Loyola university is structured to reflect its christian Jesuit education traditions and is the largest Jesuit University in the United States. It was founded in 1870 by the Society of Jesus and was called St. Ignatius College. It currently has over 10 schools and colleges that have a strong emphasis on academic and research excellence. The total student population currently exceeds 16,050. On average, there is one faculty member for every 15 students who are enrolled at the University.
The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago (LUC) has a wide range of offerings for prospective nurses and nurses who want to continue their education. Students can earn bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees in multiple areas of specialty, and doctoral degrees that focus on either clinical practice or research. All programs at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Undergraduate students study on the Lake Shore campus in Chicago, and graduate nursing students study on the Medical Center Campus in Maywood, Illinois. Here is a review of the available programs:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
A traditional, four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is available for students with no experience in the nursing field. Students in this course of study must complete 125 credit hours of nursing courses and general education courses, and must complete seven clinical rotations. The final seven weeks of the program are devoted to a full-time clinical rotation, in preparation for full-time employment as Registered Nurses (RN). As a traditional BSN program, it is only available on a full-time basis, and classes take place during the day. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Accelerated
The accelerated BSN program at Loyola University Chicago is designed for students who have already earned a college degree, in a field other than nursing. Before beginning the program, a student must consult with an advisor to ensure that he has met all the program prerequisites. Once he begins the program, he will spend sixteen consecutive months taking nursing courses. He must complete sixty-seven credit hours and seven clinical rotations, including the seven-week, full-time clinical rotation that traditional BSN students take. The nursing sequence of courses in the accelerated program is exactly the same as the nursing sequence in the traditional BSN program, but it takes less time to complete as students in the program do not need to simultaneously complete general education courses. The accelerated program is only available on a full-time basis; classes are only offered during the day on the Lake Shore campus.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN
The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers an online program for Registered Nurses (RNs) who hold an associate degree or diploma to complete a full BSN degree. Students in the program must take at least thirty credits of nursing classes, which can be completed in as little as three semesters. Depending on their previous education, RNs may need to complete additional university core requirements, which can lengthen the program. The program’s online format allows a working RN to take classes at her convenience. She does not ever need to come to the university’s campus.
Master of Science in Nursing
Loyola University Chicago has a special focus on graduate nursing education, offering a wide variety of programs for RNs who wish to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. All MSN classes are offered on the Medical Campus in Maywood, Illinois. All prospective MSN students must have at least 2,000 recent hours of clinical practice in order to be eligible to enroll in one of the specialties and must have a full BSN degree. All specialties include core graduate nursing classes, classes in the selected area of focus, and clinical hours. The number of credit hours required varies, depending on the specialty chosen. The following are the available specialties, and the required credit hours:
Acute Care Advanced Practice Specialty
An MSN student may chose to specialize in Acute Care Advanced Practice Nursing, working toward certification as an Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), which requires forty-two credit hours, as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) (forty-eight credit hours), or as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with Emergency Nurse Subspecialty (ENP) (forty-nine credit hours).
Adult Health Advanced Practice Specialty
An MSN student who wishes to be a primary care giver for adults can choose a focus in Adult Health Advanced Practice Nursing. Certification options include Adult CNS (thirty-eight credit hours), Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) (forty-three credit hours), ANP with a Cardiovascular Subspecialty (fifty-one credit hours), and CNS with a Cardiovascular Subspecialty (forty-three credit hours).
Family Health Advanced Practice Specialty
A nurse who wants to provide primary care to people of all ages should opt for a focus in Family Health Advanced Practice Nursing. She can become certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) after earning fifty credits, as an FNP with an Emergency Nurse Practitioner (fifty-six credit hours), or as an FNP with a cardiovascular subspecialty (fifty-six credit hours).
Health Systems Management Advanced Practice Specialty
RNs aiming for an administrative position in healthcare can earn an MSN degree with a focus in Health Systems Management Advanced Practice Nursing. The specialty includes classes through the nursing school and the Graduate School of Business. Students in this track must earn thirty-eight credit hours total, and can choose a general Health Systems Management (HMS) focus, or HMS with a focus on Healthcare Informatics, or HMS with a focus on Outcomes Performance Management.
Oncology Advanced Practice Specialty
To focus on delivering nursing care to cancer patients, a nurse may pursue an MSN in Oncology Advanced Practice Nursing. He may earn certification as an Oncology CNS (forty-two credit hours), as an Oncology CNS and FNP (sixty-three credit hours), or as an Oncology CNS and ANP (fifty-three credit hours).
Population-Based Infection Control and Environmental Safety Advanced Practice Specialty
A nurse who is interested in branching into public health may consider the MSN track with a specialization in Population-Based Infection Control and Environmental Safety (PICES) Advanced Practice Nursing, which requires at least forty-one credit hours.
Women’s Health Advanced Practice Specialty
Lastly, an MSN student can specialize in women’s health issues through the Women’s Health Advanced Practice Nursing track, which requires forty-six credit hours and leads to certification as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP).
Master of Science in Nursing – RN to MSN
While the traditional MSN program is only open to students who have a BSN degree, RNs who hold an associate degree or diploma may bridge into the MSN program through the RN-MSN program. They must complete any general education requirements as well as several undergraduate nursing courses before starting the MSN core classes and choosing an area of specialization. The length of the program can vary considerably, based upon how many general education requirements and undergraduate nursing courses the RN is required to take.
Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (MSN/MBA Dual Degree)
Bachelor’s-prepared nurses may simultaneously earn an MSN with a specialization in Health Systems Management through the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and an MBA through the Loyola Graduate School of Business. This degree combination will prepare a nurse for the highest level of administrative responsibility in the healthcare field. The program requires seventy-six credit hours. Applicants must apply separately to the School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Business.
Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Divinity (MSN/M.Div. Program)
Available is also the MSN/MDiv Dual degree program which combines the MSN degree with a Master of Divinity (MDiv.)
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares nurses for the highest level of clinical responsibility. Loyola University Chicago’s DNP program focuses on public health issues, and offers two separate tracks of study: Heathcare Quality Using Education in Safety and Technology, and Population-Based Infection Prevention and Environmental Safety. The Heathcare Quality Using Education in Safety and Technology track is open to nurses with an MSN, and requires thirty-four credit hours over two years. The Population-Based Infection Prevention and Environmental Safety track is open to nurses who have a BSN degree, and requires seventy-five credit hours to complete. The DNP classes are hybrid in format, mostly online and with intense, short sessions on-site at the medical campus in Maywood.
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D in Nursing)
In order to focus on research in nursing, RNs should enroll in the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D. in Nursing) program. This is a traditional, on-site program, and students may enroll either full-time or part-time. Classes are offered at the medical campus in Maywood, during the fall and spring semesters (not through the summer). Both bachelor’s-prepared and master’s-prepared RNs may enroll; an RN with a BSN may take up to eight years to complete the Ph.D. in Nursing program and an RN with an MSN may take six years.
As continuing education, an RN with either a BSN or MSN degree may enroll in one of Loyola University’s short certificate programs. The Cardiovascular Nursing certificate program is offered entirely online and consists of eight credit hours. The School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Business cooperate to offer a certificate in Healthcare Informatics (twelve credit hours) and a certificate in Outcomes Performance Management (twelve credit hours). The Oncology Nursing certificate program is available online and requires nine credit hours. The Population-Based Infection Control and Environmental Safety certificate is offered on-site and consists of fifteen credit hours.
While these certificate programs are open to RNs with either a BSN or MSN, Loyola University Chicago also offers certification programs for RNs who already hold an MSN degree and wish to prepare for advanced practice certification. These RNs do not need to repeat core graduate nursing classes, but they can take graduate-level classes in the following areas of specialization: Acute Care Advanced Practice Nursing, leading to certification as a CNS or NP; Adult Health Advanced Practice Nursing, leading to certification as a CNS or NP, Family Health Advanced Practice Nursing, leading to certification as an NP, Oncology Advanced Practice Nursing, leading to certification as a CNS, and Women’s Health Advanced Practice Nursing, leading to certification as an NP.
Loyola University Chicago
Health Sciences Campus
2160 S. First Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153