Master of Science in Nursing

BSN to DNP (MSN stop-out option)

This program offers baccalaureate prepared nurses the opportunity to earn a master's degree via our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. Students enrolled in this program may obtain the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and continue toward the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Students may exit the program after completing requirements for the MSN degree, with the ability to sit for advanced practice certification. Current specialty tracks prepare students to certify as pediatric or family nurse practitioners. Additionally, applicants with a MSN degree are able to enter the program and obtain the DNP degree. The DNP curriculum, done primarily online, is designed for nurses who want to practice at the highest level of professional nursing and will advance the application of nursing knowledge for the purpose of improving health care for diverse populations. The program offers a curriculum that allows students to enroll on a part- or full-time basis. 

The programs are offered primarily online by faculty at the WVU Health Sciences Center at our Morgantown and Charleston campuses. Courses are offered via a variety of web-based modalities both in asynchronous and synchronous distance education formats. Students will be required to attend a special session in Morgantown or Charleston approximately five (5) times through the assessment course and two (2) days in practicum for FNP students. During semesters involving nursing practice hours, monthly meetings are held online. Special sessions for PNP students are held in Morgantown for approximately one week during the assessment course.

Students are admitted to a specific track and progression plan. Admission to some tracks is dependent on an adequate cohort to deliver the track. Changes to the track or progression plan are only allowed based on space available. If for any reason a student must leave the program, their ability to return to the program will be based on space available at the time of request and is not guaranteed.

Graduates of the MSN portion of the program meet all requirements to sit for the national certification examination in their specialty area of family nurse practitioner or pediatric nurse practitioner. They are prepared to offer care at the advanced practice level to select populations and are able to perform all activities encompassed in the traditional scope of practice.

At the completion of the program the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate will be able to practice at the highest level of professional practice to:

  1. Use science-based theories and concepts to:
    • Determine the nature and significance of health and health care delivery phenomena;
    • Describe actions and advance strategies to improve health care delivery; and
    • Develop, deliver and evaluate theory-based health care.
  1. Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership that emphasizes the primacy of clinical work, continually improving health outcomes, and ensuring patient safety.
  2. Use analytical methods and research to develop best practices and practice guidelines and to facilitate the evaluation of systems of care that will improve patient outcomes.
  3. Use information systems and technology-based resources that support clinical and administrative decision-making, care systems, nurse-sensitive outcomes and quality improvement.
  4. Assume a leadership role in the development of health care policy.
  5. Establish, participate and lead interprofessional teams.
  6. Utilize a strong conceptual foundation in clinical prevention and population health.
  7. Base practice on biophysical, psychosocial, sociopolitical and cultural principles; economics; nursing science; and ethics.
  8. Develop, implement and evaluate practice and care delivery models, which are politically and culturally appropriate.

Adapted from AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice

BSN to DNP Required Courses

BSN to DNP Areas of Study and Progression Plans

Family Nurse Practitioner: Graduates of the Family Nurse Practitioner program meet all requirements to take the national certification examination in their major area. They are prepared to offer primary care at the advanced practice level to families and individuals throughout the lifespan in rural settings and carry out all activities encompassed in the scope of practice of Family Nurse Practitioner.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: Graduates of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program meet all requirements for the national certifying examination in their major area and are prepared to provide primary care at an advanced level to children from birth to young adult.

State Approvals for Clinical Placements

Universities offering distance education must abide by the laws of each state in which students are placed for their practicum experience. There are several states at this time that may not allow WVU nursing students to participate in a practicum experience, and therefore a site placement cannot be guaranteed. A State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) must be in place to allow a WVU nursing student to participate in clinicals. Visit WVU Online to determine if your state has been approved for clinical placements. 

Please contact Dr. Martha Summers,  MSN/DNP program director or 304-293-1773 with any questions about State Authorization for clinicals.

Computer Requirements

All nursing course work is offered online via online technology. Computer skills are required of all students, and access to adequate computing equipment is required. Please view WVU's Recommendations for minimum computer requirements.

Information Request

Our Student Services staff will be glad to answer your questions in person or by phone/e-mail. Please fill out the information request form via WVU Online and someone will be in touch.

For more information about the Master of Science Program, please contact:

Kim McCourt
Recruiting and Outreach Coordinator
Office of Student Services
1-866-WVUNURS (toll free)
kmccourt@hsc.wvu.edu