Question: Are there any online WHNP programs that do not require the GRE for admission?

Answer: Yes! Whether an applicant is interested in a master of science in nursing (MSN), a postgraduate certificate, or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP), many online women’s health nurse practitioner (WHNP) programs do not require GRE scores to be submitted for admission.

Although many online WHNP programs do not require GRE scores, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is typically required. Some have a lower threshold of 2.75, while more competitive programs may expect a higher minimum GPA of 3.2 or 3.4.

Each program factors GPA into its decision of admission differently. For some, GPA is calculated from all previous university-level work completed at the undergraduate or graduate levels. For others, GPA is determined only from courses completed in nursing. Applicants will need to submit official transcripts from all previous postsecondary coursework to be considered for an online WHNP degree.

GRE scores may be required for admission in some exceptional circumstances, such as when a candidate does not meet minimum GPA requirements. Overall, each online WHNP program has unique admissions requirements that candidates should pay close attention to before applying.

In addition to proving academic GPA, online WHNP programs typically have prerequisite coursework requirements. Examples of common prerequisites for a BSN-to-MSN program include statistics, health assessment, and human physiology. Programs will often require that students complete this coursework with a “B” grade or higher. Those seeking a BSN-to-DNP may have similar admissions requirements.

Postgraduate certificates are designed for students who already have an MSN. Also, some online WHNP programs are open to RNs without BSN degrees. For example, students with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees who have not fulfilled prerequisites may be allowed to do so within the first year of the program or are put on a track where they complete needed prerequisites before commencing with degree coursework.

In all cases, the number of required credits will vary depending on a student’s prior coursework and degree desired.

Online WHNP programs also may require at least one year or two practical experience as an RN and an unencumbered RN license in the state in which the student plans to complete their clinical hours. Applicants need to submit a resume or CV to prove their work experience, and may also need letters of recommendation from past supervisors.

The level of education expected varies depending on the level of the program. RN-to-MSN “bridge” programs often require applicants to have an associate degree in nursing (ADN). However, in rare circumstances, highly experienced diploma nurses, LVNs, or LPNs, may be able to gain entry to an RN-to-MSN through a portfolio review. Those with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees can apply for an “accelerated” online WHNP program, and generally complete much of the fundamental nursing coursework during their first year.

BSN- and MSN-to-DNP programs typically admit students with a BSN from programs with accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Some online WHNP programs require admission into the university’s graduate school in addition to the school of nursing. In these circumstances, the graduate school may have GRE requirements or conditions atypical to most nursing-only admittances. In addition, while some WHNP programs clearly state that GRE scores are not needed, they may allow an applicant to submit GRE scores to strengthen an application.

Because requirements are so varied, it is essential that prospective students ensure they understand the application provisions unique to each institution by thoroughly reading the admissions pages of each program and by speaking directly with admissions officers.