. Applicants must also submit three letters of professional recommendation and a completed admission application and fee.
The Clinical Nurse Leader program offered at the college provides training for the RN to oversee the care coordination of a group of patients. Nurses provide direct patient care, especially in complex cases. Family Nurse Practitioner students learn to care for all family members and to provide primary healthcare to the family. Students in the Nurse Educator track learn to teach and assess student nurses or to facilitate staff development in healthcare settings. All graduates are prepared to take the national certification exams for licensure in their particular areas of advanced practice nursing.
The college offers a variety of financial aid to help the RN complete a graduate degree in nursing. Aid options include Federal Direct Loans that are either subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are need-based, whereas unsubsidized loans are non-need based. Saint Anthony College of Nursing also provides Veterans Education Benefits for veterans. Many healthcare employers reimburse the RN for tuition paid to complete the MSN program at Saint Anthonys.
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing: RN to MSN Program Review
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
511 NE Greenleaf Street
Peoria, Illinois 61603
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, located at 511 NE Greenleaf Street, Peoria, Illinois 61603, offers many different graduate programs. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is offered with a variety of concentrations that are offered either online or as hybrid classes that combine online coursework and face-to-face classes. These include the following:
Accelerated Pathway to MSN for RN’s with a Non-Nursing Baccalaureate Degree
Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Medical-Surgical or Child & Family
Family Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Medical-Surgical – Clinician or Educator
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Nursing Management Leadership
Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
The Accelerated Pathway to the Masters of Science in Nursing (for Non-Nursing Baccalaureate Degree students) is a 45 credit program that offers an accelerated option for the Registered Nurse with either an associate degree or nursing diploma with a bachelors degree in a field other than nursing. The accelerated option requires the student to have 62 credits of pre-nursing credits. Once accepted into the program, 31 credits are awarded for nursing. The student must take courses in health assessment, nursing research, a community health nursing course, a clinical practice experience in nursing, and a transitions course before beginning the MSN coursework.
The Master of Science in Nursing Child and Family Nursing with a Clinician Option requires 45 credits and 512 practicum hours and the Educator Option has the same curriculum requirements. Students in the Clinical Nurse Leader MSN program must complete 35 credits and 512 practicum hours. The newest program that has recently been added is the Family Nurse Practitioner program that leads to a masters degree in nursing. This program requires 44 credits and 576 practicum hours.
Nurses in the Medical Surgical Nursing with either a Clinical or Educator Option must complete 45 credits of coursework and 512 practicum hours. In the Neonatal Nursing Practitioner option, the curriculum consists of 43 credits and 704 hours of practicum. Another newly added program at Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is the Nursing Management Leadership program. It consists of 33 credits and 384 practicum hours. The Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is also newly added to the programs offered at the college. It requires 46 credits and 640 practicum hours.
Admission requirements include a bachelors degree in nursing, except for the Accelerated MSN option that requires a degree in a discipline other than nursing. A grade point average of at least 2.8 is required on previous college coursework. The applicant must have a Registered Nursing license and at least one year of experience is preferred. Additionally, three recommendation forms are required, along with a two to three page essay on professional and educational goals. An interview with applicants may be required. Applicants to the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner option are expected to have two years of full-time experience as an RN caring for the critically ill newborn infant. At least one year in a Newborn Intensive Care Unit is required. Students in this program must also have Neonatal Resuscitation Program certification.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: RN to MS in Nursing Program Review
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) is located in Edwardsville, Illinois, about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. The University was founded in 1957 as an extension of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges named the University in its “Top 50 Midwest Universities” and “Top 5 Up-and-Coming Schools in the Midwest.” The magazine also named SIUE as one of the top 20 public universities in “Best Regional Universities-Midwest (Masters Granting) category. The University offers a Masters of Science (MS) in nursing program with specialties in Nurse Educator, Nurse Anesthesia, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Healthcare and Nursing Administration.
The Nurse Educator MS specialization prepares nurses with a bachelors degree to fill roles as faculty members in nursing schools or to provide staff education in healthcare facilities and community health departments. It takes two and one-half years to complete this program on a part-time basis. Admission requirements include three positive references, a Registered Nurse (RN) license, and a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Students must also submit a Goals and Objectives written statement. One year of professional nursing experience is required, as well as the successful completion of an interview, if invited. Before graduation, masters students must complete all coursework and practica, plus develop and maintain an electronic portfolio. They must also provide a final oral podium presentation before graduation.
The Nurse Anesthesia program leads to a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia. The program is full-time and takes three years to complete, including two summer sessions. Applicants must be licensed as an RN in both Illinois and Missouri, and they must also meet the other admission requirements that are the same as for the Nurse Educator and all masters in nursing programs. After completing the program, graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam that leads to licensure as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Family Nurse Practitioner students must complete the curriculum that takes three and one-half years to complete on a part-time basis. Applicants to the program must meet all of the MS in nursing requirements, and they must also have one year of professional nursing experience. Graduates of the program will be eligible to take the national certification exam and will then be qualified to provide primary care to family members of all ages. Nurses who are interested in the Health Care and Nursing Admission MS program can complete the program in two and one-half years. They must have one year of experience working as a RN before enrolling in the first specialization clinical course.
University of Illinois at Chicago: RN to MSN Program Review
University of Illinois at Chicago
845 South Damen Avenue MC 802
Chicago, Illinois 60612
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UC), located at 845 South Damen Avenue MC 802, Chicago, Illinois 60612, is a private research university. It was established in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society, but today it is a nondenominational institution. There have been 87 Nobel Laureates affiliated with the University, 49 Rhodes Scholars, and many alumni have won Fulbright awards. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University as number 5, while Forbes provided a ranking of 4th to the University. Global rankings have also been assigned by different organizations that place the University of Illinois at Chicago in the top 10 of international universities.
The University’s traditional MS program is offered at all campuses, including Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, Urbana, and Quad Cities. The programs may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, and most can be finished within two to four years. Many courses are offered online or in a blended format of online and in class coursework. None of the courses are completely online at this time. The University offers a MS Transition program for students with a Registered Nurse (RN) license and a bachelors degree in a field other than nursing. Transition courses are completely online in eight-week modules. Since the transition courses are very concentrated, it is recommended that students do not take other graduate coursework during the same time.
The following specialty areas are offered in the Master of Science in nursing program at UC:
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
Occupational Health/Advanced Community Health Nurse
Occupational Health/Family Nurse Practitioner
School/Advanced Community Health Nurse
School/Family Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Administrative Studies in Nursing (can be combined with Master of Business Administration or MS in Health Informatics for a joint degree)
Advanced Community Health Nurse (can be combined with a Master of Public health for a joint degree)
Nurses who are interested in this program must have a bachelors degree in nursing or a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing plus a RN license. A grade point average of at least 3.0 on the last 60 credits of the first baccalaureate degree is required. Applicants must complete a statistics course and must have satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination within the past five years. This test is waived for applicants with a 3.25 or above grade point average. The exception to this requirement is that applicants to the Master of Science/Master of Public Health and Master of Science/Health Informatics joint-degree programs must take the GRE regardless of their grade point average. Nurses applying to the Master of Science/Master of Business Administration program must take the GMAT. Applicants must also complete a successful interview with the faculty of the specialty area to which they have applied, but not all applicants will be invited for an interview. Applicants to joint-degree programs must apply to the nursing program as well as to the other program of the joint-degree that they wish to pursue.
University of St. Francis: RN to MSN Program Review
University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox Street
Joliet, Illinois 60435
The University of St. Francis is a Roman Catholic, Franciscan University that is located at 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, Illinois 60435. The campus is about 35 miles southwest of Chicago and has a small study body. It was founded in 1920 by the Congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate to educate members of the order. Both the U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review rated the University of St. Francis as a College of Distinction. The University is also in the top tier of U.S. News and World Report in their “America’s Best Colleges” edition. The Princeton Review includes the University in its “Best Colleges: Region by Region” section.
The Leach College of Nursing at the University of St. Francis offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with concentrations in the following tracks:
Family Nurse Practitioner
RN-BS-MSN Option (MSN program for registered nurses with non-nursing baccalaureate degree) – Family Nurse Practitioner
All MSN options are online programs. Admission requirements are a bachelors degree with a major in nursing and a grade point average of at least 3.0. Applicants must have two years of full-time clinical nursing practice within the last four years. A resume and work history, current licensure as a registered nurse, and a successful interview with the College of Nursing faculty members are also required.
The curriculum for the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration consists of 47 to 56 credits, including a clinical residency. The MSN Nursing Administration track requires that 36 to 45 credits are completed, and the Nursing Education program requires 37 credits. Nursing Administration and Family Nurse Practitioner students may take an additional nine credits in education courses for additional certification. State Board of Nursing requirements require that students who want to enroll in Nurse Educator programs must reside in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, or Wisconsin.