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Family Nurse Practitioner FAQ
About Rush University
Admission Information
Program / Course Information  
Campus Visits  
International Students  
More Questions?
Admission Information  

When is the next application deadline?  
The FNP program admits once a year using a pooled review process. Application deadlines are posted in the Deadline Dates box on the program information page. Applications must be submitted by the application deadline. There will be no exceptions made.
Do I need to take the GRE? Is there a time limit on the scores?   
The GRE is waived if any one of the following conditions is met:
1. Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or greater 
2. Pre-licensure nursing GPA of 3.0 or greater
3. Graduate GPA (of a completed degree) of 3.5 or greater 
Rush will receive verified GPA calculations from NursingCAS only after they have received all of your official transcripts. If you believe you will need to submit GRE scores, we suggest you prepare for the exam and take it sooner rather than later as we cannot review your application until official GRE scores have been received. These scores must be received by Rush University before the application deadline. Your scores will be sent to the institutions you designate within 10 to 15 days after your test date. The Rush University College of Nursing GRE code is 3262.  
If you have taken the GRE within the last five years Educational Testing Service (ETS) will send a copy of your scores directly to Rush. If you have taken the GRE more than five years ago and have the original score report, you may submit a copy directly to Rush. The College of Nursing will also accept GRE scores from any point in time, as long as an official report of the score can be obtained. The College of Nursing will also accept an official school document that contains GRE scores.  
How much experience do I need to apply?  
Applicants must have a minimum of six months nursing experience by the application deadlines.  Competitive applicants have generally been practicing at least two years.  
Who should I ask to provide recommendations?  
Three professional letters of recommendation are required from faculty and/or work managers with at least one letter from a current or recent employer. Relationship of recommenders to you must be in a supervisory capacity who can evaluate your ability to be successful in graduate school and as an APRN. Co-workers, colleagues, subordinates or friends are not acceptable recommenders.  
How will I hear from the Office of Admissions about my application?  
Your application will be submitted through a centralized application system called N-CAS. All application materials (e.g., essay, CV, recommendations, etc.) will be submitted through N-CAS. Once your application is complete and submitted to Rush, it will be evaluated in a pooled review process. If selected for an interview we strongly encourage candidates to interview in person with faculty. Plan to be on campus for about one hour. However, if you live more than 50 miles away, you may choose to interview by phone. We will use the email address you provide for all contact regarding your application status.   
What happens to my application after I complete my interview?  
After all qualified applicants have been interviewed your application will be reviewed in a “pool” with the other applicants for that cohort. Admission recommendations are then forwarded to the Admissions and Progressions Committee of the College of Nursing. It is their charge to offer admission to qualified candidates.  
What are tuition costs and is financial aid available?  
Please visit the Rush University Financial Aid website at  or call the financial aid office (312) 942-6256 for the most current information.  
Program / Course Information   
Will Rush be offering an MSN to DNP degree?  
Yes, students with an MSN are encouraged to apply to the FNP program. Course transfer credits will be determined after acceptance to the program.   
Is there an on-campus option?  
Yes. Most classes are offered on campus. A few core courses are only offered online.   
Is there an online option and will I have to come to campus for classes?  
Yes, there is an online option and yes, you will need to come to campus.  Specifically, you will need to make five to six mandatory trips to campus over the course of the program. The length of time you will need to be on campus varies from one to three days.     
Required campus visits:
  • Program Orientation - one day on-campus orientation (usually September)
  • DNP Project Capstone - done in the last term and usually lasting one day. 
  • Physical Diagnosis – 2-3 day on-campus lab 
  • FNP Management Clinicals – a minimum of two on-campus visits arranged by the faculty for the purpose of clinical validation. Each visit usually lasts one day. 
  • DNP Project proposal - Done just before beginning DNP project implementation and usually lasting one day.   
Can I take online classes and do my clinical in a state other than Illinois?  
Due to varying state regulations and licensure requirements, the FNP program does not accept distance students. Students must reside in Illinois during the program.  Please email Jennifer Thorndyke at if you have questions.

How long does the program take to complete?  
Currently, we are offering three-year full-time and four-year part-time options. 
Can I take one class at a time?  
No, we do not allow students to take one class at a time. You must commit to finish the program in a maximum of four years.  
Can I start taking classes before I am accepted or matriculated?  
Yes, you can take classes as a student-at-large. There are some restrictions and some employers will not provide tuition reimbursement. Taking classes as a student-at-large does not guarantee you admission. Please contact the registrar for more information (312) 942-5681.  
Will graduate-level classes taken at other universities transfer in for credit?  
We consider classes for transfer credit on a case-by-case basis. After you are accepted into the program, you will be assigned an advisor who can help you with the transfer credit request process. Please save course descriptions and course syllabi for all courses you want considered for transfer.  
Can I work while I am in the program?  
That depends. Most students do work and find part-time work manageable with our part-time program of study. Most students find it difficult to work full-time — especially once they start clinicals. In addition, there is a residency requirement at the end of the program that requires a 24-hour per week commitment. Every student must evaluate their own time management skills, personal commitments and family responsibilities before deciding if the time is right to pursue a graduate education.   
How are clinical sites assigned?  
Students work collaboratively with faculty to arrange their clinical experiences. The Rush College of Nursing has agreements with many sites in the Chicagoland area. Students desiring clinical experiences outside the Chicagoland area must find their own sites. However, faculty will provide direction and assistance with arrangements once the site is identified.  
I live in the Chicagoland area but do not own a car. Can I do clinical on campus?  
Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to clinical sites. The FNP program is a primary care program and uses clinical sites in a variety of primary care settings. While a few sites are available on the University campus, most sites are scattered throughout the area.     
1. The application for transfer procedure must be completed when an enrolled student wishes to change their program concentration and/or degree. The transfer must be approved; there is no guarantee of movement from one program to another.
2. The Program Director in the proposed concentration/degree determines the necessary requirements for the review process.
3. The Registrar processes changes at the end of each term.
4. The change is official as of the start of the new term if student accepted into the proposed major/concentration.
5. If permission is granted and as space permits, students will only be allowed to transfer to an already matriculating cohort of students. 
You may apply for:
1) any advanced practice specialty MSN-DNP program that is different from your first specialty area or
2) one of the DNP leadership tracks, either Systems Leadership or Leadership to Enhance Population Health Outcomes.  
Campus Visits 

How can I arrange a campus visit?  
The college holds an information session the first Wednesday of every month at 4:30 p.m. on the 9th floor of the Armour Academic Center, 600 S. Paulina. To register for one of our monthly information sessions, please click here.    
Where do students stay during campus visits?  
Students make their own arrangements. We can advise you on nearby hotels. The Rush campus is accessible from both airports by train.   
International Students  

I am an international student - how can I get information about testing, transcripts and licensure?  
Required Testing:
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for applicants who are non-native speakers of English. This requirement may be waived if the applicant has completed a minimum of three years of higher education AND received their baccalaureate degree in the United States.
For further questions please contact, Jennifer Thorndyke, admissions specialist at:
As many courses are taught in an online format in our DNP programs, we regret we are unable to accommodate international students in the US on a student visa.  Applicants who intend to complete a program in their country of origin will be reviewed on an individual basis, please contact Rush University College of Nursing at before applying.
More questions?   
Jennifer Thorndyke, admissions specialist:

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