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 Dr. Joan Rich, Vice-President of Nursing at the College, helps us get a better idea of 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 role in 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. The Rasmussen College MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)1
Accreditation for your MSN is just as important as it was for your BSN. 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,” Dr. Rich says.
2. 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 competency-based 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.
Even better? With the competency-based education format, students will have an even greater level of control over their schedules. In this format you’ll have everything you need to complete your coursework from day one, and your only due date is the end of the course term. That means you have the opportunity to “work ahead” if you’re anticipating a hectic week or catch up after the fact if something unplanned springs up.
It should be noted that these online courses are in addition to two practicum experiences where you’ll have an opportunity to apply your new nursing knowledge to work in your own community. These practicum experiences are found in all CCNE-accredited MSN programs.
3. The MSN program can be completed in as a few as 18 months2
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.2
If you’re ready to buckle down and invest the time and energy into advancing your nursing 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.
4. You can choose from three distinct specialization paths
The Rasmussen College MSN program offers three distinct specializations:
- Nursing Leadership and Administration
- Nursing Education
- Healthcare Technology, Simulation and Informatics
The Nursing Leadership and Administration specialization is a perfect fit for ambitious RNs 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.
The Healthcare Technology, Simulation and Informatics specialization puts a focus on the ways technology is changing the nursing field and how you can help lead that evolution. Students pursuing this specialization will learn how to apply nursing simulation technology, best practices for telehealth and how leveraging informatics can drive positive change in practice.
5. MSN Leadership and Administration students will be equipped to navigate 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.
6. 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 2020.3
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,” Dr. Rich explains. “We want to equip our Nursing Education students with the skills, credentials and innovation needed to teach the next generation of nurses.”
7. Healthcare Technology, Simulation and Informatics students will be on the cutting edge of healthcare
Technology is reshaping “business as usual” for practically every profession—and healthcare is no exception. The rise of electronic health records, telehealth and nursing simulation tools has opened a new frontier within nursing, and facilities need the perspective of experienced nurses when designing and implementing these systems. Students in this specialization will learn more about the technology driving nursing informatics and telehealth systems and how nurses can use their specialized know-how to refine and improve them.
That’s not the only avenue where technology is causing a shift. Nursing training and development initiatives can now draw from a growing field of simulation technologies to provide educational opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be feasible. That includes harnessing tools like virtual reality and simulation labs to provide simulated training experiences. Of course, nursing training tools are only as valuable as the people who use them and the policies that are set for them—this specialization will help prepare you to effectively implement these exciting nursing technologies.
8. MSN students will develop a solid postgraduate 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.
9. 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.
In fact, 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 allows you to graduate and pursue the next step in your nursing career sooner.
10. 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.
So 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)
- Cleared background check
It’s important to note that this program is not available to residents of all states. Please speak with an admissions advisor to determine your eligibility for enrollment.
An MSN program built for you
You know you need to further your nursing 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.
1The Master of Science in Nursing degree program at Rasmussen College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education l 655 K Street NW, Suite 750 l Washington, DC 20001 l 202-887-6791
2Completion time is dependent on the number of courses completed each term.
3Institute of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, [accessed June, 2020] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24983041/
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2017. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.