Hi Reg and Kehorner,
I just graduated from WGU in July, the BSN to MSN program....education track. It took 2 full years from start to finish., but some people were able to complete the program within 9 mos. to 15 months. There were a few people in my class that started in the RN-BSN program first. One girl finished in 11 weeks. I asked her how she finished so fast....she had surgery and was off work for quite a while. Then she started in the bsn to msn program and finished it in 9 months. I thought, wow!
I can only speak to the BSN -MSN program, but all the information that I learned was brand new to me, which meant that I had to read alot. Then, they determine your competency in 2 ways...by either writing papers or exams. I currently work in a large hospital, and thought that I would like a clinical instructor position when I graduated. We have partnerships with local nursing schools, and am waiting for a position to open. I would be a staff nurse at the hospital, working as a clinical instructor with the nursing schools.
WGU is a very good but tough program. It is like no other. Since it is competency based, you have to prove to them that you have knowledge and skill associated with each subject. The papers are written in APA format, and the graders don't let you slide by...they are tough on you. WGU has been involved in distance learning for 10 years now, beginning with the teachers college, and they have online learning down to an art. But 3 times during my program, they changed courses around, for instance... deleted 2 courses but added another. It seems there is a learning curve....probably because of student feedback, which results in changes.
WGU is for motivated, self-reliant and self-directed people. You can procrastinate (which I did at times) but then you have to work twice as hard to catch up. It fit in good with my schedule. My mentor stayed with me the duration of the course and called me weekly to keep me on track. They tell you in the beginning to devote at least 20 hours a week to studying. Sometimes I would study just 10 hours, but the following week study about 25 hours. It varied. Writing papers was the hardest for me. I would sit down to write and draw a blank. (at least I'm honest).
Good luck with your studies. There is a lot of support out there for students. There is a message board with each course. Questions that you might have, might be there from a previous student, and already answered. They call the message boards "the communities", and that is what they are. If you don't understand something, post a question on the board, and, someone will answer. There is also a facilitator (Masters, PhD,etc) for that course who is knowledgeable about the course and who is monitoring the board. They will answer questions daily to someone who is "stuck" on something.
If I can be of more help, please let me know.