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Adult Acute Care Nurse Practioner FAQ
About Rush University
Admission Information
Information Sessions and Campus Visits
Program and Course Information 
International Students
More Questions

Admissons Information 
When is the next application deadline? 
The BSN-DNP Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AACNP) program admits twice a year. Please go to the program home page for more details. 

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 5 years Educational Testing Service (ETS) will send a copy of your scores directly to Rush. If you have taken the GRE more than 5 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? 
You need to have at least 6 months of acute care or critical care experience before you are eligible to apply to the program. In addition, you will need 2 years of acute care or critical care full time experience before the start of the clinical/management course rotations which are the last year of the program. 
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. Qualified applicants will be invited to submit a brief Rush supplemental application and interview with a faculty member. 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 e-mail 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 website at or call the financial aid office (312-942-6256) for the most updated information. 
Is the tuition rate the same for out of state students? 
Yes. You may get updates on current tuition from our website at:
How do I get started with my application? 
You may apply online at our website. Be sure to order official transcripts from every school at which you have taken courses since high school (even if you did not receive a degree from that school). Transcripts and all other official documents should be sent to our admissions office. 
Here is the website for more information: Application Instructions 
Information Session and Campus Visits
How can I arrange a campus visit to get more information? 
The college holds an information session on the second 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 go to
Where do students stay during campus visits? 
Students make their own arrangements. We can advise you of nearby hotels. The Rush campus is accessible from both airports and train. 
Program and Course Information
What is an Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner? 
Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AACNP) care for acutely ill and critically ill adult and older adult patients throughout the continuum of care. Research has shown that AACNPs provide quality care, decrease length of stay, and improve patient and family satisfaction. The addition of AACNPs to the health care team improves communication and overall patient care. AACNPs help assess and manage acutely ill patients within the inpatient/hospital setting and across hospital-to-clinic settings, including the emergency department, intensive care unit, specialty practices, acute and sub-acute care units and specialty clinics. 
What types of jobs are available for AACNP’s? 
AACNP’s work in many setting which include but are not limited to: Critical care units, inpatient units, specialty practices such as neurosurgery, cardiology, hematology, trauma, orthopedics and many others. ACNP are practicing in academic medical centers, community hospital settings, sub acute settings, inpatient and outpatient settings. 
What are my degree options for the AACNP? 
Starting in fall 2012 we will be admitting to the AACNP program with a DNP exit degree. 
How long does the program take to complete? 
The BSN-DNP degree AACNP program will be approximately 11-13 semesters for the part-time student and 8-9 semesters for full-time. The MSN-DNP, for applicants who are already APN’s, will vary depending on the course work taken in the master’s program. 
How many AACNP direct patient clinical hours will I do in the program? 
For students entering in fall term 2012, there will be 2 terms of clinical practica during the last year of the program and 1 term of residency hours. The clinical practica hours are a total 360 clock hours. AACNP students do a full-time residency the last term of the program which totals 400 clock hours. Total clinical hours in the program is approx. 770 clock hours. There are also DNP practica hours and residency immersion hours of approx. 200-300 hours. 
Can I concentrate in one area of acute care or can I stay broad with my experiences? 
You can do either. All of the course work prepares you to provide care to the full spectrum of acute care illness. When you get to the clinical rotations, some students prefer to concentrate in a particular area such as cardiology, neurosurgery or trauma, while others want a more broad clinical experience. We will work with you to create clinical experiences that provide you the best preparation for your professional goals. 
Where do I do my clinical hours? 
We have many well established clinical sites and preceptors in the Chicago area. We utilize NP’s and physicians as preceptors. You will work closely with your Rush University College of Nursing advisor to establish your individual professional goals and objectives for the clinical experience. 
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 Chicago land area. Students desiring clinical experiences outside the Chicago land area must find their own sites. However, faculty will provide direction and assistance with arrangements once the site is identified. 
If I have a Master’s degree, can I apply to the AACNP? 
Yes - if you are already an advanced practice nurse (APN) and want to become an AACNP, you can complete the MSN-DNP with the AACNP specialty focus. You should contact the specialty program coordinator to discuss the specifics of your background. Be prepared to submit a current resume and a transcript (may be an unofficial copy) of your Master’s program to the program coordinator. If you are interested in the MSN-DNP option see program/course information section. MSN-DNP students are admitted spring and fall based on available space. For our school calendar see: 
If you are NOT an APN, you are eligible to apply to the MSN-DNP AACNP program. However your POS will depend on your master’s course work. Non-APN post-masters students are admitted in the Fall only. 
If you attend the program part-time (an average of two courses per term) most students can continue to work full-time until they start the management and clinical courses. This is about 2/3 into the program.  You will need to plan time for school and to study. When you start your clinical practicum you need to plan on 2-3 days committed to school. During the full-time residency it is advised that students do not work. If you attend the program full-time, it is not advised that you work while you go to school. 
Is there an all online option? 
No. This program requires several on campus classes to be taken. In fact, the entire last year of the program requires on campus course work. However, there are some online courses in the program of study. 
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 3-4 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. 
Internation Students
I am an international student - how can I get information about testing, transcripts and licensure? 
International students need a test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for students who are non-native speakers of English or who have not completed a minimum of three (3) years of higher education and received their baccalaureate degree in the United States. Foreign transcripts must be translated by one of two specific translation services.
For more information contact:
Office of College Admissions Services 
More Questions
I still have questions. How can I get them answered? 
If your questions are about the admissions process (file management, transcripts, letters of recommendation, committee review, etc) please call the RU Admissions Office at 
(312) 942-7100  or email to
If your questions relate to the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program email Barbara Hinch at  

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