Weather-Related Announcement


Exams to take place as scheduled Tuesday in Cullowhee, Biltmore Park
See WCU’s current weather-related announcements

MS(N) Nursing Leadership

Two nurses looking at a document together


Western Carolina University’s graduate studies in nursing provide students with academic and field-based experiences that lead to a Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing Leadership MS(N). The program prepares nurses for the role of nurse leader with a focus on culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

All academic courses are taught online. Practicum placements are available in a variety of settings in or near the students' communities and may focus on medically underserved and culturally diverse populations. Students will complete a thesis or scholarly project and pass comprehensive exams in addition to coursework.

About the ms(n) Nursing Leadership program

Degree Requirements: The MS(N) Nursing Leadership Program requires 40 to 41 semester hours of coursework, depending on whether the thesis or project option is selected. New students are admitted for the Fall or Spring semesters. The typical course load is six to nine credit hours per semester (part time).

Admissions requirements

In order to be eligible for admission MS(N) Nursing Leadership Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • BSN from a regionally accredited college or university and nationally accredited nursing program
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on 4.0 scale on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Statistics course, undergraduate or graduate level
  • Nursing Research course, undergraduate
  • Registered nurse eligible for licensure to practice in the state in which the student intends to practice
  • Minimum of one year of clinical experience as a registered nurse within the last five years
  • Three professional references: one must be from current or recent immediate supervisor
  • Submit a resume and professional statement with the online Graduate School application - Click here to view the Nursing Leadership Professional Statement and Resume guidelines

The GRE or MAT is not required for Nurse Leadership applicants

Application process

Application to the MS(N) Program requires application to the Graduate School. 
Only complete applications will be eligible for review.
As part of the online application, the applicant needs to prepare the following:

  • Request official college transcript from all secondary schools attended—to be sent to the WCU Graduate School.
  • As part of your online application, be prepared to submit:
    • Names of (and contact info for) three professional references who can attest to the applicant’s ability to pursue graduate study; one must be from a current or recent employer.
    • Professional Statement and Resume
    • Application fee

The Nursing Leadership Program admits students twice a year:

  • Application deadline for Fall (August start) admission is April 1.
  • Application deadline for Spring (January start) is October 1.


The MS(N) Nursing Leadership required courses are laid out in 5 to 6-semesters (depending on program start date).

Nursing Leadership Curriculum   

program Costs

Visit the Graduate School’s tuition and fee rates page or the Graduate Catalog for current cost information for graduate students.

Students accepted into the program are required to be computer literate and either own or have regular access to a computer with a CD writer and high-speed Internet access. Students are required to purchase a microphone and webcam for their computers. Additional expenses include the purchase of textbooks at approximately $800.00 plus per year.

Office of Web Services