Rush University

Rush University College of Nursing offers nursing programs from master’s through the doctoral (DNP and PhD) levels. Our graduates are highly sought after by numerous healthcare facilities throughout the US. Schools Scholarships Student Support

Best ProgramsAccredited Hybrid On-campus Online Private

DNP   MSN   RN-to-MSN   Entry-Level Master's   MSN-to-DNP   MSN to PhD   CNL   CRNA   CNS   NP   PhD   BSN-to-PhD   BSN-to-DNP   Post-grad Certificate  

  • Accreditations CCNE COA
  • Location(s) Illinois
  • Address 600 S. Paulina St., Chicago, Illinois, 60612
  • Telephone 1-312-942-7100
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Rush University is a private, non-profit, non-denominational institution.

In 1885, St. Luke's Hospital Training School of Nursing offered its first diploma educational program to nurses. By 1903, the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing opened and accepted students. From 1956 to 1968, the merge of Presbyterian and St. Luke's School of Nursing occurred. The College of Nursing was established in 1972.

The CON first awarded their bachelor's and master's degrees in 1975. In 1980, the first doctor of nursing science degree was awarded. In 1990, the first practice doctorate was awarded.

Academic Programs

Programs at Rush University College of Nursing are offered from the master's through the doctorate and PhD levels of nursing. There is no longer a baccalaureate degree program. The generalist entry master's (GEM) degree is available as a pre-licensure program for entry into RN practice.

Online Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) for the Registered Nurse (MSN)

The clinical nurse leader MSN program focuses on leadership and accountability in the role of the nurse.

Requirements (not all inclusive)

The Clinical Nurse Leader program is only offered to nurses with a BSN or RNs with an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree in another field desiring to go on for an MSN.

The program is two years in length averaging two courses per term, part time. Most students are still able to work full time while enrolled.

Courses are delivered in an online format. Clinical hours are required, but can be done locally. There are three total visits required on campus. Courses transfer to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program if the student would like to continue.

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader.

Two options for those interested in a DNP degree when already holding an MSN degree

  • Apply for a different area of specialty from your current MSN specialty
  • Choose a DNP leadership track through Systems Leadership or Leadership to Enhance Population Health Outcomes

Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) for Non-Nurses

This is a full-time on-campus program designed for students who have a bachelor's degree in another field and would like to pursue a degree in nursing. The student is prepared to sit for the NCLEX, the RN licensure exam, as well as focused on leadership at the graduate level.

The program is 2 years in length.

Leadership to Enhance Population Health Outcomes (DNP)

This DNP program has a focus on developing population-focused knowledge and improving clinical health outcomes in vulnerable populations.

The program is an online, part-time status with a 2-year completion time.

Systems Leadership (DNP)

The Systems Leadership DNP program has a focus on improving outcomes and change at the systems level. This program requires a master's degree building upon the knowledge to educate the learner to effectively plan, lead, and develop policy advocacy.

DNP specialty areas

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (DNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (DNP)
  • Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (DNP)
  • Adult-Gero Primary Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (DNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (DNP) – part or full-time/hybrid
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (DNP)
  • Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist (DNP)
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (DNP)
  • Pediatric Primary Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (DNP)
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (DNP)
  • Pediatric Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (DNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (DNP)
  • Advanced Public Health Nursing (DNP)
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Certificate
  • Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN) DNP
  • Nurse Anesthesia (DNP) - CRNA

The Nurse Anesthesia DNP

Requirements for the Nurse Anesthesia program include one to two recent work years in an adult critical care unit.

This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program begins with courses in the classroom to learn the foundation of anesthesia. After the first year, students will gain clinical experience. After the didactic sequence, students will start a 15-month clinical residency and a DNP project.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD)

The PhD in Nursing Science program focuses on preparing the student to become a clinical researcher.

The program can be completed in an accelerated format, which is available to qualified students.


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the Master of Science in Nursing programs and the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) accredited the Nurse Anesthesia Program.

Rush University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).


US News & World Report (2020)

  • #4 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #1 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Veterans
  • #8 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #2 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • #1 in Clinical Nurse Leader
  • #2 in Nurse Practitioner: Adult / Gerontology, Acute Care
  • #5 in Nurse Practitioner: Adult / Gerontology, Primary Care
  • #4 in Nurse Practitioner: Family
  • #5 (tie) in Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric, Primary Care
  • #1 in Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric / Mental Health, Across the Lifespan
  • #7 (tie) in Nursing Administration
  • #4 (tie) in Nursing-Anesthesia
  • #414 Best Global Universities

MONEY Magazine ranked Rush University #55 Best Colleges For Your Money (2019).

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