The Washington State University Catalog

College of Nursing

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

College of Nursing

Dean and Professor, M. Koithan; Associate Dean for Academics and Clinical Associate Professor, A. Mason; Associate Dean for Research and Professor, J. Postma; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professor, D. Smart; Associate Dean and Academic Director–Vancouver and Professor, L. Eddy; Academic Director-Tri-Cities and Clinical Assistant Professor, B. Briggs.

The Washington State University College of Nursing was established in 1968.  Since its inception, the College has delivered excellent academic programs, engaged in research and service, and maintained strong partnerships with educational institutions and community healthcare organizations. The College functions as an integrated multi-campus system to develop and implement educational, research, and service initiatives.


The College of Nursing offers two pre-professional baccalaureate programs. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) pre-licensure undergraduate program is open to students beginning a nursing career. Students in this program complete approximately four academic years of full-time study.  The RN-BSN undergraduate program is open to registered nurses who completed an Associate Degree in nursing and who wish to obtain a bachelor's degree in nursing. Students in this program complete approximately one year of full-time study.

The program of study for both types of students leads to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Undergraduate nursing programs at WSU are approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission and nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

BSN Students

Students with no previous preparation in nursing may complete pre-nursing course work (first and sophomore years) at Washington State University (Pullman or Tri-Cities campus locations), Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, or another college or university. Pre-nursing coursework provides the student with a foundation in the natural and social sciences and the humanities. To apply for admission to the college, students must have at least 60 semester hours and all courses prerequisite to nursing completed the term prior to enrollment in the upper division.

The 300-400-level courses in the nursing major (junior and senior years) are offered at the College of Nursing in Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Yakima. These courses provide professional preparation in nursing, balancing course work with supervised clinical practice experiences in hospitals, healthcare organizations, and community settings.  Upon successful completion of the BSN program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®) to become eligible for licensure as Registered Nurses.

RN – BSN Students

Students who are Registered Nurses may apply to the RN – BSN  program at any time following the completion of their basic Registered Nursing education. The RN – BSN  is offered at Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Yakima WSU campuses.  The program builds on pre-licensure RN competencies and is focused on additional pre-professional nursing competencies that include, research, leadership, patient care quality and safety, informatics, and population health. The program is flexible, offering hybrid course delivery. A current, unencumbered Washington State RN License or eligibility for licensure is required. Applicants must be at junior standing (60 semester hours/90 quarter hours), have completed College of Nursing prerequisite courses and WSU’s University Common Requirements (UCORE) or equivalent course work.  To apply for admission, consultation with a nursing academic advisor is required.

Transfer Students

All students who plan to transfer to nursing at Washington State University from other institutions should discuss their plans early with their academic advisor so that the pre-transfer program of study will be appropriate to nursing degree requirements. The College of Nursing offers pre-enrollment advising at campus locations in Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Yakima for Registered Nurses who plan to obtain the BSN from Washington State University.

Student Learning Outcomes

Program outcomes for our BSN students are: 1) Formulate nursing practice decisions using the foundation of a liberal education and evolving knowledge from nursing science, the biological and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. 2) Apply leadership concepts, skills, and decision-making in the provision of high-quality nursing care, healthcare team coordination, and the oversight and accountability for safe care delivery in a variety of settings. 3) Integrate reliable evidence from multiple credible sources of knowledge including basic and health sciences to inform practice and make clinical judgments. 4) Demonstrate skills in using patient care technologies, information systems, and communication devices that support safety and quality nursing practice. 5) Demonstrate basic understanding of the role of nurses in advocating for patients, communities and populations in discussions related to healthcare policy, finance, and regulations. 6) Use inter-and intra-professional communication and collaborative skills to advocate for safe, evidence-based, high quality patient-centered care. 7) Demonstrate basic understanding of the role of health promotion, and disease/injury prevention in improving population health across the lifespan. 8) Demonstrate the values central to nursing practice including altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, advocacy, social justice and life-long learning. 9) Provide safe, competent, compassionate, ethical, culturally sensitive, and evidence based nursing care to individuals, families, groups, communities and populations through promotion, maintenance and restoration of health; prevention of illness, and physical, emotional, and spiritual support throughout the life span including end of life, and across the continuum of health care environments.


The Master of Nursing (MN)-Population Health program prepares students for advanced nursing practice in population health with an opportunity to earn Graduate Certificates in nursing education, public health, and organizational leadership.  MN students complete practica and capstone projects to demonstrate mastery of essential competencies, including systems leadership, quality and safety, evidence-based practice, informatics, health policy, interprofessional practice, and population health advanced practice. Students may be admitted to the post-baccalaureate Master’s in Nursing program after completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, or may enroll in the RN-to-Master’s in Nursing program after earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and a bachelor’s degree in a field related to nursing. Courses are offered in a hybrid format.  The MN program is offered at the Spokane, Tri-Cities, Yakima, and Vancouver WSU campuses. Most students complete the program in two to three years.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes for our MN program are 1) integrate scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics/genomics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings; 2) implement organizational and system leadership skills to promote high quality, safe patient care that emphasizes ethical and critical decision making and effective working relationships within a systems perspective; 3) articulate multiple elements of quality, including methods, tools, performance measures, and quality standards, and apply these within an organization; 4) apply research outcomes within the practice setting to resolve practice problems, and work as a change agent to disseminate these results; 5) use patient-care technologies to deliver and enhance care, including communications technologies to integrate and coordinate care; 6) intervene at the systems level through policy development, and employ advocacy strategies to influence health and health care; 7) communicate, collaborate, and consult with other health care professionals as a member or leader of inter-professional teams to manage and coordinate care; 8) apply and integrate broad organizational, client-centered culturally appropriate concepts when planning, delivering, managing, and evaluating evidence for clinical prevention and population care, including services to individuals, families, and aggregates/identified populations; and 9) articulate a broadly defined understanding of nursing practice as any form of nursing intervention that influences health care at the direct and indirect care levels for individuals, populations, and systems, coupled with an advanced level of understanding of nursing and relevant sciences that is integrated into direct and indirect nursing practice.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares students to be leaders in clinical practice and allows graduates to engage in advanced nursing practice. The DNP program provides students with opportunities to work in various health care settings under the guidance of experienced faculty mentors and community experts. An integral part of the program is the completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Project, which provides students with the knowledge and skills to use evidence and lead innovations in practice. DNP graduates are prepared to translate research and evidence into practice, lead interdisciplinary care teams, measure health-related outcomes, and improve the health of individual patients, groups, populations, and communities. Courses are offered on the Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver WSU campuses.

Prospective students who have earned the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree select one of three areas of emphasis in the DNP Program: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), or Population Health (PH). Along with completing required didactic coursework, students complete a minimum of 1,000 practicum hours. Graduates of the FNP and PMHNP programs are eligible to complete a national certification examination leading to state licensure as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners.

Prospective students who have earned the Master’s degree in Nursing can complete their DNP degree and may apply to add an additional specialty (FNP, PMHNP, PH). 

Admission to the DNP program is granted based on 1) admission to the WSU Graduate School; 2) undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate GPA >3.0; 3) written interview responses. Eligibility for Graduate School admission includes: 1) Cumulative GPA >3.0; 2) three professional references; 3) written goal statement congruent with program's philosophy and focus. All applicants to the DNP program must be licensed as a registered nurse in Washington state (or, for international students, eligibility for licensure on admission with completion of process before first clinical/practicum course enrollment).

The Graduate Program Office in the College of Nursing provides program information to prospective students and support for current students, including assignment of faculty advisors and support for enrollment and progression.   

Student Learning Outcomes

We expect that DNP graduates: 1) Apply biophysical, psychosocial, behavioral, sociopolitical, cultural, economic, and nursing science to improve health care practice and delivery systems (DNP Essentials I, V,  and VIII); 2) Analyze organizational structure, functions and resources to improve the delivery of care (DNP Essential II); 3) Translate evidence-based research into practice to improve health care delivery and outcomes for all (DNP Essential III); 4) Use information systems/technology to support and improve patient care and healthcare systems  (DNP Essential IV); 5) Advocate for the nursing profession through the development, implementation and evaluation of healthcare policy (DNP Essential V); 6) Collaborate with other health professionals to improve health care access and health outcomes for individuals and populations (DNP Essential VI); 7) Advocate for ethical policies and practice which prevent illness, promote health and social justice, and reduce disparities for patient populations in urban, rural, and global settings (DNP Essential V, VII); 8) Apply advanced knowledge and skills within an area of specialized nursing practice (DNP Essential VIII).


The Ph.D. in Nursing program prepares nurse scientists who engage in research, scholarship, and discovery to advance the discipline of nursing.  Graduates are equipped to become leaders in nursing education and research, critical roles in today’s health care environment.

Students complete required coursework over 7 semesters using a hybrid approach to teaching/learning.  All students prepare a dissertation research proposal to meet requirements for the preliminary examination, and complete an independent research study. Courses are offered through the Spokane campus.

Students may apply as post-master's PhD (72 credits) or post baccalaureate (86 credits). The post-baccalaureate to Ph.D. program includes a “bridge year” consisting of two semesters of preparatory (Master’s level) coursework before beginning the traditional Ph.D. program with the next incoming cohort. Students may attend full-time study or part-time.  All Ph.D. students are assigned advisors who will help to individualize their programs of study and refine research interests.  BSN-Ph.D. students will also be closely advised during Year 1 by the program director to help them transition successfully to doctoral study.  International students are welcome in our Ph.D. program; please see

Admission to the Ph.D. program is granted based on: 1) admission to the WSU Graduate School; 2) graduate GPA >3.5*; 3) submission of scholarly work; and 4) phone interview responses (*mitigating circumstances resulting in GPA below 3.5 are considered). Eligibility for Graduate School admission includes: 1) Cumulative GPA >3.0; 2) 3 professional references; 3) written goal statement congruent with program’s philosophy and focus. All applicants to the Ph.D. program must be licensed as a registered nurse in Washington state (or, for international students, eligibility for licensure on admission with completion of process before first clinical/practicum course enrollment). 

The Graduate Program Office in the College of Nursing provides program information to prospective students and support for current students, including assignment of faculty advisors and support for enrollment and progression.   

 Student Learning Outcomes

We expect graduates of the Ph.D. in Nursing program to: 1) contribute to advancing nursing science and practice through clinical research; 2) analyze, construct, and test theoretical frameworks that guide nursing research design, methodology, data analyses, and the transfer of new knowledge into practice; 3) create effective interdisciplinary collaborations to foster research and the transfer of evidence-based knowledge into best clinical practices; 4) synthesize knowledge from a variety of disciplines to create research designs and methods for nursing science and to address ethical, social, cultural, political, and professional issues; 5) implement proven and emerging technologies to enhance nursing research and education; and 6) implement innovative research designs, methodologies, leadership skills, health education, and/or life style modification techniques to address the health care needs of vulnerable populations and disparities in the access to or delivery of health care.

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