Direct Entry MSN for Non-Nurses

Our Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program for non-nurses leverages your previous bachelor’s degree to fast-track your master’s in nursing education. Our second-degree Direct Entry MSN program provides the academic foundation and clinical skills required to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam through a blend of advanced nursing coursework, hands-on labs, and clinical experience. The program may be completed in as few as 5 semesters, or in 8 semesters for students that prefer the pace of our extended option.

To be eligible for our competitive nursing program, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, complete any necessary prerequisites and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in your conferred baccalaureate degree.

How the Accelerated MSN Program Works

As a full-time, 5- or 8-semester program student, you will complete a rigorous blend of online and on-site curriculum — all framed within the context of our Catholic, Jesuit values that help shape our mission to think critically, advocate for the vulnerable, care for the whole person, lead courageously, and champion social justice.

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“I feel like I have more contact with my professors than I did in my undergraduate,” says Tristan, a Direct Entry MSN student. “They go out of their way to help you and make sure you learn. They do not want to see you fail.”

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Our Blended Learning Model

  1. Nursing theory courses designed to accommodate diverse learning styles to help you to learn advanced nursing concepts. These courses can be completed predominately online through our Pleasant Prairie-based program options or on campus through our Milwaukee-based program.
  2. On-site skills and simulation labs let you hone your nursing skills in a safe, simulated clinical setting. Students attend in-person labs at our state-of-the-art facilities at our Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, learning site or in Milwaukee.
  3. Clinical rotations provide real-world experience in diverse settings. They occur at top health care facilities in metro Milwaukee, southern Wisconsin, and northern Illinois.

While you can expect to devote a lot of time and energy to the program, you’ll never feel like you’re on your own. Our faculty and staff are readily available to help you keep pace every step of the way and keep you feeling connected.

Taking the NCLEX-RN

Passing your licensure exam is the last step in becoming a registered nurse. Marquette University Direct Entry MSN takes great pride in achieving a NCLEX-RN score of 94.8% in 2023.

Because Wisconsin is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), you will have the option to apply for a multistate license. This means that if you are a resident of Wisconsin, upon passing the NCLEX-RN and receiving licensure, you could be licensed to practice in 41 states (as of October 2023).

Post-Master’s Advancement

One of the best reasons to pursue an MSN is the opportunity for career growth. After graduating from our Direct Entry MSN program and earning RN licensure, you can pursue an advanced nursing certificate through Marquette University. Our post-degree certification includes options for the following roles:

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nurse Midwife

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this program for?

We developed the Direct Entry MSN program to make it possible for non-BSN holders to obtain their MSN. In fact, you must come from a non-nursing background to be eligible for the program. You will not earn a BSN but you will have a master’s degree in nursing upon your successful completion of the 19- to 21-month program. If you maintain a 3.0 GPA while in the program, we certify that you are academically eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam after graduation.

Can I work while in the program?

We recommend not working during the pre-licensure phase of the program. If you must work, it’s best to discuss your options with an admissions adviser because the accelerated nature of the program requires a lot of time and energy to keep pace.

Am I too old to earn a nursing degree?

Age is never a criterion for admission. You are never too old to pursue your dream career. In fact, because this is a second-degree program, many of our students have spent years in another profession or pursuing other goals, which means the age range for our cohorts often varies. Besides, age is only a number—everyone in the program has the same goal as you, to become a masters-prepared nurse!

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Contact us for the complete details on our Direct Entry MSN program.