Lewis University Nursing School Review

Lewis University (LU), just south of Chicago, prepares students for careers through professional programs and through a strong liberal arts core. The university offers more than eighty different programs for undergraduates, as well as graduate degrees. The bachelors degree in nursing program at Lewis University is the largest in the state of Illinois. The university also has graduate programs in nursing.

Lewis University’s program in nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The programs are available on the main campus in Romeoville.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Lewis University’s traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree consists of 131 credit hours, sixty-four of which are nursing courses. The program takes four years to complete, and is structured for students who have no experience in the nursing field, and no previous college-level education. Students in the traditional BSN program begin with general education courses during their freshman year, and transition into nursing classes during their sophomore year. The program takes four years to complete, and prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN).

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN-BSN

LU offers an accelerated track for Registered Nurses (RN) who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing to earn a full BSN. RNs in this track must complete 128 credit hours for graduation. Most of these credits are for general education courses. Based on their associate-level nursing education and their experience in the field, RNs in this track can skip the first year of nursing courses (the classes that traditional BSN students take in sophomore year) and begin with the junior-level nursing courses. The program of study is flexible, in order to accommodate the schedule of working RNs. RNs can either take classes in a traditional day-time format, or participate in the accelerated format, which includes classes in multiple locations and at multiple times. Locations include the main campus in Romeoville as well as satellite campuses in Oak Brook, Tinley Park, Hickory Hills, Chicago, and Shorewood, and in some Chicago hospitals. Completion of the full BSN degree will open up career opportunities for RNs, as well as pave the way toward further, graduate education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Bachelor’s-BSN

A college graduate who has a degree in a field other than nursing may earn a BSN through Lewis University in as little as two years (five semesters). A program advisor will determine if the applicant has already met program prerequisites in the course of earning his first degree. If not, he may need to take prerequisite courses before starting the five-semester sequence. Once he starts the BSN program, he will focus solely on nursing courses and clinical rotations. Completion of the Bachelor’s-BSN program will enable a graduate to take the NCLEX_RN and enter the nursing profession.

Master of Science in Nursing

A working RN (who already holds a full BSN degree) can move up the career ladder by enrolling in Lewis University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The MSN program of study includes core graduate nursing classes as well as classes in an area of concentration. The amount of credit hours required varies, depending on the specialty chosen. An MSN student can choose a focus in Nursing Administration (forty-two credit hours minimum), Nursing Education (forty-two credit hours minimum), Adult Nurse Practitioner (forty-nine credit hours, including at least 540 clinical hours), and Family Nurse Practitioner (fifty-four credit hours, including 630 clinical hours).

Graduates of the MSN program are eligible to take the certification exams particular to their area of focus. As with the RN-BSN program, students in the MSN program can take advantage of flexible scheduling options, and classes in multiple locations, including Romeoville, Oak Brook, Tinley Park, Hickory Hills, Chicago, and Shorewood. Typically, students attend class one evening per week. Some classes are available online, and students in the Nursing Administration or Nursing Education track have the option of completing the entire degree completely online.

Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration Dual Degree

A bachelor’s-prepared nurse who has set her sights on working in the top level of healthcare administration may opt to complete the MSN/MBA Dual Degree. This consists of classes taken through both the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Business. A student in this track must earn at least sixty-three credit hours, which includes graduate nursing core classes and classes from the nursing administration concentration, as well as core MBA classes. As with the other MSN programs, the dual MSN/MBA degree can be completed in a flexible time frame.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree allows a nurse to function at the highest level in his chosen field. An RN who holds an associate degree or diploma is not eligible for Lewis University’s DNP program; RNs with a BSN or MSN are invited to apply, although they will have to meet different requirements to complete the degree. An incoming RN who holds just a BSN degree must complete all MSN coursework, which includes core MSN classes and classes in the Family Nurse Practitioner or Adult Nurse Practitioner specialty, before beginning the DNP coursework. In total, he needs to earn a minimum of eighty-three credit hours, and he must complete the program in at least five years.

An incoming RN who holds an MSN degree, but not in an advanced practice specialty, must complete the MSN-level coursework in the Family Nurse Practitioner or Adult Nurse Practitioner specialty before starting the doctoral classes. He needs to earn at least seventy credit hours, and must complete the program in four years. An incoming RN who already holds an MSN degree and advanced practice certification (as a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Clinical Nurse Specialist, or Nurse Anesthetist) can begin at once with doctoral coursework, and must earn thirty-eight credit hours total. He has three years to complete the program.

Post-master’s Certificate

A nurse who already holds an MSN degree may work toward certification in another area without completing core graduate nursing courses again. A student in the post-master’s track just needs to complete graduate-level courses in the chosen area of specialty. Lewis University offers a post-master’s certificate in Nursing Administration (twelve credit hours), Nursing Education (nine credit hours), Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist (twenty-eight credit hours), Adult Nurse Practitioner (fifteen credit hours), and Family Nurse Practitioner (seventeen credit hours).

Lewis University
1 University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446

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