Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) School of Nursing

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) School of Nursing offers accredited BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, ABSN, MSN, PhD, and DNP degree programs as well as Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator programs. Students Schools Scholarships

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  • Accreditations CCNE Accredited
  • Location Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Programs BSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-BSN, LPN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, MSN to PhD, NP, PhD, Accelerated BSN, Post-grad Certificate, Other
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In 1892, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a public institution, was founded.

In 1953, the School of Nursing was established as part of WSSU.


Traditional BSN

The traditional BSN route at WSSU consists first of general education courses for students to take and pass before moving on to the nursing portion of the program.


The LPN to BSN path is designed for LPNs licensed by the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

The path allows the LPN to be able to take nurse challenge courses based on their clinical and academic experiences. The student is given one chance to pass the course. If unsuccessful, the course must be taken.

Minimum Admission Criteria Undergraduate Students (not all inclusive)

  • Cumulative GPA 2.6 or better
  • Verbal/Critical Reading SAT score 470 if taken prior to 3/2016; 500 if taken after 3/2016 or ACT English score 19
  • Grade of 'C' or better or successful challenge in Introduction to Professional Nursing
  • Science courses must be no older than 7 years
  • Possess and maintain an unencumbered, active license as an LPN in North Carolina
  • 1 year of direct patient care experience as an LPN in North Carolina
  • Minimum of 1,560 hours worked as an LPN within the past calendar year
  • Employer verification of employment


The RN-BSN program accepts new students for the fall, Spring, and Summer terms. 

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • Unrestricted and active NC RN license
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Successful completion of NCLEX
  • Minimum of 51 hours of transferable credit in courses that are considered outside the nursing major

Accelerated BSN

The ABSN Option is specifically for those who hold a bachelor's degree in another field and want to become nurses that hold a BSN. The BSN program can be completed in 13 months. The student must complete all nursing prerequisites before applying to the program.

The ABSN program option is a full-time curriculum plan. The student is encouraged not to work if possible due to the rigorous curriculum. The ABSN path is the same as the Traditional path, but the ABSN is completed much faster.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN program offers two options for nurses interested in graduate degree programs: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Advanced Nurse Educator (ANE).

The ANE concentration prepares the graduate to demonstrate master's level nursing practice in a nursing specialty area, to teach in undergraduate nursing programs, and to fulfill clinical education and staff development positions in hospitals and other healthcare organizations.  FNP graduates provide primary comprehensive care to patients across the wide variety of healthcare settings with a focus on underserved and disadvantaged patients, and those of diverse ethnicity.

Both MSN programs and the two post-MSN certificate options offer advanced practice education beyond the degree. Graduates apply for the national certification exams after all coursework is complete. All FNP MSN and FNP post-master's certificate graduates are eligible to take the ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam or the AANP certification exam. ANE MSN and ANE post-master's certificate graduates are also eligible to take the National League for Nursing Certification for Nurse Educators (CNE) certification exam. The post-baccalaureate Nursing Education Certificate offers preparation for nurses to begin teaching roles in nursing education.

For completion of the ANE concentration, there is a total of thirty-nine (39) credit hours and two hundred and forty (240) practicum hours required. The requirement for the FNP concentration is fifty-one (51) credit hours and six hundred and seventy-two (672) clinical hours.


Students must find their own clinical sites.

MSN Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • BSN from a nationally recognized accredited college or university
  • Cumulative grade GPA of 2.7 or greater
  • Official GRE or MAT Score
  • Official transcripts from all previous academic work
  • Undergraduate courses in statistics, research, and health assessment with a grade of 'C' or higher
  • Health assessment course must have been completed at the baccalaureate level within the last 5 years
  • One year clinical nursing experience as an RN (waived for GPA of 3.4 and combined GRE 1000)
  • Three Letters of Reference
  • Professional resume
  • Active unencumbered North Carolina or Compact State RN license
  • Admissions Essay

Post-Master's Certificate Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • MSN from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body
  • GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Three letters of reference
  • Professional resume or curriculum vitae
  • Official transcripts from all previous academic work (MSN and BSN)
  • Active, unencumbered North Carolina or Compact State Registered Nurse license
  • Copy of Nurse Practitioner Certification for Nurse Practitioner applicants
  • Admissions essay

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program is for bachelor's degree (or higher) nurses that are interested in holding the highest degree in nursing. After completing the program, the graduate will be eligible to take the ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam or the AANP certification exam.

In the BSN to DNP option, students are required to be on campus two days a week for the first two years. When starting year three, the MSN to DNP option executive educational model includes on campus class meetings four times a semester on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. While the nurse will be on campus a total of 12 days, he or she actually travels to campus only four times during the semester.

The BSN to DNP option usually takes three years to complete and courses are offered in 6 semesters and 2 summers. The MSN to DNP option takes around 18 months and can be completed in 4 semesters. Both options have a part-time study available.

A capstone scholarly project is the large project that is required that encompasses a synthesis of courses taken in the DNP program and the practice immersion experiences.

WSSU MSN to Duke PhD

The Bridge to the Doctorate is a program that is a collaborative partnership between WSSU Division of Nursing and Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON). The program provides minority nurse scholars enrolled in WSSU's MSN program with an array of educational and socialization experiences to help ensure a seamless transition into a PhD program at Duke University.


WSSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The graduate degree in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Rankings and Recognitions

US News & World Report (2019)

  • #107-#141 in Regional Universities South
  • #36 (tie) in Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • #53 (tie) in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #121 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #123 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

NICHE (2019)

  • Most Liberal Colleges in America #228
  • Colleges with the Best Professors in America #328
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in America #869
  • Best Value Colleges in America #1,024
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #1,150
  • Most Liberal Colleges in North Carolina #4
  • Colleges with the Best Professors in North Carolina #12
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in North Carolina #22
  • Best Value Colleges in North Carolina #26
  • Most Diverse Colleges in North Carolina #42
  • Best Value Colleges in Greensboro Area #8 (2018)

  • #8 on America's Best Nursing Schools East Coast
  • #15 in the nation in for online nursing programs

College Factual (2018)

  • #12 Best Colleges for the Money in North Carolina
  • #363 Best Colleges for the Money nationally ranked WSSU #3 Best Online Colleges for Nursing in the nation (2018).

MONEY Magazine (2018)

  • #455 in Best Colleges For Your Money
  • #1 historically Black college and university (HBCU) in North Carolina
  • #3 HBCU Best Colleges for Your Money

WSSU's School of Nursing was listed as the Top 10 nursing schools in the East (Nurse Journal, 2017).

WSSU was ranked #4 in the nation for Most Affordable RN to BSN Programs by TopRNtoBSN for 2016.

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