Illinois State University Nursing School Review

Illinois State University in central Illinois (in the Bloomington-Normal community) holds the distinction of being Illinois’ first public university. Its Mennonite College of Nursing has a strong reputation in the nursing field (boasting a 97-percent pass rate on the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses).

In addition to its nursing courses, the Mennonite College of Nursing seeks to enhance the nursing education of its students through state-of-the-art technology in its newly constructed nursing simulation center, as well as through its Transcultural Nursing Experience, which allows students to explore nursing care in other countries, both overseas and in different areas of the United States. Mennonite College of Nursing offers programs for both undergraduates and graduates; programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Pre-licensure

Illinois State University offers a traditional, four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program for students with no experience or education in the nursing field. Prospective nurses spend their first two years completing university requirements and program prerequisites.

They must complete at least fifty-six credit hours. Once they enroll in the nursing program in their junior year, they focus solely on nursing classes. If they wish to participate in the Transcultural Nursing Experience, they may do so in the summer between their junior and senior years. They must earn a total of sixty-five credit hours in nursing to be eligible for graduation. At the conclusion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX_RN.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Accelerated

Prospective nurses who have already earned a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing can earn a BSN quickly. Before enrolling in the accelerated program, they must complete courses in chemistry, biology, statistics, nutrition, medical terminology, and psychology. If these courses are complete, the student may enroll in the accelerated BSN program and focus entirely on nursing classes. The program begins each summer, and goes through the following summer. By the end of the four semesters, the graduate is prepared to take the NCLEX_RN.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN

An RN who holds an associate degree or diploma in nursing can enroll in Illinois State University’s online RN to BSN program. Before enrolling, she must complete prerequisites in chemistry, biology, statistics, nutrition, medical terminology, and psychology. The program is flexible, keeping the needs of working students in mind. Students can choose to pursue the program part-time (which requires three semesters) or full-time (which takes five semesters). Whether full-time or part-time, a student must complete thirty-one credit hours of nursing courses in addition to any prerequisites/general education requirements. The program begins each fall.

Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner

An RN who holds a BSN who wishes to provide primary care to people of all ages can enroll in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP). On a full-time basis, the program requires two years (including summers). On a part-time basis, the program takes three years. Students must complete forty-four credits in all, which includes over 600 hours of clinical practice. The FNP program is offered on-site, with a few classes in a hybrid format (partly online, partly on-site). Graduates of the FNP program are eligible for certification as FNPs and licensing as advanced practice nurses.

Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Systems Administration

In preparation for a role as an administrative leader in the healthcare field, an RN who holds a BSN may complete the MSN program with a concentration in Nursing Systems Administration. This program is mostly online, although a few core classes are hybrid in format. It is designed to be completed over the course of three years, on a part-time basis. Students must complete thirty credit hours total, which includes a two-semester, capstone project. Graduates may take a test to earn Certification in Nursing Administration, Advanced (CNAA).

Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader

An RN who wishes to take on more responsibility in giving medical care directly and supervising/coordinating the treatment of patients can pursue certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) through Illinois State University’s MSN program. This concentration requires thirty-five credits, to be completed on a part-time basis over the course of three years. The last semester consists of a clinical experience of at least 360 hours. Classes are mostly offered on-site; a few core graduate nursing classes are hybrid in format. Graduates of the CNL program are eligible for certification as CNLs, but not as advanced practice nurses.

Post-master’s Certification – Family Nurse Practitioner

A nurse who already holds an MSN degree may earn certification as an FNP without retaking graduate core nursing classes. An advisor will determine the student’s course of study based upon his previous education.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

To focus on research, a nurse who already holds an MSN degree may enroll in the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD in Nursing) program through the Mennonite College of Nursing. This program focuses in particular on research on aging. Students must complete sixty-six credit hours. Studying full-time, this will take three or four years. The first two years are devoted to classes; the last year or two are devoted to a dissertation. Classes in the Ph.D in Nursing program are offered on-site.

Illinois State University
100 North University Street
Normal, IL 61761

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