Course Related

What classes should I be taking now?
There are several course pre-requisites.  These include the successful completion of the following courses before entry:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology within the past 5 years. Please try and have this requirement completed before the application deadline.
  • Statistics within the past 5 years.
  • Lifespan Development or a course in human growth/development across the full lifespan (conception through advanced elderly.)  At some colleges/universities, this content is covered in a Developmental Psychology course. 
  • Microbiology within the past five years.

What kind of anatomy and physiology course do you require? Does it have to be human anatomy and physiology?
We take human anatomy and human physiology courses from accredited colleges and universities. In most colleges, this is a 2-semester or 3-quarter class sequence.  It can be a combined course (Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II) or, or a separate anatomy and physiology course. It must be human anatomy and physiology.Courses must be completed within five years of the start of the program. You can view a list of frequently taken, pre-approved classes here. We recommend taking the lab courses (if offered separately).

What kind of course in statistics?
This can be either a course in social, math, or business statistics taken at an accredited college, community college, or university. You should have covered descriptive and inferential statistics, and should be familiar with regression. We do not accept AP scores in statistics. You can view a list of frequently taken, pre-approved classes here.

What kind of course in life span development?
We require a course in life span development (conception to death). A course covering only childhood and adolescence is insufficient. This could be a course in development psychology that covers the full lifespan, or a course in human growth/development. Different schools teach the full lifespan content in different ways. We have seen 1-semester options, 2-semester options, as well as a 4-semester sequence. You can view a list of frequently taken, pre-approved classes here.

How long will it take to complete the master's entry CNL program?
The master's entry program is a full-time, 24-month program (4 semesters and 2 summers). 

Can I enroll in the program part-time?
No, the master's entry CNL is a full-time program of study. Classes are 2 1/2 days a week during the semester, and the other days are left open for your clinical experiences.  Some summer classes meet 5 days per week.

What is the cost for the program?
The full-time program will be 2 full years (4 semesters and 2 summers). Please visit our tuition page for information about tuition and fees.

Do you have an option to pursue a BSN degree?
No. The BSN program at UVA is only for those students who have not earned an undergraduate degree yet.

Application Process

What is the application timeline? 
The application and supporting materials are due before October 1. Interviews will be conducted on site in Charlottesville in early December. We expect to post decisions within two weeks of the interviews being completed.

What kind of experience are you looking for prior to applying to the School of Nursing?
Experiences for accepted students have been varied. Some successful applicants have worked in an inpatient setting (CNA, surgical technician, unit administrative staff, pastoral care); others have worked in healthcare in an outpatient setting (therapy, public health, EMT/paramedics, Peace Corps, etc). Other students have worked in the research setting (wet labs, genomics, field research). Others have seen/experienced nursing and healthcare firsthand as a patient or as a family member/caregiver of a patient. This list is not meant to be exhaustive of the types of experiences needed but is intended to be illustrative. Exposure to healthcare or direct experience with clients is especially important for the direct entry program. New students begin clinical assignments in the first weeks of the first semester. Because we want you to be successful and prepared for this quick immersion, we believe you need to have first-hand knowledge about the field.

When can I visit?
The School of Nursing hosts several information sessions on our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Should I apply early?
We do not have an early decision deadline. The review of admissions credentials will begin in early October as admissions files become complete. Since the admissions application is online, you can submit it at any time. You can also have supporting credentials (recommendations, transcripts, resume) sent to the Admissions Office at any time prior to the October 1 deadline. Please make sure that we have all supporting credentials (including recommendations and TOEFL scores) before October 1 as the review of materials begins immediately thereafter.

How can I enhance my application?
When reviewing applications, the admission committee makes special note of how you have done in the course prerequisites (anatomy, physiology, statistics, and lifespan development). Applicants may be currently enrolled in pre-req classes, or plan to complete these courses in the spring term. Please note that we will need an official transcript indicating that all prerequisite courses are completed before you can enroll in any classes in the program. 

How many applications do you usually have each year?
We typically receive around 150 appliations each year for a cohort of 45 to 50.

When am I notified about admission?
Decisions are released in February.

Do I have to submit results of GREs? 
We no longer require the GRE for any applicants.

What are the average test scores and GPAs of nursing applicants?
We are not looking for an average score or GPA. We are looking for applicants who have challenged themselves academically and have the best scores and grades possible. However, because of the rigorous nature of this graduate program, we seek individuals with a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher (out of 4.0).

Do I have to have anatomy and physiology, microbiology, statistics, and developmental psychology completed before I apply?
These courses do not have to be completed before the time of application, but the grades received in these classes will be considered in the admissions process. All must be completed before you begin classes.

Do I have to have pathophysiology completed before I apply?

Can I transfer in any other credits?
Since many of the master's entry classes are specifically designed for this program, it is unlikely that you have completed these elsewhere. 

What kind of financial aid do you offer CNL master's entry students? 

As a graduate student, you are eligible for scholarships administered directly by the School of Nursing. We will email the financial aid applications to those who are offered admissions. All applicants are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA and have your FAFSA information sent to the University Office of Student Financial Services. 

Program Related

What is a Clinical Nurse Leader?
The University of Virginia and UVA Medical Center are one of 100+ nursing partnerships in the nation that have been selected as sites to educate Clinical Nurse Leaders. You can read more about the Clinical Nurse Leader from the website of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing here.

What types of jobs are available to a CNL graduate?
Since the Clinical Nurse Leader is a new title in nursing leadership, not all of the 6000 hospitals in the country are expected to use the same semantics in their professional titles. When you receive your MSN, you will be eligible for registered nurse (RN) certification. CNL graduates with identical skill sets will likely initially be hired as a novice clinician, and then progress to positions as Team Leader, Clinical Care Coordinator, unit-based Outcomes Manager, etc.

Why are you offering the master's entry program?
The education and experiences provided in the Clinical Nurse Leader program go above and beyond the objectives of BSN education. The program includes many of the standards of graduate education in nursing. In addition, applicants have all already completed an undergraduate degree - and some will have a graduate degree in another discipline. At UVA, we seek individuals who wish to advance their own professional/educational objectives. In addition, the award of a graduate degree properly reflects your new abilities and skills as a clinical nursing leader.

When does the program begin?
Each year, the program begins in mid-May. 

After Acceptance

Is there an admissions deposit?
Yes, there is a deposit of $250 that you will pay when you accept the offer of admission. It will be applied to your tuition when you enroll in courses.

Is it possible to defer entry to the CNL program?
No. Students who are unable to attend for the term of admission are asked to reapply.

Additional Information

For additional information on admission to and programs of study, contact the School of Nursing Office of Admissions & Student Services at or by telephone at (434) 924-0141.