Master of Nursing

Non-nursing bachelor's degree

Non-nursing bachelor's degree

Experienced nurses with a baccalaureate degree in a major other than nursing must demonstrate competency in the two areas of leadership and community health.  Applicants must demonstrate skills and knowledge equivalent to those gained in a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and meet the admission requirements which include holding an active and unencumbered Washington State RN license.  To that end, applicants may submit written petition to waive on or more of the competencies.  Alternatively, students may take coursework to fulfill one or both of the requirements as discussed below. Contact the graduate adviser for questions.


Submit a petition for each competency when applying to the program. Each petition must demonstrate sufficient analysis, reflection, knowledge and experience in the following two areas:

  1. Leadership and Care Coordination
  2. Community health nursing 

If competency is not demonstrated, the following coursework meets the required competencies.

Submit your petition(s) and program application as early as possible. This way, if your petition does not get approved thus requiring you to complete one or both of the courses, you will have the option to enroll in the courses prior to the start of the MN program which can result in paying less tuition (you can pay the undergraduate tuition rate if taken prior to starting the MN program) and it will not require you to take the courses at the same time you are busy with your graduate work. Review the schedule of course offerings.


  1. Complete the petition form
  2. Answer the questions for each competency you are petitioning, collect two supporting letters from a professional nurse colleague. 
  3. Submit the materials to the graduate adviser. Supporting letters can also be sent directly to the adviser from the recommenders). Graduate adviser contact; Celinda Smith at You may reach out the adviser at any time for assistance. 

For the Leadership and Management petition

Answer each of the following questions in no more than five pages, double spaced, using 12 font and submit a supporting letter from a professional nursing colleague describing your leadership contribution to your organization or profession. 

  1. Describe how you have applied leadership concepts and skills to leading teams in the provision of care delivery and for the promotion of a positive workplace culture.
  2. Describe how you have been accountable for delegating to and supervising other team members.
  3. Give an example of working with an interprofessional team.
  4. Provide examples of using coaching, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills to promote effective teams.
  5. Describe a time when you have used data to facilitate coordination of care across the continuum of settings.

For the Community Health petition

Answer each of the following questions in no more than five pages, double spaced, using 12 font and submit a supporting letter from a professional nursing colleague describing your contribution and or experience related population-based practice.

  1. Describe basic principles of public health and population-based practice.
  2. Describe with examples social determinants of health to one or more diverse populations within a community.
  3. Provide an example of when you analyzed individuals, families, other small groups, and communities as interacting components of larger social, cultural, political, economic, ecological, and health care processes and systems; how did it shape your perspective?
  4. Provide an example of when you collaborated with a community partner and/or nursing colleague, and interdisciplinary professionals to assess, develop, coordinate, implement, and evaluate interventions for health concerns within specific communities. 
  5. Provide an example of when you explored (and for what use) the impact of local, state, national and global policies on the health of a specific community.

Petition insights

In addition to your description of your professional experience, expertise and education, your petition will be strengthened by the use of clear and specific examples. The following list should be of use to you as you prepare your petition. 

  • Submit your petition and program application early!
  • Review the schedule of course offerings in case your petition response requires you to take one or both of the courses. 
  • Course descriptions of academic, continuing education, or in service education courses
  • Clinical examples of research utilization or implementation
  • Health education activities
  • Community projects
  • Professional certification, when the exam or requirements for such certification includes knowledge of relevant content or skills
  • Committee leadership
  • Volunteer experience
  • Leadership in professional organizations

Updated December 2019