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Western Kentucky University

Graduate Nursing Program

The Graduate Nursing program at WKU builds upon the first professional degree, the bachelor of science in nursing. The purpose of the program is to develop expertise in advance nursing practice, nursing education, or nursing administration. The program prepares the nurse for increased accountability, proficiency, and leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings.

 Application for the WKU AENT Grant Funds is now open
Deadline for applying is Sunday, August 3, 2014 at midnight!

WKU AENT grant funds are available for students preparing to be Family Nurse Practitioners or Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners.

AENT grant funds are available for students enrolled in the MSN program, the BSN to DNP program or the Post-MSN certificate program.

AENT grant funds for full-time students are available throughout the program. Full-time status is defined as 9 or more hours per semester.

AENT grant funds for part time students are restricted to the last 12 months of study prior to graduation. If you are part-time student you must be enrolled in at least 4.5 hours per semester. To be eligible for AENT grant funds you must graduate on or before May 31, 2015.

AENT grant funds may only be used to support all or part of the costs of the tuition and fees, textbooks and e books, and reasonable living expenses (stipends) of the individual during the period for which the traineeship is provided.
Please send your completed application to


We have options to meet the needs of the growing demand for nurses with advanced levels of education.

Family Nurse Practitioner - NO LONGER AVAILABLE AT THE MSN LEVEL: Please visit the DNP website for additional information.

Nurse Educator: All courses in this concentration are offered online.

Nurse Administrator: Allows students to select, with guidance from an advisor, support courses from other disciplines, such as, the MBA program, Health Care Administration, Communication, Leadership Studies, and other related programs.  Students may also complete a graduate Certificate in Leadership Studies.

Application date for Nurse Administrator students for spring 2015 is extended to November 30, 2014.  Contact or for additional information.

RN to MSN Bridge: for applicants with an associate degree in nursing and a baccalaureate degree in a related field.   Students entering this  track may enter either the Nurse Educator or Nurse Administrator MSN specialty areas. In addition to the required courses in the MSN program,  RN to MSN students must complete the following  undegraduate pre-requisite courses:

  • NURS 408 Professional Issues for the RN
  • NURS 430 Public Health Nursing Theory

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: offered in cooperation with the University of Louisville, School of Nursing

Post MSN Certificates: For people who have an MSN and wish to add a second specialty area

  • Nurse Administrator
  • Urgent Care/Fast Track Emergency Certificate (for FNP or Adult NP only) - Under Development



The admission process is a multi-step process. Please note the following admission deadlines:

July 1st for Fall admission and October 1st for Spring Admission

Admission Criteria:

  • Completion of a CCNE or NLN accredited BSN program with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Graduates of non-accredited programs are considered on an individual basis. For RN-MSN program applicants must be a graduate of a CCNE or NLN accredited associate degree in nursing program and have earned the related baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The GRE is not required for individuals who have a minimum of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) undergraduate cumulative GPA. See the Graduate Catalog at the Graduate School website for information on the required GRE scores at WKU.
  • Hold unencumbered or have applied for RN licensure in Kentucky or compact state.
  • One year of full-time nursing experience is required prior to enrolling (following acceptance) in clinical courses in the nurse practitioner options.

Application Process & Procedures:

  • Apply to the Graduate School at: and submit required fee.
  • Send official copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts to the Graduate School. (WKU graduates – do not send transcripts).
  • Note:
    • You will receive an admission letter from the Graduate School following submission of your application and transcripts. This does not indicate admission to the School of Nursing Graduate program.
    • You may only take classes beginning the semester you indicate on your application.
    • Acceptance of graduate transfer courses by the Graduate School does not mean that the courses fulfill course requirement in MSN courses. See the WKU Graduate Catalog for transfer policies.


Submit to the School of Nursing Graduate Program the following:


  • A written goal statement responding to the following questions:


1. Why is the concentration you have chosen and the WKU program a good fit for you?


2. What plans have you made to support your success in the program? For example, decreasing work, arranging finances, etc.,


3. Where will you be working 3-5 years following graduation and in what role?


  • 3 professional references on form provided to include nurse manager or nurse administrator and nursing faculty if you have graduated from BSN program was in past 3 years.
  •  Professional resume or CV

All program admission materials must be received prior to the due date noted on the program webpage. We suggest you submit the School of Nursing materials electronically to An interview may be offered following a review of admission materials. Completion of an interview and acceptance by the Graduate School does not assure acceptance into the MSN program. Admission is competitive.

Submission of the above materials can be mailed to:

Western Kentucky University School of Nursing

1906 College Heights Blvd., #11036

Attention: Graduate Nursing Program

Bowling Green, KY 42101

For more information please call 270-745-3590.

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 Last Modified 11/18/14