Valparaiso University Nursing School Review
Valparaiso University (Valpo) dates back to 1859, when it opened its doors as Valparaiso Male and Female College. The college enrolls over 4000 students in its undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, business, engineering, and nursing. In addition to its undergraduate programs, it offers over forty different graduate programs.
Nursing is one of the university’s main areas of focus; through its College of Nursing, it offers bachelor’s programs, master’s programs, and a doctoral program. The nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program takes four years to complete. An incoming student must spend the first two semesters focusing on general education requirements. In the first semester of his second year, he can begin his first nursing courses. In total, he must earn 124 credits over the four years. At the conclusion of the program, he can take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Once he passes this national test, he earns the title Registered Nurse (RN).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Accelerated Option
The Accelerated Option of the BSN program is open to students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, as well as transfer students who have already completed most, if not all, the general education and science requirements. At minimum, a student who wishes to enter the accelerated BSN track must transfer in fifty-seven credits toward the university’s general education requirements. Once accepted into the nursing course sequence, she must study full-time for fifteen months. In total, she will earn sixty-seven credits of nursing coursework. The accelerated program begins in the summer semester; students graduate at the end of the following summer semester. After graduation, they are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN
After completing an associate degree or diploma program, an RN may wish to earn a full BSN degree. This is possible through Valparaiso University’s RN to BSN program. An incoming RN must take a four-credit transition nursing class and a three-credit class on global health issues. After successfully completing these, he will be awarded forty-seven credits toward the lower-level nursing courses. After this, he only needs to complete three more nursing classes (eleven credits). In addition, he must fulfill all of the university’s general education requirements (sixty credits). Classes are offered in the days, in the evenings, and during the summers.
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Education
Valparaiso University trains nurse educators through its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. In order to be eligible for admission, a nurse must hold a BSN degree. If accepted, she must earn thirty credits in order to complete the program. On a full-time basis, this requires three semesters. On a part-time basis, a student may take up to six semesters to complete the program. Classes for the MSN program are not offered during the summer semester.
Master of Science in Nursing – RN to MSN
An RN who is a graduate of an associate degree program or a diploma program can prepare for a career as a nurse educator through the RN to MSN program. Before beginning, she must complete all her undergraduate general education requirements, except for nine credits of electives and a three-credit theology class. She will be awarded fifty credits for her previous nursing coursework. In addition to these transfer credits, she must earn twenty-one credits of nursing/nursing support classes and complete the remaining general education classes in order to finish the undergraduate portion of the RN to MSN program. This takes two semesters. She can then transition directly into the graduate-level coursework, taking three semesters to earn twenty-four credits. At the conclusion of the program, she will receive an MSN degree, with a specialization in nursing education.
Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration
The College of Nursing and the College of Business Administration at Valparaiso University cooperate to offer a rigorous MSN/Master of Business Administration (MBA) dual degree. In order to enroll, a nurse must be a graduate of a BSN program. The program requires sixty-eight credits in total. Of these credits, twenty-four are for graduate-level nursing classes. The remaining forty-four are devoted to classes through the business college.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
In order to earn certification as an advanced practice nurse, an RN can enroll in Valparaiso University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This is open to nurses who have a BSN degree. The curriculum consists of seventy credits, and includes core classes and classes and clinical rotations in a chosen area of specialization. Valparaiso University offers four different specialties within the DNP program: Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP), and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). The program requires seven semesters (including one summer semester) on a full-time basis, although students do have the option of studying part-time. The course sequence begins each fall.
Post-MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice
A nurse who already has advanced practice certification can earn a DNP degree in just five semesters (including one summer semester). The course load each semester is light, ranging from eight credits to two credits each semester. In total, a nurse on the post-MSN DNP track needs to earn twenty-four credits in order to graduate. The course sequence begins each fall.
RN Refresher Course
The RN Refresher Course is designed for RNs who have been out of the nursing field for some time, and wish to brush up their skills and learn about updates in the field. The program includes two noncredit courses. One course is offered in the fall and summer; the other course is offered in the spring and summer.
Pharmacology Update for Advanced Practice Nurses
Valparaiso University offers a workshop for advanced practice nurses to learn about updates in pharmacology. This is a one-day seminar; nurses do not earn college credit for participating.
The Parish Nursing program is designed as a continuing education course for RNs, as well as a for-credit course for upper-level undergraduate nursing students. Students will learn about nursing within the context of a faith community. The class meets once a week throughout the semester.
1700 Chapel Drive
Valparaiso, IN 46383