This Online Bridge from RN to MSN Helps You Make a Difference as a Nursing Leader
As a nurse, you know how to combine the science of success with the art of care. Your chosen career path shows that you feel called to care—you work hard to serve, meet your patients’ needs, and ultimately change lives. An RN to MSN degree in leadership and management can prepare you to help others in your organization succeed, bring out the best in your co-workers, and execute procedure as effectively as possible. An RN to MSN in leadership and management is critical in helping you take your career to the next level and have a positive impact on the future of healthcare. WGU’s online, CCNE-accredited RN to MSN program will prepare you to lead the way in a changing healthcare industry. It begins with BSN-level coursework and then continues with cutting-edge curriculum designed to build the transformational leaders a rapidly evolving healthcare industry demands. And because of the personalized pacing of our competency-based approach to earning your nursing degree, you can complete this online MSN degree program even on a busy nurse’s often-unpredictable schedule.
In this online degree program we want to give you as much real-world, hands-on experience as possible. We want to set nursing leaders up for career success through our program. When you pursue this degree you'll get clinical practice experiences such as real-time simulation using immersive virtual reality training. Additionally, you'll earn the NAHQ (National Association for Healthcare Quality) HQ Principles certificate along with your degree. This will help you boost your résumé before you even graduate.
Already have your BSN? No problem! Check out the BSN-to-MSN version of this program.
75% of RN to MSN grads finish within
WGU lets you move more quickly through material you already know and advance as soon as 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 control the ultimate cost of your degree. Finish faster, pay less!
Students can transfer up to
Students from an accredited program will receive 80 transfer credits toward their BSN at application, and will have their transcript evaluated for up to 10 more transfer credits.
Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?
Next Start Date: March 1
Start Dates the 1st of Every Month
Bridge RN to MSN Programs
Earn Credentials on the Way to an MSN
RN to MSN programs at WGU allow you to complete your BSN and then move forward to your MSN. As you are close to finishing your BSN coursework, you will choose your MSN specialty: Nursing Education, Leadership and Management, or Nursing Informatics. Upon completion of your undergraduate coursework and the conferral of your BSN degree, you will also have taken 5 graduate-level courses, which allows you to earn a post-baccalaureate certificate. This helps you enhance your résumé and demonstrate your advanced education right away. A post-baccalaureate certificate credential is a great addition to your résumé and shows your current or potential employers the value you can bring to your position even while you are finishing your MSN degree. Or if you need to delay your MSN portion, you can still showcase the graduate-level coursework you have already completed.
Now's the time to advance your healthcare career with a master's degree. 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.
Welcome to Composition: Writing with a Strategy! In this course, you will focus on three main topics: understanding purpose, context, and audience, writing strategies and techniques, and editing and revising. In addition, the first section, will offer review on core elements of the writing process, cross-cultural communication, as well as working with words and common standards and practices. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the seven competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Anatomy and Physiology I, a six-section, 4 CU course that enables students to develop an understanding of the relationships between the structures and function of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous and endocrine systems in the human body. This course will involve laboratory activities, simulated dissections, textbook material, models, and diagrams. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 40–60 hours on the course content.
Microbiology with Lab: A Fundamental Approach explores the science that microorganisms are everywhere, and they have positive and negative effects on the community. The course examines the structure and function of microorganisms, disease transmission and progression, and immune responses and other interventions, and it identifies key global diseases. The course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities for students to check their learning, practice, and show how well they understand course content. To assist students in developing an applied, evidence-based understanding of microbiology, this course integrates several lab experiments to help determine the specific characteristic of an unknown microbial sample and a treatment plan. Because the course is self-paced, students may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as needed to gain proficiency in the four competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. Students who have no prior knowledge of or experience with this topic can expect to spend 48–60 hours on the course content. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Pathophysiology is an overview of the pathology and treatment of diseases in the human body, tissues, glands and membranes, the integumentary system, the sensory system, skeletal and muscular systems, the digestive system, blood, vessels and circulation, lymphatic system, immunity and disease, heart and respiratory system, nervous, urinary and endocrine systems, and male and female reproductive systems. Prerequisites include all prior courses in this programmatic sequence.
Welcome to Introduction to Communication: Connecting with Others! It may seem like common knowledge that communication skills are important, and that communicating with others is inescapable in our everyday lives. While this may appear simplistic, the study of communication is actually complex, dynamic, and multifaceted. Strong communication skills are invaluable to strengthening a multitude of aspects of life. Specifically, this course will focus on communication in the professional setting, and present material from multiple vantage points, including communicating with others in a variety of contexts, across situations, and with diverse populations. Upon completion, you will have a deeper understanding of both your own and others’ communication behaviors, and a toolbox of effective behaviors to enhance your experience in the workplace.
This is World History: Diverse Cultures and Global Connections. In this course, you will focus on three main topics—cultural and religious diversity; pandemics; and the relationship of empires and nation states—as well as the skills of identifying root causes, explaining causes and effects, and analyzing complex systems. This course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through reading, images, videos, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to practice and check how well you understand the content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Anatomy and Physiology II, a six section, four CEU course that enables students to develop an understanding of the relationships between the structures and functions of the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and lymphatic systems in the human body. This course will involve laboratory activities, simulated dissections, textbook material, models, and diagrams. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 40–60 hours on the course content.
This is a Global Arts and Humanities course that contains three modules with corresponding lessons. This course is an invitation to see the world through the humanities, examine the humanities during the Information Age, and explore the global origins of music—essentially questioning what makes us human, and how people are connected across culture and time. Each module includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to practice and check learning. With no prior knowledge or experience, a learner can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Human Growth and Development, a three-module course that examines the entire human lifetime, from conception to death. Presented chronologically, the course focuses on three key areas: physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth, along with other important issues such as cultural influences, emotions, and resilience. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).
This course teaches students to think like sociologists, or, in other words, to see and understand the hidden rules, or norms, by which people live, and how they free or restrain behavior. Students will learn about socializing institutions, such as schools and families, as well as workplace organizations and governments. Participants will also learn how people deviate from the rules by challenging norms and how such behavior may result in social change, either on a large scale or within small groups.
Applied Healthcare Probability and Statistics is designed to help develop competence in the fundamental concepts of basic mathematics, introductory algebra, and statistics and probability. These concepts include basic arithmetic with fractions and signed numbers; introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and probability. Statistical data and probability are now commonplace in the healthcare field. This course will help candidates make informed decisions about which studies and results are valid, which are not, and how those results affect your decisions. This course will give candidates background in what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, this course guides candidates in calculating simple probabilities based on events which occur in the healthcare profession. This course will prepare candidates for studies at WGU, as well as in the healthcare profession.
Leading with Personal Mastery prepares the advanced professional nurse to demonstrate self-awareness, self-management, executive function, and social awareness skills while leading and managing in diverse healthcare settings. In this course, students will learn how to incorporate these skills when developing personal relationships and building teams. Developing both social and emotional intelligence as a nurse leader will ensure that students have the ability develop strong relationships and make wise decisions when interacting with others. Increasing personal mastery will provide students with a set of tools and strategies to improve healthcare by producing high-quality results. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses, as a leader in healthcare will help students create a vision for success that includes making choices that will help balance their work life more effectively.
Business Case Analysis for Healthcare Improvement provides learning experiences that help students develop essential skills for proposing changes that improve and enhance healthcare outcomes. In this course, students will develop a business case during the early stages of a project by assessing the need for the project and the feasibility of initiating a project. Understanding the techniques used to develop a business case will provide students with the skills to obtain buy-in from key stakeholders and determine the best value strategy. Writing a strong business case presents the benefits, challenges, costs, and risks of moving forward with the project or maintaining status quo. It compares the current situation to a future vision so key stakeholders can make data-driven decisions to move forward with the project. During the development of a business case in this course, students will collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to initiate a healthcare improvement project (HIP) that is grounded in project management principles and influenced by stakeholder perspectives.
Strategically Planning the Execution of a Healthcare Improvement Project will help students develop the skills for systems thinking, problem-solving, and data-driven decision-making. In this course, students will plan the implementation of a healthcare improvement project by identifying people, processes, and procedures that need to be in place for implementation. In addition, sociodemographic data on the population that may be affected by the healthcare improvement project will be analyzed to determine risks and opportunities. During this phase, students will perform an assessment of the forces for and against implementing the project. They will also identify short-term objectives and create action plans to align to the vision, mission, and values of the organization where the project will be implemented. Students will also examine the evolution of existing policies, procedures, and processes at the systems level for the purpose of advocating change that will support a healthcare improvement project. During this course, students will plan the implementation of their healthcare improvement project through the use of sociodemographic and health data, strategic planning, and a comprehensive integration of quality and safety concepts.
The Nursing Leadership and Management Field Experience course provides an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge and skills they developed in previous courses toward the successful implementation of their healthcare improvement project (HIP). This phase puts into action all the components of project management that were planned and developed while working collaboratively with key stakeholders to establish the need and feasibility of the HIP, analyzing the organizational readiness for change, and planning the implementation and evaluation phases. In this phase, students will develop and implement a training plan for staff, managers, and leaders. They will also implement the communication plan they developed in a previous course. They will also manage the implementation process by applying organizational standards and practices. Students will demonstrate strong leadership skills when meeting with stakeholders to report the status of the implementation phase and collaboratively problem-solve risks. Completion of the specialty courses is a pre-requisite for this course.
Managing Human and Financial Resources in an Era of Disruption examines the main premise of people and fiscal leadership. This includes the promotion of healthy work environments through the development of programs in support of mitigating behavior problems for the betterment of work-life balance. Students will analyze business model budgets, revenue streams, and human and financial resource allocation, develop training programs to evaluate compliance and regulatory requirement, and create team building experiences to promote high performing teams by improving engagement, establishing trust, and achieving common goals. Students will assess an organization’s mission, vision, and values to establish alignment between healthcare improvement and an organization’s principles for management. Changes in healthcare are inevitable, as the business success strategies used in the past are not sufficient for surviving in an era of persistent disruption. This course will help students develop the skills nurse leaders need to become partners in recommending innovative strategies that promote value-based healthcare for the future.
Evidence-based measures for evaluating healthcare improvements is an essential component of the planning phase of the healthcare improvement project. In this course, students will determine key performance indicators and metrics used to determine the success of a healthcare improvement project (HIP). The student will develop collaborative partnerships and build consensus with stakeholders to determine how specific data will be collected, managed, and analyzed. This is also an opportunity to discuss data issues and technologies needed for the project. To accomplish this phase, students will also determine the parameters, procedures, and technologies needed for data collection, management, analysis, and reporting.
The Nursing Leadership and Management Capstone provides students with an opportunity to evaluate and close their capstone project. This is the final course in the MSN Leadership and Management program. Students will evaluate the success of their healthcare improvement project (HIP) by analyzing results, using the key performance indicators and metrics that were identified while planning the evaluation phase. Students will present the results of the improvement project in a final report and presentation with a focus on lessons learned throughout each of the phases: initiation, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Reflective and analytic thinking are essential aspects of a capstone project, as students reflect and report on the successes and challenges encountered in each phase. Nursing Leadership and Management Field Experience is a prerequisite for this course.
Emerging Professional Practice presents a variety of professional nursing specialty areas. Students explore various practice specialties, including palliative care, genetics and genomics, and others. The course provides pathways to specialized nursing practice. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Interprofessional Communication and Leadership in Healthcare is designed to help students prepare for success in the online environment at Western Governors University and beyond. Student success starts with the social support and self-reflective awareness that will prepare them to handle the challenges of all academic programs. In this course, students will participate in group activities and complete several individual assignments. The group activities are aimed at finding support and gaining insight from other students. The assignments are intended to give the student an opportunity to reflect on where they are and where they would like to be. The activities in each group meeting are designed to give students several tools they can use to achieve success. This course is designed as a four-part intensive learning experience. Students will attend six group meetings during the term. At each meeting, students will engage in activities that will help them understand their own educational journey and find support and inspiration in the journey of others. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Comprehensive Health Assessment builds upon students’ existing knowledge of nursing assessment. The course presents current and innovative assessment techniques of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of patients. Use of assessment data and shared decision-making are discussed throughout the course. This course also outlines the concepts of a head-to-toe assessment, providing students with an understanding of how to critically think about the different aspects of the assessment and analyze patient cues to determine the implications of findings. Students will also analyze lifestyle and cultural implications of health. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Healthcare Policy and Economics is a foundational course that introduces the concepts of value-based care and the role of the nurse. This course includes concepts related to financial responsiveness, shared decision-making, preference-sensitive care, leveraging data. In this course, students learn about cost and fee-for-service in terms of value to the client and patient rather than value to the healthcare system. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Global and Population Health prepares students for the role of the nurse in preserving and promoting health among diverse populations. Additionally, basic principles of epidemiology, social determinants of health (SDOH), and resource allocation through value-based care are outlined. The course introduces planning, organization, and delivery of services for diverse populations in community settings, including illness prevention, disaster preparedness, and environmental health. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Advanced Standing for RN License
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.
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.
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.
This program consists of 32 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. And while most of your courses can be accelerated based on your prior knowledge and hard work, some nursing programs begin with a cohort-based course that must be completed via five scheduled webcam sessions with faculty and fellow students.
WGU tuition is charged per six-month term, not per credit. That means if you want to move faster through this nursing leadership program, you'll pay less.
On Your Schedule
You can continue working at your full-time job or maintaining your responsibilities while pursing your RN 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 management 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.
Tuition per 6-month term for the undergraduate portion of the program
At WGU, tuition is charged every six months. For the undergraduate portion of this master's degree in nursing, other fees include a flat fee of $200 each term for e-books and learning resources and a $350 Health Professions Fee.
Tuition per 6-month term for the graduate portion of the program
For the graduate portion of this degree, other fees include a flat fee of $200 each term for e-books and learning resources and a $350 Health Professions Fee.
A Nursing Master's Degree Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
WGU's Online MSN Bridge Program Was Built to be Different—for a Busy RN’s Schedule
Competency-based education puts working nurses in the driver’s seat of their education. As a busy nurse, you need a degree program that's more than simply online—you need a nursing program that truly reflects the realities of your work life and experience. At WGU, progress through programs 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, and passing courses is how you complete degree programs, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s MSN – Leadership and Management 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!
An Online MSN Degree Program Preparing RNs to Become a Leaders and Administrators
Once you have completed your M.S. in Nursing–Leadership and Management online, you will have the knowledge and skills to be an outstanding nurse manager, leader, or administrator. You'll be in demand, because you'll be prepared to translate your extensive nursing knowledge into a level of leadership, guidance, mentorship, and management that will change your team—and your facility—for the better.
An RN to MSN degree gives you credentials and skills so you can become an influential nurse leader or administrator. Take your experience in the nursing field and use it to your advantage, helping others find success and impacting the future of healthcare. Master’s-prepared nurse managers combine their technical nursing know-how with strong people skills, organizational prowess, and business knowledge to lead healthcare teams to success—success that transforms lives. You will be prepared to work in settings such as:
- Community agencies.
- Industry and businesses.
- Nursing programs.
Return on Your Investment
Enjoy a Career That is Both Fulfilling and in High Demand
Our 3,300-plus MSN – Leadership and Management alumni have great jobs and satisfying careers:
- Director of Nursing
- Chief Nursing Officer
- Quality Director
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Project Manager
- Health Systems
- Cancer Centers
- Hospice Providers
- Local, State or Federal Government
- Ascension Health
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
- U.S. Army
- UCLA Health System
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 online RN-to-MSN bridge program, you must
- Possess an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, such as an ADN or ASN degree, from an accredited institution.
- Possess an active, unencumbered RN license:
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. 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 RN-to-MSN Nursing Leadership & Management 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 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.
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 most other schools.
Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?