Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (DEMSN)

Commit to a new career that serves the cause of better health for all with North Park University.

Learn More about Our DEMSN

Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Required

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Our Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program prepares you to enter the nursing profession with an advanced degree. Over an intensive but rewarding five semesters, our Chicago nursing program can help you equip yourself to provide safe and competent clinical practice, nursing leadership, and patient-centered advocacy rooted in Christian principles.


Combining in-person classes with 540 hours of clinical experience and some online coursework, our 73-credit DEMSN will develop your high-level thinking skills across five key domains:

  • Nursing across the lifespan
  • Population health
  • Evidence-based practice and quality improvement
  • Leadership
  • Professional identity and communication

Our DEMSN program can equip you for practice in a wide range of professional settings and locations, although we do emphasize care of diverse, urban communities like the one we call home. Our Chicago nursing school also has clinical affiliations with many health care facilities across the region, so you have opportunities to gain a wide variety of hands-on experience before you graduate.

Program Format How You Will Study

Our nursing program is designed for applicants who want to make a career change to nursing and hold a bachelor’s degree in any other academic major. Our Direct Entry MSN can be completed in as few as 20 months.

Courses combine engaging classroom instruction, training in our state-of-the-art simulation labs, and clinical rotations with local affiliated organizations.

Program Outcomes What You Will Learn

Our nursing school’s DEMSN program prepares you to obtain licensure as an RN and to pursue career opportunities in nursing. You will also have the academic foundation necessary to pursue further education in the field, such as a post-master’s certification in an advanced practice specialty area or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

As a graduate of our program, you will learn to:

Integrate core scientific and ethical principles, advanced nursing knowledge, professional values, and clinical excellence in master’s-level nursing practice that reflects the Christian principles of the philosophy of the School of Nursing.

Apply leadership skills in the design, coordination, delivery, and evaluation of safe and high-quality patient care.

Plan quality improvement initiatives to improve health outcomes.

Apply evidence-based approaches to guide master’s-level nursing practice.

Use information systems and technology to support practice.

Advocate for policies to improve the health of the public and the profession of nursing.

Demonstrate effective communication with interprofessional partners to improve the health of individuals and populations.

Plan, deliver, and evaluate effective, culturally responsive care to improve individual and population-based health outcomes with intentional emphasis on urban environments.

Design strategies for life-long learning that incorporate professional nursing standards and accountability for practice.

DEMSN Course Schedule The Classes You Will Take

Semester 1 16 Credit Hours
  • NURS 5210 Professional Development I: Introduction to Professional Nursing (2 credit hours)
  • NURS 5220 Communication and Managing Healthcare Information (3 credit hours)
  • NURS 5230 Pathophysiology I (2 credit hours)
  • NURS 5240 Pharmacology I (2 credit hours)
  • NURS 5250 Holistic Health Assessment and Therapeutic Interventions with Lab (3 credit hours)
  • NURS 5310 Health and Illness: Foundations of Nursing (3 credit hours)
  • NURS 5311 Health and Illness: Foundations of Nursing Practicum (1 credit hour)
Semester 2 15 Credit Hours
  • NURS 5215 Professional Development II: Image, Roles, and Ethics (4 credit hours)
  • NURS 5235 Pathophysiology II (2 credit hours)
  • NURS 5245 Pharmacology II (2 credit hours)
  • NURS 5320 Health and Illness: Nursing Across the Lifespan (4 credit hours)
  • NURS 5321 Health and Illness: Nursing Across the Lifespan Practicum (3 credit hours)
Semester 3 14 Credit Hours
  • NURS 5260 Development of a Microsystem Leader (3 credit hours)
  • NURS 5270 Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement: Translating Research to Practice (4 credit hours)
  • NURS 5330 Population Health Nursing (4 credit hours)
  • NURS 5331 Population Health Nursing Practicum (1 credit hour)
  • NURS 5030 Professional Communication and Collaboration (2 credit hours)
Semester 4 15 Credit Hours
  • NURS 5280 Nursing in an Evolving Healthcare System (3 credit hours)
  • NURS 5340 Health and Illness: Nursing with Diverse Populations (5 credit hours)
  • NURS 5341 Health and Illness: Nursing with Diverse Populations Practicum (3 credit hours)
  • NURS 5010 Scientific Inquiry and Knowledge Development (4 credit hours)
Semester 5 13 Credit Hours
  • NURS 5015 Health Care Delivery System: Organizations and Resources (4 credit hours)
  • NURS 5020 Population-Based Health Care (4 credit hours)
  • NURS 5380 DEMSN Immersion Practicum (3 credit hours)
  • NURS 5390 Integration and Role Transition Seminar (2 credit hours)

Clinical Experience What You Will Practice

Over the course of our Direct Entry MSN program in Chicago, you will complete 540 clock hours of practicum experience. Practicum hours include experiences in our high-tech simulation center to develop and refine clinical judgment and nursing skill competencies. The remainder of your hours take place under supervision in working health care facilities.

Experiences cover the following population-specific areas of nursing:

  • Medical-surgical nursing and leadership
  • Pre-natal/maternity nursing
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Population health nursing