Program Overview

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is essential to advance your career to the next level. The MSN at West Chester University has two areas of specialization: Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or Nurse Educator, which allow students a deeper understanding of the field of their choice. The MSN program at WCU is offered 100% online in both full- and part-time formats. Online courses offer both synchronous and asynchronous options to enable working professionals the flexibility to pursue a graduate degree while still maintaining their full-time employment. For advanced practice, practicum hours are required at the end of the program. All requirements must be completed within six years, regardless of choice of full- or part-time study. The MSN curriculum of West Chester University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The job market for registered nurses is projected to grow by 6% through 2032, with master’s level nursing positions projected to grow by even more. Nurses with their MSN command salaries more than 20% higher than RNs, depending on specialty. There’s never been a better time to get your Master of Science in Nursing degree at West Chester University!



Nurse Educator

A nurse educator is a nurse who teaches and prepares licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN) for entry into practice positions. They can also teach in various patient care settings to provide continuing education to licensed nursing staff. Nurse Educators teach in graduate programs at Master’s and doctoral levels which prepare advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and leaders in complex healthcare and educational organizations.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice nurse who can provide expert advice related to specific conditions or treatment pathways. They are clinical experts in evidence-based nursing practice within a specialty area, treating and managing the health concerns of patients and populations. The CNS specialty maybe focused on individuals, populations, settings, type of care, type of problem, or diagnostic systems subspecialty. These nurses design, implement, and evaluate both patient–specific and population-based programs of care. [American Nurses Association (ANA) Scope and Standards of Practice (2004), p. 15]. Nearly half of all hospital admissions are for patients 65 and older, but according to Nurse Journal, just 1% of nurses work in gerontology. WCU’s program will prepare you for advanced practice nursing through a core curriculum focused on competencies from policy to ethical decision making, and a specialization in gerontology focused on adult health and health management.


Program Highlights

The curriculum follows the MSN Essentials. Specialty courses are typically taken after Core Curriculum requirements are completed.

Clinical hours:

  • Regional placement with CNS or APN nurses 
  • Regional placement with Nurse Educators 
  • Student and faculty collaboration

What can I do with this degree?

Graduates of this program may seek employment in educational settings, acute or long-term care settings, or community health care agencies.

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  • Online or hybrid course format clinical affiliations in regional hospital systems

  • Clinical clearance requirements are agency specific Rolling admission