elms college accelerated nursing

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

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Elms College School of Nursing (Our Lady of the Elms)

Elms College is a private Catholic coeducational liberal arts college that awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing degrees.

Last Update: Jul 22, 2020

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  • NCLEX Pass Rate97
  • AccreditationsCCNE Accredited
  • LocationChicopee, Massachusetts
  • ProgramsBSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-MSN, RN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, NP, BSN-to-DNP, Accelerated BSN, Post-grad Certificate, Other
  • Website URLVisit Website

The history of Elms College dates back to 1897 when it was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Diocese of Springfield, as the Academy of Our Lady of the Elms. The name was changed to College of Our Lady of the Elms in 1928 and remains the only Catholic college in Western Massachusetts.

College of Our Lady of the Elms (also known as Elms College) School of Nursing was founded in 1978. Elms College School of Nursing is based on the Christian concept of the person, which includes the defense of human rights and attributes as an inherent dignity to all as children of God.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Admission Criteria (not all-inclusive)

3.0 GPA

SAT score of 1000 (minimum 500 Math/500 Reading/Writing)

Accelerated Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS)

Candidates for the Accelerated Second Degree in Nursing program must complete entry-level requirements, and hold an Associate’s Degree, Baccalaureate, or higher degree in a non-nursing major.

This program uses a cohort model, which maintains the entering class as a cohesive group that moves through nursing classes together.  The accelerated pace of this program is designed to have students complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in two academic years, plus one intensive Summer semester (20 months total).

Admission Requirements (not all-inclusive)

  • Associate, Baccalaureate or higher from accredited college or university
  • Minimum 3.4 GPA for students with Associate’s degree/3.2 for students with a Baccalaureate or higher
  • Essay describing reasons for choosing Nursing
  • Interview (if required)

RN to BS

The RN-BS degree program at Elms College is an accelerated 15-month completion program. This program functions in a cohort model with individualized advising and peer support. Students can transfer up to 90 credits.  There is an RN-BS-MSN pathway available.

Courses are offered on the Elms College main campus in Chicopee and off-campus through partnerships with Mount Wachusett Community College, Quinsigamond Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and Berkshire Health Systems.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Nursing and Health Services Management

Graduates of this program are prepared to fill leadership roles within a variety or organizational health care settings across the health care delivery system.

Nursing Education

Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles as nurse educators in Associate degree programs, Baccalaureate programs, staff development, continuing education, and community education programs.

School Nursing

Elms College offers a specialized track to focus on preparing MSN School Nurses. This track builds on the college’s core MSN components with a specific curriculum focused on School Nursing as a specialized practice of public health.  Candidates seeking an MSN or Certificate must possess a BSN from a nationally accredited school of nursing; undergraduate GPA of 3.0 minimum; or completion of 6 credits at the graduate level with an average of 3.0 or higher required. Applicants must be eligible for an RN license in Massachusetts.

MSN/MBA (dual degree)

This program is designed to offer students the opportunity to earn two individual Master’s Degrees simultaneously.  Students enrolled in this program are enrolled in and taking courses in both programs concurrently, qualifying with the prerequisites simultaneously.  The 58-credit dual degree program can be completed in approximately 35 months of full-time study.  Requirements include:  possess a BSN from a nationally accredited school of nursing, undergraduate GPA of 3.0 minimum or completion of 6 credits at the graduate level with an average of 3.0 or higher.  Applicants must be eligible for an RN license in Massachusetts. 


The RN-BSN-MSN accelerated program is offered to the RN who is seeking completion of both the Baccalaureate (BS) and Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN).  This articulated program includes two bridge courses within the Baccalaureate curriculum and allows the student to complete the graduate-level nursing courses while enrolled in the RN-BS program.

Students completing the RN-BSN-MSN track will be awarded two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).  The BS degree is conferred upon successful completion of the RN-BS required curriculum and residency credits.  The student then moves on to a Master’s degree program through a specialized track to meet degree requirements for the MSN.


Candidates for this program are RNs with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree, seeking an MSN.

Within this program, students progress through four bridge courses within the nursing Baccalaureate curriculum advancing students into the selected MSN track for nursing education or nursing and healthcare and healthcare management.  Students can complete this program in under 28 months and will be awarded an MSN.

Admission Requirements (not all-inclusive)

RNs seeking an accelerated course of study may enroll in the RN-MSN track. Applicants are required to have an ADN or nursing diploma from a professionally accredited institution and a Baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than nursing from an accredited institution. Applicants must be eligible for licensure as an RN in Massachusetts.


Nursing and Health Services Management

Nursing Education

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

Health Systems Innovation and Leadership (HSIL)

Pathways to the DNP

BS to DNP: 3-year full-time study program of 81 credits and 1,000 clinical hours with a capstone project.

MSN to DNP: 68 credits for coursework and 1,000 clinical hours with a capstone project.


Niche (2020)

  • Safest College Campuses in America #421 of 1,379
  • Best Value Colleges in America #475 of 1,592
  • Most Conservative Colleges in America #655 of 1,692
  • Safest College Campuses in Massachusetts #11 of 54
  • Most Conservative Colleges in Massachusetts #14 of 59
  • Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts #30 of 59
  • Best Value Colleges in Springfield, MA Area #6 of 11

US News & World Report (2020)

  • #86 (tie) in Regional Universities North
  • #37 (tie) in Top Performers on Social Mobility 

College of Our Lady of the Elms ranked #262 in MONEY’S 2019-2020 Best Colleges ranking.

Nursing Schools Almanac ranked Elms College #44 in Top 50 schools in New England.


The Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing, Master’s Degree in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice including the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and the Family Nurse Practitioner degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Elms College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

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