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Graduate Nursing Program

School of Nursing Information for:

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Master of Science in Nursing and Post-Master of Science in Nursing

The Graduate Nursing program at WKU builds upon the first professional degree, the bachelor of science in nursing. The purpose of the program is to develop expertise in advance nursing practice, nursing education, or nursing administration. The program prepares the nurse for increased accountability, proficiency, and leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings.

We have options to meet the needs of the growing demand for nurses with advanced levels of education, which include Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree options as well as Post-Master of Science in Nursing (Post-MSN) certificates. All our degrees or certificates all require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), with the exception of the Nurse Administrator as specified in the RN to MSN Bridge section below.

MSN Specialty Concentrations

 WKU's School of Nursing offers 3 specialty MSN concentrations, including a RN to MSN Bridge - Nurse Administrator option.

Nurse Administrator

Allows students to select, with guidance from an advisor, support courses from other disciplines, such as, the MBA program, Health Care Administration, Communication, Leadership Studies, and other related programs. Additional resources, such as sample Nurse Administrator course curriculum (VIEW PDF FILE HERE) and Graduate Catalog MSN information (VIEW WEBPAGE HERE), are available.

Contact donna.blackburn@wku.edu or beverly.siegrist@wku.edu for additional information.  Cohorts begin each summer/fall.

Nurse Educator

The online Nurse Educator concentration underwent a curriculum revision, with new or revised courses being offered starting in Fall 2015. New learning opportunities include Hospital Education, Technology & Online Teaching, and Curriculum Development.  Additional resources, such as sample Nurse Educator course curriculum (VIEW PDF FILE HERE) and Graduate Catalog MSN information (VIEW WEBPAGE HERE), are available.

Contact tonya.bragg-underwood@wku.edu or beverly.siegrist@wku.edu for additional information.  Beginning Summer/Fall 2016, cohort will be admitted once a year in the summer/fall.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is prepared at the graduate level to diagnose, prescribe, and treat psychiatric illnesses and mental health conditions across the lifespan.  This concentration prepares the graduate to site for the certification as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan). Additional resources, such as sample PMHNP course curriculum (VIEW PDF FILE HERE) and Graduate Catalog MSN information (VIEW WEBPAGE HERE), are available.

Contact lynette.smith@wku.edu for additional information.  Cohorts begin each spring and summer/fall. 

Special Admission Requirements: Documentation of at least one (1) year of experience working with people with psychiatric-mental health conditions.

RN to MSN Bridge - Nurse Administrator

For Nurse Administrator applicants with an associate degree in nursing (ASN) and a baccalaureate degree in a business or health-related field.  RN to MSN students must complete the following undergraduate prerequisite courses with a B before enrollment in the required MSN program courses as listed in the Graduate Catalog:

  • NURS 408 Professional Issues for the RN
  • NURS 430 Public Health Nursing Theory

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty concentration is no longer offered within WKU's MSN program.  However, a FNP concentration is available in the BSN to DNP program.  Please VIEW THE DNP WEBSITE for additional information.

POST-MSN Specialty Concentrations

For people who have an MSN and wish to add a second specialty area, we have 5 Post-MSN Certificate options:

Emergency Nurse Practitioner (Urgent Care/Fast Track)

This certificate is only available for those who already have earned a Family Nurse Practitioner or Adult Nurse Practitioner degree.  Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2016. 

Additional information can be found on the Post-MSN Emergency Nurse Practitioner document or in the Graduate Catalog Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certificate section.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Administrator

Additional information can be found on the Post-MSN Nurse Administrator document or in the Graduate Catalog Nurse Administrator Certificate

Nurse Educator

Additional information can be found on the Post-MSN Nurse Educator document or in the Graduate Catalog Nurse Educator Certificate section.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Application Deadlines are April 1st for Summer/Fall Admission and October 1st for Spring Admission.

Applicants must meet the following Admission Criteria and complete the application steps lined out below.

Admission Criteria

  • Completion of a CCNE or NLN accredited BSN program with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Graduates of non-accredited programs are considered on an individual basis. RN-MSN program applicants must be a graduate of a CCNE or NLN accredited associate of science in nursing program and have earned the related baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • The GRE is not required for individuals who have a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale undergraduate cumulative GPA.
  • Hold unencumbered or have applied for RN licensure in Kentucky or compact state.
  • One year of full-time nursing experience is required prior to enrolling (following acceptance) in clinical courses in the nurse practitioner options.

Step One - Graduate School Application

1) Review the Graduate School Admission Requirements.

2) Apply to the Graduate School by following these directions.

  • On the Apply Now for Admission at WKU website access the Graduate Applications section on the right side of the page.
  • Select Domestic and International Applicants to begin your WKU Graduate Admission Application within TopNet.

Note: You may only take classes beginning the semester you indicate on your application.

3) Send official copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts to the Graduate School. (WKU graduates – do not send transcripts).  Please refer to the Graduate School website (wku.edu/graduate) for mailing address.

You will receive an admission letter from the Graduate School following submission of your application and transcripts. This does not indicate admission to the School of Nursing Graduate program.

Acceptance of graduate transfer courses by the Graduate School does not mean that the courses fulfill course requirement in MSN courses. See the WKU Graduate Catalog for transfer policies.

Step Two - School of Nursing Graduate Program Application

Submit the following documents to melissa.hamlin@wku.edu (at the School of Nursing Graduate Program):

  • 3 professional references on WKU MSN Reference form to include nurse manager or nurse administrator and nursing faculty (if you have graduated from a BSN program in the past 3 years).
  •  Professional resume or CV
  • A written goal statement

Do not submit official transcripts to the School of Nursing Graduate Program as this may delay your application process.  Official transcripts are to be submitted directly to the Graduate School; please refer to Step One - Graduate School Application for transcript submission information.

All program admission materials must be received prior to the application deadline noted above.

An interview may be offered following a review of admission materials. Completion of an interview and acceptance by the Graduate School does not assure acceptance into the MSN program. Admission is competitive.

For more information about our program, please contact Dr. Beverly Siegrist at 270-745-3490.

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 Last Modified 3/22/16