Western Governors University Reviews - Master's in NursingSee reviews of all programs at Western Governors University
I would not recommend WGU. This school sounds great at first based on price and time. That's what I thought at first however, no one told me how unorganized and how inappropriate the amount of work there is. First they begin you with a leadership communication class that everyone is mandated to take, it is a live cohort class that meets every week, twice a week for two hours and the only available times are based off the instructors schedule. This means it can vary from each week. It is not geared towards full time employees, they don't take in consideration of the time zone changes. this is just the very first class, might I add how they also claim to be designed for full working/ family men and women. This is untrue they are very strict and not flexible with hours. Most of the "credits" or CUs do not transfer to any other school which they claim they do. Also, once you get into the real courses the instructions are very unclear and most are hidden within the course that makes you find them. They aren't teaching you be better writers, they have your numerous papers sent to a third party to "unbiased" grade it. They literally have a rubric in front of them and they are skimming your paper to look for keywords. If those keywords are clearly stated (which they aren't in the task instructions) they will reject your paper. It's frustrating because you're not being graded on the content of your paper rather than the keywords. these aren't just 3-4 page papers either, these are 15 page research that require so much time and hard work and it doesn't matter. Plus I think the amount of these papers are disproportionate especially at the undergrad level.
I'm only a third of the way through the program and the only reason I'm struggle through trying desperately to finish is that my hospital is picking up most of my tuition. This program is only for those who need the letters after your name, nothing else. You would think this program is still in development by the inconsistencies and general vagueness that all communications from the university and course documents are written in. The first course alone had 3 different instruction sets for the final paper, which really cannot be define as a paper but rather 4 writing assignment chopped together with an introduction and a conclusion, and then it had a totally different set of parameters being used to grade it on the grading rubric. Everything within the course of studies for the classes are hard to find and unorganized, and this is somebody whose taken online classes before for higher certifications. Other colleges may require more discussion boards and time consuming busy work, which WGU does not, but I would still say explore those other options.
I cannot award enough praise to WGU and the online program offered. It is defin the best bang for your buck and in addition you can go as slow or as fast of a pace as you wish/have time for! The Program Mentors can be described best as your coach or cheerleader throughout the program. You will get the sense that you are the most important student to them. The Class Instructor Mentors were wonderful, approachable, knowledgeable and very helpful in any situation. They offer Webinars that feel like you are in class when you actually are sitting home all cozy in your jammies! Oh yes, and the Webinars are optional. You can choose to watch recordings of them anytime at your leisure. I gave them 5 stars because they offered great payment plans. Again, financial department excellant, library excellant.....you get the idea. :-)
Don't believe the negative comments....it just amazes me how you can get someone totally disrespect a school and then go through it yourself and say...What is wrong with that person????? WGU is an awesome school and is tough but thorough and worth it!!!
After 20+ years as an RN and many years of internal debate, I finally decided to go back to school. I chose WGU because of the self-pace and very reasonable cost. I started and completed the entire Master's program in 18 weeks. (That's not a typo). I am very self-motivated and basically committed 6-7 days per week including evenings and most of the weekends in order to get it done so fast. It was not easy and I learned a great deal. However, much of my experience/employment was applicable and I was easily able to relate to the assignments. My Student Mentor, Clarissa, was awesome. The Course Mentors were helpful with anything I needed. The Cohort (live classes) were excellent and definitely offered clarity on where to study and focus and gave opportunity to ask questions. The program was very time consuming but heck, 18 weeks of pain, dedication, and tremendous focus and I'm DONE. I absolutely LOVED this program and highly recommend it. I also have 3 children, a hubby, and also had many personal project going on at the same time and still was able to complete the program that fast. Zero dollars out of pocket for me as my employer reimburses up to $5k per year to employees for furthering their education. Woo hoo!!!
I'm reviewing the Masters in Nursing but I did also complete my BSN at Western Governors. (If I were reviewing the BSN program, I'd give 4 to 5 stars). I would recommend this school for your BSN. If you are considering your MSN, I would tell you to look elsewhere. I took a year to complete my Masters at WGU. Some of the courses were really difficult, others were extremely weak. My focus was Masters in Nursing Education but I do not feel at all prepared to call myself an educator after this program. Their Pathopharmacology course was a joke, and there was minimal work in the way of learning specifically about nursing education. I've seen reviews on the WGU Facebook page from nurses who are boasting that they finished in 3, or 6 months. There is no way that these people are truly getting a masters level education in this manner. If you want to just have MSN after your name, but don't care what else you do with your career, go here and save some $$. I would imagine (and hope) this school won't have it's accreditation forever at this rate. If you want to go on to a Post-Master NP program definitely don't go to WGU. Their PASS/FAIL way of grading is not well-received by any reputable programs. WGU advertises that a PASS is equal to a 3.0 GPA but when your transcripts are sent to another institution, that isn't made obvious to them and they will deny you. The same Pathopharm. course I mentioned earlier also will not be accepted (Thankfully, because it was terrible). I was accepted to one of the FNP programs that I applied to but I had to do a lot of leg work to make them understand WGU's grading system. Other school aren't even interested in hearing about it.
WGU is a very good school. I can assure those reading that this is not a fake review, as someone accused of below. The course of study is rigorous and is HIGHLY dependent on self motivation. If you are able to set and honor your own goals, you will do well with WGU. If you require structure to help you achieve your goals then this school will be more difficult for you. One is not better than the other, simply different learning styles. That being said, I am more door #2 and I have managed to get my BSN and my MSN within three years through WGU. Initially I applied and was accepted to UTA for my RN to BSN. I found that program poorly run with poor student support. WGU tempted me by the affordable price. Tuition is a flat rate regardless of how many classes you take, allowing you to accelerate your program without additional cost to you. Online books are included in tuition, eliminating one of the more major expenses involved in seeking a college education. I was also drawn to the mentor program. Having someone to hold me loosely accountable and to discuss frustrations with was very good for me. The coursework is excellent. For the RN to BSN or RN to MSN programs, you must be working as a nurse to be accepted into the program. This is an important distinction. Critical thinking is absolutely required to be able to pass the exams. Independent study is a vital part of this program. Not all material on the exams are covered explicitly in the coursework; this is where working knowledge and critical thinking come into play. There is nothing on the exams that you should not be able to figure out as an RN working in acute care. However, that is also one of the downfalls of the program; it is very much geared toward those nurses who work in acute care. As we all know, not all nurses do. I personally found the exams to be very similar to NCLEX and, while rigorous, not out of the ordinary for our career field. I do have five years of recent acute care experience and I do feel it made a big difference in my ability to pass the exams. I liked that I could essentially "test out" of courses in which I had the knowledge to pass without wasting weeks of time studying redundant materials. As a student, you are assigned a personal "mentor", who is an MSN or higher level nurse. Every course also had two to three class mentors, who were also MSN or higher nurses. Graders are required as well to have advanced degrees. My personal mentor has seen me through the good, the bad and the occasional ugly meltdown. The course mentors were, without exception, simply amazing. Reaching out to them was intimidating to me the first time. I never hesitated again after that. They were accessible, approachable, kind, knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile each and every time. WGU has an excellent digital library for students to access for research purposes and a writing center to help clean up those papers before submitting for grading. They take care to avoid those who would cheat by plagiarizing others by scanning all submitted papers into TurnItIn, a database of published and student works. Papers over 30% match do not pass muster. I never had one rank more than 11%. The average age of my graduating class was 40. There were a lot of us who are working parents. It was a diverse group of people at our graduation ceremony, which was super special and very well done. The competency based program is gathering steam and beginning to be offered by other institutions now. WGU is the first of its kind and it was, without a doubt, a way to make going back to school easier, more manageable and more affordable for those of us who did not do this early in life. Cons I encountered included the absolute need for self direction (which ultimately has helped me grow, but it did make things hard), shifting coursework changing up expectations from students from semester to semester and at one point being advised to skip doing a couple of classes I was enrolled in because they were changing. With those, I was told they would reflect as an "incomplete" on my transcript, thus not impacting my GPA. Unfortunately they did not honor my good faith following of those instructions and now sit on my transcript as "not passed", which equates to an F. That has me upset, as it may limit my ability to get in for NP school. My complaints regarding this have gotten lost in the bureaucracy without an advocate for getting it resolved and fixed. I have been told there are no "incomplete" grades or "withdrawn" grades on WGU transcripts, so be aware, you cannot quit in the middle and negate the impact of it. Once you are signed up, you are either going to pass or not. There does seem to be some disorganization as the school works out their rapid growth. In all, I think WGU is a good option for those who are able to follow the program, critically think and discipline themselves to do the work. The coursework is definitely in line with current evidence-based practice guidelines and is staffed by admirable nurses who have achieved already what we are studying to become. I am proud of my degrees from WGU. I am not proud, however, of my transcript given the two grade I did not earn nor deserve. I do recommend this program, but go into it with open eyes.
THE WGU experience was great in proving my potentiality. A BSN and MSN in nursing was achieved. The online experience is not for everyone and the individual has to be committed to hard work, long hours, creativity, and submission to Mentors. Utilization of the Mentors, professors, IT Dudes/Dudetts, Student Services and the Library staff was the success of my completion. Everyone was always eager to help and assist in my success. The Math Team that assisted with the statistic course was the best! I look for the WGU way in everything I do. I want more and am awaiting for more creative programs to come. The professors were highly qualified and instrumental for success. Taskstream was an interesting tool and eventually mastered and appreciated. Truly loved the capstone project and the Resource Team assigned. I talk the WGU talk to every adult that wants to go back to school. Of course, it was very affordable. Success is dependent on giving 100% of one's self, seeking 100% from the resources, never give up and Always Always Listen to the Mentors. If the Mentor doesn't click, request a new one. Thank you WGU.
WGU allowed me to obtain this degree with great flexibility regarding schedule. I could not have graduated from a program with hard deadlines due to my demanding job. I found course mentors to be variable, just like any other school. Some were terrific, others...meh. The content of courses is very similar to what my colleague got at a brick 'n mortar, high profile school here in Michigan, I am very grateful I don't have her loan! It is possible to pass without doing much reading, but I have learned this is true for non-clinical MSN's at other schools too.
HORRIBLE SCHOOL!!!!!! WGU is an absolute nightmare and a joke of an education. They have serious technical issues with their software that need addressed immediately. On 2 separate occasions technical difficulties interrupted my exam which caused me to lose the entire thing. I could have bursted out in tears when it happened. I spent nearly two hours working on a Statistics exam when this happened. The follow up I received was that it was a Bandwidth problem on my end. Sorry but I am not buying that crap both times it happened was when I was nearly finished with an exam. I have excellent high speed internet service through Fios and a brand new laptop it is not my issue. The course mentors must be taught to delay students to re-take an exam, I am assuming it is a financial thing since the cost of the school goes by term and not courses. My course mentor for Statistics would not let me re-take the exam for weeks until I received 100% on the "re-mediation plan". The course mentor sends you all of this material that isn't even required to complete. WGU's hours are not friendly to people who work on their course work and exams in the evening hours. Think twice before enrolling in this school, the bad reviews about this school unfortunately are correct. They claim the school is accredited but the creditors aren't even well known. Pathetic!!