Top 25 Online RN to MSN Degrees for 2022

We have your Top 25 Online RN to MSN Degrees for 2022! There are a lot of master’s degree options for nurses. The term RN-MSN may have a different meaning for different people. The term can be confusing since you can be a licensed RN and have an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree. For this ranking, we looked at degrees for nurses that will take them from an RN with an associate’s degree or diploma to a master’s degree. 

Nurses with a two-year degree can earn a BSN in many online programs. These degrees are generally referred to as RN-BSN programs. The RN-MSN is another path for the RN without a four-year degree. The programs we outlined have credits for the BSN and MSN that essentially overlap. The classes are usually included as part of the BSN. They are offered at a lower tuition rate than graduate-level classes. But, they are counted as graduate credit for the purposes of degree completion. This minor feature can offer considerable savings. For example, students in the RN-MSN at Sacred Heart can save about $8,000 earning a combined degree versus two separate degrees. 

So, if you are a Registered Nurse and are interested in eventually earning a master’s degree, consider one of these fast-track online RN-MSN degree programs to earn a BSN and an MSN. 

Ranking The Best Online RN to MSN Programs

TopRN editors began with a thorough list of all nursing schools that offer an RN to MSN degree program. From there, we focused on schools offering a fully online or hybrid RN to MSN degree program and then narrowed it by programs that admit students with associates degrees. Then we ranked based on Salary, Reputation, and Tuition Costs. This data came from College Scorecard, IPEDS, and Niche.


1. University of West Florida

Online RN to MSNThe University of West Florida’s online RN to MSN accelerated program is for RNs interested in earning an advanced degree. Nurses need to have an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or equivalent and an active RN license to qualify for admission into the program. The RN to MSN program requires about sixty hours of coursework and takes about three years to complete. Students earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN). The program saves money and time by streamlining the path to the masters.

Additionally, students can earn 12 credits at the bachelor’s tuition rate, which is cheaper than the graduate rate. When they finish, they simultaneously earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing. The undergraduate coursework is approximately 20 credits, and the remaining 40 are master’s level classes. Courses are each eight weeks long. In addition to the coursework, students must complete 360 clinical hours and a final project. 

The University of West Florida is a public university in Pensacola, Florida. It has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition, the UWF nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Out-of-state students should verify eligibility before enrolling as this online degree may not be available in all states. 

Program: online RN-to-MSN

 

2. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

Online RN to MSNThe Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences online RN to MSN Bridge Program is for registered nurses with only a two-year degree. The program takes students from an associate’s degree to a master’s degree in approximately three years. To be admitted to the program, an applicant must be an RN in the state they intend to perform clinical hours and have an associate’s degree in nursing from a state-approved program. The RN to MSN-FNP is an online degree with four required on-campus residencies. These residencies are each one to three days long and include orientation and graduation. Students will also complete clinical experiences in their community. After graduation, students are eligible to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certification Exam.

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (MCPHS) is a private university focusing on health care degrees. The school has locations in Boston, Worcester, Manchester, NH, and an online campus. The MCPHS Master of Science in Nursing degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: on RN-to-MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner 

 

3. University of Mary

Online RN to MSNThe University of Mary online RN-MSN accelerated degree allows students to quickly move from an associate’s degree in nursing to a master’s in nursing. The ADN to MSN: Nursing Leadership & Management degree is for RNs with a diploma or ADN interested in earning a convenient master’s degree. The Nursing Leadership & Management masters specialization program prepares students to be Nurse Leaders or Nurse Managers. Nurse Leaders oversee a nursing team focusing on patient care and outcomes. Nurse Managers work behind the scenes, supervising staff and overseeing the daily operation of a facility. The UM graduation requirements are forty-three-semester credits and five hundred hours of clinical experience. Most students finish the program in about two years.

The University of Mary is a private, Catholic University in North Dakota offering education since 1959. UM is known for its commitment to providing affordable and flexible online degrees and degree completion programs. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In addition, the master’s degree in nursing at the University of Mary is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: ADN to MSN: Nursing Leadership & Management

 

4. University of Alabama

The University of Alabama online RN to MSN accelerated program is for experienced registered nurses. To be considered for admission to the RN to BSN/MSN track, students must have unencumbered RN licenses and an associate’s degree or diploma from an accredited nursing program. The RN to BSN/MSN track decreases the time required to complete both the BSN and MSN degree programs and saves money. Students in this program first receive a BSN when they have completed the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. This is usually in the fourth semester. Students receive their master’s degree after all MSN requirements are complete. In addition, the MSN degree has a Nurse Administrator specialization. The Nurse Administrator track trains students to be in charge of an entire hospital or more than one department of a health care facility. They will often have nurse managers working under them. 

The University of Alabama was founded in 1831 and is Alabama’s oldest public university. The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In addition, the BSN and MSN degree programs in nursing at The University of Alabama are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students should review the state requirements before applying to this program.

Program: RN to BSN/MSN – Nurse Administrator

 

5. Franklin University

Another school where you can earn your RN to MSN online is Franklin University. The Franklin provides a direct route to an MSN degree that saves nursing students time and money. Licensed registered nurses with a nursing diploma or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) can apply. The program consists of online courses, 600 clinical hours, and an onsite assessment and skills laboratory. In addition, students will participate in clinical placement experiences. A nurse practitioner placement team will find placements for students close to the student’s home. In addition, students can choose from four MSN program tracks. 

  • MSN – Generalist
  • MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP)
  • MSN – Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (MSN-AGPCNP)
  • MSN – Nurse Administrator (MSN-ADM)

Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, is well known for its adult degree completion programs. Franklin has accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, the master’s degree program in nursing at Franklin University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online R.N. to MSN + track

 

6. Indiana Wesleyan University

The Indiana Wesleyan University online RN-MSN program has two program tracks – Nursing Education and Nursing Administration. Applicants to the ASN-MSN must have a nursing license and an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from a nationally accredited nursing program. In addition, students must have a working computer throughout their program. Students in the MSN-Nursing Administration program must complete a minimum of 39 online credit hours and 280 hours of supervised clinical at an onsite facility. Students in the MSN-Nursing Education program track must complete a minimum of 41 online credit hours and 175 hours of supervised online and onsite practicums. 

  • MSN-Nursing Administration
  • MSN-Nursing Education

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In addition, the master’s degree programs in nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online ASN to MSN + track choice

 

7. University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama online RN to MSN Bridge degree program is for nurses interested in a faster path to a master’s degree in nursing. Students in this program first earn a BSN. While completing the coursework for the BSN, students are allowed to take nine credit hours of MSN coursework. After completing the BSN program, students can apply to the master’s program. When students enter the MSN program, they will have advanced standing. This status will shorten the master’s degree completion time from five to four full-time semesters of study.

The classes are all online, and the clinical experiences take place in the student’s community. The MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner track admits students in the fall and spring. In addition, students must attend UNA’s campus two times throughout the program. The University of North Alabama master’s degree in nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online ASN to MSN + track choice

 

8. Bradley University

The Bradley University online RN-to-MSN Nurse Practitioner program is an innovative program that prepares RNs to become Nurse Practitioners. The program consists of 50-59 credit hours and takes about ten semesters to complete. In addition, students must complete five preceptor-supervised clinical practicums. Different degree entry points are available for students with a BSN, an ADN, a nursing diploma, or a non-nursing bachelor’s. And the credit hours will vary based on applicants’ entry-level education.

The Bradley MSN program offers three tracks – Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Bradley University is a private university in Peoria, Illinois, and was established in 1898. The master’s degree program in nursing, Post-Graduate APRN Certificate Program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online ASN to MSN + track choice

 

9. Loyola University – New Orleans

The Loyola University New Orleans online accelerated RN to BSN-MSN is for nurses without a bachelor’s degree interested in earning a BSN and an MSN. At the successful completion of the program’s undergraduate curriculum, students will be awarded a BSN. They are then eligible for the master’s program and can choose from three concentration tracks. 

  • MSN – Nursing Informatics
  • MSN – Healthcare Systems Administration & Leadership
  • MSN – Nurse Educator

Loyola University New Orleans is a private Catholic university established in 1904. The school has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.  In addition, the Master of Science in Nursing program at Loyola University New Orleans is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

Program: online RN-BSN-MSN

 

10. DePaul University

The DePaul University online RN-to-MSN in nursing will help students develop skills and credentials to advance their career. Specialized skills are needed to become a nurse administrator, nurse educator, family nurse practitioner, or adult-gerontology nurse practitioner. Except for the clinical hours, the DePaul programs are offered entirely online. The program takes between two and four years to complete, depending on the academic degree held by applicants.

  • MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN-Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN + Certificate in Health Administration
  • MSN + Certificate in Health Professions Education
  • Certificates are earned through a partnership with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

DePaul University is the Nation’s largest Catholic University. The school is in Chicago, IL. The BSN and MSN degrees in nursing at DePaul University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

Program: online RN-MSN + track

 

11. Jacksonville University

The Jacksonville University online RN-MSN degree allows registered nurses to earn a BSN and MSN simultaneously. The program streamlines the education path and saves students time and money. The RN-MSN courses are offered in 8-week formats to allow for year-round start dates. Students can also take a break when they need to without falling behind. Each student works with an academic advisor throughout the program to ensure the program progresses works for the student. JU will give up to 30 credits for students with an RN license. 

Jacksonville University was established in 1934 and is in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online RN-MSN

 

12. Regis University

The Regis University online RN-MSN program provides a path for students to complete their undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees in just three years. First, students are awarded 33 credits for having an RN license. Next, students complete the undergraduate degree requirements and earn an online BSN. Students then continue to graduate and earn an online MSN: Leadership in Health Care Systems degree. Finally, students need a total of 135 credits to complete the master’s degree.

Founded in 1877, Regis University is a private Catholic university in Denver, Colorado. Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Program: online RN-MSN

 

13. Gonzaga University

The Gonzaga University online RN-MSN degree program is for RN’s with an associate’s degree in nursing who want to earn an advanced nursing degree. The RN to MSN program gives students an accelerated path to earn a master’s degree. The program is approximately forty-five credits and has an average completion time of nine semesters. Students can complete all of the coursework for this program online. In addition to the coursework, students must complete 180 hours of undergraduate practicum training and 360 hours of graduate practicum training. These hours take place in a health care setting in the student’s home community. In addition, students must attend an on-campus immersion. This will be a two-day event at the end of the last practicum course.

Gonzaga University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). In addition, the nursing programs at Gonzaga are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online RN -MSN: Nursing Leadership in Healthcare 

 

14. Felician University

Online RN to MSNStudents in the Felician University RN-MSN Online Fast Track Program can earn a master’s degree in nursing in a faster time. The program is for RN’s with an Associate Degree in Nursing or Diploma in Nursing from an accredited program. Depending on prior education, the program requires about 30 undergraduate course credits. The undergraduate classes are offered in 8-Week Sessions. After undergraduate courses are completed, students take eight required courses that are 30 credit hours. Finally, the students take the additional graduate courses in one of three specialty tracks.

  • MSN – Nursing Administration
  • MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner Program
  • MSN – Adult/Gerontology 

Felician University is a private school in Rutherford, New Jersey. The private Catholic school has offered classes since 1923. Felician has accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, the school’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online RN-MSN

 

15. Wilkes University

Online RN to MSNThe Wilkes University online RN-MSN Nurse Practitioner degree program is for registered nurses with associate degrees who want to become nurse practitioners. The total time to complete the MSN is approximately forty-four months. In addition, there are three nurse practitioner concentrations students can choose – Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, and Psychiatric/Mental Health. The classes are 12 weeks long, and there are three opportunities each year to begin classes.

Wilkes University is a private institution in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Wilkes has accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSC). In addition, the nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Program: online RN-MSN

 

16. Robert Morris University

The Robert Morris University online RN-MSN program prepares licensed nurses to become nurse educators. When they complete the program, students will earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nursing in Nurse Education.  The degree program accepts licensed nurses with an associate’s degree or diploma.  During the coursework for the BSN, Students complete twelve credits of graduate-level courses.  These classes offer credit towards the requirements of the BSN and MSN. The dual credit allows RN to MSN students to complete both degrees one year faster than they do the programs separately.

Robert Morris University is a private university in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The Robert Morris nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online RN-MSN Nursing Education

 

17. Fairleigh Dickinson University

Online RN to MSNThe Fairleigh Dickinson University online RN-MSN  provides an opportunity for registered nurses to complete requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree while also earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). In addition, if you are an RN with an associate’s degree and passed the NCLEX RN exam, you can have advanced standing. The program will accept a minimum of sixty-six and a maximum of ninety associate degree credits toward an accelerated RN to MSN online degree. 

Students in the Fairleigh Dickinson online RN to MSN program can choose from two Track options – a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Track or a Nursing Education track. The FNP Track requires 64-course credits and 640 clinical hours for completion. The MSN-NE Track requires 62-course credits and 120 clinical hours for completion. Each course in the program lasts eight weeks. Thus, most students take about four years to complete their master’s degree. These Fairleigh Dickinson University nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

Program: online RN to MSN-FNP or online RN to MSN-NE

 

18. Sacred Heart University

Online RN to MSNThe Sacred Heart University online RN to MSN degree program enables students to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree with one accelerated program. Registered Nurses with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Diploma in Nursing can enter the program. The BSN program requires 30-120 undergraduate credits. However, SHU will accept up to 90 undergraduate credits from prior education. To complete the MSN, students need an additional 24-27 graduate credits. There are six program start dates during the year. In addition, students choose from three specializations in the MSN program. 

  • MSN – Nursing Education
  • MSN – Nursing Management & Executive Leadership
  • MSN – Clinical Nurse Leader

Sacred Heart University is a private university in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sacred Heart is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). In addition, the online nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Program: online RN to MSN

 

19. University of Arizona Online

Online RN to MSNUniversity of Arizona Online RN to MSN degree program allows students to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in about two years. The completion time will be different for each student, depending on their education level. There are three start dates during the year, and the program is 30 credits. Applicants need a current RN license in their practicing state. In addition, they must have an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), an Associate of Applied Science-Nursing (ASN). They can also have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The University of Arizona College of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Western Institute of Nursing. In addition, the online MSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

Program: online RN-MSN

 

20. Thomas Edison State University

Online RN to MSNThe Thomas Edison State University online RN to MSN degree is for experienced RNs. The program allows registered nurses with an associate degree to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Dual enrollment saves students time and money.  The BSN has rolling admission, and the program requires a minimum of 120 credits to complete. However, students in the RN-MSN program will have 12 credits of the BSN that count toward the MSN. Classes in the BSN program are offered during 8-week sessions. Students work at their own pace and can complete the BSN program in 15 months. 

The MSN degree is an additional 27 credits beyond the BSN. Classes in the MSN program are offered during 12-week sessions with four yearly start dates in January, April, July, and October. Students can choose from three tracks in the master’s program – Nurse Educator (NE), Nurse Administrator (NA), or Nursing Informatics (NI). Thomas Edison State is a public university in Trenton, New Jersey. Thomas Edison is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, the nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online RN to MSN

 

21. Nebraska Methodist College 

The Nebraska Methodist College online RN to MSN degree program is for licensed nurses interested in a master’s degree and becoming a Nurse Educator. The program accepts RN’s with an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma from an accredited school. The RN to MSN program is online, and students can complete the requirements in approximately three years. No GRE is required for admission. The courses last five to ten weeks and students are given a week off between each class. After completing the program, NMC graduates are eligible to sit for the NLN Certified Nurse Educator Exam.

Nebraska Methodist College is a private nursing and healthcare college in Omaha, Nebraska. Nebraska Methodist College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. In addition, the nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online RN to MSN Nurse Educator

 

22. University of San Francisco

Online RN to MSNThe University of San Francisco online RN to MSN degree program is an accelerated path for RNs to earn a master’s degree. The program accepts licensed nurses with associates degrees. The program requires thirty-eight credits that students can usually complete in six semesters. In addition, students are required to complete 400 clinical hours. These are arranged by the school and in a location close to the student’s home.

The University of San Francisco is a private Catholic university established in 1855 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program: online RN to MSN 

 

23. Chamberlain University

The Chamberlain University online accelerated RN to MSN degree program admits RNs with associates degrees or nursing diplomas. The program has a specialization in Clinical Nursing Leadership that requires fifty-two-course credits and usually takes four semesters to complete. The Clinical Nurse Leader is a master’s educated nurse who works to improve patient care outcomes on many levels. 

Chamberlain University is a private healthcare and nursing school with locations across the US. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The nursing programs have accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Chamberlain University confers online degrees from its Main Campus in Addison, IL.

Program: online RN to MSN Clinical Nursing Leadership

 

24. South University

Online RN to MSNThe South University online RN to MSN degree program offers a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). The program accepts licensed nurses with two-year nursing degrees. Each new student will receive a transcript evaluation and up to 90 general education credits toward the degree MSN. The online MSN consists of online courses and practicums or clinical training. The practicums are usually in a location close to the student’s home.

South College was founded in 1899 in Savannah, Georgia. In 2001 the school changed its name to South University. And in 2004, South University introduced web-based instruction to students across the US. South University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In addition, the nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

Program: online RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

 

25. Wheeling University

Online RN to MSNThe Wheeling University online RN to MSN degree program is for working registered nurses. The program is an online distance format. In addition, students complete clinical rotations in their community. The RN-MSN is one of two tracks in this program. The RN-MSN Track enables students to earn their BSN and get a head start on their MSN. Registered nurses with a diploma or associate’s degree will receive a minimum of 46 credit hours toward the BSN. Depending on the education of each student, they can earn a BNS with approximately 60 additional credits.

Students can complete up to four graduate courses that count toward both the BSN and MSN degrees. Once the BSN degree is complete, students must apply to the MSN program. There are three tracks students can choose – Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, or Education Specialist. Wheeling University is a Catholic University in Wheeling, West Virginia. These Wheeling nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

Program: online RN to MSN-FNP, online RN to MSN-NA, or online RN to MSN-ES 

 


The Best Online RN to MSN Degrees for 2022

Why Should Nurses Get An Online RN to MSN?

Nurses should get their MSN to earn more money. Earning an accelerated RN to MSN will bring a higher salary to most nurses. One of the reasons the pay is higher is because these nurses have more responsibility. But they also tend to work more than an RN.  

Nurses should get their MSN to have more job satisfaction. Nurses with a Master’s degree have more autonomy and are happier in their jobs. Depending on the state’s laws, a nurse with a master’s degree can care for patients without direct supervision from a physician. Registered nurses are required to work under a physician. 

Nurses should get their MSN to change jobs. Many nurses experience burnout or fatigue from years of working the same job. However, the vast array of specializations in nursing make it possible to remain in the nursing field and change positions. You can earn a degree or credential and then take a job in a completely different facility or with a different population. For example, you can go from working in a hospital emergency room to teaching nursing students. So, a master’s degree can be a positive way to switch gears in nursing before you get burned out.

 

What Are The Specializations For Nurses With An Online RN to MSN?

There are many specializations for the RN to MSN educated nurse. For example, specialized programs may teach the nurse to become a nurse educator, a primary care practitioner or an administrator.

 

Is It Worth It To Get An Online RN to MSN Masters In Nursing?

Suppose you are interested in making more money and having better job security. In that case, it is absolutely worth it to get a master’s degree in nursing. Nurse Practitioner is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country. US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of Nurse Practitioners to grow by 52% from 2019 to 2029. In addition, the average salary for a Nurse Practitioner in 2020 was $111,680 a year.

The Employment of Nurse Anesthetists and Nurse-Midwives is also on the rise. And the mean salaries for these jobs in 2020 were $183,580 and $111,130, respectively. In addition, the Field of Nursing Administration is another area where employment is increasing along with salaries. However, to get any of these great jobs – you need to get your master’s degree.

 

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