Image of 3 nursing students, one in a white lab coat and two in purple scrubs.

RN to MS Professional Pathway

Winona State University is known for its high quality baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. The RN to MS Professional Pathway is designed for highly motivated nurses who:

  1. Graduated with an associate degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing,
  2. Have nursing experience, and
  3. Whose goal is to earn a Master of Science degree in Nursing.

Selected courses meet requirements for the undergraduate and graduate programs. Students will substitute Master’s-level credits for Baccalaureate-level credits in the RN to BS Completion program that count toward the BS degree. Students must take ten (10) credits of specified 400/600 level double numbered courses thus reducing the remaining master’s level credits (reduction of MS credits are dependent upon the number of credits required in the program to which the student is admitted).

Admission to the RN to MS Professional Pathway

Applicants must be currently admitted WSU Undergraduate Nursing students in order to qualify for the RN to MS Professional Pathway. Applicants must also meet additional admission requirements and should also consult the WSU Graduate Catalog. Separate formal application to the Graduate Programs in Nursing is required. The application deadline for this program is October 15 of each academic year. Acceptance in a program area is not guaranteed. Further information can be obtained from the Department of Nursing website.

Admission Guidelines

  1. Applicant must be a currently admitted to the WSU RN to BS Completion Program Undergraduate Nursing student in order to qualify for the RN to MS Professional Pathway;
  2. Acquire an RN to MS Nursing information packet from 507.285.7349 or 800.366.5418;
  3. Complete WSU RN to BS Application for Evaluation of Credits;
  4. Meet with an RN to BS Completion Advisor:
    • Full-time students must have all credits completed prior to beginning the RN to BS Completion core nursing courses*
    • Part-time students must have all credits completed prior to beginning the second or last year of the RN to BS Completion core nursing courses*
  5. Complete the RN to BS Completion Application;
  6. Attend information session with MS Advisor to discuss RN to MS Professional Pathway application process;
  7. After the above course requirements are complete, submit an “MS / MA or Professional Science Masters or Doctor of Nursing Practice” Application for Admission AND “Graduate Programs in Nursing BSN-DNP or MS or Graduate Certificate Application” by October 15.

Selection Criteria for RN - BS - MS Pathway

  1. Must be currently enrolled in the WSU RN to BS Completion Baccalaureate Degree Program (full-time first semester, part-time third semester);
  2. Attain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale;
  3. Accomplished a minimum of one year clinical nursing experience;
  4. Evidence of current, unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse.  Minnesota licensure typically required for all clinical courses.  Other state license may also be required for clinical experiences in those states according to state statute;
  5. Must meet admission requirements of Graduate Programs in Nursing, which includes submitting a “BSN-DNP or MS or Graduate Certificate Application” and all required attachments by deadline of October 15.  Applications are available online
  6. Must also submit an “MS / MA or Professional Science Masters or Doctor of Nursing Practice Application for Admission” to the Office of Graduate Studies.  This online application must be submitted before or concurrently with the “BSN-DNP or MS or Graduate Certificate Application” which has a due date of October 15.

Nursing Electives:

Other 400/500 level, doubled number courses that may be taken as electives and count toward the baccalaureate degree and will reduce the number of 500 and 600 level credits needed for the master’s degree. These courses are registered at the 400 level.

* NURS 402/617  Advanced Clinical Pharmacology
3 SH
* NURS 404/616  Molecular/Genetics and Immune Mechanisms
3 SH

*Master’s level courses taken as 400 level course credits count toward the BS degree and reduce the number of 600 level course credits needed for a master’s degree to 33 – 46 credits.

  • Master’s Degree Program must be completed within seven (7) years of the first 400/600 level double numbered course taken
  • Baccalaureate Degree requirements (128 credits)
  • Master’s Degree requirements (43 – 56 credits)

This sample demonstrates a full-time plan of study required to complete the baccalaureate portion of the RN – MS pathway. (All other course requirements for the BS Degree are completed before beginning this sequence)

Semester I
NURS 415 Concepts in Professional Nursing 4 SH
NURS 435 Holistic Assessment 3 SH
NURS 375 Evidence Based Research 3 SH
NURS 475 Population Based Health Care I 4 SH

Semester II
NURS 455 Continuity of Care 4 SH
NURS 445 Evidenced Based Leadership 3 SH
*NURS 409/608 Organizational and Systems Leadership 3 SH
*NURS 419/612 Advanced Health Promotion for Families 3 SH
*NURS 499/613 Advanced Health Promotion for Families Clinical 1 SH
*NURS 414/604 Health Care Policy/Quality Health Care Delivery 3 SH

* (substitute credits for NURS 465 Population-Based Health Care II and NURS 491 Professional Development) 

This sample demonstrates a part-time plan of study required to complete the baccalaureate portion of the RN – MS pathway.  (All other course requirements for the BS Degree are completed before beginning the second or last year of the program)

Semester I

NURS 415 Concepts in Professional Nursing 4 SH
NURS 435 Holistic Assessment 3 SH

Semester II

NURS 455 Continuity of Care 4 SH
NURS 445 Evidenced Based Leadership 3 SH

Semester III

NURS 375 Evidenced Based Research 3 SH
NURS 475 Population Based Health Care I 4 SH

Semester IV

*NURS 409/608 Organizational and Systems Leadership 3 SH
*NURS 419/612 Advanced Health Promotion for Families 3 SH
*NURS 499/613 Advanced Health Promotion for Families Clinical 1 SH
*NURS 414/604 Health Care Policy/Quality Health Care Delivery 3 SH

* (substitute credits for NURS 465 Population Based Nursing and NURS 491 Professional Development)