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Top Online MSN Programs 2019

For the last 30 years or so, an MSN has been the standard for advanced nursing practice, and today’s online BSN to MSN programs bring that standard up to date to meet the needs of the 21st century’s busy nurses. While some advanced specialties have begun adopting the DNP as the preferred terminal degree, for most nurses, the MSN is the key to higher pay, greater responsibility, and increased career potential.

Today, more than ever, working nurses are busy, and colleges and universities have responded to the need for further schooling with a host of BSN to MSN online fast-track programs, 1 year online MSN programs, and other accelerated BSN to MSN programs. The best MSN programs, as always, prepare nurses for the demands of advanced practice, but today the shortest MSN program can get well-prepared nurses through in just a year. Nurses searching for the cheapest online MSN programs can also find a wealth of accredited, reputable universities that have made affordability a crucial part of their mission.

Crunching Numbers: Ranking the Best Online BSN to MSN Programs

To rank the Top 25 Online RN to MSN Programs 2019, Nursing School Hub editors searched out fully online, hybrid, and low-residency MSN programs offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities. Under those parameters, programs are ranked according to 4 factors:

  • Nursing School Ranking – U.S. News & World Report Graduate Nursing
  • Student Reviews – current Niche rating
  • Cost – current IPEDS data
  • ROI – College Scorecard alumni salary data

NSH features only colleges and universities with regional accreditation; nearly all programs are also accredited by the CCNE or ACEN.

1. Johns Hopkins University – JHU Online Studies

Johns Hopkins UniversityThe Johns Hopkins University online MSN degree program comes from one of the world’s most respected nursing schools, with the added value of online coursework. With JHU’s tradition of excellence and innovation, the online MSN program provides the most current, groundbreaking instruction in the field, preparing students for a number of specialization certifications. Only JHU’s MSN Health Systems Management Track is available in a fully online format, providing the same interdisciplinary exploration and evidence-based problem solving skills as the traditional on-campus program.

Johns Hopkins University is a household name, recognized far and wide as the standard in medical research and higher education. JHU was founded in 1876 as the nation’s first modern research university, but Johns Hopkins has never rested on its laurels, constantly pushing every field forward. JHU’s School of Nursing is widely considered one of the best in the world, and admissions are competitive; only the most motivated and promising students are accepted. That means that an online MSN degree from Johns Hopkins has a value that is hard to measure, but well beyond the average – or even the elite.

Degree: MSN – Health Systems Management

2. University of Colorado Anschutz – CU Online

With nine concentrations, the University of Colorado Anschutz’ online MSN degree program is an excellent option for those who are seeking preparation in the nursing industry. Not only does this program prepare nurses for direct care, but institutional leadership as well. Those who enroll will develop skills to become proficient in formulating administrative, clinical, or policy decisions for promoting health for clients who are experiencing acute, chronic illness, or wellness. During BSN to MSN programs such as these, students can expect outcomes including the use of theoretical frameworks for addressing the needs of families, patients, populations, or systems.

Part of the world-renowned Anschutz Medical Campus – now known as CU Anschutz – the College of Nursing receives its accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The University of Colorado has been ranked one of the Top 25 colleges for students who want to change the world, according to Business Insider, and that is as true of the College of Nursing as any other division. The CU College of Nursing holds steady to their commitment to ensuring students remain lifelong learners.

Degree: MSN – 9 concentrations

3. University of Pittsburgh – Pitt Online

The University of Pittsburgh’s online MSN degree program not only helps to prepare students in specialized nursing roles, but it’s also available in either full or part=time study. Students can choose between concentrations in Clinical Nurse Leadership or Nursing Informatics, two of the most in-demand specializations today. It’s possible for students who don’t have their BSN to enter this program through the university’s RN options, which is an early admissions program.

The Pitt School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Founded during 1787 as a public institution, the university currently has more than 28,000 students. According to U.S. News & World Report, Pitt ranks among the most innovative schools in the nation, and the School of Nursing’s online MSN is a prime example of why, with the most current research and resources for students. And while Pitt may not be one of the cheapest online MSN programs, its reputation gives graduates an exceptional return on their investment.

Degree: MSN – Clinical Nurse Leader or Nursing Informatics

4. Ohio State University – Ohio State Online

For those who would like to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, Ohio State University’s online MSN degree program has a highly regarded FNP track fully online. Every student has the option of taking traditional MS courses through the online programs and complete their clinicals within their communities. It’s the College of Nursing’s goal to recruit and prepare students to become nurse practitioners with qualifications for providing culturally competent mental and primary health. Those who are seeking the shortest MSN program may benefit from this online course in that they can achieve flexibility, convenience, and adapt it to their schedule.

Accredited by the CCNE, Ohio State’s College of Nursing is ranked at the very top of U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best online graduate nursing programs. OSU was founded in 1870, but stands today as one of the nation’s leaders in innovation, accessibility, and diversity, having built a reputation not only for excellence, but inclusion. It’s no wonder OSU emphasizes the “The” in The Ohio State University – there’s only one Ohio State, and it’s an icon of higher education.

Degree: MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner

5. University of Massachusetts at Amherst – UMass Online

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s online MSN degree program offers students a choice between two concentrations: Clinical Nurse Leader or Nursing Education. Students can participate in courses, the majority of which are online, to become leaders in settings that are diverse. For example, they can expect outcomes including providing comprehensive nursing services to groups, families, and individuals across a broad range of ages. Considered one of the best CCNE-accredited online BSN to MSN programs, the UMass MSN can be completed in just 2 full-time or 3 part-time years.

UMass was founded in 1863 as an agricultural land-grant college, but it has made its reputation as New England’s foremost public university. With that status, UMass has been key to building Massachusetts’ professional workforce, from law and science to medicine and, of course, nursing. Regularly ranked as one of the best public research universities in the US, UMass is also recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a best value – part of the reason the UMass online MSN is one of the cheapest online MSN programs of its caliber.

Degree: MSN – Clinical Nurse Leader or Nursing Education

6. University of Utah – UOnline

With five MSN concentrations, The University of Utah’s online MSN degree program will help students advance their educational and career opportunities. Graduates can expect outcomes including expanding their knowledge of science and humanities, working with individuals in diverse settings, and integrating advanced skills and knowledge to assure the highest outcomes for all whom they treat. Students will also apply evidence-based research, practice ethics, exercise leadership, collaborate, conduct evaluations, and demonstrate professionalism. It’s possible for students participating in these BSN to MSN programs to do so through distance delivery.

The University of Utah College of Nursing receives its accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NECCU). Ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report’s top online graduate nursing programs, University of Utah College of Nursing’s ultimate vision is to help develop leadership in the nursing industry, as well as throughout health care, who voices, discoveries, and actions contribute to advance and strengthen the health of communities and individuals across the globe.

Degree: MSN – 5 concentrations

7. University of Arizona – UA Online

The University of Arizona online MSN degree program allows practicing RNs with their ADN to earn their master’s degree in Clinical Systems Leadership program in just two years. Those who are already holding a BSN can take fewer classes, thus minimizing overlaps with coursework previously taken. That gives well-prepared students the opportunity to complete their MSN in as few as fifteen months, making Arizona’s online MSN essentially an accelerated BSN to MSN program, and one of the shortest MSN programs in the West.

University of Arizona’s College of Nursing receives its accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. According to U.S. World News & Report, UA is one of the top 50 nursing schools, and one of the best graduate nursing programs nationally They embrace values including excellence, balance, social responsibility, and creativity. These values tie into their mission which is envisioning, engaging, and innovating health-care and nursing education, clinical practice models, and discoveries. The university’s ultimate vision is to become a learning community that’s premier for the transformation of health care.

Degree: MSN

8. University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati Online

The University of Cincinnati’s online MSN degree program comes from a CCNE-accredited nursing school considered one of the best in the Midwest. UC’s specialized programs provide students with the knowledge, research, and the necessary technical skills to advance into leadership in the field of nursing. Concentrations include Adult Gero, FNP, Nurse-Midwifery, or Women’s Health NP. Students can select between part and full-time enrollment for added flexibility.

Founded as a public institution in 1819, the University of Cincinnati is one of the oldest universities in the Midwest. U.S. World News & Report ranks UC’s online master’s in nursing program one of the best in the US – not quite top 10, but #11 for 2018. The College of Nursing’s vision to use inclusive excellence and the creative leverage of technology to lead the health care industry’s transformation. They embrace core values including accountability, collaboration, excellence, integrity, and respect.

Degree: MSN – Adult Gero, FNP, Nurse Midwifery, Women’s Health NP

9. University of Central Florida – UCF Online

The University of Central Florida online MSN degree program gives students the opportunity to concentrate in the areas of Nursing Leadership and Management, Nurse Educator, Nursing and Health Care Simulation. The university offers this program entirely online for students who would like to build upon their BA in nursing, as well as their professional experiences. While courses are entirely online, students will need to attend campus for orientation and to present their evidence-based final project. The Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education accredits all of UCF’s MSN degree options.

While UCF was founded in 1963 to provide trained engineers and workers for Florida’s Space Coast, its mission is far wider today – and its current enrollment is more than 66,000 students, making it one of the largest universities in the US. According to U.S. News & World Report, the university is ranked as one of the best online nursing schools in America, as well as #10 for Most Innovative Schools. Their motto is, “Reach for the Stars,” and online MSN program students are certainly encouraged to do that.

Degree: MSN – Nursing Leadership and Management, Nurse Educator, Nursing and Health Care Simulation

10. Jacksonville University – Online Learning at JU

Jacksonville University’s online MSN degree program is designed for students who have an interest in specializations in Clinical Nurse Educator, Leadership in Healthcare Systems, or Informatics. Students can choose part or full time study and enjoy, worldwide access, interactive coursework, and practicums that can be completed in their own home region. With competitive tuition, Jacksonville University is one of the cheapest online MSN programs of its quality, and for those who are looking for the shortest MSN program, full-time students can finish in 24 months.

Founded in 1934 as a private institution, Jackson remains a small university of just 4000 students. According to U.S. News & World Report, the university ranks as a top 50 Best Value School, and as well as one of the best Regional Universities South. Their motto is, “Fiat Lux,” which is Latin for, “Let there be light.” Their values include honesty, mutual respect, and integrity, providing service to the community and society, and placing students and their learning experiences at the university’s top priority.

Degree: MSN – Clinical Nurse Educator, Leadership in Healthcare Systems, or Informatics

11. Florida State University – Distance@FSU

Florida State University’s online MSN Nurse Leader program is for those who are seeking preparation in a variety of clinical settings and have the desire to become leaders in their organizations. Those who participate in this program will immediately notice the innate focus the university places on combining financial, human, material resource, and nursing leadership management. In doing so, students will have holistic preparation for nursing at a Master’s of Science in Nursing level. When attending BSN to MSN programs such as this one, students will have access to online resources so they can continue working full-time in their present nursing professions.

Florida State began as a public institution in 1851, one of the state of Florida’s two preeminent or flagship universities. In recent years, FSU has earned national attention, ranking as one of the Most Innovative Schools according to U.S. News & World Report. The university’s core values include transformative daring, inspired excellence, dynamic inclusiveness, responsible stewardship, and engaged community. These values help strengthen the university’s mission of having a dedication to creative endeavors, service, and excellence in teaching.

Degree: MSN Nurse Leader

12. University of Texas at Arlington – UTA Online

The University of Texas at Arlington online MSN degree program is designed to promise the people of Texas optimal health care through excellence in education, service, and scholarship. Students can expect to develop advanced nursing skills while taking part in scholarly activities with that genuinely advance nursing knowledge; students also practice the skills to lead in interdisciplinary health care and professional nursing. While most of UT Arlington’s courses are online, some Saturday classes may be required.

Founded as a public institution in 1895, UT Arlington has grown into a university of nearly 42,000 students and a crucial part of professional education in northern Texas. Already recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a top-tier public research university, UT Arlington is also one of the fastest-growing universities in the US. The College of Nursing and Health Innovation has been earning a reputation as one of the top nursing schools in the West since 1976, and it is still one of the cheapest online MSN programs in the nation.

Degree: MSN – Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, Pediatrics or Adult Gerontology

13. Spring Hill College – Mobile, AL

Spring Hill College’s online MSN degree program is for students who would like to become clinical leaders in the healthcare industry. Clinical Nurse Leaders assume accountability as advanced generalists for patient-care outcomes. Participating in this MSN program combines clinical integration with online courses. Therefore, students can complete their degree requirements in their work environments or local communities. With a job placement rate of 100% and program duration of two years, it’s no wonder these degree programs are in such high demand.

Beginning in 1830, Spring Hill is the oldest Catholic college in the South and one of the most respected small liberal arts colleges in the region. Spring Hill has stayed intentionally small, currently enrolling just under 1500 students. Its small size allows Spring Hill College to continue rooting its mission on its Catholic heritage, making academic excellence the utmost priority. The degree programs Spring Hill College’s Department of Nursing offers receive their accreditation from the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education).

Degree: MSN

14. Ball State University – Ball State Online

Ball University’s online MSN degree program is intended for students who have an interest in specializations in Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator, or FNP. Because these course offerings are available entirely online, it’s possible for students to continue working full-time while achieving their educational goals. For those who have an associate’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s outside of nursing, an RN to MS option is also available. Each of the degree programs Ball University offers through the School of Nursing receives its accreditation from the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education).

Ball State began in 1918 when the Ball family (of the Ball Jar company) bought and donated a former normal school to the state of Indiana. For the last century, Ball State has made the needs of Indiana’s people its highest priority. Ball State currently ranks one of the top 25 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs according to U.S. News & World Report. Their motto is, “We Fly,” and it’s meant to reflect who the people are and what they do at the university. It’s their mission to empower students, faculty, and staff to take risks as a means of achieving success.

Degree: MSN – Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator, or FNP

15. Nova Southeastern University – NSU Online

Nova Southeastern University’s online MSN degree program offers both RN to MSN or BSN to MSN programs, with specializations including Nursing Education, Executive Nurse Leader, and Nursing Informatics. In as little as eight semesters – just two years – students can complete the BSN to MSN online fast track. But if students are lacking their BSN, it’s possible for them to achieve their BSN and MSN simultaneously through the dual degree program. Because students are consistently seeking the cheapest online MSN programs, it’s possible to apply for grants through the state of Florida and hospitals.

Founded initially as a private institution in 1964 (the Nova portion, which merged with Southeastern University in 1994), Nova Southeastern is rapidly becoming one of Florida’s foremost STEM research institutions. According to U.S. News & World Report, NSU ranks among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Their motto is, “Engage, Inspire, Achieve.” Nova Southeastern University’s College of Nursing receives its accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Degree: MSN – Nursing Education, Executive Nurse Leader, Nursing Informatics; RN to MSN or BSN to MSN options

16. Monmouth University – West Long Branch, NJ

Monmouth University’s online MSN degree program offers specialized MSN degree options in Forensic Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, or Nurse Practitioner. Students who wish to enroll in these programs prepare for careers as administrators, educators, or practitioners in a broad range of health fields. Monmouth is one of the best options in New Jersey for students who want to advance in field of nursing. For students looking for the shortest MSN program in the Northeast, Monmouth’s online MSN can be as few as 36 credits.

Initially starting as a private institution in 1933 as a junior college, Monmouth University remains small, with just 6000 students, allowing them to provide the highest level of mentorship and support. U.S. News & World Report ranks Monmouth one of the best regional colleges in the North, and a best value, so while the online MSN degree may not be the cheapest online MSN programs, it provides a more than solid return on investment.

Degree: MSN – Forensic Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, or NP

17. University of Alabama in Huntsville – UAH Online

The University of Alabama in Huntsville online MSN degree program is an optimal choice for working nurses who would like to explore MSN concentration specializations in Adult-Gerontology, FNP, or Nursing Administration. Their Master of Science in Nursing program focuses on preparing nurses who are already in advanced practices for roles as direct providers. Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to sit for national certification exams. The University of Alabama at Huntsville’s College of Nursing’s degree programs each receive their accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville, uniquely, was initially founded as a public institution in 1950 to provide well-trained professionals and technicians for the region’s NASA projects. Today, it is a center of learning in the Deep South, and Alabama’s only Carnegie Foundation top-tier public research university. Dedicated to value and affordability, UAH offers one of the cheapest online MSN programs anywhere, that just happens to be one of the best MSN programs in the South.

Degree: MSN – Adult Gerontology, FNP, Nursing Administration

18. University of Hawaii at Manoa – Honolulu, HI

The University of Hawaii at Manoa online MSN degree program offers online and campus classes to help students achieve this goal. Only one specialization – Advanced Population Health Nursing – is available fully online, but it is one of UH Manoa’s greatest strengths. Those enrolling in this program will have optimal preparation for advanced roles as educators in Graduates will be prepared as population health experts in public health and community health settings, and as nurse leaders in administration. All nursing degrees at the University of Hawaii at Manoa receive accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa was initially founded in 1907 and stands today as Hawaii’s flagship university, with more than 17,000 students. UHM is crucial to professional life in Hawaii, particularly in medicine and healthcare. UHM ranks as one of the Best Online Graduate Programs according to U.S. News & World Report. Their School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene’s mission is to become a leader in their respective fields of research and education not only in Hawaii but also in Asia, as well as the Pacific Basin.

Degree: MS in Advanced Population Health Nursing

19. University of North Carolina at Charlotte – Charlotte, NC

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte online MSN degree program is a rare accelerated ASN to MSN degree program, offering MSN degree options including Community Public Health, Nurse Administrator, or Nurse Educator. Each applicant must meet each admission requirement for the RN to BSN, in addition to the graduation program they select. It’s also a requirement that students submit two applications, one to the Graduation School and one to that RN to BSN program. One of the cheapest online MSN programs in North Carolina, the CCNE-accredited UNCC MSN is sure to provide a solid return on investment.

UNC Charlotte began in 1946 as a humble extension campus of the UNC system, but along with the city of Charlotte, UNCC has boomed into one of the leaders in a state full of exceptional public universities. Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs according to U.S. News & World Report, UNCC has taken a leadership role in online education and professional preparation for North Carolina. The values of the university’s School of Nursing include integrity, innovation, collegiality, diversity, and scholarship.

Degree: MSN – Community Public Health, Nurse Administrator, or Nurse Educator

20. Ferris State University – Ferris Online

Ferris State University’s online MSN degree program is designed for meeting the needs of nurses holding their BSN with the desire of furthering their education. The program is available entirely online, allowing students to achieve their goals while simultaneously working full-time. Students enrolling in this program can select from three concentrations including Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, and Nursing Informatics. One of the most established BSN to MSN programs in the Midwest, Ferris State is accredited by the ACEN.

Ferris State was founded in 1884 as an industrial school, originally dedicated to preparing students for work in manufacturing and other industry, and the university has kept the needs of Michigan’s workers at its heart for more than a century. In recent years, Ferris State has become an online leader, including U.S. News ranking as one of the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. With a mission of outreach to Michigan’s working adults, Ferris State offers one of the cheapest online MSN programs with in-demand MSN degree options.

Degree: MSN

21. Florida Atlantic University – FAU Online

Florida Atlantic University’s online MSN degree program is available from the Lynn College of Nursing in either online or face-to-face formats. Those who enroll will experience a program with a design that offers clinical experience, leadership, and teaching skills necessary for students to excel in their chosen field. The philosophy behind each course in the curriculum has a design with specific intentions to meet the student’s busy schedule. Each of the nursing degree programs available through Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing receives accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Florida Atlantic University began in 1961 with the intention of providing opportunity in South Florida, where there was no public university. According to U.S. News & World Report, FAU offers one of the nation’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. A strong up-and-coming institution, FAU has become known nationally for its diversity and its impact on social mobility, providing a wide variety of students with the means to improve their careers and social standing through education. One of the nation’s best BSN to MSN programs is just one example.

Degree: MSN

22. Old Dominion University – ODU Online

Old Dominion University’s online MSN degree program provides no shortage of options, with 6 concentrations. Their School of Nursing is known for its leadership in the utilization of technologies for distance learning regarding course delivery for their graduate programs. Students can embrace learning critical health assessments and cultural health competency skills thanks to a long-standing partnership with the Eastern Virginia Medical School. MSN degree options include Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, Nurse Midwifery, and Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Old Dominion University was founded in 1930 as an extension campus for the College of William & Mary, but ODU has far outgrown its parent – more than 25,000 students are currently enrolled. Thanks to its early adoption of distance learning, ODU has become one of the nation’s foremost names in online higher education, including one of U.S. News & World Report’s top-ranked online graduate nursing programs. The university embraces core values including being student-centered, stewardship, collaboration, diversity, integrity, quality work, and accountability.

Degree: MSN – 6 concentrations

23. Lewis University – Lewis Online

The Lewis University online MSN degree program helps students not only design but also how to lead and strategize as healthcare leaders. Because the field is constantly evolving, nursing students can actively take steps forward and apply their learning directly in their careers. Students can explore specializations in Nursing Education, Healthcare Systems Leadership, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, or School Nurse. Students must understand the course requirements for each specialization before registering for Lewis’ accelerated RN to MSN programs.

Lewis University came about as a private institution in 1932, founded by the Archdiocese of Chicago to provide opportunity for working class students. Ranked one of the top Regional Universities in the Midwest according to U.S. News & World Report, Lewis is best known today for its online degree programs, including one of the best BSN to MSN programs. The university’s mission includes embracing core Catholic values such as knowledge, wisdom, and justice.

Degree: MSN

24. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston – Galveston, TX

With seven concentrations, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston’s online MSN degree program will help students advance their careers. Students can select from seven tracks, including Adult-Gerontology Primary Care or Acute Care, Clinical Nurse Leader, Executive Nurse Leader, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal, and Nurse Educator. Those seeking the cheapest online MSN programs can expect a return on their investment, backed by accreditation from the CCNE.

With a student:faculty ratio of 8:1, the UTMBG nursing school provides an exceptional level of support, including ranking from U.S. News & World Report as a Best Online Graduate Nursing Program and Best Medical Schools. UT Medical Branch Galveston began in 1891 as the UT medical school, and today remains the center of Texas’ healthcare system. Their vision is to remain accountable for those they serve, as well as each other.

Degree: MSN – 7 concentrations

25. University of North Carolina at Greensboro – UNCG Online

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro online MSN degree programs are offered entirely online for nurses who wish to continue working full-time. Those enrolling in these programs can receive preparation for pre-licensure in patient education, nursing education, and professional staff development. Students will enhance their skills in basic nursing knowledge, as well as obtaining additional expertise in curriculum development, nursing pedagogy, and measurement and testing. Those graduating from UNCG’s BSN to MSN program have a job placement rate of 90% or higher.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro began in 1891 as a women’s college, preparing teachers and technical workers. Today, however, UNCG is one of the state’s foremost public universities, ranked at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs ranking. UNCG is also widely ranked as a best value, providing affordable tuition and strong returns, as well as one of the South’s cheapest online MSN programs.

Degree: MSN

How Much Do BSN to MSN Programs Cost?

A BSN to MSN program can be expensive in terms of time and money. The issue of time can be resolved by taking online classes while you continue working. The cheapest online MSN programs cost between $250 and $600 per credit hour. Some of the cheapest online MSN programs have impeccable records in terms of pass rates for NCLEX and graduation rates.

Usually, public universities are cheaper than private universities but this is not always the case. Public universities are only cheaper for in-state students, while private universities generally have a flat rate for both in-state students and out of state students. However, for the best value, many working nurses will be best looking into a regional public university. These institutions are dedicated to accessibility, affordability, and quality, making them the easiest and most affordable programs to get into.

What Kinds of Nursing Specialties Can I Take in BSN to MSN Programs?

There are several options available for specialization for nurses with a BSN and pursuing their master’s program. The following are some great MSN degree options for nursing specialties:

  • FNP – Family nurse practitioner
  • NNP – Neonatal nurse practitioner
  • CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
  • PPCNP – Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • AGACNP – Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • AGPCNP – Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • WHNP – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • PACNP – Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • PMHNP – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Different MSN degree options may take different lengths of time to complete, and some will not have a 1 year fast track option or accelerated BSN to MSN option. Consult a representative from the school before applying.

How Long Does a BSN to MSN Online Fast Track Take?

A traditional BSN to MSN program usually takes two to three years to complete, but with increased demand – and a better-educated nursing workforce – nursing schools have begun emphasizing BSN to MSN online fast track programs. Online programs offer flexibility and you can choose how long you want to take to complete the program. It’s created a bit of a competition between nursing schools to develop the shortest MSN program, and nursing students benefit.

Although there are clinical components that have to be done on campus, with fully online classes, the shortest MSN program may take as little as one year to complete. The requirements can be demanding; you will need to already have an MSN, and intensive courses may be crammed into 6 or 8 week terms that require a lot of work. But accelerated BSN to MSN programs give you the option of taking leave from your job to further your education or pursue your master’s degree as you work.

How Long Do Accelerated BSN to MSN Programs Take?

The shortest MSN program takes between 12 months and 20 months to complete. One may question if the 1 year online MSN programs are worth it in terms of quality. As much as the accelerated BSN to MSN Programs take this short duration to complete, these programs require nurses to adequately prepare to a certain level before they can qualify.

Furthermore, nurses need to undertake practical courses before they graduate with a master’s degree. Nurses that take 12 months to complete their BSN to MSN online fast track programs have to put up with a lot of assignments in a short time, but the quality of education is always the same.

Are 1 Year Online MSN Programs Reputable?

Nurses usually have tight working schedules, not to mention that they also need to spend some time with family. It is natural for a nurse to choose online classes to improve their education rather than complicate their schedules more by attending traditional classes. The one year online MSN programs are meant for practicing nurses. Institutions that offer online nursing programs need to be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Accreditation assures employers of the quality of education a nurse has received before employing them or giving them a promotion. The main concern is usually with the practical part of the training. Even though the program takes a short time, the students have to take some physical classes to fulfill the clinical requirement of the program.

Related Articles:
What Can I Do With An MSN?
Top Traditional RN to MSN Programs

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