Harper College and DePaul University to launch master’s degree in nursing

A University Center employee welcomes a studentDePaul University will launch a new Registered Nurse to Master of Science in Nursing program this fall at the University Center at Harper College, making it the first master’s degree to be offered at Harper’s Palatine campus.

Current RNs with an associate degree will now be able to move directly into DePaul’s highly regarded and innovative graduate program in nursing. Students in the RN to MS program will first complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and then choose one of three professional tracks at the master’s level: family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner or nurse educator.

“This initiative will help associate degree nursing students move into high-demand positions of leadership, teaching, advanced practice and research roles,” said Julie D’Agostino, director of nursing at Harper.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report said nurses’ roles, responsibilities and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America's increasingly complex health system.

The report recommended that 80% of the nursing workforce have a BSN by 2020, and that the number who pursue doctorates should double.

The DePaul program will be offered in a hybrid model, with one course per term taking place at the University Center and one offered online. This format allows working nurses the flexibility they need to balance the demands of work, home and school. The program takes three to four years depending on the track.

Harper launched the University Center last year with strategic partners DePaul University, Northern Illinois University and Roosevelt University to provide students an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university – on Harper’s campus and at a lower price point.

Other programs include Business Administration, Communication and Media (DePaul); Computer Science, Marketing, Psychology (NIU); and Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Health Science Administration (Roosevelt).

The decision to now include an RN to MS program stemmed from the shared commitment to ensuring that nursing professionals have the opportunity to achieve their optimal career progression with advanced degree credentials.

“Our partnership with Harper is designed to provide a seamless academic experience for nurses in the region so they can progress from the associate degree all the way through the master’s degree level on-site at Harper’s University Center,” Matthew Sorenson, director of DePaul’s School of Nursing said.

Information Sessions

Information sessions for DePaul’s RN to MS program at Harper College will be offered from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, and Tuesday, June 25, at Harper College, Building X, Room X250ab, on the college’s main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine.

For more information, visit harpercollege.edu/university.