Nurse practitioner (NP)
Holy Cross does not offer a pathway for a student to graduate and become a registered nurse without earning an additional degree or training elsewhere. However, many students apply to graduate nursing programs to gain a master's degree or doctorate in nursing and earn a nurse practitioner's (NP or DNP) license after graduating from Holy Cross.
Nursing programs vary considerably in requirements, so it is important to researach requirements of individual schools. While the coursework is somewhat similar to pre-2015 MCAT medical schools, most do not require physics or a second semester of organic chemistry, but do require coursework in human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, social sciences and statistics. Students may need to take some coursework away from Holy Cross, for example through the Higher Edication Consortium for Central Massachusetts (HECCMA). Students may take one course per semester through a HECCMA school as part of Holy Cross tuition - you need to go on to the individual college websites to find enrollment information and fill out the appropriate paperwork available in the Holy Cross Registrar's Office.
Physician assistant (PA)
Physician assistant (PA) programs have similar requirements to NP programs though like NP programs vary from school to school but often have more science coursework and fewer social science and nutrition course requirements. Again, it is important that interested students research individual schools. PA programs often require extensive clinical work before application, ranging from three months to a year of full-time patient contact work. Applicants often get this experience working as a medical assistant, nurse's aid or personal care attendant, for example. Schools vary in the types of experiences they accept, so it is important to consult with individual schools.
Holy Cross has a linkage with the physician assistant program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) in Worcester and can assist with applications to this and other physician assistant programs.