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
  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 - 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).

Students will substitute the following classes for NURS 465 – Population-Based Health Care II and NURS 491 – Professional Development in the RN – BS Completion program:

  • NURS 409/608 – Organizational and Systems Leadership (3 credits)
  • *NURS 419/612 – Advanced Health Promotion for Families (3 credits)
  • NURS 499/613 – Advanced Health Promotion for Families Clinical (1 credit)
  • NURS 414/604 – Health Care Policy/Quality Health Care Delivery (3 credits)

Students plan their streamlined program with advisors from both the baccalaureate and master’s programs in anticipation of formal admission to the Graduate Programs in Nursing. A separate application is required for admission to the Graduate Programs in Nursing. Master of Science, Nursing Plans of Study and Application can be found on the Graduate Nursing website.

Admission to the RN to MS Professional Pathway

Applicants must be currently admitted WSU Undergraduate RN - BS Completion 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 1 of each academic year. Acceptance in a program area is not guaranteed. Further information can be obtained from the Graduate Nursing website.

Admission Guidelines

  1. Applicant must be a currently admitted to the WSU RN - BS Completion Program in order to qualify for the RN to MS Professional Pathway;
  2. Acquire an RN - 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 - BS Completion Advisor:
    • Full-time students must have all credits completed prior to beginning the RN - MS Completion core nursing courses*
    • Part-time students must have all credits completed prior to beginning the second or last year of the RN - BS Completion core nursing courses*
  5. Complete the RN - 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 a “Graduate Studies Online Application” and “Graduate Programs in Nursing BSN-DNP or MS or Graduate Certificate Application” by October 1.

Selection Criteria for RN - BS - MS Pathway

  1. Must be currently enrolled in the WSU RN - 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 1.  Applications can be found under Applications and Forms
  6. Must also submit the “Graduate Studies Online Application." Please visit the Graduate Studies website “How to Apply” for application information and instructions. This application must be submitted before or concurrently with the “BSN-DNP or MS or Graduate Certificate Application” which has a due date of October 1.

Nursing Electives:

Other 400/600 level, doubled number courses that may be taken as electives and count toward the baccalaureate degree and will reduce the number of 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)