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Support patients, families and communities as an MSN-qualified nurse

Become a Nurse with an MSN
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The Alverno Direct Entry MSN Program

As the demand for health care grows, so does the demand for nurses — especially nurses with the advanced skills to provide evidence-based, patient-focused care and leadership. Alverno College offers you the opportunity to enter the nursing profession with graduate-level clinical assessment, care and leadership skills.

The DEMSN is an intensive, full-time graduate program that takes place over 18-20 months of study. When you graduate, you’ll have earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

This program features:

  • Rigorous, abilities-based coursework — You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of evidence-based practice, professional leadership, nursing research, nursing informatics and health care policy — and learn how to use what you know on behalf of patients and the profession.
  • Meaningful clinical experiences — You’ll learn advanced patient care skills in our state-of-the-art Center for Clinical Education (CCE) and gain direct clinical experience in a variety of treatment settings.
  • Holistic professional development — Informed decision making and clear, impactful communication are hallmarks of a leader in any profession. The DEMSN program will stretch your writing and speaking skills along with your analytical and critical-thinking capacities.
  • RN licensure preparation — We provide guidance and preparation for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. Our nursing students pass the NCLEX at rates far higher (96%) than the national average (86%).*
  • Mentorship and professional connections — Our nursing faculty bring decades of distinguished professional experience to the classroom. We keep our classes small so you receive the personal attention you need to realize your potential as a clinician.

Explore our Direct Entry MSN program

Core curriculum

With 77 credits of coursework and clinical practice, you will develop clinical assessment skills at an advanced level, gain leadership skills for nursing teams, and understand issues in health care research, policy and economics.

Throughout the program, you’ll be challenged to prove what you can do with what you learned, not just whether you know it.

Clinical training at our CCE

At our Center for Clinical Education (CCE), you’ll develop your clinical assessment, decision-making and treatment abilities through hands-on practice. The CCE facility includes:

  • The Clinical Simulation Center (CSC), featuring four high-fidelity simulation rooms that mimic specific settings, including two medical/surgical rooms, one birthing suite/pediatric unit and one trauma/ICU room. The CSC uses high-fidelity patient simulation units, including adults, a newborn and a pediatric patient. It also features portable electronic health record units.
  • The Clinical Learning Center (CLC), offering simulated settings where you learn to work with patients, conduct physical assessments and practice clinical procedures. The CLC includes primary care exam rooms, multi-bed spaces, and even a simulated studio apartment where you can practice home environment assessment and home-based care.

Practicum experience

We’re proud of our strong relationships with regional health care organizations, which give you direct clinical experience treating patients of all ages and needs in settings ranging from hospitals to long-term care facilities.

Capstone project

Working with the guidance of a faculty mentor, you will produce a capstone project during the final two semesters of your program. The goal of the capstone is to integrate knowledge and skills drawn from your coursework and apply them to a real-world situation in a nursing setting.

Your capstone is an opportunity to show high standards of technical knowledge, scholarly inquiry and mastery of writing. It brings together everything you’ve learned during your DEMSN and acts as a statement of intent for the kind of professional you want to be.

Continuing education after graduation

The Direct Entry MSN awards you a master’s degree without specialization and prepares you for further study. If you want to pursue certification as a nurse practitioner (NP) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS), you will need to enroll in a post-master’s certification program after graduation.

Alverno College offers the following post-master’s certification programs you can pursue after successfully earning your DEMSN:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Start changing lives by changing yours

Begin your nursing journey and prepare to change lives with Alverno College’s Direct Entry MSN program. Get in touch today.


* NCLEX Program Reports, Report Period: April 2018—March 2019