RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway

Want to earn both your bachelor’s and graduate degrees in nursing in less time?

The RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway is a streamlined pathway to admission to any of our master’s or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.

If this seems something you’re interested in pursuing, learn more about the RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway.

Who Can Apply

This pathway to admission is intended for students who meet these requirements:

  • are a Registered Nurse
  • have a two-year nursing degree
  • are currently enrolled without provision in WSU’s RN-BS Completion Program

Students in the RN-BS Completion Program apply for the RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway only when they have graduated during the Spring term and have earned their bachelor's degree.

How It Works

While enrolled in the RN-BS Completion Program, you’ll take 10 undergraduate-level credits that count toward both your bachelor’s and master’s or DNP degree at the same time.

The 400-level credits you’ll complete have equivalent 600-level credits. You’ll enroll in 400-level courses and receive credit for completing those classes and their 600-level equivalent graduate courses.

Instead of taking NURS 465 (Population-Based Health Care II) and NURS 491 (Professional Development), you’ll enroll in the following courses:

  • NURS 409/608 - Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • NURS 414/604 - Health Care Policy/Quality Health Care Delivery
  • NURS 419/612 - Advanced Health Promotion for Families
  • NURS 499/613 - Advanced Health Promotion for Families Clinical

These 10 credits of undergraduate-level coursework will ultimately reduce the number of graduate-level credits you’ll need to take for your chosen graduate program, meaning you’ll get your graduate degree sooner.

Visit the course catalog for course descriptions.

Requirements & Other Considerations

Before applying, make sure you have the following:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum of one-year clinical nursing experience
  • Current, unencumbered license as a Registered Nurse (Minnesota licensure is typically required for all clinical courses. Other state licenses may also be required for clinical experiences in those respective states according to state statute.)

In addition to the selection criteria, if you decide to enroll in the RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway, you must also complete your chosen graduate degree within seven years of the first 400-/600-level course you’ve taken.

Meet with Your Adviser

It’s very important that you speak with your RN-BS Completion Program adviser to discuss enrolling in the RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway as soon as possible.

Your adviser will determine whether your timing for admission is appropriate based on the number of credits you’ve already completed and have in progress in the RN-BS Completion Program.

If your adviser approves your admission time for the RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway, then you’re ready to contact the Department of Graduate Nursing for guidance on the admission process.


To apply for admission to the RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway, you’ll need to submit two applications.

First, you need to apply to WSU’s School of Graduate Studies by completing the online application. (You'll need your StarID to login.) You’ll also need to pay the application fee and submit your official transcripts to be considered.

The next thing to do is apply to your desired Graduate Nursing program by completing the Graduate Programs in Nursing BSN-DNP or MS application on NursingCAS, our online application system.

Note: Before submitting the application, make sure to check the appropriate box to indicate that you’re an RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway candidate.

The deadline for all RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway applications is Oct. 1 of each academic year.