Boston College Nursing Program Review
Boston College (BC) was founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus. It enrolls nearly 15,000 students each year in undergraduate and graduate programs, and accepts only 28% of applicants. It was ranked one of the Top 10 Private Universities in the country by The New York Times last year. In addition to the main campus, Boston College also has the Newton Campus, Brighton Campus, Newton Outlying Properties, the Conners Family Retreat and Conference Center in Dover, and the Weston Observatory.
Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing
The BS program at the William F. Connell School of Nursing is designed to prepare students to care for individuals in a variety of settings. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing exam.
To apply, students will need to apply to the College by submitting an application, essay, high school transcript and report, recommendations from a counselor and two teachers, and SAT or ACT scores.
While in this program, students have the option of studying abroad for one semester during their junior year. Students also have the option of starting master’s level courses before graduation.
Master of Science (MS) in Nursing
The MS program has many options available to accommodate students entering straight from their undergraduate studies, those that have been out of school and practicing, and those that are just beginning their nursing studies.
MS Traditional Entry
This program is for graduates of a BS program in nursing. Students must take a core program of 27 credits, plus additional courses for their chosen specialty. Most specialties require another 18 credits to complete. Students may enter the program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters, and many courses are offered in the evening or on a single day of the week to accommodate working students.
Applicants to this program must have a BS in Nursing degree, a GPA of B or higher, a current RN license, and have taken a statistics course. They will need to submit their official transcripts, three recommendation letters, and a statement of goals.
The specialties available for the MS program are:
- Adult Gerontological Health – this program allows graduates to apply for certification as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and as a Clinical Specialist (CNS).
- Community Health – graduates of this program who have also completed 500 hours of clinical practice may become certified by the American Nurses Center of Credentialing (ANCC).
- Family Health – this program prepares students to be Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs), and qualifies students for the certification exam.
- Forensic Nursing – this program prepares nurses to work with victims of violence, provide consultation, and testify in court cases. Students will have the opportunity to work with pioneers in the field of forensic nursing.
- Nurse Anesthesia – applicants to this specialty must have at least one year of experience in critical care, ACLS and PALS certification, GRE scores, and a resume. This program is full time and students must take 62 total credits over 27 months to complete it.
- Palliative Care – this program allows students to declare a population focus of adult, gerontological, pediatric, or community health advanced practice nursing as an NP or CNS. This program requires an additional 21 credits beyond the core classes to complete.
- Pediatric Health – graduates will be able to take the exam for Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP).
- Pediatric Palliative Care – students learn to care for children and adolescents with serious illnesses. This program requires at least 750 clinical hours to complete.
- Psych/Mental Health – this program provides students with the education required to take the national certification exam.
- Women’s Health – graduates will be eligible to take the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner exam.
Master’s Entry Pathway
This program is for students that have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. It can be completed in as little as 21 months if taken full time. After completing the first year of studies, students are eligible to take the RN licensing exam. At that point, they may switch to a part-time program of study. This program does not award a BS degree in nursing.
To apply, students need to have a GPA of B or higher in their undergraduate degree program, and need to complete the program prerequisites. They also need to submit their official transcripts, a statement of goals, and their GRE scores. The prerequisites for this program are a Statistics class, two Social Sciences classes, Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 plus Lab, Microbiology plus Lab, and Life Science Chemistry or Organic Chemistry plus Lab.
RN to MS Pathway
This program is for RNs who have completed an associate or diploma in nursing program. Before students may begin their MS courses, they will be required to complete any nursing courses for the BS program that they have not already taken. The baccalaureate portion of the program will vary in length, depending on the number of classes the student needs. The master’s program will take about one and a half years if taken full-time. Students that enroll in this program must complete it within seven years.
Students applying to this program must meet the same requirements as for the Traditional MS program, except that they need to have a diploma or associate degree in nursing.
Additional Specialty Certificate
This Post-Master’s program is open to students who already hold an MS in Nursing, and wish to study a different specialty area. Students will be able to develop a personalized plan of study based on their prior coursework. Most specialty programs will require at least 500 additional clinical hours of practice.
The admission requirements for this program are the same as for the Traditional MS program.
MS/Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dual degree program allows students with a BS in nursing to obtain both an MS and a PhD. This streamlined program allows 12 credits of the PhD program to apply to the MS program. The program takes four years if taken full time. Students will meet the MS program requirements at the end of the second year.
Applicants must meet the same requirements as the Traditional MS program. In addition, they will need to submit their curriculum vitae, an example of scholarly writing, and their GRE scores.
MS/Master of Business Administration (MBA)
This program is offered in partnership with the Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management. Students will earn the two master’s degrees simultaneously over three to four years.
Students must be admitted to both programs. In addition to meeting the Traditional MS requirements for the School of Nursing, students will need to submit the following to the Graduate School of Management: their current resume, two recommendation letters, transcripts, and GMAT or GRE scores.
MS/Master of Arts (MA) in Pastoral Ministry
Offered in partnership with the School of Theology and Ministry, this program allows students to complete both degrees concurrently in two years with summer sessions, or three years without summers. Students may also take the program part time and extend their studies.
Students must be admitted to both programs. In addition to meeting the Traditional MS requirements for the School of Nursing, students will need to submit the following to the School of Theology and Ministry: their current resume or curriculum vitae, a personal statement, three recommendation letters, transcripts, and GMAT or GRE scores.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program
Students in this program will study research methods, nursing content, and knowledge development in nursing, and apply these core areas to a selected concentration in research.
Applicants must have an MS degree in nursing, an RN license, and must have taken a statistics course. They will also need to submit their official transcripts, three recommendation letters, GRE scores, a sample of their scholarly writing, curriculum vitae, and a statement of goals.
The Continuing Education program is designed to strengthen the knowledge of RNs and improve healthcare. Some of the programs currently available to nurses seeking to enhance their skills are:
- IV Certificate
- Clinical Research Certificate
- Medical Spanish Certificate
- Forensics in Health Certificate
- Forensic Science Courses
- Clinical Skills for Nurse Practitioners
In addition, Continuing Education offers an RN Refresher Certificate program for RNs that want to return to clinical practice. This is a personalized program that allows RNs to take courses to fit their needs. They may either take the whole program in 10 to 12 weeks, or spread it out over several semesters. Once in the program, it must be completed within two years.
The RN Refresher Certificate is designed for inactive RNs, Advanced Practice nurses wishing to renter the workforce, RNs changing specialties, foreign graduates who want to prepare for the licensing exam, or administrators wishing to refresh their skills.
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