Jun 24, 2019  
2017-2018 University Catalog 
2017-2018 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Nursing

 Welcome to the College of Nursing

On behalf of the faculty of Rush University College of Nursing, I extend to you our warmest welcome. We are both pleased and honored that you have chosen to further your education at Rush and are committed to having the degree that best prepares you for a rich and fascinating career in nursing and health care. Rush is renowned for its integration of education and practice and you will have the opportunity to work with extraordinary scholars and clinicians throughout your journey in the College of Nursing. Please know that you can feel comfortable calling on me and any other member of the faculty to meet your personal learning needs.

Your success is our success and every member of our faculty and staff will do what it takes to ensure, not only your timely completion of the program, but a quality degree that will groom you for health care leadership.

Again, our warmest welcome to Rush University College of Nursing and the Rush University Medical Center.

Marquis D. Foreman, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean of the College of Nursing

College of Nursing Description

Rush University College of Nursing is a private non-profit graduate college of nursing. It is currently comprised of three degree programs - Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD) - and a post-graduate certificate program. The College of Nursing faculty thoroughly prepare students to advance the quality of patient care and nursing practice in a multitude of health care environments and to be leaders focused on improving health outcomes, whether at the bedside, in a research setting, or directing an organization.

The education and preparation of students to meet the health needs of a culturally diverse society is facilitated at Rush by the integration of academic, research, and clinical practice components. Rush students have the advantage of attending a private university that is a vital part of a nationally recognized academic medical center. This unique integration stimulates excellence in education, practice, scholarly activities, and professional leadership by the faculty and the graduates of the College of Nursing.

The Master’s degree in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at Rush University College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).

College of Nursing Mission

The mission of Rush University College of Nursing is to educate a broadly diverse student body who will deliver exceptional health care, generate innovative knowledge, and provide transformative leadership to improve health outcomes for all populations.

College of Nursing Vision

The vision of the College is to lead healthcare transformation through innovative nursing education, practice, research, and scholarly inquiry.


The College of Nursing philosophy expresses the beliefs of the faculty regarding the meta-paradigm of nursing and nursing education.


The faculty believes that a person is a unique being who possesses innate dignity and worth with the right to self determination. Persons live as individuals and as members of families, communities, and national and global societies.


The environment includes the multiple systems in which persons interact. This environment includes personal, physical, family, community, societal, economic, cultural, and political systems. Persons influence and are influenced by their environments.


Health is a dynamic state of well-being that interacts with personal factors and the environment. It is perceived in the context of a multi-system environment.


Nursing is both a discipline and a profession. The focus of the discipline is the generation of knowledge related to persons and their environments for the purpose of maximizing the well-being of individuals, families, communities, and society through health promotion, restoration, and maintenance. The focus of the profession is the care of individuals, groups, and communities through application of discipline-specific and discipline-related knowledge. Nurses contribute both individually and collaboratively with other professionals to promote positive health outcomes. Nurses apply a professional code of ethics and professional guidelines to clinical practice and demonstrate compassion, advocacy, and cultural sensitivity.

Nursing Education

The education of nurses is a process by which the knowledge, skills, values, and culture of nursing are transmitted to the learner. The faculty believes that professional nursing education is accomplished in a university setting and in an environment where nursing education, practice, and research are integrated. Nursing education is built upon knowledge from the sciences, arts, and humanities so students understand and value the human experience and its relationship to health. Nursing faculty members foster student growth by providing learning experiences in a variety of health care settings so students can understand the complexity of health care and learn the nursing role. The education of nurses is an interactive process whereby students are actively engaged learners who take responsibility for their education and practice. The curricula of the College of Nursing are designed to produce nurses who are: 1) competent, caring practitioners; life-long learners that value scholarship; collaborative members of interprofessional teams and leaders in the profession; and 2) clinical scholars who contribute to the scientific basis of nursing practice, improve clinical outcomes through evidence based practice, and positively influence the profession and the health care system


The College of Nursing offers graduate nursing education that allows the student to exit with one of the following degrees:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD)

Post-graduate certificate programs also exist in a few advanced practice specialties.

A set of core courses (or its equivalent) is required for every student. Advanced clinical specialty courses are required as determined by an area of advanced practice concentration. Cognate courses representing coursework from the biological, behavioral, and organizational sciences may also be required by each degree.

Admission Entry Points

Several entry points are available depending on the educational goals and academic background of the applicant.

  1. Students with a baccalaureate degree in another field may apply for the Master’s Entry in Nursing (MSN) for Non-Nurses: Generalist Entry Master’s (GEM) program.
  2. RNs with a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing may apply directly for the Clinical Nurse Leader MSN degree.
  3. RNs with a baccalaureate degree with an upper division major in nursing may apply directly for the Clinical Nurse Leader MSN, advanced practice DNP, or PhD degree options.
  4. RNs with a master’s degree in nursing may apply for DNP or PhD degree options.
  5. RNs who already have an advanced practice graduate degree in nursing (MSN or DNP) who wish to specialize in a different clinical area may apply for a non-degree post-graduate certificate in selected specialty areas.
  6. Non-nurses who hold a graduate degree in a health-related field will be considered for admission to the PhD program.

Master’s Entry in Nursing (MSN) for Non-Nurses: Generalist Entry Master’s (GEM)

The GEM program is a full-time, on campus, 24 month program.  Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree in another field prior to matriculation.  All prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to the application deadline. Students graduate with a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) and the ability to sit for certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader.

Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN) for RNs

The Clinical Nurse Leader program for RNs is a part-time, online, two year program.  The program is available to both bachelor’s prepared RNs and RNs with an associate’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in another field who wish to obtain a Master’s degree in nursing (MSN). Graduates have the ability to sit for certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

There are currently 14 DNP tracks offered in BSN-DNP and MSN-DNP options. Some tracks are offered completely online, some in hybrid format with a portion of coursework offered only on campus (see CON website for details).  The Nurse Anesthesia track is only offered on campus.  Depending upon the area of specialization, most BSN-DNP options range between 62 and 69 credit hours.  MSN-DNP options require a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework. 

All clinical specialty areas provide the requisite didactic and clinical coursework in order to sit for certification. Course requirements vary in each program track.

Some areas of focus have RN practice requirements that must be met prior to enrollment in the program. These program specific requirements are delineated below under Program Specific Requirements.

Students are considered for admission to the DNP program in one of the following areas of focus:

Doctor of Nursing Practice in a Clinical Specialty

BSN or MSN-prepared students select a specific clinical specialty track upon application to the DNP program. Students may choose an area of specialization in one of the following roles and populations:

  • Nurse Practitioner:
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (AGACNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care (AGPCNP)
  • Family (FNP)
  • Neonatal (NNP)
  • Pediatric Primary Care (PNP)
  • Pediatric Acute Care (ACPNP)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health (PMHNP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist:
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (AGACCNS)
  • Neonatal (NCNS)
  • Pediatric (PCNS)
  • Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN)
  • Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA)

Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership

MSN-prepared students select a specific leadership track based on their desire to improve health outcomes in systems or populations.

  • Transformative Leadership: Systems
  • Transformative Leadership: Population Health

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD) program is a minimum of 64 credit hours and can be taken as a three year, full-time or four year, part-time curriculum. 

The PhD in Nursing Science is available to both bachelor’s and master’s-prepared nurses wishing to attain a PhD degree. Non-nurses who hold a graduate degree in a health-related field may also apply. We do not require specific work experience for admission to the program.

This program is online, however, it also includes periodic visits to the Rush campus. The initial visit is in the first fall term with subsequent visits for intensive learning sessions occurring every summer for the next three years.

College Admission Requirements

All applicants applying to Rush University College of Nursing do so through a centralized application system, NursingCAS. Application materials (essay, references, transcripts, GRE scores if required, etc.) must be submitted directly to NursingCAS prior to the application deadline. Applicants will be invited to submit a supplemental application directly to the College upon receipt of their NursingCAS application.

Admission/Application Guidelines

All applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution*
  • All calculated GPAs of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)**
  • A completed application submitted to NursingCAS
  • A brief Rush supplemental application
  • Official transcripts from all accredited institutions of higher education attended, regardless of whether a degree was earned
  • A current resume or CV
  • Substantive personal essay statement
  • RN licensure in the United States (for advanced practice post-licensure programs)
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty and/or work managers (for post-licensure applicants at least one letter must come from current or recent employer). Relationship of recommenders to you must be in a supervisory capacity. Recommendations from friends, relatives, or co-workers will not be accepted and will cause your application to be delayed or denied.  Please refer to the CON website admission guidelines for your specific program for more detailed recommender information.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Scores, if required
    • The GRE is required for all applicants to the Nurse Anesthesia and PhD programs and cannot be waived.
    • The GRE can be waived for other programs under the following conditions*:
  1. For the Master’s Entry in Nursing (MSN) for Non-Nurses: Generalist Entry Master’s (GEM) a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher
  2. For the MSN and DNP post-licensure programs a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, a pre-licensure nursing GPA of 3.0 or higher; a graduate GPA (of a completed degree) of 3.5 or higher.
    • Post-graduate certificate students are not required to take the GRE
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores, if required
    • TOEFL is required for applicants who are non-native speakers of English. This requirement may be waived if the applicant has completed a minimum of three years of higher education and received their baccalaureate degree in the United States
  • All foreign institution attended require course-by-course ECE, WES, or CGFNS transcript evaluation.

*Eligible applicants to the CNL program include RNs with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and associate-prepared RNs who have a bachelor’s degree in another area.

**Cumulative GPA calculated for all applicants; prerequisite science GPA for GEM applicants only; pre-licensure nursing GPA for all graduate programs except GEM.

Program Specific Requirements

Generalist Entry Master’s (GEM) applicants must have all prerequisite courses completed by the application deadline.

Advanced Practice applicants must have the following experience by the application deadline:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care - minimum of six months of recent adult critical care or adult acute care nursing experience
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care - minimum of six months recent nursing experience
  • Family - minimum of six months recent nursing experience
  • Neonatal - minimum of six months of recent in-patient neonatal nursing experience
  • Nurse Anesthesia - minimum of one year (two years preferred) of recent adult critical care nursing experience
  • Pediatric Acute Care - minimum of six months of recent in-patient pediatric nursing experience
  • Pediatric Primary Care - minimum of six months of recent pediatric nursing experience
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health - minimum of six months recent nursing experience

All application materials  are taken into consideration when evaluating an applicant.

Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree with a recognized upper-division major upon enrollment. The majority of credit toward the degree should be earned through university level coursework. Students taking courses under Rush student-at-large status will not be admitted nor allowed to matriculate as an enrolled student if their Rush GPA is below 3.0. A grade of B or better must be earned in any course taken at another institution or as a Rush student-at-large in order for it to be considered for transfer.

Deadlines for Application

Current application deadlines for nursing programs may be obtained on the College of Nursing Program and Admission webpage. All application materials must be received by the indicated deadline. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in order to avoid missing deadlines due to a lack of required documentation.

Technical Standards

Rush University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population.

Our core values - ICARE - Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence translate into our work with all students, including those with disabilities. Rush actively collaborates with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and creates a respectful accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. Rush is committed to excellence in accessibility; we encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.

If you had sufficient education would you be able to perform the following technical standards:

Acquire information:

  • Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences in nursing courses such as lecture, group, and physical demonstrations.
  • Acquire information from written documents and computer systems (e.g., literature searches & data retrieval).
  • Identify information presented in accessible images from paper, slides, videos with audio description, and transparencies.
  • Identify information presented in images from paper, slides, videos, and transparencies.
  • Recognize and assess patient changes in mood, activity, and cognition, verbal, and non-verbal communication.

Use and Interpret:

  • Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers such as those involved in assessing respiratory and cardiac function, blood pressure, blood sugar, neurological status, etc.
  • Use and interpret information related to physiologic phenomena generated from diagnostic tools (i.e., sphygmomanometer, otoscope, ophthalmoscope) during a comprehensive examination of a client or patient.


  • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide holistic nursing care and perform or assist with procedures, treatments, and medication administration.
  • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide care in emergencies and life support procedures and perform universal precautions against contamination.


  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families.
  • Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors, and all members of the healthcare team during practicum and other learning experiences.
  • Accurately elicit information including a medical history & other information to adequately and effectively evaluate a client or patient’s condition.

Intellectual ability:

  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data related to patient diagnosis and treatment of patients.
  • Exercise proper judgment and complete responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner according to the advanced generalist-nursing role.
  • Synthesize information, problem solve, and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory or assessment strategy.
  • Ask for help when needed and make proper judgments of when a nursing task can or cannot be carried out alone.


  • Maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances.
  • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need.
  • Possess emotional stability to function under stress and adapt to changing environments inherent to the classroom and practice settings.


  • Demonstrate concern for others, integrity, accountability, interest, and motivations are necessary personal qualities.
  • Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the ANA Standards of Care and Nursing Code of Ethics.

The technical standards delineated above must be met with or without accommodation. Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine that they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program, should contact the Office of Student Disability Services to confidentially discuss their accommodations needs. Given the clinical nature of our programs, time may be needed to create and implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged. To learn more about accommodations at Rush University please contact:

Marie Ferro-Lusk, MBA, MSW, LSW
Manager, Office of Student Disability Services
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St. AAC 440
Chicago, IL 60612     
(312) 942-5237

International Students

Students from other countries are welcome to apply. Limited financial aid is available. TOEFL is required for applicants who are non-native speakers of English. This requirement may be waived if the applicant has completed a minimum of three years of higher education and received their baccalaureate degree in the United States.

Student Progression in the College of Nursing

Student progress in the College of Nursing is reviewed and evaluated in several ways. The progressions policies established by the faculty are interpreted and applied by the student’s academic advisor, the Office of the Dean, and the College of Nursing Progressions Committee. The College of Nursing reserves the right to request a leave of absence or the withdrawal of any student whose conduct, physical or mental health, or performance demonstrates lack of fitness for continuance in a health profession. Should a student’s behavior come into question, policies and procedures to determine the student’s continuing status in the college are delineated in the College of Nursing Student Handbook. 

Since much of the work in nursing assumes that students will achieve a progressively higher level of understanding and skill, high academic performance is expected. The individual student is responsible for acquiring knowledge inside and outside of formal classroom and clinical settings.

Academic Progressions Policy

A student must achieve an “A” or “B” grade in all required clinical nursing courses. If a “C” grade is achieved in a single clinical seminar course or a single clinical practicum, the student must repeat the course prior to graduation. A student may repeat only one clinical seminar or clinical practicum in a program of study. A grade of “F”, “N”, or a second “C” in a required clinical seminar or clinical practicum may result in dismissal from the program. An “F” or “N” grade in any required course places the student on academic probation and may result in dismissal from the program. Permission may be given to retake a course at the discretion of the Progressions Committee. If permitted, a student has only one opportunity to achieve a passing grade. An “F” or “N” grade in the repeated courses may result in dismissal.

Students in all graduate programs must maintain a cumulative 3.0 average in graduate coursework to remain in good academic standing. If a student’s cumulative GPA drops below 3.0, he or she will be placed on academic probation. A student may enroll for no more than two consecutive terms as a probationary student. Students may be dismissed from the College upon failing to achieve satisfactory academic standing in the required period of time or if the student incurs a second probationary event.

To be awarded a degree or certificate, a student must be in good academic standing at the completion of her or his program.

Please refer to the College of Nursing Student Handbook for a complete review of the college academic progression policy.

College of Nursing Committees

Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate is the senior representative and governing body for the College of Nursing faculty and operates as the Committee on Committees. The Senate has eight elected members: six faculty members and two student representatives. Members of this body serve three-year terms.

Standing Committees

The Standing Committees of the College of Nursing assist with the work of the College. The faculty elects members of the Committees every June to serve three-year terms. Students are also elected to represent the student body on various committees. The committees include the following:

Admissions and Progressions

The Admissions and Progressions Committee is responsible for the review of all applicants to the College of Nursing and maintaining the admission standards and policies for all nursing programs. This joint committee is also charged with oversight of the progression standards and policies for all nursing programs and for the progress and performance review of all students.


There is a curriculum committee for each of the College of Nursing programs: MSN, DNP, and PhD. These committees are charged with overseeing the quality and integrity of their respective curricula. The committees review all new courses and/or major changes in the curriculum, establish and monitor methodology for curriculum evaluation, and provide overall consistency for curriculum development.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee provides a forum for communication across all the faculty standing committees to ensure that diversity and inclusion goals of individual committees are supported and strategies are coordinated and aligned to meet the University and College of Nursing Strategic Plan’s Diversity and Inclusion goals.


This committee evaluates the integrity and quality of the academic enterprise in the College of Nursing using the CON Evaluation Matrix; ensures the College of Nursing programs are future oriented and innovative in their approach and align with College of Nursing and University Strategic Plans; and promotes communication across the three (3) Curriculum Committees by meeting at least once per term with the three (3) Committee Chairs to discuss curriculum quality issues and processes.

Faculty Appointments and Promotions

This committee acts upon the appointments and promotions of faculty in accordance with the Rules for Governance.

Faculty Development

The Faculty Development Committee performs a periodic needs assessment and establishes, implements, and evaluates faculty orientation, mentoring, and development programs in collaboration with the College and University.


This committee establishes, implements, and evaluates criteria for the distribution of funds allocated for faculty and student research activities in collaboration with the Office of Research and Scholarship with emphasis on under served populations. They also collaborate with the Dean and the Associate Dean for Research regarding matters pertaining to research enrichment and suggest measures for ongoing facilitation of research productivity for faculty and students.