Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing (149)

Department website: http://www.wku.edu/nursing


Program Coordinator

Rhonda B. Quenzer, rhonda.quenzer@wku.edu, (270) 745-3974

The purpose of the MSN program is to develop expertise in advanced nursing skills that demands increased accountability, proficiency, and leadership. The MSN-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MSNS) builds on the baccalaureate of science in nursing for those who wish to be certified as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners. The MSN-Masters Entry Professional Nursing (MEPN) allows the student with a previous baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing to obtain the MSN and become eligible for licensure as an RN.

Concentration(s)

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MSNS)
  • Master Entry Professional Nursing (MEPN)

Program Admission

MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration

Admission to the MSN program is competitive and limited to available space. Following initial review, if applicant meets minimum admission standards, consideration is given to the applicant’s professional work experience, statement of professional and personal goals, and professional references. An interview will be requested following a review of admission materials but does not assure acceptance into the program.

Minimum admission requirements:

  1. Earned BSN degree from nationally accredited nursing program
  2. Hold unencumbered RN licensure at the time of application, and must be licensed in the state where clinical experiences will be completed
  3. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on 4.0 scale
  4. Applicants with a cumulative GPA between 2.75-2.99 in the BSN degree, will be considered for admission provided they have at least a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of the BSN degree; and have a satisfactory review of additional required admission materials (goal statement, resume, references); plus a positive interview. Admission if approved will be on a probationary status requiring that the student earn a minimum grade of B in each course in the first 12 hours of the program.
  5. Psychiatric NP applicants must document at least one year of RN experience in a psychiatric mental health nursing before the start of clinical course in the program.

Additional Required Application Materials:

  1. A written goal statement (500-700 words in length, 12 pt. font, in Microsoft Word or RTF) describing your personal and professional career goals; your academic strengths and weaknesses; life modifications you will make to help you be successful in the program; and, your understanding of online or independent learning.
  2. Three professional references (on form provided) to include nurse manager or nurse administrator and nursing faculty if a recent (<3 yrs.) BSN graduate.
  3. Professional resume
  4. All program admission materials must be received prior to the due date noted on the program 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. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission. Applicants must reapply to be considered for the next admission cycle by updating the Graduate School application and submitting all required program materials.

*The Graduate Faculty may schedule a personal interview after all required forms have been received.

MSN, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Progression Requirements

  1. MSN students must adhere to progression requirements found in the WKU Graduate Catalog.
  2. Additionally MSN students must earn a 3.0 (B) in each specialty course before progressing to the next course according to the recommended curriculum sequence.
  3. Document at least one (1) year of experience working with people with psychiatric-mental health conditions.

MSN, Masters Entry Professional Nursing Concentration

Admission to the MSN-MEPN Concentration is competitive and limited to available space. Following initial review, if applicant meets minimum admission standards, consideration is given to the applicant’s professional work experience, statement of professional and personal goals, and professional references. An interview will be requested following a review of admission materials but does not assure acceptance into the program.

Minimum admission requirements:

  1. Earned Bachelors from a regionally accredited institution in any discipline other than nursing and is NOT a licensed Registered Nurse.
  2. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on 4.0 scale
  3. Human Anatomy & Physiology (minimum of 6 credit hours with grade(s) of B or above).
  4. Human Nutrition (3 credit hours with a grade of B or above).
  5. HESI pre-entrance exam completion with a score of 80 or above.
  6. To be considered for admission to the MEPN Program, English as a second language (ESL) applicants must achieve minimum scores on the TOEFL internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) of: Minimum Cumulative Score of: 86 combined AND Minimum Individual Scores of: 26 in Speaking 20 in Writing 20 in Reading 20 in Listening.
  7. Admission to the JUMP MSN-MEPN. 

Additional Required Application Materials:

  1. A written goal statement (500-700 words in length, 12 pt. font, in Microsoft Word or RTF) describing your personal and professional career goals; your academic strengths and weaknesses; life modifications you will make to help you be successful in the program; and, your understanding of online or independent learning.
  2. Three professional references (on form provided).
  3. Professional resume
  4. All program admission materials must be received prior to the due date noted on the program 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. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission. Applicants must reapply to be considered for the next admission cycle by updating the Graduate School application and submitting all required program materials.

*The Graduate Faculty may schedule a personal interview after all required forms have been received.

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30-43 hours)

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Concentration (43 hours)

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 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 sit for certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan).  See special admission criteria on the program admission section.

Required Courses
NURS 500Advanced Physiological and Pathophysiological Concepts4
NURS 501Nursing, Politics and Health Policy2
NURS 503Advanced Health Assessment2
NURS 504Theoretical Foundations of Professional Nursing3
NURS 505Advanced Health Assessment Clinical1
NURS 507Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Assessment and Clinical Interviewing Techniques1
NURS 508Advanced Issues in Professional Nursing1
NURS 510Graduate Nursing Research3
NURS 511Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner III1
NURS 536Advanced Psychopharmacology1
NURS 512Research Applications2
NURS 515Advanced Pharmacology4
NURS 523Adv Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner I: Diag/Mgmt Psych Disorders in Adults and Elderly3
NURS 524Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner I: Clinical2
NURS 525Adv Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner II: Diag/Mgmt Psych Disorders in Child, Adolescent, Young Adult3
NURS 526Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner II: Clinical2
NURS 527Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner III: Internship5
Graduate statistics course3
Total Hours43

Master Entry Professional Nursing (30 hours)

The Master Entry Professional Nursing is a two-year concentration that prepares students with a bachelor’s degree in any area outside of nursing to become entry-level professional nurses. MEPN students earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) for registered nursing licensure.

Required Courses
NURS 501Nursing, Politics and Health Policy2
NURS 510Graduate Nursing Research3
NURS 512Research Applications2
NURS 621High Acuity Nursing for the Master Entry Professional Nurse3
NURS 521Statistics in Health Care3
NURS 624Pathophysiology for the Master Entry Professional Nurse3
NURS 528Leadership and Management in Nursing Administration3
NURS 535Health Assessment for the Master Entry Professional Nurse3
NURS 605Leadership in Nursing Practice3
NURS 755Quality Improvement in Healthcare3
NURS 629Pharmacology for the Master Entry Professional Nurse2
Total Hours30