BSN to MSN Programs in Washington

When you think of Washington, you likely think of the Pacific coast, rainforests, and soaring volcanic peaks in the western part of the state. Yet, Washington has a much more diverse landscape that includes high desert plateaus and plains that are more prominent on the state’s eastern side.

The opportunities to get a Master of Nursing degree are as diverse as Washington’s climate. You can study at large public universities, small private colleges, and many points in between. Yet, despite the differences in Washington’s many college and university campuses, you can rest assured you will get a quality nursing education from one of the accredited programs listed below.

This is just a partial list of some of the BSN to MSN programs you might consider in Washington. Explore this guide to discover what’s available to study in the Evergreen State.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

Washington State University (WSU)

School Information

Washington State University is a doctoral-granting institution in Pullman, on the eastern side of the state. The school was founded in 1890 as Washington’s land grant institution and continues the tradition of academic success and thorough research that was part of the school’s original charter.

Washington State has more than 31,000 students across its main campus, four satellite campuses, and its online campus. As a student at WSU, you can pursue one of more than 100 undergraduate majors, 79 graduate programs, and 65 doctoral degree programs.

WSU also offers professional degrees in medicine, veterinary science, and pharmacy. And with more than 550 study abroad programs, you can get your education while exploring the world beyond Washington’s borders.

Program Information

The graduate program in nursing from Washington State focuses specifically on population health. It’s designed for advanced practice nurses that want to enhance their ability to provide direct care to patients.

Likewise, the program focuses on related areas, such as:

  • Managing healthcare for families
  • Healthcare administration
  • Teaching nursing in an academic setting
  • Health policy development
  • Nursing research

Additionally, you will learn skills needed to work with specific populations, like children and the elderly.

This 32-credit program requires either a thesis or a clinical project. You can choose to complete either a practicum or an internship experience as well.

Gonzaga University

School Information

Gonzaga University is a private, non-profit, four-year institution in Spokane that was established in 1887. It’s a small school – the campus is just 152 acres – and there are about 7,300 students. This provides you with an intimate setting in which to advance your nursing education.

Gonzaga offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs of study. These programs are available in seven schools:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Business
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering & Applied Science
  • School of Nursing and Human Physiology
  • School of Leadership Studies
  • School of Law

Nearly 90 percent of Gonzaga’s faculty have a terminal degree, meaning you will study with teachers that have a wealth of experience and expertise in their fields.

Program Information

This RN to MSN program from Gonzaga University was developed for students with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and experience working as an RN. With some college experience and work experience already under your belt, this serves as an accelerated pathway to a master’s degree.

Additionally, Gonzaga’s program offers several bridge courses that prepare you for graduate studies. These courses focus on research methods, health assessments, and improving patient health. You can use the skills you learn to advance your career in many different areas, including:

This 45-credit program takes nine semesters to complete. Graduate courses cost $965 per credit, while bridge courses cost $845 per credit.

The University of Washington (UW) at Bothell

School Information

The University of Washington at Bothell is part of the larger University of Washington System. It was established in 1989 with just 12 faculty members. Today, UW Bothell is a small school with just over 6,000 students.

Bothell offers dozens of undergraduate majors, graduate programs, and professional programs despite being a smaller school. Regardless of your chosen program, you will learn crucial skills that prepare you for competent performance in your chosen career.

Credits earned at Bothell transfer to any of the other campuses in the UW system. You can begin your nursing degree at Bothell and continue your studies elsewhere in Washington, should you desire.

Program Information

The University of Washington at Bothell’s Master of Nursing program ranks first in the nation among nursing programs, according to US News and World Report. The advanced knowledge and skills you will learn in this program prepare you for a wide range of nursing careers and give you a greater capability to provide top-notch care to your patients.

You can choose from one of three pathways: Nurse Educator, Administrative Leadership, or General. In each case, you will complete core coursework and elective coursework that focuses on:

  • Ethical practice
  • Health informatics
  • Research
  • Healthcare systems
  • Clinical performance

Depending on your selected pathway, you will need to complete 51-55 credits, which requires two years of full-time study. Completion of the required courses, fieldwork, and a capstone project is necessary for graduation.

Pacific Lutheran University (PLU)

School Information

Pacific Lutheran University is a small, private college in Tacoma. The school is affiliated with the Lutheran church, and its religious principles guide and direct your education in one of 70 different undergraduate and graduate programs currently offered by the university.

As a student at PLU, you will learn in a highly intimate and diverse setting. There are only 2,700 students on campus, yet 42 percent of students are of color. The average class size is just 19 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 ensures you get the individual attention you need to be successful in your studies.

You can help offset the cost of your degree with ample financial aid opportunities from PLU. In fact, 99 percent of PLU students receive financial aid of some kind. The average financial aid package for students is in excess of $45,000.

Program Information

You can earn your Master of Science in Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University in an accelerated BSN to MSN program. This advanced generalist degree focuses on improving patient outcomes and care management. To do so, you will take classes in:

  • Nursing Situations with Communities
  • Roles of the Advanced Nurse
  • Clinical Outcomes Management
  • Illness and Disease Management
  • Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Nursing Practice

Additionally, you can choose from three distinct nursing pathways: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Administrator, or Clinical Nurse Educator.

This is a cohort program, so you’ll advance through your courses with the same classmates. The cohort format allows you to build relationships with your professors and classmates, which is beneficial for working in a collegial medical environment.

This is a 15-month program that costs $1,093 per credit hour. You can expect to spend nearly $34,000 to get this degree.

Work Opportunities in Washington

With a Master of Nursing Degree, the number and type of nursing jobs available to you increases dramatically. Where a BSN might constrain you to working as an RN, the advanced knowledge and skills you earn in an MSN program opens the door for working in administrative and other roles in a medical setting.

For example, you might use your experience as an RN and your MSN credential to find employment as a Director of Nursing in a large hospital or HMO. Likewise, you might work as a Nurse Administrator in an in-patient or outpatient clinic.

Another employment option as a nurse with an MSN is to teach other nurses. Academic positions in nursing require practical nursing experience and an advanced degree like an MSN or a DNP. You can use your combination of experience and education to inform the next generation of nurses about the critical duties of their profession.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for nurses is $77,600. However, the BLS notes that Washington is one of the highest-paying states for nurses, with median annual salaries in the range of $77,000 to $155,000.

This pay range varies widely in the state of Washington, too. For example, jobs in urban areas like Seattle pay more than nursing positions in rural areas of the state. However, the cost of living in Seattle is far higher than it is in a rural area, like Pullman.

When considering where you will work in Washington, don’t look only at the salary you are offered. Also consider cost of living factors that affect your monthly take-home pay.

With nearly 16,800 nursing-related jobs available in Washington at the time of writing, you have a very good chance of finding employment upon graduating from your BSN to MSN program.

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