Second MSN - Frequently Asked Questions

A Master’s of Science in Nursing 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 answers to our most frequently asked questions below.

For Additional Questions:

Contact: Amy Smith
Call or Text (509) 313-6243 or (866) 380-5323

General Questions

Why choose a Jesuit education?

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.

Is Gonzaga’s MSN program accredited?

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.

What MSN track options are available and what can I do with each option?

  • 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.

Should I complete a MSN or Post-Bacc DNP?

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.

Will the program prepare me to apply for a DNP program?

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.

What are the requirements for admission to the MSN program?

See most up to date requirements on the Application Requirements page.

How long do I have to complete my degree from the time I start?

You must complete your MSN degree program within five years.

Can I transfer credits that were earned in another graduate program?

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

The Course Experience

Is the program all online?

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.

What is the duration of each online MSN program semester?

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.

Are there any required campus visits?

Yes, the program requires on-campus immersions which vary by track option.

  • HSL track requires 1 immersion
  • 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

Can I continue to work during this program?

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.

Can I accelerate the program

No, we keep our classes small to maximize your learning environment, this does not allow you to accelerate your program.

How often will students have to log in to class?

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.

Does the online MSN use a cohort model?

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.

What type of support services are available?

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.

Will I need any special equipment for my computer?

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

Practicum Requirements

Will I have assistance with finding a clinical practicum site?

Gonzaga does have an extensive list by state where clinical contracts have already been established. Our Clinical Coordinator can assist and set up a contract with a new location if you would like do practicum work at a location not on that list and if it is approved by the Nursing faculty. Our faculty and staff will also provide guidance in finding appropriate practicum sites. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to arrange for a preceptor and practicum site.

Can I do the practicum hours where I work?

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.

Tuition & Scholarships

What is the cost of tuition?

The cost per credit is competitive at $955 for Health Systems Leadership courses and $1000 per credit for Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner courses.

How can I pay for my graduate degree?

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.

Are graduate student scholarships available?

The School of Nursing & Human Physiology offers scholarships every semester, funds permitting.  The internal scholarship is only available to students who have completed 18 credit hours.

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

Do you offer a military discount?
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.

For additional questions contact:

Amy Smith
Call or Text (509) 313-6243 or (866) 380-5323

Heather Schmitt
Call or Text (509) 313-6240 or (866) 380-5323

Program information is subject to change.