College of Nursing
MSN for Non-Nurses: Advanced Practice Nursing Immersion

Program FAQ

  • Questions about the Program

    Q. Describe the APN Immersion program.

    This is a full-time program of study leading to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. After the first four quarters, you will be eligible to sit for the registered nurse licensing exam (NCLEX-RN). Students complete remaining graduate core courses and their specialty courses over the next 5 (advanced community public health, family, adult/gerontology, certified nurse-midwifery) or 8 quarters (psych). Graduates are eligible for national certification exams in their specialty.

    Q. How many students do you plan to enroll each year?

    We plan to enroll up to 55-60 students total. The number accepted per specialty varies between 10-20 students. 

    Q. Will I get a BSN at the end of the first four quarters?

    No. A notation will be made on your transcript that you have satisfied the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission requirements for the NCLEX-RN. That notation, plus a letter from the College of Nursing, will allow you to sit for the RN licensing exam.

    Q. Will I be able to work during the Immersion program?

    You should not plan on working during the first year of the program. The credit load is high in most quarters, and success will require that your main focus be on school. Many students work part-time during the second year, often as registered nurses. All jobs need to have flexible working hours to accommodate clinical schedules, which vary from quarter to quarter.

    Q. What is the NCLEX pass rate for students in the immersion program?

    All of the 2010-2012 APNI students (100%) passed the NCLEX. They took the exam after completion of the first year of the program, an NCLEX review course (in some cases), and individual study.

    Q. Will I really be prepared to practice as a nurse practitioner at the end of the program?

    Yes, you will learn the essential knowledge and skills from the undergraduate curriculum, and you will study the entire graduate nursing curriculum in your chosen specialty. You will lack clinical experience as a registered nurse, but the goal of the program is to prepare nurse practitioners and nurse leaders, not registered nurses. Immersion graduates’ rates of employment are the same or better than those of our traditional students who enter with registered nurse experience.

    Q. What is the job market like for nurse practitioners in the Seattle area?

    New graduates do not always get their first-choice job upon program completion. However, most are in the position they want within one to two years of graduation. Nationwide, nurse practitioners are in high demand.

    Q. How much will this program cost?

    Tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year is $678 per credit, so the tuition cost is approximately $75,936 - $77,970 for 112-115 credits. There are also nursing fees and technology fees. Books may cost nearly $3000 over the course of study. A smartphone, as well as a notebook computer are recommended. The approximate total tuition and fees costs for the course of the program: $85,000-$90,000.

    Q. I'm not sure I can afford that. Is there financial aid, scholarship, or teaching assistantship money available?

    You will be considered a graduate student for the entire length of the program, so you will be eligible for financial aid (i.e., loans) as a graduate student. We have several need- and merit-based scholarships for immersion students. In addition, we have scholarships available for people from ethnic minority groups that have been under-represented in nursing. Advanced Education Nurse Traineeships are also available. Additional information about scholarships is available on our website.

    Q. Would I be better off to get a BSN, work for a while, and then get an MSN through part-time study?

    The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. Factors you might consider include how certain you are that you want to be an advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner) or nursing leader versus a registered nurse, whether you need to work while going to school, and the amount of time you feel you can invest in school. If you know you want to be a nurse practitioner or assume a leadership role in health care and believe that a BSN is an unnecessary diversion for you, the immersion program may be right for you. However, if you wish to practice as a registered nurse, or are unsure of your ultimate goal, getting a BSN may be the best initial step for you.

    Today's reality is that entry to all nursing programs is competitive. The best strategy for many people may be to apply to both the BSN and the immersion programs. Once you know which program(s) you are admitted to, you can make the decision about which to pursue.