Support Patients, Their Families, and Their Communities as an MSN-Qualified Nurse

Become a Nurse with an MSN
Thank you for inquiring about Alverno’s Direct Entry MSN program. An Enrollment Representative will be in contact with you shortly.

Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Required

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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 Accelerated DEMSN from our nursing college is an intensive, full-time graduate program that takes place over 18-20 months of study and is offered at both our Milwaukee and Mesa locations. The 9-semester DEMSN, which is completed in about three years, is offered exclusively at our Milwaukee campus. This option is ideal for students who are interested in completing their program at a more moderate pace.

When you graduate, you’ll have earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

This program features:

  • Rigorous, abilities-based coursework — Prepare for evidence-based practice, professional leadership, and gain an in-depth understanding of nursing research, nursing informatics and health care policy.
  • 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. Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art nursing labs.
  • 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.
  • Licensure preparation — We provide guidance and preparation for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. Our nursing students pass the NCLEX at rates far higher (92%) than the national average (83%), based on a 3-year average pass rate.*
  • Mentorship and professional connections — Our nursing faculty bring decades of distinguished professional experience to the classroom, and we keep our classes small so you can receive the personal attention you need to realize your potential as a clinician.

Hear From Our Nursing Students

  • "I think what makes this program special is that I feel like they really do everything they can to prepare you for being a nurse. Some of the exams are NCLEX style, even from day one. They're preparing you for taking your boards when you graduate. I genuinely feel like they want us to do well and they want us to succeed and be out in the community as competent, high quality nurses." - Hannah Heise, DEMSN Student
  • "One of the things that makes Alverno special is the teachers. They really give time to the students, that one-on-one time for you to be able to understand and actually learn your skills." - Mohamed Dawod, DEMSN Student

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

Our nursing college locations in Milwaukee and in Mesa offers advanced hands-on training facilities. 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 medical/surgical rooms, a birthing suite/pediatric unit, and a 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 multi-bed spaces that allow for the learning of hands-on skills and practice in a setting similar to a health care facility.

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 Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

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.

Start Changing Lives by Changing Yours

Begin your nursing journey and prepare to change lives with the Direct Entry MSN program at our nursing college. Get in touch today.


* NCLEX Program Reports, Report Period: Updated June 15, 2023

**ICU room only available at the Milwaukee campus.