Western Governors University

Salt Lake City based Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, non-profit institution that has educated students since 1999.  The institution began as an idea at the Bipartisan Western Governor’s Meeting to address the growing demand and need for access to higher education.  The university focuses on responding to employment and societal needs and providing a cost-effective education so that all students may access their academic goals.

Overview of Programs, Certificates and Degrees

  • 1 online bachelor’s and 1 master’s degree program
  • Transfer credits are accepted; Students may earn credit based on personal and work experience
  • Financial aid, loans and grants are available

Online Nursing and Health Care Degrees Review

Western Governors University is based on a competency-based model in which students earn credit for their performance on assessments, tests and papers, rather than the time spent in each class.  Learning and program communities keep students in touch with each other and connected as they go through their course.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing

WGU offers pre- and post- licensure Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Degree Programs.  The pre-licensure program is new, very selective and available only to students in metro areas of 4 western states due to strict clinical requirements.  Because the program is based on competency units and not taught in a traditional sense, students can go through the course material at their own pace and on their schedule.  Students should be prepared to dedicate 20 hours per week towards their degree program.

Duration and Cost

The program tuition ranges from $6,500 to $13,000 and can be completed in as little as 18 months.  Program completion times vary based on the number of credits transferred in.

Online Master’s Degree in Nursing

Nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree and RN license in good standing are eligible for the online Master’s Degree in Nursing.  The program offers two specializations in Education and Leadership/Management.  Courses are not at all traditional and allow students to complete as much of their degree as possible in 6 month terms.  Students are given assessments, tests and papers to evaluate their degree progress.

Duration and Cost

The program can be completed in 18-24 months and students are charged less for completing their programs in a shorter amount of time as the institution bills by the session, not credit.  Program tuition ranges from $9, 750 to $16,250.  Tuition is $13,000-$26,000 and typically requires 4 years to complete for the RN to MSN program option.


Faculty at Western Governor’s University do not teach, but serve as student and course mentors.  They also develop coursework.  All nursing faculty hold doctoral degrees.

Things to consider:

  • A practicum in your local community may be required to complete your program.
  • BSN (for pre-licensed nurses) offers very limited enrollment in only four states as the program requires offline clinical practicums.


WGU’s online bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Western Governors University
4001 South 700 East
Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107