Admission to the graduate programs is based on the applicant's academic record, evidence of scholastic ability, and interest in the goals of the College. Admission will be offered to applicants who are, in the view of the College, best qualified.

The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program offers the following tracks: Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), Clinical Nurse Leader Track (CNL), Executive Practice & Healthcare Leadership (EPHL), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Nurse Educator (NE).  An entry point option, RN-M.S.N., is available for students who possess a diploma or ADN who want to pursue an M.S.N..

  1. The Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner track prepares nurses to provide primary care to individuals, starting at age 13, and older adults.  The AGNP role includes preventative healthcare, as well as assessment, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions.  The program of study requires each student to complete 46 credit hours.  Graduates of the AGNP track are qualified to sit for the Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner certification examination.  The curriculum for this track builds upon the M.S.N. core courses.
  2. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) track prepares nurses as generalists at the Master’s degree level. The CNL is a bedside leader in quality improvement, communication, and lateral integration of care. The CNL has specialized knowledge in evidence-based practice and horizontal leadership while being accountable for the management of care, patient outcomes, and the care environment for a specific population of patients.  The CNL program is 40 credit hours.  Students are required to sit for the CNL certification exam for program completion.  
  3. The Executive Practice & Healthcare Leadership (EPHL) track prepares nurses for leadership and management roles in diverse healthcare delivery systems. The program of study requires each student to complete 36 credit hours.
  4. The Family Nurse Practitioner track prepares nurses to care for individuals and families across the lifespan. The FNP role includes preventative healthcare, as well as the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness and preventative health care for individuals and families. Family nurse practitioners demonstrate a commitment to family-centered care and understand the relevance of the family’s identified community in the delivery of family-centered care. The program of study requires each student to complete 46 credit hours. Students are then eligible to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam.
  5. The Nurse Educator track prepares nurse educators with knowledge and strategies for teaching in both clinical and academic settings. The program of study requires each student to complete 36 credit hours. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the NLN certification examination for Nurse Educators.
  6. The RN-M.S.N. entry point option is for students who possess an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or diploma in nursing who want to pursue an M.S.N; students in this track do not earn a bachelor’s degree.  The pre-M.S.N. specialty courses total 14 credit hours.  Students are admitted as graduate students and focus on one of the specialty tracks: AGNP, CNL, EPHL, FNP, or NE, depending on their interest. 

Four Post Graduate Certificate Programs are offered for individuals who are prepared with a minimum of a Master’s degree in nursing or a health related field.  The post graduate certificates provide academic credit focusing on particular content and skills. The Executive Practice and Healthcare Leadership certificate program consists of 15 credit hours. The Nurse Educator certificate program consists of 11 credit hours.   Post graduate APRN certificates are offered for both the Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner.  The Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner certificate program totals 22 credit hours of Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner specialty courses. The Family Nurse Practitioner certificate program totals 22 credit hours of Family Nurse Practitioner specialty courses. 

As of April 1, 2016, applications are no longer accepted for the CNL track and certificate program with closure planned for December 2018, and admission to the Nurse Educator track and certificate program has been suspended until December 2018.

Admission Procedure

Applications for the Nurse Practitioner tracks will be reviewed each year beginning on Feb. 1.  The deadline to apply is Jan. 15.  The Executive Practice & Healthcare Leadership track uses a rolling admission process.

Application is made through submission of a completed application packet through NursingCAS, http://nursingcas.liaisoncas.com. A completed application packet includes all official transcripts and references as well as a résumé and personal essay. For questions related to the NursingCAS application, please contact NursingCAS support directly by phone at 617-612-2880 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Eastern or by email at nursingcasinfo@nursingcas.org.

Three (3) references are required. Two references should be from the employer and the third from either the employer or from the associate or baccalaureate program. New graduates can use two from the associate or baccalaureate program.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N) degree from an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited nursing program with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point scale, or
  2. Possess an Associate Degree in Nursing (A.D.N.) from a regionally accredited college or university or a diploma in nursing with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point scale and have no more than 9 credit hours of Program Pre-Requisites (Theology, Philosophy or Humanities electives or general electives) left to complete, and
  3. Possess current licensure as a registered nurse (RN).

Admission Process

After the application packet is completed through NursingCAS the admission committee will review each file and notify the applicant of the next step. 

Admissions decisions are made on a competitive basis and the applicant’s complete profile will be considered. The profile includes previous academic work, nursing experience, and professional references.  Admission to the Nurse Practitioner tracks requires an interview with Nurse Practitioner faculty.  Faculty in other tracks may request an interview for admission; students should expect a phone consultation with the track coordinator as a part of the admission process.

Each applicant will be notified in writing regarding the admission decision. Graduate student applicants will be accepted in one of the following admission categories: full admission, probationary admission, provisional admission, conditional admission, or denied.

Full Admission

Applicants meeting all of the eligibility requirements are eligible for Full Admission. 

Probationary Admission                                                                                                     

Applicants meeting all of the eligibility requirements except a 3.0 cumulative grade point average may be granted Probationary Admission. The student will be fully admitted to the graduate program when he/she achieves a grade point average of 3.0 or better in two courses (NU 6000 level or above courses for post-B.S.N. students and NU 4000 or 5000 level courses for RN-M.S.N. students).

Provisional Admission

Applicants meeting all of the eligibility requirements except current licensure as a RN may be granted Provisional Admission to the graduate program for one semester provided that they successfully complete the NCLEX-RN examination during the semester immediately following graduation. The student will be fully admitted to the graduate program upon verification of RN licensure. 

Conditional Admission (Within 6 months of graduation with A.D.N. or B.S.N.)

Applicants who are within 6 months of completing an A.D.N. or B.S.N. degree may be granted Conditional Admission to the graduate program. The student will be fully admitted to the graduate program upon graduation with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and verification of successful completion of the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. 

Conditional Admission (Program Pre-Requisites)

Applicants for the RN-M.S.N. option who are licensed, but have not completed Program Pre-Requisites (see catalog) may be granted Conditional Admission to the graduate program. The student will be fully admitted to the graduate program once Program Pre-Requisites (no more than 9 credit hours of Theology, Philosophy or Humanities electives or general electives remaining) have been completed.

NOTE: Only students with Full Admission are eligible to receive Federal Financial Aid.

Unclassified Status

A student may complete an application to enroll in a course in an unclassified status. This status is intended for students who are non-degree seeking or enrolling for a limited period until the admission process can be completed. Unclassified students are expected to meet all course prerequisites and will be enrolled on a space available basis as determined by the Dean of Nursing.

Unclassified students are not guaranteed admission to the graduate program and credit earned as an unclassified student is not guaranteed to meet degree requirements.

  • Current RCN students taking graduate courses while in a RCN undergraduate program may complete a maximum of nine (9) credit hours as an unclassified student.
  • Students not currently enrolled in a RCN undergraduate program may take a maximum of three (3) credit hours as an unclassified student.

Unclassified students must be fully admitted into the graduate program before requesting that any transfer courses be accepted for degree credit.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of nine (9) hours of graduate credit completed at another institution within the last five (5) years may be accepted as fulfilling the requirements of the tracks. Only courses in which a grade of B or better was earned may be accepted for graduate credit.