West Virginia University Nursing School Review

West Virginia University (WVU), founded in 1862 as an agricultural college, is the flagship member of the West Virginia higher education system. The school enrolls nearly 30,000 students each year, and offers a wide variety of programs at the baccalaureate level, master’s level, and doctoral level. Since the 1960s, when its baccalaureate nursing program was established, WVU has included undergraduate nursing education among its program offerings. In the 1980s, it added graduate-level nursing courses.

Now, nurses and prospective nurses can pursue bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees through WVU’s School of Nursing. All the nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

WVU offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in several different locations. Students can complete it on the main campus in Morgantown or at WVU Institute of Technology in Montgomery. Alternatively, a student can complete the first year of the program at Potomac State and transfer to WVU in Morgantown for the next three years, or he can complete the first two years at Glenville State College and transfer to WVU Tech in Montgomery for the remaining two years. The curriculum for the BSN program is the same, regardless of which location the student chooses. In total, a BSN student must earn 128 credits, which requires four years of full-time study. A BSN student may apply for admission to the program in the fall or spring semester. After completing the BSN program, a student is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts to BSN

The Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts (BS/BA) to BSN program provides a way for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree to complete a BSN degree. Before enrolling in this program, however, a student must complete the following prerequisites: English 101 and 102, biology, chemistry, human physiology, human anatomy, microbiology, statistics, introductory psychology, introductory sociology or anthropology, developmental psychology, human nutrition, and college algebra. Once enrolled in the BS/BA to BSN program, a student must study on a full-time basis for five semesters to complete the program requirements. In total, she must earn sixty-four nursing credits. The BS/BA to BSN program is only available on WVU’s Morgantown campus, and it begins in the spring semester.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN

A Registered Nurse (RN) who has completed an associate degree or diploma nursing program can enroll in the RN to BSN track in order to complete his baccalaureate degree. WVU’s RN to BSN program is available online, although students do need to travel to campus occasionally for advising and other matters. Students in the RN to BSN program can go to Morgantown, Charleston, or Montgomery for these required sessions. The rest of the coursework can be completed via distance learning technology. Clinical rotations are included in the program, but students can schedule these in a location that is convenient. On a full-time basis, an RN can complete the RN to BSN program in just three semesters. Part-time study is also an option, however. This will require six semesters. In total, an RN needs to complete twenty-eight nursing credits, as well as any missing general education courses, in order to earn his BSN. An RN can begin the RN to BSN program in the fall, spring, or summer.

Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN/MSN

Through the RN to BSN/Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, a graduate of an associate degree nursing or diploma nursing program can progress smoothly through her BSN degree into the coursework for an MSN degree. WVU’s program is designed so that an RN can complete both degrees in eight semesters of full-time study. The RN in this program can continue working, since the coursework is available online. Students only need to travel to campus occasionally; when necessary, they may come to either Morgantown or Charleston. A student in the RN to BSN/MSN program will spend the first three semesters completing the required coursework for her BSN degree (twenty-eight credits), and the last five semesters completing coursework for her MSN degree in her chosen area of specialization (forty-four credits).WVU offers five tracks in its MSN program: Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Leadership. An RN can begin the BSN portion of the program in the fall, spring, or summer, but must start the MSN coursework in the fall.

Master of Science in Nursing

WVU’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program trains nurses for advanced practice certification. In order to give students as much flexibility as possible, WVU offers the coursework for the MSN program online. Students only need to come to campus two or three times a semester for advising. When they do have to travel to campus, they can go to either Morgantown or Charleston. Clinical rotations are a required part of the MSN program. On a full-time basis, a student in the MSN program can complete the course requirements in five semesters (which includes one summer semester). On a part-time basis, a nurse will need to study for eight semesters (including two summer semesters) to complete his MSN degree. Regardless of whether he chooses to enroll in the MSN program full-time or part-time, he must start in the fall semester. Over the course of the program, he must take both core graduate nursing courses and courses in his chosen area of emphasis. Regardless of his chosen area of focus, he must earn forty-four credits. WVU offers five different tracks in its MSN program:

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Nursing Leadership

Post-master’s Certification

The post-master’s certification program is open to nurses who have already completed an MSN degree. Through the post-master’s certification program, they are able to complete the coursework required to sit for another graduate-level certification exam without repeating any courses unnecessarily. Nurses on this track do not need to take core graduate nursing classes; they only need to complete the coursework for their area of focus. All of the tracks of the MSN program are available as post-master’s certification tracks. An MSN-prepared nurse can pursue certification as an FNP (nineteen credits), as a PNP (nineteen credits), as an NNP (twenty-five credits), as an WHNP (seventeen credits), and in Nursing Leadership (twenty-two credits). In addition WVU offers a post-master’s certification track that is not available as an MSN track: Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP). To become a GNP, a nurse must earn twenty-one credits. The classes for the post-master’s certification program begin in the summer and can be completed online.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

WVU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is only open to nurses who have completed an MSN degree and earned advanced practice certification. The curriculum consists of at least forty credits. Along the suggested course sequence, a nurse can complete these credits over the course of eight semesters. The final two semesters are devoted to clinical practice. DNP students must begin in the summer semester. Classes for the DNP program are all available online; students only need to travel to campus occasionally throughout the program. When it is necessary to meet with an advisor in person, students can go to either Morgantown or Charleston. DNP students can complete the clinical hours in a location that is convenient for them.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

On the Morgantown campus, WVU offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD in Nursing) program for nurse researchers and educators. The coursework for the PhD in Nursing program is not available online, but to make it more flexible for working nurses, WVU offers the coursework in the summer semesters. Over the course of four summers, spending six weeks at a time in Morgantown, students can complete the PhD in Nursing coursework. They also have the option of completing up to eighteen credits at a school closer to their home. According to the suggested course sequence, a student needs four full years to take the required courses. After completing the coursework, the PhD in Nursing student also needs to write a dissertation. The PhD in Nursing program is only open to nurses who have already completed an MSN degree.

Continuing Education

WVU is committed to providing continuing education for nurses and other healthcare professionals, allowing them to stay up-to-date with the rapidly changing healthcare field. The majority of the continuing education courses are offered through the WVU Health Sciences Center Office of Continuing Education in Morgantown; this office administers a wide variety of on-site and online courses, and regularly hosts conferences. The list of courses is constantly changing. However, WVU consistently offers an online Parish Nursing class, to train nurses to practice their skills within a faith setting. Graduates of the basic Parish Nursing class can progress to an advanced Parish Nursing class. In addition, WVU offers an advanced pharmacology continuing education class through the health sciences division in Charleston.

West Virginia University
1550 University Avenue,
Morgantown, WV 26506
Phone: (304) 293-0111