California University of Pennsylvania: Become a Nurse Leader with an MSN Degree

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The best leaders are often the best learners. Perhaps no other profession illustrates this better than nursing. And when it comes to preparing learners to become leaders, perhaps no other school provides a better combination of convenience, reputation, and affordability than the MSN program at California University of Pennsylvania.

“To be promoted to these positions, most healthcare institutions and organizations require an MSN to be eligible to apply for leadership positions or be enrolled in a program with a specified completion date set by the employer,” explains Dr. Nicole Evanick, RN, Assistant Professor and Global Online Coordinator MSN & MSN-MBA Programs in the Department of Nursing at California University of Pennsylvania.

She adds, “Our graduates go on to accomplish many different things, however, most of our graduates are promoted to management and leadership positions such as Unit Directors, Clinical Directors, Directors of Nursing, Chief Nursing Officers or Vice Presidents for Patient Care Services.”

An MSN degree introduces a program of study to the nurse that is completely different from their undergraduate studies. At California University of Pennsylvania (Cal-U), the MSN program teaches nurses the skills necessary to be an exemplary leader in the ever-changing field of healthcare. The program is concentrated in Leadership and Administration. It is a 30-credit program where students take two courses per term, one course at a time. Students can finish the program in as little as five terms.

“The one thing that makes Cal-U unique is our faculty,” says Dr. Evanick. “Our faculty are not just qualified through their education and experience, but they are dedicated to their students and their student’s success. Each of us are highly invested in ensuring we are available for our student’s needs and concerns and will work with students 1:1 throughout the program to ensure success.”

The application process is simple and can be completed online. Applicants fill out a short application form and provide official transcripts from the accredited institution where the applicant’s BSN was obtained. Applicants also send a copy of their unencumbered nursing license from the state in which they are practicing and a short essay describing why the applicant wants to pursue an MSN.

“Before committing to the program, the faculty at Cal U work individually with each prospective MSN student to chart a pathway to completion that balances both professional and personal demands,” says Ben Brudnock, Director of Graduate Admissions for Cal-U. “From a financial standpoint, Cal U’s low cost often aligns with employer-paid education benefits to eliminate most – if not all – out of pocket tuition for MSN candidates.”

For students who are interested in applying to an MSN program, Dr. Evanick’s advice is to do your research. 

“There are many programs and options available,” she says. “Consider the institution and their accreditation status as well as reputation. Consider the cost of the program and the time commitment required to ensure your success. Try to find a graduate from that program or current student who could provide a recommendation or at least provide some information regarding their experience with the faculty. These are all key components to choosing the right program for you.”

Whether you’re accepted into Cal-U’s program or another program, one of the key ways to ensure success is to dedicate the time to learn how to navigate the Learning Management System in which all the courses are offered. 

“At Cal U, the entire MSN program is offered 100% online in an asynchronous format, which means your coursework is available 24/7 through our Desire to Learn (D2L) system,” says Brudnock. “This convenience allows you to complete work on your schedule, at your own pace, with access to faculty and technical assistance along the way.”

Dr. Evanick also suggests reading all information provided regarding the endless tools and support systems available to students.  

“If a professor posts a video course tour in their course, watch it,” she stresses. “Be sure to keep a calendar with important due dates and timelines to stay organized. Check your University provided email and ask questions of your professors. If you need clarification or assistance in any aspect of the program or course, your faculty advisor and professors are always just an email or phone call away and ready to assist you.”

She adds that the faculty and staff at Cal-U are proud to serve its dedicated nurses and take part in their paths to leadership excellence. 

“We look forward to serving you and the people whom you care for,” she says. “Our faculty is dedicated to your success. Thank you for serving others in our great profession of nursing.”

For more information, visit https://www.calu.edu/academics/graduate/masters/msn/.