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Clinical Nurse Leader - FAQ
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Admissions Information  
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.   
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 is submitted through a centralized application system called N-CAS. All application materials (e.g., essay, CV, recommendations, etc.) are submitted through N-CAS. Once your application is complete and submitted to Rush, it is evaluated as soon as possible. Qualified applicants are invited to 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?  
Upon completion of the interview, your application is reviewed by program faculty and an admissions recommendation is made. 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
Program/Contact Information
What is the main goal of this program?
The clinical nurse leader is responsible for clinical management of comprehensive client care, for individuals and clinical populations across the continuum of care, and in multiple settings. He/she assumes leadership/accountability for health outcomes for a specific group of clients within a unit or setting through the assimilation and application of research-based information to design, implement and evaluate plans of care. The clinical nurse leader is also responsible for the coordination and planning of care team activities and functions. Health promotion, risk reduction and improvement in point-of-care outcomes are critical elements in the role of the clinical nurse leader.
What type of experience is needed?
Experience is not required for the CNL program.  
Is there an on-line option and will I have to come to campus for classes?  
The majority of the CNL program is offered on-line, but you will be required to come to campus for NSG 625L: Health Assessment Across the Lifespan Lab: Specialty. This is a live, on-campus compressed (3-4 day) format course.  Please contact course faculty for exact dates.  Students also come to campus for orientation prior to the beginning of their first term and at the end of their last term to present their capstone project. 
How long does the program take to complete?  
The program is two years in length and offered only as a part-time program of study.
Can I take one class at a time?  
We do not allow students to not take one class at a time.
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.  
There is only one additional course in which you will need to enroll.  It is the one credit hour, Socialization into Nursing Seminar, which is offered every fall term.  As it is best to complete this course as early in the program as possible, you may consider taking the course as a student-at-large prior to acceptance/enrollment.
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?  
Since the program is part-time (an average of two courses per term) most students continue to work full-time.    
Where do I do my clinical hours?
You complete your clinical hours in the geographic region of your choice. You will work closely with your Rush University College of Nursing advisor to identify and contact appropriate clinical sites in your 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.
Campus Visits
How can I arrange a campus visit?  
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 click this link.     
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. 
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. 
Can international students apply to the Rush University College of Nursing?
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.
Who can answer further questions?  
If your questions are about the admissions process (file management, transcripts, letters of recommendation, committee review, etc) please call the College of Nursing Admissions Office at:
Jennifer Thorndyke at
If your questions relate to the Clinical Nurse Leader Program email Jennifer Thorndyke at 

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