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Graduate Programs

Master of Science in Nursing

ONLINE (16 week sessions) 

Karen Fahey, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC Director, Family Nurse Practitioner Program Janet Bischof, Ph.D., R.N., NE-BC, CNE Director, Nursing Administration and Nursing Education Specialist Programs

The Master of Science in Nursing program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and offers majors in nursing administration, family nurse practitioner, and nursing education specialist. The curriculum is designed to accommodate the registered nurse graduate student who desires to remain employed. The faculty recognizes that each person is a unique individual who is an integral member of many systems. Each of these systems interfaces with other complex and changing systems that create the unique fabric of each individual environment. 

Emphasis on the concepts of system, critical thinking, advanced practice and change is integrated throughout the MSN curriculum. As the MSN program prepares the professional nurse for advanced practice, the nurse will think critically and make the best possible decision for the betterment of the advanced practitioner, the client, the organization, and the overall environmental system. Central to the concepts of system, critical thinking, and the advanced practice is the continuous and dynamic process of change. The MSN graduate will possess the necessary skills to influence the change process and enhance the quality of healthcare for the betterment of mankind and the overall health care system. 

The purpose of the master’s program in nursing is to prepare registered nurses for professional leadership and advance practice roles and to contribute to the development of nursing and healthcare knowledge. 

Courses are offered online with one required on-campus presentation (MSN 540 or MSN 569). Technology requirements include purchase of Typhon (for required documents and case logs) and Remote Proctor device or midterm and final exams. 

Graduates from the MSN program are prepared to: 

  1. Demonstrates advanced communication skills. 
  2. Exhibits critical-thinking skills professionally and in life. 
  3. Demonstrates the use of advanced technologies. 
  4. Demonstrates the specialty competencies of a master’s prepared nurse. 
    1. NA: Manage aspects of the nursing organization that impact patients, families, populations, and the community. 
    2. FNP: Assume the role of the family nurse practitioner as a leader in the delivery of health in the primary care setting. 
    3. EDS: Assumes roles related to curriculum, instruction, and evaluation in nursing and health care. 
  5. Contributes to the development of nursing knowledge and translates it into evidence-based practice. 
  6. Ensures the delivery of safe, quality, and cost-effective nursing care that will affect patients, families, populations, and community. 
  7. Functions as an effe4ctive member of the inter-professional team. 
  8. Assumes leadership roles that contribute to the delivery of nursing care. 

The MSN requires that you complete one of the tracks below:

Family Nurse Practitioner 

The MSN-FNP prepares nurses for the advanced practice family nurse practitioner role and national certification. The track integrates concepts from nursing, science, and family practice to give the experienced nurse the advanced in-depth body of knowledge necessary to practice in the expanded registered nurse role as a provider of primary health care.

Nursing Administration 

The MSN-NA is designed to prepare nurses for leadership and management positions in a variety of health care settings. Through an integration of concepts from nursing, business and management, graduates of the program are prepared to assume leadership positions in health care settings, to contribute to the development of nursing knowledge, to demonstrate responsibility for the management of the nursing organization, and to function as a member of the executive management team.

Nursing Education Specialist 

The MSN-EDS is designed to prepare nurses for positions in a variety of educational settings. This program integrates concepts from nursing, science and education to prepare graduates to assume educational position in schools of nursing, various health care settings and community health education. Additionally, students further develop their skills and abilities to contribute to the development of nursing knowledge, ensure the delivery of quality and cost-effective patient care and function as a member of the interdisciplinary team.

Admission Requirements 

  • Complete an online application free of charge at https://applygrad.wju.edu/apply/ 
  • Request official transcripts from any college/university you have attended and have them sent electronically to grad@wju.edu or mailed directly to: 

Wheeling University – Graduate Admissions 

316 Washington Avenue 

Wheeling, WV 26003

  • Graduation from an accredited nursing program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) 
  • 3.0 undergraduate cumulative average* 
  • Successful completion of undergraduate courses in statistics and research 
  • Current unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse 
  • Essay that includes the following information: 

o Identify the MSN track you wish to pursue 

o Describe your decision and motivation to seek graduate education in this particular track 

o Identify your career goals 

o What personal attributes will contribute to your success as a masters prepared nurse? 

  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Completed background check 

*GRE or MAT may be required for students who do not meet the GPA requirements

Tuition and Fees 

RN to BSN

Tuition$400.00per credit hour
Technology Fee$130.00per semester
New Student Fee$130.00first non summer term
Audit$212.00per course
ID Card$35.00first non summer term
Graduation Fee (Degree Certification Fee)$265.00per occurrence



2nd DEGREE NURSING$36,000.00program total
Tuition and Fees$9,000.00per semester for 4 semesters


$8,765 tuition and $235 tech fee
Courses on included in the co-hort$400.00per credit hour
Graduation Fee (Degree Certification Fee)$265.00per occurrence
*ATI testing and malpractice insurance fees should be obtained from the nursing department. 
The above mentioned are in addition to the program total cost.
ATI testing fee of $662.50 per semester for Junior and Senior years. 



GRADUATE PROGRAMS – MISC. (MSN – MBA – MSA)

Tuition – MSN, FNP, NA, EDS$550.00per credit hour
Tuition – MBA & MSA$500.00per credit hour
Technology Fee$130.00per semester
New Student Fee$130.00first non summer term
Audit$212.00per course
ID Card$35.00first non summer term
Graduation Fee (Degree Certification Fee)$265.00per occurrence
MSN – Typhon Fee$85.00one time fee
MSN – Remote Proctor Fee$15.00per exam

Transfer Credit 

Up to six graduate credits (two courses) in nursing may be eligible for transfer credit. Such credit is only available for graduate level nursing courses and only when the quality and comparability of the other work meets the approval of the MSN Committee. Transfer credit will not be awarded for the courses with grades below a “B.” 

MSN Curriculum 

Core Courses for All Nursing Majors

MSN 500

Nursing Theories

3 cr

An examination of conceptual models and theories used to guide nursing education, practice, and research. The integration of grand and middle range theories. Scientific underpinnings from various disciplines are incorporated into discussing and critiquing theory. 

MSN 501

Nursing Research

3 cr

Exploration of both original research process and evidence-based practice is explored. The research process will include completion of a research proposal to resolve or explore practice issues. Ethical considerations of the research process are studied. Research is critiqued related to levels of evidence. Literature search skills are refined. Disseminating research results and use as a change agent is evaluated.

Prerequisite or co-requisite: MSN 500.

MSN 503

Health Care Policy and Politics

3 cr

The study of political, social, economic and ethical influences within the health care delivery system. Special attention is given to how change occurs and to how government (local, state, federal, global) regulations, stakeholders, consumerism, and court, agency and legislative actions impact on health care. Interprofessional collaboration is explored in achieving policy change. Incorporating research findings into policy change with the masters prepared nurse in a leadership role is explored.

MSN 525

Health Care Delivery Systems & Economics

3 cr

Explores the impact of managed care on the healthcare system. Emphasis is on understanding and implementing aspects of managed care and includes the financial, political, legal and ethical issues. Changes related to health care reform will be covered including: quality processes, health care reform, technology, and patient safety. The student will develop an understanding of how health care delivery systems are organized, financed, and changed.

MSN 533

Health Promotion

3 cr

Current research, theory, and practice trends of advanced nursing in health promotion, genomics, patient safety, and disease prevention across diverse populations will be examined. Population based health outcomes will be addressed across the continuum.

Select One:

cr

Family Nurse Practitioner Track

36 cr

Nursing Administration

27 cr

Nursing Education Specialist

24 cr

Family Nurse Practitioner Track (36cr)

The curriculum is divided into three components. The first component is the nursing core and contains those courses basic to the MSN degree. The second component contains the FNP clinical core. The third component consists of primary care courses specific to the FNP role.

Clinical Core Coursese:

12 cr

MSN 530

Advanced Pathophysiology

3 cr

This course builds on knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology to examine alterations in cell and tissue mechanisms that cause disease and how these processes produce signs and symptoms that are recognized clinically. Students explore a variety of topics, such as immunity, inflammation, infection, and malignancy. They also examine a range of disease processes across the lifespan, using the body systems approach including hematologic, renal, neurologic, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular disorders.

MSN 531*

Advanced Health Assessment

4 cr

This course focuses on providing students with advanced knowledge and skills in history taking and performing a physical assessment of individuals across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on the collection, interpretation, and synthesis of relevant historical, genetic, biological, cultural, psychosocial and physical data for the development of a comprehensive health assessment. Students critically analyze data to determine differential diagnoses and establish an accurate assessment of health status. Episodic, focused, and comprehensive assessments are the cornerstone of the course. Students are required to complete 56 clinical hours in a primary care setting obtaining patient histories and performing physical examinations across the lifespan with the guidance of a clinical preceptor. Emphasis is placed on history taking, physical examinations, including episodic, focused, and comprehensive assessments along with accurate documentation. Differential diagnosis is introduced.

MSN 532**

Advanced Pharmacology

3 cr

The course provides the student with an understanding of pharmacological principles such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism, and dose-response relationships across the lifespan. Course content is geared towards providing the student with a solid foundation of the major pharmacological drug classes surrounding disease processes affecting the major organ systems, specifically therapeutic effects and adverse reactions, patient safety, and education.

MSN 569

Role Seminar

2 cr

The focus of the course is on the role transition and issues unique to the specific role of the advanced practice nurse practitioner. Preparation for professional practice is emphasized and includes certification requirements, prescriptive authority, collaborative agreements, contract negotiation, continuing education, professional liability and ethical clinical practice. Students make professional presentations at a mandatory on-campus day on a variety of topics. In preparation for certification, a comprehensive exam is taken in this course. Must be taken concurrently with the last clinical course prior to graduation. 

* 56 clinical hours required

cr

**Those who complete the Family Nurse Practitioner program are eligible for certification in West Virginia. If your home state is not WV, MSN 532 may need to be repeated to meet your state’s certification requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their home state for procedures to apply for certification elsewhere. Pharmacology requirements differ from state to state and may require additional pharmacology course work for prescriptive authority.

cr

FNP Courses (168 clinical hours are required for each course)

24 cr

MSN 565

Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of the Infant, Child, and Adolescent

6 cr

This course provides nurse practitioner students with the knowledge necessary for the practice of primary health care of children. Course content includes the principles of health promotion, disease prevention and assessment, diagnosis, and management of common primary health care problems in diverse pediatric populations. Using a family-centered and developmental perspective, related advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, psychosocial factors, and ethical considerations are explored. Students are required to complete 168 clinical hours in a pediatric primary care setting. With the guidance of a clinical preceptor students learn how to identify, diagnose, and manage common primary health care problems. They also gain confidence in clinical experience in a primary healthcare setting that provides opportunities to assess, diagnose, and manage acute and chronic illnesses commonly found in infants, children and adolescents.

Prerequisites: MSN 530, 532, 531C & D.

MSN 566

Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of Reproductive Health

6 cr

This course focuses on women and men from adolescence through maturity within the context of their sexual and reproductive development. The course provides the nurse practitioner student with the knowledge necessary to address the reproductive needs of patients in primary care. Content addresses pre- and post-natal care; health maintenance issues; common sexual and reproductive health problems; and sexuality and reproductive changes in men and women related to special health issues and aging. Related advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, psychosocial factors, and ethical considerations are explored. Students are required to complete 168 clinical hours in a primary care, urologic, obstetrical and gynecology practice setting. With the guidance of a clinical preceptor students learn how to identify, diagnose, and manage common primary health care problems associated with reproduction. They also gain confidence in clinical practice settings that serve women and men at different points in the sexual and reproductive continuum.

Prerequisites: MSN 530, 532, 531C & D.

MSN 567

Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of the Adult

6 cr

This course provides the nurse practitioner student with the knowledge necessary to provide comprehensive primary care to adults (18-65). Course content includes the principles of health promotion and disease prevention. Emphasis is on assessment, diagnosis, and management of common health problems, acute and stable chronic illnesses in the adult population. Related advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, psychosocial factors, and ethical considerations are explored. Students are required to complete 168 clinical hours in a primary care setting seeing adult patients. With the guidance of a clinical preceptor students learn how to identify, diagnose, and manage common problems seen in primary care and manage acute and stable chronic illnesses. They also gain confidence in clinical experience in a primary healthcare setting that provides opportunities to assess, diagnose, and mange acute and chronic illnesses commonly found in adults.

Prerequisites: MSN 530, 532, 531C & D.

MSN 568

Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of the Aging Adult

6 cr

This course provides the nurse practitioner student with the knowledge necessary for providing primary health care to the aging population (over 65). Course content includes the principles of health promotion, disease prevention and assessment, diagnosis, and management of common primary health care problems, and chronic illnesses in diverse elderly populations. Emphasis is placed on developmental needs and the pathophysiologic processes underlying common conditions. The impact of the family on the health of the elderly is explored. This course integrates the principles of health promotion, disease prevention, rehabilitation, and ethical decision making. Students are required to complete 168 clinical hours in primary care settings seeing aging population of patients. With the guidance of a clinical preceptor students learn how to identify, diagnose, and manage common problems seen in primary care and manage acute and stable chronic illnesses common in the elderly. They also gain confidence in clinical experience in primary healthcare settings that provide opportunities to assess, diagnose, and manage acute and chronic illnesses commonly found in the elderly.

Prerequisites: MSN 530, 532, 531C & D.

Nursing Administration Track (27cr)

The curriculum is divided into two components. The first component is the nursing core and contains those courses basic to the MSN. The second component contains nursing administration courses specific to this program. Each course is three credits unless otherwise specified.

Nursing Administration Courses

9 cr

MSN 520

Nursing Administration I

3 cr

The study of organizational theory, its applications and the basic principles of management, managerial technologies and managerial processes as they relate to administrative practice. Legal and ethical aspects of these issues are discussed.

MSN 521

Nursing Administration II

3 cr

Explores elements of patient care delivery systems such as continuous quality improvement, root cause analysis, failure mode analysis, risk management, standards of care and policy development. Quality initiatives are explored at a local, state, and national level. The financial effect of quality is included.

Nursing Administration: Financial Management

3 cr

MSN 527

Organizational Behavior

3 cr

This course prepares clinicians with skills in organizational behavior, clinical operations and system design, quality measurement and risk management, fiscal operations and systemic change and project management. It integrates individual behavior with organizational behavior. Specialized skills in organizational politics and policy development, implementation and impact analysis will be acquired. Working as an organizational leader, students are prepared for entry into mid-level clinical leadership and management positions.

MSN 528

Communication and Interpersonal Relations

3 cr

To promote successful communication for individuals, groups, and organizations. This case-oriented course examines the fragile nature of the communication process. Opportunities for students to learn and practice techniques for improving communication skills in a variety of health care situations are provided. 

** One-year RN experience required to take any clinical course

MSN 529*

Advanced Comprehensive Assessment

cr

This course will review comprehensive assessment skills across the lifespan to equip nursing educators and administrators to improve the quality of patient care delivered. This course incorporates assessment skills, history and physical requirements, and documentation of these findings. Online simulation technology will be utilized. Students acquire the requisite advanced knowledge and skills within a case-based, problem focused learning framework that integrates theoretical, empirical, and experience-based practical knowledge.

Capstone Seminar

3 cr

MSN 541**

PRACTICUM

3 cr

A clinical course (168 practicum hours) in which students are placed with preceptors in nursing or other administrative positions to apply concepts to actual practice.

MSN XXX Elective Course

3 cr

* 56 clinical hours required

cr

** 168 practicum hours required

cr

Nursing Education Specialist Track

The curriculum is divided into three components. The first component is the nursing core and contains those courses basic to any Master of Science in Nursing program. The second component contains nursing education courses specific to this program. The third component consists of the clinical core.

Clinical Core Courses

9 cr

MSN 529

Advanced Comprehensive Assessment

cr

This course will review comprehensive assessment skills across the lifespan to equip nursing educators and administrators to improve the quality of patient care delivered. This course incorporates assessment skills, history and physical requirements, and documentation of these findings. Online simulation technology will be utilized. Students acquire the requisite advanced knowledge and skills within a case-based, problem focused learning framework that integrates theoretical, empirical, and experience-based practical knowledge.

MSN 530

Advanced Pathophysiology

3 cr

This course builds on knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology to examine alterations in cell and tissue mechanisms that cause disease and how these processes produce signs and symptoms that are recognized clinically. Students explore a variety of topics, such as immunity, inflammation, infection, and malignancy. They also examine a range of disease processes across the lifespan, using the body systems approach including hematologic, renal, neurologic, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular disorders.

MSN 532

Advanced Pharmacology

3 cr

The course provides the student with an understanding of pharmacological principles such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism, and dose-response relationships across the lifespan. Course content is geared towards providing the student with a solid foundation of the major pharmacological drug classes surrounding disease processes affecting the major organ systems, specifically therapeutic effects and adverse reactions, patient safety, and education.

Nursing Education Courses

15 cr

MSN 514

Curriculum and Instruction

3 cr

This course applies theories and concepts from education, psychology and related fields to the development and analysis of curriculum materials, including classroom and clinical teaching methods. The concept of lifelong learning is explored.

MSN 515

Evaluation

3 cr

This course examines methods of measurement and various evaluation models and their application for analyzing student, health, and program outcomes. In depth examination of exam question development and test analysis is explored. Health literacy is incorporated into curriculum/teaching development.

MSN 516

Educational Technology

3 cr

This course applies the use of computer technology, audiovisual, multimedia and the Internet in curriculum design to improve patient and student education. Immersion into new technologies such as computer programs, communication, social media, and data management programs

Capstone Seminar

3 cr

MSN 541

PRACTICUM

3 cr

A clinical course (168 practicum hours) in which students are placed with preceptors in nursing or other administrative positions to apply concepts to actual practice.

Nursing Graduate Post-Master’s Certificates – ONLINE

Post-Master’s certificates provide nurses with Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees an opportunity to acquire specialized skills that may not have been offered in their master’s degree programs. The School of Nursing at Wheeling University addresses this gap by offering three Post-Master’s Certificates.

Admission Requirements

  • Complete an online application free of charge at https://applygrad.wju.edu/apply/
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (official transcripts)
  • A Master’s degree in Nursing. GPA of 3.0 or higher. (official transcripts)
  • Request official transcripts from any college/university you have attended and have them sent electronically to grad@wju.edu or mailed directly to:

Wheeling University – GPS Admissions

316 Washington Avenue

Wheeling, WV 26003

  • Current licensure as a registered nurse
  • Current CV or resume
  • Two letters of reference

Tuition and Fees

MISCELLANEOUS – NON-DEGREE SEEKING WITH NO FINANCIAL AID – EVENING – OTHER

Tuition – Non-Degree Seeking/No Financial Aid

$400.00

per credit hour

Evening Tuition

$400.00

per credit hour

Tuition  – other

$400.00

per credit hour

Technology Fee

$130.00

per semester

New Student Fee

$130.00

first non summer term

Audit

$212.00

per course

Parking

$80.00

per semester (billed annually)

ID Card

$35.00

first non summer term

ID Card Replacement

$25.00

per occurrence

CLEP Administrative Fee

$25.00

per occurrence

Assessment/Challenge

$145.00

per credit hour

Graduation Fee (Degree Certification Fee)

$265.00

per occurrence

Nursing Education Certificate (12 cr)

MSN 514 Curriculum & Instruction 3 cr

MSN 515 Evaluation 3 cr

MSN 516 Educational Technology 3 cr

*MSN 541 Practicum 3 cr

*168 practicum hours required

Students entering the Post-Master’s certificate program in Nursing Education must have prerequisites in advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology and advanced health assessment.

Nursing Administration Certificate (12 cr)

MSN 520 Nursing Admin I 3 cr

MSN 521 Nursing Admin II 3 cr

MSN 524 Financial Management 3 cr

*MSN 541 Practicum 3 cr

*168 practicum hours required

Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate (30-36 cr)

MSN 531 Advanced Health Assessment 4 cr

MSN 565 Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of the Infant, Child, and Adolescent 6 cr

MSN 566 Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of Reproductive Health 6 cr

MSN 567 Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of the Adult 6 cr

MSN 568 Advanced Practice Nursing in the Primary Care of the Aging Adult 6 cr

MSN 569 Role Seminar 2 cr

MSN 530 Advanced Pathophysiology (if needed) 3 cr

**MSN 532 Advanced Pharmacology (if needed) 3 cr

Students entering the Post-Master’s certificate program for the FNP must have prerequisites in advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology and advanced health assessment.

**Those who complete the Family Nurse Post-Master’s Certificate program are eligible for certification in West Virginia. If your home state is not WV, MSN 532 may need to be taken or repeated to meet your state’s certification requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their home state for procedures to apply for certification elsewhere. Pharmacology requirements differ from state to state and may require additional pharmacology course work for prescriptive authority.