Going back to school has had a tremendous impact on both my professional career and personal life. The RN to MS(N) Early Entry Option allowed me to grow and explore other avenues that would not have been available to me in the traditional work environment. Western Carolina University opened doors to me as a student that were other wise closed.
The distance program provides a structure that connects the entire region together. No longer do our geographical boundaries separate us as students. Being connected to the entire region though your fellow students has proven to be invaluable. It has allowed us to see not only our differences but our similarities as well.
Diane Fox RN, BSN
Owner of HealthCare Directions and RN to MS(N) student
RN to MS(N) Early-Entry Option:
Purpose: to assist selected RNs with good academic records to move smoothly through the RN to BSN curriculum directly into MS(N) study for advanced nursing roles. Normally, the student would take eight semester hours of WCU undergraduate upper-division electives to complete the BSN. These electives could be replaced with up to eight hours of WCU MS(N) graduate-level work, reducing the time needed to complete both degrees by one semester. RN to BSN students may still need to complete 3 hours of upper-division perspective while completing their undergraduate work.
Those who are interested in this program must first enter the RN to BSN program. Once enrolled, they will be advised on how to proceed if interested in this option. Click here to review the RN to MS(N) Program of Study.
Admission requirements for the RN to MS(N) Early-Entry Option:
- Completion of at least 12 of the required 24 hours of WCU RN to BSN NSG courses, with projected completion of the remaining hours before or during the semester of application to the WCU RN to MS(N) Early-Entry option.
- Submission of acceptable Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores. Students applying to the Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthesia track must submit GRE scores that meet track-specific minimum score requirements. Students applying to the Nurse Administration or Nurse Educator track can submit either GRE or MAT scores.
- Statistics course completed from any accredited institution in any discipline with a C or better
- GPA of 3.00 on last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
- Professional statement and resume
- Three professional recommendations (one must be submitted by an RN to BSN faculty member)
- Interview with the Graduate Nursing Admissions Committee
Enrollment in the RN to MS(N) Early-Entry Option does not guarantee admission to the MS(N) program. Admission of the RN to MS(N) applicant is provisional until the BSN is successfully completed.
While enrolled in the MS(N) core courses, students must apply to the Graduate School to be considered for full admission to the MS(N) Program. Upon successful completion of the MS(N) core courses, the student receives the BSN and then, if accepted, continues seamlessly into the MS(N) Program.
Available MS(N) tracks include:
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Educator
- Nurse Anesthesia
- Nurse Administrator
Students interested in RN to MS(N) Early-Entry Option should consult with both their RN to BSN advisor and the RN to MS(N) advisor, Professor Ramona Whichello.