Graduate Student

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

FAQs about Marquette's College of Nursing master of science for non-nursing graduates: Generalist Master’s Degree (GEM)

Down ArrowQ: How long will this program take to complete?

     A: This program is 18 months in length and requires full time study.  At the end of 15 months, you will take the NCLEX exam and become licensed as a registered nurse in Wisconsin. You will then complete the last semester of the 18-month program and graduate with a master’s degree in nursing.  Should you wish to complete a specialty option, you will be eligible to apply for one during the last semester of the GEM program.  It is expected that once students are licensed as registered nurses in Wisconsin they will seek employment as a beginning staff nurse. If you are accepted to a specialty option, know that practice as a registered nurse is required before students can enroll in the specialty clinical practicum courses. The length of time required to complete a specialty option is dependent on the option selected, and whether or not you enroll as a full or part time student. 


Down ArrowQ: How much does this program cost? Are costs different for out-of-state students?
     A: There is a flat program fee, a portion of which is due at the beginning of each summer and semester. The program fee for the prior year's cohort may be found on the Graduate School website but is adjusted each year. If you apply and are accepted to a specialty option, you will be charged the per-credit graduate tuition rate in effect at the time you take a master's class. There is no cost difference for out-of-state residents.

Down ArrowQ: What are my choices for entering at different times of year?
     A: This program admits once a year only and begins the day after Memorial Day.

Down ArrowQ: After the 18 month of the GEM, will I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (B.S.N.)?
     A: No. The academic degree offered in this program is the M.S.N. At the end of the 18-months, if you have maintained a 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale), we certify to the state of Wisconsin that you are academically eligible to write the NCLEX exam. Passing the NCLEX allows you to put the credentials R.N. after your name. You may then begin practice as a registered nurse in the state of Wisconsin.  Once you complete the MSN degree, you may choose to stay in Wisconsin or move to another state.  If you move to another state, you will need to transfer your RN license to that state. 

Down ArrowQ: You said I would be licensed as an R.N. in the state of Wisconsin. Can’t I practice in another State?
     A: Your eligibility to take the NCLEX exam and get licensed through this program was based on an arrangement between the Wisconsin State Board of Nursing and Marquette only. This can't legally extend to other states, as nursing licensure is controlled by each state, not by a national body. We can't guarantee that any other state will recognize your R.N. license until you earn an academic degree in nursing; that is the M.S.N. At that point, you should have no trouble going anywhere else in the country. If you are offered admission to this program and you enroll, you will be asked to sign a document stating that you understand the risks of leaving before completion of the program and that an R.N. license might not be obtainable in another state until you earn an academic degree in nursing.

Down ArrowQ: I see that there is an application deadline in December. If I apply earlier, do I have a better chance of getting accepted?
     A: No. We do not begin the review of applications until the deadline is past; then we review all qualified applicants at the same time. We do suggest that you apply in ample time before the deadline to allow time for missing documents to be requested. Only complete applications are reviewed for acceptance.

Down ArrowQ: Do you require a personal interview as part of the admission process?
     A: No. However, if you wish, a visit to campus can be arranged.

Down ArrowQ: I will have to take the GRE since I do not have a 3.2 GPA. What score are you looking for?

     A: Ideally, we would like to see a combined score of at least 1,000 plus at least a 4.0 on the analytical writing component for the old GRE.  The revised GRE scores are reported on a 130-170 score scale in 1-point increments for both the verbal and quantitative reasoning.  The analytical writing scores are reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments.  For the revised GRE, We would like to see scores above 150, plus at least a 4.0 on the writing component.  


Down ArrowQ: The school where I earned my undergraduate degree does not give grades; instead I was evaluated on competencies. How will I be evaluated against other candidates who had a more traditional grading system?

     A: You will have to provide additional supporting documentation:

  • Attempt to get a document from your school that explains equivalencies.
  • If the school does not provide equivalencies, the written documentation evaluating your competencies in each course must be sent to us.
  • Take the GRE.

Down ArrowQ: I have downloaded recommendation forms from the Graduate School website. Are the forms sufficient references or should I also ask my references to write letters?
     A: The forms are the minimum requirement. You may find it to your advantage to have letters; letters generally provide more detail for a more thorough picture of you and your abilities and accomplishments.

Down ArrowQ: Can I apply online?
     A: All applications to nursing graduate programs at Marquette must be completed and submitted online through NursingCAS .

Down ArrowQ: How many spaces are there in this program? How many applicants do you have?
     A. At the present time, we admit a cohort of 56 students once each year. The applicant pool varies each year but lately has ranged from 100 to 200.

Down ArrowQ: Can I work while I am in this program?
     A. We suggest that, if at all possible, you not work while you are in the pre-licensure phase of the program. If you must work, please limit it to no more than eight-10 hours a week. The program requires your physical presence during classes, labs and clinicals and time needed for study and class/clinical preparation and assignments.

Down ArrowQ: How much clinical experience will I have in this program? Where are the clinical agencies? How many students are in a clinical group?
     A. You will complete semester-long integrated clinical experiences in medical surgical, childbearing family, mental health, pediatrics and community health nursing, as well as clinical time in the Center for Clinical Simulation. The clinical agencies are located in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and in adjacent counties. Each clinical group comprises eight students with a clinical instructor.

Down ArrowQ: Are there prerequisite courses for this program?
     A: Yes. You must have at least five semester credits of human anatomy and physiology to include all body systems. You will need five to six credits of sciences from the areas of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology or biology (biochemistry and microbiology preferred), and a three credit nutrition course. In addition, you need to present three credits of a behavioral science, such as psychology or sociology. Finally, you will need at least three credits in statistics, which must have an inferential component. You will need to have a minimum grade of a C in each course for it to be considered.

Down ArrowQ: I have already taken some of these prerequisite courses, but it was quite awhile ago. Is there a time limit on these courses? Also, how will I know if you will accept the courses I took, such as statistics?

     A. Statistics must be completed within the past five years. It is preferred that anatomy and physiology be completed within the past five years. If your prerequisites are older, you may wish to refresh your learning in these areas. You may contact the coordinator of direct-entry programs with your questions about the suitability of a course.


Down ArrowQ: I will still be taking prerequisite courses in the fall semester. The courses will be completed before the application deadline, but grades will not appear on transcripts and arrive at Marquette University by the deadline. Will I still be considered for the program?
     A. Yes. You can take prerequisite courses in the fall. Please have your instructor email Karen.Nest@marquette.edu with the final grade as soon as the instructor knows it. You will need to send an email to your instructor so there is a record of your request for the grade to be forwarded to another person.  This step is necessary because the official transcripts for the fall semester will not be received in the College of Nursing by the application deadline. 

Down ArrowQ: I will still be taking prerequisite courses in the spring semester. The courses will not be completed until after the application deadline. Will I still be considered for the program?     
     A. Yes. You can continue taking courses in the spring, either to complete your undergraduate degree or to finish your prerequisites. We will evaluate your application and your plan for completing the courses; if we decide we would like you to join the program, we will offer you admission contingent upon successful completion of those courses. To facilitate the review process, it is recommended that the majority of your prerequisites be completed by the application deadline. In all cases, all courses leading to your degree or the completion of your prerequisite requirements must be successfully completed by the time the program starts at the end of May.

Down ArrowQ: Do I need to take the GRE?
     A. This program requires a GPA minimum of 3.0. However, if you have a GPA of 3.2 or higher from your bachelor’s or higher degree, you do not have to take the GRE. Some choose to do so anyway; that is completely up to you.

Down ArrowQ: I have been out of school and working for quite awhile. Do you take older students?
     A. Age is never a criterion for admission.

Down ArrowQ: I am concerned that my GPA does not reflect my true abilities. I did very well in my undergraduate program except for one semester, which pulled down my GPA. Would you take this into consideration?
     A. If you feel that a unique, short-term situation may be a problem for your candidacy, please bring this to our attention, explaining the situation and asking us to take note of a special circumstance. For example, an applicant could ask us to look at each semester’s GPA, where we would see outstanding performance except for one semester, when a special problem occurred.

Down ArrowQ: Do you consider the GPA I earned while taking my missing prerequisite courses?
     A. We do not average this GPA with the GPA from your degree. However, high grades in your prerequisites are certainly noticed.

Down ArrowQ: What are some things I can do to make my application more attractive?
     A. Some of the parts of your application, such as your transcripts, can't be changed. However, great care taken with your résumé, reference letters and your statement of professional goals can definitely enhance your candidacy. These are the pieces of your application that can give us a good picture of you as a person in addition to factual information. In addition, any experience you have in health care, whether through volunteerism, paid employment or shadowing, should be noted in your application. And, of course, meet all the requirements and deadlines. We do not review any application that is not complete by the deadline, with the exception of prerequisite courses still in process.

Down ArrowQ: Can you tell me what you are looking for in the statement of professional goals? Also, does that take the place of the essay required in the application form?
     A. In the statement of professional goals we are looking to see how you came to the decision to move from one career to nursing. We want to know why you are looking at not only nursing, but an advanced level of practice in nursing, and what you know about it. We want to get a picture of you! There is no right or wrong way to approach this, but it is an important part of your application. We suggest you give serious thought to the construction of this document. It can take the place of the essay in the application form. Please limit your statement to no more than two double-spaced pages.

Down ArrowQ: I am interested in your program, but I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply to this program?
     A. You are welcome to apply, though some special additional requirements may apply to you. For example, you may need to take the TOEFL exam for English proficiency, and you may need to have a credentials evaluation of your transcripts done; special legal and financial requirements may also apply. Please contact the Graduate School for guidance with this process.
 
Down Arrow Q: Is financial aid available for this program?
     A. Please contact Marquette Central at (414) 288-4000 with any financial aid questions. Larry Vanden Busch, business manager in the College of Nursing, can also be contacted. 

Down ArrowQ: How can I get the application materials and list of requirements?
     A. Contact the College of Nursing at (414) 288-3810 or e-mail Karen Nest.
     
Down ArrowQ: Is there a time limit to complete the program?
     A. Graduate students are required by the university to complete all program requirements within six years.

Down ArrowQ: Must I be CPR certified before starting the program?
     A. CPR certification classes will be offered at the College of Nursing within the first month of the program. You are free to seek certification elsewhere, but please note that we only accept the following certification: American Heart Association, BLS for Healthcare Providers.



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