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Advanced Public Health Nursing/Enhancing Population Health Outcomes FAQ
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Admissions Information  
When is the next application deadline?  
The advanced public health nursing (BSN-DNP) and the enhancing population health outcomes (MSN-DNP) programs admit twice per year in the fall and spring. Visit the program homepage to check the next application deadline.
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 as soon as possible 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 took 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  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 and they must be qualified to evaluate your ability to be successful in graduate school and in practice. Coworkers, colleagues, subordinates or friends are not acceptable recommenders. 
What happens during the admissions process?  
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. Qualified applicants are invited to interview with a faculty member. We will use the email address you provide for all contact regarding your application status. 
What happens 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. We will use the email address you provide to correspond about admissions decisions.     
What are tuition costs and is financial aid available?  
Please visit Financial aid office website or call (312) 942-6256 for the most up-to-date information.   
Program/Contact Information
What is the main goal of this program?
The focus of the Enhancing Populations Health Outcomes program at Rush is population-focused, with interventions directed to the population as a whole. Students who enroll in the APHN or enhancing population health outcomes concentration develop skills in assessing, planning and evaluating nursing interventions for individuals, families and aggregates/populations. There is strong emphasis on health promotion, primary prevention and program management and evaluation for vulnerable populations.
The changing demands of the nation's complex health care environment require that nurses serving in specialty positions have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise possible. The BSN/MSN-DNP curriculum builds on traditional clinical master's programs by providing additional education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, systems leadership and other content areas that will lead to improved population outcomes in complex systems.
The APRN to DNP option is designed for Primary Care APRNs looking to develop knowledge and skills in enhancing population health outcomes.  

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 three mandatory trips to campus over the course of the program. You will have an orientation visit in your first term and two visits in your last year. The length of time you will need to be on campus varies from two to three days.
The MSN to DNP option for Primary Care APRNs can be completed in approximately 2 years part-time (depending on start term).  The MSN to DNP option for non-APRNs can be completed in 3 years part-time.  The BSN to DNP options can be completed in 3 and 1/3 years part-time.
Can I take one class at a time?   
No, we do not allow students to take only one class at a time. Students are expected to commit to two courses per term. 
Can I start taking classes before I am accepted or matriculated?  
Yes, you may 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 Jennifer Thorndyke at  
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 credit.
Can I work while I am in the program?  
Most students do work and find part-time work manageable with our part-time program of study. Many students find it difficult to work full-time especially once they start their clinical experience. 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.
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. Please click this link to register for one of our monthly information sessions. In addition, we have regular online information sessions, from noon to 1 p.m. Central Time on Wednesdays. Please click this link to register for an on-line information session.
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 public transportation. 
International Students
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 any other questions please contact the College's Admissions Office via Jennifer Thorndyke, MPH, at
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 you have additional questions or want to make an appointment to discuss the program, please contact Susan Swider, PhD, APHN-BC, at
Information regarding the admission’s process can be obtained from Jennifer Thorndyke, MPH, at

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