Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader
Make the change to a nursing career and position yourself to lead with Gwynedd Mercy University. Our Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (DEMSN) offers graduates of a non-nursing bachelor’s program the opportunity to gain advanced health sciences knowledge and clinical experience to enter the nursing profession. It’s also one of the few entry-to-practice programs in the US to include preparation for certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).
In as few as 24 months—just eight months longer than it takes to complete an Accelerated BSN—you can earn a graduate degree in nursing and prepare to take both the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification exam governed by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC).
After graduation, you’ll stand out on the job market as a nurse with an advanced degree and a specialist certification. You’ll also have the educational preparation you need to pursue leadership roles, additional certifications, or a doctoral-level degree later in your career.
The Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneacreditation.org) and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
A First Professional Degree in Nursing – And More
Our 79-credit DEMSN program offers you the opportunity to develop the comprehensive skills and knowledge you need to treat patients and collaborate with other practitioners. Courses cover topics such as:
- Fundamentals of Nursing Practice
- Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
- Nursing Care of Adults
- Nursing Care of Women, Children, and Families
- Health and Illness in the Community
- Leadership and Management in Professional Nursing
Laboratory experiences and clinical rotations provide hands-on, practical training. You’ll complete 765 total hours of clinical rotations with our local healthcare partners. 360 of those hours will focus on the Clinical Nurse Leader role.
What Is a Clinical Nurse Leader?
Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNLs) are trained to drive improvements in the quality and cost of care. They learn to take a “big-picture” view of patient care that enables them to guide practices and policies toward better outcomes for patients.
- Act as clinical leaders at the bedside
- Educate nursing staff
- Educate patients and their families
- Manage nursing teams
- Assess and manage risks to patient care
- Become experts in (and advocates for) specific patient populations
- Advocate for organizational and governmental policies that improve health outcomes for all
Our DEMSN program includes 360 hours of clinical experience devoted to preparing you for the CNL role. Most graduates of other DEMSN programs will not have a specialist certification when they enter the job market.
As a GMercyU DEMSN graduate, you’ll stand out as someone who’s determined to lead in the profession—and be better prepared to make an impact from the start of your career.
Where You Can Study
The DEMSN requires face-to-face instruction and clinical experience. It is based at our main campus in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, where the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions has been producing exceptional nurses since 1959.
Our main campus location offers advanced simulation labs with state-of-the-art equipment that helps you develop your clinical skills. We have an extensive network of healthcare partnerships throughout the Philadelphia region, so you can pursue a wide variety of clinical experiences.
Who Can Apply?
The Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing at Gwynedd Mercy University is a professional nursing degree designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. We will consider applicants who:
- Have earned a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale);
- Provide official transcripts from high school and all colleges or universities attended;
- Provide proof of successful completion of prerequisite courses (see below for more details).
After you have been accepted and enrolled, you will need to take the following additional steps before beginning your DEMSN classes:
- Pass a criminal background and child abuse records check;
- Undergo a drug screening and FBI fingerprinting;
- Provide a certificate of health from a primary care provider, including immunization information;
- Provide proof of CPR certification, liability insurance, and personal health insurance.
You will also need to obtain an annual flu vaccination, COVID-19 vaccination, and complete PPD screening throughout the duration of your program.
If you graduated from your first bachelor’s program more than five years ago, if your nutrition course was not taught by a registered dietician, or if your major did not include laboratory science courses, you will need to complete and pass prerequisite courses before you can begin your DEMSN degree.
This is normal—in fact, 90% of our accelerated nursing graduates complete at least one prerequisite course with GMercyU. To make preparing for your DEMSN more convenient, we offer online prerequisite courses in the health sciences that feature in-home laboratory experiences. Please click here to learn more.
Prepare to Enter Nursing as a CNL with Gwynedd Mercy University
Contact an enrollment representative today to learn more about the Direct Entry MSN at Gwynedd Mercy University!
* The prestigious ranking is based on academic standards, accreditation, completion times and other factors.
Licensure: This program was designed to meet the licensure requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s licensure requirements prior to enrolling in this program. For more information, please visit our Program Licensure Requirements page.