Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing

Begin your nursing career

Make a commitment to a new career that transforms lives for the better. Our Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (DEMSN) program prepares graduates of non-nursing bachelor’s degree programs to enter the nursing profession with a foundation of advanced clinical knowledge, prepared to optimize patient care and lead clinical teams in building healthier communities.

In as few as 18 months of study, you can earn both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) through a hands-on, abilities-based approach to learning.

After graduation, you can pursue initial licensure as a registered nurse (RN), and prepare to pursue a career caring for patients, acting as a key player on health care teams, and doing your part to promote healthier lives for all.

Hear from our students

Center for Clinical Education and Simulation

Both our Milwaukee, Wis. and Mesa, Ariz. locations feature a state-of-the-art Center for Clinical Education and Simulation. Guided by expert clinical faculty, you’ll learn how to conduct patient assessments, engage in clinical decision-making and perform clinical procedures as you experience high-fidelity simulations that mimic real-world scenarios of medical/surgical, pediatric, labor and delivery, psychiatric and intensive care units in hospital settings.

Hannah, DEMSN Student

I think what makes this program special is that I feel like they really do everything they can to prepare you for being a nurse. Some of the exams are NCLEX style, even from day one. They're preparing you for taking your boards when you graduate. I genuinely feel like they want us to do well and they want us to succeed and be out in the community as competent, high-quality nurses.

Clinical Practicum Experience

DEMSN students begin clinical work during their first semester, working with real patients. Alverno College has well-established clinical partnerships with numerous health care organizations in the greater metropolitan areas of Milwaukee, WI and Phoenix, AZ. Clinical practica occur in a variety of long-term, hospital and community care settings such that students graduate with a breadth of experience.

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Two DEMSN Program Options

The program is available in two formats:
Accelerated 5-Semester Track

Milwaukee, Wis. or Mesa, Ariz. — An accelerated and intense year-round full-time program that is completed in 18-20 months.

9 Semester Track

Milwaukee, Wis. only — A year-round, full-time program that is completed in three years.

Two Locations

Alverno offers the DEMSN program at both our Milwaukee, WI and Mesa, AZ locations.
Milwaukee Location

3400 S. 43rd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53234

Mesa Location

1201 S. Alma School Road, Suite 5450
Mesa, AZ 85210

Program Outcomes

  • Exhibits mastery of communication skills in multiple modes to build crucial inter-professional team relationships that promote collaboration to ensure safe and effective outcomes.
  • Provides holistic, patient-focused, evidence-based care.
  • Evaluates and applies informatics using current and evolving technology to facilitate and enhance optimal clinical care and organizational decision-making.
  • Skillfully engages in collaborative and trans-disciplinary leadership to (re)construct strategies for innovative and transformative change in complex healthcare settings.
  • Synthesizes current and emerging science and theory to design ethical and cost-effective approaches to care that consider the uniqueness of individuals, families, communities and populations.
  • Our 3-year average NCLEX-RN passing rate is 92.45%. We are proud of this excellent rate and the preparation and support offered to students in advance of sitting for this exam.
Nursing student works in a sim lab
Mohamed, DEMSN Student

One of the things that makes Alverno special is the teachers. They really give time to the students, that one-on-one time for you to be able to understand and actually learn your skills.


The Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program at Alverno College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.* The JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and Health Professions at Alverno College is approved by the Wisconsin State Board of Nursing and the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

* The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, post-graduate Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Alverno College are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.