Rush University Nursing School Review

Rush University is ranked among the top 15 nursing programs in the country according to US News and World Report. Serving as a branch of Rush University Medical Center, Rush University operates several colleges all with the goal of training future healthcare leaders in their state-of-the-art Medical Center. Rush University was formally founded in 1972 though certain programs have history dating to the 19 century.

Today Rush University (RU) serves over 1,000 students in Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College. Known as a center of research and innovation, students at Rush University have access to exceptional degree and research programs and opportunities in healthcare. Rush University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Rush University Nursing Programs

Though Rush University does not currently offer undergraduate programs, the graduate programs at Rush University College of Nursing are varied and comprehensive. The College of Nursing has a rich history dating back to 1885 as St. Luke’s Hospital Training School of Nursing. Accreditation for nursing programs at Rush University College of Nursing is through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Rush University Graduate Nursing Programs

MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)

A very unique option which allows pre-nursing students and RNs (Registered Nurses) to enter into a master’s degree program is available at Rush University. With an NCLEX-RN (National Council for Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses) first time pass-rate of 99%, students graduate the program prepared for their nursing careers. Two separate tracks are offered dependent upon the nurse’s previous experience.

Generalist Entry Master’s (GEM) program

Students without previous nursing education may enter the GEM Program at Rush University which prepares students with an MSN and focus in Clinical Leadership. The program is 2 years in duration, with the last semester devoted to clinical practicum experience. Nursing students will provide care for patients throughout the lifespan in various settings. Admission requirements for the program include a bachelors degree (in a field other than nursing), minimum 3.0 GPA and a GRE score if the GPA is below 3.25.

Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) (MSN)

The MSN Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program is designed for RNs seeking a master’s degree. The program is a 2-year, online, part-time program. The program prepares nurses to become CNLs with a focus in specialization in education or management. Upon completion of the 2-year nursing program, nurses may sit the Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam.

Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (PhD in Nursing)

Two options are offered for the PhD program. Nurses may choose from a BSN-PhD or MSN-PhD depending on their educational level.

BSN-PhD (Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing)

Dedicated BSN qualified nurses are eligible for the BSN to PhD course at Rush University College of Nursing. The program is delivered primarily online, but the program includes annual visits to the campus each summer to facilitate nursing education and development through scholarly discussion. Nurses in the program should be committed to research and scholarly inquiry. The program is not ideal for nurses seeking advanced roles in clinical practice, though the College of Nursing does offer programs for nurses interested in becoming APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses). The BSN to PhD program can be completed in four to five years (full and part time respectively). It is recommended that students choose the full-time, four-year option. The PhD in nursing is highly specialized according to each student’s research and clinical interests. Therefore prospective nursing PhD students should demonstrate alignment with current nursing research conducted by faculty at Rush University College of Nursing.

MSN-PhD (Master of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing)

The MSN to PhD program at Rush University College of Nursing offers both a clinical and generalist MSN-PhD program. As with the BSN-PhD program, the MSN-PhD course is completed primarily online. Students in this course will benefit from generous mentoring and support by faculty. Faculty mentor students in the hope that they will publish at least one scholarly piece of work before the nursing student graduates the program. Students also work with faculty to complete the mandatory pre-doctoral funding application to assist students with necessary writing skills. The MSN-PhD nursing program can be completed full or part time in four or five years respectively.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP Program)

The DNP program is for nurses who want to pursue the highest level of training available nurses who wish to remain in practice rather than pursuing a career in academia. Several options are available to nurses depending on their focus, and both BSN and MSN qualified nurses may participate in the programs.

DNP NP (Nurse Practitioner) and CRNA (Nurse Anesthesia)

Students may choose from the following options in the DNP NP track:

  • Adult-Gerontology – Acute Care (AACNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology – Primary Care (AGNP)
  • Family (FNP)
  • Neonatal (NNP)
  • Pediatric – Acute Care (AC PNP)
  • Pediatric – Primary Care (PNP)
  • Psychiatric – Mental Health (PMHNP)

Nurses aspiring to enter the CRNA track must have at least one year of critical care experience. Nurses from certain states are not eligible for this program, and students should verify they are eligible before entering the DNP nursing program.
DNP Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN)

Nurses interested in becoming a CNS or working in public health may complete the CNS/APHN track. Three options are available in the CNS track, Adult Gerontology, Adult Gerontology Critical Care, Neonatal and Pediatric. Programs range from 63 to 83 credits.

DNP Leadership Tracks

The DNP Leadership Tracks are available to nurses who hold an MSN only. The program offers two tracks, Systems Leadership and Enhancing Population Health Outcomes. Both nursing programs are delivered primarily online with intensive on-campus sessions. The programs range from 30 to 47 credits.

Rush University Nursing Certificate Programs

Post-Graduate Advanced Practice Certificate (Non-degree)

The post-graduate non-degree certificates are available for nurses with an MSN or DNP who would like to further specialize their degree. Options available include:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family
  • Neonatal
  • Pediatric Acute Care
  • Pediatric Primary Care
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health

RN First Assistant (RNFA) Course

The RNFA course is designed to prepare APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses) for assistance as a first surgical technician. The nursing program is composed of two courses. Admission requirements include a 3.0 GPA, eligibility to become an APRN and an RN license. In addition to coursework, a 120 hour clinical practicum is a requirement of the RN First Assistant Course.

Rush University
600 South Paulina Street
Chicago, IL 60612

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