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Frequently Asked Questions about the Direct Entry MSN Program

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of information surrounding our Direct Entry MSN program in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Therefore, we thought it might be helpful to provide the answers to our most frequently asked questions right here.

  1. What are the academic requirements for the Direct Entry MSN program?
  2. How many program starts are available each year?
  3. Can I earn a master’s degree in nursing without a BSN?
  4. Do I earn a BSN while in the program?
  5. How many days per week will I have to go to the program site?
  6. How many clinical rotations hours can I expect to complete?
  7. How do I get started on the application process?
  8. What do my GRE scores need to be?
  9. What are some things I can do to make my application more competitive?
  10. What if I miss the application deadline by one day?
  11. Do I have access to the resources available on the main Milwaukee campus?
  12. Can I work while in the program?
  13. Am I too old to earn a degree in nursing?
  14. What are the benefits of having a master’s degree in nursing?
  15. Will I be able to pursue an advanced nursing role after graduating from the program?

1. What are the academic requirements for the Direct Entry MSN program?

First and foremost, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you meet those requirements, you will then need to successfully complete a series of prerequisite courses before you can enter the program.

2. How many program starts are available each year?

Our Direct Entry MSN program offers two start dates per year, in January and August.

3. Can I earn a master’s degree in nursing without a BSN?

Yes, we developed the Direct Entry MSN program to make it possible. In fact, you have to come from a non-nursing background to be eligible for the program.

4. Do I earn a BSN while in the program?

No, you will have a master’s degree in nursing upon your successful completion of the 18-21 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.

5. How many days per week will I have to go to the program site?

There will stretches of the program where you will need to come to our site in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin,  2 to 3 days per week to take proctored exams and participate in labs.

6. How many clinical rotations hours can I expect to complete?

The first round of clinical rotations begin during the first semester of the program. You should expect to complete approximately 1,020 clinical practice hours in total.

7. How do I get started on the application process?

The first step is to speak with an admissions adviser to confirm your program eligibility.

8. What do my GRE scores need to be?

It can be competitive to get into nursing school. Therefore, we recommend preparing for test day as best as possible. We look for scores above 150, with at least a 4.0 on the writing component.

9. What are some things I can do to make my application more competitive?

While you can’t go back and improve your academic history, you can control how well you do in the prerequisite courses and how well you put together your application package. We require applicants to submit a series of supplementary admissions materials—a resume, three letters of recommendation, and an admissions statement—as part of the application process. These materials help give us a sense of your character, motivation, and passion for the nursing profession. Be sure to ask your adviser for assistance, he/she is more than happy to help you optimize your application package.

10. What if I miss the application deadline by one day?

We do not review any application that is not complete by the specified deadline, with the exception of any prerequisite courses you are in the process of completing.

11. Do I have access to the resources available on the main Milwaukee campus?

Yes, as a Direct Entry MSN student, you have access to all of the resources available to students on the main Milwaukee campus such as the library and career services.

12. 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.

13. Am I too old to earn a degree in nursing?

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 an unfulfilling profession, 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, which is to graduate from the program.

14. What are the benefits of having a master’s degree in nursing?

By earning a master’s degree in nursing, you open yourself up for better upward mobility and higher earning potential when compared with a BSN holder. You can also specialize in an advanced field of nursing, such as adult acute care, pediatric primary care or clinical nurse leadership, by completing one of our certificate programs.

15. Will I be able to pursue an advanced nursing role after graduating from the program?

As a graduate of our program, you will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam and work in inpatient, outpatient, or community settings. Keep in mind, because you’re new to the nursing profession, your first job after graduation will most likely be at the entry level. However, your MSN degree holds the key to future upward mobility in areas such as nurse management, education, and administration—which would not be possible with a BSN degree.

Contact us to learn more about our nursing clinical rotations.

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What is the Admissions Process Like?

With the guidance of a dedicated admissions adviser, you will complete your prerequisites, review your college transcripts, and apply for the Direct Entry MSN program to get started on your path to a career in nursing.

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Why Marquette University?

For over 100 years, Marquette University nursing school graduates have achieved success through a Catholic and Jesuit-based education. Marquette University has a focus on student success, excellence, faith, leadership, and service.

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