The Best Online MSN Programs

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Are you ready to take your nursing career to the next level with a master’s degree? Online MSN programs provide an opportunity for nurses to get the education they need to advance their career while continuing to earn an income. Read on to learn more about what you can do with an online MSN degree, and find the program that best aligns with your career goals.

With new healthcare legislation, increased emphasis on preventative medicine, and aging baby-boomers, demand for healthcare services for MSN graduates is expected to grow 31% between 2012 and 2022.

IS THERE AN MSN ONLINE WITHOUT A PRACTICUM?

Some MSN programs that are not clinical-based may not require a practicum. Most degrees that are clinically based require a practicum as a way for students to gain hands-on experience and show that they understand key nursing concepts. Read more here.

CAN YOU GET A NURSING DEGREE ONLINE?

Many schools that offer an MSN program offer it in a completely online format. Students should check with their prospective program to ensure there are no on-campus requirements. Read more here.

HOW TO EARN A NURSING DEGREE ONLINE?

First, students must meet admission requirements, which commonly include holding a BSN and having work experience. Students must also maintain a minimum GPA throughout the program, and many programs require students to complete a capstone project. Read more here.

ARE ONLINE NURSING DEGREES LEGITIMATE?

It’s important to check whether a prospective program or school is accredited. Accreditation ensures that minimum standards of education are met. Nurses should look for programs that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Read more here.

CAN YOU GET A JOB WITH AN ONLINE NURSING DEGREE?

Most MSN students already hold a BSN and have experience as an RN. Earning an MSN prepares you to earn a higher salary and obtain leadership positions in the field. Read more here.

Are you ready to take your nursing career to the next level with a master’s degree? An online master of science in nursing (MSN) degree will help distinguish you from your bachelor’s-holding colleagues and allow you to advance in your career more quickly. An online master’s in nursing will also prepare you for higher-level nursing roles that normally require a graduate degree, such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners.

Master’s in nursing online programs are geared toward nurses who plan to take on managerial or administrative roles at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. The curriculum combines classroom-based studies with practicum training at the hands of certified nurses. Most MSN programs require a two-year commitment, and allow you to earn a degree specialization in areas like clinical leadership or healthcare administration. You may also choose to complete an accelerated RN to BSN program; these programs are aimed at students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, and generally take three years to complete.

If you want to increase your earning power and ramp-up your skill set while you continue to work, an online MSN program is the first step to moving forward in your career. Read on to learn more about choosing an online MSN program and the career opportunities you can look forward to with an online master’s in nursing.

WILL AN ONLINE MSN PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY NURSING CAREER?

In most cases, students who are accepted into an MSN program have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The MSN builds on undergraduate studies by allowing you to develop expertise in particular areas of nursing. Generally, you can expect to take classes like statistics and data analysis, nursing research, nursing theory, medial information technology, health promotion, and clinical decision-making. Throughout the course of your MSN program, you will contribute to healthcare research, grow your professional network, and gain skills in management and leadership. You also get plenty of hands-on training from clinical practicum sessions.

WILL AN ONLINE MSN WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

MSN online programs are designed for convenience and flexibility; you can access course lectures and readings, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with your professors any time of day from the comfort of your home computer. Current technology also enables you to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other devices with Wi-Fi. When it comes to completing the practicum component, many programs will help you get set up at a site that’s close to your residence.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN MSN?

MSN graduates will qualify for dozens of jobs after graduation. Depending on your specialization, you may pursue work as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, or other specialized roles. You will also be well-positioned to pursue employment as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, medical and health service manager, and other titles that require a bachelor’s degree. Please note that most nursing roles that deal with patient care require state-issued licensure; more information about licensing requirements and procedures can be found in the ‘Careers’ section below.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MSN PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online MSN programs in the United States. If you are considering an online master’s in education, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific MSN requirements and offerings.

See Methodology
Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 Duke University RANKING SCORE 82.60 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 10% LOCATION Durham, NC

Duke's School of Nursing boasts scholars and clinicians dedicated to innovative healthcare. The North Carolina school's strategic areas of focus include research, clinical practice, global health, and nurse preparation. Nurses seeking to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can enroll in the school's 42-49 credit master of science in nursing, a comprehensive program with several APRN majors, three non-clinical majors, and a speciality option.

APRN majors can earn a degree in one of these focus areas: adult-gerontology nurse practitioner-acute care, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner-primary care, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner-acute care, pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care, psychiatric mental health NP, and women’s health nurse practitioner. The curriculum of each APRN major involves an 11-credit clinical core, major courses, and a supervised clinical residency. Nurses in this program can select specialties in cardiology, endocrinology, HIV/AIDS, oncology, orthopedics, or a veterans healthcare concentration.

All APRN students must make on-campus visits to Duke for some courses. During these two- to five-day intensives, nurses engage in face-to-face practice simulations with experts and faculty. Programs offer nurses experiential curriculum in rural or high-tech environments, extensive resources, and a comprehensive financial aid program. Admission requirements include a bachelor of science in nursing, a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA at the baccalaureate level, the GRE, at least one year of nursing experience, and licensure or eligibility for licensure in North Carolina or a compact state.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Adult-gerontology - acute care, adult-gerontology - nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner - acute care, pediatric nurse practitioner - primary care, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, women's health nurse practitioner
Tuition: $20,721/semester
Credit requirements: 42-49 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

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2 Georgetown University RANKING SCORE 82.39 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 15% LOCATION Washington, DC

Georgetown offers four accredited online master's in nursing programs in the following areas: adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery/women's health nurse practitioner, and women's health nurse practitioner program. All online master’s in nursing programs have the same rigorous admissions requirements: all students must be citizens or permanent residents, hold a BSN or similar certification, have a RN license, and have taken a statistics course to be considered. Georgetown is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner master’s program is a 40-credit, 23-month program that requires 600 clinical hours and three on-campus intensives. The program is designed for RNs with some acute care experience who are looking to pursue a more in-depth career. Students learn ethical decision-making and acute care strategies and will sit for the ACNP exam at the end of the program. In fact, 100% of Georgetown grads have passed since the program's inception.

The family nurse practitioner track prepares students for a primary care setting, where they will provide care for the wide range of family needs as a nurse practitioner. Georgetown notes this program emphasizes the “cure and care” culture of holistic healthcare. This 44-credit program can be completed in 19 months. The program includes 650 clinical hours and two on-campus intensives. There is also a part-time option for this program, which can be completed in 27 months.

The two women’s health tracks focus on primary care, prenatal, postnatal, lifespan care, reproductive care, and general medicine for women. The 44-credit women’s health practitioner track can be completed in 27 months with 768 clinical hours and two on-campus intensives. This program prepares students to shift from RN to nurse practitioner in a variety of healthcare settings. The midwife/women’s health practitioner track is 49 credits and can be completed in 27 months or seven terms, including more than 1,000 clinical hours and three on-campus intensives.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing & Health Studies
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner – board certified (AGACNP-BC), family nurse practitioner – board certified (FNP-BC), nurse practitioner – certified (NP-C), nurse-midwifery/women's health nurse practitioner (NM/WHNP), women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP)
Accrediting body: ACME, CAHME, CCNE
Tuition: $1,995/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: AGACNP-BC - 40 credits; FNP-BC - 49 credits; NM/WHNP - 49 credits; WHNP - 44 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours, intensives

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: AGACNP-BC - 23 months; FNP-BC - 27 months; NM/WHNP - 27 months; WHNP - 27 months
Program start dates: Fall, winter

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - June 19; winter - October 30
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (877) 910-4692
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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3 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center RANKING SCORE 82.02 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 37% LOCATION Lubbock, TX

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers a master's in nursing online that is ideal for students with a BSN who want to transition into a career in nursing education. All coursework can be completed online, with the exception of the practicum experience which must be completed in-person at a healthcare facility. Graduates are prepared to pursue educational positions in academic and practice settings.

The 42-credit MSN education degree consists of nine, three-credit courses on topics such as health informatics, health policy, pharmacotherapeutics for nurses, research, and more. Students must also complete 15 credits of speciality courses including four education classes and one practicum. Education classes cover a variety of topics, including leadership in nursing and comprehensive clinical care. Transfer credits are accepted as long as they were earned at a "B" grade or above.

Applicants to TTUHSC's MSN program must have a valid RN license and a BSN from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered. They must also submit transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, a resume or CV, and proof that they have completed an undergraduate statistics course with a "C" grade or better. The admission process also includes an additional essay question and an interview with faculty. The school notes that GPA is one of the most important factors for admission. This program offers two application deadlines throughout the year, in the late winter and late summer.

TTUHSC also offers online post-certificate programs for current MSN holders who want to earn a new credential. Distance learners at Texas Tech can take advantage of a variety of resources, such as online access to library books, journals, and databases. The TTUHSC School of Nursing MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Education
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $14,403/semester in-state; $18,075/semester out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: 42 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2+ years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: Professional nursing experience

Contact
Department phone: (806) 743-2730
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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4 Vanderbilt University RANKING SCORE 81.99 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 5% LOCATION Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and offers one of the best online master's of nursing programs in the country. The MSN in healthcare leadership program is designed for nurses who want to advance their career and become a leader in their healthcare institution. The program emphasizes business and management courses that are applicable to the healthcare field. Past graduates have gained leadership roles in community clinics, hospitals, corporate businesses, practice management organizations, and more. The program can be completed entirely online and can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. The 39-credit MSN in healthcare leadership consists of 13 separate courses on a variety of topics, including organizational behavior, health informatics, leadership, APN role with the U.S. healthcare delivery system, and quality improvement. Students must also enroll in two management practicum classes, which require 210 to 280 hours of field work and a project.

Applicants must have nursing credentials and a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered, although there are other acceptable option such as an ASN, or BA or BS with additional credentials. They must also provide three letters of professional reference, GRE scores, and a statement of purpose. The program is offered on a full-time basis with classes beginning in the fall semester each year. Vanderbilt’s online nursing master's program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission and the school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Vanderbilt has temporarily suspended admissions into their MSN program.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing - Healthcare Leadership
Accrediting body: NLN, SACSCOC
Tuition: $1,454/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN & 3 credits of statistics; or ASN or diploma in nursing & 78 credits in natural science, social science, humanities, English, statistics, nutrition, developmental psychology; or BA/BS in non-nursing field & 11 credits of natural science; Registered Nurse license (or eligibility for such licensure)
Credit requirements: 38 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical practica and/or preceptorship

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 1-3 years
Program start dates: Fall (full-time); fall, spring (part-time)

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Department phone: (888) 333-9192
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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5 Johns Hopkins University RANKING SCORE 78.80 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 47% LOCATION Baltimore, MD

JHU offers an online master’s of nursing program in health systems management that prepares students to pursue careers in leadership at hospitals, private practices, clinics, and educational institutions. This program teaches RNs how to use evidence-based decision making to make difficult, ethical, and informed decisions. Students who complete the program can sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center and American Organization of Nurse Executives exams. This RN to MSN online program includes additional coursework on healthcare policy, information technology, case management, and fiscal management.

Students enroll in 12 credits of core requirements on topics like ethics, applied research, healthcare in advanced practice nursing, and statistical literacy. Then they enroll in 24 credits of business, leadership, healthcare management, and health systems courses. Students must also complete four credits of management electives and a financial management seminar. Several courses include clinical components, which currently cannot be conducted in Massachusetts. The program can be completed in one year of full-time studies, with part-time options also available. Transfer credit is considered on an case-by-case basis and students should with their state of residence to ensure that the clinical requirement meets state standards. JHU offers a variety of resources to help students find funding through financial aid, scholarships, grants, or employment.

Applicants must have a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a current nursing license, as well as submit three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume to be considered. Graduates are eligible to apply for certification with the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. JHU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing - Health Systems Management
Available concentrations: Management & administration, information technology, health policy, case management/population management
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $1,591/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license, undergraduate statistics
Credit requirements: 41 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2+ years
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (410) 955-4766
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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6 George Washington University RANKING SCORE 75.06 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 30% LOCATION Washington, DC

George Washington University is a large, private university is headquartered just blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C. The school offers an online nursing master's program that allows students to a pursue one of six separate tracks: adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nursing leadership and management, nurse-midwifery, and RN-MSN.

The adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner track prepares nurses to become advanced practical nurses. The program teaches students how to care for teens, adults, elderly adults, and frail elderly patients. Graduates from this track are prepared to practice primary care medicine for a wide range of adult populations. The family nurse practitioner track also covers a wide range of populations, but also includes a focus on every member of the family and the family unit as a whole. The master's of nursing leadership and management program is designed for nurses who want to become administrators and leaders in hospitals, healthcare networks, large practices, and insurers. This program features a heavy business focus on topics like clinical practice management, human resources, marketing, finance, and economics.

The RN to MSN track allows students who have an RN and associate degree or unrelated bachelor's degree to earn a BSN or a MSN. The track allows students to earn a bachelor's of science in nursing in four semesters or an MSN degree in three years. All nursing programs at GWU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The master's in nursing programs are also approved by the Washington, D.C., Board of Nursing.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Registered Nurse to Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), family nurse practitioner (FNP), nurse-midwifery (NM)
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $1,295/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Associate degree in nursing, Registered Nurse license, CPR certification
Credit requirements: AGPCNP - 48 credits; FNP - 48 credits; NM - 47 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical practicum rotations

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: Professional nursing experience

Contact
Department phone: (202) 994-7901
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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7 Samuel Merritt University RANKING SCORE 74.79 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 20% LOCATION Oakland, CA

Founded in 1909, SMU prepares healthcare professionals through its campuses in California and through distance learning. SMU offers nurses a 49-credit master of science in nursing-family nurse practitioner (FNP) that immerses learners in the clinical expertise needed for family nurse practitioner licensure. FNPs sustain the healthcare system by providing patients with information about diseases and self-care, prescribing medications, and disseminating information about ways to stay healthy.

Full-time students complete the program in 20 months and three semesters of clinical practicum. Courses include research methods, advanced practice nursing, advanced pathophysiology, family-centered advanced nursing, advanced pharmacology, and advanced physical assessment and lab. Nurses in the program also learn how to address the medical needs of multicultural and underserved populations. SMU emphasizes personalized instruction delivered by clinically experienced and distinguished faculty. FNP candidates develop a final thesis or project demonstrating mastery of program competencies. The program's flexibility allows nurses to work full-time while earning their degree.

This FNP program aligns with the standards established by the the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. Admission requires RN licensure and at least one statistics course. Nurses must demonstrate an interests in working with people in underserved populations and provide proof of previous work experience. Nurses entering the master of science in nursing online live and work in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia. Classes start in May, September, and July, and students pay the same tuition rates regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. Ninety-eight percent of students at SMU receive financial aid.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $1,353/credit
Credit requirements: 49 credits
Program length: Under 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (855) 971-1213
Email: [email protected]

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8 Rush University RANKING SCORE 74.26 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 63% LOCATION Chicago, IL

Rush University prepares future leaders in healthcare through access to research, community services, and diversity initiatives. With a national reputation for clinical excellence, the Illinois College's School of Nursing offers an online, 37-credit master of science in nursing – clinical nurse leader program for RNs on a part-time basis. It prepares nurses in leadership who develop, implement, and evaluate research-based plans of care.

The two-year program incorporates online didactic courses, community clinical experiences, and two short campus visits. Courses in the program include studies in applied epidemiology and biostatistics; advanced pharmacology; evidenced-based practice; and healthcare economics, policy, and finance. A course in organizational and systems leadership focuses on organizational and leadership theories, ethical leadership principles, and clinical informatics. During the sixth term, nurses take a course to demonstrate clinical competency and use their clinical experience during a capstone project.

Nurses receive Clinical Nurse Leader certification by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing upon program completion. Some of the program's core courses transfer into Rush's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. RNs with baccalaureate degrees and RNs with an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field may apply to the master of science in nursing online. All applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and RN licensure in the U.S.

Students in this program receive the same tuition rates regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency, though the residents of Louisiana and Tennessee may not apply. The school is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Nurse Leader Program for Registered Nurses
Tuition: $1,066/credit
Credit requirements: 37 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE required if undergraduate GPA is below 3.25

Contact
Phone: (312) 942-7117
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Twitter

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9 The University of Texas Medical Branch RANKING SCORE 73.28 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 30% LOCATION Galveston, TX

UTMB is located in Galveston, Texas, and is a component of the University of Texas system. The school has become a global leader in the academic health sciences and offers an online master’s in nursing in one of seven tracks: adult/gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, acute/gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, executive nurse leader, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, and nurse educator. Graduates are prepared to pursue advanced nursing positions and make improvements to the healthcare policy.

Most online MSN tracks share a common core curriculum. UTMB MSN students take seven core courses on topics such as foundations of research, pharmacology, informatics, pathophysiology, and public policy. However, the ENL track has slightly different cores requirements. All students have access to specific nursing career services, including resume help, internship and career placement, and more. Students can transfer up to 12 credits into the program. UTMB helps local students find clinical placements for practicums in the Galveston area. Distance learners must find a facility in their area that meet some restrictions.

Applicants must have a bachelor's of science in nursing degree from a program accredited by either the NLNAC, CCNE, or another nationally-recognized nursing education accrediting body to be considered. There are also healthcare work experience requirements that vary from program to program. Applications are typically reviewed and answered within two months. UTMB is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and this program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Family nurse practitioner (FNP), adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP), adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), clinical nurse leader (CNL), executive nurse leader (ENL), nurse educator (NE)
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: Varies

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: FNP - 49 credits; AGACNP or AGPCNP - 49 credits; NNP - 46 credits; CNL - 43 credits; ENL - 39 credits; NE - 40 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours or preceptorship

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 3 years
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: January 15; CNL or ENL - March 15
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 1-2 years of professional nursing experience in relevant concentration area

Contact
Department phone: (409) 772-8271
Admissions email: [email protected] (Ned Pucek, Admissions

Contact)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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10 University of Central Florida RANKING SCORE 72.91 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 40% LOCATION Orlando, FL

UCF was founded in 1963 in Orlando, Florida. Today, the school serves more than 64,000 students annually and offers accredited online MSN program. UCF offers three tracks as part of the online MSN program: nursing leadership and management, nurse educator, and nursing and healthcare simulation. This online MSN program is perfect for working nurses and BSN degree-holders who want to earn more credentials to advance their career.

UCF’s online nursing program offers two main tracks: nursing leadership and management and nurse educator. The 36-credit nursing leadership and management track is perfect for students who want to become leaders and administrators in healthcare organizations. Students enroll in a variety of classes on topics such as organizational dynamics, financial management, research methods for advanced practical nurses, and other business courses. The nurse educator track consists of 38 credits split between 21 credits of nursing classes and 17 credits of education courses. This is track is ideal for nurses who want to learn how to teach in a classroom setting and transition into a career as a nursing educator.

This program offers application deadlines in both the fall and spring semesters. The school recommends that students check with their state requirements to ensure that they can study nursing at UCF. Applicants to UCF's online master's of nursing program must have a BSN degree and provide proof of license in their state of residence to allow for clinical work to be considered. They must also already have taken a statistics course as an undergraduate and submit an essay and CV. The University of Central Florida’s MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing leadership & management (NLM), nurse educator (NE), nursing & health care simulation (NHCS)
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $327/credit in-state; $1,152/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN degree, undergraduate statistics, Registered Nurse license in Florida or in state of practice
Credit requirements: NLM - 36 credits; NE - 38 credits; NHCS - 30 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2.5+ years
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - March 15; spring - September 15

Contact
Department phone: (407) 823-2744
Online programs email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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11 University of Southern California RANKING SCORE 71.00 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Los Angeles, CA

As the world’s first school to house a nursing program, USC's School of Social Work outpaces other leading institutions in nursing education and research. The Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work prepares nurses for clinical leadership by offering a 49-51 credit master of science in nursing (MSN) that enables nurses to develop evidence-based nursing skills, learn about research and policy, and train in the social dimensions of healthcare crises.

Instructors deliver coursework through video conferencing to small classes on topics like pathophysiology, pharmacology, community-based research, healthcare policy, healthcare management, and quantitative and qualitative data analysis and research methods. While students take most courses online, participants also make two on-campus, faculty-assessed visits for intensives in Los Angeles. The program requires 784 clinical hours of hands-on clinical placements. The clinical portion of the master of science in nursing online exposes nurses to populations in four diverse settings: adult patients, childbearing and pediatric patients, adults with complex conditions, and an integrated family practice. Each rotation lasts 14 weeks and requires 14 hours per week. The USC placement team places nurses at sites in or near the communities in which they live.

MSN students complete their coursework asynchronously on a part-time or full-time basis, in 33 to 21 months, respectively. USC’s faculty experts make the program one of the top online MSN programs in the nation. Students with a bachelor’s of science in nursing and at least one year of clinical experience may apply. Admissions requires some students to take a two-credit bridge course prior to admission.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Family nurse practitioner
Tuition: $1,800/credit
Credit requirements: 49 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Work experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (844) 487-2676
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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12 California State University-Fullerton RANKING SCORE 69.38 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 37% LOCATION Fullerton, CA

Cal State Fullerton's School of Nursing offers a 40-credit master of science in nursing with a concentration in nursing leadership (MSN Leadership) that prepares nurses to serve diverse populations and become industry leaders. Areas of focus include the social sciences, outcomes-based practice, quality improvement initiatives, healthcare economics, and research and knowledge in nursing science. The curriculum includes a course that examines vulnerable populations, the health risk factors that place them at risk, and nursing interventions that can promote better health. Coursework in informatics identifies standards established by information systems and looks at their ethical and regulatory application.

Students complete two culminating experiences prior to graduation. The first course requires students to identify an issue or a challenge related to the concentration and complete a related project. The second course requires individual research that culminates in a thesis. Instructors deliver the MSN Leadership coursework asynchronously and fully online, with the exception of two Nursing Service Leadership Practicums. Students undertake preceptored clinicals during the last two semesters of the degree and must visit partner clinical facilities located in Orange, Riverside, or Los Angeles.

Full-time students in the master of science in nursing online complete the program in two years; part-time students complete the program in three years. Admission requires an active California RN license, a baccalaureate degree in nursing with a cumulative 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credits, and one year of experience as an RN. The program prepares nurses for careers in nursing administration, specialized line positions in staff/patient education or in risk management, or for academic or case management positions.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Leadership, nurse educator, school nursing, women's health care
Tuition: $3,588/semester in-state; $4,143/semester out-of-state
Credit requirements: 24-52 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Work experience: Required for women's health concentration

Contact
Phone: (657) 278-3336
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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13 Clarkson College RANKING SCORE 69.17 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Omaha, NE

Clarkson College offers an online master's of nursing program that prepares students to pursue a variety of advanced-practice nursing roles in several healthcare settings. Students can earn an MSN in one of four concentrations: nursing healthcare administration, nursing education, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, or family nurse practitioner. While all aspects of this program can be completed online, the nurse practitioner track includes some on-campus requirements at Clarkson's Omaha campus.

The curriculum requirements, credit loads, and completion time all vary based on a student's chosen track. All MSN students complete 21 hours of core nursing requirements including scholarly writing, nursing law and ethics, health delivery system, and four credits of evidence-based research. Students will also complete 18, 21, or 26 credits in their chosen specialty. The two practitioner tracks are focused on clinical requirements, while the other tracks emphasize education and business courses. Graduates from the practitioner specialty are ready to sit for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program National Certification Examination. The MSN degree can be completed in eight semesters of full-time study or 12 semesters of part-time study.

This program includes three start dates each years. Applicants must must have a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school with a minimum GPA of 3.0, as well as two years of professional experience as an RN and a valid RN license to be considered. They must also submit an application, official transcripts, an essay, professional references, and a resume or CV. Admissions does not include any GRE requirements. All nursing programs at Clarkson College are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.


Program Overview
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing health care administration (NHCA), nursing education (NE), adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), family nurse practitioner (FNP)
Accrediting body: NLNAC
Tuition: $575/credit

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license in state of clinical hours
Credit requirements: NHCA - 42 credits; NE - 39 credits; AGPCNP - 47 credits; FNP - 46 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 8 semesters full-time; 12+ semesters part-time
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - July 1; spring - November 1; summer - April 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 2 years of professional Registered Nurse experience

Contact
Department phone: (402) 552-3100
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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14 University of St Francis RANKING SCORE 68.76 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 63% LOCATION Joliet, IL

The University of St. Francis is a private Catholic university that was founded in 1920 in Joliet, Illinois. The school offers an online master's of nursing program that features five tracks: family nurse practitioner, mental health nurse practitioner, nursing administration, nursing education, or RN-BS-MSN. Each track includes some of the same core courses and prepare students to pursue careers as a primary care nurse, hospital administrator, or nursing school educator.

Each track has its own unique curriculum, but they all share the same structure and core requirements. Depending on concentration, students will need to complete 36 to 56 credits to graduate. The majority of specialty tracks require a three- or four-credit practicum, clinical, or capstone experience. All MSN students enroll in the same graduate core courses on topics such as evidence-based care, biostatistics, population health, and advanced practical nursing. The curricula also include an advanced practice core, concentration classes, and optional education courses. Distance learners can access the school's Career Success Center for assistance in job searches, resume and cover letting writing, and more.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, two years of experience as a clinical nurse in the past four years, and a valid RN license to be considered. They must also submit 2 professional recommendation letters, a completed application, an essay. Finally, they must have completed prerequisite courses in biostatistics and research. Due to state nursing board requirements, the USF programs are only open to students in certain states. The school recommends that students ensure that the program is offered in their home state before applying. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: Leach College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Family nurse practitioner (FNP), psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), nursing administration (NA), nursing education (NE)
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $770/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: FNP - 47-56 credits; PMHNP - 45 credits: NA - 36-45 credits; NE - 37 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 2+ years
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 2 years of full-time clinical nursing practice

Contact
Department phone: (800) 735-7500
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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15 University of Pittsburgh RANKING SCORE 68.40 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 11% LOCATION Pittsburgh, PA

Pitt prides itself on being a healthcare pioneer in CPR, HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, and polio vaccination. Pitt School of Nursing advances evidence-based, scholarly, and focused improvement of healthcare delivery. The school's master of science in nursing (MSN) prepares nurses for specialized advanced roles or limited practice roles, teaches research methods and skills, and gives students the foundation necessary for doctoral-level study.

The school offers a nurse specialty role major online with two concentrations: clinical nurse leader and nurse informatics. The number of credits required depends on the concentration. The MSN program requires core courses, coursework in the specialty, role development study, and electives. The required core courses cover evidence-based practice, applied stats in evidence-based practice, ethics in advanced practice nursing, and health promotion and disease prevention in diverse populations. Students taking the clinical nurse leader major take coursework in pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, diagnostic physical exams, and leadership in healthcare systems. Nurse informatics students take courses like health informatics, database management, and methods in technology evaluation and usability. Students take required clinical practicums at a supervised facility in the nurse's community. Instructors deliver the MSN coursework asynchronously through full-time or part-time study.

Admission into the online master's in nursing requires a bachelor of science in nursing degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and accreditation from the ACEN, ACICS, or CCNE. Applicants possess RN licensure in a U.S. state or territory, relevant clinical experience, and GRE scores. Registered nurses without a BSN can enter this program via Pitt's alternative online RN options. Online students pay one tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Clinical nurse leader
Tuition: $1,064/credit for in-state and out-of-state students
Credit requirements: 42 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE; Waived if applicant earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher
Work experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (888) 747-0794
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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16 Oregon Health & Science University RANKING SCORE 68.28 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 21% LOCATION Portland, OR

OHSU focuses on improving healthcare outcomes for Oregonians and advancing the healthcare sciences. The Portland-based institution operates the top-ranked hospitals in the state while educating healthcare professionals like nurses and nurse educators. The School’s 48-credit master of nursing in nursing education (MNE) enables nurses with a bachelor's degree in nursing to enter faculty positions at a nursing school or become educators within a healthcare institution.

The master's in nursing online incorporates a core curriculum and coursework focused on one of three clinical populations: adult gerontological, psychiatric mental health, and community health. The core curriculum for all three options teaches students how to apply best practices in teaching and how to use technology -- such as simulation -- in online instruction. Core study topics include vulnerable populations, social determinants of health, teaching nursing, and health assessments and promotion. Students can take the program online on a full-time or a part-time basis, and students participate in face-to-face intensives. The program requires a teaching practicum during which nurses work with experienced faculty.

For students without a bachelor's degree in nursing, OHSU offers a pathway from its registered nurse to bachelor of science (RNBS) completion program into the MNE. Upon entry into the RNBS, students identify their graduate area of interest and seamlessly enroll into the MNE upon its completion. Admission into the MNE requires a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and RN licensure in Oregon or the state where the clinical practicum will be completed. Students need two years of RN clinical practice before graduation in order to teach in Oregon.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Nursing in Nursing Education
Available concentrations: Health system & organizational leadership, nursing education
Tuition: $601/credit in-state; $777/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 50-51 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Work experience: Required for nursing education concentration

Contact
Phone: (503) 494-7725
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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17 Michigan State University RANKING SCORE 68.15 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 24% LOCATION East Lansing, MI

MSU is a public land-grant university that was founded in 1855 in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU's College of Nursing offers a variety of online nursing programs, including the adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist degree with a nurse education concentration. The program is ideal for working nurses who want clinical expertise in adult gerontology and to learn how to teach nursing in an academic setting. This concentration allows graduates to take the AGCNS-BC certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the AACNS-AG certification offered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. MSU boasts that graduates have a 100% pass rate on both exams.

All coursework can be completed online, with the exception of a one-day, on-campus orientation at the beginning of the program. The curriculum includes 47 to 51 credits of coursework on topics such as statistics, pathophysiology, healthcare policy and politics, and more. Students must also complete an academic and clinical teaching internship, a clinical nurse specialist immersion class, and a clinical nursing internship. All of these requirements can be completed in a student's local community at an approved facility. The program can be completed in two years by full-time students or three years by part-time students.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, a valid RN license, and have completed an undergraduate statistics course to be considered. They must also submit three letters of recommendation, an essay, completed application, and a resume or CV. Application deadlines are in the fall and spring. MSU does not accept online students from the following states due to restrictions of some nursing boards: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. All master's programs at MSU's College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist - nurse education
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $776/credit in-state; $801/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online (1-day orientation session on campus)
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, undergraduate or graduate statistics, Registered Nurse license in state of residence
Credit requirements: 47-51 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2+ years
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: March 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum for second half of baccalaureate nursing program

Contact
Department phone: (517) 353-4827
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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18 Stony Brook University RANKING SCORE 67.43 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Stony Brook, NY

Stony Brook University is a public research university that was founded in 1957 in Stony Brook, New York. Today, the school serves more than 25,000 students annually. Stony Brook offers a variety of distance learning programs, including a master's degree in nursing. This program is offered through the school's College of Nursing and students can choose from one of the following tracks: nursing education, nursing leadership, adult-gerontology, family health, pediatric care, psychiatric care, midwifery, or general nurse practitioner.

Each track has its own curriculum, but they all share several similarities. Most include 45 total credits and include core classes in organizational leadership, quality improvement, and healthcare policy. There are also required classes in a variety of categories, including research, pharmacology, health assessment, pathophysiology, and a number of clinical courses. Some tracks prepare students to sit for a variety of national certification exams. While most of the program can be completed online, there are some on-site requirements. Programs are taught using a cohort model and feature several brief immersion programs on-site at Stony Brook. Students must also complete in-person clinical experiences at approved healthcare facilities in their area.

Applicants must have a BSN degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered. They must also have at least one year of experience, a valid registered nurse license, and completed at least three undergraduate credits in both statistics and health assessment courses. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a separate field or less than one-year experience can still be admitted but must provide additional materials. Stony Brook's College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing Education
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $453/credit in-state; $925/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Hybrid with on-site immersions
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license, 3 credits of undergraduate statistics, 3 credits of undergraduate health assessment
Credit requirements: 45 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2+ years
Program start dates: Summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: March 3
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 1 year of relevant experience

Contact
Department phone: (631) 444-3276
Department email: [email protected] (Department Secretary, Graduate Studies/Advanced Practice Nursing)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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19 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health RANKING SCORE 67.14 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Omaha, NE

NMC prepares students to excel in the health professions. The school's curriculum fosters community-based education, provides service-learning opportunities, and integrates leadership development. Those pursuing nursing education select one of several graduate-level options at NMC. The master of science in nursing (MSN) has several tracks, including the 36-credit MSN -- nurse educator, a program designed for registered nurses pursuing careers teaching the next generation of nurses. The curriculum includes studies in advanced nursing roles, instructional methods, teaching and learning principles in nursing, and appraisal of knowledge and practice.

The 36-credit MSN -- nurse executive prepares nurses with business acumen and management skills for senior management careers in healthcare. Instructors deliver coursework online in courses that last five or 10 weeks in length. Coursework includes study of advanced nursing roles, organizational behavior and structure, the role of the nurse executive, and hands-on learning experiences via a practicum and projects.

Nurses pursuing the nursing informaticist pathway have the 36-credit MSN -- nursing informatics--the only degree of its kind in the region. In online courses that last five or 10 weeks, nurses learn how to read data to identify trends and improve healthcare outcomes. Courses include the study of advanced nursing roles, consumer health informatics, clinical information systems, and legal and ethical issues in healthcare informatics. During a practicum, students work with a preceptor to demonstrate clinical applications of the nurse informaticist role.

All three online MSN programs are delivered asynchronously, can be completed in 21 months, and are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. For RNs without a baccalaureate degree, the school also offers an RN to MSN program with three tracks: educator, executive, and informatics.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Focus in nurse educator track, RN to MSN - nurse executive track, nursing informatics track, educator track, nurse executive track
Tuition: $719/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2-2.5 years depending on concentration

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (402) 354-7170
Email: [email protected]

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20 Western Governors University RANKING SCORE 66.72 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Salt Lake City, UT

A fully virtual college serving learners around the country, WGU administers competency-based programs in disciplines that include the health professions. The College of Health Professions offers nurses a master of science in nursing (MSN) – education to prepare them for nursing education competencies outlined by the National League for Nursing. The research- and evidence-based curriculum requires 36 competency units and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Areas of study include pharmacotherapeutics, pathopharmacology for advanced nursing, research for practice and populations, nursing education, and information management and technology application.

Nurses gain field experience the MSN through a nursing practice course in which students evaluate the efficiency of a healthcare facility and make recommendations to improve its healthcare outcomes. Another course offers field experience in the nurse's place of employment. In this capacity, the nurse identifies a challenge or need in delivery at the facility and develops an evidence-based solution that mirrors current best practices. Finally, the program requires a capstone that demonstrates a learners' advanced nursing knowledge and leadership skills.

With 15+ hours of study per week, students complete the program within three years. Students work with faculty mentors to determine what textbooks or other resources they need for study, project completion, and assessment. Upon completion of the master of science in nursing online, nurse educators develop, implement, and oversee nursing programs and effectively teach a nursing curriculum. Admission into the program requires a bachelor of science in nursing and current RN licensure. WGU offers flat-rate tuition each term, allowing students to complete as many credits as they like at one rate.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science Nursing - Education
Tuition: $3,895/semester
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
Work experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (866) 225-5948
Social media accounts: Twitter

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21 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus RANKING SCORE 66.57 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Denver, CO

UC Denver's College of Nursing offers a 30-credit master of science in nursing leadership and healthcare systems (iLEAD). iLEAD fosters nurses' leadership and decision-making abilities, targets rural communities in Colorado and across the nation, and provides the foundation for nurses to transition into a Ph.D program. The faculty at UC Denver offer guidance in nursing leadership research, healthcare systems, and informatics. The program's curriculum consists of a four-course MSN core, five courses in the iLEAD specialty option, and another specialty course.

iLEAD course topics include health systems and policy, evidence-based practice, adult gerontology, advanced practice role, and chronic conditions: public health strategies. The program requires a 90-hour administrative internship. iLEAD offers exit options that students add to the degree: a 12-credit specialization in executive leadership and a 12-credit specialization in healthcare informatics. The program also offers a pathway into a doctoral program with a focus on health systems research. Upon completion of iLEAD, nurses possess competencies in advanced nursing practice; the ability to deliver high-quality, cost-effective, and ethical healthcare to populations; and leadership that fosters social justice in healthcare delivery. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, students may try out the program by taking up to 12 semester credits without formal application.

Admission to iLEAD requires a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA, prerequisite courses in research and statistics, and current RN licensure. iLEAD online students pay one tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.


Program Overview
Program name: MSN in Nursing Leadership
Available concentrations: Healthcare systems, informatics
Tuition: $585/credit for in-state and out-of-state students
Credit requirements: 30 credits without concentration, 42 credits with concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (303) 724-1561
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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22 Mount Carmel College of Nursing RANKING SCORE 66.56 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 93% LOCATION Columbus, OH

Mount Carmel College of Nursing is a Catholic college that was founded in 1903 in Columbus, Ohio. Today, the school offers a variety of distance learning programs, including a master's of nursing degree online. Mount Carmel's online MSN program prepares students to instruct and teach nursing in a variety of academic and professional settings. Students enroll in courses on a variety of topics, including research methods, legal and ethical decision-making, and advanced pharmacology, and leadership in advanced nursing roles.

This 34-credit hour program includes two required clinical experiences: a 50-hour family health practicum and a 150-hour educator practicum. Students take 13 credits of core classes, nine credits in direct care courses, and 12 credits in nursing education. The nursing education curriculum includes two practicums and courses on topics such as curriculum planning, instructional theory, and assessment theory. MCCN also requires students to complete at least 10 hours of community service as a nurse in at-risk areas. All MCCN students have access to the school's online library, and College of Nursing students have access to additional information resources and services. This program can be completed in three years of part-time study split between seven semesters.

Applicants must have a BSN from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0, one year of clinical experience, and have completed an undergraduate statistics course with a "C" grade or better to be considered. They must also submit a completed education, a statement of purpose, proof of RN licensure, two letters of reference, official transcripts, and a resume or CV. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing Education
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $17,925/34 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, undergraduate statistics, undergraduate research courses, Ohio Registered Nurse license (or eligibility for such licensure)
Credit requirements: 34 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours/practicum

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 3 years
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: September 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (614) 234-4266
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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23 San Diego State University RANKING SCORE 66.41 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 6% LOCATION San Diego, CA

SDSU provides its student body with a transformative education that emphasizes research, international experiences, and entrepreneurship. The School of Nursing at SDSU offers a graduate nursing program that promotes leadership in advanced nursing practice. The 37-credit master of science in nursing leadership in healthcare systems prepares nurses to transform the future of healthcare delivery. The program incorporates the competencies consistent with both the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The curriculum incorporates studies in leadership professionalism, effective communication, sound business principles, and knowledge of the current healthcare sector. Topics covered include research-based nursing, nursing administration practice, information systems for nursing, quality improvement and program evaluation, and personnel management. A required practicum experience partners students with a nurse leader. Students fulfill this requirement at regional hospitals and healthcare organizations.

The program offers students access to research opportunities and to an established teaching faculty in the School of Nursing and School of Public Health. Upon completion of the program, nurses may receive certification by AONE, ANCC, and the American College of Health Care Executives. Accredited by the Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education, students complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a major in nursing from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or National League for Nursing. Additional requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE scores, and RN licensure in California. One year of RN work experience is preferred.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
Tuition: $8,894/semester in-state; $16,022/semester out-of-state
Credit requirements: 37 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (619) 594-2540
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook

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24 Gonzaga University RANKING SCORE 66.29 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 59% LOCATION Spokane, WA

Gonzaga University is a private Catholic university that was founded in 1887 in Spokane, Washington. The school offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an online master's of science in nursing degree. Students can choose from one of the following concentrations: health systems leadership, family nurse practitioner, or pediatric mental health nurse practitioner.

The program is ideal for working nurses who want to upgrade their careers in healthcare administration or patient care. All courses can be completed online, except for one of six on-campus immersions at the Spokane campus. Students must also complete 300 to 600 practicum hours, depending on their concentration. The three online MSN tracks each offer a different credit load. The 36-credit health systems leadership, 44-credit family nurse practitioner, and 47-credit psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner options each feature core classes and a number of concentration-specific courses and practicums. Students must earn their degree within five years from matriculation.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree to be considered. While a BSN is preferable, applicants with a different bachelor's degree can enter the program as long as they complete additional foundational classes. They must also submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, GRE or MAT exams, a statement of purpose, and a resume or CV. Students with a minimum GPA Of 3.0 will have their GRE/MAT requirement waived. Gonzaga nursing students can transfer up to nine graduate credits into the program, and scholarship opportunities are available for each track on the school's website. This MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Family nurse practitioner (FNP), health systems leadership (HSL), psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP)
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: FNP - $1,000/credit; HSL - $955/credit; PMHNP - $1,000/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: FNP - 47 credits; HSL - 36 credits; PMHNP - 47 credits
Field education requirements: Immersions, practicum

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 3-5 years (varies by concentration)
Program start dates: FNP or PMHNP - winter; HSL - fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: FNP or PMHNP - September; HSL - June
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT (only if GPA under 3.0)

Contact
Department phone: (866) 380-5323
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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25 Florida State University RANKING SCORE 66.04 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 23% LOCATION Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University is a public research institution that was founded in 1851 in Tallahassee, Florida. The school offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an online master's of science in nursing. The program emphasizes theory, evidence-based research, and immersive clinical experiences. Students learn about the business and organizational side of healthcare, as well as improved clinical quality and leadership.

The 32-credit nurse leader MSN program includes a variety of core courses on topics such as health assessment, pharmacology, nursing leadership and resource management, and biostatistics. The curriculum also includes a clinical leadership practicum experience, which provides students with hands-on experience managing healthcare micro- and mesosystems. Finally, they must complete clinical practicums and enroll in several lab courses. The majority of coursework can be completed online through Blackboard, although students must complete clinical hours in-person in Florida. Some online classes require proctored exams. This MSN degree specializes in nurse leadership and prepares students for roles as administrators, managers, and leaders in healthcare facilities.

Applicants must have a BSN degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, a valid RN license in Florida, competitive GRE or MAT scores, and be a Florida resident to be considered. They must fax or mail their official transcripts, GRE/MAT scores, RN license copy, and two letters of recommendation to the College of Nursing to apply. Applications are accepted throughout the year and the program must be completed within seven years of matriculation. FSU’s online nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science - Nurse Leader
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $479/credit (in-state only)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Florida residency, BSN, Florida Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: 32 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 3 years
Program start dates: August

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: July 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Department phone: (850) 644-5638
Department email: [email protected] (Carlos Urrutia, Program)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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26 University of South Carolina-Columbia RANKING SCORE 65.97 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 30% LOCATION Columbia, SC

USC is a public research university that was founded in 1801 in Columbia, South Carolina. The school offers an MSN specializing in organizational leadership online that is ideal for RNs who are interested in pursuing leadership roles in hospitals, practices, or other healthcare organizations. This online master’s in nursing emphasizes both the family and community healthcare skills that are necessary in many top nursing jobs, as well as the business skills needed to thrive as a manager in the healthcare industry.

The MSN curriculum emphasizes practicality and includes courses like facilitative process in nursing administration, which teach students how to develop an organized and systematic environment for professional nurses. The 30-credit online master’s of nursing program can be completed in just 12 to 18 months. While the majority of classes are offered online, two leaderships courses require fieldwork. These fieldwork hours can be completed at a student’s place of work with the employer’s permission. The curriculum includes classes on a variety of healthcare business topics, such as healthcare finances, coordinating nursing administration, biostatistics, and more. Students also enroll in courses on clinical research and must complete a thesis before graduating. Graduates are prepared to sit for a variety of professional certification exams.

This program offers three start dates throughout the year. All online students at USC pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a valid RN license to be considered. They must also submit two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a completed application, transcripts, and a resume or CV. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
Available concentrations: Organizational leadership
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $533/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Field education requirements: Mentored field study hours

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 12-18 months
Program start dates: May, August, October

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: May - April 1; August - July 1; October - September 15
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (803) 777-4243
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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27 University of Connecticut RANKING SCORE 65.80 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 12% LOCATION Storrs, CT

Home of the Huskies, UCONN prides itself on its groundbreaking healthcare research, healthcare education, and high-quality clinical care. UCONN's School of Nursing offers a 44-credit master of science in nursing with a concentration in neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) that students take full-time or part-time. Established neonatal practitioners teach the NNP program and deliver coursework fully online. The program requires three on-campus visits: one for an orientation and two subsequent simulation experiences. Coursework includes study of nursing science, statistics methods in nursing, nursing research in advanced practice, advanced neonatal embryology/physiology, and advanced pathophysiology. The program requires three clinical practicums: one in which nurses assess and manage moderately ill infants and their families; one focused on high-risk neonates and their families; and one focused on critically ill neonates and their families.

Prior to clinical practicums, nurses must have at least two years of RN-level experience in a neonatal intensive care unit at level three. Nurses taking the program full-time complete it in five semesters; part-timers typically complete the program in six or seven semesters. Upon completion of the master of science in nursing online graduates work as NNPs. Graduates apply for NNP certification from the National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Specialties. Admission requirements include a baccalaureate nursing degree or higher with a minimum 3.0 GPA, college transcripts, neonatal nursing experience, and three references. Classes begin in the fall, spring, and summer. NNP students pay one tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.


Program Overview
Program name: Neonatal Nursing Master's Degree Online
Tuition: $825/credit for in-state and out-of-state students
Credit requirements: 44 credits
Program length: 2.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Work experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (860) 486-0600
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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28 University of Maryland, Baltimore RANKING SCORE 65.71 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 19% LOCATION Baltimore, MD

The University of Maryland, Baltimore offers an online master's of science in nursing with a specialization in nursing informatics. This specialty MSN degree allows nurses interested in technology or computers to become experts in medical information technology, a sector of the industry that is becoming indispensable. The 40-credit program includes two courses on leadership and management as well as up to four nursing core classes on topics like statistics and health policy. Students must also enroll in seven informatics courses such as healthcare database systems, systems analysis and design, information technology project management, and a practicum in nursing informatics.

While the majority of coursework can be completed online, students must complete a practicum remotely. UMB advisers will assist students in finding an approved location to complete the practicum. UMB faculty are committed to the success of their distance learners, and they are free to communicate with students regularly via email, phone, Skype, or other means. Students can study on either a full- or part-time basis. A full-time student can complete the program in five semesters if they enter the program in the fall, or seven semesters if they do so in the spring. Part-time students typically earn their degree in seven to eight semesters. No transfer credits are accepted in this program.

Students who are registered nurses with an associate degree can enroll in the RN to MSN program, an accelerated dual-degree track then results with an MSN in healthcare informatics. This program participates in the Academic Common Market, which allows students who reside in member states of the Southern Regional Education Board to request to pay in-state tuition if there is no nursing informatics program offered in a public university in their home state.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Registered Nurse to Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing informatics, health services leadership & management
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $778/credit in-state; $1,405/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Bachelor's or associate degree, Registered Nurse license in Maryland or compact state
Credit requirements: 69+ (varies by concentration)
Field education requirements: Practicum

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 3-6 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (410) 706-0501
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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29 Thomas Jefferson University RANKING SCORE 65.67 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 23% LOCATION Philadelphia, PA

Jefferson's College of Nursing works in concert with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to provide quality patient care and exemplary nursing practice. The college's programs accomodate the needs of students seeking to become nurses and nurses seeking career advancement. The 36-credit master of science in nursing (MSN) at Jefferson offers several areas of specialization, including adult gerontology -- acute care nurse practitioner, adult gerontology -- primary care nurse practitioner, community systems administration, family-individual across the lifespan nurse practitioner, and nursing informatics.

The program's curriculum includes an 18-credit core curriculum and 18 credits of coursework in the specialty area. Core coursework focuses on health policy, law, and ethics; advanced nursing practice; epidemiology for the health professions; and informatics in advanced nursing practice. Jefferson's MSN program notables include student access to online journals, textbooks, and clinical databases. Learners are taught by faculty actively engaged in research and regularly published in prestigious journals. They have full-time and part-time enrollment options, and courses are delivered fully online or in hybrid format. Students complete the program full-time in 15 months and part-time within five years. MSN students can transfer nine-12 credits into the Master's of Public Health.

Admission into the MSN requires a bachelor’s in nursing with a minimum 3.20 GPA and RN licensure. Some specialities require additional credentials. Recent MSN graduates have a 98% post-graduation job placement rate and have a national certification pass rate of 95%. Classes begin in the spring, summer, and fall. The National League for Nursing designates the College of Nursing a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Adult gerontology - acute care nurse practitioner,adult gerontology - primary care nurse practitioner, community systems administration, family - individual across the lifespan nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing informatics, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner
Tuition: $1,129/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 15 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.2
Work experience: Required for Adult gerontology - acute care nurse practitioner and neonatal nurse practitioner concentrations

Contact
Phone: (215) 503-1754
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Twitter

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30 University of North Carolina at Charlotte RANKING SCORE 65.39 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 26% LOCATION Charlotte, NC

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers three master’s of science in nursing programs and one RN to MSN program. Students can pursue a MSN in nursing education, nursing administration, or community/public health, as well as an RN to MSN degree. All of these programs prepare students for advanced practice nursing careers in teaching, administration, or public health management. Graduates are prepared to sit for a variety of nursing exams, such as the NCN or CNE certifications.

Each of the three concentrations have their own requirements. The education concentration requires 39 credits and can be completed in 30 months of part-time study. The administration concentration can be completed in 27 months and requires 36 credits. Finally, the community and public health can be finished in 27 months and requires 38 credits. The RN to MSN is aimed at RNs without a BSN who want to earn an MSN quickly. Students must meet BSN requirements to be enrolled and can finish with two degrees while skipping at least 10 credits of requirements.

Applicants must be currently registered nurses who have a bachelor's degree (except the RN to MSN program) with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered. They must also have completed all nursing prerequisites with a "C" grade or above and fulfill the university health requirement. Finally, the must submit a completed application, official transcripts, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. Preference is given to applicants with at least one year of experience and a GPA above 3.0. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: School of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing Education
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $238/credit in-state; $859/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Registered Nurse license in North Carolina or a compact state
Credit requirements: 39 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Part-time only
Program length: 30 months
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - May 1; spring - October 1; summer - April 1
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 1 year of professional nursing practice

Contact
Department phone: (704) 687-0487
Department email: [email protected] (Dr. Lienne Edwards, Director for Graduate Division)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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31 Nova Southeastern University RANKING SCORE 65.37 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 51% LOCATION Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University is a private nonprofit institution that was founded in 1964 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The school offers a variety of distance learning programs, including an online master's in nursing degree. Students can choose one of three MSN concentrations: nursing education, executive nurse leadership, and nursing informatics. Most NSU nursing programs can be completed in fewer than eight semesters. NSU also offers a BSN and MSN track that provides nurses with an accelerated option for earning a BSN prior to starting the MSN program.

The nursing education track is designed for nurses who are interested in a career of vocational or community college teaching, while the executive nurse leadership and nursing informatics options are designed for nurses who want to become administrators or health system informaticists. All MSN programs include 36 credits, but each track has its own unique concentration requirements. Each curriculum includes 15 credits of core classes on topics such as advanced nursing, healthcare policy, and evidence & pracitce. Students must also enroll in 21 credits of concentration-specific coursework. Each track also includes a three-credit mentored practicum experience, which can be completed in a student's neighborhood.

Admissions are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. All of NSU's MSN degrees prepare students for further study in a doctorate program. Applicants must have a BSN, BS, or BA with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an RN license to be considered. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: Ron & Kathy Assaf College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing education, executive nurse leadership, nursing informatics
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $685/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time only
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, winter

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - August 1; winter - December 8
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (954) 262-1975
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Instagram

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32 Texas A & M University-College Station RANKING SCORE 65.34 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 15% LOCATION College Station, TX

A research-intensive institution located in the Houston-Dallas-Austin triangle, Texas A & M University’s College of Nursing works to address the nursing shortage across the state with high-quality nurse preparation programs and advanced nursing research. The 48-credit master of science in nursing -- family nurse practitioner (FNP) prepares nurses versed in health promotion, the reduction of health risks, disease prevention, and the management of illnesses. Instructors deliver the FNP curriculum mostly online with required visits to the Bryan-College Station campus for clinicals once or twice a semester.

The FNP curriculum includes studies in advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, leadership and policy. Three courses focus on the primary care of families, with coursework incrementally more advanced at each stage. A course in advanced health assessment requires nurses to come to the Bryan-College Station campus for two to three overnight stays for clinical hours in the Simulation Lab. The lab gives nurses hands-on experience working with patients and other virtual learning opportunities. Nursing students at Texas A & M study in online classrooms with a 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio and have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources. The nursing college is designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.

Graduates of the FNP program maintain significantly higher first-time pass rates than the national average on certification board exams. Students complete the FNP full-time in five semesters and part-time in eight semesters. Some courses in the FNP require preceptors; students plan in advance to secure them. Applicants need a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA, must live in Texas, and possess RN licensure in Texas. This master of science in nursing online only admits students in the fall semester.

Texas A&M College of Nursing also offers a master of science in nursing degrees in nursing education and forensic nursing.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner
Tuition: $2,053 in-state; $4,543 out-of-state
Credit requirements: 48 credits
Program length: 2.5 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (979) 436-0122
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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33 Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies RANKING SCORE 64.92 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 45% LOCATION Fayette, MO

CMU’s College of Graduate and Extended Studies offers a master of science in nursing (MSN) that prepares nurses knowledgeable in advanced nursing practice, clinical skills, and ethical leadership and social responsibility. The online program provides an environment that fosters evidence-based practice, research, and mentorship. It uses a cohort model of approximately 10 to 12 students and offers two tracks: clinical nurse leader (CNL) and nurse educator. The CNL track prepares nurses in the design, coordination, supervision, and evaluation of team healthcare delivery. The nurse educator track prepares nurses to design and evaluate educational programs for students and patients across healthcare settings.

The MSN curriculum includes core coursework required in both tracks that focuses on advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and epidemiology. The MSN program requires clinical hours for some courses. A CNL residency includes 300 clinical hours in which students work in the capacity of a CNL under a mentor's supervision. In the last term, CNL eligible students take the CNL certification exam before taking NCLEX. In the nurse educator track, a practicum requires learners to incorporate concepts learned in preceding courses into a project that last 200-300 hours.

The MSN curriculum is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Eligible graduates may enter a research-focused or practice-focused doctoral program. Admission into the master of science in nursing online requires a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, RN licensure in a U.S. state or territory, and coursework in statistics and nursing research. Admissions considers students with an associate degree in nursing or bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. MSN students pay one tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Clinical nurse leader, nurse educator
Tuition: $380/credit
Credit requirements: 56 credits
Program length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (573) 777-5885
Email: [email protected]

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34 The University of Alabama RANKING SCORE 64.88 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 38% LOCATION Tuscaloosa, AL

The University of Alabama offers a master's of science in nursing online through the school's Capstone College of Nursing that features three concentrations: case management, clinical nurse leadership, and nurse practitioner. Regardless of the track chosen, all graduates are prepared to pursue advanced practical nursing roles in a variety of healthcare settings. They are also prepared to sit for several professional certification exams.

The case management and clinical nurse leader tracks require 38 to 41 credits, while the nurse practitioner track requires 52 to 55 credits. This MSN program offers both a thesis and non-thesis track in all three concentrations. The nurse practitioner and leadership tracks are common among online MSN programs, but the case management track is unique. This track prepares students to assume nursing leadership positions and to oversee macrosystems case management. The nurse practitioner track includes extensive clinical hour requirements, which students can complete at a local healthcare facility. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout the program to graduate.

Applicants must have a bachelor's of nursing degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a valid RN license to be considered. Students with lower GPAs will be considered but must also submit GRE or MAT test scores. This MSN program can be completed in one year of full-time study or two or more years of part-time study. The program offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer terms. This master's in nursing online is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: Capstone College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing case management (NCM), clinical nurse leader (CNL), nurse practitioner (NP)
Accrediting body: CCNE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $375/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: NCM or CNL - 38-41 credits; NP - 52-55 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 1 year full-time; 2+ years part-time
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum for last 60 credits of undergraduate work
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Department phone: (205) 348-6010
Graduate programs email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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35 California State University-Dominguez Hills RANKING SCORE 64.77 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 24% LOCATION Carson, CA

Situated in the heart of Los Angeles, CSUDH’s School of Nursing equips nurses to respond to the demands of an evolving profession. The school's graduate curricula prepares registered nurses for advanced practice in scientific analysis and evidence-based practice. Its hybrid master of science in nursing (MSN) program offers students one of four tracks: nurse educator, nurse administrator, clinical nurse specialist, and family nurse practitioner (FNP). The degree requires 30-48 credits depending on the track. Core courses, role specialization courses, clinical/practicum courses with a preceptor, and a culminating activity comprise the curriculum. Note that for the FNP tracks, learners must complete the clinical in California.

The 15-credit core covers advanced nursing roles, healthcare policy and economics, health promotion and disease prevention, research utilization in advanced nursing practice, and nursing ethics. After students complete the requirements in their specialization and the clinical, they develop an MSN professional portfolio/presentation (PPP). Graduating students demonstrate mastery of the program's objectives through a PPP PowerPoint highlighting subject matter mastery, the application of classroom learning, and critical and independent thinking skills.

Upon completion of the master of science in nursing online graduates possess several competencies, including the ability to plan and evaluate comprehensive nursing care, design culturally sensitive programs, provide evidence-based care and services, and incorporate ethics in advanced nursing roles. Admission into the MSN requires a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credits; prerequisite coursework in statistics, research, pathophysiology, and health assessment; and RN licensure in the U.S. CSUDH offers below average tuition rates.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nurse educator, nurse administrator, clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner
Tuition: $3,369/semester in-state; $3,741/semester out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30-48 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Hybrid of synchronous and asynchronous instruction

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5

Contact
Phone: (310) 243-3696
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook

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36 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley RANKING SCORE 64.52 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 29% LOCATION Edinburg, TX

UTRGV campuses offer education options to students throughout the Rio Grande Valley in fields like biomedical science and health education. The school’s 36-37 credit master of science in nursing offers two fully online options: nursing education and nursing administration. Registered nurses with a bachelor of science can complete the degree in just one year.

The MSN’s 18-credit core includes study of theoretical foundations in nursing, nursing informatics, research in nursing, and a practice intervention project. The project requires students to identify a challenge or project in the student’s clinical or role area, a review of relevant literature, and the development of a solution that will be implemented and evaluated.

Learners in the nursing education track take specialized coursework in advanced pharmacology, health assessment, evaluation in nursing, curriculum development, teaching roles and strategies, and instructional design and online teaching. Students in the nursing administration track study several topics, including holistic approaches to chronic disorders, evidence-based practice, clinical leadership in nursing, and healthcare finance. A notable course for student nurse administrators covers how to manage change, negotiation, and conflict by understanding organizational behavior, change theory, and team-building techniques. The MSN is an accredited program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

MSN students pay one tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. Admission into the program requires a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA, all college transcripts, and RN licensure in the U.S.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing administration, nursing education
Tuition: $444/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits for nursing administration concentration, 37 credits for nursing education concentration
Program length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (956) 882-6792
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook

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37 Simmons College RANKING SCORE 64.34 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 77% LOCATION Boston, MA

Located in Massachusetts, the Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers scholarships, clinical experience, and collaboration to its students. The school offers two master of science in nursing (MSN) programs: the 48-credit MSN -- family nurse practitioner (FNP), for licensed RNs with a bachelor's degree, and the 68-credit RN to MSN -- family nurse practitioner, for licensed RNs without a bachelor's.

Instructors deliver coursework to full-time and part-time students in classrooms with a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The MSN --FNP curriculum includes foundational courses, research courses, and clinical courses. Areas of study include advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, clinical decision-making, health promotion, and informatics. The program also requires 672 clinical hours. Students attending full-time can complete the program in five semesters; part-timers complete it in seven semesters.

The RN to MSN -- FNP at [email protected] does not require a bachelor's degree; candidates need prerequisite coursework in microbiology, biology, quantitative research, and statistics. Students are versed in fundamentals, human health and function, and patient assessment. The curriculum includes study of advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, research methods, primary care nursing, and health promotion. The program also requires 836 clinical hours. Full-time students complete the RN to MSN in eight semesters; part-timers complete it in 10 semesters.

Both programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The board pass rate for [email protected] graduates exceeds the national average. Admission into the MSN -- FNP requires a bachelor's degree in nursing, current RN licensure, and college transcripts. The RN to MSN -- FNP requires an associate degree or nursing diploma, current RN licensure, and college transcripts. MSN students pay one tuition rate regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.


Program Overview
Program name: RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner Program
Tuition: $1,345/credit
Credit requirements: 68 credits
Program length: 2.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
Work experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (617) 521-2651
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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38 Ohio State University RANKING SCORE 64.28 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 11% LOCATION Columbus, OH

The Ohio State University offers an online MSN program that is designed for RNs and recent graduates who want to work as advanced practical nurses in a variety of clinical or administrative settings. Students can earn an MSN in one of the following tracks: family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health, and neonatal nurse practitioner. These programs prepare students to take respective certification exams.

Each track has its own curriculum, but most MSN students take the same core classes in leadership, quality improvement, disease prevention, health policy, and evidence-based scholarship. Students must also enroll in seven to eight classes in their chosen speciality. The university offers an extensive career services system for all students, including the AfterCollege Nursing Career Network. This network allows students and graduates to post and apply for jobs and internships. Ohio State also offers a post-master’s option for nurses who already have a graduate degree but need further academic support to prepare for advance certification. OSU’s MSN program is authorized in a majority of U.S. states, though it has limited authorization in six states and is currently pursuing authorization in 11 states. All online students at OSU pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

Students can earn their MSN in about three years of full-time study. The admissions process varies depending on whether a student is considered a graduate-entry student or traditional student. Graduate-entry students have bachelor’s degree that aren't a BSN, while traditional students have either a BSN or a BS and a RN and are looking to earn a MSN. All students must submit transcripts, GRE scores, statements of purpose, letters of recommendation, and a resume or CV.


Program Overview
Department: College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist, clinical nurse leader, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, pediatric nurse practitioner, acute care pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, women's health nurse practitioner
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $7,662/8+ credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: Varies by concentration
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Contact
Department phone: (614) 688-8145
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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39 Florida Atlantic University RANKING SCORE 64.24 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 47% LOCATION Boca Raton, FL

FAU’s College of Nursing offers a master of science in nursing (MSN) with four tracks. The program offers a full-time, 39-credit nurse educator track for full-time or part-time students preparing for roles as educations in the classroom, virtual settings, or clinical environments. In addition to core courses like advanced nursing practice and research and evidence-based practice, learners study models in nursing education, creative teaching and learning, and evaluation in nursing education. This program requires 360 hours of teaching experience and 180 hours of a clinically focused practicum.

The full-time or part-time, 37-39 credit nursing administration and financial leadership program includes core courses and study of nurse administration leadership, clinical informatics, evidence-based practice, human resource management, and healthcare financing. A practicum with a preceptor requires a minimum 180-270 hours that students complete within their own community.

The 33-credit advanced holistic nursing track emphasizes mind-body health practices and energy-healing modalities in healthcare. Students enroll full-time or part-time and take courses such as advanced nursing practice, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, holistic nursing, and specialized courses in holistic healing modalities and practice.

Students in the part-time, 33-credit clinical nurse leader (CNL) track complete the program in as little as seven semesters. The program shares a curriculum core with the other tracks, including study of advanced nursing practice, advanced pathophysiology, and evidence-based research. Specialized coursework includes study of clinical informatics, an intro to the CNL role, and advanced nursing situations in CNL. The program requires a 400-hour clinical at a partner site.

General admission requirements for the MSN program include a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credits and current RN licensure in the U.S.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing administration and financial leadership, advanced holistic nursing, adult gerontological nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, nurse educator
Tuition: $369.82/credit in-state; $1,024.81/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 33-39 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GRE required if applicant earned below a 3.0 undergraduate GPA

Contact
Phone: (561) 297-3761
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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40 Regis University RANKING SCORE 64.24 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 65% LOCATION Denver, CO

Regis offers students an educational experience shaped by the school's Jesuit heritage. The Loretto Heights School of Nursing immerses students in values-centered nursing education that embraces a commitment to social justice and community service. The school's master of science in nursing (MSN) offers two online areas of focus: the 42-credit leadership in health care systems -- education and the 39-credit leadership in healthcare systems -- management.

Both areas of focus share a core curriculum of courses focused on advanced nursing practice, evidence-based practice, healthcare policy, and financial management for nurse leaders. RNs seeking to become nurse educators can complete the education focus. The degree includes studies in advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology, curriculum development, and evaluation methods in healthcare education. The education focus requires two practicum experiences totaling 210 hours.

The management focus prepares nurses for a leadership path in curriculum that includes study of advanced financial management, informatics, and advanced management principles and practice. Students take two practicum experiences totaling 210 hours; students work with a nursing manager where they practice the application of management principles.

Instructors deliver MSN coursework in both synchronous and asynchronous formats in eight-week terms; full-time students complete the program in seven semesters. Students can take the master of science in nursing fully online or hybrid format. The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Admission requires a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA, RN licensure in the state in which the practicums will be completed, and two years of clinical practice.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Completion for certified nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners, leadership in health care systems: education focus, leadership in health care systems: management focus, neonatal nurse practitioner
Tuition: $670/credit
Credit requirements: 39-48 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online and hybrid options available
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75
Work experience: 2 years clinical practice as a registered nurse preferred

Contact
Phone: (800) 388-2366
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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41 East Carolina University RANKING SCORE 64.03 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 66% LOCATION Greenville, NC

East Carolina University offers a master's of science in nursing degree that can be completed entirely online. This program is ideal for North Carolina residents, but is open to residents of other states contingent on state board requirements. Students must choose one of the following concentrations for their MSN degree: nursing education, mental health nurse practitioner, nursing leadership, nurse midwifery, neonatal nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, or adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist.

The MRN to MSN program allows working nurses to specialize in an area of nursing where they would like to advance their career, such as administration or neonatal care. Each curriculum includes 37 to 62 credits, depending on the concentration. Prerequisite courses also vary based on track, with most tracks requiring statistics and computer science. All MSN students enroll in 13 credits of advanced nursing core classes before completing cluster core and concentration courses. All coursework can be completed online, with the exception of a required on-site component in the midwife and neonatal nurse practitioner tracks.

In addition to the general state restrictions for nursing programs, the nurse midwifery MSN only accepts applications from residents of North Carolina and South Carolina. Each concentration in the program has its own application deadline. Applicants must have an RN license and a BSN from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all nursing courses to be considered. They must also submit an application form, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GRE/MAT scores. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Department: College of Nursing
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist (AGCNS), neonatal clinical nurse specialist (NCNS), neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), nurse-midwifery (NM), nursing education (NE), nursing leadership (NL)
Accrediting body: CCNE, ACME
Tuition: $2,328/semester in-state (additional $125/credit); $8,774/semester out-of-state (additional $125/credit)

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid (varies by concentration)
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BSN, Registered Nurse license, statistics, basic accounting (NL concentration only)
Credit requirements: AGCNS - 43 credits; NCNS - 43 credits; NNP - 42 credits; NM - 51 credits; NE - 37-40 credits; NL - 42 credits
Field education requirements: Clinical hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2-3.5 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring (varies by concentration)

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75 minimum for undergraduate studies; 3.0 minimum for nursing studies
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT (varies by concentration)

Contact
Department phone: (252) 744-6462
Department email: [email protected] (Dr. Robin Webb Corbett, Chair for Department of Advanced Nursing Practice & Education)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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42 William Carey University RANKING SCORE 63.39 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 44% LOCATION Hattiesburg, MS

WCU's School of Nursing offers nursing programs to students seeking career advancement. For nurses pursuing leadership roles as educators WCU offers a 41-credit master of science in nursing (MSN). The nurse educator concentration prepares nurses for faculty positions at the pre-licensure level in curriculum comprised of core courses, concentration courses, and clinical experiences. Coursework includes studies in advanced nursing practice, research methods and applications, nurse educator role development, and instructional strategies and evaluation.

Notable courses include one on informatics in nursing education, which delves into the theories, models, and challenges in informatics within an increasingly complex healthcare system. In addition to mastering the use of information technology, students in this course hone skills in scholarly writing. A 45-hour theoretic and a 90-hour clinical component includes learners assisting in the supervision of pre-licensure students. A nursing education practicum course requires 135 hours under the supervision of a preceptor; students incorporate nursing education theory as part of the learning experience. In the final year, students research and develop an evidence-based capstone project that culminating in a professional presentation and manuscript.

Upon completion of this program graduates possess competencies in the integration of concepts in nursing, genetics/genomics, the biopsychosocial fields, public health, and quality improvement in nursing education. Students focus on evidence-based practice, research, and a collaborative mindset in nursing education, practice, and policy. Eligible graduates can sit for national certified nurse educator credential. Admission requires a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and RN licensure in the U.S.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit requirements: 41 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (601) 318-6147
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook

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43 University of San Francisco RANKING SCORE 63.25 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 15% LOCATION San Francisco, CA

A premier Jesuit college, USF educates a diverse student population with rigorous programs that promote leadership and embrace social justice. The School of Nursing and Health Professions trains nurses within the Jesuit tradition who become clinical experts, problem solvers, and transformational leaders. Graduate programs include the 35-46 credit master of science in nursing (MSN) for registered nurses. RNs with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and those with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) may enter the program. The curriculum focuses on online instruction and practicum experience that prepares clinical nurse leaders. Delivered fully online or in hybrid format, the curriculum requires 35 credits for BSN holders and 46 credits for ADN holders.

Areas of study include nursing inquiry, pathophysiology and pharmacology, healthcare policy and ethics, an introduction to the CNL role, and healthcare systems leadership. A supervised practicum experience requires 400 hours at an approved site. The practicum immerses students in the development of a solution for a systems problem at their place of employment, culminating in a paper and presentation. Students must secure a preceptor at the location.

The MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and graduates are eligible for CNL certification by the Commission on Nurse Certification. Admission requires a BSN or ADN, a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, and RN licensure in the state where the practicum will be completed. The fully online option begins in the spring semester. Only students residing in Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington may apply.


Program Overview
Program name: MSN for Registered Nurses
Available concentrations: Clinical nurse leader
Tuition: $1,304/credit
Credit requirements: 35 credits if applicant holds a bachelor's degree, 46 credits if applicant holds an associate degree
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (415) 422-6681
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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44 Liberty University RANKING SCORE 63.09 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 96% LOCATION Lynchburg, VA

The largest Christian college in the world, LU boasts a comprehensive catalog of distance learning programs. LU's School of Nursing prepares nurses committed to Christian ethical standards. The 42-credit master of science in nursing (MSN) equips students with skills for advanced clinical practice, teaching positions, and research. Instructors deliver coursework fully online during eight-week sessions in classrooms with a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The curriculum, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, includes core courses and one of three concentration options: nursing administration, nursing educator, and nursing informatics.

The three concentrations share a five-course core curriculum with study of research; nursing theory and advanced practice; health policy and ethics; managing population health; and nursing issues, informatics, and technology. Students then take between 18 to 27 credits in the concentration. Courses in the nursing administration curriculum include study of human resource management and financial and resource management. The nurse educator concentration includes study of curriculum development and evaluation strategies for nurse educators. The nurse informatics concentration includes study of database design and development and systems management and leadership. The MSN requires that students complete a practicum experience in the U.S. Online students not residing in Virginia need to contact their state's Board of Nursing or Department of Education to verify available practicum sites.

Students who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field may take a bridge program into the MSN comprised of courses in nursing research, community health, leadership/management in nursing, population health, and nursing management. Extracurricular activities for LU nurses include membership in the school's chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Admission into the master of science in nursing online requires a bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and RN licensure in the U.S.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing administration, nurse educator, nursing informatics, master of business administration, master of science in healthcare administration
Tuition: $460/credit
Credit requirements: 42-60 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Work experience: Required

Contact
Phone: (434) 582-2519
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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45 Excelsior College RANKING SCORE 62.57 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 100% LOCATION Albany, NY

Excelsior’s School of Nursing offers a 36-38 credit master of science in nursing (MSN) with concentrations in leadership and administration of healthcare systems, education, and informatics. The three programs share a common core of courses covering transformational nursing; the foundations of nursing practice; research and evidence-based practice; and policy, ethics, and population health.

The 12-credit leadership and administration concentration enables innovative nurses to improve healthcare at an organizational level. The curriculum includes study of the management of clinical systems and leadership in organizational systems. The nursing education concentration prepares advanced practitioners equipped to teach in hospitals, nursing schools, and other organizations. The curriculum includes coursework in learning environment design, program and curriculum development, and assessment and evaluation. Nurses seeking to pursue informaticists learn how to collect and manage data in the informatics concentration, including data information and knowledge, systems life cycle, and management information for decision support. All three online MSN programs require a capstone project in the chosen specialty that includes partnering with a mentor.

The School of Nursing has been designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing. All of its programs are accredited by the the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Instructors deliver MSN coursework asynchronously, and the school provides students access to affordable tuition and generous financial aid options. Admission to the MSN online requires a bachelor's degree in nursing, official school transcripts, and RN licensure in the U.S.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing leadership and administration of health care systems, nursing education, nursing informatics
Tuition: $645/credit
Credit requirements: 36-38 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Synchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 647-2388
Email: [email protected]

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46 Sacred Heart University RANKING SCORE 61.91 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 35% LOCATION Fairfield, CT

Sacred Heart University is a private Roman Catholic university that was founded in 1963 in Fairfield, Connecticut. The school offers a master's of science in nursing degree online with no residency requirement. Students must choose one of the following MSN concentrations: nursing education, family nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, or nursing management and executive leadership. Each of these tracks prepares students to pursue advanced nursing careers in the corresponding area of the field and to sit for professional certification exams.

Unlike other online MSN programs, SHU students can set the pace of their class load and have up to six years to earn their degree. However, many students finish the program in two years. Students must earn 36 to 39 credits to graduate, depending on their concentration. All students must enroll in four core classes on healthcare policy, quality care, professional roles in nursing, and healthcare research. They must also complete 24 to 27 credits in specialization courses, which vary depending on their chosen track. The clinical nurse leader specialization allows for nurses to study some leadership courses while also working toward becoming an advanced generalist clinician.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and a valid RN license to be considered. The bachelor's degree does not need to be a BSN, and a BA or BS with an ADN is also acceptable. There is no GRE or standardized test score requirement for admission. SHU allows students to transfer up to 12 graduate credits towards the MSN program. SHU also offers a program for the transition from RN to MSN online. This MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program name: Master's of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Family nurse practitioner, nursing management & executive leadership, nursing education
Accrediting body: CCNE
Tuition: $690/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Nursing diploma or Associate in Nursing, Registered Nurse license
Credit requirements: 36-39 credits (varies by concentration)
Field education requirements: Clinical practicum/immersion

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years (up to 6 years)
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Department phone: (877) 791-7181
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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47 DePaul University RANKING SCORE 61.49 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 25% LOCATION Chicago, IL

The nation's largest Catholic College, this Chicago-based institution's College of Science and Health provides science-based curricula that embraces a liberal arts foundation. For registered nurses seeking to upgrade their credentials, DePaul offers a 58- to-61 credit RN to MS in nursing. The program offers two specialization tracks: nursing administration or nursing education. Students complete the program fully online with the exception of clinical hours. The curriculum includes a 16-credit core, with study of pathophysiology and applied pharmacology, biostatistics and epidemiology, informatics and technology applications, and a graduate research synthesis. The synthesis requires students to review data collection procedures, perform data analysis, complete a research manuscript, and present findings at a research meeting.

Each of the two tracks requires 18-21 credits in coursework and a capstone with a 200-hour practicum. The nursing administration track includes study of evidence-based management, organizational behavior and human resources, and topics in healthcare administration. Coursework in the nurse education track includes study of learning theories, course development, and classroom assessment. Upon completion of each specialized track students receive a graduate certificate in health administration or health professions education.

Students need one of these degrees to enter the program: a bachelor of science in nursing, associate degree in nursing, or a nursing diploma and a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field. The number of credits needed to earn the MSN will depend on the point of entry. Instructor deliver coursework asynchronously, and full-time students complete the degree in two years. Part-time students complete the degree in three years. Admission requires RN licensure in the U.S.


Program Overview
Program name: RN to Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition: $710/credit
Credit requirements: 40 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (773) 325-7315
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook;Twitter

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48 The University of West Florida RANKING SCORE 61.19 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 82% LOCATION Pensacola, FL

UWF’s School of Nursing delivers affordable programs that incorporate state-of-the-art technology with the best practices in nursing. The 39-credit master of science in nursing has two specializations: nursing education and nurse executive. The curriculum includes a 14-credit core and 25 credits in specialization coursework. Core study areas include the foundations of nursing science, population health promotion and management, and the use of evidence in advanced nursing practice

Those pursuing the nursing education specialization study advanced pharmacology, health assessment, and pathophysiology. They also take three seminar courses and accompanying practicums focused on the nurse educator role and the teaching and learning process, the application of teaching and learning theories in the development of curricula, and the analysis and management of nursing education curricula.

The nurse executive specialization focuses on fiscal administration, information technology and data analysis, and project development for healthcare professionals. It also requires three seminar courses and accompanying practicum: theories in nursing leadership and management, how to make effective and strategic organizational decisions, and how to apply the principles and models of evidence-based practice to improve processes and outcomes.

The MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students take courses in eight- or 16-week terms, with an accelerated, 24-month option.. Admission into the master of science in nursing online requires a bachelor of science in nursing degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a résumé, three letters of recommendation, and RN licensure in the U.S. or a territory.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing education, nurse executive
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit requirements: 39 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (877) 588-2502
Email: [email protected]

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49 Ball State University RANKING SCORE 61.14 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 74% LOCATION Muncie, IN

Ball's School of Nursing utilizes rigorous curricula and an online platform to teach advanced nursing to busy nurses. The master of science in nursing-RN to MS option is a part-time program open to registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and a non-nursing bachelor's degree. Students select one of three concentrations: nurse administrator, nurse educator, and family nurse practitioner (FNP). Each consists of an 11-credit core, courses in the specialization, and a practicum that students complete within their own community.

Core coursework covers nursing theory, nursing information technology, concept analysis and decision-making, and health promotion and injury prevention. The nurse administrator specialization includes study of administrative management, financial management, managing organizational behavior, and a 180-hour practicum. The nurse educator specialization includes study of curricular design, program evaluation, health assessment for clinical practice, and a 180-hour practicum. FNP students take coursework in areas such as pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced clinical pharmacology. FNP students do not take the practicum; instead they must clock 690 supervised clinical hours caring for different sick populations in primary care settings. The online master's in nursing, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, is taught by faculty who are scholars and practicing nurses. Instructors in the RN to MSN deliver coursework asynchronously, and students take two classes per semester to complete the degree in nine to 11 semesters, depending on the concentration.

Notably, the School of Nursing's Simulation and Information Technology Center provides on-campus and distance education clinical simulation and technology support. Nursing students practice patient care simulations at the facility, which has 18 hospital beds, a new critical care simulation suite, and a four-bed obstetrical wing. MSN admission requires an ADN and bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, school transcripts, and RN licensure in the state of practice.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing - RN to MS Option
Available concentrations: nurse administrator, nurse, educator, family nurse practitioner
Tuition: $402/credit in-state; $603/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 54-63 credits depending on concentration
Program length: 4.5 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0

Contact
Phone: (754) 285-5571
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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50 The University of Texas at Arlington RANKING SCORE 61.12 COST % ENROLLED ONLINE 49% LOCATION Arlington, TX

UT Arlington is an urban research college located in the heart of North Texas. The school enrolls more than 58,000 students each year and offers 180 degrees in fields spanning a variety of disciplines. UT Arlington began offering distance learning programs in 1998 and today boasts more than 700 unique online courses. Students seeking to earn an advanced nursing degree can enroll in one of the school's robust online nursing programs.

UT Arlington offers a master of science in nursing with several options. The 36-credit nursing administration specialization prepares students to become nurse managers. The curriculum builds on competencies acquired at the undergraduate level and emphasizes management theories that help prepare graduates for careers in a variety of healthcare settings.

The 45-credit pediatric acute care nurse practitioner specialization is ideal for experienced pediatric nurses who already have a bachelor of science in nursing. The curriculum covers topics like pediatric acute and chronic healthcare in emergency rooms, critical care, intensive rehabilitation, and early intervention programs.

There is also a 39-credit nursing in education concentration that teaches students how to develop nursing curricula, master advanced teaching competencies, and implement a variety of learning strategies in a classroom setting.

Finally, the 41-credit adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner program prepares nurses to provide care to patients of all ages. Core coursework covers topics such as illness prevention, how to manage acute illnesses, and the complicated healthcare needs of the elderly.

All nursing students must engage in clinicals to supplement classroom instruction. General admission requirements include a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0, unencumbered RN licensure, and two years clinical experience. All UT Arlington nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nursing
Available concentrations: Nursing administration, nursing in education, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric acute care nurse practitioner, and adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner
Credit requirements: nursing administration - 36 credits; nursing in education - 39 credits; pediatric primary care nurse - 41 credits; pediatric acute care nurse - 45 credits; and adult gerontology primary care nurse - 41 credits
Program length: Depends on concentration

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 3.0 GPA
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: Minimum 2 years clinical RN experience

Contact
Phone: (866) 489-2810; (817) 272-2776
Email: [email protected] (Samantha Stewart, Graduate Admissions Counselor)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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Online master’s of nursing programs are suitable for registered and licensed nurses interested in expanding their career opportunities. Students who hold an associate or bachelor’s in nursing may earn their master’s in nursing through a bridge program. Graduates of online master’s in nursing programs can pursue managerial positions and work as advanced practice nurses.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN NURSING

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Family Nurse Practitioner This concentration prepares students to become family nurse practitioners. Graduates provide a wide range of primary care services to patients in a number of different settings, including hospitals, family practices, and community clinics. Students who choose this concentration may can obtain certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Family nurse practitioner
Nurse Education This concentration is intended for nursing students who want to pursue education-related jobs. Topics covered include research, policy, ethics, technology, and pedagogy. The curriculum includes a hands-on nursing experience. Graduates are prepared to educate their fellow nurses on a wide range of issues in order to improve patient outcomes and the nursing profession. Nurse educator, teacher
Nurse Administration This concentration focuses on developing leadership skills and is appropriate for students seeking to become nurse administrators or other supervisory positions in the field. This concentration teaches students how to improve patient outcomes by ensuring that nurses have good working environments. Nurse administrator

NURSING BRIDGE PROGRAMS

Nursing bridge programs are designed for working nurses who would like to pursue higher education. The advantage of these programs is that they allow students who have already completed some education to earn another degree quicker than usual.

Some students start bridge programs as registered or licensed practical nurses (RNs or LPNs), either without an academic degree or with an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Examples of this type of bridge program would be RN to BSN, ADN to BSN, and RN to MSN online. Another common bridge program is the BSN to MSN online, in which a nurse with a bachelor’s can earn a master’s of science in nursing online.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN NURSING

Courses offered in online master’s in nursing programs vary depending on the school. Sample courses have been listed below.

  • Advanced nursing: This course helps students develop advanced knowledge of their role in the field. Students learn how to become effective leaders in management positions, education, and clinical nursing environments. Topics covered include leadership, planning, and evaluation. Students also develop individual career plans and consider contemporary issues related to advanced nursing. Skills learned in this course are useful for students seeking administrative and supervisory positions.
  • Health promotion and epidemiology: This course covers topics related to promoting evidence-based practices in health promotion and epidemiology. Students learn how to use tools needed to plan, implement, and evaluate health programs and improve patient outcomes. Cultural competence in diverse populations is an important issue covered in this course. This course is useful for students who want to become public health nurses.
  • Health policy: This course covers a wide range of health policy issues and is suited for students interested in jobs that involve policy work. This may include administrators and other higher-level positions. Students learn to critically analyze rules and laws that impact the health care system and to advocate for changes that will improve patient care.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN NURSING?

Master’s degree in nursing online programs vary in length. Factors affecting program length are the number of courses available each term and whether students attends part-time or full-time. Some programs give students the choice to go at their own pace, while others adopt a cohort learning approach. In cohort programs, students progress through the program with the group they started with, taking the same courses each term. The cohort approach fosters a community of learners who support each other. Students who go at their own pace have more flexibility with how many courses they take and when.

On average, it takes two to three years to graduate from an online master’s in nursing program. Students who already hold an RN license or a bachelor’s in nursing may be able to complete their degree faster than average.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER’S IN NURSING PREPARES FOR

  • Nurse practitioner license: Nurse practitioners, also called advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), are licensed individually by each state’s board of nursing. A master’s of science in nursing (MSN) is required to become one. Other requirements vary by state. Contact your state board of nursing to find out any additional steps needed to obtain a nurse practitioner license.
  • Certified nurse midwife (CNM): This certification indicates a nurse who has graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education. To earn the certification, the nurse must pass a national exam. Certified nurse midwives can provide a range of primary healthcare to women, including delivering babies, providing prenatal and postnatal care, and giving routine gynecological exams.

When looking for online master’s of nursing programs, it’s important to make sure the school and program are both accredited. Accreditation is a voluntary process in which schools and their academic programs are evaluated to make sure they meet minimum educational standards.

There are two types of accreditation: regional and national. Regional accreditation is more widely recognized and commonly accepts transfer credits. By choosing accredited online nursing schools, students can be assured they will get a quality education. It’s also important for nursing students to make sure the online program they choose has an industry-specific accreditation. Nursing programs in the United States are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Two organizations play important roles in accreditation: the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Department of Education (DOE) is a U.S. government agency that establishes policy and coordinates federal assistance, including student loans and grants. The DOE publishes a list of nationally recognized accreditors that students can trust. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation is an organization of degree-granting American colleges and universities. Its purpose is to coordinate the accreditation process for higher education in the United States by ensuring the quality of accrediting agencies. For a list of all accredited schools, visit the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Job Placement: MSN vs Bachelor of Nursing

Qualified nurses are in high demand across the country. President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has expanded health insurance coverage to millions of previously uninsured American citizens, and an aging baby boomer population has also increased the need for trained nursing personnel. According to U.S. News & World Report, registered nurses with a bachelor’s or higher enjoy a low unemployment rate at only 2.1%; furthermore, the field is projected to increase by 16% — roughly 439,000 jobs — between 2014 and 2024. These figures are even more favorable for other nursing professions; for example, jobs for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners are expected to grow 31% during the same period.

According to a recent survey by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), the job outlook is especially good for nurses with a graduate degree. While experienced nurses with a bachelor’s enjoyed a low unemployment rate of 1.9%, those with a graduate degree were even better off at 1.6%. The relatively low number of nurses who earn a master’s is likely one of the main reasons for this disparity. BLS notes that only 9% of registered nurses — fewer than 200,000 — hold a master’s degree; bachelor’s-holding registered nurses, by comparison, represent 46% of the profession.

Earning a Living

In addition to better job placement rates, nurses with a master’s also stand to outearn their bachelor’s-holding counterparts by a considerable margin. The CEW survey found the average nurse with a graduate degree earns roughly $81,000 per year, compared to recent bachelor’s graduates who pull in less than $50,000 on an annual basis. BLS also found that the median salary for a nurse with a master’s was $12,000 higher than that of a bachelor’s-holding nurse, representing a wage premium of 19%.

MSN graduates also stand to make more over the course of their careers. Using data from the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, the table below features expected earnings for nurses with an associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree at two different career stages.

Degree Average Salary for
Early-Career Employees
(0-5 years)
Average Salary for
Mid-Career Employees
(10+ years)
Associate in Nursing $52,200 $64,500
Bachelor’s in Nursing $56,600 $73,600
Master’s in Nursing $82,000 $89,000

Source: 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

As indicated in the table above, the average MSN salary at the mid-career mark is roughly 38% more than the salary for nurses with an associate degree and 21% more than the salary for nurses with a bachelor’s. Another key observation: only $4,400 separates the entry-level salaries of associate- and bachelor’s-holding nurses, while more than $25,000 separated the starting salaries for nurses with a bachelor’s and those with a master’s.

Although a master’s degree will boost a nurse’s earning potential, salaries will vary by nursing profession. The rate at which these salaries grow over time will also depend on the specific job. The following table uses PayScale data to break down some of the most common career pathways for MSN-holding nurses.

Job Title Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Registered Nurse (RN) $51,491 $60,145 $62,977 $66,318
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) $36,604 $40,016 $41,177 $42,600
Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) $39,477 $44,135 $43,110 $45,446
Nurse Anesthetist $127,272 $136,421 $145,931 $152,286
Nurse Midwife $78,000 $85,000 $96,000 $101,000
Nurse Practitioner $84,090 $90,975 $95,196 $97,261

Source: PayScale

PayScale also notes that the median entry-level salary for a nurse with a BSN is $67,264, while the same employee stands to earn $80,891 after 20 years or more of employment. MSN-holders, on the other hand, brought in a median annual salary of $86,292 after 1-4 years of employment and more than $94,000 per year at the late-career mark.

Career Opportunities

MSN students will be qualified for hundreds of nursing jobs once they graduate, although opportunities will vary by the candidate’s degree specialization. Some pursue niche patient care roles in fields like midwifery and anesthesia, while others assume managerial and/or administrative responsibilities at medical facilities. Some of the most common career pathways for MSN graduates are listed below.

Registered Nurses: According to BLS, more than 2.75 million registered nurses (or RNs) are currently employed in the United States. RNs are responsible for delivering patient care, coordinating treatment plans, and maintaining up-to-date records. They typically work alongside physicians, and may manage teams of nursing assistants and orderlies.

Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners: Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners are collectively known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). They handle niche areas of patient care. Anesthetists specialize in providing anesthesia for patients before surgeries and other procedures. Midwives assist pregnant women during the childbirth process. Nurse practitioners often take on the role of primary care provider, working directly with patients and overseeing the other nursing personnel that care for them.

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses: Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic medical care to patients under the guidance of nurse practitioners, physicians, and other onsite managers. Day-to-day duties include changing bandages, checking vital signs (such as blood pressure), and assisting patients with basic tasks like eating and bathing.

Medical and Health Services Managers: Medical and health services managers work behind the scenes to oversee the way patient care is coordinated, delivered, and evaluated at different healthcare facilities. They work closely with physicians, nurses, and other personnel to ensure their worksite is sanitary, outfitted with up-to-date equipment and compliant with medical laws and regulations.

Job Title Median Annual Salary Projected Growth (2014-24) Minimum College Degree Licensure Requirements
Registered Nurse $67,490 16% Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) NCLEX-RN required in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners $104,740 31% Master’s degree with a specialization Varies by state; certification is required in states that recognize APRN roles.
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses $43,170 16% 1-year diploma program at a technical college, community college or high school NCLEX-PN
Medical and Health Services Managers $94,500 17% Bachelor’s degree None

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to nursing is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for professional nurses. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

American Nurses Association: The ANA was founded in 1896 to improve the working standards and conditions for professional nurses, and the organization has continued this work to the present day. Members receive access to a vast online resource library, discounted certification and recertification rates, access to five ANA publications and an invitation to the organization’s annual conference.

American Academy of Nursing: The AAN follows a mission of “advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge.” The organization today represents more than 2,400 members.

Emergency Nurses Association: Established in 1968, the ENA was created to represent nurses who serve patients in emergency rooms, critical care units, and other highly demanding settings. The organization today advocates for patient safety, as well as optimal emergency nursing practices.

Despite the relative affordability of online MSN programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and school. Here, we’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single parents.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

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MOST AFFORDABLE ONLINE MSN PROGRAMS

Many of today’s college students are unable to afford an advanced degree, and those who pursue an MSN are no exception. Our list of the cheapest online MSN programs is geared toward nursing students on a tight budget.

MASTER’S IN HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION

Similar to an MSN, a master’s in healthcare administration is designed for students who are interested in pursuing managerial roles in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. Check out our list of the country’s best graduate-level programs for aspiring healthcare administrators.

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT MASTER’S DEGREE

Physician’s assistants — like many nurses — provide critical backup for doctors, surgeons, and other high-level medical personnel. We’ve created a list of the country’s top five online master’s degree programs for aspiring physician’s assistants.

Rankings Archive

Best Online MSN Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
2 Georgetown University Washington, DC
3 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
4 George Washington University Washington, DC
5 University of Maryland Baltimore Baltimore, MD
6 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
7 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX
8 The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX
9 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
10 Allen College Waterloo, IA
11 Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, OH
12 Clarkson College Omaha, NE
13 Mount Carmel College of Nursing Columbus, OH
14 University of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia, SC
15 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
16 University of St Francis Joliet, IL
17 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
18 Chatham University Pittsburgh, PA
19 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
20 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
21 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
22 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
23 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
24 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
25 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL

Best Online MSN Programs of 2016
Rank School Location
1 University of Texas - Medical Branch Galveston, TX
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
3 Frontier Nursing University Hyden, KY
4 Graceland University - Lamoni Lamoni, IA
5 Georgetown University Washington, DC
6 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
7 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX
8 University of St. Francis - Joliet Joliet, IL
9 University of Mississippi - Medical Center Jackson, MS
10 Regis University Denver, CO
11 Concordia University - Wisconsin Mequon, WI
12 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
13 The George Washington University Washington, DC
14 Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC
15 Benedictine University Lisle, IL
16 California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA
17 Samuel Merritt University Oakland, CA
18 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
19 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
20 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
21 Clarkson College Omaha, NE
22 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
23 Allen College Waterloo, IA
24 University of Texas Arlington Arlington, TX
25 Ball State University Muncie, IN

Best Online MSN Programs of 2015
Rank School Location
1 Georgetown University Washington, DC
2 Duke University Durham, NC
3 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
4 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
5 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
6 The George Washington University Washington, DC
7 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing Omaha, NE
8 Mount Carmel College of Nursing Columbus, OH
9 Bryan College of Health Sciences Lincoln, NE
10 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
11 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
12 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
13 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
14 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
15 Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI
16 Clarkson College Omaha, NE
17 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
18 University of South Carolina Columbia, SC
19 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
20 Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA
21 University of Delaware Newark, DE
23 University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN
24 University of Arkansas Little Rock, AR
25 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA