Admission Requirements

Admission criteria for the Master of Science in Nursing and Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice include:

  1. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally-accredited graduate program in nursing;
  2. Undergraduate coursework in physical assessment;
  3. Undergraduate courses in nursing research and statistics required;
  4. Computer literacy with knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and data base programs;
  5. Transcripts of past education with GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale (1 official transcript from each institution attended);
  6. Applicants with GPA less than 3.0 but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool will be considered for provisional admission on an individual basis;*
  7. Applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
  8. Minimum of one year clinical nursing experience (recommended);
  9. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) applicants need to meet additional requirements:
    1. One year critical care experience strongly preferred (e.g., ICU, ER, ICU/CUU, unit providing high acuity care with fast-paced decision making and complex procedures)
    2. ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification
    3. ECG interpretation course required prior to beginning clinical courses
  10. 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;
  11. Applicants submit three (3) references from persons who can comment competently on the applicant’s background and suitability for nursing masters/doctoral study. At least one professional reference from a professional who occupies the student’s chosen advanced practice nursing role (e.g. nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, nurse administrator/leader); one professional reference; and one academic or professional reference;
  12. Statement of professional goals;
  13. Clinical paperwork including a background check required after admission (clinical requirement, fees assessed);
  14. Applicants seeking admission to the Graduate Programs in Nursing may be required to have a personal interview with program faculty;
  15. Graduate Programs in Nursing tuition rates apply;
  16. BSN-DNP Applicants Only:
    1. Professional Resume;
    2. Applicants are asked to provide clinical practice question that you are most interested in studying in your clinical scholarship courses. Applicants should provide background for why this clinical question is important for clinical nurse scholars to answer and be formatted in the PICO or PICOT style. In addition, the applicant may provide ideas for the most appropriate clinical setting within which this question can be answered.**
*Provisional Admittance: Provisional admittance may be granted to applicants who have an Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) below 3.0, but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool. Students accepted provisionally must maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA for their first 12 semester credits, during which time they must take at least one of the following courses: NURS 600 - Scientific and Ethical Foundations; NURS 606 - Nursing Information Management and Decision Making; or STATS 601 - Statistical Methods
**A recommended resource book for those considering the DNP is The Doctor of Nursing Practice: A Guidebook for Role Development and Professional Issues by Lisa Astalos Chism (2015). It offers a background for why the DNP is important for practice; differences between the DNP and Ph.D.; expectations for possible coursework in a DNP program; and hints for transitioning into one’s role with a DNP degree. It may answer questions for anyone pondering a DNP program. (Jones and Bartlett Publishers; ISBN#:  978-1-2840-6625-8).

Admission criteria for the Graduate Certificate Programs in Nursing include:

  1. Graduate degree from a nationally-accredited graduate program in nursing;
  2. Computer literacy with knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and data base programs;
    Ability to meet minimum computer hardware and software for accessing coursework;
  3. Transcripts of past education with GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale (1 official transcript from
    each institution attended);
  4. Applicants with GPA less than 3.0 but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool will be considered for provisional admission on an individual basis;*
  5. Applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
  6. Minimum of one year clinical nursing experience (recommended);
  7. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) applicants need to meet additional requirements:
    1. One year critical care experience strongly preferred (e.g., ICU, ER, ICU/CUU, unit providing high acuity care with fast-paced decision making and complex procedures);
    2. ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification;
    3. ECG interpretation course required prior to beginning clinical courses;
  8. Psychiatric-mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) applicants in 2017 need to meet additional requirements:
    1. Evidence of national credentialing as a nurse practitioner or board eligibility for certification as a nurse practitioner;
  9. Evidence of current, unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse. Minnesota licensure typically required for all clinical courses. Other state license also required for clinical experiences in those states according to state statute;
  10. Applicants submit three (3) references from persons who can comment competently on the applicant’s background and suitability for nursing masters/doctoral study.  At least one professional reference from a professional who occupies the student’s chosen advanced practice nursing role (e.g. nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, nurse administrator/leader); one professional reference; and one academic or professional reference;
  11. Statement of professional goals;
  12. Clinical paperwork including a background check required after admission (clinical requirement, fees assessed);
  13. Applicants seeking admission to the Graduate Programs in Nursing may be required to have a personal interview with program faculty;
  14. Applicants for Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS), Nurse Educator (NE) and Psychiatric-mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) programs must have evidence of completion of advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment (60 hours faculty supervised and includes diagnostic reasoning), advanced health promotion and advanced pharmacology (within last three years required in some states for credentialing);
  15. Any applicant seeking to change or add a different population focus who has graduated from an accredited MS-NP program and is in active practice will be presumed to have met all post-MS certificate prerequisites (advanced assessment and diagnostic reasoning, advanced health promotion, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology);
  16. Graduate Programs in Nursing tuition rates apply;
  17. Admission may be conditional based upon Minnesota State Board of Nursing and Department of Education Higher Education regulations.

*Provisional Admittance: Provisional admittance may be granted to applicants who have an Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) below 3.0, but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool. Students accepted provisionally must maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA for their first 12 semester credits, during which time they must take at least one of the following courses: NURS 600 - Scientific and Ethical Foundations; NURS 606 - Nursing Information Management and Decision Making; or STATS 601 - Statistical Methods.

Admission criteria for the Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs in Nursing include:

  1. Master’s degree from a nationally-accredited graduate program in nursing;
  2. Master’s coursework in organizational and systems leadership and nursing information management and decision-making;
  3. Master’s courses in nursing research and statistics required;
  4. Computer literacy with knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and data base programs;
  5. Transcripts of past education with GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale (1 official transcript from each institution attended);
  6. Applicants with GPA less than 3.0 but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool will be considered for provisional admission on an individual basis;
  7. Applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
  8. Minimum one year clinical nursing experience in functional master’s-level role (recommended);
  9. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) applicants need to meet additional requirements:
    1. One year critical care experience strongly preferred (e.g., ICU, ER, ICU/CCU, unit providing high acuity care with fast-paced decision making and complex procedures)
    2. ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification
    3. ECG interpretation course required prior to beginning clinical courses;
  10. Evidence of current, unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse. Minnesota licensure typically required for all clinical courses. Other state license also required for clinical experiences in those states according to state statute;
  11. Evidence of national certification as an APRN for NP and AGCNS applicants. Applicants for the NOL/PLI program must have completed a master’s in nursing with a focus in administration/ leadership;
  12. Applicants submit three (3) references from persons who can comment competently on the applicant’s background and suitability for doctoral study. At least one professional reference from a professional who occupies the student’s chosen advanced practice nursing role (e.g. nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse administrator/leader); one professional reference; and one academic or professional reference;
  13. Professional resume;
  14. Statement of professional goals;
  15. Clinical paperwork including a background check required after admission (clinical requirement, fees assessed);
  16. Applicants seeking admission to the Graduate Programs in Nursing may be required to have a personal interview with Program faculty;
  17. Graduate Programs in Nursing tuition rates apply;
  18. Applicants asked to provide clinical practice question that you are most interested in studying in your clinical scholarship courses. Applicants should provide background for why this clinical question is important for clinical nurse scholars to answer and be formatted in the PICO or PICOT style. In addition, the applicant may provide ideas for the most appropriate clinical setting within which this question can be answered;**
  19. An evaluation of newly admitted student clinical hours will be conducted to determine whether the student meets the credit/clinical hours requirements for the program and whether additional credit/clinical hours are necessary to meet graduation requirements.

*Provisional Admittance: Provisional admittance may be granted to applicants who have an Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) below 3.0, but are otherwise competitive in the applicant pool.  Students accepted provisionally must maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA for their first 12 semester credits, during which time they must take at least one of the following courses:  NURS 600 - Scientific and Ethical Foundations; NURS 606 - Nursing Information Management and Decision Making; or STATS 601 - Statistical Methods

**A recommended resource book for those considering the DNP is The Doctor of Nursing Practice: A Guidebook for Role Development and Professional Issues by Lisa Astalos Chism (2013).  It offers a background for why the DNP is important for practice; differences between the DNP and Ph.D.; expectations for possible coursework in a DNP program; and hints for transitioning into one’s role with a DNP degree.  It may answer questions for anyone pondering a DNP program.  (Jones and Bartlett Publishers; ISBN#:  978-0-4496-4560-1).

Applications may be obtained from:

Graduate Programs in Nursing
Winona State University – Rochester
859 30th Avenue SE, Suite CF 122
Rochester, MN  55904
507.285.7473 or 800.366.5418

Office of Graduate Studies
Winona State University
PO Box 5838
Winona, MN  55987
507.457.5038 or 800.342.5978

Applications are also available online, please visit Graduate Programs in Nursing.

International students must also contact the International Services office at:  507.457.5303.