Earning a Master of Science in nursing (MSN) is a great way to increase your experience and knowledge of nursing. However, transitioning from RN to MSN is not a simple task. You’ll need diligence, dedication and enough free time to satisfactorily complete the requisite coursework of an accredited MSN program.

MSN programs, depending on the specific program, require either a bachelor’s degree or, more specifically, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Most MSN programs also require applicants to hold a license as a registered nurse, so nurses who currently hold their RN license and have completed their undergraduate education (ideally in nursing) are well poised to enter into the MSN program of their choice.

Most MSN programs last between one and two years, depending on whether or not you enroll as a full- or part-time student. Curriculums can vary widely, but you can find out more about the general curriculum of an MSN program on our nurse practitioner education page. There are a wide variety of RN to MSN programs available to qualified applicants. RN to MSN programs may be available in an establishment of higher learning close to your home, and some are even offered online.

Online RN to MSN Programs

Earning your RN to MSN online allows the freedom and flexibility of completing coursework from anywhere in the country, with a greater amount of scheduling flexibility. Those who earn an online RN to MSN do not have to worry about uprooting their lives in order to attend a top-ranked program. Some very highly ranked university programs offer a full online RN to MSN program so that you can earn a prestigious degree at home, with high-quality features such as live classes. Online programs take about two and a half years to complete, while part-time online RN to MSN programs take three years to complete.