Nurses are a critical part of the health care industry and a career in the nursing field will give you the chance find employment in your hometown or almost anywhere around the world. The nursing field is highly specialized and has a variety of ways for you to utilize your skills in an area you are passionate about. Western Carolina University’s Master of Science in Nursing offers two concentrations: Nurse Leadership and Nurse Educator. WCU also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia and Family Nurse Practitioner.
WCU's three distinct M.S. Nursing concentrations adhere to very specific and intentional curricula to provide you with the training needed to enter the workforce, or continue to further graduate studies and certifications. The Family Nurse Practitioner program requires 51 to 52-semester hours (depending on thesis option) of classroom learning and 640 hours of clinical work covering advanced concepts in scientific inquiry and information literacy. The Nurse Leadership concentration is a 40 to 41-semester hour (depending on thesis option) program combining online and in-person practicum courses. The Nurse Educator concentration is a 38 to 39-semester hour (depending on thesis option), three-year program combining classroom learning, research methods and practicum learning.
WCU also offers a DNP in Nurse Anesthesia. The Nurse Anesthesia program is an 86-semester hour, 36-month, full-time program. It is a combination of classroom learning at Biltmore Park in Asheville and on-site clinical studies that includes weekend rotations.
Nurses with advanced degrees have ample opportunities to work in their areas of specialization. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average salary is $158,900 for nurse anesthetists; $97,990 for nurse practitioners; $88,580 for health service managers; and $70,650 for postsecondary nurse instructors.