Washington Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

State Nursing Board: Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

State Nurses Association: Washington State Nurses Association

State Hospital Association: Washington State Hospital Association

Other State Health Associations: Washington Center for Nursing

Earning your MSN degree in Washington can be achieved in a variety of ways. There are several different routes, from a direct entry program to RN to MSN programs, which can make getting your graduate nursing degree simpler than you might think. There are also several different specialty tracks available from Education to Clinical Leadership to Nurse Practitioner programs. Contact the nursing schools in Washington listed below that offer the MSN programs you are interested in to learn more.

Masters in Nursing Degrees in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health approves certification examinations for nurse practitioners, whose scope has broadened in the state, now performing procedures and providing care services according to the Washington State Commission. WA recognizes the three main ARNP designations; the Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. If you are looking to get your MSN, Washington is a great place to do it.

Regardless of which route you choose, new graduates of advanced nursing programs are required to hold a Washington state RN license, and they are required to submit their official educational transcripts and certification documents directly to the Commission from the educational institution or certifying body.

Some nursing schools in Washington have online programs and RN to MSN programs as well. It is wise to check into several MSN programs before making your final decision.

The admissions requirements for most MSN programs in Washington consist of some or all of the following items:

  • BSN degree from an accredited program
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completion of undergraduate level statistics course
  • Written goal statement congruent with programs philosophy and focus
  • Official transcripts from all previous college work
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language exam score for applicants from countries where English is not primary language
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • Successful completion of a written admission interview
  • An unencumbered Washington RN licensed for clinical hours

A Master of Nursing and Nursing Education degree requires 47 to 56 credit hours, which includes the following courses:

  • Scientific Inquiry in Nursing
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Health Care Policy Analysis
  • Teaching, Learning & Evaluation in Nursing
  • Educational Issues and Curriculum Analysis
  • Culture, Populations & Family Health Care
  • Risk & Resilience in Child and Adolescent Health or Community Based of At-Risk Adults & Marginalized Adult Populations
  • Epidemiology & Biostatistics for Health Professions
  • Advance Population Health Practicum
  • Advanced Health Assessment & Differential Diagnosis
  • Advanced Pharmacology Concepts and Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Information Management for Clinical Practice
  • Community Analysis & Grant Development
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Thesis or Research Project

After graduating from this program you are qualified to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator Exam. This certification is a mark of professionalism, and the mission of the Academic Nurse Educator is to promote excellence in this advanced specialty role. The cost of the initial test for NLN members is $375 and for nonmembers it is $475.

With full-time study, your MSN degree can be completed in two years or you can take courses part-time and complete your graduate nursing degree in about three to 3.5 years. These MSN courses are sometimes presented in a hybrid model, so students can participate in class and online.

Working as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Washington

There are a variety of nursing careers from which to choose, which can give you a great sense of satisfaction as you begin your new career path, and it may give you a higher income as well.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Nursing Instructor or Teacher, Post-secondary's annual income averages $70,200. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Washington's nurse practitioners earned a mean annual income of $95,070, while Nurse Midwives earned an average income of $92,230. Numerous jobs are available for all nurses with specialty degrees in Washington.

Washington State University is recruiting six students from underrepresented groups for a new grant from the Federal Health Resources & Services Administration. This two–year grant allows this college to offer financial support to students who are U.S. military veterans, rural–dwelling Hispanic and/or Native Americans to help them become family nurse practitioners.

If you are living in a lower income bracket, visit the Financial Aid Office of your university and complete the FAFSA application. Your assets and the assets of your family will be evaluated for a federal grant.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has numerous loan and scholarship programs under the Health Resources and Services Administration. There are long–term, low–interest rate loans available for full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a degree in medicine.

The shortage of nurses will continue; therefore, nursing jobs will likely continue to expand. This is an ideal time to get your MSN in Washington as you may have a promising future in the field of your choice. Contact the nursing schools in Washington that offer MSN programs to learn more about your options today.

Programs to consider:

Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, WA). SPU offers advanced practice MSNs and other leadership tracks such as education and administration. They also have a clinical nurse specialist track that you can tailor to your preferred focus.

Washington State University (Spokane, WA). WSU offers several MSN tracks in advanced population health with a focus on roles in community-based settings. Advanced practice MSNs are available.

Programs from Washington Schools

Listed below are all of the nationally accredited MSN programs with campus locations in Washington.

Online programs may not be available in all areas

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Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner (online), Health Systems Leadership (online), Nurse Educator (online), Psychiatric Mental Health (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA)
Program Name: Care and Outcomes Manager (COM), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, WA)
Program Name: Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, Informatics, Nurse Educator, Nursing Administration
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Seattle University (Seattle, WA)
Program Name: Leadership in Community Nursing, Nurse-Midwifery, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner - Family, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner - Gerontological, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner - Psychiatric (Addictions Focus), Spirituality & Health
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
Program Name: Advanced Practice Forensic Nurse Specialist (APFNS), Certified Nurse Midwifery (CNM), Clinical Informatics and Patient-Centered Technologies (CIPCT), Clinical Nurse Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist (Neonatal or Perinatal), Family and Child Nursing (FCN), Independent Master of Nursing (IMN), Master of Nursing/Master of Public Health (MN/MPH), Master of Science (General), Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP), Occupational & Environmental Health Nursing (OEHN)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Washington-Bothell (Bothell, WA)
Program Name: Master of Nursing
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Washington-Tacoma (Tacoma, WA)
Program Name: Communities, Populations and Health, Healthcare Leadership, Independent Option, Nurse Educator
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Washington State University (Spokane, WA)
Program Name: Community-Based/Population-Focused Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited