Plants with small white flowers found during CSAM field work.

BS/CNL Nursing Program with Seton Hall University (5-year program)

General Information

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 in Biology 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:

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.
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.


Qualified, highly motivated biology majors who are currently enrolled at Montclair State University may apply.

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 who have been 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 credits for the MSU BS Biology degree. Selected SHU-CON basic science courses will be used to satisfy the biological sciences major and/or undergraduate elective credits at MSU.

Application Information – Frequently Asked Questions

During a student’s freshman year, interested students are strongly encouraged to follow the biology major curriculum. By the spring semester of freshman year, it is extremely important to work closely with the nursing articulation program advisor to design a student’s sophomore year schedule to ensure the biology/nursing curriculum guidelines are met.

Are transfer students allowed to apply?
Can upperclassmen apply?
Are second baccalaureate students eligible to apply?
Yes, after successful admission to Montclair State University.
Can a student qualify if their selected undergraduate major is not biology?
No. The articulation program uses Biology major courses to fulfill Seton Hall’s prerequisites, and Seton Hall courses to fulfill Biology degree requirements, and is thus exclusive to the Biology major. Non-Biology majors may apply to Seton Hall’s MSN program independently after completing their four year degree and Seton Hall’s prerequisite coursework.
What are the advantages of this program?
The program allows students to complete a BS in Biology and MSN in Clinical Nurse Leadership in 5 years rather than 6, by replacing some courses within the Biology curriculum with courses taken at Seton Hall.
Is there a difference in the MSN program if a student enters it through the articulation program, versus applying independently?
No. The MSN curriculum is identical whether students enter through the articulation program or apply independently. The differences are in the Biology curriculum.
What happens if a student applies and is not admitted to the Seton Hall component of the program?
The student would simply complete the remainder of the Biology curriculum in the fourth year and graduate with a BS in Biology.
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:

SHU Prerequisite Requirements Credits MSU Biology Major Equivalents Credits
Anatomy and Physiology I and II 8 BIOL 440 Gross Mammalian Anatomy 4
BIOL 442 Human Physiology 4
Chemistry with Organic or Biology content 4 CHEM 120 + 121 General Chemistry 8
CHEM 230, 231 and 232 Organic Chemistry 8
Microbiology 4 BIOL 350 Microbiology 4
Developmental Psychology 3 No course equivalent at MSU

see advisor for details

Ethics 3 PHIL 102 Ethics 3
Statistics 3 MATH 110 Stats for Biol 4
Economics – Micro or Macro 3 ECON 101 Principles of Economics: Macro 3
ECON 102 Principles of Economics: Micro 3
Do all of the above prerequisite courses need to be completed by the time of matriculation at SHU?
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 Seton Hall 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. Acceptance into the Clinical Nurse Leader program is determined by Seton Hall. In connection with its independent admission decision, SHU reserves the right to require additional information and/or interviews.
How much does this program cost?
Courses completed at MSU will cost MSU tuition rates. Courses completed at SHU will cost SHU tuition rates.


Montclair State University

Seton Hall University

Kristyn Kent
Director of Strategic Alliances, Marketing and Enrollment