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Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Clinical Nurse Specialist FAQ
About Rush University
Admissions Information
Information Sessions and Campus Visits
Program and Course Information
International Students
More Questions

Admissions Information
When is the next application deadline? 
The adult-gerontology program admits twice a year. Please visit the program's home page for more details.  
Do I need to take the GRE? I have taken them in the past but it has been over five years. 
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 deadline.  Students must have at least one year of adult medical-surgical experience upon starting the specialty clinical practicum. This can be garnered during your first year in the program.
Who should I get as references? 
We suggest nurse managers, educators and other APRN colleagues who can evaluate your ability to be successful in graduate school and as an APRN. Co-workers, subordinates or friends are not acceptable.  
How will I hear about the status of my application? 
Your application must be submitted through a centralized application system called NursingCAS. All application materials (e.g., essay, CV, recommendations, etc.) also must submitted through NursingCAS. Qualified applicants will be invited 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 the interview, the admissions recommendation will be forwarded to the admissions committee.  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.   
Is the tuition rate the same for out of state students? 
Yes. You may get updates on current tuition from our website on the tuition and fees page.  
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). Please click here for more information on our website.  
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 a session please click here
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 by public transportation.  
Program and Course Information
What are my degree options in adult-gerontology? 
You can enter any one of the following programs: adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (NP) or adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist (CNS). The adult-gerontology NP and adult-gerontology CNS programs moved to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) level as recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). 
Why should I do a combined adult and gerontology program? 
The new Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Consensus Model merged adult and gerontological populations into one population and eventually one certification exam. The combined program provides preparation for this new certification exam. This dual role also expands your marketability and expertise in the management of the growing aging population. Graduates will be prepared to take the adult gerontology CNS exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.  
How long does the program take to complete? 
The BSN-DNP program will take about 2 and 2/3 to 3 years full-time (8 - 9 terms) and 3 and 2/3 years to 4 years part-time (11-12 terms). The MSN-DNP will vary in length of time and are determined individually. Students transferring in approved courses may have a shorter program.   
How much clinical time will I do? 
There are three terms with primary focus on clinical practice in the adult-gerontology programs; two terms of clinical practica and one term of clinical residency. The DNP clinical hours are taken during the same terms as the APN clinical hours, but may be begun before these three terms in some programs of study. The total clinical practica hours for both the APN role and DNP are 1008 clock hours.    
Where do I do my clinical hours?  
Students complete their clinical hours in the Chicagoland area and surrounding counties. The program director and Rush faculty identify clinical preceptors and sites with student and advisor input. 
How often do I need to visit campus for required course activities?  
Please note that we are not accepting out of state students beginning with the fall 2015 application cycle. A number of classes may be taken in an online format, but students are expected to come to campus to atttend selected courses, student conferences, and some clinical evaluations.   
Can I work while I complete this program? 
If you attend the program part-time (an average of two courses a 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 need to plan time for school and study, but it is usually doable. When you start your clinical practicum you need to plan on one to two days a week for clinical. Residency is two to three days a week. If you attend the program full-time, it is not advised that you work while you go to school.  
Is there an on-campus option?  
Though a number of classes may be taken in an online format, students are expected to come to campus to attend selected courses, student conferences, and some clinical evaluations. Students complete their clinical hours in the Chicagoland area and surrounding counties.  
Is the program offered online? 
Though several courses may be taken in an online format, the program is currently offered only in an on-campus format.  A variety of student clinical experiences are available throughout the Chicago metro region.
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 adult-gerontology programs are primary care programs and use 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.  
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 three to 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. A grade of a B or better is required to count toward the program of study if accepted into the program. Please contact the Office of 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.  
Application to Transfer Between Programs Policy
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.  
International Students
I am an international student - how can I get information about testing, transcripts and licensure? 
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.
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  
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.) email to
If your questions relate to the adult-gerontology DNP programs email Jennifer Thorndyke at

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