Degree designed to be completed in two-and-a-half years
As Maryland—and the rest of the nation—faces a nursing shortage, Towson University is positioning itself to help close the gap.
With a new entry-level Master of Science (ELMS) program in nursing, students move seamlessly into graduate nursing without first seeking a second bachelor’s degree.
"Our new entry-level Master of Science in Nursing program provides a pathway for students from all backgrounds to make the switch into one of the most in-demand career fields in Maryland and across the nation: Nursing," says Melanie Perreault, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs at TU. "Through this program, students will attain an education that prepares them for a career as an advanced generalist nurse, and Towson University will continue to serve the public good in greater Baltimore and Maryland. I am proud of the hard work of all our faculty and staff in setting this program up, and I’m excited to see the first cohort begin in the fall."
The program will begin in the fall 2022 term, and applications are now open. Students who apply by April 15 will be given priority. To apply, students must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in a field other than nursing, a minimum GPA of 3.00 for full admission and prerequisite science and statistic courses completed within the last five years, with a grade of B (3.0) or higher. Click here for a full list of requirements and deadlines.
The ELMS program is meant to be completed in five consecutive terms, including a summer term. The curriculum is anchored in the foundations of evidence-based practice, population-based health, and quality and safety.
Hayley Mark, the chair of the Department of Nursing, says the program covers all skills that a nursing student would learn in a nursing bachelor’s program, with some added content on leadership and quality of care.
“That’s all very helpful for a bedside nurse,” says Mark. “They can see the big picture a little but more, in terms of the business of a hospital. These students will be completely set up to step into a leadership role in a hospital setting.”
Mark herself has experience with seeking other credentials before going into nursing: She had a master’s degree in public health before returning for her BSN and higher degrees in the field. Having different backgrounds from different academic fields allows bedside nurses to bring new ideas to health care settings, she says.
“I had this degree that brought me a lot of background in public health and a lot of skills in program evaluation and implementation that I would not have had otherwise,” Mark says.
The Department of Nursing is the second-largest producer of bedside nurses in Maryland and a consistent leader in the state, with 88.8% of students passing their licensure exams.
The department has consistently served Maryland during the pandemic, reinforcing Towson University’s position as an anchor institution in greater Baltimore. Multiple times, nursing students exited their program early to get to the medical frontline as quickly as possible. Nursing students have also been involved in vaccine clinics, including in under-served communities.
At the end of 2021, TU celebrated the groundbreaking of a new academic building for the College of Health Professions. The 240,000-square-foot structure on the north side of campus represents a significant investment in TU’s leadership in the health professions.
The building will contain a 300-seat auditorium and multiple, cutting-edge simulation and skill labs to replicate professional health care environments as well as offer a small cafe. Additionally, it will include 10 patient exam rooms, two lecture halls, a makerspace shop and lab, multiple research labs and much more. It is planned to open in summer 2024.