Villanova University Nursing School Review

Villanova University (VU) of Pennsylvania, founded in 1842, has always had a reputation for academic excellence. The university is competitive, accepting approximately 10 percent of the applicants to its undergraduate programs. Villanova University offers programs in the liberal arts, business, engineering, law, and nursing. The College of Nursing offers programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level, all of which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The traditional, four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is designed for incoming freshmen. During the first two years, students mainly fulfill university general education requirements and nursing prerequisites, in addition to taking introductory nursing classes. The second half of the curriculum focuses on nursing classes and clinical rotations. In total, a student in the BSN program must earn 136 credits. Students have the option of spending their sophomore year at the University of Manchester in England, or they may study abroad at any one of Villanova’s abroad sites in the summer. After graduation, a student is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN) and begin his career as a Registered Nurse (RN).

For Adult and Transfer Students

While the standard BSN program is designed for incoming freshmen, Villanova welcomes adult learners who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, as well as students who have some college credits, but not a full degree. Since these students may need more flexible learning options to accommodate work schedules or family commitments, Villanova has designed two different programs for second-degree students and transfer students: the BSNExpress and the Alternate Sequence Curriculum.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Second Degree Option – BSNExpress

The BSNExpress program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. If they have completed all the necessary prerequisites in the sciences, psychology, nutrition, statistics, and theology (a total of sixty-one credits), they are eligible to complete an intense fourteen-month nursing curriculum. The program begins each May, and students graduate the following August.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Second Degree Option – Alternate Sequence Curriculum

A student who already holds a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, or a transfer student who has completed most of the general education classes, may opt for a BSN program that has a slower pace than the BSNExpress. If she enrolls in the Alternate Sequence Curriculum, she will spend five semesters (including one summer) taking nursing classes. The program begins each August, and students graduate in August two years later.

Bachelor of Science/Master of Science (BSN/MSN) Gateway Program for Registered Nurses

An RN who is a graduate of an associate degree program or a diploma program may earn a full BSN degree and, if he wishes, transition directly into an MSN program. He can earn up to forty-four advanced placement credits toward the nursing portion of his BSN degree on the basis of his education and work experience; he needs to complete an additional twenty-four credits in addition to any general education courses or prerequisites that he is missing. Just the nursing courses require two semesters to complete on a full-time basis. If the incoming RN needs to complete additional general education courses or wishes to study part-time, the length of the program will be extended. The schedule of the classes is flexible, for working RNs. Some classes are available online, and many are offered in the evening.  Once the RN is within eighteen credits of earning the BSN degree, he may apply to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and start taking graduate-level nursing classes. He will transition smoothly from the BSN portion of the program into his chosen MSN specialty.

Master of Science in Nursing

A nurse who holds a BSN degree is eligible to enroll in Villanova’s MSN program, working toward certification in one of six areas. Depending on the area of specialization selected, she must earn between thirty-nine and forty-nine credits. On a full-time basis, she can complete the MSN program in two years. If she opts to study part-time, she has up to five years to earn her MSN degree. The curriculum consists of core graduate nursing classes (which are available online), classes in the area of specialization, and clinical practice. The on-site classes are offered in the evenings. The MSN program begins each fall, spring, and summer. Students can work toward the following certifications: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Educator, or Nurse Administrator.

Post-master’s Certification

A nurse who has already earned an MSN degree in one area of specialization may return to school to work toward certification in another area. Since he has already completed a master’s program, he does not need to take core graduate nursing classes again. He takes the classes in the chosen area of focus, and completes the clinical hours. Villanova offers post-master’s certificates in the following areas: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia and Nursing Education.

 Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed to help advanced practice nurses to conduct research, become healthcare leaders, and learn the intricacies of healthcare administration. It is open to nurses who already hold advanced practice certification: Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Nurse-Midwives. Students must enroll full-time. The curriculum takes four semesters to complete (including one summer), and starts in the fall. Some courses are offered online and others are offered on campus.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD in Nursing) program trains future nurse educators and nurse researchers. It consists of fifty-one credits total, and includes a dissertation. The class schedule is designed to accommodate working nurses; classes during the fall and spring semesters are offered online. Students must spend the summer taking classes on campus. (Students may also opt to complete all classes on campus.) The program begins with a summer semester. 

Certificate Programs

Villanova University’s Continuing Education in Nursing and Health Care Program is committed to providing short courses and programs that help working nurses keep in touch with changes in the nursing field. Nurses can attend the programs either on campus or online.

On-Campus Programs

RN Refresher Certificate Program

An RN who still has an active license but has been out of the workforce for more than a year can refresh her skills and bring herself up-to-date with recent changes in the field through the four-part RN Refresher Certificate program. The program includes both classroom and clinical instruction, and a nurse will receive forty-six continuing education contact hours for completing the program.

Nurse Manager Certificate Program

The Nurse Manager Certificate Program is designed for nurses who wish to hone their management skills; it examines issues such as staffing, motivating, time management, among many others. A nurse who completes all modules of the program will receive thirty-four-and-a-half continuing education contact hours.

Online Programs

Working nurses may find it difficult to attend sessions on campus, so Villanova has put together an extensive list of online continuing education programs. There are several different series, each with its own modules. Nurses can opt to complete an entire series, or they can select modules of interest from the different series. The number of contact hours for each module varies. Modules are grouped into the following series: Advanced Pharmacology Series, Nurse Manager Series, Clinical Series, Basic Pharmacology Review Series, Psychology Series, Professional Educator Series, Oncology Series, Pediatric Update Series, and Legal Series.

Villanova University
800 E. Lancaster Avenue,
Villanova, PA 19085