General Information - School of Nursing

Saint Xavier University School of Nursing offers an accredited graduate nursing program leading to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. A joint MSN/MBA is offered in conjunction with the Graham School of Management.

The purposes of the graduate program in nursing are to:

  1. Prepare registered nurses to engage in advanced nursing practice;
  2. Actively engage learners in enhancing their creativity and independence in preparation for the professional responsibilities they will face in the delivery of health care presently and in the future; and 
  3. Provide a foundation for doctoral study in nursing.

The graduate program offers options in: 

Three Post-Master's Certificates are available:

  1. Family Nurse Practitioner: This certificate enables a nurse who already has earned a master's degree in nursing to become prepared as a family nurse practitioner and sit for the national FNP certification exam.
  2. Clinical Leader: This certificate enables a nurse who already has earned a master's degree in nursing to become prepared as a clinical nurse leader and sit for the national CNL exam.
  3. Nurse Educator: This certificate provides an opportunity for a nurse with a master's degree to specialize in nursing education and sit for the CNE exam.

The Special Entry Option (SEO) allows certain registered nurses who have earned baccalaureate degrees in areas other than nursing to work toward a master's degree in nursing without completing the nursing baccalaureate.  This option will allow greater educational flexibility for registered nurses, minimize duplication of previous learning and provide the opportunity to obtain an advanced degree in nursing.

Note: Students pursuing the SEO will NOT receive a BSN, which may be required by the military and some employers.

Graduate nursing specialty courses in the Family Nurse Practitioner track are offered at the main Chicago campus. FNP students will take core courses online. The Clinical Leadership and Executive Leadership tracks and the Nurse Educator Post-Master's Certificate are offered in an online format (online MSN information). 

The master's program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Information can be obtained by contacting the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 1 Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036. Their phone number is 202-887-6791.

Academic Faculty

M. Haras, Associate Dean; G. Jacobson, Dean; G. Burnett, L. Capps, A. Filipski, S. Hampson, C. Hardy, E. McCann, M. Poradzisz, M. Reneau, M. Ryan, K. Wood.

Admission Requirements

Admission decisions are made by the Graduate Admission, Recognition and Progression Committee on the basis of the criteria outlined, as well as the quality of previous coursework and demonstrated potential for a productive career in advanced nursing practice.

In addition to the Saint Xavier University admission requirements, the graduate nursing program has the following prerequisites to be considered for admission:

  1. A completed application form;
  2. Graduation from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited baccalaureate nursing program, with a grade-point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale;
  3. Evidence of a current U.S. nursing license; an Illinois license is required for FNP students prior to entering practicum courses;
  4. Three completed recommendation forms from nursing professionals, e.g., recent employers and/or professors. At least one must be provided by a master's prepared professional nurse who has observed the applicant’s clinical performance;
  5. Applicants may be required to complete a faculty interview and/or submit a writing sample;
  6. A personal statement, specific to the specialty track to which the applicant seeks admissions
    • For FNP applicants (including post-master's), the personal statement should address all of the following  topics:
      • Describe how your RN work experiences and professional interests have prepared you to be successful in the family nurse practitioner program; 
      • List three professional goals and discuss how completing the family nurse practitioner program will help you meet your professional goals;
      • Describe how you see yourself working specifically in the family nurse practitioner role.
    • For Clinical or Executive Leadership applicants (including post-master's), please address your goals for seeking an MSN in the selected specialty; your understanding of the role for which you will be preparing and how your previous education and experience in nursing have prepared you for an MSN program.
    • For Nurse Educator Post-Master's Certificate applicants, please address your background and previous education in nursing and your goals for seeking entrance to this certificate program.