Gwynedd-Mercy College Nursing Program Review

Since 1948, Gwynedd-Mercy College (GMC) has focused on delivering high-quality professional education in the health care, education, and business fields, while at the same time ensuring that all students receive a strong core in the liberal arts. The main campus is located in Gwynedd Valley, thirty minutes outside Philadelphia. In addition, the college has a campus in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and Centers for LifeLong Learning in Philadelphia and East Norriton. Gwynedd-Mercy College is the home of the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing, which offers several different degree paths for prospective nurses and nurses who wish to continue their education. All nursing programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Associate of Science in Nursing

Gwynedd-Mercy College’s Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program is open to students with no prior nursing experience or education. To complete the program, a student must earn at least sixty-eight credit hours, which includes thirty-three credits of nursing courses and thirty-five credits of general education courses. The program requires two years to complete, and cannot be completed on a part-time basis. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN) and begin working as Registered Nurses (RN). Alternatively, they may transition into Gwynedd-Mercy College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Associate of Science in Nursing – Weekend Nursing Option

A student who already holds a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing may enroll in Gwynedd-Mercy College’s ASN Weekend Nursing Option. As the name suggests, the classes and clinical rotations take place on Saturdays and Sundays. The program takes four semesters to complete (summer classes are not offered) and begins each fall. In order to be considered for admission, an applicant must complete prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, psychology, and sociology. Once enrolled, a student is not required to take general education courses; he only takes nursing classes. After earning a total of thirty-three credits, he earns the ASN degree and is eligible to take the NCLEX_RN.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

After completing the ASN program, students at Gwynedd-Mercy College may begin taking upper-level nursing courses as part of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. They also need to complete additional general education classes, earning a total of 128 credits for graduation. While the ASN program is only available on a full-time basis, students in the BSN program may take classes on a full-time or part-time basis. Both day and evening classes are offered. Completion of the BSN program makes a student eligible to take the NCLEX_RN

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN Bridge

Gwynedd-Mercy College welcomes licensed RNs who hold an associate degree or a diploma in nursing to complete the BSN program. Depending on the incoming RN’s previous education, she should be able to start right away with upper level nursing courses. The college will also consider relevant work experience in the place of classes. She may continue working while in school, since the program is offered on a part-time and a full-time basis, and both day and evening classes are available. As with the traditional BSN students, a student who is bridging into the BSN program must earn 128 credits total, between transferred credits and credits earned at Gwynedd-Mercy College.

Master of Science in Nursing

A nurse who wishes to take on more responsibility in the nursing field may enroll in Gwynedd-Mercy College’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. This program is flexible in order to accommodate the needs of working RNs. Students may begin in the fall, spring, or summer, and may complete the classes on a full-time or a part-time basis. Classes are offered in the evening. All MSN students must complete core graduate nursing classes, and then go on to take classes in an area of specialization. Depending on the area of specialization selected, the number of credits required varies. The following are the available specialties within the MSN program:

Clinical Nurse Specialist – Adult Health with Gerontology

With an aging population in the United States, nurses who choose to become specialists in adult health with gerontology will have plenty of opportunities for career advancement. The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNL) track will prepare them to be advanced practitioners in the field of adult health. After completing the degree, they will function as clinical experts, educators, administrator/managers, and researchers. In addition to the nineteen credits of core classes, students in this track must complete twenty-one credits in the CNL specialization, three credits of electives, and at least 500 hours of clinical practice.

Nurse Practitioner – Adult Gerontology or Pediatric

In order to function as a primary caregiver, an RN may complete the Nurse Practitioner (NP) track of the MSN program. Students in this track must earn forty-three credit hours in total, which includes the core graduate nursing classes as well as classes in the NP area of specialization. Within the NP track, students can choose to focus on adult health or pediatric health. If they focus on adult health, they are eligible to take the Nurse Practitioner exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the Adult Nurse Practitioner exam offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. If they focus on pediatric health, they are eligible to take the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner exam offered by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

Nurse Educator

RNs who wish to train future nurses should enroll in the college’s Nurse Educator track of the MSN program. This requires thirty-seven credits in total: fifteen credits of core nursing classes and twenty-two credits of classes in the Nurse Educator specialty. Graduates are eligible to take the certification exam offered by the National League for Nursing.

Post-master’s Certification

An RN who has already earned an MSN degree in one area of specialization may become an NP without completing the full MSN program. He only needs to complete the classes in the NP area of specialization, earning twenty-five credit hours in total. He can choose to specialize in adult health or pediatric health, and is eligible to take the national certification exams at the completion of the program. As with the traditional MSN program, the classes for the post-master’s certification are available on a full-time or part-time basis.

Gwynedd-Mercy College
1325 Sumneytown Pike,
Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437


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