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Department of Nursing at Messiah College

Frequently Asked Questions


Transferring into the Nursing Major


How do I apply to the nursing major as a transfer student from another college?

  Specific information for transfer students applying to nursing is in the College catalog. Generally, students must apply to Messiah College by April 15 (fall admission) and October 15 (spring admission) and meet all College admission criteria prior to the nursing admission process. Transfer students must have an earned cumulative GPA of 3.3 in previous college work to enter the nursing major. Specific prerequisite courses are required before beginning clinical nursing courses.

Is it possible to transfer credits from another college into the nursing major?

  A variety of credits may be transferred into the nursing program. Generally, nursing credits, themselves, do not transfer easily, but general education credits, and prerequisite course credit may be transferred. Interested students who wish to apply and transfer credits should contact an Admissions Counselor for more detailed information and an evaluation of their previous college work.

> Admissions

If a student transfers credits, how long does it take to complete the nursing major?

  It is impossible to give a precise amount of time, because much depends on the number and type of college credits a prospective student has successfully completed for transfer. Generally, there are 10 major clinical courses that are taken during the course of study. These courses begin in the spring semester of the year and proceed sequentially over the next five semesters (not including summers). View the Curriculum Plan of Study.  Certain non-nursing prerequisite courses are required before beginning the clinical sequence. Depending upon the student's type and number of transferred courses, it may take up to an additional four years to complete the nursing program. Again, prospective students who wish to transfer credits should make an appointment with or contact the Admissions Office and/or the Department of Nursing for a projection of the time for their program completion.

> Admissions


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What hospitals/agencies do you use for clinical experience?

  The nursing program holds clinical contracts with over 15 different clinical agencies in the Central Pennsylvania area. Most are within 15-20 minutes travel from the campus; a few are 30-45 minutes travel from campus. They vary among the many different types of places that registered nurses typically work including small rural hospitals, suburban hospitals, urban hospitals, university medical centers, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and more. A wide range of clinical opportunities are provided within these hospitals and agencies including clinical rotations in pediatrics, maternity, medical-surgical units, critical care-adult and pediatric, emergency department, operating rooms, outpatient clinics, in-home nursing care and more. Additionally, the nursing program has letters of agreement with many sites that serve as observational and health teaching sites for student experiences including schools, prisons, soup kitchens, hospices, low income-housing facilities, wellness centers, and more. There are multiple opportunities for rich clinical nursing experiences in our nursing program. To see our selected clinical sites - click here - facilities

How much clinical time do students have in your nursing program?

  Nursing students begin at the sophomore level with 9 hours of clinical experience a week and move to 12 hours of clinical experience per week during the junior and senior levels. Additionally, a senior practicum in the January Term of the senior level offers nearly 90 hours of concentrated clinical experience in a clinical area of their interest.

How do students travel to off-campus clinical agencies for their clinical experiences?

  Nursing students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical agencies beginning in the sophomore year. Students are often able to carpool with other students, but will sometimes have to provide their own independent transportation to different sites.

How large are clinical groups?

  Clinical groups are normally 8-9 students per faculty member.

Do full-time faculty teach/supervise clinical experiences in hospitals and clinical agencies?

  Yes, all full-time faculty have direct clinical teaching responsibilities and supervise students directly while they are having their clinical experiences. Experienced adjunct faculty also supervise clinical experiences.


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Do you admit a large number of students to the nursing program, and then "weed-out" students in the early semesters of the program?

  No, absolutely not! The faculty strive to support all admitted students toward success in the nursing program; however, the nursing program has rigorous standards and high expectations. Some students may find the nursing major is not ideal for them and choose to seek another major. Faculty are always available for advisement and counseling to assist students to meet their educational goals.

Is it possible to specialize in one area of nursing while getting a baccalaureate degree in nursing?

  No, specialization in nursing occurs at the master's or graduate level of study. Study for the baccalaureate degree in nursing is at a generalist level. Acquiring the baccalaureate degree is the foundation required for master's level study in nursing.

Do you have evening classes?

  No, there are a very few College classes offered in the evening hours. A few nursing clinical experiences are in the evening hours, but the associated classes for these clinical experiences are during the day time hours.

Can you attend part time?

  Yes, part time study is available.  Please contact for more information.


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What help do you provide for students to assist them with the NCLEX-RN® ?


  Specific information and guidance is provided to students to help them prepare for the NCLEX-RN® .  An integrated testing and remediation software package is incorporated throughout the nursing curriculum to help students study and remediate weak areas.  Competency testing is included in the nursing courses.


Are there nursing scholarships available?

  Yes, there are a number of nursing scholarships available. Counselors in the Office of Financial Aid have the details of those scholarships.


Is it possible to play sports and be a nursing major?

  Yes, many nursing majors have played varsity sports. Nursing faculty and coaches work collaboratively to assist students who wish to play sports.

> Athletics



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Is it possible to have a minor area of study while studying for a nursing major?

  Yes, it is possible; however, the nursing major is a very structured major. Students who have advanced placement credits or transfer credits find the study for a minor much easier. Careful planning with one's academic advisor is essential if a student wishes to pursue a minor area of study. Minor areas of study are not required to graduate from any major at Messiah College.

International Study

Is it possible to study abroad in the nursing major?

  Students who are interested in international study should discuss this interest immediately in their first year with their Academic Advisors. A variety of international opportunities are available for nursing majors. Some of these include Cross Cultural study tours, Brethren Colleges Abroad study program, Service Learning opportunities, and Creation Care Studies Programs. The International Programs Office provides students with a broad range of information on international study options, and interested students should consult with counselors there for more information.


Do you have a program for RNs to get their BSN?

  No, we do not have such a program.

Graduate Education


Have graduates been successful being admitted and graduating from master's programs in nursing?


Yes, graduates from the nursing program have been successful at all levels of graduate study including master's and doctoral study in a variety of colleges and major universities in the United States and abroad.  A few examples of areas of study our graduates have successfully undertaken include:  nursing education, trans cultural nursing, family nurse practitioner, business administration, community health nurse practitioner, oncology, primary care, nursing administration, pain management, drug and alcohol counseling, school nurse certification, acute care nurse practitioner-cardiology, ministry/missions, allergy and asthma specialty, biblical studies, pediatric critical care, nurse midwifery, theology, Spanish, and others.

May I get a master's degree in nursing at Messiah College?

  Yes, we offer a Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Educator Track and an RN to MSN, Nurse Educator Track option.  Please see our Graduate Programs home page for more information.



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