News Releases

UMSON and UMBC Partner to Launch Clinical Nurse Leader Guaranteed Seat Partnership

January 27, 2020

Students complete traditional four-year undergraduate experience before entering competitive master’s program.

Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have launched a Guaranteed Seat Partnership for UMSON’s Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Option, which prepares students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than nursing for careers as the nation’s most trusted professionals, according to Gallup

The CNL Guaranteed Seat Partnership, the first of its kind, is for students who wish to have a four-year undergraduate experience, plan to become a nurse, and want to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Through the partnership, UMSON provides UMBC students who meet criteria with guaranteed admission to its competitive CNL program, ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The CNL role was developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in 2003 to address the critical need to improve the quality of patient care outcomes. A CNL helps solve complex health care challenges via an advanced degree and collaborates with health care providers from other disciplines to ensure the most effective and efficient care possible. The partnership positions students for career progression and for doctoral education and allows students to leverage their first degree in a strategic and supported way.

“This partnership deepens the strong relationship we have with our colleagues in Catonsville as we provide pathways for exceptionally talented students at UMBC who wish to complete their undergraduate education and then embark upon their nursing journey with us,” said Larry Fillian, associate dean for Student and Academic Services, UMSON. “The UMBC undergraduate educational experience is exceptional and produces students who think critically, communicate effectively, and appreciate an approach to learning which is both grounded in theory and in practice. These skills will serve students very well in nursing school, and we look forward to ensuring their educational dreams become a reality.”

Any undergraduate major is applicable. Interested UMBC students should speak to their advisors; UMSON expects the first partnership students to matriculate into its CNL program in fall 2021.

“We are proud to be working with our colleagues at UMSON to offer UMBC students a unique opportunity to pursue a career as a medical professional after completing a traditional four-year degree in any major,” said William R. LaCourse, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at UMBC. “A strong liberal arts education teaches students to effectively communicate, solve problems, and have cultural competence. This multidisciplinary approach will better serve patient and societal needs in the field of nursing.”  

Selected students will know early in their undergraduate career if they’ve been accepted to the partnership program and can then plan for the CNL pathway and trajectory accordingly. To be eligible to apply to UMSON, students must have completed at least 45 undergraduate credits at UMBC, have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 science GPA, and interview at UMSON. For those in the partnership program, the UMSON application fee will be waived. Hands-on advising at UMBC and UMSON will ensure students take the correct prerequisites courses during their undergraduate studies.

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools in the nation and is ranked among the top nursing schools nationwide. Enrolling nearly 2,000 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.