Saturday, March 3, 2007

Response From Dr. Miller

February 26, 2007

Dear Ms. Bertrand:

I received your letter today dated February 22, 2007 in which you express dismay abut not being able to become licensed as a professional nurse in Mississippi when in fact your previous classmates are able to be licensed in Wisconsin after completing the pre-MSN phase of the Direct Entry MSN program. Please recall that we negotiated with the State of Wisconsin to allow students in the Direct Entry program to take the NCLEX exam in Wisconsin after completing the pre-MSN portion of this program. We justify this in terms of meeting the nursing portion of the program objectives expected for the BSN here at Marquette. States have their own separate jurisdiction over professional nurse licensure. If students leave the program prior to completing the MSN phase, there is not guarantee that they will be licensed in any other state since no nursing degree has been conferred. You did not receive a BSN from Marquette. This was made clear to you and all students upon accepting admission and you signed the memorandum of understanding indicating so (see enclosed).

Regarding your comments about the State Board application, this application document does not have a space for Direct Entry applicants. Our accompanying documentation to the state of Wisconsin indicates the exact student status, having completed the pre-MSN portion of the MSN program. The State of Wisconsin is totally aware of this and the status of each NCLEX applicant. We do not want our professional nurses to check LPN, or ADN on the application form.

In trying to help you over the past months, I have written the State of Mississippi and have enclosed a copy of the Certificate of completion of the pre-MSN program, dated May 23, 2006 (enclosed). I have written Pearl River Community College as you requested January 16, 2007 (enclosed) with your e-mail response "This should be just fine!" Apparently there are no other Direct Entry MSN programs in the state of Mississippi. I called the Mississippi state board on your behalf today and talked to a Ms Carolyn Owens who was emphatic about Mississippi laws indicating a degree in nursing is required to sit for licensure. She indicated that the Mississippi Institute for Higher Learning approves all programs (degrees) for NCLEX applicants in Mississippi. When I explored with Ms. Owens the plan of your completing the NCLEX exam to be licensed in the state of Wisconsin and then transferring your license to Mississippi, she indicated a degree in nursing would still be required. I have a call in to Dr. Mary Ware (601-xxx-xxxx) who is the Chief of the Institute. I will continue to advocate for you. When you decided to leave the program in 2005, prior to completing the MSN, potential consequences were reviewed.

Any time a student decides to leave this Direct Entry MSN program, I am clear that being able to obtain a license in any other state until the MSN is completed is not a given. I recall this one-on-one session with you as well when you expressed your plans to marry and move to the South and not complete the program. Our commitment to our students is that students will be able to be licensed in the State of Wisconsin after the pre-MSN phase. The intent is to complete the degree of MSN. This negotiation was carefully completed 10 years ago with the State of Wisconsin prior to admitting our first students.

What happened to your plan to complete the ADN in Mississippi? I will inform you of any progress with the Mississippi Institute of Higher Learning.


Judith Fitzgerald Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean of Graduate Programs & Research,
Marquette University College of Nursing