Degree Overview

Master of Science Nursing Education (RN to MSN Option)

WGU offers online RN to MSN programs for those looking to elevate and enhance their careers in nursing. After completing one of WGU’s top RN to MSN online programs, students will be able to both complete bachelor’s degree coursework and earn a master’s degree. These accredited online MSN programs will allow you teach a new generation of nurses. Competencies for this specialty were derived from the NLN Nurse Educator standards and the Masters Essentials for Professional Nursing practice. The coursework will prepare you to become an accomplished nurse educator.

Note: This program consists of an undergraduate and a graduate portion. When you complete the RN-to-BSN portion, you will seamlessly transition into the BSN-to-MSN portion. Tuition and fees differ between these two programs. For details, visit the Tuition and Fees page.

Who the Program is For:

WGU's online RN to MSN programs are for those with the following qualifications:

  • Registered nurses (RNs) who possess an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, have a current unencumbered RN license, and wish to earn a master’s degree.
  • Individuals who can typically spend 15 or more hours per week on their studies.

Those who have already obtained a BSN may be interested in looking at our other online MSN degree programs. Learn about the MS in Nursing Education.

This program will be flexible and adaptable to your schedule. Click here to learn how this program works.

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

You’ll become an expert in all areas of study required by the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Nurse Educator Competencies. WGU's RN to MSN degree program will give you mastery of core competencies and provide research-evidence-based course preparation.

The program requires a total of 150 competency units (CUs), our equivalent to the traditional credit hour. 

The Master of Science in Nursing Education program is grounded in real research on effective instruction, and adheres to national standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable graduates to design, implement, and manage nursing programs as well as effectively teach nursing courses.

Key Subject Areas

These Courses Add to Your Credentials

  • Evolving Roles of Nurse Educators in Diverse Environments

  • Facilitation of Context-Based Student-Centered Learning

  • Contemporary Curriculum Design and Development in Nursing Education

  • Assessment and Evaluation Strategies for Measuring Student Learning

  • Emerging Trends and Challenges in 21st Century Nursing Education

  • Professional Presence and Influence

  • Translational Research for Practice and Populations

  • Organizational Leadership and Interprofessional Team Development

  • Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice

  • Comprehensive Health Assessment for Patients and Populations

  • Essentials of Advanced Nursing Practice Field Experience

  • Policy, Politics, and Global Health Trends

  • Nursing Education Field Experience

Core Subject Areas

These General Education Assessments May Be Cleared through Transfer Credit:

  • Applied Healthcare Statistics

  • English Composition I

  • Survey of United States Constitution and Government

  • Introduction to Communication

  • Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan

  • Introduction to Humanities

  • Introduction to Psychology

  • Introduction to Sociology

  • Anatomy and Physiology

  • Clinical Microbiology

  • Biochemistry

Inter-Professional Leadership & Communication in Healthcare

The first course you take in this program will be unlike any other you complete at WGU. Inter-Professional Leadership & Communication in Healthcare requires participation in online group meetings with faculty and fellow students. Multiple group options are available, so you will work with your enrollment counselor or mentor to determine the group whose schedule works best for you. Learn more about this unique course and how to prepare for it >>

Capstone Project

The RN to MSN degree program in Nursing Education also requires the successful completion of a capstone project. Your capstone project is something to be proud of – it's the culmination of all your hard work. Your final project will address a key issue, need, gap, or opportunity resulting from an identified need in nursing education or healthcare. The capstone project provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your competency and commitment to ultimately improving health outcomes. Go ahead, show everyone what you can do.

The curriculum of WGU's RN to MSN online program incorporates the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Practice and the Essentials of Masters Education from Professional Practice established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Total Program: 147 competency units (credit equivalents) minus any competency units waived through transfer of prior college credits.

Learning with WGU

Along with offering some of the top RN to MSN online programs out there, WGU’s College of Health Professions is also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). We’ve worked with leading hospital corporations to develop our robust and comprehensive RN to MSN programs. Online courses let you work towards your master’s degree on your own time and with your own schedule. You can also get an affordable education, as the nonprofit WGU only charges one flat tuition rate. You can use your life and work experience and gain competencies while working towards RN to MSN online degree programs because of WGU’s unique competency-based approach to online learning. Learn more by contacting us today!

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU Tennessee is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 20 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around.

How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

The average time it takes to complete the RN to MSN in Nursing Education online degree program at WGU is 3 years. That’s significantly less than at other online schools.

Many students proceed faster than the normal pace designed into each program. But don’t assume doing so is easy.  WGU programs are quite rigorous. The pace at which you complete your WGU program depends upon how quickly you are able to take and pass the required assessments. Successful students who commit 15 hours or more per week to their studies are often able to complete their programs more quickly.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your online RN to MSN in Nursing Education program depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Create your own schedule, choose your pace and achieve your personal goals.

"Our partnership with WGU enables our employees to advance their education affordably without interrupting their careers." John Steele, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Hospital Corporation of America

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

Western Governors University was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU's online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.

  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.

  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.

  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.

  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. And because we charge tuition at a flat-rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.


You pay for time—not credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.

  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.

  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.

  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, a full-time course load is 12 competency units per term for your undergraduate courseswork and 8 CUs per term for the graduate-level coursework. Because we allow you to complete extra courses at no extra cost, you may be able to increase the value of your program by dedicating extra time to your studies.

  • $3,225: Tuition per 6-Month Undergraduate Term; $3,800 Tuition per 6-Month Graduate Term
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $175: Program Fee per 6-Month Undergraduate Term
  • $350: One-Time Health Professions Student Fee
  • Additional costs: You may be responsible for a third-party criminal background check fee.

The RN to MSN in Education online degree program at WGU is designed to be affordable for hardworking adults with bills to pay.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

When We Say Affordable, We Mean It

WGU's RN to MSN in Nursing Education degree program is typically about half the cost of other equally reputable nursing programs.

Tuition Comparison: Master of Science Nursing Education (RN to MSN Option)

WGU University of Phoenix
$3,225 per six-month undergraduate term.
If it takes four years = $25,800
$57,600 for BSN + 84 credits x $387 per credit =

*Note: This chart is for illustration only. Actual results will vary depending upon the number of terms needed to complete the program. Estimates based on WGU's standard tuition as of January 2019. Tuition rates were gathered from competing university websites during April 2017.

Compare WGU tuition to tuition at other schools

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU's financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

Northwest Commission Accredited

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

CCNE Accredited

The bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791).

An online degree in healthcare from WGU tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:


of employers said WGU grads exceed expectations.


of employers rated WGU graduates’ job performance as very good or excellent.


of employers consider WGU graduates prepared for their jobs.


of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

Note: 2017 Survey of Employers by Harris Poll

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our National Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye,
WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU Tennessee, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn competency units (CUs), our equivalent to the traditional credit hour.

WGU Tennessee sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master the subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Get Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the easy steps to getting started.

Applicants must possess a current, unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license. Applicants must be actively working as an RN at the time of application and enrollment.

See More about College of Health Professions Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

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Question and Answer

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How does WGU keep its tuition so low?

As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our main concern. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, and other non-academic programs. 

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.


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