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WesternU / College of Graduate Nursing / Academic Programs / Master’s Degree Programs

Master’s Degree Programs

Master of Science in Nursing Entry (MSN-E)

The Master of Science in Nursing Entry (MSN-E) program offers a pathway for applicants with baccalaureate degrees in other fields to obtain RN licensure and then continue with graduate courses to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing degree. This program of study offers an alternative for students who would have had to complete either an Associate Degree in Nursing at a community college or obtain a second bachelor’s degree to achieve registered nurse licensure.

Learn More: MSN-E Program

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Among the Best Nursing Master’s Degree

Associate Degreed Nurse (ADN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Your Associate Degree brought you into the profession of nursing. Now, earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) without the extra step of going back to school for a BSN.

Our ADN to MSN program is for the Associate Degree Nurse who has their RN license and wishes to advance their professional career with an MSN that embraces an administrative or clinical focus with either the Health Systems Leadership – Administrative Nurse Leader (MSN-ANL), Health Systems Leadership – Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN-CNL) or Ambulatory Care (MSN-AMB) track:

  • Health Systems Leadership-Administrative Nurse Leader (MSN-ANL)
  • Health Systems Leadership-Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN-CNL)
  • Ambulatory Care Nursing (MSN-AMB)

Learn More: ADN to MSN Program

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Designed for the bachelor’s-prepared RN, our Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN) program allows you to earn your MSN while continuing to work in your home community. Full-time students complete the program in two years. Part-time options are also available.

An advanced degree opens many rewarding career options for RNs. We offer five tracks:

  • Health Systems Leadership-Administrative Nurse Leader (MSN-ANL)
  • Health Systems Leadership-Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN-CNL)
  • Ambulatory Care Nursing (MSN-AMB)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MSN-PMHNP)

Learn More: BSN to MSN Program

  • Clinical Experience

    Master of Science in Nursing Entry (MSN-E)

    Students in the Master of Science in Nursing Entry (MSN-E) program will be required to complete 1395 clinical hours in the curriculum. Students will be assigned to clinical facilities and to a clinical faculty member and will complete clinical experience hours at acute care hospitals, behavior health and community health clinics. Clinical experiences will begin in the first semester of the program.

    ADN to MSN and BSN to MSN

    Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Track

    As a front-line leader and working with other nurses and the interprofessional team, the CNL engages in a systems-based approach to improve patient safety, clinical outcomes and quality improvement. The goal of the CNL is to assure high quality, safe and cost-effective health care.

    Students will be required to complete between 405 to 495 clinical experience hours. Clinical experiences for this track can take place at any point across the continuum of health care. Students will be precepted by a clinical nurse expert in a selected practice setting to meet identified role competencies. A clinical professor will work with the student and preceptor to monitor progress throughout the practice experience. The clinical experiences will position students for new and unique employment opportunities after graduation. The CNL clinical experience is a requirement of CNL certification.

    Administrative Nurse Leader (ANL) Track

    The ANL is an organizational and social architect for high-performing health care settings. ANLs work collaboratively with other nurses and interprofessional leaders. The ANL creates the environment and ensures the structure and resources for high-quality, safe, and cost-effective health care.

    Students will be required to complete between 225 to 315 clinical experience hours. Clinical experiences for this track can take place at any point across the continuum of health care. Students will be precepted by a leadership expert in a selected practice setting to meet identified role competencies. A clinical professor will work with the student and preceptor to monitor progress throughout the practice experience.

    Ambulatory Care Nursing (AMB) Track

    The Ambulatory Care Nurse (AMB) coordinates care for individuals in outpatient clinical settings as well as facilitating and managing health care. The Master’s prepared clinician or leader critically utilizes current and relevant evidence to ensure safe delivery of quality patient care. Additionally, the AMB evaluates patient outcomes, assesses risk, and provides patient education.

    Students will be required to complete between 225 to 315 clinical practice hours. Mentorship by nursing experts in various practice settings will guide acquisition of skills to meet ambulatory care competencies. A clinical professor will ensure a quality education by monitoring progress throughout the practice experience while aligning didactic content from the curriculum.

    Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN/FNP) and Post-Masters FNP

    As an FNP-track student, you will complete 675 precepted clinical hours in your community. Working with Medical Doctors (MD’s), Osteopathic Physicians (DO’s) and Nurse Practitioners who agree to mentor you through this skill-building phase, your local preceptor will make sure you receive an outstanding learning experience at a site as close to home as possible.

    Your clinical experiences focus on ambulatory, primary-care practice. Geriatric, adult, pediatric, obstetric and gynecologic populations are all included in your clinical rotations that take place in a range of settings, including private practices, community clinics, public health facilities, and some specialty clinics. During your seminar weekends, classes and skills workshops introduce skills and intellectual concepts that you will integrate into your clinical rotations.

    This partnership between the academic and clinical worlds not only prepares you for clinical practice, but also positions you for employment opportunities.

    Most students obtain precepted experiences at multiple sites to obtain the widest possible experience in practice patterns, skill sets, and specialties. Clinical faculty will perform evaluations each semester to determine your progress with preceptor interactions, and patient encounters to ensure your experiences meet our rigorous standards.

    You will have your choice of working in community clinics, private practices, urgent care sites, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, Indian reservations, military sites, specialty clinics, or family practices within your home state.

  •  Tracks/Role Concentrations

    Health Systems Leadership-Administrative Nurse Leader (MSN-ANL)
    This program prepares you with the latest knowledge and applied skills to be an effective administrative leader advancing better care, better health, and lower costs. Today’s health care systems require nurse leaders who can integrate experience, knowledge, research and technology to effectively lead at the unit, clinic or departmental level.

    Health Systems Leadership-Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN-CNL)
    This program prepares you as an advanced generalist at the point of care. The CNL is prepared to lead patient safety and quality improvement, evidence-based practice, risk reduction, and care coordination. The CNL works with interprofessional teams caring for a variety of patient populations in all practice settings.

    Ambulatory Care Nursing (MSN-AMB)
    This program prepares you in obtaining advanced clinical and leadership skills in primary ambulatory care or out-patient health care settings. The Ambulatory Care Nurse (AMB) coordinates care for a distinctive group of patients as well as actively engaging indirect patient care including telephonic triage. The AMB evaluates patient outcomes, assesses risk, and provides patient and staff education.
    Our full-time web-based program will allow our AMB students to achieve their MSN in two to three years and increase their career trajectory and earning potential. This program combines the flexibility of web-based learning with seminar weekends to facilitate graduate education for the professional nurse.