Western Washington University launches new MSN Program to empower nursing leaders and educators

Master of Science in Nursing program offers two degree options: Nursing Education or Nursing Leadership & Administration

Bellingham, WA – WWU today announces the launch of its new Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, designed to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in nursing leadership and education. With degree options available in Nursing Education or Nursing Leadership & Administration, this program provides students with specialized training based on career goals and clinical concentration. 

“This program opens up opportunities for nurses in northwest Washington to advance their degrees and accelerate their nursing careers,” said Christine Espina, Associate Professor of Nursing, DNP, RN at WWU. “Our MSN program offers an accessible, top-tier master’s education, and through a commitment to inclusivity and greater healthcare equity and justice, our graduates will be prepared to lead efforts for improved health outcomes within communities across the state.” 

Both MSN degree options are now accepting applications through August 1. They are both two-year, full-time, 48-credit non-thesis master’s degrees. They combine flexible online coursework with immersive face-to-face sessions three times per quarter on Western’s main campus in Bellingham and hands-on practical experiences arranged by the faculty in the community.  

MSN Nursing Education 

The purpose of Western's Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is to empower graduates to revolutionize healthcare leadership, enabling them to assume pivotal roles in nursing leadership and nursing education. Graduates earn an MSN in Nursing Education or Nursing Leadership & Administration, depending on their clinical concentration. 

The first cohort start is Fall 2024. Prospective students can learn more about the MSN Nursing Education degree option, request information and apply here

MSN Leadership & Administration 

The MSN in Nursing Leadership & Administration readies students to lead in healthcare organizations and community settings. Graduates are equipped to integrate health equity into nursing leadership and administration, including systems thinking, implementing effective change, and strategic financial management. Graduating students will have many opportunities, such as being nurse managers, directors of nursing, quality improvement specialists, case managers, healthcare consultants, and healthcare administrators.  

The first cohort start is Fall 2024. Learn more about the MSN Nursing Leadership & Administration degree option, request information and apply here.  

Upon completing the MSN program, graduates in both degree options will possess the following skills: 

  • Master the art of personal and professional reflective practice, enhancing leadership capabilities and fostering advancement within the nursing profession. 

  • Demonstrate proficiency in creating safe, healthy, and sustainable environments across nursing education, leadership roles, and practical settings. 

  • Showcase expertise in advanced-level nursing education alongside specialty competencies in either nursing leadership or education. 

  • Foster collaborative partnerships aimed at providing accessible, equitable, and high-quality education and healthcare services to diverse populations. 

  • Identify and advocate for the needs of rural and other marginalized communities. 

  • Both degree options will give students the opportunities to collaborate with seasoned preceptors across various settings, including palliative care, public health, primary care, rural health, tribal health, nursing education, and acute care. 

Curriculum and accreditation 

Both MSN programs align with the latest 2021 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials, incorporating Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education.  

The MSN Program has received Phase II approval from the Washington State Board of Nursing (WA BON) and is eligible to apply for accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which will be initiated once the first cohort is enrolled. 

For more information about the MSN program at Western Washington University, please contact: 

Rika Winquist, Nursing Program Coordinator, Rika.Winquist@wwu.edu 
Sandy Branson, Nursing Program Director, Sandy.Branson@wwu.edu  

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