Post by Rob Haworth, Marquette University – Pleasant Prairie, Direct Entry MSN Admissions Adviser
If you were to ask me what the biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone interested in becoming a nurse through Marquette University’s Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (Direct Entry MSN) program near Kenosha, Wisconsin it would be to ask questions.
As an admissions adviser for the Direct Entry MSN program, it is my job to answer your top questions about nursing school not only because this is a big choice you are making, but it’s also a big commitment. As you prepare to make the call or fill out the form for more information, I want to share some of the top questions I am asked by people, like you, who are ready to begin their nursing journey at Marquette.
What is the time commitment?
I would say this is the number one question I am asked by candidates. Many people do not truly realize that this is not just an online program. This is a blended program which means it combines online learning with hands-on experience. The hands-on experience includes labs at our site in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and clinical rotations inside top hospitals around southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Since part of the program must be completed on-site and in-person, I recommend you do not work during the program or at least keep it to a maximum of 10 hours per week. This is a full-time accelerated nursing program so being able to dedicate yourself fully to the curriculum will provide you the best opportunity to succeed and earn your MSN.
Will I have contact with my instructors?
This is another top question about nursing school I am asked, especially since some of our coursework is completed online. Online does not mean you won’t have contact with your professors. In fact, many students believe they have MORE interaction with their instructors in our Direct Entry MSN program.
I should start with a very important factor that brings relief to many prospective students – the Direct Entry MSN program’s online instructors are the same staff members who teach Marquette University’s ground program at the main campus in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
That said, your instructors are always available to you. You have several options – from email communication, to phone calls, to face-to-face appointments on the main campus. The fact is they are accessible and the online experience does not limit that accessibility. It also adds that next layer of quality that Marquette University is dedicated to providing for its students.
Do I need to take prerequisites?
While our program requires your prerequisites to be completed with a minimum grade of “C,” many times I will recommend that candidates retake some courses to boost up their grades. Why? Because this is a competitive program and I want everyone to have the best chance possible to be accepted into the program.
I don’t want someone to only meet the minimum requirements because I don’t want to short them. I’d rather say it’s worth it to take that Physiology course just to pull your grade up and apply later on in the cycle. I would not want someone to waste time and money submitting an application. That’s why I alert potential students to anything I see that they can improve upon for their admittance into the program.
Are there assigned clinical areas?
Many candidates want to know if there are assigned areas for clinical rotations, which our Direct Entry MSN program does offer. Most students are interested in hearing about the diversity in our program’s clinical experiences provide so they know they aren’t going to be dropped off in a hospital ER for all of their hours.
I always let candidates know that our program offers over a thousand hours of clinical experience and simulation. That means our students gain more hands-on, real-world experience that starts within the first two months of the program.
Do you help with relocation?
Marquette University is all about community and that means it is my job is to help provide a safe environment for students, especially those who have to relocate. As an adviser, I am dedicated to taking any extra steps necessary to make sure students are comfortable in this new environment. It can be as big as touring an apartment for them or a simple as finding out where they can watch their hometown sports teams play on TV. I understand they are going to a strange, new place, where they don’t know anybody, so I just want to create or find that little bit of home to make them feel comfortable.
Can I get a tour of the site?
Many candidates ask me, “Can I come in for a tour”? The answer is, absolutely. All I need is a few days’ notice so I can prepare for your visit. I love to have people come through so I can show off the site and how it lends itself to the environment you need for a successful nursing education. Marquette’s main campus in downtown Milwaukee is pretty large, but at our site near Kenosha, everything you need as a nursing school student is literally 75 feet away.
I’m ready to help you start your nursing journey.
You are not just a candidate; you are a person trying to figure out the best way to achieve your dream to become a nurse. I hope reading my answers to the top questions about nursing school have helped you learn more about what our Direct Entry MSN program in Pleasant Prairie can offer you. If you still have questions, just give me a call or plan a visit.
If you’re ready to take your first step toward a rewarding nursing career, contact us today.