Brenau launches new Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing program

This past spring, Brenau University’s Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing launched a new Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing program. The ELMSN program, based at Brenau’s Norcross campus, held its first classes virtually May 10
with on-ground classes beginning May 19.

The program gives students the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in five semesters and is one of only three in Georgia. Featuring a mix of online and on-site classes, the program includes 600 hours of clinical experience to prepare students for careers in advanced patient care, public policy and health administration.

Mae Tyndell, a student in the new program, has dreams of becoming a nurse practitioner and working in the geriatric field. Although she got her bachelor’s degree in communications, she realized her love for nursing while volunteering in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, where she was living at the time.

“I saw the need for volunteers and started to like taking care of other people,” she says. “When I volunteered with the geriatric population, it was very rewarding. People are living longer and needing more health care, especially with COVID.

“I want to make sure somebody is taking care of our older patients. With the ELMSN program, I’ll have a lot of experience and can go on to work in the geriatric field in a management or teaching role, or even working bedside.”

Michael Jones, Richards Endowed Chair of Graduate Nursing and research development coordinator, says the program provides a way for more students to become nurses and help fill a growing need in the field. Jones says the ELMSN was built for those with bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines “to provide them with opportunities to become a nurse in a more accelerated fashion.”

Troy Heidesch, director of the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, says another reason for starting the program was to provide a graduate degree option for students in Brenau’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. About 75% of students in Brenau’s ABSN program go on to pursue graduate degrees, and the two programs share similar courses.

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