Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions and information about Graduate Programs in Nursing are provided below. In addition to general program information you will find detailed information on the following programs:
How do I choose a focus?
Our Program Description (PDF) document provides an introduction to the different focus options. You may also want to visit the websites of a few professional nursing organizations in which nurses in advanced roles participate. Some examples are the National League for Nursing and the Professional Nurse Educators Group for nurse educators; the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists; the National Organization of Nurse Executives and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. In addition to these organizations, most nurses in advanced roles participate in a clinical specialty organization.
What is the tuition?
Graduate Nursing Tuition
Tuition for Academic Year 2014 - 2015 is projected to be $670 per credit for 600 level courses and $770 per credit for 700 level courses. Please note there are differing tuition fees between the Rochester and Winona campuses. For general tuition information, please visit Winona State University Cost of Attendance website.
When do classes start?
For the current start dates, please see the academic calendar posted on the WSU website.
Where are clinical experiences held?
Winona State University, Graduate Programs in Nursing is delighted to have a Clinical Placement Coordinator positioned on the WSU-Rochester Campus. The Clinical Placement Coordinator works closely with faculty, admitted graduate nursing students, and health care facilities to provide the best clinical setting for the student. A variety of choices are available at several health care facilities from the surrounding communities, including, but not limited to, Winona and Rochester, MN, and La Crosse, WI.
Are classes offered on-line or on campus?
Graduate Programs in Nursing offers a variety of delivery methods; face-to-face in the classroom, on-line, and hybrid/blended. Graduate Programs in Nursing classes are typically offered Wednesdays. The courses taught in the classroom are held on the Winona State University - Rochester campus at 859 30th Avenue, SE in Rochester, MN; with some courses being simultaneously transmitted via interactive television to the Winona Campus. Components of most courses are also placed on our web-based class platform. Download our Course Schedule and Course Delivery Methods for complete details.
Do I have to submit a separate application for each campus?
Students who apply to the Graduate Programs in Nursing will complete two separate applications.
The first application is the Online Graduate Studies MS/MA Application for Admission, which along with official transcripts should be sent directly to the Graduate Studies Office in Winona. Winona will send a copy of the MS/MA Application for Admission to Rochester. Information on how to apply to WSU's Graduate Studies program has been made available online for your convenience.
The second application, Graduate Nursing Application (PDF) should be sent to Graduate Programs in Nursing in Rochester.
Must original transcripts come directly from my undergraduate school?
The transcript may either be sent directly from the University mailing it or it may be sent in the original, sealed University envelope from the student along with their other application materials. The transcript envelope must be sealed. If the original envelope from the University is opened by anyone other than the admission department, it is no longer considered an official transcript and it cannot be used.
How do I decide whether to be a full time or part time student?
Making a decision to enroll as a full time or part time graduate student is one that is best done considering several factors. These factors may include:
- What other roles are the student committed to?
- Are there roles that can be suspended during graduate education?
- Are other commitments flexible or fixed in day and time?
- How much time does the student uniquely require for studying?
- Can studying occur uninterrupted in blocks of time outside work or family or personal time?
Conversations between the student and the student’s employer and personal support system can be beneficial in decision-making. It may be possible to project what the weekly schedule will look like in addition to what the calendar year will look like given the typical academic, work and family schedules.
Full time students commit to a full schedule of classes of between 8-12 credits per semester. Six credits of enrollment per semester are required for full-time status for students receiving financial aid. Outside work during full time study is not recommended. Funding to support full-time enrollment is available in the form of Federal Traineeships, on a funding availability basis, and state and federal government-sponsored grants and loans. Some employers will also fund education through tuition reimbursement programs. These programs have unique participation requirements that the student should investigate prior to enrollment. Once students begin the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A/GNP) or Family Nursing Practitioner (FNP) focus courses, they must be enrolled on a full-time basis.
Typically, students spend at least 3 hours outside class studying per one credit hour. Thus, full-time students spend 24-36 hours studying in addition to the 8-12 hours dedicated to class time.
Part-time students commit to a schedule of 5-10 credits per semester and thus the study time is 15-30 hours studying in addition to the 5-10 hours of designated class time. Part-time students are typically employed part-time as well.
What can I do to strengthen my application?
All components of the application are important and contribute to the total cumulative points achieved. A greater number of points are allocated for:
- a higher grade point average
- more years of experience
- more involvement in professional organizations/memberships
- recognition/awards, certifications
- research involvement/publications
- higher references scores; and the applicant’s ability to articulate goals
- professional experiences, strengths, challenges, perceptions regarding the chosen role, and reasons for selecting the role.
Addressing each component of the Application for Master Program in Nursing directly on the form is essential.
Will I need a laptop or computer of my own?
You will need access to WSU’s website for D2L (course syllabi / content / assignments / readings / discussion groups / exams) and email via either personal computer/WSU rental or you could rely on those available in the grad nursing lounge in Rochester or the library on either campus. If you choose to rent a laptop from WSU, you will have full technical assistance through WSU Technical Support. If you own your own computer, Technical Support can offer limited assistance. If you are planning on using your own personal computer, please check with Technical Support to see if it has the necessary capacity for coursework, such as voiceover power points. Technical Support may be reached at 1.800.657.3870.
What is the content and process for the thesis course(s)?
Please review our research guidelines for more detailed information regarding this process.
Will I need dual licensure?
Evidence of current unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse, Minnesota licensure is required for all clinical courses. Wisconsin or Iowa license also required for clinical experiences in either state.
More information is available from the Minnesota Board of Nursing.
What about CPR certification?
Current CPR certification is necessary. Proof of certification is required after admission to program.
What about HIPAA training?
HIPPA training is necessary. Proof of training is required after admission to program.
Do I need malpractice insurance?
Student malpractice insurance is necessary in the amounts of $2 to $5 million aggregate when a student is in a clinical course. Student NP malpractice insurance is necessary for NP students.
Do I need another criminal background check? I just had one done.
A MN criminal background check is required through Winona State University each year (clinical requirement after admission), regardless of whether the student is in a clinical or not. Students who have clinical in another state, need to provide a background check for that state.
Background check fees apply yearly - (this would cover MN, out of state, and National); the fee for a national background check is at a higher rate than an individual state.