Is a Direct-Entry MSN Worth it – (Pros VS. Cons)

Written By: Brooke Schmidt, RN, BSN
Reviewed By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Have you begun your academic and professional journey but feel like you want to do more? Have you earned an undergraduate degree but believe something is missing? Do you like the idea of becoming a nurse but do not know if you can commit several years toward earning another degree? If so, a direct-entry MSN program may be a great fit for you. Perhaps you have heard of direct-entry MSN programs but wonder, "Is a direct-entry MSN worth it?”

In this article, you will learn what a direct-entry MSN degree is, find important admissions and curriculum information, and discover how much money you can expect to make. We will also discuss potential job opportunities after graduation. As you continue reading, you will find the top 25 reasons why a direct-entry MSN is worth it and also 7 reasons why it may not be the right degree for you, and some answers to frequently asked questions about the degree. The information in this article will provide a guide to help you decide if a direct-entry MSN degree is something you should pursue.


A direct-entry MSN degree is a graduate nursing program that allows individuals with a non-nursing bachelor's degree to earn a master's degree in nursing without first earning an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing. The programs are unique in that they allow you to utilize previous college credits, when applicable, toward your Master of Science in Nursing degree. You can become an advanced practice nurse using some credit from your previous undergraduate non-nursing bachelor's degree. Direct-entry MSN programs help you gain the experience and education you need to enter the nursing workforce with a Master of Science in Nursing degree.



The time it takes to complete your direct-entry MSN degree will vary based on the required curriculum and if you choose a part-time or full-time completion track. Most direct-entry MSN programs can take 18 to 36 months to complete.

For example, at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, you can earn a Master of Science in Nursing in 15 months through the school's direct-entry MSN program. Marquette University is a full-time program that takes 19 to 21 months to complete. If you choose Ohio State University’s direct-entry program, you can earn the Master of Science direct-entry degree in just over three years of full-time study.


Determining the cost of a direct-entry degree can be a crucial step in selecting a school. Some programs break down pricing on a per-credit basis, and others have a per-semester rate regardless of the number of credits you complete. The average tuition can range from $40,000-$100,000. A few examples of direct-entry MSN program costs include the following.

At The University of Arizona, tuition is figured on a per-credit rate and based on whether you live in or out of state. Arizona residents can expect to pay $652 per credit hour, and non-residents pay $$1,544. The program requires 56 credit hours, making the cost range between $36,512 and $86,464, depending on your residency status.

The University of Maryland charges a per-credit rate of $856 for state residents and $1,519 for non-resident students. The program includes a 65-credit curriculum, making the cost of the program average between $55,640 and $98,735.

Western University of Health Sciences charges $58,809 for the first year and $50,592 for the second year, and any additional years. Students who complete the program in two years can expect to pay approximately $109,401. The university's fees are the same regardless of your residency status.


Admissions requirements for direct-entry MSN programs may vary from one school to the next. However, general admission requirements remain similar. Although you should verify admission criteria with any school you hope to attend, you can expect at least the following requirements when applying.

• Have a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing major
• Minimum GPA of 3.0 earned during your previous degree program(s)
• Completion of all prerequisite classes
• Provide professional references from either employers or academic sources
• Statement of purpose or personal essay
• Resume highlighting previous educational and relevant work experience
• You may need to participate in an admissions interview before receiving an admission offer.
• Some schools may require standardized test scores such as the GRE, GMAT, ACT, or SAT


(The following are the 25 reasons why a Direct-Entry MSN is worth it in 2023.)

REASON #1: You can save time earning your degree by leveraging previous credits.

One of the top reasons why a direct-entry MSN is worth it is that you can use some of the credits you earned in your previous baccalaureate degree toward your MSN. The nursing school you plan to attend will review your previous transcripts and determine which credits are transferrable to your degree. No matter the number of credits you transfer, you can still save time earning an MSN vs the time it would take starting with no previous academic credit.

REASON #2: You can make more money

Even if your first bachelor's degree helped you land a good-paying job, the fact that you will have two degrees when you finish the direct-entry MSN program means you can set yourself up for a boost in pay. If you pursue an advanced practice certification, you could experience an income of around $120,000 or more annually. This is another excellent reason a direct-entry MSN is worth it!

REASON #3: A pathway to earning additional advanced degrees

Another reason a direct-entry MSN is worth it is that it helps lay the foundation for doctoral studies. Whether you pursue a clinical role with a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a research-focused role with a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, a direct-entry MSN degree program is an excellent way to prepare you for future studies.

REASON #4: Long-Term Job Security

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for advanced practice nurses, like those who complete direct-entry MSN programs, is quite promising. The BLS predicts jobs for nurses with this type of degree will increase by 40% between 2021 and 2031. This number is significantly higher than the job outlook for other jobs, which indicates this is a big reason why a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #5: You Can Join a High Demand Profession

There is currently a nationwide shortage of nurses and, according to many sources, that shortage is expected to continue. Factors such as an aging population and currently practicing nurses reaching retirement age are just a few reasons for the demand. According to a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges, by 2034 the United States may be facing a shortage of 37,800 to 124,000 physicians. When you pursue your degree through a direct-entry MSN program, you prepare yourself to take on the available roles created by this shortage, making this one of the biggest reasons why a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #6: You Can Save Money Earning a Nursing Degree

Because direct-entry MSN programs consider your previous baccalaureate curriculum, you can save money by not repeating general education and prerequisite coursework. Transferring credits from your previously earned bachelor’s degree program means you could save a good bit of money earning your MSN degree.

REASON #7: You Can Contribute to the Delivery of High-Quality Patient Care

As an MSN degree holder, you will be prepared to deliver quality, evidence-based patient care. Your contribution to the quality-of-care patients receive can influence patient and organizational outcomes, another excellent reason a direct-entry MSN degree is worth it.

REASON #8: You Can Teach Other Nurses

If you like the idea of teaching others and impacting future generations of nurses, you may find pursuing a direct-entry MSN degree is worth it. With an MSN, you can take on roles in community colleges and universities as a nursing instructor. You may also choose to work in the education department of a hospital or other healthcare organization teaching other nurses and allied health personnel about critical changes in nursing care, treatment strategies, or how to use new equipment properly.

REASON #9: You Can Work with a Greater Level of Independence

One of the top reasons a direct-entry MSN is worth it is your level of independence in practice. Nurses with an MSN lead teams of other nurses and ancillary personnel, work in administrative positions and may earn certification in an advanced practice role which could lead to private practice.

REASON #10: Opportunities for Research

If you are interested in improving and implementing data-driven policy changes through research, you may feel a direct-entry MSN is worth it. During your time in your MSN program, you may have the opportunity to work with faculty on existing research projects. This experience could be useful when seeking research-related nursing jobs after graduation. You may even choose to go into public health or data analytics to combine your nursing and research experience to impact health outcomes positively. In fact, you could leverage your previous college degree and experiences and combine them with the knowledge and skills you acquire in the direct-entry MSN program to become active in nursing research.

REASON #11: You Can Become a Leader in Nursing

MSN degree holders have multiple career tracks that lead to leadership roles. When you pursue a direct-entry MSN program, you may choose a specialty track such as clinical nurse leader, nurse practitioner, or nurse administrator. These specialized pathways can help you develop your skills and become an effective nursing leader.

REASON #12: More Opportunities to Choose Jobs that Fit Your Personal Schedule

It is no secret that the higher your degree, the more likely you are to find the "perfect job." Nursing is no different. One thing that makes a direct-entry MSN worth it is that you become eligible for jobs with better schedules. For example, upper-level nurses, like those with an MSN, are usually given preference when applying for administrative positions or jobs with more regular scheduling options. You can choose a job with set hours and negotiate the time you spend on call or working holidays. Choosing a career such as a nurse educator or nurse informaticist will eliminate the need for night shifts and unpredictable, long hours. If you have a home, family, or other responsibilities, this could mean a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #13: You'll Have a Personal Sense of Accomplishment

Joining the nursing workforce comes with a level of trust and respect not easily found in other careers. You will be able to make a positive impact on others’ lives and feel good about the work you are doing. You could feel a direct-entry MSN is worth it because it can leave you with a personal feeling of accomplishment and increase your sense of self-worth.

REASON #14: You Will Have the Ability to Make a Far-Reaching Impact

Master’s prepared nurses can use their skills to volunteer or work for health agencies on national and global levels. You can spend time overseas bringing necessary healthcare services to low-income countries. Many of these programs will match you with programs suited to your expertise and provide you with additional support and training as needed. Suppose you have the desire to impact underserved areas and impact healthcare delivery for those who are less fortunate. In that case, you may find the doors of opportunity created by this degree make a direct-entry MSN worth it.

REASON #15: Increased Opportunities to Mentor Others

Another wonderful thing that may make you feel a direct-entry MSN is worth it is that you can mentor others. MSN-prepared nurses can offer a wealth of knowledge and experiences to help others as they pursue their nursing degrees. Additionally, the knowledge and skills you acquired in your previous bachelor's program make you an appealing candidate for mentorship opportunities.

REASON #16: You Can Take Advantage of Travel Opportunities While Working

Travel nursing has become a popular option for nurses of all education levels. With an MSN degree, you will have a broader knowledge base and skill set that qualifies you for more advanced travel nurse opportunities. As an MSN-prepared nurse, you can sign up for travel contracts or join an emergency preparedness team. If you love the idea of traveling while earning money, a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #17: You Can Choose a Career You Feel Passionate About

When considering an MSN degree, one of the biggest reasons why a direct-entry MSN is worth it for me is having the choice to focus on something I am passionate about. You may desire to work with elderly clients and specialize as an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. If you like working with children, you could pursue a specialty as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. With your direct-entry MSN degree program, you may also choose from other specialties, such as Public Health Nursing, Nursing Informatics, or Nursing Education.

REASON #18: Earning a Direct-Entry MSN Degree is Easier than Becoming a Medical Doctor

If you are interested in providing care as an independent practitioner but are not ready for the lengthy commitment it takes to become an M.D., an MSN degree is an excellent choice for you. With a direct-entry MSN degree, you can pursue advanced practice certification in various specialties and provide direct patient care without earning a medical degree. For individuals with a genuine desire to provide medical care but who lack the time or financial resources medical school requires, a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #19: You Can Find the Perfect Niche Based on Your Preferences

In addition to advanced practice opportunities, you can also pursue certifications associated with the type of nursing that interests you most. For example, you may enjoy providing wound care services or medical aesthetics or like the idea of working as a consultant. You can earn certifications in these and other niches without pursuing a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist certification. These opportunities are another big reason a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #20: A Direct-Entry MSN Program Will Prepare You for Roles in Leadership

If you want a leadership role in nursing, such as Director of Nursing or Chief Nursing Officer, earning an MSN is an excellent way to get there. In fact, many hospitals and large healthcare systems prefer MSN degree nurses to run or manage their busy nursing departments and facilities. You may have the opportunity to chair committees and help implement policies and changes to provide better patient outcomes. If you are interested in one of these roles, you could certainly feel a direct-entry MSN degree is worth it.

REASON #21: MSN Degree Holders Have a Competitive Advantage in the Healthcare Market

It is no secret that nurses are significantly needed on both national and international levels. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing in addition to your previous degree gives you a competitive edge in the healthcare job market. This is one of the biggest reasons why a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #22: You Can Use Your Knowledge to Lobby for Changes in Healthcare on a Broader Scale

If you are interested in speaking on behalf of patients, populations, and the profession, you could use your knowledge and skills to lobby for changes relevant to nursing and healthcare needs. Nurse lobbyists have the unique opportunity of working directly with politicians and policymakers to make the concerns and needs of healthcare consumers known. If this sounds like something you would enjoy doing, a direct-entry MSN is worth it.

REASON #23: You Can Take on Expert Consultant Roles

When you earn your master’s degree through a direct-entry MSN program, you gain the knowledge needed to act in many expert roles. For example, some MSN degree holders work with attorneys or other legal professionals as expert medical witnesses. Others may work with lawyers or other legal teams to review medical records and prepare clients for court.

REASON #24: You Will Expand Your Professional Network

When you earn a master's degree in nursing, you broaden your professional reach and expand your professional network. This is important because the more people you associate with in your profession, the more likely you will be to hear about new job opportunities, education programs, and chances to broaden your practice reach.

REASON #25: You Will Gain the Respect of Other Professionals

Others know that earning a college degree is something to be proud of. When you complete your MSN degree, you will have the respect of other nurses and healthcare professionals. While you may not feel it is necessary for others to acknowledge your accomplishments, there is certainly nothing wrong with having your efforts and accomplishments recognized. After all, you worked hard for this!


(Now that we have discussed the 25 reasons why a Direct-Entry MSN is worth it, I want to share a few reasons why you could feel a Direct-Entry MSN is not worth it.)

REASON #1: Direct-Entry MSN Programs Can Be Costly

While the expense of a direct-entry MSN is lower compared to a more traditional route of education, it can still be expensive. Some programs can cost $100,000 or more. If you do not have the financial means to pay for school or cannot acquire grants and scholarships to offset the cost, you may feel a direct-entry MSN is not worth it.

REASON #2: You Must Make a Time Commitment to Succeed

Although you can complete a direct-entry MSN program in about two years, it takes a solid commitment. You must dedicate time to studying, working on assignments or projects, and completing clinical requirements. At times, you may feel there is little time for other important things. In this case, you may feel a direct-entry MSN is not worth it.

REASON #3: You Do Not Feel the Need to Earn a Master’s in Nursing

If you currently hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and want to become a registered nurse, that does not mean you must pursue a master's degree. You may see yourself working in a clinical nursing role and not aspiring for any management or leadership roles right now. If that is true, you could pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing. For instance, you could choose to pursue an accelerated BSN program instead. You will still become a registered nurse but without committing to an MSN program.

REASON #4: The Coursework is Challenging!

Master's nursing programs offer a rigorous curriculum. When you pursue your master's degree through a direct-entry MSN program, you enter the program with little or no nursing knowledge or experience. This means you must hit the ground running and work hard to master the content and succeed.

REASON #5: You Find it Difficult to Transition from One Thing to Another

While there are many benefits of moving from one degree or profession to another, you must be willing to embrace change. If you have a tough time transitioning, earning a second degree in a field unrelated to your first degree can be challenging. I suggest carefully considering why you want to become a nurse and think about how your first degree and work/life experiences can help ease your transition.

REASON #6: You Are Not Sure that a Clinical Role Suits You

One of the remarkable things about healthcare is there are endless opportunities. If you like the idea of working in healthcare, but the thought of bodily fluids and bedside care makes you feel a bit queasy, a non-clinical healthcare role may be a better fit. Although a direct-entry MSN degree is not worth it for people who desire a non-clinical role, several options allow you to transition to a healthcare career without dealing with the unwanted things that come with nursing. Perhaps a degree in Healthcare Administration or Social Work would be better suited for you.

REASON #7: You are Simply Not Ready

I can tell you, without a doubt, if you are not ready to go back to school, you should not. There is nothing wrong with taking time to get your bearings, explore your options, and decide what you are happy with. As long as there are living people, there will be a need for nurses to care for them. If you are not ready to commit to a nursing program or career, a direct-entry MSN degree is not worth it right now. You can still revisit the idea later.


The demand for direct-entry MSN degree holders continues to increase. Here are three of the main reasons behind the demand:

1. A nationwide shortage of nurses and healthcare providers:

The shortage of professional nurses and healthcare providers has never been greater. An aging population with longer lifespans and increased healthcare needs coupled with nurses retiring or leaving the profession has left an enormous void that needs to be filled. Nurses who earn a master's degree can work in clinical settings as nursing supervisors or take on advanced practice roles and provide patient care. The versatility associated with the MSN role is one of the main reasons there is such a demand for graduates of this type of program.

2. A shortage of nursing faculty:

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there remains a significant shortage in the number of qualified nursing faculty. This shortage has led to thousands of qualified nursing school applicants being turned away from programs. Graduates of direct-entry MSN programs are qualified to fill some of the positions for nursing faculty, which can help alleviate the shortage of instructors and increase the number of students schools can accept.

3. Increased Occurrence of Acute and Chronic Illnesses and Diseases:

The aging population requires more complex care, which directly increases the number of healthcare professionals needed to care for them. MSN-prepared nurses can specialize in geriatrics or as an FNP and care for this population. Additionally, there is a higher incidence of both acute and chronic illnesses requiring professional healthcare providers to assess, diagnose, and manage these illnesses. Graduates of direct-entry MSN programs working in advanced practice roles can handle many of these problems.


With a degree from a direct-entry MSN program, you can expect to make $65,980 per year. This breaks down to $5,500 per month, $1,269 per week, and $31.72 per hour.



The average salary for direct-entry MSN degree holders is $98,000 per year. This is also equivalent to $8,170 per month, 1,885 per week, or $47.12 per hour.



On average, it can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 to earn a degree through a direct-entry MSN program. The average annual income for graduates of these programs is $98,000. Depending on your work setting, schedule, and years of experience, you can earn an even higher salary. When you factor in these numbers, it is safe to say the return on the investment of a direct-entry MSN program is worth the cost of the degree.


There are several jobs you can get after earning a direct-entry MSN degree. The career route you choose will depend on your personal preference. The following are three of the best jobs you can get with a direct-entry MSN degree.

1. Nurse Practitioner:

Becoming a nurse practitioner opens the door to endless opportunities. You can choose between multiple specialty tracks and care for people of all ages and backgrounds. Make a measurable difference in others’ lives by providing them with evidence-based primary and specialty care.

2. Nursing Informatics Specialist:

Healthcare professionals worldwide have turned to electronic health records and monitoring systems to maintain and monitor patient information. Be on the leading front of technology by providing necessary nursing input into developing and implementing these systems.

3. Nurse Educator:

If you want to help meet the growing demand for quality nurses, you can become a nurse educator. By working through an academic or hospital-based training program, you can combine your passion for nursing and teaching others into one career.


At the end of the day, we all want to make more money, and choosing a direct-entry MSN degree will set you up for future success. Here are three bonus tips on how to extend your degree and make more money.

1. Pick a specialty:

One of the best ways to increase your earning potential with a direct-entry MSN degree is to pick a specialty and become certified. For example, choosing a specialty such as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) positions you for one of the highest-paying advanced practice nurse salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, CRNAs earn an average annual salary of $202,470.

2. Start your own business:

If you like the idea of increased income and being your own boss, consider starting your own business as a nurse consultant. You may choose to be a legal nurse consultant or take on freelance jobs of your choosing to consult with organizations and healthcare facilities.

3. Become an administrator:

Administrative or management roles in nursing are notorious for having higher salaries. If you are a natural leader and enjoy helping other employees succeed, this is an excellent way to make more money.


There are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about whether to apply for a direct-entry MSN program. Throughout this article, we looked at 25 reasons why a direct-entry MSN is worth it and also 7 reasons why it may not be the right degree for you. We also looked into what your potential income could be, the requirements for admission, and how long the program will take to complete and attempted to answer the question, “Is a direct-entry MSN worth your time and money?” Based on the information we gathered and my personal experience as a nurse, I genuinely believe a direct-entry MSN program is worth the time and effort it takes to earn the degree.


1. What Is The Best Age To Pursue A Direct-Entry MSN Degree?

Attending school full-time or part-time and continuing to work will take a lot of energy. Managing other responsibilities and ensuring you still have time for yourself can be difficult. The best age to complete your MSN degree through direct entry is the age when you feel you have the time and energy to be successful.

2. How Hard Is It To Get Into A Direct-Entry MSN Degree Program?

Admission to a direct-entry MSN degree program can be competitive. It takes effort and consistency on your part. When you find a program that interests you, be sure to submit a complete application and follow up once you submit it.

3. Do I Need Work Experience To Get Into A Direct-Entry MSN Degree Program?

Most direct-entry MSN programs are designed for students with no previous nursing experience, but make sure you check directly with the program you are applying for to be sure.

4. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into A Direct-Entry MSN Degree Program?

Most master’s level nursing programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0. However, in some circumstances, schools may accept a lower GPA. So, it is still worth contacting the school if your GPA is lower, as they may make exceptions.

5. Are Online Direct-Entry MSN Degree Programs Worth It?

Accredited online programs are definitely worth it. Online direct-entry MSN programs provide the same curriculum. They are just taught through a different format. You will still complete in-person clinical hours and gain the necessary experience to begin your career. Online programs can allow you more flexibility to complete classes on your schedule.

6. Are Scholarships And Grants Available For Direct-Entry MSN Degree Programs?

Yes, there are scholarships and grants available for direct-entry MSN degree programs. Also, check with the individual school you are applying to as grants and scholarships vary by program.

7. Is It Hard To Complete A Direct-Entry MSN Degree?

It can be time-consuming and a commitment on your part to complete a direct-entry MSN degree. However, the challenging work will prepare you for a rewarding career as an advanced-degree nurse and makes it worth the effort.

8. Can Direct-Entry MSN Students Have A Life?

With the flexibility of online classes or part-time in-person programs, you can still find time to have a life and enjoy time with friends and family.

9. Can I Work Part-Time And Successfully Complete The Direct-Entry MSN Degree Program?

It is possible to work part-time and successfully complete a direct-entry MSN degree program. You will need to check with the program you are applying for as the format for part-time completion tracks varies between schools. If you are accepted to a part-time program and have flexibility with your job to schedule around your clinical rotations, you should be able to continue working.

10. Can I Work Full-Time And Successfully Complete The Direct-Entry MSN Degree Program?

While working full-time can be difficult while completing your direct-entry MSN program, it is not impossible. It is a good idea to discuss options for scheduling with your employer and academic advisor to make juggling the responsibilities of both easier.

11. Do Students Fail In Direct-Entry MSN Degree Programs?

Sometimes students in direct-entry MSN programs do fail. However, the fail rate for direct-entry MSN students is not higher than other MSN programs. The most important thing to consider is that just because you fail a class or need to take a break or regroup, that does not make you a failure. If you want to earn the degree, never give up!

12. Will I Ever Regret Getting A Direct-Entry MSN Degree?

The opportunities available once you earn your MSN degree are endless. If you become bored or dislike the first job you have you can choose to further your education or simply try out a different career. Having this number of choices makes it unlikely you will regret getting your degree.

13. How Much Does A Direct-Entry MSN Graduate Make Per Hour?

An MSN degree holder makes an average of $47.12 per hour.


14. How Much Does A Direct-Entry MSN Graduate Make Per Year?

MSN graduates can expect to make more money than if they only had their BSN degree. The average annual salary is $98,000.


15. Will Direct-Entry MSN Graduates Be Paid Less In The Future?

With a shortage of nurses and a growing number of people requiring healthcare services, it is unlikely to expect that direct-entry MSN graduates will be paid less in the future.

16. Are All Direct-Entry MSN Graduates Successful In Their Careers?

Every individual's trajectory toward success is different. You can be successful if you are passionate about what you do and work hard.

17. Are Direct-Entry MSN Graduates Happy With Their Jobs?

In general, nurses report being happy with their jobs. This satisfaction increases with additional degrees such as an MSN.

18. Can Direct-Entry MSN Degree Holders Become Rich?

There are many options to increase your salary using your direct entry MSN degree. You can become a DNP or open your own business. Becoming rich means something different to everyone, but you can make a good income.

19. What Are Some Of The Best Direct-Entry MSN Degree Alternatives?

Alternatives to a direct entry MSN degree would be an accelerated program where you can earn a BSN, a healthcare administration degree, social work degree, or human resources manager degree.

Brooke Schmidt, RN, BSN
Brooke Schmidt is a registered nurse with 10 years of clinical experience. She is currently living in Oregon and enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family. Brooke graduated from The University of Portland with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. During her time in school, Brooke developed a passion for geriatrics and chose a specialized practicum to gain further experience with this population.

Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).