Master of Science in Nursing and Post-Master of Science in Nursing Certificate
The WKU School of Nursing & Allied Health (SONAH) Graduate Nursing program builds upon the first professional degree, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The purpose of the program is to develop expertise in advance nursing practice. The program prepares the nurse for increased accountability, proficiency, and leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings. We have several options to meet the needs of the growing demand for nurses with advanced levels of education, including a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and two Post-Master of Science in Nursing (Post-MSN) certificate options.
The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) is prepared at the graduate level to diagnose, prescribe, and treat psychiatric illnesses and mental 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 PMHNP information, are available.
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 and provide documentation of at least one (1) year of experience working with people with psychiatric-mental health conditions.
Additional information can be found on the Post-MSN Family Nurse Practitioner document or in the Graduate Catalog Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate section.
Cohorts begin each fall and spring. Applicants who apply to WKU's MSN PMHNP program should live and complete their clinical hours in KY or TN .
Summer entry term courses start in July.
Fall entry term courses start in mid-to-late August.
Spring entry term courses start in mid-to-late January.
MSN Program Requirements
Hyperlink to admission criteria in 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.
WKU Graduate School application
Review the Graduate School Admission Requirements and submit an online application to the WKU Graduate School by following the directions below. Official copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts should be sent directly to the WKU Graduate School by institution; please refer to the Graduate School website for mailing address or email address for electronic submission. WKU graduates do not need to request transcripts be sent to the WKU Graduate School.
- 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.
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.
WKU School of Nursing and Allied Health application materials
As a reminder, all concentrations and certificates require a BSN degree. Applicants must meet the above MSN Program Requiements and submit all required items prior to the applicable application deadline - May 1 (for summer/fall admission consideration) and October 1 (for spring admission consideration).
The following documents should be submitted to Melissa Hamlin (at email@example.com):
- WKU SONAH Graduate Nursing Reference form (electronic format) (PDF) completed by three (3) professional references to include nurse manager or nurse administrator and nursing faculty (if you have graduated from a BSN program in the past three (3) years).
- Professional resume or CV
- Written goal statement (PDF - items to address in written goal statement)
- Current and unencumbered RN licensure in KY or compact state where clinical experiences will be completed
A phone 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 or certificate. Admission is competitive.
WKU Tuition & Fees
For more information on tuition costs at WKU, please visit https://www.wku.edu/bursar/home-tuition-fees.php; in addition to tuition, there are clinical course fees that will be billed to your University Account each semester you are enrolled in a clinical course. Also,please visit this website for more information about the cost of either certificate program, average time to complete & other important information.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or interest in the PMHNP MSN or Post-MSN certificate.
Contact email@example.com for additional information or interest in the FNP Post-MSN certificate.
Contact Melissa Hamlin at 270-745-4392 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or interest in any program or certificate.
WKU's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) web page provides information on the DNP FNP concentration, as the MSN FNP concentration is no longer offered at WKU.