Master of Science in Nursing program at Norwich University

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Norwich University recently received approval from the Vermont State Nursing Board, and is admitting students immediately for a March start.

The Norwich undergraduate Nursing program was started in 1961 as an Associate Degree Program, and an RN to BSN program was added in 1978. Norwich graduated its first four-year BSN students in May of 1999.

Currently Norwich University has seven online masters programs (Master of Civil Engineering, Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Diplomacy, Master of Justice Administration, Master of Science in Information Assurance, Master of Military History, and Master of Science in Nursing).

Norwich University’s online MSN program will focus in Nursing Administration and offer students access to a diverse and highly motivated community of students and expert educators from a variety of practice settings. Designed for those nurses currently in or aspiring to leadership or management positions across the full spectrum of health care settings. The program’s learning experiences will emphasize the synthesis of theoretical concepts, knowledge and skills needed to become an effective leader in the current dynamic health care environment.

For many RNs, the MSN degree will provide the necessary credentials to succeed in a variety of nursing leadership positions. Others may find that the master's degree can lead to a rewarding career in teaching, or towards a continuation of their studies in a doctoral program.

The Norwich MSN program is built specifically for working professionals, with a uniquely flexible mode of study that will accommodate the demanding work and home-life schedule of nurses. The program will offer virtual seminars, student forums, and asynchronous discussion groups - all of which will be held online. The core MSN curriculum will consist of 36 credits of online coursework, divided into six six-credit seminars. The first three seminars will focus on the core requirements for advanced study in nursing, while the final three seminars will specifically concentrate on nursing administration. The coursework will be followed by a one-week residency and graduation at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.

"Norwich University has a long history of providing exceptional nursing education which is responsive to the needs of both society and the profession," said Dr. Cynthia Scalzi, Program Director for the new Nursing Program. "Graduate level education in nursing is the next logical step for a department that has consistently measured its programs by the highest professional standards."

Bill Clements, Dean of the OGP Programs at Norwich, said that the MSN addresses a need in the nursing profession. "We know there is a shortage of nurses, but there is an equally critical shortage of educators and administrators in the field," Clements said.

"We hope to build on the success of our undergraduate nursing program at Norwich University," Clements added. "We are looking to meet not only the nursing needs of Vermont, but also the needs in the profession on a national and even international basis."

Sketch of a College Sophomore

Nursing Student: Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson As the end of the academic semester approaches, students around Vermont are preparing for final exams.

We caught up recently with sophomore and Norwich nursing student, Jessica Johnson, to find out how she maintains both a positive attitude and a 4.0 GPA.

Johnson is a traditional civilian student who hails from Graniteville, VT. She graduated in 2004 from Spaulding High School and admits she’s always worked hard for her grades. You won’t find her cramming in the library ... Johnson says her favorite place to study is in the comfort of her own bed.

“I put in a good amount of effort, but Norwich professors want you to do well. They go out of their way to provide the resources, it’s just a matter of taking advantage of them,” Johnson said.

The idea of entering a clinical setting at a large hospital excites Johnson.

“Although I enjoy my studies now, I’m excited about my future role as a nurse ... and that keeps me focused on my goal.” Johnson said.

Johnson serves as Vice President of the Norwich chapter of the Student Nurse Association (SNA). The SNA organizes blood drives and fundraising efforts like the Diabetes Walk. Her group also raises money for Red Cross relief efforts, selling popcorn at Norwich football games.

An active member of the student-run Norwich Christian Fellowship, Johnson meets with her peers every Thursday for Bible study.

Johnson says she is lucky to live near Norwich. “Norwich is in my backyard, and it offers one of the best nursing programs in the Northeast. I can go home if I need to, but otherwise, I’m very happy, here,” Johnson said.

The nursing program began at Vermont College in Montpelier in 1961. In 1972, Vermont College merged with Norwich, and in 1994, the school of nursing moved permanently to the Northfield campus where students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. New this year is a Master of Science in Nursing, offered by the Norwich Online Graduate Program.