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Online Format and Affordable Price Attracting More Students to Wheeling’s MSN Program 

WHEELING, W.Va., March 5, 2024 – Wheeling University’s Master of Science in Nursing program has seen an increase in enrollment this year, and the program’s director believes the flexibility of the online format allows working nurses an easy pathway to earn an advanced degree.

This semester, 53 students from seven states are enrolled in the program – with all but four of those students in the family nurse practitioner track, said Jill Emery, director of Nursing Programs. She noted they average about 40 students in annually. 

“Our program is fully online – students do not ever have to come to campus for classes, seminars or meeting. This provides the students the flexibility to work full time and do their course work at times that fit into their busy schedules,” said Dr. Karen Fahey, the nursing instructor who works directly with the MSN students.

“Our faculty present all coursework online and communicate with students through our course delivery system, email or by phone. The students know that they don’t need to be on campus to receive support from our faculty.” Emery added, faculty understand that many of the students are working full time, so they afford those in the program the flexibility they need complete assignments.

In addition, the MSN students can complete the 728 clinical hours where they live in hospitals, clinics and facilities near their home. Additionally, Dr. Fahey said, the faculty help the students secure a preceptor to oversee those clinical rotations. 

With students ranging in age from 28 to 40, the faculty are very attentive to each student’s needs, which can vary based on their age and experience, said Emery. “I believe the personalized attention our faculty give to the students is the reason why our number have grown – the nurses don’t feel as if they are alone in the program.”

Dr. Fahey said with the University producing more well-trained family nurse practitioners, Wheeling is helping to fill a serious health care need in many rural communities where no doctors are located. “Many of our graduates are filling the void in towns around rural America that lack health care – showing how our students live the University mission to serve others,” she added.

The online format that affords the students flexibility attracts many students, but Dr. Fahey believes the program is affordable. 

Cost per credit hour for Wheeling’s MSN program is $550, while the average cost nationwide is $950. Emery said students can take as little as one class per semester. “Once again, the student can set his or her own pace, based upon their work and family commitments. This aspect of our MSN program is another reason why the students like it.”

Former and current students, Dr. Fahey said, are the program’s best recruiters.

“The students really promote the MSN program among their peers. We have a lot of students from Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg, where other institutions also offer MSN programs. I think this word of mouth promotion is a tribute to the experience our students have and the actual curriculum itself,” Dr. Fahey added.

Wheeling University’s Master of Science in Nursing offers tracks in family nurse practitioner and nursing administration. The MSN-FNP track 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.

The MSN-Nursing Administration program 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. They are also ready 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.

To learn more about Wheeling University’s Master of Science in Nursing programs, contact or call the Admissions Office at 1-800-873-7665.