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MS(N) Nursing Leadership



Two nurses looking at a document together


Western Carolina University’s graduate studies in nursing provide students with academic and field-based experiences that lead to a Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing Leadership.

The program prepares nurses for the role of nurse leader with a focus on culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

An Online Program for Working Professionals

All academic courses are taught online. Practicum placements are available in a variety of settings in or near the students' communities and may focus on medically underserved and culturally diverse populations. Students will complete a thesis or scholarly project and pass comprehensive exams in addition to coursework. 

Program Overview

Location: Online

Semester Hours: 40-41

App Deadline: July 1, December 1

Part-Time, 18 months

Practicums Completed Locally

GRE/MAT Not Required


Virtual Open House

Wednesday, August 7: 5-6:30pm

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today

Degree Requirements: The MS(N) Nursing Leadership Program requires 40 to 41 semester hours of coursework, depending on whether the thesis or project option is selected. New students are admitted for the fall or spring semesters. The typical course load is six to nine credit hours per semester (part-time).

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • BSN from a regionally accredited college or university and nationally accredited nursing program
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on 4.0 scale on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Statistics course, undergraduate or graduate level
  • Nursing research course, undergraduate
  • Registered nurse eligible for licensure to practice in the state in which the student intends to practice
  • Minimum of one year of clinical experience as a registered nurse within the last five years
  • Three professional references: one must be from current or recent immediate supervisor
  • Submit a resume and professional statement with the online Graduate School application (see Nursing Leadership Professional Statement and Resume guidelines for more details)

Application to the MS(N) Program requires an application to the Graduate School. 

Required courses are laid out in five to six semesters, depending on program start date. Nursing Leadership Curriculum   

Visit the Graduate School’s tuition and fee rates page for current cost information. Admitted students are required to be computer literate and either own or have regular access to a computer with a CD writer and high-speed Internet access. Students are required to purchase a microphone and webcam for their computers. Additional expenses include textbooks at approximately $800 per year.

Ramona Whichello


Program Director:
Ramona Whichello, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Associate Professor

Core Faculty:
Amy Putnam, DNP, MSN, RN, CNE

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