Top 4 Acute Care Online MSN Practitioner Programs

There is a rapidly growing market for online programs in Acute Care Nursing, which is a master’s degree (MSN). Nurses are always fully committed to their continuous professional education, but it is often nearly impossible to stop working just to gain an MSN degree. This is why online programs are becoming so popular.

As we are dealing with an aging population, which includes a retiring nursing workforce, and significant technological advances, the demand for nurses with an MSN degree continues to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MSN nurses are the most in demand of all.

Of all the online degrees that exist, MSNs are probably the most popular ones. An increasing number of these programs are becoming fully accredited, which guarantee their quality. By offering the degree online, students can continue to meet their personal responsibilities while studying. However, it is important to understand that a number of clinical practicum requirements will generally be included in a degree program.

Presented below are what we believe to be the top 4 acute care online MSN practitioner programs.

1. Seton Hall University

The program offered by Seton Hall University has been created to ensure graduates are able to prevent illnesses, promote wellness and generally manage overall health in adults. The degree focuses on the needs of patients, rather than following a specific curriculum. The program focuses specifically on patients who have complex, critical, acute and chronic illnesses as well as injuries and/or disabilities. Students have to take part in 600 hours of supervised clinical work in order to graduate. Upon graduation, they can take the exam offered by the ANCC to become licensed.

  • Campus: South Orange, NJ
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: NLNAC
  • Tuition: $1,100 per credit
  • Minimum time commitment: The number of credits and clinical hours are determined by requirements for board certification in adult-gerontology.
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, interview, prerequisite courses, personal statement, resume, 2 letters of recommendation, transcripts
  • Programs: M.S.N., Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Acute Care Track
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. Grand Canyon University

At Grand Canyon University, students learn about all the skills and knowledge required to be an advanced practice nurse. The curriculum includes nursing research, nursing theory, health policy, ethical practice, and financing. To complete their degree, students must developed a project that integrates what they have learned during the program. Evidence-based practice is the most important element of all and they must apply this on three different spheres: nursing/nursing practice, patient/client, and organizations/systems.

  • Campus: Phoenix, AZ
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $465 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: 53 credit hours
  • Degree requirements: BSN, prerequisite courses, RN license
  • Programs: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with an Emphasis in Adult-Gerontology
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
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3. Drexel University

At Drexel University, students can become true managers in the field of surgical, critical care and medical adult patient populations. The focus is on those who have acute illnesses or injuries. Once graduated, you can take on advanced practice roles in a variety of intensive care and emergency fields. You will also be able to take the ACNP-BG or ACNPC-AG exam, depending on your chosen specialization. Students are being taught not just to treat, but also to diagnose patients. This is achieved through a rigorous online program that allows them to be fully competent and confident in their own skills and knowledge.

  • Campus: Philadelphia, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: 57 credits
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, transcripts, prerequisite courses, two years clinical experience, 2 letters of reference, personal statement, resume, RN license
  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

4. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers an online program in adult-gerontology acute care. Graduates are able to offer comprehensive and culturally sensitive care to their patients, particularly those who have chronic and episodic health issues. Their responsibilities lie in maintaining, promoting and restoring health for those with acute, chronic or critical illnesses. The program is offered online but students do have to attend a number of classes at the Lubbock, TX campus.

  • Campus: Lubbock, TX
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $2,070 per credit hour for residents and $5,538 for non-residents
  • Minimum time commitment: 48 semester credits
  • Degree requirements:
  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Track
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Requirements to Become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Becoming an acute care nurse practitioner is only possible for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from a program that is accredited by ACEN or CCNE. Once they have completed this, students must gain a number of years’ work experience to increase their knowledge in various sciences, including microbiology, biology and anatomy. Usually, the BSN curriculum starts with general education before moving on to actual nursing and it is delivered in both classes and practical experiences.

Most of the time, in order to be accepted to an MSN program in acute care, students will have to hold an active and unencumbered RN license in the state of the university itself. They will generally also need to complete a number of prerequisite courses in areas such as patho-physiology, pharmacology and epidemiology, as well as being able to evidence practice-related experience. The MSN program will usually include a significant amount of clinical training hours.

The MSN program should also be fully ACEN or CCNE accredited. This is because graduates will need to become licensed once they finish their advanced practice degree. Licensing is offered through the ACNP.