MS Nursing Leadership (RN to MSN), Degree Details

How This Program Works

WGU offers degrees, not classes.

WGU does not rely upon classes in the traditional sense. We don’t base your progress on accumulating credit hours, but rather on completing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in a subject area. We ask you to"prove you know your stuff." You’ll study. You’ll write papers. You’ll take tests. You’ll complete assignments.

Here’s how it works:

  • Your degree requirements are carefully developed to give you high-level competence in nurse administration and other nursing-related subject areas.
  • You must pass or complete rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments) which will require you to demonstrate your competence in each subject area.
  • You will work with your assigned mentor on your personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you prepare for and tackle the required assessments in your course of study.
  • Each term is a full six months in length. During each term, you can complete as much of your degree as possible.
  • Progress is measured through Competency Units (CUs), which are credit equivalents that track your completion of the required assessments. To maintain full-time status, you are expected to complete at least 12 CUs in a term during your bachelor’s degree coursework; 8 CUs per term during graduate-level coursework. More are possible.
  • You and your mentor will determine the learning resources (online courses, textbooks, tutorials, etc.) that will best serve you in your competency development.
  • With few exceptions, you will be able to choose when and where you study, and together with your mentor, you’ll schedule your assessments.

It’s your program.
Online learning isn’t easy. You should expect to work hard and spend 20 hours or more per week on your studies. Your program, however, will be flexible enough to fit into your lifestyle, not the other way around.

Learn more about why you should choose WGU.

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How Long Your Program Takes May Vary

Standard Time to Completion: 4 years

WGU’s competency-based approach results in degree completion times that can vary from student to student. The amount of time it will take you depends upon four factors:

  1. The amount of credits you transfer in.
  2. The knowledge and skills you already possess in the field.
  3. The amount of time you spend working on your program each week.
  4. Your self-motivation and determination.

Many students proceed faster than the normal pace designed into each program. But don’t assume doing so is easy. WGU programs are quite rigorous. The pace at which you complete your WGU program depends upon how quickly you are able to take and pass the required assessments. Successful students who commit 20 hours or more per week to their studies are often able to complete their programs more quickly.

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor for a personalized estimate of your time to completion.

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Tuition That’s Affordable

Basic Tuition: $3,250 per six-month term
Resource Fee: $145 per six-month term (non-refundable)
Application Fee: $65 (one time)
Consolidated Nursing Program Fee: $350 (one time) will be charged during the first term to help offset additional costs associated with the nursing program.

Other student responsibilities:

  • Criminal Background Check: $42
  • Immunization Tracking: $50 for 2 1/2 years (for CA students only)

Students in some states may be required to pay additional fees associated with accessing court documents. Talk to a WGU Enrollment Counselor to learn more.

You pay for the time, not the credits. Tuition is charged at a flat rate every six months and covers all coursework attempted in that time. A full-time load for this degree program is at least 12 competency units (credit equivalents) per term during bachelor’s-level coursework, and 8 CUs per term during graduate-level coursework. Whether you complete more or fewer units, you are charged the same flat rate.

You have a significant advantage if you have extensive experience in the field and the time to take on a substantial course load. If you can shorten the time it takes for you to complete your degree, you pay less.

Here’s an example:

  • 4 years (or 8 terms): $26,000
  • 3 years (or 6 terms): $19,500
  • 2 years (or 4 terms): $13,000

How does tuition compare to other online schools? Very favorably. Our tuition is typically half what other reputable online universities charge. Other schools charge as much as $600 per credit, which can ultimately cost over $40,000 for your degree. Plus, at WGU you have the benefit of cost savings if you can complete your program faster.

More information about Tuition and Fees
Compare WGU’s tuition to other schools

Federal financial aid is available to those who qualify. Some types of loans are based on financial need; however, one type of loan is available to most students. And because tuition is low, you should be able to finish your degree without large education debts.

Learn more about financial aid
Talk to an Enrollment Counselor to learn what financial aid may be available to you.

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A Generous Credit Transfer Policy

A personal evaluation of your transcripts from prior colleges will be needed to determine whether you will be able to clear any degree requirements. You may also be able to clear a number of bachelor’s degree-level course requirements, dependent on a course-by-course evaluation of your official transcripts.

The good news: Because of our competency-based approach to education, you will always benefit from knowledge and skills you’ve developed already from prior college, work experience, or your own personal abilities to help expedite your degree program.

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor about your situation for a better explanation.

Learn more about transferring credits

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Accredited and Credible

Credibility is a critical factor when considering an online degree program. Accreditation is a key indicator of a university’s credibility among both academia and employers. WGU is:

  • CCNE accreditation — by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Regionally accredited — by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities such as the University of Washington, University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, to name a few.
  • Founded by 19 governors and supported by major businesses — WGU was founded by 19 U.S. governors. WGU is also supported by over 20 major corporations and foundations who believe in the university’s commitment to producing highly competent graduates. Several of these corporations continue to serve on our National Advisory Board.

Learn more about accreditation.

Our focus on competency development is also valued by employers. As a graduate of WGU, you’ll have a valued credential that is recognized by employers. You can learn more about how employers view WGU graduates by exploring our Student Success and Performance Data.

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WGU Admission Process

Applicants must possess an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and have a current, unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license. Applicants must be working in a position that requires use of nursing knowledge and expertise at the time of application and enrollment.

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor who can help you understand what is required of you.

More info about Admissions

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