Nursing-RN to MSN-Online

Program Location
Orange County & Dallas - Online
Program Credits
141 Credits
Program Length
6 Trimesters,  96 Instructional Weeks
Time to Complete
24 Months
Total program length may vary. 

The RN to MSN degree builds upon prior clinical knowledge and experience and focuses on the core knowledge, skills and abilities that are essential to meet the complexities of healthcare.

The RN-MSN program promotes foundational competencies that are core to advanced nursing practice in an ever-changing and globally reaching healthcare environment. Academic, practice experience, and interpersonal preparation are characterized by increased depth in organizational and systems’ leadership within a culture of integrity and personal accountability in a community that values the dignity and contributions of all members. Standards of ethical behavior and decision-making are essential foundations of the education programs that guide individuals to distinguish ethical principles and understand the consequences and implications beyond personal and organizational self-interest.

The core courses and practice experience offer expanded study in the health care areas of advocacy, program management, education, clinical practice, research, and health policy formulation. Graduates will be able to formulate an inspirational perspective of nursing, incorporating a wide range of theories from nursing and other sciences. The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (AACN, 2011) provides a foundation for the theoretical and clinical emphasis of the RN- MSN program.

Mission Statement

The mission of the College of Nursing is to provide evidence-based and innovative nursing education to culturally diverse learners; preparing nurses to provide quality and compassionate care that is responsive to the needs of the community and the global society.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, RN to MSN students will:

1. Integrate the various sciences from nursing and such other fields as physiology, statistics, psychosocial, political, financial, genetics, public health and the organizations sciences in the continued improvement of nursing across the continuum of various health care settings.

2. Provide leadership in a variety of settings that promote high quality safe patient care that also incorporates ethical decision making and effective working relationships across a variety of disciplines.

3. Demonstrate the skills needed to effect quality improvement that incorporates the various models, standards and performance measures necessary to apply quality principles, within any type of

4. Apply evidenced based research in clinical practice by identifying actual or potential practice problems in a setting and resolving them through the role of change agent.

5. Demonstrate proficiency in computer skills both technical and in the application of informatics to enhance, deliver, communicate and integrate and coordinate patient care.

6. Recognize the need for and ability to affect policy changes by using the policy development process and advocacy strategies to influence health and health care.

7. Communicate and coordinate with a variety of health professionals in a variety of settings to manage and coordinate care.

8. Identify and integrate the various evidenced based practices of health promotion and disease prevention using client centered, culturally and age appropriate concepts in the nursing process of
services to individuals, families and broad based aggregate populations.

9. Demonstrate an advanced level of nursing and relevant sciences and the ability to integrate that knowledge into nursing practice that influences health care outcomes for individual, families, populations or systems.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet the following standards:

1.  Provide proof of current unobstructed professional licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States.

2.  Official transcripts from a Board of Nursing licensed Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing program;

a) Official transcripts must be submitted to document program completion.  The RN to MSN program gives students the opportunity to transfer up to 90 semester credits.  Students
enrolled in the RN to MSN program are exempt from specific general education requirements.  There is no science recency requirement for RN to MSN students.

Nursing (RN to MSN) Transfer Credits

Official transcripts documenting receipt of a Nursing degree must be received by the end of the add/drop period of the first term.  The RN to MSN program awards 42 transfer credits for an unobstructed current RN license issued in the United States. 

Students who are requesting transfer credit for courses in the core curriculum must submit official transcripts by the first day of the first term in which the student commences his or her education at West Coast University. 

Nursing applicants requesting additional transfer credit for General Education courses must provide official transcripts no later than 30 calendar days after the start of the semester in which the student commences his or her education at the University.  Only college-level coursework will be considered for transfer credit.  All coursework must have been taken at an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Note:  Students enrolled in the RN-MSN program must have earned/transferred in 72 credits in order to be eligible for federal Title IV financial aid.

Note:  A student may have the option of taking a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA 100) course if he/she does not have sufficient college-level credits required to meet the 141 credits required for graduation with this degree program.  Prior Learning Assessment (PLA 100) is not subject to this policy as credit earned from Prior Learning Assessment is done in conjunction with enrollment in the appropriate West Coast University course. 

RN to MSN Curriculum

Course Number
Course Name
Total Credit Hours

Awarded for College-Level Non-Nursing Coursework:
Up to 48 credits of transfer coursework:

  • Applicants who do not have enough previous credits to complete this requirement will have the following

* College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

* Prometric DSST Exams (DANTES)

* Advanced Placement (AP)

* International Baccalaureate (IB)

* American Credit Evaluation (ACE)

* National College Credit Recommendation
Service (NCCRS)

* Challenge exams


As needed to complete the College-Level Non-Nursing Coursework Requirement:

  • Prior Learning Assessment (PLA 100 Course)
  • Other WCU Courses as needed
LDR 432Principles of Leadership for Health Care Organizations


PATH 370Pathophysiology


MATH 211Statistics


NURS 340Public Health Nursing


NURS 500Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice


NURS 510Policy, Organization & Financing of Health Care


NURS 521Ethics in Health Care


NURS 530Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology


NURS 540Research Utilization


NURS 561Health Promotion & Disease Prevention


NURS 570Advanced Pharmacology


NURS 580Advanced Health/Physical Assessment


NURS 590AAdvanced Clinical Practice: Theory


NURS 590BAdvanced Clinical Practice: Theory


NURS 591L-AAdvanced Clinical Practice: Practicum


NURS 591L-BAdvanced Clinical Practice: Practicum


NURS 690ACulminating Experience I


NURS 690BCulminating Experience II


Total Credit Hours:51.0
Required at WCU
Awarded for College-Level Non-Nursing Courses
Awarded for Unobstructed RN Licensure
Degree Total