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Online RN to Master’s Programs
Introduction
best rn to msn online programs
Top Programs
Online RN to Master’s Programs
Cheapest Programs
top rn to msn online programs
Program Details
Online RN to Master’s Programs
Shortest Programs
Online RN to Master’s Programs
FNP Programs
rn to msn online nursing programs
Career outlook
best online rn to msn programs
Resources

RN to MSN Online

RN to MSN online programs

A registered nurse (RN) is a highly trained and skilled professional who works within a variety of healthcare settings. There are many RNs who wish to take the next step in their profession, whether it’s going into management or moving up into advanced practice nursing. Yet these career moves usually require a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. To meet the high demand for this important degree option, many schools have RN to MSN online Programs. It is important to note that these programs are also known as RN to MSN Bridge Programs Online and they’re designed to accommodate students who are RNs, but who have an associate degree and want to get into an MSN degree directly without a BSN degree in the middle. Below is a comprehensive overview of these types of RN to MSN Online programs and what students can expect from them.

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Top RN to MSN Online Programs

Every student would like to attend the top online RN to MSN program possible. So how does a nursing master’s student choose the one that’s “top”? There are some obvious or tangible factors, such as a program’s reputation and school recognition. Accreditation is important because a program that’s not accredited means the degree will mean little, and it will be far more difficult to obtain financial aid. Other aspects to look at are including certification exam passage rates, graduation rates, and types of online learning available. Some online programs have an synchronous online delivery system that allows grad students to attend class anywhere but at a set time. This limits the level of flexibility a nursing master’s student has in the program. We have considered all these and created the below list of Top RN to MSN Online Programs:

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Simmons University
300 The Fenway, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
$21,65481%
#2
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
$10,78071%
#3
University of Cincinnati
2624 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221
$12,79071%
#4
Capella University
225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
$14,767NA
#5
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
$8,85067%
#6
Western Carolina University
Highway 107, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723
$4,43562%
#7
University of Arizona
1401 E University, Tucson, Arizona 85721
$11,938 65%
#8
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901
$7,79361%
#9
South Dakota State University
1015 Campanile Avenue, Brookings, South Dakota 57007
$8,083 56%
#10
University of North Alabama
One Harrison Plaza, Florence, Alabama 35632
$6,66049%
#11
Ferris State University
1201 S State St, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307
$7,60847%
#12
Fort Hays State University
600 Park St, Hays, Kansas 67601
$3,58243%
#13
Clarkson College
101 S 42nd St, Omaha, Nebraska 68131
$11,17838%
#14
Lamar University
4400 MLK Blvd, Beaumont, Texas 77705
$6,32434%
#15
South University
709 Mall Blvd, Savannah, Georgia 31406
$15,60010%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Cheapest RN to MSN Online Programs

Most prospective MSN students will look for the most affordable RN to MSN online programs – and for some, it will be the single most important factor when choosing a school. This is perfectly understandable, but before jumping at the cheapest option out there, it’s important to consider one big factor that affects a school’s tuition rate. That is, it is important to confirm what a master’s in a nursing student is giving up by choosing a school with lower tuition. In many cases, they’re giving up nothing – it’s a solid program that happens to be more affordable. In other cases, higher tuition may equate to more student services, thus making it easier to obtain academic assistance from the professor or technical assistance from the school. We have considered all the factors and created the list of the Cheapest RN to MSN Online Programs:

Link to this Page
College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Fort Hays State University
600 Park St, Hays, Kansas 67601
$3,58243%
#2
Western Carolina University
Highway 107, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723
$4,43562%
#3
Lamar University
4400 MLK Blvd, Beaumont, Texas 77705
$6,32434%
#4
University of North Alabama
One Harrison Plaza, Florence, Alabama 35632
$6,66049%
#5
Ferris State University
1201 S State St, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307
$7,60847%
#6
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901
$7,79361%
#7
South Dakota State University
1015 Campanile Avenue, Brookings, South Dakota 57007
$8,083 56%
#8
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
$8,85067%
#9
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487
$10,780 71%
#10
Clarkson College
101 S 42nd St, Omaha, Nebraska 68131
$11,17838%
#11
University of Arizona
1401 E University, Tucson, Arizona 85721
$11,93865%
#12
University of Cincinnati
2624 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221
$12,79071%
#13
Capella University
225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

$14,767NA
#14
South University
709 Mall Blvd, Savannah, Georgia 31406
$15,60010%
#15
Simmons University
300 The Fenway, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
$21,65481%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Understanding RN to MSN Online

The typical MSN student will be a practicing RN who wants to open up professional prospects, whether that means obtaining greater pay, taking on management responsibilities or having more opportunities to treat certain types of patients. But there are many ways to get to that career change, and it all starts with the MSN program.

When choosing the best RN to MSN program, it’s important to remember that what one student sees as the ‘perfect’ program might not even be on the radar for another. However, most nursing master’s students will focus on three primary characteristics when choosing their program: the cost to completion, how long it takes to earn the degree and the overall quality of the program.

Specializations in RN to MSN Online Programs

For most nurses, the whole point of getting an MSN degree is to increase their skillset and knowledge. Therefore, most online MSN programs offer an array of concentrations or specializations for nursing master’s students to choose from. Most of them train students for either advanced practice nursing roles within a clinical setting or leadership positions in administration. Here are some of the most popular:

Nurse Midwifery Family Nurse Practitioner Nurse Education Nurse Leadership
This specialization prepares students to serve as nurse midwives, which is a type of advanced practice registered nurse that works exclusively with female patients. Specifically, they provide female reproductive and prenatal care, including delivering babies and providing wellness education. Upon completion, graduates will be ready to sit for the American Midwifery Certification Board national exam. The demand for primary care is steadily. In fact, many patients have begun seeing nurse practitioners and similar medical professionals for their first level primary care needs. Family nurse practitioners focus on treating patients, sometimes specializing in certain populations (such as children or adults). They receive the training necessary to prepare them on technical, emotional and social levels.Nurses who have an interest in teaching will want to consider this specialization. As practicing nurses, enrolled grad students already know the bulk of information that future nurses will need to succeed. However, the nurse education concentration teaches these nurses the skills to convey that knowledge to future nurses in an effective manner. Graduates will be prepared to teach students at all levels. Under this specialization, master’s students will hone the management skills necessary to serve as a nurse executive within a healthcare organization. The curriculum will include topics such as finance, policy and informatics; this gives nurses the foundational knowledge to make informed decisions while working as a healthcare administrator.

Online RN to MSN Programs: No Clinicals?

For most online MSN degree programs, clinicals will be required. One caveat has to do with RN to MSN programs that grant a BSN degree in addition to an MSN. In these types of programs, the clinicals are only required as a part of the MSN portion of the curriculum. When clinicals are required, many programs will allow master’s in nursing students to complete them at medical facilities close to home or work. This can be done by making arrangements with program administrators ahead of time. In some cases, the student can meet clinical requirements at the same medical facility where they work.


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Shortest RN to MSN Online Programs

There is no question that there is a huge demand for Nurses in the US. This demand also invites competition. So, Nurses typically want to get an MSN degree, so advance their careers into administration, leadership, and technology roles. This upward mobility can be accelerated by an MSN degree. What about Nurses that are Registered Nurses and may not have a BSN degree? There are plenty of RN to MSN Online programs, as discussed in this guide. But time is also of the essence for RN’s as taking the route of RN to BSN to MSN might take a long time. Luckily there are fast tract and accelerated RN to MSN Online Programs that will let Nursing professionals finish an MSN degree in a short amount of time. Here is a list of the Shortest RN to MSN Online Programs.

George Washington University

Chamberlain University

Drexel University

There are plenty of other Shortest RN to MSN Online Programs. Here are a few more:

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Online RN to MSN FNP

Many Registered Nurses want to grow in careers by getting an MSN degree, bypassing the BSN route. The programs that facilitate these direct admissions are called the RN to MSN Bridge Programs Online. However, the RNs might already have a specialization in or may want to pursue an MSN degree with Family Nursing Practice (FNP). These programs area called Online RN to MSN FNP. Given the significance of Family Nursing Practice and the demand for this field, this is a good move for Nurses. Here are some universities that offer Online RN to MSN FNP.

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Career & Salary Outlook for RN to MSN Online Graduates

When a nurse decides to enroll in an online MSN program, they probably want to develop a more advanced skillset to help additional patients, to move into a leadership role or to teach. Therefore, most graduates of an MSN program will move on to academia, administration or advanced practice nursing. Compared to the typical registered nurse, many of these positions pay higher wages and provide the flexibility of more reasonable working hours.

According to the Bureau Labor Statistics, the national average median wage for registered nurses was $70,000. However, compare this to typical MSN prepared professionals:

  • Nurse Practitioners: $103,880
  • Postsecondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers: $71,260
  • Nurse Midwives: $100,590
  • Medical and Health Service Managers: $98,350

The lowest median salary goes to postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers, but it’s important to remember the other benefits that come with the higher degree. Keep in mind is that in a university setting, they don’t have to work year-round, given how most schools are out of session during the winter and summer breaks. Additionally, the schedule is far more flexible and accommodating because instructors, for the most part, don’t have to be on call, work holidays or take over additional shifts for coworkers.

But it’s not just higher pay or a less stressful workday that drives nurses to earn an MSN degree. In many states, advanced practice nurses can work without the supervision of a physician and may have greater ability to treat patients. For example, they will have the authority to diagnose patients and prescribe medications; registered nurses usually do not have these responsibilities.

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Resources for RN to MSN Online Students

Getting an RN to MSN Online degree is the right step for Nurses. However, there are other things that Nurses have to do to keep in touch with the changes that are happening in the Nursing world. This includes networking with other professionals, following various journals & organizations, attending conferences, etc. All of this will get the Nurses ready for upward mobility in their careers. Here are a few organizations that will help Nursing careers.


When looking through the wide variety of options available, finding the right program might feel somewhat like looking for a needle in a haystack. That’s one of the reasons that doing intensive research into the options is so important. Check out the following pages for additional details on master’s in nursing online programs:

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