10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Rasmussen College Master of Science in Nursing Program
Thinking back on the sense of excitement (and relief) you likely felt during your last graduation ceremony, it may seem hard to believe you’re thinking of making a comeback. You’ve spent some time serving in your scrubs for a while now, acquiring invaluable experience and improving countless patients’ lives.
You’re ready to amplify your impact and take the next step in your nursing career by earning your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. You know what you want, and you know advancing your education will help you get there. This is why you’re conducting thoughtful research to identify the program that best meets your needs.
If the Rasmussen College MSN program is on your consideration list, you came to the right place. Keep reading as Joan Rich, Vice-President of Nursing at the College, helps us take a closer look at what this program can offer you.
10 Notable facts about the Rasmussen College Master of Science in Nursing program
Before entrusting a school with such an important slice of your future, it’s imperative that you learn everything you can about the program and its offerings. To help you in your research, we compiled the most important information about our program all in one place.
1. All non-clinical MSN courses are offered fully online
Rasmussen College understands that you’re a busy nursing professional with plenty on your plate on any given day. That’s why our MSN didactic classes are offered to you fully online, so you can fit your classwork into your own schedule.
Online courses offer flexibility for completing your coursework, since we all know nursing schedules don’t always fit into the typical 9-to-5 routine. This added flexibility doesn’t mean the program will be a breeze—you will be pushed to grow with a curriculum that is both enriching and challenging. However, you should feel confident that you’ll be able to carve out time for school each week without having to worry about driving to campus or dealing with scheduling conflicts.
It should be noted that this is doesn’t include two clinical experiences you’ll complete outside the virtual classroom—some elements of nursing education just need hands-on practical work.
2. The MSN program can be completed in as a few as 18 months1
Earning a Master’s degree doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process. Rasmussen College offers courses year-round, which allows you to earn your MSN in as few as 18 months!1
If you’re ready to buckle down and invest the time and energy into advancing your education and potentially elevating your career, why wait? With hard work and dedication, you could be adding that coveted credential behind your name in just a year-and-a-half.
3. MSN students take one course at a time
When you hear “18-month program,” you’re probably assuming you’ll be required to take several courses simultaneously—but that’s not the case. To help working nurses earn their MSN in a practical way, the Rasmussen College MSN program was designed to allow students to take one course at a time. You can focus on a single course for five-and-a-half weeks before advancing to the next.
“We know our students are busy with full-time nursing jobs,” Rich says. “We’re trying to streamline the program by giving students a format where they can immerse themselves in one subject at a time.”
This format will give you an admittedly intense, but singularly-focused learning experience as you tackle each course. The single-course format allows you to fully devote yourself to the subject at hand to ensure you glean every ounce of information from the curriculum before transitioning to the next course.
4. The MSN curriculum is designed and administered by seasoned nursing professionals
Every faculty member in the Rasmussen College MSN program holds a doctoral credential, meaning you’ll be learning from seasoned professionals who have climbed the ranks of the healthcare industry. The practical knowledge and mentoring you’ll receive from these instructors will help you develop the skills needed to influence the future of nursing.
The program itself was developed by nurses who know what it’s like to earn an advanced degree while working and juggling family and personal demands. This is why our team designed an innovative and progressive curriculum that lets you graduate and pursue the next step in your nursing career sooner.
5. The Rasmussen College MSN program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education
Accreditation for your MSN is just as important as it was for your BSN. States often require that registered nurses complete an accredited program to become licensed. This third party validation can give you peace of mind that the program you’re working through is a quality one and can prepare you for your future.
“Earning accreditation through the CCNE is a rigorous process that supports and encourages continuing self-assessment and growth of the program,” says Rich.
6. There is a streamlined admissions process into the MSN program
Unlike some graduate programs, Rasmussen College does not require MSN candidates to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). This means you can skip the studying and stress that comes with these advanced exams and focus on the material that really matters.
What is required for admission? The following are key elements required for entry into the Rasmussen College MSN program:
- A current unencumbered RN license that is valid in the U.S.
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited college or university
- A 3.0 GPA or higher from a BSN program
- Completion of a 3000-level or higher statistics course within the past five years (this may be taken with the first course)
- Two letters of reference: One professional and one personal
- Successful background check
7. You can chose from two distinct specialization paths
The Nursing Leadership and Administration specialization is a perfect fit for ambitious nurses who are hungry to take on more responsibility and help drive change in their organization and profession. The curriculum in this program emphasizes the business side of nursing, helping you acquire skills in leadership, management, administration and interdisciplinary collaboration.
The Nursing Education specialization will prepare you to become one of the qualified nursing educators the industry desperately needs. With courses focusing on leadership within the educational setting, transformational learning, curriculum design and teaching strategies, you’ll be well-equipped to help develop and empower the next generation of nursing professionals.
8. MSN Leadership and Administration students will be equipped to navigate the complex business decisions
You know it firsthand—there’s a lot to learn in nursing school that solely revolves around caring for patients. Developing staffing ratio plans, budgeting and performance management aren’t on the radar for most nurses. Despite the lack of focus on these duties, they are critical for nurses in management positions.
Students in this specialization will be trained to tackle the “big picture” decisions facing nursing administrators. You’ll learn to interpret health informatics data and apply ethical frameworks to decisions that have a tangible effect on patient outcomes. You will gain the tools necessary to lead front-line nurses and make a greater impact on today’s dynamic healthcare landscape.
9. MSN Nursing Education students will play a vital role in the future of healthcare.
Nursing education has been undergoing a monumental shift since the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 recommendation for 80 percent of the nursing workforce to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by 2020.2
While it is still only a recommendation, hospitals and healthcare providers are making strides toward achieving this goal. But there’s one substantial problem—there are too few nurse educators to keep up with demand. This lack of qualified instructors is one of the major factors slowing the push for more BSN nurses.
“While it depends on the state’s Board of Nursing rules and the nursing programs a school offers, you generally don’t see colleges hiring nursing faculty without a Master’s degree,” Rich explains. “We want to equip our Nursing Education students with the skills, credentials and innovation to teach the next generation of nurses.”
With the dire need for nurse educators, earning this specialization will help you enjoy a rewarding, high-demand position in the job market while impacting the healthcare of future generations
10. MSN students will develop a solid post graduate nursing foundation
No matter which specialization track you choose to pursue, Rasmussen College MSN students will cover the “Three P’s” of nursing in their coursework: Advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology and advanced physical assessment.
These courses are focused on elevating your skill set related to direct patient care and make up the foundation for many postgraduate nursing degrees, such as nurse practitioners.
A program built for you
You know you need to further your education in order to achieve your aspirations. But you also know you can’t afford to put your career or life on hold to do that. With the Rasmussen College MSN program, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
If you’re ready to put in the work toward earning an advanced nursing degree, you need a program that’s willing to work for you. To learn more about how we can help you take the next step, check out our Master of Science in Nursing page.
1Completion time is dependent on number of transfer credits accepted and courses completed each term.
2Institute of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health [accessed December, 2019] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24983041
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2017. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.