BSN-to-MSN Online Programs | 2022 List & Guide

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), or BSN to MSN programs, incorporate the best of both degrees. They allow BSN graduates to complete an MSN, focusing on the specializations that suit them—all in about two years. Nurses with an MSN can pursue a variety of jobs in the nursing world, including leadership roles. BSN-to-MSN online programs may also provide more schedule flexibility for students.

Sponsored online nursing programs

Simmons University


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Earn an MSN online from Simmons University. Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP — and prepare to raise the standard of patient care.

  • Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP
  • Complete in as few as 24 months
  • Full-time and part-time tracks available

Georgetown University


Master of Science in Nursing

Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 23 months. 

  • 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

St. John Fisher University


Master of Science in Nursing

Earn an M.S. in Nursing online at the Wegmans School of Nursing. Bachelor’s in nursing and RN license-required. 

  • Part-time and accelerated tracks available
  • Four program options: PCFNP, PMHNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP


While BSN qualifications are increasingly prized in a profession that’s getting more sophisticated every year, many are looking to sharpen their talents even further. More focused than BSNs, MSN degrees may provide nurses the chance to specialize across a number of healthcare fields.

Learn more about BSN to MSN programs below:

Online BSN-to-MSN Programs

Online BSN-to-MSN programs are offered in part-time and full-time formats, which may be a viable option if you’ve just graduated with a BSN degree or you’re an active professional who would like to keep working as you learn. 

From nursing education to family nursing, the breadth of BSN-to-MSN courses is rich and varied, offering you the opportunity to specialize. Here are some universities offering online BSN-to-MSN degrees:

What is a BSN-to-MSN?

A BSN-to-MSN program allows nurses who have already completed a BSN to transition on to an MSN, as the curriculum builds on a student’s existing nursing knowledge. A BSN-to-MSN program may help you hone your teamwork or leadership skills, sharpen patient outcomes at your workplace or bolster your marketability as a nurse practitioner or other advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

What can I do with a BSN to MSN?

After earning your MSN via a BSN-to-MSN program, you may be able to pursue a career as an APRN such as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, family nurse practitioner and more. Requirements for APRN licensure will vary by state, so be sure to check with your state of licensure for more information.

BSN-to-MSN training may also be a stepping stone to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or career in teaching. Where you end up largely depends on your nursing career ambitions.

Should I pursue a BSN-to-MSN online?

Designed with your existing BSN qualifications in mind, BSN-to-MSN programs are built to help you jump past basic material and dive right into more sophisticated learning. Many BSN-to-MSN programs allow you to work at your own pace from home, with professors available to help remotely. This allows you to structure your life around your education—and if you’re working in a hospital or clinic, you may even pass new insights on to patients as you learn.

Earning advanced educational qualifications, namely an MSN, may lead to higher pay. Earning an MSN degree, as mentioned, may prepare you for a career as a nurse practitioner or other APRN career. Moreso, some nursing programs are even offered online, such as online MSN programsNurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners earned a median annual salary of $117,670 as of May 2020, according to the BLS.

What are the requirements to be admitted?

As the name implies, getting into a BSN-to-MSN degree program typically requires you to have completed a BSN program first, often with a GPA of 3.0. You may also need an active RN license. Apart from that, the specifics vary by institution, but many universities will expect candidates to submit a personal statement, two references and previous transcripts. Some courses may require particular professional qualifications or evidence of work experience in a certain field.

What will I learn from a BSN-to-MSN?

Because they vary so much by institution, it’s difficult to say exactly what you’ll learn in an online BSN-to-MSN degree program. That said, because you’ll likely have already finished a BSN, MSN courses will be more specialized and will likely proceed at a faster pace. And because they usually revolve around higher-level care, they’ll often focus on fewer direct medical skills than BSN courses. Put another way, you might find yourself working on leadership or informatics rather than how to change a bandage or give injections.

Apart from exploring what courses different institutions offer, you should also investigate how they organize their teaching. Some will go for synchronous instruction, meaning students and teachers will meet for video lectures and seminars at prearranged times. If you prefer more of a traditional classroom atmosphere while studying, this method might cater to that. 

On the other hand, asynchronous instruction means materials will be put online for students to work through in their own time. If you value flexibility and can’t commit to logging in at particular times, this style may be suitable for you. Be aware that some MSN programs may combine synchronous and asynchronous teaching. 

BSN-to-MSN Program Accreditation

Accreditation is crucial across medical education, and MSN programs are no different. There are two main national accrediting agencies: The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a national agency dedicated to the quality of MSN programs. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) works to improve nursing education by accrediting degrees that reach their standards. 

Accreditation is important for a number of reasons. If your institution isn’t accredited, you may not be eligible for federal financial aid. And even if it is accredited regionally, you might be unable to transfer credit to another university across the country. Moreover, after you graduate, prospective employers might check that your BSN-to-MSN program was accredited, regionally and nationally. 

A BSN to MSN is a great option for those who want to take on an advanced position in the field. An online program is often more convenient, especially for working professionals. There are also many other types of online nursing degrees to choose from; most of these can also be found online. Consider these related nursing programs:

FAQs About BSN-to-MSN Online Programs

Apart from BSN-to-MSN programs, many universities also offer training, guiding students all the way from an RN to an MSN qualification. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions with brief answers. 

Are there any differences between online BSN-to-MSN programs and traditional ones?

On-campus, or traditional, BSN-to-MSN programs and online BSN-to-MSN programs likely follow similar curriculum and time to complete schedules. However, there will be differences in how coursework is delivered. Be sure to check with your preferred university for more information.

Is a BSN-to-MSN online program worth it?

The answer to this question depends on your career goals. If you’ve already achieved RN status, earning a BSN may offer more career options and insight into the field. BSN programs go beyond the clinical aspects of nursing, arming students with a solid knowledge of patient safety and improved outcomes, healthcare systems and technology integration, among other skills. 

Because they’re able to take on more complex roles, BSN graduates may earn higher salaries, though this depends on the job and location. From there, BSN graduates can always pursue further study by pursuing an MSN.

What is the difference between an RN-to-MSN and a BSN-to-MSN?

RN-to-MSN programs generally involve more foundational learning than BSN-to-MSN programs. Because BSN-to-MSN candidates are already RNs and may even have years of work in the profession, they may be awarded credit for some BSN coursework.

Information on this page was retrieved in February 2022.