Choose the Best Online Masters Degree in Nursing (MSN) for You

Earning an online masters in nursing (MSN) is your gateway to a more advanced career, one that leads to management, specialization and entrepreneurship opportunities as well as more income.

Accredited MSN programs offer convenient ways to earn an advanced nursing degree online, such as accelerated BSN-to-MSN programs, RN-to-MSN bridge programs, entry-level master’s degrees, and RN-to-APN programs. Nearly all MSN degrees online require a set of core classes plus electives or specialty-focused courses and hands-on clinical hours.

When considering a masters in nursing online, consider the admissions requirements, curriculum, focus areas, and accreditations of the institution. Also, ask questions about the modes of learning (for instance, are there set times each week that you’re required to be online? Are computer simulations available?), length of courses, experience of the faculty, how you can interact directly with faculty and other students, and what kinds of student support are available.

Is an Online Masters in Nursing Right for me?

The Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” states that building a culture of lifelong learning and competency-building is essential for nurses as health care becomes more complex.

With nursing and doctor shortages and the aging-out of nurses, master’s degree-prepared nurses are urgently needed to serve as primary care providers, managers and leaders, educators, researchers, clinicians, case managers, specialists (especially in geriatrics, informatics, public health, and quality and safety), and policy and public consultants.

MSNs are uniquely qualified to change, design, innovate and implement evidence-based practice. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) earn higher salaries and gain increased respect from administrators, physicians and fellow nurses alike.

An online Master’s in Nursing degree is a graduate-level academic program that typically requires a BSN degree, an unencumbered RN license, and may be completed in two to three years. However the AACN also points to the existence of RN-to-MSN bridge programs, accelerated master’s programs, and dual-degree programs do exist.

Online Masters in Nursing Education Requirements

Acceptance into an online masters in nursing program typically require:

  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing higher-education program.
  • GPA of 3.0-4.0
  • Current, unrestricted U.S. or a National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) registered nurse (RN) license
  • Active, unencumbered RN license for the state in which the student’s clinicals will be conducted
  • Letters of recommendation, a resume, a statement of purpose, and high school or GRE transcripts may also be required

The core curriculum for a masters of science (MSN) in nursing online may include courses in advanced physical assessment, ethics, healthcare quality, safety and regulatory management, pharmacology, research and evidence-based practice, healthcare delivery systems and policy, information systems, transcultural theories, and disease prevention.

Along with the core curriculum, online MSN programs allow students to specialize in a specific area of study, such as administration, public health, or informatics. Specializing in a practice is a sure way to set the course for a career in in-demand nursing fields.

RN-to-MSN or APN programs require courses to bridge the gap between an associate and graduate degree. Bridge courses may include topics such as research and evidence-based practice, health assessment, informatics, statistics, population health/epidemiology, leadership in clinical settings, nursing theory, and scientific inquiry.

Sponsored Online Nursing Programs

Sponsored

Earn an MS in Nursing online from Georgetown University.

  • Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 23 months
  • Choose from one of four APRN specialty areas: AG-ACNP, FNP, NM/WHNP, or WHNP
  • Gain hands-on clinical experience in evidence-based practice

Earn a Master of Science in Nursing online from Simmons University.

  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Preparation to pursue certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Part-time, full-time, and extended plans of study

Earn your MSN online from USC’s Top-Ranked School of Social Work.

  • Prepares RNs to pursue board certification as family nurse practitioners
  • Earn a CCNE-accredited MSN in as few as 21 months
  • Choose from part-time and full-time study options

Sponsored

Online Master’s in Nursing Programs

Online Master’s in Nursing Programs
School MS in Nursing Program Specializations Length Clinical Hours Credits
Scroll to Angelo State University
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Leadership & Administration of Health Care Systems
24-36 Months 150-600 Hours 39-49 Credits
Scroll to Benedictine University
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Executive Leader
20-30 Months 690 Hours 47 Credits
Scroll to Drexel University
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute/Primary Care NP
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Leadership in Health Systems Management
  • Nursing Education
  • Pediatric Acute and/or Primary Care NP
  • Psychiatric Mental Health NP
  • Quality, Safety, & Risk Management in Healthcare
  • Women’s Health/Gender Related NP
Varies Varies 46-62 Credits
Scroll to Excelsior College
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Leadership & Administration of Health Care Systems
24-48 Months 247.5 Hours 36-38 Credits
Scroll to Eastern Kentucky University
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Rural Health Family Nurse
42-52 Months 750 Hours for Rural Health Family Nurse 46-47 Credits
Scroll to Ferris State University
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Informatics
24-33 Months 240 Hours 37 Credits
Scroll to Georgetown University
Sponsored Program
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP
  • Women’s Health NP
  • Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health NP
23-27 Months 600 – 1,000 Hours 40-49 Credits
Scroll to Jacksonville University
  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Leadership in Healthcare Systems
  • Informatics Specialization
24 Months (Full-Time) Not Available 24-33 Credits
Scroll to Jacksonville State University
  • Population Health Nursing
  • Population Health – Nursing Education
  • Population Health – Emergency Management
14-24 Months Not Available 38-58 Credits
Scroll to Lewis University
  • Nursing Education
  • Healthcare Systems Leadership
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Not Available 300-540 Hours 36-49 Credits
Scroll to Liberty University
  • Community Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Informatics
24-36 Months Not Available 36 Credits
Scroll to Norwich University
  • Healthcare Systems Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Informatics
18-24 Months 300-700 Hours 36-40 Credits
Scroll to Nova Southeastern University
  • Executive Nurse Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Informatics
24-48 Months 130 Hours 36 Credits
Scroll to Sacred Heart University
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nurse Management & Executive Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
24-28 Months 120-540 Hours 36-42 Credits
Scroll to Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP
  • Administration
  • Family Nurse Practitioner/Individual Across the Lifespan NP
  • Education
24 Months 135-720 Hours 42-48 Credits
Scroll to Saint Xavier University
  • Clinical Leadership
  • Executive Leadership
  • Nurse Educator
30 Months 225-375 Hours 35-38 Credits
Scroll to Simmons University
Sponsored Program
Family Nurse Practitioner 24-32 Months Minimum 672 Hours 48 Course Credits
Scroll to Southern New Hampshire University
  • Generalist MSN
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Patient Safety and Quality
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
20 Months 90-400 Hours 39 Credits
Scroll to University of Southern California
Sponsored Program
Family Nurse Practitioner 21-33 Months 784 Hours 49-51 Credits
Scroll to University of West Florida
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Executive
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
Two to Three Years 360-600 Hours 39-45 Credits
Scroll to Western Governors University BSN to MSN 24 Months Not Available 36 Credits

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The current list of online master’s in nursing programs was retrieved as of December 2019. If you have any additional information that we should consider, please reach out to us at info@nursinglicensemap.com.

Angelo State University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Leadership and Administration of Health Care Systems

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 39-49 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 150-600 Hours
Length of Program: 24-36 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • U.S. Citizen and Reside in Texas
  • Acceptance into the College of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Undergraduate Statistics with At Least a Grade of a C
  • At least 1 year of RN Experience
  • Three References
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume/CV

Learn more about the Master of Science in Nursing online programs at Angelo State University.

Benedictine University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Executive Leader

Enrollment Options: Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36-39 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Not Available
Length of Program: Two Years

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Completed Application
  • Transcripts
  • One Letter of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Letter of Intent

Learn more about the Master of Science in Nursing Online Degree at Benedictine University.

Drexel University

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute or Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Leadership in Health Systems Management
  • Nursing Education
  • Pediatric Acute and/or Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Quality, Safety, and Risk Management in Healthcare
  • Women’s Health/Gender Related Nurse Practitioner

Enrollment Options: Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 46-62 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Varies by Concentration
Length of Program: Varies by Concentration

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • A Current, Unrestricted United States RN License
  • Completed Application
  • Transcripts
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • There may be other requirements per concentration.

Learn more about the Online MSN Programs at Drexel University.

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Excelsior College

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Leadership and Administration of Health Care Systems

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36-38 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 247.5 Hours
Length of Program: 24-48 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Transcripts
  • Completed MS Capstone Requirements Form

Learn more about the Nursing Degree Programs at Excelsior College.

Eastern Kentucky University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Rural Health Family Nurse

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 46-47 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 750 Hours for Rural Health Family Nurse
Length of Program: 42-52 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • 3-Hour Undergraduate or Graduate Statistics Course with at least a grade of a C
  • Minimum One Year Experience as a RN
  • Professional Reference
  • Occupational Profile
  • Professional Statement
  • Transcripts

Learn more about the Online MSN Programs at Eastern Kentucky University.

Ferris State University

Program Name: Nursing MSN Online
Concentrations:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Informatics

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 37 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 240 Hours
Length of Program: 24-33 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Completed Application
  • 3 Professional References
  • Writing Sample
  • Clinical Nursing Experience
  • Transcripts
  • CV
  • TOEFL (International Students)

Learn more about the Nursing MSN Online Programs at Ferris State University.

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Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies

Program Name: MS in Nursing
Specialty Areas:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
  • Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (NM/WHNP)

Enrollment Options: Part-Time for FNP Program; Part-Time for AG-ACNP, WHNP, and NM/WHNP program
Coursework Credits: 40-49 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 600-1,000+ Hours
Length of Program: 23-27 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or CNL/entry-level MSN from a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited program
  • Hold a current U.S. registered nurse (RN) license
  • Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 science GPA
  • Have successfully completed a college level three-credit course in statistics with a grade of C or better

Sponsored Nursing Program

Jacksonville University

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Leadership in Healthcare Systems
  • Informatics Specialization

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 24-33 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Not Available
Length of Program: 24 Months; Full-Time

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Completed Application
  • GRE Scores of 290 or higher
  • Completion of Undergraduate Courses in Statistics and Physical Assessment
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of Intent
  • TOEFL (International Students)

Learn more about the Online Master of Science in Nursing Programs at Jacksonville University.

Jacksonville State University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Population Health Nursing
  • Population Health – Nursing Education
  • Population Health – Emergency Management

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 38-53 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Not Available
Length of Program: 14 – 24 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Transcripts
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement

Learn more about the Online MSN Programs at Jacksonville State University.

Lewis University

Program Name: Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Nursing Education
  • Healthcare Systems Leadership
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36-49 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 300-540 Hours
Length of Program: Not Available

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Completion of Statistics and Nursing Research Course with at least a grade of a B
  • Two Completed Recommendation Forms
  • Resume or CV
  • Essay
  • Fingerprint Background Checks

Learn more about the Nursing Graduate Programs online at Lewis University.

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Liberty University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Community Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Informatics

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Not Available
Length of Program: 24-36 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • At least One Year of RN experience
  • One Recommender’s Contact Information
  • Statement of Essential Attributes
  • Transcripts
  • Proof of English Proficiency
  • For BSN Applicants: Completion of Undergraduate Statistics and Health Assessment courses

Learn more about the online Master of Science in Nursing programs at Liberty University.

Norwich University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Healthcare Systems Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Informatics

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36-40 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 300-700 Hours
Length of Program: 18-24 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • An Unencumbered RN License

Learn more about the Online Master’s Degree in Nursing at Norwich University.

Nova Southeastern University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Executive Nurse Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Informatics

Enrollment Options: Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 130 Hours
Length of Program: 18-24 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License

Learn more about the MSN Programs at Nova Southeastern University.

Sacred Heart University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36-42 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 120-540 Hours
Length of Program: 24-28 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Current U.S. Registered Nurse (RN) License
  • Transcripts
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Completed Application
  • Statement of Professional Goals
  • Resume
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Interview with Graduate Nursing Faculty
  • Completion of Undergraduate Statistics, Research, Health Assessment Courses

Learn more about the MSN Specializations online from Sacred Heart University.

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Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Administration
  • Family Nurse Practitioner/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner
  • Education

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 42-48 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 135-720 Hours
Length of Program: 24 Months; Full-Time

Admissions Requirements:

  • Current U.S. Registered Nurse (RN) Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Completed Application
  • Transcripts
  • Resume or CV
  • Career Statement
  • Three References
  • Undergraduate Statistics and Health Assessment Course with at least a grade of a B
  • TOEFL (International Students)

Learn more about the MS in Nursing Online at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

Saint Xavier University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Clinical Leadership
  • Executive Leadership
  • Nurse Educator

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 35-38 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 225-375 Hours
Length of Program: 30 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • For Executive Leadership Applicants: Must Have 3-5 years of Relevant Leadership or Management Experience
  • Transcripts
  • Applicants are required to be working Full-Time
  • One Written Recommendation
  • Personal Goal Statement
  • Resume

Learn more about the Online MS in Nursing Programs at Saint Xavier University.

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Simmons University

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time and Extended Track Option
Coursework Credits: 48 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Minimum of 672 Hours
Length of Program: 24-32 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree awarded by a regionally accredited U.S. college or institution
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Transcripts from all academic institutions attended
  • Successfully completed (with a grade of 83 or better) a three-credit course in statistics and a three-credit course in health assessment.
  • A current unencumbered and unrestricted U.S. Registered Nurse (RN) license
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, if your native language is not English.

Sponsored Nursing Program

Southern New Hampshire University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Generalist MSN
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Patient Safety and Quality
  • Clinical Nurse Leader

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 39 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 90-400 Hours
Length of Program: 20 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License

Learn more about the Online MSN Programs at Southern New Hampshire University.

University of Southern California

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing
Concentration: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: Traditional – 49 credits or Bridge Program – 51 credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 784 Hours
Length of Program: 21-33 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average in your BSN or MSN program
  • Completion of a 3-credit course in statistics, with a grade of C or better
  • Must be a U.S.-licensed registered nurse (RN) and reside within the United States upon application and throughout the duration of the program
  • One year of clinical experience

Sponsored Nursing Program

University of West Florida

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Concentrations:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Executive
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Enrollment Options: Full-Time
Coursework Credits: 39-45 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 360 Hours for Nursing Education and Nursing Executive; 600 for FNP
Length of Program: Two to Three Years

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from an Accredited Program
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • An Unencumbered RN License
  • Transcripts
  • Application
  • GRE or MAT Scores
  • Undergraduate Statistics with at least a grade of a C
  • Resume/CV
  • For FNP Applicants: Career Goals Statement

Learn more about the Online Programs in Nursing at the University of West Florida.

Western Governors University

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing – Education (BSN to MSN program)
Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Not Available
Length of Program: 24 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
  • A Current, Unrestricted United States RN License
  • Resume
  • Criminal Background Check

Learn more about the Online BSN to MSN Program at Western Governors University.

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