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Advance Your Education

Master of Science in Nursing Online

Pursue a Master of Science in Nursing and unlock a range of opportunities in your desired area of focus, from research to teaching to oversight and staff development.

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Online MSN Program Highlights

<p>Hands-on practice through on-site intensives and clinical placement practicums </p>

Hands-on practice through on-site intensives and clinical placement practicums 

<p>Student-centric approach to learning designed for your success, one-on-one faculty mentoring</p>

Student-centric approach to learning designed for your success, one-on-one faculty mentoring

<p>100% online coursework with mobile-accessible learning and flexible degree completion schedules</p>

100% online coursework with mobile-accessible learning and flexible degree completion schedules

<p>Competitive tuition with financial aid and scholarships available for those who qualify</p>

Competitive tuition with financial aid and scholarships available for those who qualify

Why an MSN Degree?

Graduate study in nursing is a challenging opportunity for growth and offers an array of new directions to take your career. Through our MSN degree program, you’ll learn academics, practicum, and interpersonal skill sets that will serve you whether you choose to move into a particular specialty, teach, or become an organizational leader.

At WCU, in addition to the necessary competencies required in advanced nursing, there is a focus on culture, including the awareness, dignity, and integrity required for nurses moving into a leadership role.

If you’re looking to advance your nursing skills in order to take on more complex roles, care for a specific population, or move into a leadership role, pursuing a master’s degree can be both a challenging and rewarding path.

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Masters of Science in Nursing Degrees

If you have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, a more advanced nursing degree, or a Bachelor of Arts in a closely related field, you can pick up where you left off with your education and earn your MSN online. With precepted clinical hours being a requirement of the program, the online MSN program helps provide you with the foundation you need to take on more advanced nursing roles in a variety of healthcare settings. The curriculum also includes coursework to help prepare you for teaching opportunities.

With WCU’s online MSN program, you can choose one of our specialized tracks to align your education to your goals and interests. Explore our MSN tracks below.

(Note: WCU has halted enrollment for the Advanced Generalist and Nursing Informatics tracks of the MSN program effective January 9, 2023. To make an Informatics degree available to more students, we will be opening enrollment for a new Informatics track in the Master of Health Administration program in Spring 2023.)

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

For adult and geriatric patients, you are a lifeline for those in acute need of care and compassion. Achieve this advanced degree in as few as 16 months at the accelerated pace with clinical placements, or on a schedule that works around yours.

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

A WCU advanced degree in primary gerontology care will prep you to help keep your adult patients of all ages healthy, including preventative care. And you can complete your degree in as few as 20 months at the accelerated pace.

Family Nurse Practitioner

As a Family Nurse Practitioner, you’ll provide a wide range of care for the whole family, including children and adults. You can complete your MSN-FNP at WCU in as few as 20 months at the accelerated pace.

Nurse Educator

Develop the skills and earn the certifications to teach, lead, and develop educational programs for the next generation of nurses. Complete the program in as little as 8 months at the accelerated plus pace.

Nurse Leader

For nurses who feel ready to take on oversight, this degree covers leadership at executive, administrative, and department levels in an 8-month course of study at the accelerated plus pace.

Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

If you’re already a registered nurse and want to add psychiatric health to your portfolio of care, you can do it in under 20 months at the accelerated pace, or around your schedule.

Additional Information about our MSN Degree

Study on Your Schedule

We know you’re eager to get started…and get finished! WCU degrees are designed to get you through an exceptional education quickly. Because our students’ circumstances vary, there are also flexible schedules of study that work around yours.

Accelerated Plus

A few of our MSN tracks are offered at the Accelerated Plus pace, which provides the maximum level of speed to completion at WCU. This aggressive pace is ideal for nurses who have time to power through their coursework and clinicals.


The Accelerated pace is for students who know they can commit to a full-time class and study schedule. Speed to completion is a benefit of this pace.

Flexible (On Your Schedule)

Our syllabus is also tailored to consider more complicated schedules, so we designed a course of study to accommodate. If you’re a parent, or caretaker at home, or have a work schedule that keeps you from regular study, your Student Success Advisor can help design a timeline for MSN study that sets you up for success.

Hands-On Experience

Most MSN degrees include onsite intensive clinical experience, learning to make assessments and recommendations for care. While most of the MSN program can be completed remotely, in-person experience is often essential.

MSN Curriculum

Preview your course of study for the MSN program. MSN degree curricula are curated by specialty. The number of credits needed, and the number of months your degree will take (depending on whether you choose the accelerated or working professional pace) will vary as well. We recommend reviewing your prospective curriculum in detail so you know what to expect.

Visit our Graduate Programs of Study page and click on your desired MSN specialty track to view the curriculum.

Academic Calendar

New academic sessions begin, on average, and depending on programs, every eight weeks, and typically lasts about six trimesters, on the accelerated schedule. You can access an up-to-date start-to-completion schedule:

Academic Calendar

How Much Does the MSN Program Cost?

We know school is a substantial commitment. At WCU, we want to equip you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your future.

Our goal is to give you a clear understanding of MSN tuition costs so you can be well-informed as you navigate the application and enrollment process. Visit our individual track pages for a breakdown of the costs at West Coast University.

We offer several MSN financial aid options — including scholarships, grants, and loan access — to help support you through your studies. We also offer reduced tuition rates for military personnel and their spouses. For more information about your financial support options, visit our financial aid page.

Our Career Services Department provides ongoing assistance with professional and career development through workshops and guidance for our online MSN students and graduates.

Graduates of the MSN programs will have the foundation necessary to take on a wide range of positions, including:

  • Staff Development
  • Nursing Research Positions
  • Nursing Leadership/Management
  • Academic Faculty Positions
  • Nursing Quality Improvement and Case Management
Can I get an MSN degree online?

WCU's MSN degree program includes online coursework. Some in-person practice experience is also necessary to complete your MSN degree.

How long does it take to get your MSN degree?

The length of time it takes to earn your Master of Science in Nursing degree depends on the specialized track and pace you choose. For example, it may take you as little as 8 months to earn an MSN at the Accelerated Plus pace for certain tracks while for others, it can take up to three years at the Working Professional pace. Learn more by visiting the page of the track you’re interested in pursuing.

Can I get an MSN without being an RN?

While you don't have to be an RN at the start of the program, you do have to have your RN license by the third trimester in order to earn your MSN degree. Some tracks require one year of direct RN experience to complete. See our catalog for more information.

Will I be able to complete my degree or certificate if I am working?

All our online nursing programs have been designed to give you the flexibility you need to earn your degree. While due dates and assignments help keep you on track, you will have the flexibility to watch lectures and complete coursework when and where it’s convenient for you. You choose whether to study in the mornings, evenings, or weekends.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify. Among the scholarships offered are the Alumni Pathway Grant (covers up to 20% of tuition), the WCU Health Services Grant (covers up to 10% of tuition), and the WCU Performance Scholarship (covers up to 15% of tuition).

For additional information and eligibility requirements, visit our scholarships and grants page on our online catalog.  

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

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