A BSN to MSN Program Built with Busy Nurses in Mind
Experience is valuable. And your experience as a nurse is what will make you a great nurse educator. A BSN to MSN nursing education program is designed to help you thrive as a nurse educator—giving you crucial skills that will prepare you to train the next generation of nurses, impact patient care, and improve health systems in your community. WGU’s online, CCNE-accredited BSN to MSN program will prepare you to teach a new generation of nurses, influence patient outcomes, and change the future of healthcare.
This BSN to MSN program lets you utilize your knowledge and experience and gives you specific skills you need to take your passion and teach it to others. As a leader you will develop and implement life-saving techniques that will set important standards for the nurses you train. This online nursing education degree program also includes clinical practice experiences that support the student in demonstrating advanced nursing practice competence and curriculum development. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to earn the NAHQ (National Association for Healthcare Quality) HQ Principles certificate along with your degree, helping you to boost your résumé before you even graduate.
Need to earn your BSN first? No problem! Check out the RN-to-MSN version of this program.
64% of graduates finish within
WGU lets you move more quickly through material you already know and advance when you're ready. The result: You may finish faster.
Tuition per six-month term is
Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps you reduce the ultimate cost of your degree. Finish faster, pay less!
Transfer credit is accepted*
of your coursework (up to 17 competency units) taken at the graduate (master's) level at a nationally or regionally accredited institution can be transferred to this WGU program.
*Courses must have been completed within the past five years with an earned grade of "B" or higher.
Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?
Next Start Date: November 1
Start Dates the 1st of Every Month
Evolving Roles of Nurse Educators in Diverse Environments examines the multidimensional roles of a contemporary academic nurse educator. This course explores the roles and responsibilities of the nurse educator as a teacher, leader, change agent, and curriculum innovator. Students will also examine the importance of personal and professional development by developing strategies that promote academic integrity, cultural sensitivity, social justice, and ethical/legal values in diverse environments. The course emphasizes the responsibility of nurse educators to utilize communication, collaboration, and leadership in mitigating challenges in academic nursing education.
Facilitation of Context-Based Student-Centered Learning explores how the nurse educator will incorporate authentic experiences into the creation of course plans that facilitate scholarly inquiry, collaboration, and knowledge acquisition in varied educational environments. Emphasis is placed on innovative, transformational, and experiential teaching and learning strategies to facilitate student development of professional, context-based nursing principles, knowledge, skills, and behavior. Evolving Roles of Nurse Educators in Diverse Environments is a prerequisite to this course.
Contemporary Curriculum Design and Development in Nursing Education analyzes the concepts of creating curriculum based on national nursing accreditation standards and instructional design best practices. Nurse educator students will create course content that supports learning in diverse, real-world environments where nurse educators facilitate learning. Instructional design strategies for delivering course content will reflect the mission of academic institution programs, contemporary trends in nursing education, and the needs of key stakeholders in nursing education and practice. Facilitation of Context-Based Student-Centered Learning is a prerequisite to this course.
Assessment and Evaluation Strategies for Measuring Student Learning addresses the academic nurse educator's role in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of student achievement outcomes in nursing education programs. This course requires students to integrate best practices from nursing theory and theories of learning to assess student learning in diverse educational settings. Topics include validity, reliability, and practicality of assessments; interpreting item difficulty and discrimination test results; and analyzing student achievement and learning outcomes data. This course has no prerequisites.
Emerging Trends and Challenges in 21st Century Nursing Education analyzes the emerging trends, technologies, and challenges that academic nurse educators encounter when facilitating learning in diverse healthcare settings. Students will focus on the necessity of interprofessional collaboration and the barriers and facilitators to overcoming the challenges associated with teaching and learning in nursing. Topics include the impact of emerging technology, challenges in nursing practice, and the role of the academic nurse educator as a scholar and a nursing education policy advocate. This course has no prerequisites.
The Nursing Education Field Experience provides the nurse educator student with clinical practice experiences with the opportunity to advance knowledge and expertise in a clinical area of practice and reflect on those experiences as they relate to the nurse educator role. Students demonstrate advanced clinical competence within a selected patient population that connect the four spheres of care identified by AACN The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education (2021) (e.g., Wellness/Disease Prevention; Chronic Disease Management, Regenerative/ Restorative Care, and Hospice/Palliative Care). Students also analyze the need-gap for a curriculum change, innovation, or improvement. Based on the identified need-gap, the student will begin the design and development of a course module or unit that reflects evidence-based instructional design and assessment principles and practices. This course prepares the nurse educator student with advanced clinical competence which lays the foundation of clinical relevance when they support student learning as a Nurse Educator.
The Nursing Education Capstone course provides the Nurse Educator student an opportunity to apply previous course work towards the completion of an evidence-based curriculum proposal project. During this course students will build on previous work during their Nursing Education Field Experience course by planning the implementation and evaluation phases of their proposed curriculum change, innovation or improvement. The capstone project represents a synthesis of competencies across the Masters Science of Nursing—Nursing Education degree program, which prepares them to lead, manage, and transform nursing education in diverse and complex settings.
Professional Presence and Influence is a masters-level course designed to guide students towards an enhanced state of presence, where therapeutic relationships are built between nurse and patient. Students will learn techniques for self-care practices that result in enhanced mental and physical wellbeing and that ensure ethically-generated patient care. Presence is an intrapersonal and interpersonal quality that allows the nurse to relate to others and to be aware of the world around them. The characteristics of presence, which include holism, intimacy, sensitivity and adaptability, create a heightened sense of awareness that fosters therapeutic relationships between the nurse and patient. Developing a mindful, authentic presence is central to health and spiritual practices in several cultures and a major element of leadership. Students will intentionally develop a focused mindfulness practice that will influence patient outcomes and lead to conditions that create joy in the workplace.
Essentials of Advanced Nursing Roles and Interprofessional Practice explores essential characteristics of the advanced professional nurse in the role of leader, educator, practitioner, or informatics specialist. In this course, students will apply evidence-based strategies to facilitate interprofessional collaboration on teams. Students will explore the role of nurses in advocating for change at the bedside, as well as leading teams to advocate for health policy reform. Students will gather and analyze data to identify patients and populations at risk and recommend policy change to improve health outcomes in the community.
Quality Outcomes in a Culture of Value-Based Nursing Care incorporates current standards of quality and safety within the context of value-based care. In a value-based healthcare system, the benefits are derived from measuring health outcomes against the cost of delivering the outcomes. These benefits are then extended to patients, providers, payers, suppliers, and society as a whole. This course introduces new healthcare delivery models, which stress a team-oriented approach to patient care and sharing of patient data so that care is coordinated, and outcomes can be measured easily. Emphasis is placed on performance and quality improvement methods that underlie value-based nursing care. The nurse in advanced practice today must exemplify the standards of quality and safety and be prepared to lead the delivery of value-based patient-centered care.
Advanced Pathopharmacological Foundations provides advanced practice nurses foundational knowledge in the many pathologies encountered in practice today. Advancing from the cellular to the body system level, this course examines the pathologies of common conditions seen in healthcare today. Consideration is also given to the human affective response to alterations in health. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Advanced Health Assessment of Patients and Populations builds on prior physical health assessment knowledge and skills acquired during undergraduate studies by focusing on the advanced assessment of biopsychosocial and sociocultural contexts in patients and populations across the life span. This course emphasizes the use of a comprehensive health promotion, disease prevention, and health restoration model to address health concerns in patients and communities. Students will acquire advanced assessment knowledge and skills for clinical interviewing, focused history taking, critical diagnostic reasoning, and clinical decision-making using a problem-focused framework that integrates authentic experiences with practical knowledge of health patterns in patients and communities. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Informatics for Transforming Nursing Care integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. Students will acquire knowledge and skills to apply informatics concepts, communications, and data that are critical to facilitating interprofessional data-driven decision-making. It is designed to build competence in the use of patient- and population-based applications that inform and support the transformation of nursing care delivery toward a future of value-based quality nursing care that improves health outcomes. This course aligns theoretical concepts with practical applications of informatics and is consistent with the functional areas and responsibilities of informatics nurses as defined by American Nurses Association Scope and Standards for nursing informatics.
Leadership and Management in Complex Healthcare Systems prepares graduate nurses to be thoughtful strategists and informed decision-makers who serve as strong leaders in high-performing healthcare systems. Students develop competencies for managing diverse teams in complex systems, monitoring and measuring organizational performance, allocating financial and human resources, and leading change towards a transformed healthcare system. Additionally, students acquire the knowledge and skills to become full partners with other healthcare professionals by demonstrating nurse contributions toward high-quality care to patients and populations, while working collaboratively with interprofessional teams. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Advancing Evidence-Based Innovation in Nursing Practice introduces students to the dynamic union of healthcare innovation and evidence. Core competencies and behaviors required to be a nurse innovator are discussed. Strategies for measuring innovation at various system levels are presented, as well as techniques for synthesizing and disseminating evidence to advance innovation in healthcare. The skills needed to appraise the quality of diverse sources of evidence are presented within the framework of evidence-based practice. This course focuses on identifying new and emerging sources of evidence that can inform, translate, and scale the complexity of leading innovation in healthcare organizations. Students will experience building communities of practice for collaboratively developing innovative practices and policies designed to improve the health of populations and enhance the patient experience of care.
Program consists of 15 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
Special requirements for this program
While most of your coursework will be completed online, your nursing program includes some requirements—including field experiences—that must be completed in a facility near you.
WGU tuition is charged per six-month term, not per credit. That means if you want to move faster through this online nursing education program, you'll pay less.
On Your Schedule
You can continue working at your full-time job or maintaining your responsibilities while pursing your BSN to MSN degree. You don't have to log-in to classes and there aren't due dates. You are in charge of your degree.
When you enroll in the nursing education program at WGU, you join an impressive network of healthcare professionals. Over 18,000 students earned healthcare degrees from WGU in 2020 alone, and are hard at work, changing the lives of patients and impacting communities.
One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
Transfer Credits Accepted, No Work Requirement
Now's the time to advance your healthcare career with a master's degree:
- Transfer up to 17 competency units (47%) of your MSN courses taken at the graduate (master's) level at an accredited institution to this WGU degree program. Courses must have been completed at an accredited MSN program within the past five years with an earned grade of "B" or higher.
- There is no RN work requirement. This means you don't need to be currently working as an RN in order to be eligible for admission into our MSN programs.
A Nursing Master's Degree Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
Designed to be Different: An MSN Program Built for a Busy Nurse’s Schedule
Competency-based education puts working nurses in the driver’s seat of their education. As a busy nurse, you need a nursing degree program that's more than simply online—you need an online nursing program that truly reflects the realities of your work life and experience.
At WGU, your progress is driven by your ability to prove what you’ve learned. How—and how quickly—are largely up to you. Once you’ve mastered the defined competencies (knowledge and skills), you prove what you know through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s MSN – Education curriculum.
Other universities' online M.S. programs may give you the convenience of distance learning; WGU's competency-based online programs take that flexibility further—many steps further!
Impart Excellence—Train Caregivers in Diverse Settings
Once you have earned a CCNE-accredited M.S. Nursing – Education degree, you will have the knowledge and skills to be an outstanding nurse educator. You'll be in demand, because you'll be prepared to translate your extensive nursing knowledge into learning opportunities for other nurses.
BSN to MSN prepared nurse educators teach and train nurses, nursing students, school children, community groups, workers, patients, and consumers. A BSN to MSN can prepare you to make a difference in a wide variety of settings, including:
- Community agencies.
- Industry and businesses.
- Nursing programs.
Return on Your Investment
Real Results for Your Career: An MSN – Education Degree Prepares You to Be a Nurse Educator
Given the growing nurse educator shortage, earning your MSN with a focus in nursing education is both a rewarding decision and a solid career move. Once you master subjects like curriculum development, instruction and evaluation, and current technology in nursing education, your role in nursing can take on a whole new dimension. Our 3,000-plus M.S. Nursing – Education alumni have great jobs and satisfying careers:
- Nurse educator
- Nursing faculty
- Program director
- Academic clinical nurse educator
- Hospitals and healthcare clinics
- Colleges and universities
- Healthcare networks
- Law enforcement and corrections
- Hospice providers
- Healthcare Corp. of America
- Purdue University
- University of Utah
- Hospice Care of California
WGU Grads Hold Positions With Top Employers
Hospitals and clinics around the country know the benefit of a master's degree from WGU, so your nursing degree is valuable.
Admissions Requirements Unique to This Nursing Degree
To be considered for this master's in nursing education program, you must:
- Possess a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN).
- Possess an active, unencumbered RN license (though you are not required to be working as an RN at the time of enrollment):
1. In your state of residence, or
2. In your state of employment.
Prior to your clinical placement, you must submit to a criminal background check through American Databank and provide proof of current immunizations. Additional fees apply.
NOTE: RN licensure in your state of residence or employment is required to successfully complete clinical experiences. You must be licensed in the state in which you will complete the project or clinical experience. Compact licenses must be endorsed by your state of residence. For more information about compact licenses.
Get Your Enrollment Checklist
Download your step-by-step guide to enrollment.
Get Your Questions Answered
Talk to an WGU Enrollment Counselor.
More About the BSN-to-MSN Nursing Education Program
- General Program Questions
- Financial Aid Questions
Yes. You may talk to an Enrollment Counselor without paying the $65 application fee, but the fee must be paid or waived with a unique code before you can be admitted. The application fee helps defray our costs associated with admissions, transcript collection, enrolling students, etc. Note: It is against federal regulations to use financial aid for an application fee.
Transcripts must be received by the 1st of the month before your intended start date. WGU requires that ALL official transcripts of previous academic work completed at other colleges and universities be submitted for evaluation.
Admissions requirements vary widely from program to program and from school to school. Nurse practitioner programs—including Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and post-MSN NP certificate programs—can be among the most competitive. One factor commonly considered for enrollment in post-graduate nursing programs is grade-point average (GPA) from previous college work. The nature of WGU’s competency-based model means WGU graduates do not have a GPA when they earn their degree. WGU will work with you to help other institutions understand our model.
However, other factors beyond GPA are considered by many programs across the country. WGU provides opportunities for students to students to demonstrate excellence beyond a GPA, including participation in nationally recognized honors programs, real-world projects that you complete as part of your program that you can showcase in your post-graduate applications, and letters of recommendation from WGU faculty or leadership.
The WGU non-NP MSN courses do not satisfy the requirement for three separate courses in Physical Assessment, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology. These are often referred to as the “3 Ps” and are required for national certification and licensure as a nurse practitioner.
You will need to work closely with the nurse practitioner program, national certification organization and licensing agency to be sure you have completed all requirements before certification and licensure.
For any aspiring graduate student, it is important to maximize your own qualities as well as do the research to understand the schools that offer the programs you seek to join.
You can start your research by reviewing post-graduate programs that have admitted WGU alumni in the past. Look on LinkedIn for WGU nursing alumni who have gone on to become nurse practitioners, and check their profiles to see which schools they attended after graduating from WGU. Contact the school to ask whether they enroll students from competency-based programs like WGU’s. And talk to your WGU Enrollment Counselor. WGU can provide alumni with a letter they can share with graduate schools, explaining our competency-based model. This letter has helped WGU alumni be accepted into a variety of graduate programs in a number of fields and disciplines.
It depends on the type of program you choose for your MSN. Traditional programs typically take 2 years, but you may be able to find a competency-based program like WGU that allows you to finish faster.
Typical BSN to MSN programs can cost upwards of $25,000. It's important to do your research when looking for an BSN to MSN program to find one that is accredited but also affordable. For example, WGU's BSN to MSN program costs $4,367 per six-month term. And if you finish faster at WGU, you pay less.
Depending on what you want to do with your career, an MSN can be extremely helpful. While nurses don't technically need a BSN or MSN, many hospitals are wanting BSN trained nurses to help their hospital reach magnet status. And if you are wanting to pursue other career options, such as nurse education, nurse management, becoming a nurse practitioner, etc. you will absolutely need an MSN.
Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:
- How to apply
- Eligibility requirements
- Examples of scholarships
- What happens after you apply
- Other financial aid options
WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at other schools.
Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?