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

RN to Graduate Nursing Pathway

WSU is known for its high-quality baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. The RN to Graduate Nursing Pathway is designed for highly motivated nurses who:

  1. Graduated with an associate degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing
  2. Have professional experience as a Registered Nurse
  3. Intend to earn a Graduate degree in Nursing

Students will substitute Graduate-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 Graduate level credits required for each Graduate program.

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)

Graduate 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 Graduate Nursing degree.

  • Graduate Degree Program must be completed within seven (7) years of the first 400/600-level double numbered course taken
  • Baccalaureate Degree requirements (120 credits)
  • Graduate Degree requirements (43-54 credits MS, 72 credits DNP)

Students plan their streamlined admission through the RN to Graduate Pathway to any of the graduate nursing programs with advisors from both the Department of Undergraduate Nursing and the Department of Graduate Nursing.

An additional application, beyond the RN – BS Completion Program Application, is required for consideration for admission to any of the graduate programs.

  • Applicants for admission through the RN to Graduate Pathway plan admission timing with their RN – BS Completion Program advisor
  • The RN – BS Completion Program advisor determines if admission timing is appropriate based on the number of credits completed in the RN – BS Completion Program
  • Once appropriate timing for admission has been determined by the RN – BS Program advisor, the applicant contacts the Department of Graduate Nursing for guidance through the RN to Graduate Pathway admission process.

This sample demonstrates a full-time plan of study required to complete the baccalaureate portion of the RN to Graduate Nursing 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 4 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 4 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 to Graduate Nursing 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 4 SH

Semester II

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

Semester III

NURS 375 Evidenced-Based Research 4 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)

Admission to the RN to Graduate Nursing Pathway

Applicants must be currently admitted WSU Undergraduate RN - BS Completion students in order to qualify for the RN to Graduate Nursing 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 Oct. 1 of each academic year. Acceptance in a program area is not guaranteed.


Admission Guidelines

  1. Applicant must be currently admitted and enrolled, without provision, to the WSU RN - BS Completion Program in order to qualify for the RN to Graduate Nursing Pathway;
  2. Students must have all the prerequisite undergraduate credits completed prior to beginning the RN to Graduate Nursing Pathway courses;
  3. Application for the RN to Graduate Nursing Pathway is due by Oct. 1 for Spring enrollment;
  4. Submit a "School of Graduate Studies Online Application" and "Graduate Programs in Nursing BSN-DNP or MS or Graduate Certificate Application" by Oct. 1;
  5. Once accepted, meet with assigned Graduate Nursing Advisor.

Selection Criteria for RN - BS - Graduate Nursing Pathway

  1. Must be currently enrolled, without provision, 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 professional 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 the online application through NursingCAS by the deadline of Oct. 1
  6. Must also submit the “School of Graduate Studies Online Application." Please visit the School of Graduate Studies website “How to Apply” for application information and instructions. This application must be submitted before or concurrently with the “Graduate Programs in Nursing BSN-DNP or MS or Graduate Certificate Application” which has a due date of Oct. 1.