School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The program is individualized to meet the needs and professional goals of each student. The curriculum has been developed to accommodate part-time study (8 or fewer credit hours), as well as full-time study (9–12 credit hours). The purpose of the graduate program is to prepare nurses for advanced roles in indirect and direct care, e.g., administrators and educators.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive written examination, thesis or research project is required of all MSN nursing students. The exam is completed within the student’s last two semesters.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program is intended to provide advanced education in many areas beyond that provided by the MSN program.

Some areas of advanced content are: critical thinking and leadership in the health care system, and health policy.

There are two entry points for this program. Those who have completed either the BSN or the MSN may apply.

Credit Hours

Students who enter with the BSN degree complete a minimum of 74 credit hours for the entire DNP degree. An MSN degree is not awarded.

Students who enter with the MSN degree complete a minimum of 29 credit hours for the DNP degree.

Final Project

Students complete a project within the DNP program culminating with the residency course. (See DNP Project).


All students request entrance to a specific specialization upon application. The internal School of Nursing admission process includes this placement. Admission into a specialization for DNP applicants with a BSN degree is maintained as students successfully complete coursework on their plan of study. Those who do not successfully complete coursework compatible with their plan of study are not continued in the DNP program. Admission for MSN candidates is to the clinical (or administrative) specialization area in which their MSN was completed. Any exception is determined by individual review.

Students choose from the following individual/family focus specialties:

  • Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult — Gerontology Acute Care
    • Family
    • Psychiatric/Mental Health

Graduate Certificates

Postmaster's Certificate

Students already admitted to the DNP degree program or alumni from a CCNE accredited DNP degree program or alumni from a CCNE accredited DNP degree may select 25 additional credit hours in a postmaster's specialization offered by WSU.  Please contact the graduate nursing programs office for further information.

Programs in the School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Postbaccalaureate

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Postmaster's

Courses in the School of Nursing