Direct Entry in Nursing (MS)

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Application Deadline:
May 1, 2023
GRE: Not required


Northeastern’s Direct Entry Nursing program allows you to use your previous degree and work experience and leverage it into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science degree (MS) in Nursing. Students enter the Direct Entry Nursing (MS) program as graduate students with an undergraduate non-nursing degree and completion of program prerequisites. Students first complete their BSN degree and become licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN), then continue their education after 1-2 years of RN practice to become a Masters-prepared Advanced Practice Nurse in an area of specialization.

The Direct Entry Master’s Nursing Program is not eligible for F-1 student immigration status sponsorship.

Massachusetts State seal

The prelicensure programs at Northeastern University School of Nursing Boston campus are approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.

Part I


The Direct Entry Nursing student enters the Accelerated Master’s program as a graduate student. The first 16 months (4 semesters) of the program consist of intensive, sequential classes and clinicals with combined undergraduate and graduate level courses. Students are then prepared to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) upon completion of 64 program credits. Students earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) after this part of the program. Financial Aid will be granted on an undergraduate basis during the Pre-Licensure phase of the program.

RN Work Experience

Once a student becomes licensed as an RN, the student must acquire full time RN work experience. This part of the program requires at least 1 – 2 years of work experience as an RN before entering the clinical part of the Master’s track. Students may start core non-clinical courses with the approval of their specialty track director during the required 1 to 2-year RN experience.

Finding Registered Nurse employment is the responsibility of the student as it is professional nursing experience. Northeastern will help support the student in preparation for the job search. A Leave of Absence (LOA) may be granted on an individual basis to gain more nursing experience before returning to the Master’s portion of the program.

Part II

Master’s Specialty Tracks

In the Master’s Specialty Track, students are required to take professional, research, and clinical core courses, prior to enrolling in their specialty clinical courses. Full or part-time academic study is available to students.

Completion of the MS degree can take four to six semesters depending on the student’s pace and specialty track. Upon completion of the required specialty area credits, the student receives a Master of Science Degree and is eligible to take the National Certification Exam in their area of advanced specialty nursing practice. Financial Aid is awarded on a graduate basis during this portion of the program.


Sixteen months of nursing-specific courses prepare you to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). A full-time registered nurse work experience is then required for 1 to 2 years depending on the specialty track.

Student retain their status for loans and insurance purposes for 2 semesters while enrolled in 2 online “transition to practice” courses. Upon completion of these 2 courses, students may enroll in advanced courses in a MS specialty track.

Sample Schedule


Fall Semester

  • Health Assessment & Fundamental Nursing Skills
    (3 Credits)
  • Lab for Health Assessment & Fundamental Nursing Skills
    (1 Credit)
  • Nursing with Women and Families
    (3 Credits)
  • Clinical for Nursing with Women and Families
    (2 Credits)
  • Advanced Pharmacology
    (2 Credits)
  • Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice
    (3 Credits)

14 Credits

Spring Semester

  • Health and Illness Nursing Perspective
    (3 Credits)
  • Nursing Care of Adults I
    (4 Credits)
  • Clinical for Nursing Care of Adults I
    (2 Credits)
  • Advanced Assessment & Interventions
    (1 Credit)
  • Lab for Advanced Assessment & Interventions
    (1 Credit)
  • Nursing & Promotion of Mental Health
    (3 Credits)
  • Clinical for Nursing & Promotion of Mental Health
    (2 Credits)

16 Credits

Summer Semester

  • Nursing Care of Adults II
    (4 Credits)
  • Clinical for Nursing Care of Adults II
    (2 Credits)
  • Nursing Care of the Child
    (4 Credits)
  • Clinical for Nursing Care of the Child
    (2 Credits)
  • Health Care Research
    (4 Credits)

16 Credits


Fall Semester

  • Comprehensive Nursing Practicum
    (3 Credits)
  • Clinical for Comprehensive Nursing Practicum
    (2 Credits)
  • Managing and Leading in Nursing
    (4 Credits)
  • Ethical Healthcare Integrating Genetics and Genomics
    (4 Credits)
  • Public Health Community Nursing
    (3 Credits)
  • Clinical for Public Health Community Nursing
    (2 Credits)

18 Credits

Admissions Requirements

  1. Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited college or university
  2. A Bachelor’s Degree GPA of 3.0 or better
  3. Two letters of recommendation, 1 academic and 1 professional.  Letters of recommendation from family or friends are not accepted.
  4. Personal Goal Statement including interest in nursing, advance practice nursing, and future goals.
  5. Completion of the following prerequisites with a minimum grade of C or higher. Science prerequisites with lab (microbiology, anatomy, physiology and chemistry) must have been completed within the last 7 years. These didactic courses and labs should be 4 semester hours or 6 quarter hours. Additional prerequisites: Statistics (including hypothesis testing and inferential stats); Developmental Psychology (across the lifespan); Nutrition; 1 Behavioral Science course (Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology) must have been completed within the last 10 years. These courses should be 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours.
  6. Experience in patient care, volunteer or paid, is highly recommended
  7. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required for all applicants who do not hold undergraduate or graduate degrees from U.S. institutions or institutions where English is not used. #3629 college code. The required iBT TOEFL score is 100.
  8. Due to COVID-19, we are currently allowing students to take online courses with online labs to fulfill their prerequisites.
  9. We will also accept P/F courses (including prerequisites) taken Spring 2020 through Spring 2021.

Contact Information

Program Office
Northeastern University
102 Robinson Hall
360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

[email protected]


Experiential Learning

The School of Nursing has a network of clinical affiliations at major teaching and community hospitals, and health centers including:

The Northeastern University Health and Wellness Van provides experiences in health care and education to citizens in the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the structure of the direct entry nursing program?

The Direct Entry Masters’ program offers a student with a bachelor’s degree in another field the option to leverage that education and experience and enter as a graduate student in nursing.

How many credits is the entire program?

The first segment of the program (RN pre-licensure) is 64 credit hours and prepares you to take the registered nurse licensure exam.

The Master’s segment requires approximately 36 to 42 credit hours depending on the specialty track chosen.  

Do students receive a BSN — Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing — after the first 16 months?

Yes, students completing the prelicensure segment (first 16 months) of the program are awarded a BSN degree.

After the RN work experience, may students attend the graduate portion of the program part-time?

After completing the first part of the program and becoming licensed RNs, students can choose to continue to work part-time or full-time as a RN and take courses in the Master’s segment of the program.

What specialty areas can students choose in completing the master’s portion of the program?

Students may choose from the following specializations:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Acute Care Pediatric Track is NOT a DE program option).
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Do students need to re-apply to enroll in the master’s specialty track once completing the pre-licensure segment of the direct entry program?

Since the program is competitive, to transition seamlessly into a specialty track a student in the pre-licensure portion of the program should maintain a B or better  in all undergraduate clinical nursing courses (didactic, lab, and clinical). If a grade in any of the courses is below a B, approval and progression is at the discretion of the Specialty Track faculty.


To the Direct Entry MS in Nursing Program