Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Students can complete the MSN curriculum on a full-time or a part-time basis; however, all requirements for the degree must be completed in six years or less. The course format for both MSN programs is primarily online, however, students may have to attend classes on campus, please refer to individual syllabi or faculty regarding scheduling. The MSN program offers tracks for the advanced practice role and generalist role. For advanced practice, both the Nurse Educator and Adult-Gerontology CNS require practicum hours at the end of the program. For the generalist role in Clinical nurse leadership, immersion experiences will be required in the final semesters. The online courses offer synchronous and asynchronous formats to enable working professionals the flexibility to pursue a graduate degree while still maintaining their full-time employment.

Graduates of this program may seek employment in educational settings, acute or long-term care settings, or community health care agencies. The MSN curriculum of West Chester University is accredited by theCommission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through 2029.

Please check the Graduate Catalog for complete descriptions of the MSN curriculum, courses, requirements, and program outcomes.

Admissions Process:

The MSN program accepts applications for both the fall and spring semesters. Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants should submit the following materials to the Graduate College:  

  • Completed graduate application, including goals statementApply Online
  • Official academic transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended, demonstrating a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.8 or better, with successful completion of the B.S.N. and courses in statistics and physical assessment. 
  • Current RN license (Pennsylvania licensure will be required prior to the clinical practicum)  
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Application fee

Please go to theGraduate College pagefor more information on our program and how to apply. 

Curriculum Information

Both Nursing Education and Adult-Gerontology CNS share eight core courses which include the following:

NSG 530 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice (3 credits)
NSG 531 Healthcare Policy, Finance, and Organization (3 credits)
NSG 532 Pathophysiology for Advanced-Practice Nursing (3 credits)
NSG 533 Physical Assessment for Advanced-Practice Nursing (4 credits)
NSG 534 Pharmacology for Advanced-Practice Nursing (3 credits)
NSG 535 Population-Based Health Promotion/Epidemiology (3 credits)
NSG 536 Evidence-Based Practice Research (3 credits)
NSG 537 Ethical Decision Making in Healthcare (3 credits)

The Nurse Educator courses include the following:

NSG 541 History and Philosophy of Higher Education and Nursing Education (3 credits)
NSG 542 Curriculum Development and Design in Nursing Education (3 credits)
NSG 543 Measurement and Evaluation in Nursing Education (3 credits)
NSG 544 Teaching Strategies for Classroom and Clinical Settings (3 credits)
NSG 545 Nursing Education Teaching Practicum (3 credits)

Students in the Nurse Educator track take eight core component courses (26 credits) and five courses in nursing education (15 credits, which includes one practicum course) for a total of 41 credits. After completing the nursing education courses, students in the Nurse Educator track are eligible for the National League for Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator Certification Exam.

The Adult-Gerontology courses include the following:

NSG 551 Advanced Nursing Practice I (2 credits)
NSG 552 Advanced Nursing Practice II (3 credits)
NSG 553 Advanced Nursing Practice III (3 credits)
NSG 554 Theories of the Aging Process (3 credits)
NSG 555 Differential Diagnosis in Older Adults (3 credits)
NSG 556 Health-Illness Transitions (3 credits)

Students in the Adult-Gerontology CNS track take the eight core component courses (26 credits), six courses in adult-gerontology (17 credits), which includes 504 clinical hours for a total of 43 credits The Adult-Gerontology CNS program enables students to be eligible for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification Exam.

Advance 2 MSN Program

A2M Information Session

Thank you for your interest of attending an information session for the incoming cohort of Spring 2024. Information pertaining to the application process and program of study will take place via zoom at the following date/ time:

March 27, 2023 11 am to 12 noon
Zoom Link:
Passcode: 837777

The Advance 2 MSN (A2M) program is situated to attract bachelor’s degree students who have attained an academic goal but are looking for a new career direction. The A2M program fulfills an interest in moving forward academically while opening the door to a professional career with countless opportunities. Importantly, it supports a glaring need in our healthcare delivery system to educate more nurses to fill the growing demand for skilled bedside nurses at the graduate level. This need is acute throughout our hospital systems (Johnson, et al., 2016) but is especially glaring in the community setting of underserved poor and rural populations.

The mission of the A2M program is to increase the number of graduate level nurses from diverse background begins with the recognition that second-degree, nursing programs historically report a greater diversity in applicants than traditional nursing programs (Dos Santos, 2020). Recruits can be shown that a move into nursing is not a start-over but rather an opportunity to take their academic and work experience into a new direction. The Advance 2 MSN program is designed to enroll students from all backgrounds which can be a pipeline to provide increasing numbers of graduates to match the growing size of diverse communities.

Traditionally, the applicants for this program are highly motivated in their goal to begin a second career and will be provided with the necessary academic support to be successful. Our former Advance 2 BSN second-degree bachelor’s program has a 97% retention rate due to the ongoing individualized support given to students. Similar instructional methods and educational resources will be provided to Advance 2 MSN students. This support will include our ongoing remediation program that has led our graduates to maintain a 95% or better NCLEX pass rate, among the highest in the nation.

The students will also be provided with diverse clinical practice opportunities that will benefit the students’ education. Opportunities to provide care in underserved areas and with a variety of client populations will provide these students expanded knowledge and an understanding of the significant difference they will be able to make with these clients.

Advance 2 MSN (A2M Graduate Nursing Program)

The Advance 2 MSN program is for the student with a previously earned baccalaureate degree who wants to attain RN licensure and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Upon successful completion of the program graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam (National Council on Licensure Examination for the RN) for licensure as a Registered Nurse and complete MSN requirements as a Clinical Nurse Leader. This intensive 24-month program builds upon the student's previous education.

Advance 2 MSN Program Information

  • One cohort of approximately 30-40 students is accepted each year. Each cohort begins in January and completes requirements 24 months later.
  • Meets the same program outcomes as the traditional BSN program but with additional focus in Graduate Studies.
  • Follows the core MSN curriculum with specialty courses related to the Clinical Nurse Leader role.
  • Costs for this program are the same tuition and fees for the Graduate MSN program. Billing is by semester.
  • Classes are held weekdays in the summer semesters. In the fall and spring semesters, classes are held weekdays with clinicals on either weekdays or weekends. A flexible schedule is necessary to meet clinical requirements.
  • For questions about the program please first read the A2M Application Guide and Handbook.
  • For additional information contact the WCU Nursing Graduate Coordinator.

For questions about the online application form please contact Graduate Admissions or call 610-436-2943.

School Nurse Certification

School Nurse Certification – Educational Specialist – Level I

Students who complete this program, hold a valid RN license in Pennsylvania, and have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, are eligible to apply for the School Nurse Certificate (Education Specialist I) issued by the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Education.

School Nurse Program Accepts Applications throughout the year.

The School Nurse Certification program is a 14-credit, post-baccalaureate program that prepares students for initial Pennsylvania Department of Education certification as an Educational Specialist I – School Nurse. This program prepares registered nurses to meet the health needs of children and adolescents in schools, pre-K to Grade 12.

Required courses are NSG 502 (School Nurse Practicum), NSG 512 (Legal Mandates of School Nursing), NSG 533 (Health Assessment), and EDA 542 (Foundations of Special Education).

Please check the Graduate Catalog for complete descriptions of the School Nurse curriculum, courses, and requirements.

School Nurse Certification – Educational Specialist – Level II

The School Nurse Certification – level II program is an extension of the School Nurse Certification - level I program offered either at West Chester University or another Pennsylvania State higher education institution. The level I certification is identified by the University in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The School Nurse Certification - level II program is a post baccalaureate program that prepares students for continuing education as a natural extension of the education achieved within the level I certification.

As such, requirements for entry into the School Nurse Certification - level II program are as follows: Active engagement in employment that utilizes level I certification; Active Pennsylvania RN license in good standing; Active BLS certification.

Courses within the Level II program are as follows:

Course Code Course Title Credit Bearing
NSG 531 Healthcare Policy, Leadership & Organization 3
NSG 532 Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing 3
NSG 535 Population-based Health Promotion 3
NSG 536 Evidence-Based Practice Research 3
NSG 537 Bioethical Decision Making in Health Care 3
HEA 503 Foundations of Public Health 1



The Masters of Science in Nursing programs at West Chester University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Apply Now

MSN Program Information and Certificate Program Information

Megan A. Infanti Mraz PhD, RN
Director of Graduate Programs

Graduate Handbook

A2M Application Guide and Handbook

Please visit The Graduate School page for information about programs, open houses, fees, and deadlines


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