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why WSU?

History of Excellence

The WSU College of Nursing was established because our early leaders had the vision and foresight to understand the role that baccalaureate-prepared nurses would play in improving healthcare. Originally called the Intercollegiate College for Nursing Education, our name has changed over the years but our commitment to providing exceptional nursing education has never wavered. The college has continuously responded to the region’s healthcare needs.

Preparing the Frontline Workforce: BSN-prepared Nurses

Sixty percent of BSN graduates in Washington state are WSU College of Nursing alumni. Our rigorous program helps ensure that our students continue achieving high passage rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam for first-time candidates. The post-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) program educates RNs wanting to advance their nursing knowledge, broaden their perspective of clinical practice, and enhance their leadership potential. Provided in a face-to-face and online format, students benefit from access to WSU faculty and a cohort model comprised of fellow nurse colleagues.


Preparing Nurse Leaders, Nurse Educators, and Healthcare Administrators

Over the years, our graduate programs have evolved to meet the healthcare needs of our state. The Master of Nursing in Population Health prepares two types of nurses: Leaders and Educators. Our Master in Health Policy and Administration (MHPA) serves a broader range of professionals, preparing students for leadership roles in healthcare management and policy.

The Highest Level of Knowledge and Practice: the DNP & PhD

Graduates of WSU’s nurse practitioner programs (DNP) in Family Practice and Psychiatric Mental Health consistently earn outstanding scores on national certification exams. Alumni work in rewarding careers in private practice, clinical settings, outpatient settings, and public health. Our PhD program embraces mixed methodology and is home to a diverse group of interdisciplinary faculty. Launched in 2007, these students and alumni have contributed and disseminated research, impacted health policy, and secured funding for future research and grant work.


Multiple Campus Sites Across the State

To help address the need for highly competent nurses throughout the state, the College of Nursing offers degree programs at WSU campuses in Spokane, Richland (Tri-Cities), and Vancouver, and classrooms in Yakima and Walla Walla. Degree programs vary by site.

Accessible Faculty

In the College of Nursing, faculty not only teach our students – they guide and mentor them every step of the way. Using innovative, evidence-based teaching approaches, faculty and students explore the latest developments in healthcare. A focus on interprofessional work helps foster strong relationships with a variety of healthcare professionals including pharmacists, physicians, and therapists. In addition to teaching and mentoring, many of our faculty are engaged in research, practice, and community outreach and engagement.


Flexible, Relevant, and Hands-on Learning

Healthcare delivery, practice, and policy is evolving, along with patients’ acuity becoming increasingly complex. Our state-of-the art Clinical Performance and Simulation lab gives students in all programs opportunities to develop knowledge and skills using simulated and standardized patient experiences, connecting classroom learning with real-life clinical experiences. Using WSU’s Academic Media Services tools, students can attend class in person, participate in live video lectures, or view streaming lectures at convenient times for them.

WSU is collaborative institution, partnering with fellow health science universities, colleges, and programs; healthcare facilities; community-based programs and research institutions.


Discovery happens here.

With strategic leadership and thoughtful stewardship, the research portfolio at the college has steadily grown to average $4.99 million per year for the past 4 years. Research faculty focus on a variety of healthcare-related issues including rural mental health, substance abuse, addictions, geriatrics, environmental health, transitional care, underserved populations, cultural competency in nursing, and childhood obesity.


A Pulse on the Community

WSU nursing students understand the connection between helping improve population’s health and meeting communities where they are. Faculty regularly partner with community organizations to help reach families and individuals at community centers and events, schools, summer camps, and underserved areas. During these activities, students practice nursing skills and delivering patient-focused care with fellow students. Over the years, our students have facilitated flu shot clinics, provided low-cost sports physicals, worked at Camp Stix – a camp for kids with diabetes – and volunteered at camps that engage underserved high school and middle school students, introducing them to future careers in health sciences.


Community Connections

The college couldn’t be successful in preparing well-rounded nurses without the support and commitment of healthcare partners and preceptors in the community. Baccalaureate students are required to complete 700+ hours in hospitals, community clinics, and healthcare delivering sound patient care and practicing skills under the guidance of faculty. Additionally, a 4-week senior practicum is completed working alongside practicing nurses. Graduate students rely on more than 400+ statewide preceptor nurse volunteers to provide them with time spent shadowing and delivering care to actual patients.

Washington State University