DePaul University Nursing School Review

From its urban location in downtown Chicago, DePaul University (DPU, or DU) serves over 25,000 students. It is the largest Catholic university in the country and one of the ten largest private universities in the country. Its degree offerings range from business to fine arts, from health sciences to education. While the majority of DePaul University’s students are undergraduates, DePaul University’s nursing division, which is part of the College of Science and Health, is focused mainly on graduate education in the nursing field.

The department of nursing believes that graduate-level education is the best preparation for professional nursing. Although it does offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing, it is not in a traditional, four-year format, and is focused on preparing current nurses for future graduate education. In addition, it offers a master’s program, with several different entry options and areas of focus. The programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN-BSN

DePaul University provides a bridge for Registered Nurses (RN) to earn a full Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. There are two available formats: a traditional, credit-based program and a competency-based program, offered in conjunction with the DePaul School of New Learning. The competency-based program allows an RN to earn credit for nursing courses by demonstrating professional expertise. The length of the RN to BSN completion program varies depending on the RN’s previous education (including general education courses) and demonstrated competency in the nursing field. The curriculum is determined through consultation with an advisor. A graduate of the RN-BSN program will have solid foundation for continuing, graduate-level education in the nursing field.


Master’s Entry Program to Nursing Practice

DePaul University offers a specialized Master’s Entry Program for students who have no nursing education or experience, but do have a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing. Through the Master’s Entry Program, a qualified student can learn the fundamentals of nursing, earn licensure as a RN, and take master’s-level core classes and classes in an area of specialization. The program prepares a student for an advanced practice degree. Before beginning the program, a student must complete organic and inorganic chemistry, and anatomy/physiology. After completing prerequisites, the student will spend two full years (including summers) studying nursing. She must take 107 credit hours, which include seventy-five hours of core nursing classes, eight credit hours of graduate core nursing classes, twelve credit hours in an area of specialization, and twelve credit hours of research. At the end of the program, she may take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN). The program begins each fall and each winter.

Master of Science in Nursing – Advanced Practice Adult Nursing

An RN who holds a full Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is eligible to enter the DePaul University Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and earn certification as an Advanced Practice Nurse. The Advanced Practice Adult Nursing specialty requires a total of seventy credits, twenty-four of which are devoted to the adult nursing area of focus. A student must commit to at least 600 hours of clinical practice over the course of the program. Typically, the program takes nearly two full years to complete. A graduate is eligible to take a credentialing test and earn the title of Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP).

Master of Science in Nursing – Advanced Practice Family Nursing

An RN who wishes to provide primary care to all age groups can enter the Advanced Practice Family Nursing MSN program. This program will qualify her to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). This requires a total of seventy-six credit hours, twenty-nine of which are focused on family nursing. As with the adult nursing specialty, a student must commit to 600 hours of clinical experience. The program begins each fall, and takes two years to complete.

Master of Science in Nursing – Advanced Practice Anesthesia Nursing

In cooperation with Northshore HealthSystems School of Nurse Anesthesia, DePaul offers an Advanced Practice Anesthesia Nursing program. This is open to RNs who hold a BSN degree and have at least one year of experience working in an ICU. The program is intense, requiring forty-eight credit hours of courses in the nurse anesthetist concentration, in addition to the core classes that all MSN students must take. Students cannot complete the program on a part-time basis. Even on a full-time basis, the program takes thirty-six months to complete. A graduate earns the title of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). In addition to accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the anesthesia nursing program has accreditation from the Council on Accreditation on Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs.

Certificate Programs

Registered Nurses (RNs) who already hold an MSN degree may choose another area of specialization (advanced practice adult nursing, advanced practice family nursing, or advanced practice anesthesia nursing) and earn a post-master’s certificate. The length of the program depends upon the specialty chosen and the applicant’s previous graduate-level coursework. An RN who holds a BSN degree may complete a post-baccalaureate certificate in case management.

Undergraduate Option

While DePaul University does not offer a traditional, undergraduate program in nursing, an undergraduate may choose to major in Bioscience, concentrating in nursing. This program will allow him to easily transition from his undergraduate studies into the Master’s Entry program. An advisor will work closely with him to determine the best undergraduate course of study for his desired area of specialization.

DePaul University
1 East Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604

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