Second MSN - Frequently Asked Questions

A Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from Gonzaga University will give you the leverage you need to advance your career as the demand for health care professionals reaches a critical need.

You will find our most frequently asked questions below.

Information is subject to change.

For Additional Questions:

Contact: Graduate Admissions
Call or Text (866) 380-5323

General Questions

Jesuits have been educating people since 1540. Gonzaga was founded in 1887 and continues to pursue a mission of educating leaders with the capacity for reflective and critical thought. Gonzaga’s master’s programs offer you the opportunity to pursue a degree that strives to educate the whole person: intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally.
Gonzaga is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The baccalaureate, MSN, and DNP programs at Gonzaga University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791.
You may transfer up to 9 credits to apply toward the completion of the MSN program. Transfer credits must be earned through graduate level courses that are not part of a conferred degree and are accepted at the discretion of faculty.
  • MSN in Health Systems Leadership (HSL) – Nurses typically work as nurse managers, directors, CNO’s and more. They are able to provide clinical and professional leadership and facilitate system improvements.
  • MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) – Nurse Practitioners provide a holistic approach to primary care for individuals and families of all ages and manage a wide variety of acute and chronic health problems.
  • MSN as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) – Nurse Practitioners provide a full range of services that comprise primary mental health care in diverse settings with a variety of clients/patients.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has recommended that the DNP become the new standard for advance registered nurse practitioners. While both a MSN and DNP degree currently qualify you to sit for the certification exam, the Post-Bacc DNP program will ensure you meet all licensing requirements when future changes go into effect. Our Post-Bacc DNP program is a great option for students desiring to become nurse practitioners. It will take you from your bachelor’s degree all the way to a terminal degree in nursing in less time than separately completing our MSN and Post-Master’s DNP programs.
Currently, the MSN in Health Systems Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner tracks will prepare you to apply for Gonzaga University’s Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. Students who are seeking further education should check the individual DNP/PhD program requirements for the various schools of interest.
You must complete your MSN degree program within five years.
Graduates of the MSN program can request a verification of education (VOE) letter by emailing:
We are happy to complete verification of education (VOE) forms throughout your career.  Please email: with your request.

The Course Experience

The courses are online. You do not have to log on at a certain time of day. You will complete 360 practicum hours in your local area for the Health Systems Leadership option and 600 hours in the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner options. Additional on-campus, weekend immersions are required.
The MSN core classes are 8 weeks in length. Track specific courses are offered as 16 week courses during the Spring and Fall semesters and 12 week courses during the Summer semesters. Throughout the program, students take a mix of 8 week, 12 week and 16 week courses.
Yes, the program requires on-campus weekend immersions which vary by track option.
  • PMHNP track requires 5 immersions
  • FNP track requires 6 immersions.
  • Immersions do not typically start until halfway through the program, with 1-2 scheduled per semester
Yes, our program is designed for working professionals and the majority of students are able to continue working as they attend full-time.  However faculty highly recommends that you work part-time (maximum of 20 hours a week), once clinical hours begin. You will have the flexibility to adjust your progression plans.
No, we keep our classes small to maximize your learning environment, this does not allow you to accelerate your program.
The MSN program has deadlines for completing and submitting work, but no scheduled times for you to be logged into your class. You will enjoy the flexibility of having 24/7 access to online learning materials and benefit from discussion forums.
The MSN program does not use a cohort model. The program allows you the flexibility to slow down your progression plan as long as you complete degree requirements within five years.

The Student Services team is available to answer your questions and connect you to the resources you need.  You will also be assigned a faculty advisor to help you meet your academic goals.

Online students have access to all of Gonzaga’s resources including:

  • Foley Library
  • IT Help Desk
  • Career Center
  • Grad Student Association
  • Disability Access
  • University Ministry

We are all here to help you succeed.

You will need a headset with a microphone as well as Microsoft Office. The online format is also Mac compatible.

Practicum Requirements

We are committed to ensuring adequate and robust practicum experiences for our graduate students. Clinical placements are secured through a process shared by staff, program directors, students, faculty and clinical agencies.

Our Clinical Placement Team is dedicated to helping students secure sites and preceptors, as well as with processing contract/legal documentation required to clear students for clinical placement.

As an initial step in the process, students will proactively engage with their local providers to identify potential preceptors. The Clinical Placement Team will work with students to finalize clinical placements and preceptor experiences to meet course requirements.

The Department of Nursing maintains affiliation agreements with many facilities and providers across the western U.S. to support practicum learning experiences.

Students are responsible for their own transportation to clinical sites and should include this cost when calculating and planning for their educational expenses and scheduling demands.

You are encouraged to find practicum locations outside of your current facilities in order to learn, grow and have additional networking opportunities. With faculty approval, you can complete practicum hours at your place of employment. However, a preceptor may not be your direct supervisor, practicum hours must be separate from worked hours and practicum experiences must be performed on units other than where you work.

NP Licensure Information

Yes, you can get 6-9 credits waived for past course work. The faculty will need to review the course work, including a syllabus to determine any waivers.
Depending on the first MSN you were granted, you may be required to take 3 specific courses and a practicum to make sure you are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification.

You must meet the ANCC board certification requirements. You will need to verify that you have taken the following courses Advanced Practice Pathophysiology, Advanced Practice Pharmacology, and Advanced Health Assessment.

If you have taken the courses or their equivalent at any institution, including Gonzaga on or before 2015, you will need to supply a syllabus from the institution where you took the courses for faculty to evaluate if they meet current ANCC certification requirements.

Gonzaga offers these courses based in the LACE Model which meets ANCC certification requirements. LACE stands for Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, Education.

If your previous courses were not based in the LACE Model, you will be required to take these courses at Gonzaga to meet the ANCC certification requirements. This could add up to 9-10 credits to your course progression and extend the completion time by up to 2 semesters depending on which courses you need.

If you have not taken these courses in the LACE Model, the ANCC will likely determine that you do not meet the eligibility requirements to take the board certification exam.

Gonzaga is requiring these courses to ensure you are eligible to take the exam.
Yes, there is a possibility other courses may be required or added to your progression plan depending on the content of your first MSN program. The faculty will evaluate and make the determination based on both your official transcripts and submitted syllabi.
If you cannot provide this information by the time your application is reviewed and if admitted, you will be required to take these courses at Gonzaga, and they will be part of your course progression plan.
Unfortunately, due to ANCC’s test eligibility requirements, if you cannot obtain your syllabi by the time your application is reviewed and if admitted, you will be required to take these courses at Gonzaga, and they will be part of your course progression plan.
The ANCC is the American Nurses Credentialing Center. It is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. According to its website “ANCC's internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas.” You can learn more about ANCC on its website.
LACE stands for Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, Education. According to the ANCC website, the center collaborated with over 40 nursing organizations to address the inconsistency in APRN regulatory requirements throughout the U.S. and came up with the LACE Model to address these inconsistencies.

You can learn more about the LACE model on the ANCC website.

Tuition & Scholarships

The cost per credit is competitive at $1,130* per credit for Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner courses.
There are some fees associated with the program and you can find a list here.

*Tuition rates subject to change.

We have a number of resources to help you fund your education.

As a graduate student you qualify for Federal Student Aid. This funding is not need based, go to your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Gonzaga also offers payment plan options and other financial resources.

The School Health Sciences offers scholarships every semester, funds permitting.

Gonzaga’s Financial Aid Office also maintains a database of scholarships for students to access, search and apply for awards.


For HSL students we offer a 10% discount to active members of the military and their spouses, as well as to veterans. View complete information here.

Program information is subject to change.