The Master of Science in Nursing online program offers students two areas of concentration: leadership/administration or education. Both concentrations consist of a 36-credit hour track with core courses, interdisciplinary courses, and concentration courses. Each student completes all core and interdisciplinary courses and then completes their chosen area of concentration courses. This track is based on and meets the standards of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (2011), and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs (2017).
Acceptance into the MSN program is contingent on meeting the following admission requirements:
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
- Minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credit hours of undergraduate course work.
- Official transcripts of all prior collegiate academic work.
- Evidence of satisfactory completion of introductory courses in statistics, nursing research, and health assessment, or their equivalent, with a grade of "C" or better at the baccalaureate level.
- Basic computer skills.
- Evidence of licensure as a registered professional nurse in any state or territory of the United States.
- Evidence of liability insurance.
- Current CPR certification.
- Evidence of the following immunization: Hepatitis, MMR, tetanus, and diphtheria.
- Evidence of an annual TB skin test.
- Evidence of health insurance.
- Criminal background check within 90 days prior to the first practicum experience.
Acceptance into the program for any student who speaks English as a second language is also contingent on meeting the following admission requirement:
- TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
- Students for whom English is a second language may be referred to an ESL program of study as a condition for enrollment into the program.
Transfer of Credit
Students may transfer a maximum of 4 semester credit hours of previous graduate level course work (from a regionally accredited university or college). Only courses with a grade of B or better will be transferred.
Students in the MSN program practice professional nursing during their practicums and therefore must have a current registered nurse license from a state or territory of the United States and liability insurance. All students must submit proof of licensure and insurance when applying for the program and whenever their license and/or insurance are renewed.
The names and origin of license of all “out-of-state” professional nurses are filed with the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation at the beginning of each semester, allowing these students to practice nursing during their practicums. According to the Illinois Nurse Practice Act, students who have a license from another state or territory can practice in the state as a graduate student when under the supervision of faculty. Students who wish to work in the State of Illinois while enrolled in the program must apply to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation, for an Illinois registered professional nurse license.
Progression Requirements and Policy
Students in the BSN to MSN Track at Illinois College are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average. A student may earn one “C” in a Masters level nursing course or cognate course if they maintain the 3.0 GPA. Students who earn in excess of one “C” in either a nursing or elective course may be dismissed. All issues regarding student’s academic progress will be decided by the faculty on a case-by-case basis.
Students in the BSN to MSN Track are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students who fail to meet this standard will be subject to an academic review by the Coordinator of Online Nursing and may be dismissed from the program depending on the severity of the academic deficiency. All students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better to graduate from the MSN Track.
A student who is dismissed from the program for academic reasons may appeal the dismissal within 30 calendar days from the date on the dismissal letter. While the appeal is pending, the student cannot register for or attend classes. The Department of Nursing is responsible for deciding the merits of an appeal. The appeal must be in writing and addressed to the Coordinator of the MSN Program. The appeal must provide in detail the following information:
- Description of the unusual or non-recurring events that lead to the student’s poor academic performance.
- Actions that have been taken or will be taken by the student to ensure there will be no recurrence of these events.
- Actions that have been taken or will be taken by the student to ensure his/her cumulative GPA will quickly reach a minimum of 3.0.
- Any additional evidence or information that may be helpful in reaching a decision.
Illinois College Department of Nursing reserves the right to dismiss students from the MSN program regardless of the cumulative grade point average for:
- Not meeting progression requirements
- Unsafe clinical performance as outlined in the “Unsafe Student Practice Policy.”
- Failure to comply with the policies of the program
- Failure to maintain licensure as a professional nursing
- Unsafe performance as a nurse in general
- Immediate dismissal may result from the following:
- Knowingly causing a patient harm
- Appearance in the class or practicum under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Student may be asked to take a drug screening test.
- 36 credit hours at the graduate level
- Complete all core, concentration, and elective courses
- Completion of student’s project.
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above