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Entry Level MSN

Become a Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Just 20 Months

La Roche University’s Entry Level MSN program (ELMSN) is designed to offer students who already hold a bachelor's in another field the opportunity to switch to a nursing career. The ELMSN can be completed in as few as 20 months of study and is offered in an accelerated, hybrid format that supplements hands-on lab and clinical experiences along with on-campus learning with some flexible online coursework.

The program includes 77 credits of coursework covering health science theory, nursing leadership, research and hands-on lab and clinical experiences along with on-campus leaning. After graduation students will be prepared to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and enter the profession as MSN-qualified nurses.  By entering nursing with an MSN, graduates of this program will be qualified to pursue bedside roles in hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities, and well-placed to pursue positions in nursing leadership, management or patient advocacy.

The Entry Level MSN establishes a foundation for post-master’s degree certification program, such as: 

  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nurse Administration
  • Nurse Education

Entry Level MSN Accreditation

ACEN LogoThe program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Learn more about our accreditation and program outcomes here.

Tour Our Clinical Simulation Center

La Roche University’s state-of-the art Anthony J. Battaglia Clinical Simulation Center provides comprehensive clinical preparation for nursing students. Students use simulators to learn and practice skills, practice real-life clinical situations, and develop nursing competence essential to the role of a Registered Nurse.

Clinical Simulator

Anthony J. Battaglia Clinical Simulation Center Tour (First Floor)

Advantages of Entering Nursing with Your MSN  

You want to make the switch to a nursing career, and you want to do it right: with the right training, the right qualification, and the right potential for advancement. An Entry Level MSN offers several advantages. 

Start your career with greater potential to advance.

As an MSN-qualified nurse, you’ll stand out with employers when securing your first nursing job. You’ll also have a wider range of options when it comes to advancement. With your MSN, you can pursue an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certification in a variety of fields, such as:

  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Nursing administration 
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nursing education

Earning a master’s degree also establishes the foundation you need to pursue a doctoral-level degree later in your career. If you already know you’re interested in long-term opportunities in research, teaching, advanced care or primary care, earning your MSN gets you one step closer—right from the beginning of your career.

Start your career with an MSN salary.

In addition to more scope for professional advancement, earning an MSN puts you in a position to command higher salaries as you gain experience when compared to a BSN-qualified nurse. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, APRNs including nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists earned a median annual salary of $123,780 in 2021, compared to $77,600 for registered nurses.

While you won’t graduate straight into an APRN job, you will graduate with most of the coursework necessary to complete APRN certification already under your belt.

You may qualify for graduate financial aid.

A master’s degree program offers access to graduate-level financial aid for those who qualify. If you already carry loan debt from your previous undergraduate program, you may be close to the federal undergraduate loan limit

Qualifying for graduate aid could give you more options when it comes to financing your MSN.

You gain advanced clinical skills for serving patients.

Finally, the advanced assessment and administrative skills you learn in our ELMSN program equips you to provide superior care from the very start of your career. You can graduate confident that you’re ready to offer patients, their families, and your colleagues a higher level of service.

Advantages of Entering Nursing with Your MSN

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State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement - (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offerings of post-secondary distance education courses and programs.

Its intention is to make it easier for students to take online courses and complete field experiences offered by post-secondary institutions based on another state. La Roche University is a participating SARA institution. By participating in SARA, La Roche is able to operate in every SARA state. The SARA map identifies other participating states and districts.

If you have any questions regarding state authorization, please contact Hope Schiffgens, Executive Director for Enrollment at (412) 536-1266 or Please note that SARA does not address professional licensure issues.