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Master of Science in Nursing and Post-Master of Science in Nursing Certificate

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.

We have options to meet the needs of the growing demand for nurses with advanced levels of education, which include Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree options as well as Post-Master of Science in Nursing (Post-MSN) certificates. All concentrations and certificates require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.


MSN Specialty Concentrations

WKU's School of Nursing and Allied Health offers 1 specialty MSN concentration in Psychiatric-Mental Health NP.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner MSN

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is prepared at the graduate level to diagnose, prescribe, and treat psychiatric illnesses and menal health conditions across the lifespan.  This concentration prepares the graduate to test for certification as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan).  Additional resources, such as sample PMHNP course curriculum for Summer and Spring semester starts, as well as the Graduate Catalog MSN information, are available.

Contact rhonda.quenzer@wku.edu additional information.  Cohorts begin each spring and summer.

Applicants who apply to WKU's MSN PMHNP program should live and complete their clinical hours in KY or TN.

Special Admission Requirements: Documentation of at least one (1) year of experience working with people with psychiatric-mental health conditions.

Please view our DNP web page for additional information on WKU's BSN to DNP, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) concentration as the MSN FNP speciality concentration is no longer offered at WKU.


POST-MSN Specialty Concentrations

For people who have an MSN and wish to add a second specialty area, we have 2 Post-MSN Certificate options - Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Additional information can be found on the Post-MSN Family Nurse Practitioner document or in the Graduate Catalog Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate section.

Contact eve.main@wku.edu for additional information.  Cohorts begin each fall and spring. 

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Cohorts begin each summer.  Additional information can be found on the Post-MSN Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner course curriculum document or in the Graduate Catalog Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate section.

Contact for rhonda.quenzer@wku.edu additional information. Cohorts begin each summer.

Applicants who apply to WKU's PMHNP certificate should live and complete their clinical hours in KY, TN, or AZ.

For more information about the cost of the certificate program, average time to complete the program, and other important information, please visit this website.


Application Deadline Date:

May 1 for summer/fall admission; summer course(s) start in July and fall course(s) start in August

November 1 for spring admission; spring course(s) start in January

Applicants must meet the following Admission Criteria and complete and provide the Graduate School and School of Nursing and Allied Health application materials as stated in each section below.

Admission Criteria (see Graduate Catalog)

  • Hold unencumbered RN licensure or have applied for RN licensure in Kentucky or compact state.
  • 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. RN-MSN program applicants must be a graduate of a CCNE or NLN accredited associate of science in nursing program and have earned the related baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • The GRE is not required for individuals who have a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale undergraduate cumulative GPA.
  • One year of full-time nursing experience is required prior to enrolling (following acceptance) in clinical courses in the nurse practitioner options.

Graduate School

1) Review the Graduate School Admission Requirements.

2) Apply to the Graduate School by following these directions.

  • On the Apply Now for Admission at WKU website access the Graduate Applications section on the right side of the page.
  • Select Domestic and International Applicants to begin your WKU Graduate Admission Application within TopNet.
  • On the WKU Admissions Application web page, follow the prompts as requested (logging in with your WKUID and PIN or creating an application account).
  • On the Pre- Application Questions web page, use the drop down list to select the appropriate term/semester you want to begin your course work.  Ensure all other information on this web page is provided.  Note: You may only take classes beginning the semester you indicate on your application.  We highly recommend NURS 521 (Graduate Stats) in the Summer.  Thus, new, applicants are highly encouraged to select summer instead of fall for their semester start.
  • Follow the application checklist prompts through each section.  You will need to complete all 10.
  • On the Planned Course of Study web page, select the relevant Category of Study ("Certificate" or "Masters"), Planned Course of Study, and MSN applicants will need to select a Concentration.  Please note, if you select the incorrect item and submit your application, a new application will have to be completed.
  • If you have any questions or issues during the online application process, please contact the Graduate School at 270-745-2446.

3) Send official copiesof undergraduate and graduate transcripts to the Graduate School. (WKU graduates – do not send transcripts).  Please refer to the Graduate School website for mailing address.

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.

Acceptance of graduate transfer courses by the Graduate School does not mean that the courses fulfill course requirement in MSN courses. Review the WKU Graduate Catalog for transfer policies.

School of Nursing and Allied Health

Submit the following documents to Melissa Hamlin (at melissa.hamlin@wku.edu):

  • 3 professional references on WKU MSN Reference form to include nurse manager or nurse administrator and nursing faculty (if you have graduated from a BSN program in the past 3 years).
  • Professional resume or CV
  • A written goal statement
  • Current and unencumbered RN licensure in KY or compact state where clinical experiences will be completed

Do not submit official transcripts to the School of Nursing Graduate Program as this may delay your application process.  Official transcripts are to be submitted directly to the Graduate School; please refer to the Application to the Graduate School section.

All application materials must be received prior to the application deadline noted on this web page.

 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.

For more information about our program, please contact Melissa Hamlin at 270-745-4392.




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 Last Modified 3/26/20