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Which nursing degree is right for me?

Which nursing degree is right for me?

The field of nursing is made up of individuals with various backgrounds and identities. The Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) celebrates this diversity by offering degree options to fit the needs of all nursing students.

Some of our students are pursuing graduate degrees after a long career as a Registered Nurse (RN). Others are fresh out of high school at the brink of starting their career. Many students have come to nursing after leaving careers in other fields. Wherever you’re coming from, we’re here to help you meet your academic and professional goals.

Determining the right program for you will depend on your time commitment, your previous education, and your professional goals. Below is an overview of each program option to help you determine which program is right for you.

Undergraduate: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Students who don’t yet have a BSN will want to choose from one of our two undergraduate programs.

Traditional BSN Program

(4 years full-time; on-campus)

  • If you haven’t previously completed an associate’s degree in Nursing (ADN), and
  • If you haven’t previously completed a bachelor’s degree

If you have yet to earn a bachelor’s degree, then the traditional BSN is likely the best option for you. This option is common for students who do not already have an associate’s degree in Nursing. The traditional BSN allows students to immerse themselves in the on-campus MCN community, participating in student organizations, such as the Student Nurses Association; transcultural experiences; and networking opportunities.

Some students also choose to participate in the Nursing Themed Living Learning Community (TLLC), through which they share a residence floor with other nursing students. Floor programs and activities include opportunities for you to interact with nursing faculty, administrators, and other student nurses.

Accelerated BSN

(15 months full-time; on-campus)

  • If you have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than Nursing

This option provides a unique opportunity for students to complete their nursing studies after earning a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The Accelerated BSN option allows you to earn a BSN without going back into a traditional four-year program.

This full-time, fast-paced program begins in May, spans fifteen months, and ends in August.

Applications for the Accelerated BSN program are due much earlier than others; the deadline to apply for the Summer 2019 session was April 30, 2018.

Online RN to BSN

(1 year part-time, 2 years full-time; online)

  • If you have an associate’s degree in nursing or are a graduate of a state-approved diploma school of nursing
  • If you are a current registered nurse and want to earn a bachelor of science degree in Nursing
  • If you are enrolled in an Associate’s Degree in Nursing program with one of our community college partners

Many hospitals are pushing to increase the number of BSN prepared nurses to 80 percent by 2020 (AACN, 2015). If you already have an associate’s degree and are hoping to earn a bachelor’s, the Online RN to BSN program might be the right fit for you. Online courses allow more flexibility for working students. You can also go at your own pace, choosing whether to earn your degree part-time or full-time.

MCN’s RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program will:

  • Equip you with critical skills for Magnet certification and Institute of Medicine (IOM) expectations
  • Improve your career mobility and marketability
  • Prepare you with the skills necessary to assume leadership and management roles

Graduate: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is ideal for students who already have a BSN and are looking to advance their career. Whether you have recently completed your undergraduate nursing studies or have already been working as a nurse, an MSN can help you improve your career mobility and marketability.

Family Nurse Practitioner MSN

(5 semesters full-time, 7 semesters part-time; on-campus & hybrid)

  • If you have previously earned a BSN
  • If you hope to take on a managerial role in a hospital
  • If you want to prepare for an advanced practice role for direct health care services
  • If you plan to go on to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Ph.D. in Nursing

A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is a registered nurse with specialized graduate education who serves as a primary healthcare provider. If you are interested in caring for families in the primary care setting, the FNP program will provide you with the academic knowledge and clinical skills necessary for advancing your career.

The FNP sequence prepares graduates to function in an advanced practice role for direct health care services that integrate preventive and self-care measures as well as the diagnosis and management of commonly occurring acute and chronic health conditions. The role also includes participation in and use of research, development, and implementation of health policy, along with the education of individuals and groups.

This program is a mix of online and on-campus education.

Online Nursing Systems Administration MSN

(2.5 years part-time, online)

  • If you have previously earned a BSN
  • If you want to advance your career in a clinical, educational, or administrative setting
  • If you hope to take on a managerial role in a hospital
  • If you are thinking about going on to a DNP or Ph.D. program

Our Nursing Systems Administration MSN prepares nurses for leadership opportunities throughout changing healthcare environments. Graduates of this program work in a variety of roles in clinical, educational, and administrative settings. The MSN is also a great stepping stone to a DNP or Ph.D. program for students who choose to continue their education.

Our program is offered fully online, providing you with the flexibility needed to balance a busy work and personal life. But, unlike other online programs, ours are offered with the same faculty involvement, care, and quality associated with an on-campus program.

Graduate: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Ph.D. in Nursing

(4 years part-time, on-campus & hybrid)

  • If you have previously earned a BSN and MSN
  • If you plan to pursue a career in a specialized area of nursing, especially one involving research
  • If you plan to teach nursing

A Ph.D. in nursing is a research doctorate, which allows you to serve the public by designing and conducting research on relevant clinical, educational, health systems, and/or health policy topics.

Following graduation, a nurse with a Ph.D. may pursue a research career in the academic, business, government, or industrial setting. Nurses with a Ph.D. may also serve as educators and/or administrators and develop or consult on healthcare policy in a variety of settings.

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

(2.5 years part-time; online)

  • If you have previously earned an MSN
  • If you are a current nurse wanting to become a clinical or administrative leader in healthcare systems

The DNP is a practice doctorate, which makes it ideal for students who want to use their research to influence their practice in a clinical setting.

The online DNP program provides you with the same faculty, care, and quality as an in-person program while also allowing you the flexibility needed to balance a busy work and personal life.

Additional Programs and Certificates

In addition to our undergraduate and graduate studies, MCN offers a Family Nurse Practitioner certificate for students who have completed their MSN.

Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Certificate

(about 5 semesters; part-time)

  • If you have a master’s degree in nursing
  • If you want to become licensed as a family nurse practitioner

The post-master’s family nurse practitioner (FNP) certificate option is available for individuals who already hold a master’s degree in nursing and wish to become licensed and practice as family nurse practitioners. The coursework required for the postmaster’s certificate is determined for each student following an assessment of the applicant’s prior graduate nursing education.

MCN is providing leadership in nursing—learn more.

Our undergraduate programs

Our graduate programs

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