8-week course sessions allow for start dates throughout the year
Choose between six specialization track options in our MSN program
WCU’s MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education1
Hands-on practice through on-site intensives and clinical placement practicums
Student-centric approach to learning designed for your success, one-on-one faculty mentoring
Online classes with mobile-accessible learning and flexible degree completion schedules
Financial aid and scholarships available for those who qualify
Graduate study in nursing is a challenging yet rewarding opportunity for growth that offers an array of new directions to take your career. Through our CCNE-accredited 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 have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a 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 you lay the educational groundwork needed to pursue more advanced nursing positions across various healthcare settings, or to pursue teaching. These are specialization tracks that can help you become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or enter into a specific area of nursing that requires more specialized education.
(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 students, we now offer an Informatics track in the Master of Health Administration program.)
Explore the many different nursing specialty tracks offered through our online MSN program:
For adult and geriatric patients, you can be a lifeline for those in need of acute care.
This advanced degree will help prepare you to keep your adult and geriatric patients healthy, including through preventative care.
With an FNP degree, you’ll provide a wide range of care for the whole family, including children and adults.
You can learn the skills and earn the qualifications to teach, lead, and develop educational programs for the next generation of nurses.
For nurses who feel ready to take on an oversight role, this degree covers leadership at executive and department levels.
Program Paces for MSN Specialty Tracks
We know schedules don’t look the same for all our students, and that’s why we offer multiple timelines to choose from for the completion of your online MSN degree. Choose a study schedule that aligns with your goals and life schedule!
|Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner||Not available||16 months||32 months|
|Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner||Not available||20 months||32 months|
|Family Nurse Practitioner||Not available||20 months||32 months|
|Nurse Educator||8 months||12 months||24 months|
|Nurse Leader||8 months||12 months||24 months|
|Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner||Not available||20 months||36 months|
|Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner||N/A||16 mos.||32 mos.|
|Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner||N/A||20 mos.||32 mos.|
|Family Nurse Practitioner||N/A||20 mos.||32 mos.|
|Nurse Educator||8 mos.||12 mos.||24 mos.|
|Nurse Leader||8 mos.||12 mos.||24 mos.|
|Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner||N/A||20 mos.||36 mos.|
Most MSN degrees include on-site intensive clinical experiences, which help students learn how to make assessments and recommendations for care. While most of the MSN program can be completed remotely, in-person experience is essential. Clinicals can be completed with WCU-approved healthcare partners that are local to the student.
The MSN degree curriculum is curated by specialty. The number of credits needed and the number of months your degree will take will vary, depending on the pace you choose (Accelerated Plus, Accelerated, or Working Professional). We advise that you visit the page for your MSN specialty of interest below and thoroughly review your prospective curriculum so you are fully aware of the program details and requirements.
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 Degree online tuition costs so you can be well-informed as you navigate the application and enrollment process. Visit the page for your MSN specialty of interest below for a breakdown of the costs at West Coast University.
We offer several MSN Degree 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.
Applicants for the program must meet the following requirements (MSN All Track Option):
* Applicants submitting non-U.S. or non-English transcripts should refer to the International Admissions section of the catalog..
Applicants with a CGPA of 2.70-2.99 may be considered for probational admission after meeting the following probational admissions requirements. Based on review of the applicant packet the Program Dean may request an interview in consideration for admission.
In addition to the admissions requirements above, applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse tracks must also meet the following admissions requirements:
To view additional requirements, including requirements for students with degrees from outside the U.S. and language verification criteria, visit our catalog.
New academic sessions begin, on average, every eight weeks and usually last about six trimesters on the Accelerated schedule. For the most updated start-to-completion schedule, view the Academic Calendar.
At WCU, we have a Clinical Placements team that is dedicated to supporting you throughout your clinical practicum journey, from your first course all the way to graduation. Whether you need resources to help you identify the right preceptor and clinical site that aligns with your educational needs, assistance getting your preceptor and clinical site approved, or guidance on how to make your practicum experience a success, our team is here to help.
You will have an assigned coordinator of clinical relations who can provide you with coaching calls, so you’ll never have to feel alone as you complete this critical component of your program requirements. West Coast University has partnerships with reputable healthcare organizations, which can be of great value when it comes to helping students with clinical practice placements.
At WCU, we do everything in our power to set you up for success for the duration of your program and beyond graduation. Our Career Services department provides online MSN program students and graduates with ongoing assistance with professional and career development through workshops and guidance.2 We help with job searches, resume writing, interview skills, and more.
Additionally, while students are in their programs, we provide them with their own personal admissions and financial aid advisors, Student Success advisors, one-on-one tutoring, and more.
Dr. Katie Kay is the Dean for West Coast University’s College of Nursing where she provides direct oversight to the academic quality and delivery of prelicensure-through-doctoral nursing education. She is a nurse educator and leader with a collaborative, service-oriented mindset. Dr. Kay remains passionate about accessibility for both education and healthcare to improve the way we are delivering care to the communities we serve.
Prior to her appointment at West Coast University, Dr. Kay served as the Vice President of Healthcare Academics at Emeritus where she was the in-house expert for nursing and healthcare education. In her time at Emeritus, she partnered with several leading academic institutions to create high-quality, accessible, and affordable upskilling and reskilling programs to address key gaps in healthcare delivery and healthcare leadership.
Dr. Kay has also previously held the title of Senior Director of National Academic Operations at Chamberlain University, where she was responsible for providing leadership to university-wide academic, quality, and experiential learning initiatives. In her tenure at Chamberlain University, she also worked as adjunct faculty and held the role of Associate Dean of Faculty in the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner track.
Her passion for accessibility also stems from her work as an administrator at a large metropolitan hospital where she had oversight of the day-to-day operations of 22 inpatient units. Primary areas of leadership included patient safety, acuity management, throughput, accreditation, advocacy for professional nursing practice, and re-attainment of Magnet distinction.
The most recent publications for Dr. Kay includes The 3 P’s: Pharmacology Physical Assessment, and Pathophysiology (Crowley, Wallace, Letz, and Kay) and a poster presentation titled “Innovative Approaches to Clinical and Practicum Placements.”
Dr. Kay is a member of the American Association for Critical Nurses, the National League of Nursing, and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, and she serves as the Executive Director for the Association of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners.
I loved West Coast University and still do. I like the camaraderie and atmosphere of West Coast. The teachers were always available to give any outside help. They offered tutoring, too. It was just helpful all the way around.”3
– Brittney A.
BSN, MSN-FNP, & DNP Graduate
West Coast University
Our WCU nursing programs are designed with flexibility in mind, which means you can work and still complete your degree or certificate. While we set due dates to ensure you stay on pace, you will have the ability to view lectures and finish your coursework when it makes sense for your schedule – whether that’s in the mornings, evenings, or weekends.
Yes, the coursework for WCU’s MSN degree program is completed online. However, you should be aware that some in-person practice experience is also necessary to complete your MSN degree. You can complete your clinicals with a WCU-approved healthcare provider in your local area.
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 specialization track you’re interested in pursuing.
A specialization track allows you to focus your MSN education on a specific advanced area of nursing. You can choose a track that helps prepare you to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or you can choose a non-APRN track that allows you to focus on another area of specialty. Our APRN tracks include adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP), adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), family nurse practitioner (FNP), and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). Our non-APRN tracks include nurse educator and nurse leader.
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 online degree. Some tracks require one year of direct RN experience to complete. See our catalog or our specific specialization pages for more information.
We offer our online students 24/7 tech support, and you’re able to call or text your instructors directly through the Remind app – so if you get stuck with technical issues or you have a question, it won’t take long for you to get the help you need to move forward with your coursework.
Those who are eligible can take advantage of financial aid, scholarships, and grants. A few of the scholarships and grants offered are the Alumni Pathway Grant (up to 20% of tuition covered), the WCU Health Services Grant (up to 10% of tuition covered), and the WCU Performance Scholarship (up to 15% of tuition covered). To learn about eligibility requirements, visit the scholarships and grants page of our online catalog.
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 (www.ccneaccreditation.org).
1The 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 (www.ccneaccreditation.org).
2WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.
3The opinion is the individual’s sole opinion and not necessarily representative of that of the school, any instructor, or any other student.
Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.