Illinois College grad heads to Rush University College of Nursing


This January, Andrea Kestner will be the first Illinois College graduate to attend Chicago’s Rush University College of Nursing as part of a partnership between the two schools.

Illinois College President Barbara Farley, members of the board of trustees, faculty, staff, students and representatives from Rush gathered on campus Thursday, October 17, to congratulate and wish Kestner well as she paves the way for future IC students.

“I am extremely eager to attend Rush in January,” says Kestner, a May 2013 graduate. “Professor Linda Cockerill told me about the GEM (generalist entry master’s) program at Rush, and it didn't take long for me to realize that this was an opportunity that I could not pass up.”

Through the affiliation with Rush University, a graduating Illinois College student, with the appropriate courses taken, has the opportunity to continue their education at Rush to receive a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The two-year master’s program includes a Registered Nurse license and a Clinical Nurse Leader national certification, as well.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Chicago’s Rush University School of Nursing 15th in the nation among U.S. nursing colleges that offer graduate programs. When the school dropped their undergraduate program a few years ago, they started affiliating themselves with colleges like Illinois College.

“Our affiliates are handpicked, small, private liberal arts colleges,” Molly Spurlock, admissions specialist at Rush University, says. “We feel that a strong liberal arts education produces the types of students we want in our program.”

For more information, contact Linda Cockerill, pre-nursing program advisor, at 217-245-3448 or at


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