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Elevating Illinois’ Nurses: Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing launches BSN to DNP Graduate Nursing Program

In response to a changing healthcare environment, Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) is proud to announce the launch of a new graduate program offering: BSN to DNP. 

ISU’s BSN to DNP program is designed to elevate nurses from a Bachelor’s in Nursing to a Doctor of Nursing Practice. 

“At MCN, we believe that educating nurses to the highest level is essential for the future of health care and nursing practice. Guiding nurses to reach the top of their field not only means continuous improved quality care and better patient outcomes, it also gives nurses the option to teach nursing at the highest level, safeguarding the future of nursing education,” explains MCN’s Associate Dean for Academics, Dr. Seon Yoon Chung. 

Despite being the largest, most trusted profession in health care, currently only 13 percent of nurses in the United States hold a graduate degree. 

“Compare that to our counterparts in health care—physicians, physician’s assistants, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists—where it’s 100 percent. That’s an 87 percent difference. As health care changes, it is critical that nurses take a seat at the table to help shape that change. We have unique insight into the needs of our patients, and that insight will ensure safer care, better patient outcomes, and better working conditions for our colleagues,” says MCN’s Dean Dr. Judy Neubrander. 

MCN has a long history of working to elevate nursing education and practice. Through the College’s Academic Progression Initiative, MCN and 16 community college partners from across Illinois are working to eliminate barriers for Associate’s degree (ADN) prepared nurses looking to earn their Bachelor’s degree. 

“This program builds on what we as a college already know: Nurses are brilliant, hardworking, caring individuals who play a critical role in reshaping and improving health in our communities and are more than capable of earning an advanced degree. At MCN, we are dedicated to building programs that eliminate barriers for working adult learners and make the journey to an advanced degree imaginable, actionable, and achievable,” said MCN’s Associate Dean for Academic SupportJaneen Mollenhauer.

MCN’s BSN to DNP program offers two specialty sequences: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Nursing Leadership & Management (NLM). Both sequences are designed by faculty who also practice, many of whom worked their way up the educational ladder while also working full-time jobs and raising families. 

The FNP sequence is offered as a hybrid program, with online and on-campus components. The sequence folds in MCN’s prestigious FNP Master’s program, which boasts a 99% pass rate on the national certification exam for nurse practitioners—one of the best in the country. The program also has a 98 percent retention rate.

The NLM sequence is offered as a fully online program. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks MCN’s online programs among the best, and the college has a 100-year-long history of emphasizing quality in nursing education.

Applications for both sequences open October 15. 

For more information about BSN to DNP at Illinois State, visit the nursing departmental website.

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