Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s undergraduate program educates and graduates competent and caring nursing professionals. The academic program teaches the skills required for nursing and helps students develop the abilities to think critically, to analyze complex situations, to make sound clinical decisions and to deliver safe nursing care.

The program is a four-year direct entry bachelor’s degree program designed to effectively teach students the required skills and knowledge to become a Registered Nurse. 

Clinical Simulation Learning Laboratory

The Clinical Simulation Learning Laboratory (CSLL) gives students the opportunity to learn basic clinical skills in a comfortable, non-threatening environment prior to entering patient care settings. Faculty and experienced laboratory instructors use state-of-the-art video and computer teaching tools to assist in developing nursing knowledge.

Clinical Rotations

With the solid foundation of theory and clinical skills learned in the classroom and the CSLL, students complete seven clinical rotations in a variety of settings that include:

  • Loyola University Health System and Adventist-Hinsdale Hospital; Advocate-Lutheran General, Good Samaritan and Illinois Masonic Hospitals; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Hospital; Cadence-Central DuPage Hospital; MacNeal Health Network; NorthShore University-Evanston; Northwest Community Hospital; Northwestern Memorial Hospital; Presence Health-Resurrection, St. Joseph and St. Francis Hospitals; Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Rush North Shore Medical Center; Swedish Covenant Hospital; University of Illinois Hospital; University of Chicago Hospitals; Hines Veteran's Administration Hospital
  • Selected long-term care facilities and senior centers
  • School-based health centers such as Proviso East High School
  • Psychiatric settings and other medical facilities

Clinical Role Transition (CRT)

Clinical Role Transition is the final clinical rotation and is considered to be the capstone course of the program. CRT provides an intensive clinical experience with students assuming the role of a beginning nurse under the guidance of a professional mentor.

CRT occurs during the final seven weeks of the program. Students are expected to successfully complete a 160 clock hour clinical rotation prior to graduation.

Clinical Assignments

Clinical placements are assigned by the School of Nursing at random. Each student will receive a clinical placement/s based on their current theory course. Clinical groups are fluid and often change from semester to semester. Students should not expect to remain in the same clinical group.

Clinical Transportation

Students are responsible for transportation to and from clinical sites.

Course Scheduling and Registration

The sequence of courses in nursing is offered in a full-time day program. Course scheduling depends on many factors and is subject to change. Theory courses are scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. and are conducted at the Lake Shore Campus.  Clinical rotations are scheduled from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. or 2-9 p.m.

NCLEX Exam/Preparation

Kaplan Testing

Undergraduate nursing students are required to take standardized tests to help prepare for computer-based tests, such as the NCLEX. Students begin taking Kaplan testing during the fall semester freshman year and continue throughout the duration of the program.

Each test covers a relevant content area learned in the undergraduate curriculum. To pass the exams, students must achieve a score at or above the 50th program percentile rank, as shown on their score report. If the student does not reach the test's passing threshold, they must take an online remediation test on their own time. The online remediation test must be passed with 90% of the questions correct by a specified due date in order to receive credit. Tests include:

  • Test of Essential Academic Skills - Taken at the beginning of the program, this test measures the student’s preparedness for a nursing education.
  • Critical Thinking Entrance - Taken at the beginning of the program, this test measures the student’s critical thinking ability.
  • Self Assessment - Taken at the beginning of the program, this test measures how the student learns and processes information.
  • Fundamentals of Nursing - Taken at the end of GNUR 208, this test covers basic general nursing skills.
  • Maternal Newborn - Taken at the end of MCN 273.
  • Mental Health - Taken at the end of CMAN 272.
  • Pharmacology - Taken at the end of the Spring Semester of each program start year.
  • Nursing Care of Children - Taken at the end of MCN 374.
  • Adult Medical Surgical - Taken at the end of MSN 378.


After completing the BSN program, students are eligible to complete the NCLEX examination to obtain the RN license.  Loyola alumni currently enjoy a graduating class of 2011 96% pass rate on the exam.