student internship at the hospital

Nursing Pathways Program

The new Nursing Pathways Program builds a strong foundation for your future in Nursing. Our strategic partnerships, innovative curriculum, and work with top-tier hospitals in the greater Chicago area give students early exposure to the field.

Our flexible program grants access to top-tier mentors and educators and provides a comprehensive education to help students thrive in their future nursing careers. This pathway prepares students to go on to obtain an advanced nursing degree at any institution of their choosing.

100 Best Jobs in 2021—Nurse Practitioner U.S. News & World Report
new RN jobs in the field by 2029 Bureau of Labor and Statistics
median average salary among U.S. advanced practice nurses in May 2019 Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Introducing our newest pathway

Our newest Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice (MENP) pathway program with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is giving students the opportunity to follow the pathway in an accelerated or academically flexible manner. Learn more about this exciting opportunity in the video below.

Preparing for the Future

"We are answering the demand to contribute to building a more highly educated registered nursing workforce that enters into practice at the master’s level, and that is well-positioned to contribute to the transformation of health care and improvement in patient outcomes and patient satisfaction."

Sandra Larson PhD, CRNA, APRN, FAANA, FNAP
Founding Dean, College of Nursing, and Vice President for Clinical Partnerships at Rosalind Franklin University

What Makes our Nursing Pathways Program Unique

Mentoring starts from day one

Students gain early access to internships, faculty advising, and mentoring from top-tier nursing staff throughout this program. This access not only sets students up for success academically but also gives students an in-depth look at the vast opportunities for nurses. Students will leave with a better understanding of where their passions and talents lie in the greater healthcare field.

Gain a humanistic edge through our Health Professions Program

Students will be prepared for future success in the rapidly evolving field of healthcare and will be equipped with the foundation of a liberal arts and sciences curriculum and interprofessional acumen. The innovative Health Professions Program consists of a core of health-related courses and opportunities including early access to faculty and programs at RFU.  Through this program, students will also gain the critical skills needed to be a well-rounded nurse including how to communicate clearly and effectively, navigate an increasingly global society, and tackle complex problem-solving situations. 

Robust academic support to maximize your success

Students receive top-tier academic support through a half-credit course on nursing professional development. They will also have access to supplemental instruction for all nursing courses, study tables with their peers, and additional support from our science-based academic support specialist. 

Our Liberal Arts Advantage Meets an MSN Degree

The value of a Master of Science in Nursing is proven through the skills students gain to help them lead our health care system to the future. 

Our Nursing Pathways Program uses the foundational liberal arts curriculum provided at the College and:

  • Allows students to explore ANY MAJOR they are passionate about while still obtaining an MSN.
  • Helps students become persuasive communicators, analytic thinkers, and cutting-edge problem solvers.
  • Lays a firm foundation for students aspiring to become nurse educators, administrators, health care executives, or leaders in their department.
  • Provides further pathways to advanced clinical experiences that support a career as a Master’s Prepared Nurse.
Karen Mahnke
We believe that having a strong foundation in liberal arts helps prepare the professional clinical nurse. The skills gained from a liberal arts degree help nurses think globally, communicate effectively, think critically and appreciate differences. These are all skills important in the role of a contemporary 21st century nurse

On top of a liberal arts education, a master's degree in nursing will allow you to build on knowledge and skills learned as an undergraduate. At the MENP level, you learn to apply your liberal arts education to not only understand the human body and clinical care, but the important skills needed to establish relationships, lead patient care and meet organizational objectives.

It really is the perfect blend of learning to advance both the art and science of nursing.
Karen Mahnke MSN, RN, NEA-BC
VP Operations/Bernthal Chief Nurse Executive
Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital

Your Degree. Your Pathway.

Our MSN degree pathways are intentionally designed with the flexibility of your educational journey in mind. The journey will allow you to gain the core education necessary to excel in the field of Nursing, while also giving you the opportunity to explore your interests in other academic areas. You can choose to pursue your passions in English, Business, Music, or any other major and still be on track for a career in nursing. Whether you start at a community college, take the traditional path, or enroll in an accelerated path, your time at Lake Forest will set you up for success to obtain your MSN degree at one of our partner institutions or anywhere else you choose to obtain your master's degree.

Rosalind Franklin University

Rosalind Franklin Pathways
Flexible Options

Each pathway is designed for students entering Lake Forest who have a specific academic timeline in mind. Our accelerated 3+2 option gives you a year of tuition savings. Pathway advising will start before you set foot on campus and will focus on ensuring all prerequisites are aligned over the course of your time at Lake Forest for a seamless transition to Rosalind Franklin. The 2+2+2 program is for those students planning to attend the College of Lake County for their first two years. 

  • The 3+2 and 4+2 Pathway agreements, prerequisites, and proposed course schedules can be found here
  • The 2+2+2 Pathway agreement, prerequisites, and proposed course schedules can be found here
DePaul University

DePaul Pathway

The 4+2 pathway gives students the flexibility to explore various academic areas at Lake Forest and then declare their major by their second year. Students will then transition to DePaul University to complete their Master’s Entry to Nursing Practice.

Prerequisites can be found here.

Rush University

Rush Pathway

This 4+2 pathway allows students to enter Rush’s Clinical Nurse Leader program and is designed for Generalist Entry Master’s (GEM) students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and want to pursue a career in nursing. Prerequisites can be found here

Meet our Nursing Alumni

Marisol Careon

Marisol Carreon '18

DePaul University

Carlos Becerra-Meneses

Carlos Becerra-Meneses '10

Depaul University
Psychiatric Mental Health DNP Studies
Rush University

Daniela Garcia

Daniela Garcia '16

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

First Last

Rachel Rosen '23

MSN at Rosalind Franklin University Patient Care Technician in an Intensive Care Unit

Jessica Dudley

Jessica Dudley '14

University of Illinois Chicago

Related Programs

Contact Us

Admissions Contact

Mike Cohen
Senior Director of Admissions and Strategic Development

Faculty Contact

Ann Maine, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chair of Health Pofessions Program,  Pre-Health Advising, and Nursing Pathways Program
Lillard Science Center 246

Career Contact

Khadija Manzoor
Science and Health Care Internship and Pre-Health Specialist
Career Advancement Center

Administrative Contact

Kathleen Elsasser
Health Professions Program Coordinator