Nursing careers offer personal and professional rewards to thousands of Ohioans. Most enter the field in a traditional way by enrolling in associate or baccalaureate nursing programs after high school. If you didn’t major in nursing in college, however, today’s direct entry master’s degrees can offer you an alternative path into the satisfying world of nursing while still taking advantage of your previous educational experiences.
You can find a listing of all the Ohio nursing schools that offer a direct entry or accelerated Master’s in Nursing option on our site, and we recommend that you contact the schools you are interested in to gain more information.
Although Ohio’s programs go by different names, they share many common features. If you study for a direct entry master’s degree, you can expect to meet fellow students in all walks of life, from engineers to educators to business majors.
As an applicant, you will find most programs require a minimum grade-point average and certain prerequisite classes for admission. Some schools also require graduate entrance examinations, a background check, personal references, and even an interview. The coursework, program length, and specialties vary from one college to the next, but many share a common base curriculum.
Case Western Reserve University’s Graduate Entry Nursing Program is separated into two phases. The 72-credit Master of Nursing (MN) program typically runs for about two years and prepares students to take the registered nurse (RN) licensing exam. After this phase, you can begin the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program to prepare for a career as an advanced practice nurse or a nurse educator.
The Case nursing program offers more than a dozen master’s specialties and sub-specialties, including adult gerontology, family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia, and nurse midwife. For some of these MSN majors, you must have experience as an RN, or you must file a separate application. Check the individual programs for specific requirements.
The MAGELIN program at the College of Mount St. Joseph (Master’s Graduate Entry-Level into Nursing) is the school’s shortest path for college graduates who want to become nurses. The 64-credit accelerated program prepares you to take the RN licensing examination after about 15 months of study.
One you complete the program, you can begin studying for your MSN degree in one of three career paths – administration, clinical nurse leader or education. This phase of the program is offered in a part-time format, with students taking two 10-week classes each semester. Most of the courses are offered online, but you must visit the campus three or four times during each class.
The University of Toledo prepares college graduates to become clinical nurse leaders through its two-year, full-time MSN program. The 66-credit curriculum includes classes in topics like pharmacology, health assessment, advanced nursing research, and therapeutic communication skills. You can also expect to complete 660 clinical clock hours in the program.
After completing the MSN portion of the program, you can apply for your RN license and take the licensing exam. At that point, you may choose to enter the nursing workforce, to pursue a doctorate degree, or to study for a graduate certificate to become a nurse practitioner.
In the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Accelerated Pathway Program, your classes are divided into three phases. In the first section, you complete undergraduate prerequisite courses, including psychology, statistics and science offerings. The full-time second phase runs for four semesters, preparing you for RN licensing. In the final phase, you may choose a specialty and begin studying for your MSN.
UC offers many master’s specialties, including adult gerontology, family nurse practitioner, occupational health, nurse midwife, and nurse administration. Some programs are offered on campus, while others are available online. You must have hands-on work experience for most specialties. The nurse anesthesia program requires a separate application.
Xavier University’s 20-month MIDAS program (MSN Direct Entry as a Second Degree) runs for two academic years with a summer of study required in between academic years. The full-time program leads to a MSN degree, and prepares you to sit for the RN licensing exam. Once you have obtained your RN license, you also will be eligible to sit for the clinical nurse leader certification exam or the holistic nurse certification exam.
MIDAS classes are typically scheduled during the day, but clinical hours will vary. The program won’t prepare you for advanced practice nursing careers such as midwives or nurse practitioners. However, you may apply for Xavier’s advanced practice programs once you have a year of RN experience.
While the programs detailed above are not exhaustive, they give you a good idea of what to expect from a Direct Entry Master’s in Nursing program. For detailed information about your options, you can contact the schools to learn more.
The Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Nurses Foundation, and various federal agencies offer loan repayment and scholarship opportunities for master’s students. For a review of some of these programs, check the Ohio Center for Nursing website.