Master’s Degree

Nursing (MSN)

Advance your career with a master’s of science in nursing degree from a nationally ranked, accredited program. You'll prepare to succeed in the ever-evolving health care field.

Nursing MSN graduate student in clinical practice

Program Overview

In our flexible, powerhouse graduate nursing programs you'll be put on the inside track to advance your career with a master's of science in nursing (MSN) degree.

The Widener MSN program offers four concentrations: 

  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) CRNP
  • Nursing Education
  • Executive Nurse Leadership

Here, you'll join a nationally recognized program led by expert faculty with years of clinical experience who are committed to your professional and personal success.

The master's degree program in nursing at Widener University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Program Options

Become a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) to care for patients in the adult to gerontology population. In this program, you'll learn how to practice critical thinking, decision making, evidence-based practice, cultural competence and leadership skills in a number of settings. 

Step into an advanced nursing role by becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). This program will prepare you to provide care to patients in the adult to gerontology populations in acute care settings, including emergency and critical care environments.

Develop your skills to become a nurse educator in both clinical and academic environments.

Earn a degree that will allow you to transform the health care environment by leading as a nurse executive at the micro and macro systems setting.


  • Complete online application.
  • Application fee of $35.
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or equivalent from an accredited program.
  • Minimum of 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in a BSN program.
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions of higher education.
  • Completion of an undergraduate statistics/research course with a grade of C or better.
  • Two recommendations, preferably from professional nurses with graduate degrees, regarding applicant’s practice and potential for graduate work in nursing.
  • Valid U.S. license as a registered nurse. NP option requires PA State Board of Nursing licensure or as appropriate.
  • Satisfactory scores (550 written and 213 computer-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for all applicants from non-English speaking countries.
  • Personal Statement.
  • Updated resume.
  • GRE test scores.

Loading... in the course catalog.

The School of Nursing requires a passing score on the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Qualifying Examination. The CGFNS Qualifying Examination is a prerequisite for taking the Registered Nurse Licensing Examination in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

View application materials on the CGFNS website

  • July 15—for matriculation in the fall semester
  • November 15—for matriculation in the spring semester
  • April 1—for matriculation in summer sessions

Program Highlights

With an MSN degree, you'll leverage classroom and clinical experiences as you advance in your career.

Flexible Powerhouse Programs

Our flexible course delivery system makes it possible for you to fit any one of our master's programs into your busy life. Using a hybrid approach, classes are offered in-person and online so that they can work with your schedule.

Faculty Mentorship

Partner with nursing professors who bring years of clinical experience to the classroom. You’ll benefit from a student nursing community that is guided by close mentorship and one-on-one support from our full-time faculty. As you complete courses led by nurse leaders, you'll build a network that will follow you long after graduation.


Donna M. Callaghan

"My teaching philosophy has its roots in Bandura's Theory of Self-Efficacy. I believe that students learn (and clients change behaviors) through observing others perform activities, doing the activities themselves, having positive feedback provided, and having their anxieties decreased."

Shirlee M. Drayton-Brooks
Professor of Nursing

I ascribe to a pragmatic philosophy of teaching and learning. I believe that nursing education must be practical and logically aligned to the diverse needs of the population we served.

Paula A. Gray
Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing

"I am a proud graduate of Widener's FNP program and very passionate to teach, mentor and guide students to achieve their goals in becoming successful graduates of this program. The program is well known in the Tri-State area and beyond, and because of our certification pass rate and graduate's preparedness for the work-force, our graduates are able to be employed as APRN's very soon after graduation."

Rose Rossi Schwartz
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

"As a teacher, my role is to help students go beyond the facts. It is equally important to help students grow as people, support their professional and intellectual development, and to expand their world views. Through this growth process, students better understand themselves, their clients, and the clients' experiences."

Darrell Spurlock Jr.
Professor and Scholarship Director

"I teach because I believe sharing knowledge and stimulating thinking is a fundamental task of any discipline. I believe that education is change, and change is a constant human feature; education is, in this way, choosing to change. Though the focus of my scholarship and teaching centers on research methods, measurement, evaluation, and quality improvement, these knowledge areas form the bedrock of evidence-based practice—the kind of practice all health care professionals aspire to deliver to patients, families, and communities."

Nancy Laplante
Associate Professor

I consider myself to be compassionate and caring, and strive to engage my students in respectful dialogue. Teaching is a collaborative process between students and faculty, and there is a reciprocal relationship as we all learn from each other. As an advanced holistic nurse, I incorporate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in my teaching and seek to be a role model for my students.

Barbara J. Patterson

"As an educator, researcher, and student advisor, I am passionate about preparing the next generation of nurse leaders, educators, and scholars. I believe advancing the science of nursing education is dependent upon preparing doctoral students who question and explore how they teach while generating the best evidence for their teaching practices."

Kim A. Noble
Associate Professor

I believe that an education with a foundation in science is essential for entry into nursing or advanced practice nursing. Nursing clinical reasoning skills grow as students apply an understanding of disease as the loss of normal function.

Students have great variation in their manner in which they acquire, process, manipulate, store, and retrieve learned information. It is a faculty priority to assist students with the development of metacognitive strategies to assist learning success and retention.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

You will graduate with the expertise you need to lead as an advanced practice nurse to improve health care in a variety of settings.

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Cooper University Hospital
  • Main Line Health System
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
  • Crozer Keystone Health System
  • Christiana Care Health System
  • Einstein Medical Center
  • St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Certified registered nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse specialist
  • Nurse educator
  • Nursing executive

Industry Growth

Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how Widener can help make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.

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