Direct Entry for Non-nursing Graduates

Make a career change toward your life's calling

The direct entry master of science in nursing program for non-nursing graduates is designed for individuals who hold baccalaureate degrees outside of nursing. Students will develop a specialized nursing curriculum preparing them to take the NCLEX examination and earn a master's degree in nursing.

Program Highlights

  • Our accelerated Direct Entry M.S.N. curriculum leverages a student’s non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
  • Skills and simulation labs at our program sites in Milwaukee or Pleasant Prairie afford hands-on learning.
  • Students complete in-hospital clinicals at top health care facilities.
  • Our post-master's advanced nursing certificate programs allow graduates to learn highly specialized skills. 

Choose your learning location

Program Delivery

Milwaukee on Marquette Campus 

Pleasant Prairie Location


Course delivery: on-campus, online and hybrid

Skills, labs and exams

Non-nursing bachelor's required

Full-time, five terms of study

Clinical placements


Courses start


on-campus, some hybrid courses

on-site: Milwaukee campus



Milwaukee metro area

56 students

summer (May)


all course work is completed online

on-site: Pleasant Prairie



Kenosha and Northern IL

96 students

fall (August) and spring (January)


Course work designed to accommodate adult learners

Students can expect the same curriculum and outcomes at both locations. Students at both sites are invited and encouraged to attend professional and career development workshops and continuing education presentations. The biggest differences are program start semesters, location of clinicals, and online vs. mostly in-person courses.

Direct Entry MSN Program – 75 Credits

Semester One

Health Assessment and Fundamentals I

Health Assessment and Fundamentals II

Essentials of Nursing

Pharmacotherapeutics for Nursing Practice

Pathophysiological Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice


Semester Two

Nursing Concepts and Intervention, Adults/Older Adults I Theory

Family-centered Nursing Care of Children Theory

Concepts and Interventions for the Promotion of Mental Health Theory

Ethics Policy and Health Care Advocacy

Nursing Care for Patients with Chronic Conditions Clinical


Semester Three

Community and Population Health Nursing

Maternity Nursing and Women’s Health Theory

Research and Evidence as a Foundation for Nursing

Nursing Concepts and Intervention, Adults/Older Adults II Theory

Nursing Care for Patients with Acute Conditions Clinical


Semester Four

Theoretical Foundations of Nursing

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in Health Care

Organizational and  Systems Leadership

Health Promotion Across the Lifespan

Professional Nursing Practice Clinical  


Semester Five

Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice

Advanced Health Care Assessment Across the Lifespan

Informatics, Technology and Professional Issues

Transition to Nursing Practice and Leadership Clinical


Take the next step towards your future

  • Contact Us
  • Application Requirements
  • Qualifications
  • Financial Aid

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Application Deadline

The online application for 2021 terms will open in early May, 2020.

Nov. 15 - For spring admission (Pleasant Prairie only)
Dec. 15 - For summer admission (Milwaukee campus only)
May 15 - For fall admission (Pleasant Prairie only)

Application Requirements

Apply and submit all application requirements


  • Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges/universities.
  • Three completed recommendation letters prepared by previous or present employers and teachers familiar with graduate education in nursing. 
  • A resume and written statement of professional goals, including reasons for pursuing graduate study.
  • GRE scores (general test only). Waived for applicants who have a bachelor’s degree (or master’s degree if already earned) with a GPA of 3.200 or above. Use DI Code 1448 for submitting GRE scores
  • International applicants only: TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • Students admitted to the Milwaukee and Pleasant Prairie locations are required to pay a non-refundable $500 deposit, which is applied toward tuition.
  • Baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than nursing with a degree conferral GPA of 3.000 or above, using a 4.000 system.
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses with grade of C or above.
  • Human anatomy and physiology: 5-6 credits (preferably within the last 5 years).
  • Microbiology with a lab: 3 credits (preferably within the last 5 years).
  • Chemistry or biochemistry or biology: 3 credits (preferably within the last 5 years).
  • Clinical nutrition: 3 credits.
  • Behavioral sciences, e.g., psychology, sociology: 3 credits.
  • Statistics (including inferential): 3 credits to be completed within the last 5 years of program start date. For students who have had an inferential statistics course, but it has been longer than five years, the ability to demonstrate proficiency by examination may be available through an approved testing source. A list of approved examination providers is available from the College of Nursing.

Tuition information for the Master of Science in Nursing — Second Degree Direct Entry for Non-Nurses program can be found in the Graduate Bulletin, as it differs from other graduate programs.


Direct Entry MSN Site Director

Ethan Kelly- email Ethan 



How the direct entry MSN program works