Best Accredited Online MSN Degrees

Best Online MSN Degree ProgramsEntering into the field of nursing is a strong career choice; the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of nurses will soar 26% by 2020.

Getting your master’s degree in nursing means that you will enjoy a median salary of at least $65,000 and possibly a good deal more. According to a study published by HRSA.gov, approximately 94 percent of the total Nurse Practitioner workforce held a graduate degree. Of the six percent without a graduate degree, most were individuals trained before 1992.

As a result, NPs working in primary care settings reported a robust median salary of $82,000.

The Advantages of an Online MSN Program

Online MSN programs make it easier for working nurses to get the education they need to advance to the next level in their careers. Becoming an advanced practice registered nurse opens up exciting new career opportunities with higher pay. Most nurses who have MSN degrees earn at least $20,000 more per year than those with a bachelor’s level education or lower.

Sponsored School

Nursing@USC

*If you’re an RN interested in entering advanced practice and becoming a nurse practitioner, earning a Master of Science in Nursing is your best option.

Nursing@USC — the Master of Science in Nursing program from the University of Southern California School of Social Work — is preparing a new kind of family nurse practitioner (FNP) who will address both the biomedical and social factors affecting patient health. Through a first-of-its-kind integration of nursing and social work education, the program trains FNPs to deliver care across the life span in a variety of primary care settings.

Eligible applicants are registered nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and at least one year of clinical experience.


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Sacred Heart University Online Nursing Programs

Sacred Heart University offers CCNE-accredited online MSN programs in four concentrations:

What Makes a Good Online MSN Program?

  • Convenience: A good online MSN program should and allow you to complete most, if not all, of the requirements online. Before enrolling in an online nursing programs, make sure you ask what the on-campus or offline requirements are. Will you need to travel far from home to complete the last part of the program? Clinical requirements give you hands-on practice that can be invaluable, but make sure you won’t have to fly halfway across the country to complete your training.
  • Affordability: Financial aid is not widely available for master’s level nursing programs, so you will likely have two choices for funding your education: Pay for it yourself upfront or take out student loans. Either way, you’ll want to consider the cost of the program carefully and make sure you’re getting a good value for your investment.
  • Quality: Check the school’s accreditation. Accrediting agencies hold schools to high standards, so up-to-date accreditation is an indication of a quality school. Some schools also have accreditation for individual programs within the school of nursing. This is an indicator that they take special pride in the quality of their nursing programs.
  • Results: One of the most important things to look for when evaluating schools is results. Ask the school what percentage of their students get new or better jobs within six months of receiving their degrees. You’ll also want to find out what the average MSN graduate is earning one year, five years, and ten years after completing the program.

Earning your master’s degree in nursing, or MSN, is easier than ever, with these fine MSN programs online that do not require the GRE. Take a look at our recommended options.


 

#1 Georgetown University Online

200x100_georgetown-university-school-of-nursing-health-studies

Nursing@Georgetown is an online graduate program from Georgetown University that prepares nurses who have their BSN with the advanced knowledge and specialty skills they need to make an even greater impact in their field.

 

Advance your career with one of the following programs:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

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#2 University of San Francisco Online

200x100_usfHighly Recommended & Featured Partner! The University of San Francisco was established in 1855 based on the Jesuit values of ethical responsibility, diversity, leadership in service, and creating a more humane world. Our program teaches you to evaluate, design, and implement patient care while staying at the bedside. Designed for both Associate’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree nurses, you’ll learn to deliver evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes, staff safety, and overall health care plans.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Per Credit Hour: Inquire
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Rankings: A top 50 nursing graduate school – U.S. News and World Report
  • Programs: BSN to MSN, ADN to MSN

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#3 Simmons School of Nursing and Health

SimmonsSHHS-2u (1)Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

 

Explore Nursing@Simmons’ online degree programs:

  • RN to MSN: This Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program enables RNs who do not hold a bachelor’s degree to earn their graduate nursing degree. The rigorous curriculum focuses on developing the primary care and leadership skills RNs need to pursue a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
  • MSN: Designed for RNs who already hold a bachelor’s degree, this Master of Science in Nursing program features the same curriculum and faculty that have prepared Simmons’s graduates to pass the Family Nurse Practitioner exam on their first attempt.

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#4 American Sentinel University

200x100_americansentineluniversityHighly Recommended & Featured Partner! This fully accredited, online university offers an RN to MSN program that will earn you your MSN in about two years. This online degree is ideal for nursing professionals who have worked in the field for 10 years or more. If you have an RN, you can apply your associate’s degree in nursing towards your MSN, and you do NOT have to first earn your bachelor’s.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: For Profit
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Per Credit Hour: Inquire
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Rankings: Ranks 41st for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing

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#5 Capella University

200x100_capella-universityHighly Recommended & Featured Partner! With your Master in General Nursing from Capella, you’ll have the ability to assimilate health care research, concepts of management and leadership as well as advanced knowledge, technology, and theories in evidence-based nursing practice. You will also be equipped to integrate healthcare policies and regulations and apply professional ethics and legal standards in professional nursing practice.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Private, For-Profit
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Per Credit Hour: Inquire
  • GRE Required: No
  • BSN Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs: MSN – Diabetes Nursing, MSN – Nurse Educator, MSN – Nursing Informatics, MSN – Nursing Leadership and Administration, MSN – Nursing, General, MSN – RN-to-MSN Diabetes Nursing, MSN – RN-to-MSN Nurse Educator , MSN – RN-to-MSN Nursing Informatics, MSN – RN-to-MSN Nursing Leadership and Admin, MSN – RN-to-MSN Nursing, General

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#6 Jacksonville University

An MSN degree from this world class program will prepare you for a dynamic nursing career. You can choose a master of science in either leadership in healthcare systems, or clinical nurse educator. Both of these accredited, online programs are taught by professors who have doctorates in the field.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Per Credit Hour: $447
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • School Site: TuitionFinancial Aid

#8 Sacred Heart University

The Master of Science degree online in nursing can give you the career opportunities to move into high-paying nursing administration positions. If you have an RN or have an associate’s degree in nursing, this online RN-BSN-MSN program can help you to earn your master’s degree in less time and at less cost.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Non Profit
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Per Credit Hour: $620
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • School Site: Tuition |Financial Aid

#9 Saint Xavier University

The online Master’s in Nursing program here was named the #6 best online MSN program in the US by Best Colleges. This is a highly flexible program that offers two exciting tracks: Executive Leadership and Clinical Leadership.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Non Profit
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Per Credit Hour: $620
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • School Site: TuitionFinancial Aid

#10 Ball State University

Are you ready to make your next step in your nursing career? The Master of Science in Nursing online at Ball State with no GRE will help you to be ready for an advanced professional role. No matter if you want a leadership administration position, or one as an educator, this online program will help you to become the best nurse that you can.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Non Profit
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Per Credit Hour: in state per year $7918; out of state $19,600
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Program: Master of Science in Nursing
  • School Site: TuitionFinancial Aid

#11 St. Joseph’s University

With your online graduate nursing degree, you will be ready for a wide variety of leadership positions in nursing administration or education. At this university, note that you can combine your MSN with either a Master in Health Administration, or a Master in Business Administration, as well.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Non Profit
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Per Credit Hour: $450
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • School Site: Tuition |Financial Aid

Types of MSN Degrees/Specializations

There is no one-size-fits-all MSN degree. There are several specializations to choose from, each of which is designed to prepare you for a certain career track. When choosing a specialization, you should consider your ultimate career goal. What is your dream job? The specialization you choose should be the one that you believe will be most likely to improve your chances of landing that dream job.

The US Department of Health and Human Services published a National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners back in 2012 which is still very relevant. There were an estimated 154,000 licensed nurse practitioners (NPs) in the United States in 2012.  Of these, more than 132,000 worked in a position requiring a nurse practitioner credential (the NP workforce). Within the NP workforce, about 127,000 NPs were providing patient care, and nearly half of NPs in patient care (60,407) were working in primary care practices or facilities.  Approximately 22,000 licensed NPs were not working in an NP position at the time of the survey; of these, approximately 11,000 were working as RNs. See more about these national sample survey here.

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Here are a few of the specializations you can choose from:

  • Administration: If your ultimate goal is to become Chief Nursing Officer or a fill a similar supervisory role, a specialization in administration is probably the best choice for you.
  • Case Management: This specialization teaches you how to provide better care for patients by understanding patient needs and personalizing services for each individual patient.
  • Clinical Nurse Leader: A clinical nurse leader coordinates the health care plans for an organization’s patients. Responsibilities include tracking patient outcomes and making changes in patient care plans as needed.
  • Education: Nurses who want to be involved in nursing education, whether training nursing staff at a hospital or as part of a college or university nursing program, should consider a specialization in nursing education.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: This specialization will prepare you for a career as a family nurse practitioner. In this position, you’ll be treating both adults and children with common illnesses and medical conditions.
  • Infection Control Program: You will learn about infection control programs and epidemiology, and you’ll be able to develop policies to help prevent and control the spread of disease.
  • Nursing Informatics: Informatics is about analyzing healthcare data and using it to find opportunities for improvement in technologies and patient outcomes.
  • Nursing Leadership and Management: The leadership and management specialization focuses on management and human resource principles to prepare nurses for managerial positions.
  • Patient Care Services Administration: If you are concerned about the quality of care being provided to patients and want to deal with regulatory compliance and controlling costs, patient care services administration might be the right specialization for you.
  • See 100+ awesome Nursing specializations you should know.

Regardless of the specialization you choose, getting your MSN will make you eligible to become an advanced practice registered nurse and significantly increase your income.

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