Online MSN in Gerontology Programs

March 4, 2022 , Modified on May 9, 2022 · 2 Min Read

Nurses who earn an MSN in gerontology may enjoy higher wages and better job security. Learn more about the best online MSN in gerontology programs.

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Online MSN in Gerontology Programs
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Do you want to grow in your nursing practice and gain skills to help older adults? Earning a master of science in nursing degree (MSN) with a specialty in gerontology prepares registered nurses (RNs) to treat and care for the unique needs of adults, especially the "silent" generation and baby boomers who often have more diverse healthcare needs.

An MSN in gerontology provides job security and a salary higher than the average RN. It also prepares nurses to work with at-risk patients in acute or primary care settings.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best online MSN in gerontology programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about online MSN in gerontology programs, or go straight to our list of the best online MSN in gerontology programs.

How do Online MSN in Gerontology Programs Work?

Online programs let working nurses continue working while earning an MSN in gerontology. Programs vary by course offerings and format. Generally, online courses function asynchronously, with some synchronous requirements. However, every program requires in-person practicum experiences. Some nursing schools may allow students to earn practicum hours at their job or find local placements.

Coursework explores advanced pharmacology, healthcare policy, and advanced diagnostics. Students also complete practicums working in hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices. Many online MSN gerontology degrees offer tracks in acute or primary care. Courses take 8-16 weeks to complete, with exact start and end dates varying by semester.

Graduates who hold an accredited MSN gerontology degree have the training to pass certification tests, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program.

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Applying to an Online MSN in Gerontology Program

MSN in gerontology programs usually admit RNs with work experience and an educational background in nursing. Additionally, nursing schools include other admission requirements, such as GPA minimums and screenings for clinical work. Applicants must also submit official transcripts, letters of reference, and essays.

Applicants to online MSN in gerontology programs need nursing experience and an RN license. A core element of an MSN degree includes clinical hours. To qualify to work in a clinical setting, students must pass a background check and drug screening.

Nursing schools often require applicants to online MSN in gerontology degrees to have a minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA. Sometimes, schools overlook GPAs that do not meet criteria if students score high in prerequisite courses.

Candidates need at least a bachelor's in nursing degree to enter a MSN in gerontology program. Online RN-to-MSN programs may admit students with an associate in nursing degree, diploma in nursing, or a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major.

Why is Online MSN in Gerontology Program Accreditation Important?

Programmatic accreditation helps secure your future as a nurse. Licensing and certification agencies may require that nurses graduate from an accredited online MSN in gerontology program. To pursue advanced credentials or another graduate degree in nursing, such as a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree, you also need a master's degree from an accredited nursing program.

Additionally, hiring managers recruit from accredited nursing programs because the candidates have completed coursework and clinical work that meets certain academic standards.

This ranking guide only includes MSN in gerontology programs that have received accreditation from agencies, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Online MSN in Gerontology Programs of 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Online MSN in Gerontology Programs


How much do MSN in gerontology graduates make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners (NPs) make a median annual wage of $111,680. Exact earnings vary by setting. The top two highest-paying environments for NPs (including those who specialize in gerontology) are hospitals and outpatient care centers, which report median annual salaries of $111,400-$124,660.

What courses do gerontology students take?

MSN students complete 30-60 credits in core and specialization courses. Each nursing program features a different curriculum. Generally, gerontology students learn policy and advocacy in healthcare, the fundamentals of evidence-based nursing practice, advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, and health assessments.

How long does it take to complete an online MSN in gerontology program?

How long it takes to graduate from an MSN in gerontology program depends on the degree format. Self-paced courses may allow nursing students to take their time, which delays graduation. Other nursing programs offer shortened class terms that let students graduate quickly. MSN in gerontology degrees take 18-24 months to complete.

What are some scholarships for MSN in gerontology students?

Scholarships come from state agencies, private companies, individuals and families, or directly from schools. The National Gerontological Nurses Association offers the Mary Opal Wolanin Undergraduate Scholarship of $500 to its members. Many scholarships also only apply to specific schools, such as the Lucille and Bruce Lambert Foundation Scholarship for nursing students at Marymount University.

Page last reviewed: 4/30/2022


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