Master's Entry in Nursing (MSN) for Non-Nurses Program Details

In today’s complex health care environments, from acute to chronic to community settings, nurses are taking on more responsibility for the delivery of quality patient care.  The Master’s Entry in Nursing (MSN) for Non-Nurses: Clinical Nurse Leader program includes the comprehensive clinical leadership content — evidence-based practice, quality improvement, clinical outcomes management, care coordination, team building and delegation, inter-professional communication, informatics and fiscal accountability — that will allow you to deliver quality patient care and improved outcomes.

This is a full-time program, 24 months in length. Our fast-paced curriculum combines didactic and clinical coursework throughout the program. Classes and clinicals are generally held Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

By the time you graduate you will have completed 1,140 clinical hours, affording rich clinical experiences with adults, children and older adults in a variety of health care settings.

We will arrange all of your clinicals. Clinical practice sites include Rush University Medical Center and other health care facilities in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Sample Plan of Study 

Licensure and Certification

Once you complete the program, you will be prepared to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse with an MSN, RN degree. After passing the NCLEX your generalist degree in nursing will enable you to work as a licensed registered nurse in hospitals, clinics, and community settings.

The advantage of an MSN, RN degree is the greater flexibility it provides as well as the educational background to advance your professional career more rapidly. Also, if you decide to continue your education you will spend less time and money completing your advanced degree because you will have already taken the graduate core courses required to earn your master’s degree.

All GEM students are also prepared to sit for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification examination before or after they graduate. When a GEM graduate passes this exam (and NCLEX) a graduate can use the title MSN, CNL, RN. Certification is beneficial to new graduates who are applying to Magnet-accredited hospitals and for their ongoing career development.

When deciding on a nursing program our institution’s NCLEX pass rate is a direct reflection of both the quality of education we provide and the caliber of student who attends Rush. Since 2013 Rush University College of Nursing NCLEX pass rate has greatly exceeded the national, state, and local averages. Compared to other highly ranked nursing programs Rush provides an exceptional education at an excellent value.

Career Options

Your preparation as a clinical nurse leader provides a solid foundation upon which to build a future nursing career, regardless of your ultimate career goals.

Our graduates work as registered nurses in various hospital and clinic settings, such as:

  • Emergency department
  • Intensive care unit
  • Labor and delivery
  • Medical surgical unit
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Operating room
  • Orthopedics
  • Palliative care unit
  • Pediatric intensive care unit

Graduates also work in community settings, including the Chicago Lighthouse and Chicago Department of Public Health.

Where Alumni Work

In and Around Chicago

  • Advocate Christ Medical Center
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • Mercy Hospital and Medical Center
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Rush Oak Park Hospital
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children Chicago
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital Chicago
  • University of Chicago Medicine
  • University of Chicago Physicians Group

Nationally and Globally

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • UCLA Medical Center

Common Applicant Questions for all Nursing Programs

  • Request Info
  • Register for an Info Session
  • Apply Now
  • Upcoming Application Deadlines
    Spring 2024
    Application: Open
    Preferred Deadline: August 18, 2023 
    Final Deadline: November 1, 2023
    Term Starts: January 2, 2024

    Fall 2024
    Application: Open
    Deadline: January 8, 2024
    Term Starts: September 3, 2024
Admissions Contact
Meghan O’Malley, MS
Academic Advancement Director

NCLEX Pass Rate
of Rush Grads

(Illinois Average 77%)
(National Average 80%)

Clinical Nurse Leader, MSN

in the nation by U.S. News & World Report