UNL Nursing Program Review

The College of Nursing of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln is known for its academic reputation and cutting edge nursing education. The institution provides a Learning Resource Center wherein undergraduate and graduates nursing students can practice and develop the nursing skills required in meeting the demands of the profession. The faculty and staff are leaders in nursing education who have earned national and international recognition for their specializations. Through world-class education provided by a professional and experienced staff, graduates become equipped and prepared for their nursing careers.

Traditional BSN

Students wanting to become Registered Nurses can earn a Baccalaureate degree through the traditional BSN program. This program is composed of prerequisite and upper division nursing coursework offered in a highly active and engaging curriculum that prepares every student for a rewarding nursing career.

The traditional BSN program uses virtual reality, simulation, e-learning, team-based learning, and flipped classrooms to prepare students to manage the complexities of acute and chronically ill patients, family, and the community. The university has relationships with more than 100 health care facilities across Nebraska to provide a diverse range of experiences to nursing students.

Admission Requirements

The first step in getting into the traditional BSN program of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is throughcompletion of essential prerequisites. These courses in clude science and liberal arts subjects equivalent to 58 credits, and they can be obtained from any community college, a four-year college or university accredited and recognized by UNL. Once the 12 out of 17 prerequisites are completed, students can apply to the school and finish the remaining courses before the traditional BSN program starts.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln requires all applicants to complete the admission requirements before enrollment. Students must possess a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 and a minimum grade of C+ or 2.67 in every prerequisite. They should also present a current CNA certificate along with two professional references and a personal statement stating the desire to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Accelerated BSN Program

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a rigorous 12-month program for qualified individuals with a Baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field. The program is available on Omaha, Kearney, Scottsbluff, and Lincoln campuses and class size is limited. Students gain admission once annually, and most of the coursework is already satisfied by the student’s existing Bachelor’s degree.

The curriculum of the accelerated BSN program is predicated on the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing plan of study, but it is compressed into a 12-month program with variations in class and clinical training. Students study in one 13-week summer session and another two 16-semesters in the spring and fall. Clinical rotations may take place in the evening or on weekends.

Admission Requirements

Students planning to enter an accelerated BSN program must be highly motivated and goal oriented to sustain the demanding and rigorous education. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln requires applicants to have a GPA of 3.3 and an existing non-nursing Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

A strong academic profile is the primary factor in gaining admission to the accelerated BSN program. Students can expect a challenging and learning-packed schedule with clinical application, patient-centered context and intense mentoring from teachers and clinical instructors. They are discouraged from working on a full-time basis because of the rigorous pace of the accelerated BSN program.

RN to BSN Program

The Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program is an online advancement program for Registered Nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Diploma in Nursing. It integrates fresh approaches from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Carnegie Foundation, The Institute of Medicine, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The curriculum of the RN to BSN program is presented through distance education with courses that are flexible and fit anyone’s schedule.

Applicants must complete the required prerequisite courses in science and the liberal arts with a total of 58 credits. Student admission takes place three times a year in January, August, or May and completion of the program can be within one to three years, depending on the number of courses taken every semester.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is an advanced educational program for individuals with a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing. The University of Nebraska offers various specialty tracks that will enhance the student’s expertise, expand their skills, and equip them with new credentials to advance their careers. Graduates of the MSN program can be a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Leader or Executive, Nurse Educator Training, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and a Doctoral Researcher, Educator or Administrator.

The specialty tracks in the Master of Science in Nursing are; Adult-Gerontology CNS/ Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/ Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health, Psychiatric Mental Health, Pediatrics Primary Care, Nurse Leader or Executive, and Family Nurse Practitioner. Students who want to teach in the nursing profession can undergo dual training with any of the specialty tracks. The curriculum comes in an advanced web-based application that includes asynchronous and synchronous classes.

The clinical requirements of the program can be made within the community using local preceptors. Research projects may be undertaken locally as the research subject allows. The MSN program can be completed within two to five years, depending on the study options taken by the student.

Post-Master’s – PMC

The purpose of the post-master’s-PMCs is to prepare Registered Nurses for advanced practice, especially in leadership or administration in a second specialty. Completion of the Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialty tracks qualifies the graduate for the certification exam.

The second-specialty PMC course is based on the student’s MSN background, work experience, and career goals. A faculty advisor will guide them to become successful in finishing a Post-Master’s education. The programs offered by the University of Nebraska are distance friendly, allowing every student to study online at their own pace and satisfy the clinical requirements in a local community.

Admission Requirements

Applicants of the PMC must complete an online application and provide the materials in support of the program fee. The application will be supplemented through the Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs, and required documents are sent directly to the University of Nebraska. Among the supplemental materials are a resume or curriculum vita, letters of professional reference, and official transcripts.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice including Master’s degree nurses in administration and informatics, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists wanting a higher credential. This is offered to individuals who want to expand their value to employers and want to focus their professional goals on quality improvement, clinical expertise, health systems change, and patient safety.

The goal of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is to equip students with the highest level of nursing leadership and practice. It allows graduates to improve health care delivery and patient outcomes and translate research findings into nursing practice. The DNP program can be obtained in two pathways: the Post-Masters DNP and the BSN to DNP.

The Post-Master’s DNP can be completed in a full- or part-time option with 500 clinical practicum hours, 35 post-master’s credit hours, and nine courses in the College of Nursing and College of Public Health. By contrast, the BSN to DNP pathway enables students to finish 35 credit hours and choose a clinical specialty like Women’s Health, Adult-Gerontology, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Leader/Executive, Psychiatric Mental Health, and Pediatrics Primary Care.

Admission Requirements

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is considered to be the highest practice-focused nursing degree designed to prepare nurses in a specialized advanced practice or administration. Admission is competitive and limited. Interested applicants have to take note of the entry deadline and its requirements.

Individuals who want to undergo the BSN to DNP degree must be a Baccalaureate degree in nursing holder from a school accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. They must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and show a current licensure as a Registered Nurse.

MSN to DNP students have to provide a valid and unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse and must have completed a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program from an accredited institution. The required Grade Point Average (GPA) for this pathway is 3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Both types of applicants must present a personal statement, a curriculum vitae or resume, official transcripts from the all the schools attended, and three letters of recommendations.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) of the University of Nebraska prepares students for leadership roles in education, practice, research, health policy, and administration. Nursing research is the core of the program and graduates develop knowledge and skills that will shape the future of nursing education and practice.

The faculty and staff of the Ph.D. degree program are nationally-recognized researchers, teachers, and practitioners with an excellent record of research grants and scholarly publication. Many of them are well-known authorities often cited for advancing their chosen fields. The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing can be taken in a full- or part-time study that can be finished in four to five years. Students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can fasttrack their education to a Ph.D. by taking the accelerated pathway. However, this can only be offered to academically-competent BSN graduates who wish to be researchers and educators.