Is WGU's Nursing School Worth It? Nurses Review

8 Min Read Published September 6, 2022
Is WGU's Nursing School Worth It? Nurses Review

Image via WGU

Western Governors University* (WGU) Nursing offers two pathways to help students earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and start practicing as a registered nurse. Students with an RN can earn a BSN in as little as 24 months by completing 23 courses. Those without a nursing background or bachelor's degree can earn their BSN in as little as 36 months!

In addition to a BSN, the college offers other nursing programs including multiple MSNs, RN to MSN programs, as well as two certificate programs. In 2020 alone, over 16,000 students graduated with a BSN degree from WGU.

Read on to learn more about WGU’s  nursing program and if it’s right for you.

Nurse.org may be compensated by some of the nursing schools we review. However, this does not affect our review process or the ratings these schools receive. All reviews are created independently by our editorial team. We review partner schools as well as schools we do not work with.

Stats 

Private or Public: Private

General Tuition: $3,998 to $6,430 per term

Acceptance Rate: 100%

NCLEX Pass Rate: 90-100% depending on campus

Application Deadlines: Rolling

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Diversity: 

  • Graduates of Color: 23%

  • First Generation College Students: 35%

  • Rural Residents: 17%

  • Low-Income Households: 13%

  • Female: 69%

  • Male: 30%

  • One or More Underserved Populations: 62%

Contact Information

Additional Info:

  • Job placement rates post-graduation: 

    • 97% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

    • 98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.

    • 95% of employers said that they would hire another WGU grad.

  • Total number of students: 119,618

  • Graduation rate: 32.1%

  • Student/faculty ratios: 41:1

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Nursing* (Pre-Licensure)

  • Tuition: $6,430 for the first term and $7,616 per clinical nursing term

  • Program Length: 36 Months

  • Online Options Available? Hybrid

RN to BSN completion program*

  • Tuition: $3,998 per term

  • Program Length: 24 Months

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Management (BSN to MSN)*

  • Tuition: $4,367 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 24 Months

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

MSN Nursing Informatics BSN to MSN*

  • Tuition: $4,367 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 24 months

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

MSN – Nursing Education (BSN to MSN)*

  • Tuition: $4,367 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 24 months

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

MSN Nursing Leadership and Management (RN to MSN)*

  • Tuition: $3,998 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 42 months

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

MSN Nursing Informatics RN to MSN*

  • Tuition: $3,998 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 36 months

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

MSN Nursing Education RN to MSN*

  • Tuition: $3,998 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 42 months 

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN to MSN)*

  • Tuition: $5,925 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 36 months 

  • Online Options Available?  Yes with an in-person clinical component

MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (BSN to MSN)*

  • Tuition: $6,350 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 36 months 

  • Online Options Available?  Yes with an in-person clinical component

Nursing Education Post-Master’s Certificate*

  • Tuition: $4,367 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 12 months 

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

Nursing Leadership and Management Post-Master’s Certificate*

  • Tuition: $4,367 per six-month term

  • Program Length: 12 months 

  • Online Options Available?  Yes

Specialties Offered

MSN

  • Leadership & Management

  • Nursing Informatics

  • Education

  • Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN (RN to MSN)

  • Leadership & Management

  • Nursing Informatics

  • Education

Is Western Governors University’s Nursing School a Good Nursing Program?

WGU’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for all bachelor's and MSN degree programs, which means that it adheres to the highest educational standards for nursing programs in the US. 

The BSN pre-licensure nursing program is currently approved by state boards of nursing in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. 

WGU has partnerships with healthcare employers who provide practice sites and clinical coaches to help teach and inspire you on your path to becoming a nurse.

What Do You Need to Get Into Western Governor University’s Nursing Program?

WGU’s nursing program has a 100% acceptance rate for students who complete the required application and education requirements. 

Students must submit the following for acceptance into the program:

  • Completed application.

  • $65 application fee. 

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA.

  • Take and pass the ATI TEAS Exam with a minimum total score of 60% and a reading subtest score of at least 60. Click here to learn more about the ATI TEAS Exam.

  • Submit a professional resume.

  • Submit a letter of intent.

  • Submit one professional letter of recommendation.

  • Submit official transcripts from all previous institutions that show completion of required prerequisites.

How Hard is the Nursing Program at Western Governors University?

Like every accredited nursing program, WGU’s nursing program is challenging and requires significant dedication to succeed.  Because the program is online, it does require a significant amount of self-motivation. Like any nursing program, some classes are harder than others. 

Furthermore, because the programs are self-paced and online, many students also work while completing degrees at WGU. This can present its own challenges for students.   

What Kind of Support Does WGU Provide?

WGU offers a variety of unique services and support for students. Beyond academic services, it also provides access to free counseling and support services for all active students. 

Through a partnership with WellConnect, WGU Night Owls can access online therapists 24x7. All services can be accessed through the Service Portal. Other services include, 

  • Personal Counseling

  • Legal Consultation

  • Budget and Debt

Online Resources available to students include, 

  • Legal forms
  • Financial calculators

  • Mental health information

  • Professional service referral

  • Family and caregiving resources

  • Smoking cessation assistance

  • Healthy recipes

Academic services include, 

  • The Writing Center

  • Center for Student Success

  • Learning Communities

  • The Information Technology Department/Helpdesk

    • 1-877-435-7948. 

    • Hours are (Mountain Time) Monday-Friday 6 a.m.–10 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Enter to Win Nurse.org's $1,500 "No Essay" Nursing Scholarship!

How Much Is the Nursing Program at Western Governor University?

WGU offers an online comparison tool to compare the tuition at WGU versus other major online institutions. Because many nursing students transfer in 50% of their credits, WGU calculates the cost of 2 years of tuition.

Many students at WGU receive a scholarship or financial aid. More than $23 million in scholarships was awarded in 2021. Scholarship information is easily available and accessible online. Students are highly encouraged to apply for scholarships through the website and then the scholarship committee will consider applicants for each opportunity and determine which is the most fitting. 

Is Western Governors University’s Nursing School Worth It?

Many students want to know if the cost of WGU’s nursing program is worth the expected salary, especially given the very high tuition, particularly for the BSN program. Some of the factors that students must consider before choosing a nursing program include:

  • The type of healthcare institution where you will be employed

  • The city and state will you live

  • Whether you work part-time or full-time

  • Whether you pick up overtime shifts or weekends (for a higher hourly wage)?

According to the WGU website, graduates see a salary increase of $18,200 on average, just two years after graduating. Within four years, that number grows to $25,900 for WGU grads according to a 2021 Harris Poll survey sent to 1,252 WGU graduates.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses earn a median annual salary of $77,600 per hour or $37.31 per hour. However, the range varies widely depending on many of the factors mentioned above. 

According to ZipRecruiter, nurse salaries range from $35,500 to $123,500, with an annual mean salary of $76,289.  Keep in mind that nurses who live in cities and states with a higher cost of living typically earn much higher salaries than nurses who work in more rural areas.

Another feature that may make WGU an excellent choice for some is that the university offers online courses that are available to students anytime; however, the students must complete their clinical component in order to fulfill the requirements of the program. Because of the flexibility of online nursing programs, students have the ability to work during the program which increases earning potential. 

What is Western Governors University’s Nursing School Transfer Policy?

WGU has a robust transfer student program. In order to transfer credits, all official transcripts must be submitted to determine transfer eligibility and how many credits will transfer. 

Most students that transfer have already accumulated enough credit hours to have an Associate degree. It’s important to note that some of the programs only allow a specific number of transfer credits. Before transferring, discuss with an admissions counselor.

Nursing students from an accredited program will receive 80 transfer credits at application and will have their transcript evaluated for up to 10 more transfer credits.

Western Governors University Nursing School Reviews

“I hadn’t been in school for so long, but having the work experience from being a nurse, I not only did well, I actually loved it. The courses were practical, and everything made sense.”

Keith Plant, B.S.N

"Western Governors University is an university that is invested in the success of their students. I did not think that I would do well with taking online classes because I was so used to sitting in class and taking notes. It has been over 10 years since I have been in a classroom. I was afraid that I would just be a faceless number and get lost in the shuffle if I did not understand any of the material in class…The university's instructors are so helpful and setting up one on one office time with your class instructor is a breeze. It takes just 2 minutes to get online and go to your course's page to sign up for predetermined times that fit your schedule. I also like the fact that as a new student I was assigned a mentor to help me navigate signing up for classes and figuring out how to plan my courses to successfully complete my degree. Now that I have experienced online classes with WGU, I have to confidence to pursue my education in a way that is convenient for my busy life!"

Kelli Locke 

More Nursing School Reviews

Explore other nursing schools to find the perfect school for you.

*Indicates an affiliate link. At no additional cost to you, Nurse.org may earn a commission if you click through and use this service.

Kathleen Gaines
MSN, RN, BA, CBC
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

Read More From Kathleen
Go to the top of page