Program Curriculum

Montclair State University (MSU) and Seton Hall University (SHU) are pleased to announce a partnership which enables Biology students majoring in biology to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from MSU and a Master of Science in Nursing from SHU in 5 years.

Seton Hall offers the Master’s Entry into Practice program, which is a nursing program where students earn their MSN. Graduates will be eligible to sit for certification to obtain the additional credential of a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), which is an advanced generalist role.

Successful graduates will be Master’s-prepared, eligible to take the NCLEX for RN licensure and will have the additional CNL certification. This certification affirms that nurses have the skills to improve outcomes, reduce costs and decrease medical errors.


The Clinical Nurse Leader program trains students with a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing major, such as Biology, leading to a master's-level qualification in nursing.  Following a sophisticated, patient-centered syllabus, students are prepared to operate effectively as nurses in a multidisciplinary healthcare environment and to provide leadership to their teams.

What is a Clinical Nurse Leader?

The CNL assumes responsibility for patient care outcomes by coordinating and supervising the care provided by interdisciplinary team members. Graduates of the Clinical Nurse Leader program will function as entry-level clinicians, outcome managers, client advocates, client educators, and team and information managers in hospitals and community agencies.

The role of the CNL encompasses the following broad areas:

  • Clinician: designer/coordinator/evaluator of care to individuals, families, and groups; able to competently deliver care to complex patients across the lifespan and continuum of care.
  • Outcomes manager: synthesizes data, information and knowledge to evaluate and achieve optimal patient outcomes with emphasis on health promotion and risk reduction.
  • Client advocate: adept at ensuring that clients and families are well-informed and included in care planning. The CNL identifies potential equity and justice issues in the delivery of client care.
  • Educator: uses appropriate principles, strategies and information to teach clients, groups and other health care professionals;
  • Information manager: able to use information systems and technology to improve health care outcomes;
  • Systems analyst/Risk anticipator: able to critically evaluate and anticipate risks to patient safety with the aim of preventing medical errors.
  • Team Manager: able to properly delegate and manage the nursing team resources (human and fiscal) and serve as a partner in the interdisciplinary care team.
  • Member of a Profession: effects change in healthcare practice, healthcare outcomes and the profession.

Who Should Apply? This program is ideal for highly qualified, highly motivated undergraduate students majoring in Biology and interested in a career in a health-related field.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are transfer students allowed to apply? Yes
  • Can upperclassmen apply? Yes
  • Are second baccalaureate students eligible to apply?
    Yes, after successful admission to Montclair State University.
  • Is there a required grade point average?
    Yes, eligible applicants must have a minimum cumulative science grade point average of 3.2 or better and an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  
  • Are there prerequisite courses required before applying to the program? Yes
    The prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better, which are as follows:
  1. Anatomy and Physiology I and II (8 credits),
  2. Chemistry that includes Organic or Biology content (4 credits),
  3. Microbiology (4 credits),
  4. Developmental Psychology (3 credits),
  5. Ethics (3 credits),
  6. Statistics (3 credits),
  7. Economics-Micro or Macro (3 credits).
  • Do all of the above prerequisite courses need to be completed at the time of application? Yes
  • How many students are accepted into the program each year?
    Approximately 20 students per year.
  • When can one apply?
    All applications must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions office by December 1st of the year preceding enrollment, or by December 1st of the applicant's third undergraduate year.
  • Is there any other admission criteria needed? Yes
    Applications for admission into the program shall include the submission of a completed application: a personal statement, official college transcript(s), at least two (2) letters of recommendation and any other information required by the review committee.
  • Will interviews be required for admission? Yes
    In connection with its independent admission decision, SHU reserves the right to require additional information and/or interviews.

As applicable, each student must complete his/her major, minor, distributional and general education requirements during the first three (3) years at MSU and maintain a minimum cumulative science grade point average of 3.20 and an overall grade point average of 3.0. 

During their fourth year, students admitted to the Program and admitted to SHU-CON, will take the first year of nursing courses at SHU-CON, which courses may be applied towards elective credits for the MSU undergraduate degree.  Selected SHU-CON basic science courses will be used to satisfy the biological sciences major and/or undergraduate elective credits at MSU as outlined in Appendix II.

For more information contact the biology department, Science Hall room 107, 973-655-4397.