Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about our programs? Check out our frequently asked questions for more information.

We also have additional details about our Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Educator, Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Leadership programs.

Not sure which of our programs you want to choose? We recommend you visit the websites of a few professional nursing organizations for which nurses in advanced roles participate, including:

Learn about tuition and fees for graduate students by referring to our program admission information or the official graduate tuition and fee details.

For the current start dates, please see our program calendar and class schedule (PDF).

Check out our program calendar and class schedule (PDF) to learn more about current course delivery methods.

For the current distance learning requirements, please refer to Tech Support.

Before you decide whether you want to enroll as a full-time or part-time graduate student, you'll want to consider several factors first.

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 also be beneficial in this 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 student's typical academic, work, and family schedules.

Full-time students commit to a full schedule of classes of between eight – 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 state- and federal government-sponsored grants and loans.

Some employers will also fund education through tuition reimbursement programs or direct pay options. These programs have unique participation and application requirements that the student should investigate prior to enrollment.

Once students begin the clinical year in any Advanced Practice Nursing program, they must be enrolled on a full-time basis.

Typically, students spend at least four – five hours per week per credit in addition to class.

Thus, full-time students spend 36 – 60 hours studying in addition to the eight – 12 hours dedicated to class time.

Part-time students commit to a schedule of five – 10 credits per semester and, thus, have a study time of 20 – 50 hours in addition to the five – 10 hours of designated class time. Part-time students are typically employed part-time as well.

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 GPA
  • Leadership activities in your professional role
  • More involvement in professional organizations or memberships
  • Community service
  • Recognition, awards, or certifications
  • Research- and evidence-based practice project involvement, publications, and presentations
  • Higher references scores
  • The ability to articulate goals
  • Professional experiences, strengths, challenges, and perceptions regarding the chosen role, along with reasons for selecting the role

Addressing each component of the application directly on the form is essential.

Yes, both current CPR certification and HIPAA training is necessary. Proof of certification and training are required after admission to program

Malpractice insurance is mandatory for all students who are enrolled in clinical courses within the Department of Graduate Nursing at WSU.

A Minnesota and national criminal background check is required through WSU each year (clinical requirement after admission), regardless of whether the student is in a clinical course or not.

National background checks are reassessed annually. Students who have clinical in another state, may need to provide a background check for that state.

Background check fees apply.

Whereas students pursuing a master's degree must complete either a thesis or Scholarly Inquiry Paper, students pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) must complete a Clinical Scholarship Practice Project.

Please refer to our master's degree and DNP program details for more information regarding these writing requirements.