Washington State University (WSU)

Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing has over 1,000 students annually working towards their bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The mission is to create patient-focused research with the goal to transform and improve healthcare for all. Schools Scholarships Student Support

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Best ProgramsAccredited Hybrid On-campus Online Public

BSN   DNP   RN-to-MSN   RN-to-BSN   Entry-Level BSN   MSN-to-DNP   NP   PhD   BSN-to-PhD   BSN-to-DNP   Master's   Post-grad Certificate   Other  

  • Accreditations ACEN CCNE COA
  • Location(s) Washington
  • Address French Administration Building, Pullman, Washington, 99164
  • Telephone 1-800-281-2589
  • Request Information

Washington State University is a public institution that was founded in 1890. The main campus is located in Pullman, though there are also regional locations throughout the state in Spokane and the Tri-Cities, as well as in Vancouver.

The College of Nursing has expanded and is now known as one of the leading distance education interdisciplinary learning institutions in the nation offering opportunities using a hybrid of lecture, simulation, clinical, and online experiences to prepare future nurses.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

BSN (pre-licensure)

WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and Yakima campuses offer BSN (pre-licensure).

Students attend class full-time on campus. Part-time study options are not available.

Pre-Application Requirements (not all inclusive)

  1. Before applying to the College of Nursing, the student must have junior standing and have completed nursing prerequisites and general university requirements (UCORE) at Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, Washington State University, or any institution offering equivalent courses.
  2. TEAS test (scores are good for 1 year from anticipated start date)
  3. 50 hours work/volunteer experience
  4. Cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher in all college course work
  5. Cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher in College of Nursing's prerequisite courses
  6. Minimum grade for each prerequisite course – 2.0 (pass/satisfactory grades and CLEP scores are not accepted)
  7. Virtual/online labs are not accepted. All lab courses must be taken in an on-campus format.

Why are 50 hours of paid or volunteer experience required for admission to the program and what type of experience counts toward this requirement?

The focus of experience within the field will help the student understand the role of the nurse in the real world. The volunteer or paid experience must be within the last three years. Caring for family members is not included in this realm.


The RN-BSN program is designed for the working nurse with a family. The program can be completed in as little as one or two years, at the student's pace.

32 credits are awarded for passing the NCLEX and maintaining an active RN license. The 30 remaining credits in senior year may be completed full or part time.

With the flexibility of the program, the student must meet on campus once each semester.  The day is scheduled in advance to help accommodate schedules, the Tuesday of the third week of the term. The Blackboard online learning system is the system used for the coursework. Each student has an advisor to help lead him or her through the program, no matter if full- or part-time. Clinical experience hours may be completed at a variety of sites.

The RN-BSN program is offered at Spokane, Tri-Cities, Yakima, Vancouver, and Walla Walla.

Admission requirements (not all inclusive)

  1. Current, unencumbered Washington state RN license or eligibility
  2. Junior standing, have direct transferable AA/AS degree or bachelor's degree
  3. Cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher in all college course work
  4. Complete College of Nursing prerequisite courses and WSU's University Common Requirements (UCORE) or equivalent course work. Some associate of arts (AA), associate of science (AS), or bachelor's degrees may satisfy these requirements
  5. Prerequisite courses – cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher
  6. Minimum grade for each prerequisite course – 2.0


Available Graduate Nursing Programs

  • MN-Nurse Leader
  • MN-Nurse Educator
  • MN-Individualized Study
  • RN-MN
  • Master of Health Policy & Administration
  • DNP-Family Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP-Population Health Nurse
  • Post-Master's DNP
  • Baccalaureate to PhD in Nursing
  • PhD Nurse Researcher
  • Graduate Certificates
  • HPA Online Certificates

Master's in Nursing

RN-Master of Nursing

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • Current RN license in Oregon or Washington
  • Bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution
  • Minimum grade 2.0 in each prerequisite course as well as an overall prerequisite GPA 3.0 or above for: Intro to Psychology, Intro to Sociology, Statistics, Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Nutrition
  • Cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Current nursing experience (preferably 2 years)

Master of Nursing in Population Health: Nurse Leader

The MN Nursing Leadership track prepares the student in acute and outpatient settings. Coursework will consist of master's core courses and additional course work in organizational leadership. You may enter the MN program with a BSN or as an RN with a bachelor's degree in any field.

Note: This program is NOT a clinical nurse leader (CNL) program.

Master of Nursing in Population Health: Nurse Educator

The MN Nursing Education track prepares nurses who have the heart of a teacher.  The student may enter the course with a BSN or the RN-MN program as an RN with a bachelor's degree in any field.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program is designed to prepare the student for a career in primary care settings to provide care for all ages from children, adolescents, childbearing women, adults, and elders.


Post-baccalaureate to DNP-FNP
Post-master's to DNP-FNP

Multiple Campus Locations

The program is offered at WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and WSU Vancouver.

Program Delivery

The DNP program is a hybrid combination of online delivery modules with a combination of in-classroom dates. There is a maximum of 5 classroom sessions.  Some classrooms are available at sites in Yakima, Walla Walla and Puyallup. There are also clinical course requirements working in various health care settings across the Northwest.  Travel to other cities may be required.  Clinical placements are arranged based on student requests and site availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the length of the program?

BSN prepared students, attending full-time should expect to complete the program in about 3-4 years. if you attend part-time, you will complete the degree requirements in 4-5 years.

How many students are admitted each year?

Approximately 50 students per year are admitted into the DNP program.

Is the program offered online?

No, this program is a hybrid approach. The program is offered on campus with limited courses offered online.

What areas of specialization are offered for the DNP?

The College of Nursing offers a post-baccalaureate DNP and a post-master's DNP with 3 areas of specialization:

  1. Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  2. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  3. Population Health (PH)

Can I complete my clinical hours where I work?

Unfortunately, your clinical site for work cannot be included for clinical hours.

Doctor of Nursing Practice – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Students in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program will provide psychiatric and mental health services to individuals of all ages and to groups and populations.


  • Post-baccalaureate to DNP-PMHNP
  • Post-master's to DNP-PMHNP

The program is offered at WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and WSU Vancouver campuses.

Post-Master's DNP

This program is designed for the following:

  • An RN with an MN or equivalent degree
  • An RN with an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) certification and an MN or equivalent degree
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with an MN or equivalent degree

Track Options

  • Post-Master's DNP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's DNP Population Health

The program is offered at WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, and WSU Vancouver campuses.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

The program is a combination of in-person course work and a distance/online format. There will be scheduled classes at WSU Spokane for the first and last two weeks of the first Summer semester. Remaining classes will be delivered via live video conferencing system and are typically held on Thursday and Friday mornings and afternoons. Additional course work is completed online.

How long will it take me to earn my PhD?

The curriculum is designed to be delivered over 7 semesters, with additional time for dissertation, which is variable for each student.

Baccalaureate Degree to PhD in Nursing

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a nationally accredited program
  2. A minimum GPA 3.5 or higher in the baccalaureate program
  3. Written goal statement

Graduate Student Clinical Placements

Students in graduate programs requiring clinical courses must complete a clinical passport when selecting a clinical site. WSU will assist students with site placements for clinical. Each student will have a faculty mentor to help.


US News & World Report (2019)

  • #70 (tie) in Top Public Schools
  • #140 (tie) in National Universities
  • #95 (tie) in Best Colleges for Veterans
  • #83 in Best Value Schools
  • #20 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #15 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans
  • #35 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #32 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • #310 Best Global Universities

NICHE (2020)

  • Best Big Colleges in America #43 of 131
  • Top Public Universities in America #44 of 672
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in America #91 of 1,542
  • Best Colleges in America #151 of 1,647
  • Best College Campuses in America #189 of 1,408
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #211 of 1,592
  • Best Value Colleges in America #236 of 1,590
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in America #240 of 599
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in America #255 of 1,591
  • Best College Dorms in America #414 of 1,370
  • Most Liberal Colleges in America #504 of 687
  • Best College Locations in America #689 of 1,553
  • Top Public Universities in Washington #2 of 34
  • Best Colleges in Washington #3 of 49
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in Washington #4 of 41
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Washington #5 of 44
  • Best College Campuses in Washington #5 of 21
  • Best Value Colleges in Washington #7 of 42
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in Washington #7 of 14
  • Best College Dorms in Washington #8 of 18
  • Most Liberal Colleges in Washington #12 of 14
  • Best College Locations in Washington #29 of 45

Forbes (2019)

  • #244 Top Colleges
  • #79 in Public Colleges
  • #126 in Research Universities
  • #48 in the West
  • #82 America's Best Value Colleges

College Factual (2019)

  • Top 10% Most Popular: Nursing
  • Top 10% Best For The Money Far Western US
  • Top 10% Overall Diversity
  • Top 15% Best For The Money in Washington

WSU has been listed in BestColleges.com Top 20 Best Colleges in Washington (2019).

MONEY Magazine ranked WSU #149 Best Colleges For Your Money (2018-2019).

WSU has also been recognized as a Military Friendly School (Bronze level) by MilitaryFriendly.com (2018-2019).


The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, and doctor of nursing practice programs at Washington State University College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 

WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Format & Tuition of Available Program

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Cheryl Jennett

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

They just recently fired their second dean in a row. I'm in their DNP program and I wouldn't recommend it. They admit everyone, during the first semester there were some who could barely speak English, let alone read or write medical English coherently, there were students who had never written scholarly APA papers before. It was a mess. They find clinical sites for you which is great but they are SUPER picky about clinical sites. To the point where some students who had great clinical sites end up getting placed at poor quality places last minute to fulfill the college of nursing preferences. Additionally, they always ask us to fill out evaluations but they only fix things for the next group of students. It's like watching someone be abused and when we say, this is going on, help us. They stand there and say, we'll fix it for the next person. Well, that's great but it does nothing for us. They do not allow you to change project professors even if your professor has no background in what yours is on. It makes them useless. The professors, in general, are a whole different story, they've chased off most of the "good" ones and the syllabi are mostly a general outline. They change them a lot and mostly on a whim, they also will randomly imply some direction is there that is not. Save your money, go somewhere else. FYI this review in no way is about the PhD or BSN program, those are entirely different and to my understanding, much better structured and run.

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