McNeese State University Nursing School Review

McNeese State University (MSU) is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This public university was established in 1939 as a junior college and became a university in 1970. The Carnegie Foundation classifies McNeese as a Master’s University. It is part of the University of Louisiana System that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Almost 9,000 students are enrolled in the six colleges and the Dore School of Graduate Studies. The College of Nursing offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Nursing Programs

Nursing (ASN)

The McNeese College of Nursing offers a Nursing (ASN) or Associate of Science in Nursing degree that can be completed in as few as six semesters. Students must complete the 25 hours of general education coursework before beginning nursing courses. A total of 72 credits are required, with 34 in general education and 38 in the nursing concentration. At the completion of the program, students take the national exam for licensure, the NCLEX-RN. Admission requirements include a grade point average of at least 2.7 on each of the prerequisite courses. A nursing admissions test is also required, and students may not repeat more than two non-nursing courses. Applicants must first apply to McNeese State University to take the prerequisite courses and then to the College of Nursing. There is no guarantee that even if a student successfully completes the prerequisite courses that he or she will be admitted to the ASN program.

The application process involves applying to University and paying the application fee. When students are ready to apply to the nursing program, they must submit an application and also forward a completed physical exam report, proof of the required immunizations and tuberculosis skin test results, and a copy of their CPR for health care professionals certification. A criminal history record check is also required as well as two fingerprint cards. The admissions test must be completed as well. If a student is accepted into the program, they must hand deliver the completed College of Nursing Acceptance form to the undergraduate Nursing Degree Programs Office.

LPN to ASN Articulation Plan

The University offers a LPN to ASN Articulation Plan, a program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who want to complete their Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree to become Registered Nurses (RNs). Applicants must be graduates of a practical or vocational nursing program and must be currently licensed in Louisiana. These students may be eligible for advanced standing in the ASN program. They can obtain more information from the Undergraduate Nursing Degree Programs Office. At the completion of the ASN program, graduates take the NCLEX-RN for licensure as a Registered Nurse.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The College of Nursing at McNeese also offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Graduates of this four-year program are prepared to enter the workforce as a generalist nurse, and they may work in many different healthcare settings. Students complete all of the general education requirements of the University, including liberal arts and science courses. They also take nursing courses and complete clinical experience in various hospitals, clinics, and other sites in the community. At the completion of the program, the student takes the NCLEX-RN national exam for licensure as a RN.

To apply for the BSN program, students must submit an application with a physical examination form and documentation that the required immunizations and tuberculosis skin test have been administered. Applicants must also have completed a CPR course for health care professionals, and they must have a criminal history record check. Applicants are also required to be fingerprinted, and they must take the standardized nursing entrance exam. A photo ID is required for entrance to the testing site. McNeese sends an application packet to students upon conditional acceptance, and this must be hand delivered to the Undergraduate Nursing Degree Programs Office.

RN to BSN and LPN to BSN Articulation Plans

The University offers RN to BSN and LPN to BSN Articulation Plans. Registered Nurses may receive credit for some of their previously completed nursing courses, and Licensed Practical Nurses may also be awarded credit for nursing courses that they have already completed. RNs and LPNs may receive advanced standing in the BSN program after these credits are awarded. All nurses must have current licensure in their particular nursing field. Information about this opportunity may be found in the undergraduate Nursing Degree Programs Office.

Master of Science in Nursing

The McNeese State University College of Nursing Graduate Program works in cooperation with the intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science Degree in Nursing. A program of advanced nursing studies for Southern Louisiana is offered at the University. At the completion of the program, graduates are ready to begin teaching at the undergraduate college level or to work as an advanced practice nurse. It is necessary for graduates to take national certification exams and to apply for an advanced practice license as a Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Admission to the MSN program is limited, and applicants must meet all of the requirements for the University Graduate School. They must also meet the nursing program requirements, which include having a BSN and a grade point average of at least 2.7. The GRE is also required with acceptable scores, and the applicant must be eligible for licensure as a RN in Louisiana. Also, a statistics course is required. Once a student completes all of the MSN core courses, he or she may begin the advanced practice core courses and practicum to complete the program.

Degree requirements for a MSN with a role concentration and a specialization require completion of all degree requirements. The Nurse Practitioner program requires an additional minimum of 39 to 45 credits, and the Clinical Nurse Specialist program requires from 39 to 42 additional credits. Nurse Educator students will need to devote 34 credits to this specialty, and those in the Nurse Leader/Administrator program need an additional 35 to 38 credits. A Focused Clinical Research Project or a Thesis is also required, as well as maintaining a 3.0 grade point average in all courses. Individual concentrations are discussed below.

Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner

The University offers a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner program. These two MSN advanced nursing specialties share the core requirements and advanced core requirements. Students must select their specialty concentration of courses that are related to adult health or to adult psychiatric disorders. At the completion of the program, a focused scholarly project or thesis is required.

To gain admission to the Nurse Practitioner concentration in the MSN program, applicants must meet the regular admission criteria to the MSN program. They must have an acceptable grade point average as well. A full-time or part-time written commitment degree plan is also necessary, and because of limited space in the program, full-time students are given first priority. Applicants must have at least one year of nursing experience and must submit the required evidence of insurance and immunizations plus CPR certification. A professional portfolio is also required. The advanced nursing concentration courses may be completed in two or two-and-one-half years. Part-time students usually require three to six years for completion.

Nurse Educator

Another concentration in the MSN program is the Nurse Educator program that consists of 34 hours and prepares RNs to teach nursing students at the undergraduate level. After completing courses related to lesson design and assessment, students complete a teaching practicum. They must also finish a focused scholarly project or thesis before graduation.

Nursing Leadership and Administration

The University also offers a MSN concentration in Nursing Leadership and Administration that requires from 35 to 38 credits. Students focus on population-based primary care, policy, organization, and structure in healthcare systems, and more. A focused scholarly project or thesis is required for this program.

McNeese State University
4205 Ryan Street,
Lake Charles, LA 70609
(337) 475-5000

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