Best Medical Degrees has ranked online programs offering RN to MSN degrees which are accredited. This ranking may a good beginning point for you to examine online programs fitting your specific needs. The programs are ranked lowest to highest per credit hour cost.
The nursing shortage in the United States has been critical for several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the need for nurses will rise 20% between 2014-2024 which equates to a staggering 1.1 million more new registered nurses. Qualified nurses are in great demand; and, the higher your degree status, the better salary prospects you’ll have. An increase in online RN to MSN programs, from reputable colleges and universities through their nursing schools, are providing more options for registered nurses with an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) or diploma Registered Nurses than ever before.
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine suggested that the nursing profession should move toward in establishing the Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) as the industry standard for entry level positions in the profession. Best Medical Degrees recently published a ranking of the 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Degree Programs; however, many currently licensed nurses are looking to improve their education and are going back to school to receive their MSN degree.
A nurse, currently holding an ADN or diploma, is now able to accelerate their degree programs by pursuing online RN to MSN degrees. These programs provide students the ability to obtain both the BSN and MSN in a much shorter period than the average four-year school, often in as little as two-years. Online RN to MSN programs offer many benefits, the least of which is the time required; but, the additional ability of students to continue working while advancing their education.
The cost and payment to further education is always a concern. The need to maintain hiring, and retaining, of qualified nursing staffs has led some employers to offer tuition assistance as part of a nurse’s overall benefits package. You should check with your Human Resources Department to see whether your employer may offers financial assistance for you to pursue an advanced degree. The Nurses Educational Funds Organization offers educational funding for nurses and you may also qualify for student loans through Federal Student Aid . Talk with a Financial Aid Counselor/Advisor at the schools you’re considering to see what options may be available.
Other Costs To Consider
Typically, students in a RN to MSN program will be required to take general education classes in English, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, chemistry, anatomy, history, etc., which will charged at an undergraduate (UG) rate. On completion of those courses, students will be transitioned to the graduate (G) tuition costs. Often, students with an ADN may be able to transfer general education credits from their previous schools which will reduce the number total number of overall hours required and some schools offer the option of testing out of certain courses for those with at least a year’s clinical experience.
Some programs will charge distance learning/online fees and some will charge in state and out of state tuition. Frequently, schools will assess student fees of some sort. It’s important to review all fees and charges which will affect your total tuition costs and will vary greatly from school to school.
This ranking lists only base tuition cost, either by semester/quarter hour, or by term, as provided on the school’s website.
1. University of North Carolina Charlotte
This is an accelerated RN to MSN degree for nurses with an Associates Degree in Nursing. The program offers three specialties in MSN Community Public Health , MSN Nursing Administration and MSN Nurse Educator. There are prerequisite courses in general education classwork; and, then, students complete 20 hours in health assessment, aging and health, community health nursing, leadership and design and care coordination (these courses are in the RN to BSN program). Additionally, students will complete studies in introduction to biostatistics, research in nursing care, health disparities and others. Following completion of these required courses, students will be awarded a BSN and entry into the graduate MSN program. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Ranked #198 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and has also been ranked as #106 Top Public Schools and is recognized in the top 100 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Forbes has listed the university in its top 500 Top Colleges, as well as in its top 200 in Public Colleges. Founded in 1946 to serve the educational needs of veterans returning from World War II, UNC Charlotte, currently has an enrollment in excess of 29,000 students.
Program Length: 59 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $213 (Resident); $872 (Non Resident/Credit Hour
2. Stony Brook School of Nursing
This hybrid RN to MSN is specifically intended for nurses with either an associates degree or nursing diploma who want to advance their education. The program centers on upper division courses which lead to a bachelors degree which allows students to enter the MSN degree track. A minimum of 57 general education hours are required in English, sociology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, US history, humanities, etc. If you have an associates degree, check with the school to see if your credits may transfer. Seventy-one hours are necessary in the MSN program with courses in professional socialization, health related sciences, clinical nursing and BSN/MSN core courses. The core courses include studies in healthcare policy, organizational leadership and quality improvement.
This program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is part of the Stony Brook School of Nursing, one of six professional schools of the Health Sciences Center at Stony Brook University. Located in Stony Brook New York, the university was founded in 1957, and has been ranked in the top 100 of its National Universities, #118 Best Value Schools and #58 Best Colleges for Veterans. The School of Nursing’s online nursing program has been ranked at #21 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.
Length of Program: 128 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $278/UG Resident credit hour; $1,008/UG Non Resident Credit Hour; $453/G Resident Credit Hour; $925/G Non Resident Credit Hour
3. Ball State University
Ball State University offers an online RN to MSN degree program designed for nurses who have an associates degree in nursing or a bachelors degree in a non-nursing field. Students with a degree in something other than nursing, will be asked to take 16 additional hours in upper division nursing courses. The program offers three tracks: Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner. The program estimates a MSN may be achieved in 7 to 8 semesters. Nursing core courses will be completed in nursing theory, nursing information technology, data analysis and research. Clinical experiences are conducted in the student’s home community with a qualified preceptor. The program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Education in Nursing (CCNE).
Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University was established in 1918 and has been ranked #187 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and #99 in Top Public Schools. U.S. News and World Report names Ball State University as having the #13 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs in those schools surveyed nationally. Forbes ranks the university in the top 200 in Public Colleges and #501 in its Top Colleges ratings. The university has an enrollment of over 21,000 students.
Program Length: 36-47 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $300/Credit Hour (Resident);$500/Credit Hour (Non Resident)
4. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University offers a CCNE accredited RN to MSN program in three specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator and General Nursing (which allows students to custom tailor their degree program to suit students needs). The RN to MSN degree is an accelerated program, allowing those students with a registered nurse license to complete both the BSN and MSN degree. Students will be required to take general education courses toward their bachelor degree, along with core nursing courses which includes studies in: healthcare management, ethical and legal considerations in healthcare, information technology, etc. Students will also study evidence-based practices, pathophysiology, regulatory compliance and outcome management. A capstone project is necessary for completion.
Beginning in 1932 as a business school housed in two rooms, Southern New Hampshire University is located in Manchester, New Hampshire and has grown to be recognized in the top 100 of U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities North, #1 Most Innovative Schools, #83 Best Value Schools and #46 Best Colleges for Vets. GI Jobs has consistently rated Southern New Hampshire University as a top Military Friendly institution. SNHU currently has an on-campus enrollment of over 4,000 students.
Program Length: 120 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $325/UG Credit Hour; $627/G Credit Hour
5. University of Central Arkansas
This is an online RN to BSN to MSN degree program which offers Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and Nurse Educator with Clinical Specialty (NECS) tracks. Students wishing to obtain a Family Nurse Practitioner degree are required to take an additional 30 credit hours. Of the 30 hours required for the BSN, studies include community health nursing, research for evidence-based practice, leadership and management, advanced pathophysiology, informatics and health assessment. The Clinical Nurse Leader track involves studies in epidemiology, advanced pharmacology, advanced health assessment, healthcare quality and leadership; as well as courses in informatics, clinical nurse leader practice. The MSN Nurse Educator with Clinical Specialty involves study in evidence-based practice research, epidemiology, advanced pharmacology, curriculum in nursing health professions, clinical specialty for the nurse educator. FNP students will follow a curriculum which includes adult/gerontology primary care, health assessment, epidemiology for advanced nursing practice. The RN to BSN to MSN program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Located in Conway, Arkansas in 1907 as a teacher’s college and has grown to over 11,000 enrolled students. Ranked #72 in U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities South and is also recognized at #26 in the Top Public Schools category.
Program Length: 95 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $325/Credit Hour
6. American Sentinel University
A CCNE accredited, online RN to MSN program at American Sentinel University, this program recognizes prior educational credit and provides for life experience credits. Developed for students who hold either an Associates Degree in Nursing or a nursing diploma, this program allows students to obtain both the BSN and MSN at the same time. The program, which provides two degrees in less time than traditional study, may be completed in 3 years or less depending on the student’s pace. Students in this degree program will complete undergraduate nursing courses in health assessment, case management, healthcare delivery and quality outcomes, community health, etc.; as well as, undergraduate studies in general education subjects including communication competencies, humanities, behavioral and social sciences and science, math and information technology. Once awarded the BSN, students may then choose from specializations in Case Management, Infection Prevention and Control,Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics and Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership.
American Sentinel University was established in 2006 and ranked for three consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs and for its student engagement excellence. The university has over 2,000 enrolled students and is a for-profit institution based in Aurora, Colorado.
Program Length: 117 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $400/UG credit hour; $515/G credit hour
7. Wheeling Jesuit University
Offering a RN to MSN degree program for working nurses, Wheeling Jesuit University’s online program combines liberal arts and nursing courses designed specifically for nurses who hold either a diploma or associates degree in nursing. Core liberal arts classes will involve studies in English composition, history, statistics, ethics, general psychology and social and behavioral sciences. Students may complete 11 credit hours of the curriculum by either transferring credits from another accredited school; or, by completing “challenge tests” in anatomy, microbiology, physiology and chemistry rather than in coursework. Students will also study development psychology, nursing theories, concepts of nursing practice, complex care, multi-system nursing care, etc. The RN to MSN program is accredited by the CCNE.
Wheeling Jesuit University was established in partnership of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and the Society of Jesus of the Maryland Province in 1954. With over 1,300 enrolled students, Wheeling Jesuit University offers 47 programs of study in bachelors, masters, doctoral and certificate programs. Ranked #41 by U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities South, the university is also ranked #44 in Best Value Schools and Forbes has named the university #520 in its Top Colleges ranking and #342 in Private Colleges. The university is located in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Program Length: 84 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $400/UG Credit Hour; $550/G Credit Hour
8. Nova Southeastern University
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Nova Southeastern University has an online RN to MSN bridge degree program which allows students to earn both the BSN and MSN in approximately 10 semesters. Nurses applying to this program must have graduated from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution for admissions. Students will study general education courses in social behavioral sciences, written communication, mathematics, arts and humanities and natural/physical sciences. Graduate nursing courses will include coursework in health assessment, pathophysiology, genetic concepts, advanced nurse role, evidence and practice, health promotion and disease prevention, etc. There four tracks from which to choose in Nursing Education, Health Systems Leadership, Gerontology-Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner.
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University was established in 1964 as a technology school and has grown to include five colleges in pharmacy, optometry, allied health, medical sciences and dentistry. The school has campuses, not only in Fort Lauderdale; but, with campuses in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nova Southeastern University is ranked #198 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities ranking and #47 in its Best Online Graduate Nursing programs.
Program Length: 82 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $403/UG Credit Hour; $675/G Credit Hour
9. Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University provides a RN to MSN degree which allows students to earn both the BSN and MSN degrees. There are three specialty tracks for this program in MSN Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator or Nursing Informatics Administrator. Accredited by the CCNE, this program allows students to complete their BSN within two years and the MSN in approximately 18 months. BSN courses will include studies, beyond general education courses, in nursing informatics, health policy, public health nursing, advanced health assessment and others. Core MSN courses will include studies in health policy, evidence based practice, concepts in nursing informatics and leadership in nursing the global community. Following the core MSN courses, students will begin study in their specialty area. Students holding a degree from a two-year ADN program may transfer up to 80 credit hours towards the RN to MSN degree.
Chartered in 1972, Thomas Edison State University has its campus in Trenton, New Jersey and was designed especially for the adult learner. The university is accredited by the Middles States Commission on Higher Education and has approximately 17,000 enrolled students.
Program Length: 127 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $440/UG (Resident); $538 (Resident); $668/G Credit Hour
10. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University offers two Bridge Programs for nurses with a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing. The MSN Nursing Education track requires 18 hours in health assessment, introduction to nursing research, community and public health concepts and applied statistics for healthcare professionals. The MSN in Nursing Education specialty requires an additional 36 credit hours on the graduate level in ethics, policy and finance in healthcare, nursing education seminars, practicum and an evidence-based practice project. The MSN Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program also requires the same 18 credit hours as the nurse educator track; plus, an additional 53 credit hours advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, adult-gerontology acute care, etc. Both tracks are accredited by the CCNE.
Grand Canyon University is a religious based, private for-profit university located in Phoenix, Arizona which was established in 1949. The school boasts over 19,000 campus based students and 60,000 online students. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Length: 54-71 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $470/UG Credit Hour; $500-$630/G Credit Hour
11. University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing
This is a blended, online RN to MSN degree program designed for students who have either an ADN degree or nursing diploma from an accredited program which provided clinical practices for nursing training. Applicants must have a minimum of one year work experience and a current nursing license. Students are required to take 62 credit hours in prerequisite courses in: human anatomy and pathophysiology, microbiology, algebra, natural science or mathematics, psychology, sociology, English composition, speech and other humanities courses. This CCNE accredited program offers skill sets in organizational and systems leadership, integrating research into practice, informatics and technology, health policy and advocacy and interdisciplinary teams leadership.
Founded in 1948, the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing is recognized as the state’s flagship nursing school. Located in Jackson, Mississippi, this school is the only academic medical center in the state. Having been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a Best Hospitals report, the medical school has seven healthcare education programs including Dentistry, Pharmacology, Medicine, Nursing, Population Health, Health Related Professions and Graduate Studies.
Program Length: 62 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $495/Credit Hour (Resident); $1,247/Credit Hour (Non Resident)
12. Stevenson University
This online RN to MSN at Stevenson University targets the currently working registered nurse wanting to advance their career. Students with an associates degree are able to transfer up to 21 general education credits toward their program and conduct clinical experiences in a setting approved by the faculty. Currently employed nurses with an unencumbered license may receive up to 30 credit hours towards their upper division nursing credits. Be certain to check with the school to determine if you qualify for this transfer. There are three concentrations offered with this program in: Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership/Management and Population-Based Care Coordination. Students will study subjects in the core nursing curriculum of health research for nurses, nursing leadership, health in the community and concepts in nursing informatics, etc. There are additional bachelor degree requirements in microbiology, statistics, chemistry, ethics, anatomy and physiology and social and behavioral sciences. An additional 36 credit hours are expected in the specialty tracks. The program holds CCNE accreditation.
Located in Stevenson, Maryland, Stevenson University was established in 1947 by the Sisters of Notre Dame and has a current estimated enrollment of over 4,000 students. Stevenson University is a private school and U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #86 in its Regional Universities Northwest ranking and places it at #45 in Best Value Schools. And, U.S. News and World Report has named the nursing program one of the Best Graduate Schools in Nursing.
Program Length: 120 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $495/Credit Hour
13. Clarkson College
This accelerated RN to MSN degree program for currently licensed registered nurses. Students initially complete studies in the RN to BSN program and prerequisite coursework for the MSN program will transition to the MSN program. The RN to BSN degree requires studies in general education, core and major courses. Students who hold an associates degree or previous baccalaureate degree work may transfer suitable hours to the RN to MSN degree. Forty semester hours are required in general education (English, humanities, sociology, psychology, microbiology, anatomy, etc.). Students with two or more years of work experience in leadership, home health or public health nursing may test out of the MSN prerequisite courses. Those with no previous experience in those areas will be required to take 16-20 hours in evidence-based practice, nursing law and ethics, capstone project or practicum. A total of 130 credit hours are necessary prior to the beginning the MSN. The program offers four tracks: Nursing Health Care Administration, Nursing Education, Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult–Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.
Clarkson College was started in 1869 as Omaha’s Good Samaritan Hospital, the vision of Bishop Clarkson to begin a nursing education program. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Clarkson College as #39 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, Clarkson College has an enrollment of over 1,000 students.
Program Length: 130/prior to MSN program; 39-46/MSN program
Estimated Tuition: $516/UG Credit Hour; $575/G Credit Hour
14. Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing
Loyola University provides two programs for registered nurses to obtain a MSN degree. The RN to MSN program offers a traditional RN to MSN (for students with an associates degree) or a RN to MSN Bridge (designed for active RNs with no previous nursing baccalaureate degree) options. The Traditional Option includes studies in general education, undergraduate nursing courses and graduate nursing courses which culminates with a BSN, following which, the student may move into the MSN coursework. There are three tracks from which to chose in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nursing Leadership or Nurse Educator. The BSN requires 120 credit hours; but, students are able to transfer 64 credits from an accredited school and up to 90 total credit hours. The RN to MSN Bridge option allows students to utilize “bridge” their nursing experience with core courses for the MSN. This option also provides the three tracks: FNP, Nurse Educator or Nursing Leadership linked above.
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Loyola University is located in New Orleans, Louisiana and was established in 1849 by the Jesuit Order. The Princeton Review rates Loyola University Best 381 Colleges and U.S. News and World Report ranks the School of Nursing programs #39 Best Online Nursing Programs. Loyola is #10 Best Regional Universities of the South and #12 Best Value in the South. The university currently has over 3,000 students enrolled.
Program Length: 120 Credit Hours (Traditional); 36-48 Bridge Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $526/UG Credit Hour; $818/G Credit Hours
15. Frontier Nursing University
Designed for nurses with an ADN and one year’s nursing experience, this online ADN to MSN online program may be completed in 12 months. Applicants must not hold a bachelors degree of any kind to be considered for admission. Students are required to complete a bridge year which requires 24 credits in physical assessment, nursing theory, nursing research and physical assessment. The bridge year additionally requires three on-campus visits. Successful students are then able to enter one of three specialty areas: Certified Nurse-Midwife, Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, bypassing the BSN. This MSN program also allows students to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree if desired. All practicum experiences are conducted in the student’s home community. The programs are CCNE accredited.
A school with a rich history dating to 1939, Frontier Nursing University was established by nursing legend, Mary Breckinridge with the sole purose of training nurse midwives. In 2016, the enrollment was 2,000 students studying a broad range of nursing programs. Frontier Nursing University is ranked #50 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The Wendover, Kentucky institution offers seven degree and two certificate programs.
Program Length: 59-85 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $564/Credit Hour
16. Robert Morris University
This online RN to MSN Nurse Educator degree at Robert Morris University is specifically for nurses who do not have a BSN and assists students in obtaining both a BSN and MSN in a shorter amount of time. Accredited by the CCNE, this program requires 40 credit hours in core university courses in anatomy and physiology, speaking strategies, survey of economics, general psychology, sociology, humanities and statistics. There are 23 undergraduate and graduate non-nursing hours required in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, human growth and development, theories of learning and instruction and healthcare financial administration. Forty remaining hours are needed in genetics and genomics, quality safety, health promotions, pharmacology for nurse educators, legal and ethical issues, etc.
Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Robert Morris University was established in 1921 as an accounting school and now has an enrollment of over 5,000 students. The university ranks #176 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and had six online programs recognized by the publication in its Best Online Programs ranking. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Length: 103 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $580/Credit Hour
17. Concordia University Wisconsin
Concordia University Wisconsin offers a RN to BSN to MSN degree online. Requiring a ADN, the program provides an accelerated program. This program has three specialty tracks in: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. Accredited by the CCNE, curriculum in the RN to BSN to MSN allows students to receive their BSN in as little as 18 months following general education studies and core nursing courses covering nursing trends, nursing leadership, research in nursing and a seminar in contemporary nursing. The BSN allows for transfer of up to 90 credit hours from a previously attended institution. Graduate students require studies in evidence based practice, bioethics, advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology and advanced health assessment. The FNP degree requires 41 credit hours and the Nurse Educator degree requires 39 credit hours. Note: Concordia University is currently not accepting new students from Alabama, Alaska, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota.
Located in Mequon, Wisconsin, Concordia University ranks #51 in U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities Midwest and #50 in its Best Value Schools. Established in 1881, Concordia University has a current enrollment of over 7,000 students and its Best Online Graduate Nursing Program ranked in the top 100 by U.S. News and World Report. The university is a private, coed institution.
Program Length: 167/Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $585/Per Credit
18. Saint Joseph’s College
This CCNE accredited, online RN to MSN offers a Fast Track provision which allows students to obtain a MSN in Administration or Nurse Educator specialties only. Those in the RN to BSN to MSN track are required to complete (or transfer hours) in general education courses in English, statistics, history, humanities, life sciences, ethics, etc. After the completion of 39 credit hours, students then take 32 credit hours in core nursing studies in evidence-based practice, quality care, organizational and systems leadership, health assessment, nursing informatics, etc. There are an additional 42-45 credit hours in either the Administration or Nurse Educator specialization.
This Catholic college is located in Standish, Maine and was founded in 1912 by Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The campus is home to over 1,000 students and the college has over 2,500 students enrolled online. Ranked #136 in U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities Northeast rankings, Saint Joesph’s College has been ranked by The Princeton Review in its “Green College” rankings. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Length: 97 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition $624/G Credit Hour
19. Excelsior College
Designed for the working nurse, Excelsior College has an online RN to MSN degree program in one of three tracks: Nursing Leadership and Administration of Healthcare Systems, Nursing Education and Nursing Informatics. Students will take general education courses in humanities, English, social sciences and natural sciences. Core nursing courses involve leadership and management in nursing, theoretical concepts in nursing, advanced physical assessment, community health and evidence based practices, etc. before advancing to the selected specialty. The degree includes nursing capstone projects. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Excelsior College is located in Albany, New York and was established in 1971, by the New York Board of Regents and is a private, nonprofit, independent institution. Excelsior College has a current enrollment over 32,000 students in 30 degree programs in one of the colleges five schools: Business, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Public Service, and Technology.
Program Length: 144 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $645/Credit Hour
20. Jacksonville University
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited, Jacksonville University provides an online RN to MSN program which offers study in three specialty areas: Clinical Nurse Educator, Leadership in Healthcare Systems and Informatics. Admission to this program requires an unencumbered nursing license and the school provides 30 credit hours for your license. Students take core nursing courses in, among others, evidence based practice, nursing assessment, advanced care concepts, nursing leadership and advanced roles, nursing theory and research and a practicum before advancing to the specialty track.
Opened in 1934, Jacksonville University is a private non-profit institution and ranks #52 in Regional Universities South by U.S. News and World Report. The school, listed # 29 Best Colleges for Veterans, by U.S. News and World Report offers a 10% tuition discount for active-duty service members, Reservist, Guardsmen, Veteran, spouses and dependents of disabled or deceased Veterans. The school is also ranked #73 for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.
Program Length: 140 Credit Hour
Estimated Tuition: $700/Credit Hour
21. Nebraska Methodist College
Offering an online RN to MSN degree program, Nebraska Methodist College has a three track option: Nurse Educator, Informatics and Nurse Executive. All three tracks may be completed in 30 months and requires courses in the RN to MSN Bridge Program for those who do not hold an associate or bachelor degree before transitioning into the MSN program. These courses include studies in research, nursing assessment, community health nursing and collaborative nursing in a global society. This online program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Established in Omaha, Nebraska in 1891 Nebraska Methodist College is affiliated with Methodist Health Systems and is a private health professions institution. U.S. News and World Report rates the graduate nursing program as #194 Best Nursing School’s: Masters. With 32 full time faculty and an enrollment of 159 students in the graduate nursing programs, students will experience an excellent faculty:student ratio.
Program Length: 56 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $719/Credit Hours
22. Graceland University
The Graceland University online RN to MSN program allows students to complete both the BSN and MSN degrees (or, students may “stop out” once they’ve completed the BSN). The program does require a two-day on campus attendance for the MSN. Clinical practicums are required for both the BSN and MSN curricula which may be completed in the student’s home community. There are 53 credit hours required for the BSN portion of study, which includes courses in psychology, sociology, anatomy and physiology, statistics, evidence-based practices, leadership roles in nursing, community health care and a capstone project. Students may transfer general education hours from previously attended institutions. The MSN program has two tracks: RN to BSN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner and RN to BSN to MSN Adult, Gerontology, Acute Care. The number of credit hours required for the MSN was not available on the website. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Currently with campuses in Lamoni, Iowa and Independence, Missouri, Graceland University is a private university founded in 1895 in Lamoni which is affiliated with the Community of Christ. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Graceland University one of its Graduate Online Nursing Programs and has been recognized by The Princeton Review as one of “Best in the Midwest” (2012-2017). Presently, the university has an overall student enrollment of over 1,900 students.
Program Length: Not Specified
Estimated Tuition: $775/Credit Hour
23. University of Arizona College of Nursing
For nurses with an associates degree, this RN to MSN program allows nurses to receive their MSN within 24 months. Students in this degree program will study courses in evidence based practice improvement, population health, health information and patient care technology, quality and safety, nursing leadership, risk reduction and a clinical systems leadership immersion. Students wishing to gain the BSN degree will be required to take an additional 31 credit hours and study pathophysiology, pharmacology, foundations in nursing practice, acute and chronic disease management and nursing leadership. Note: The University of Arizona is unable to accept students from: Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Delaware and Rhode Island.
Accredited by the CCNE, the University of Arizona has been ranked #124 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and its online graduate nursing program is rated #43 in the publication’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. U.S. News and World Report also ranks the University of Arizona in the top 100 Best College for Veterans. Located in Tucson, Arizona, the university was founded in 1885 and presently has over 43,000 enrolled students.
Program Length: 44 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $820/Credit Hour (Resident); $926 (Non Resident)
24. Drexel University
This RN to MSN bridge program allows RNs who currently hold a baccalaureate degree either in nursing or another non-related degree. Accredited by CCNE, Drexel’s program has five specialty tracks: Clinical Nurse Leader, Clinical Trials Research, Nursing Innovation, Leadership in Health Systems Management and Nursing Education. There is a required bridge course in Genetics and Genomics: Application to Nursing Practice to be taken prior to entering the selected specialty. Each specialty may require different admissions criteria, so be certain to check those specific admissions qualification.
Drexel University has been ranked in the top 100 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and has ranked Drexel #56 Best Colleges for Veterans, #70 Best Value Schools, #25 Most Innovative Schools and #35 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Other recognitions for the university include the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education College rankings placing Drexel University in the top 100 in colleges and universities. Begun in 1891 as an institute in Arts, Science and Industry, Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has a current enrollment in excess of 21,000 students.
Program Length: 45-48 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $913/Credit Hour
25. Gonzaga University
This online, CCNE accredited RN to MSN degree at Gonzaga University is for the RN with an ADN looking to advance their career. The program offers a specialty in Health Systems Leadership which combines concepts from business, quality improvement, healthcare law and ethics and nursing to prepare students for leadership positions. Students are required to take 15 credit hours in bridge courses in human contact, statistics, community health, nursing research and a community health practicum. Specialty courses will examine information technology, healthcare improvement theories, evidence-based practice; and, core courses in nursing leadership development, information and quality management, communication, legal, ethical and regulatory issues in healthcare, etc.
Receiving a #4 in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of Regional Universities West, Gonzaga University has also been recognized as #3 Best Colleges for Veterans, #7 Best Value Schools, #94 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs and #142 Best Nursing Schools: Masters. Gonzaga University was established in 1887 and is a private, Catholic, Jesuit school with an enrollment in excess of 7,000 students. The university is located in Spokane, Washington.
Program Length: 51 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $955/Credit Hour
26. Aspen University
Requiring an associates degree in nursing or nursing diploma from a CCNE accredited institution, Aspen University offers an online RN to MSN Bridge Program and requires 50 credit hours of liberal arts education courses. The university allows for transfer hours from other universities towards the 50 hours in general education. Core nursing courses in the bridge program include studies in issues and trends in nursing, concepts and theories, community health nursing, essentials in nursing, theory and research, legal and ethical considerations in nursing, health assessment, etc. The RN to MSN Bridge Program offers the following subspecialty degrees: Forensic Nursing, Informatics,Administration and Management, Nursing Education and Public Health. Aspen University’s School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its nursing degree programs.
Aspen University is located in Denver, Colorado and is a for-profit institution founded in 1987 and has four schools: School of Professional Studies, School of Nursing, School of Education and School of Business and Technology. Aspen University maintains accreditation for its online programs through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a qualifying agency.
Program Length: 57 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $975/Credit Hour
27. Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
This online RN to MSN program through Loyola University’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. An accelerated program for registered nurses or those with an ADN, applicants must apply to one of the three specialty tracks in nursing administration, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. A Professional Portfolio is reviewed to determine the credit hours accepted towards the degree. Students are required to complete 54 credit hours in arts and science courses in, among others, sociology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, English, microbiology, statistics, etc. The MSN degree requires 12 credit hours in such classes as epidemiology, research, concepts and theories and 29-41 additional credit hours (dependent on specialty track). The program is CCNE accredited.
Ranked #103 in National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, Loyola University Chicago was established in 1870 and has an enrollment of over 16,000 students. Recommended by the publication as one of the Best Value Schools and Best Colleges For Veterans, the school is ranked #52 Best Nursing Schools: Masters. The university is the largest Catholic, Jesuit Universities in the country and has 13 colleges and schools.
Program Length: 96 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $1,103/Credit Hour
28. Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Sciences
This RN to MSN online program is for diploma nurses or nurses holding an ADN who are looking to advance to a Family Nurse Practitioner degree. The program requires a three-day clinical immersion experience which includes advanced physical assessment and a suturing workshop. Coursework includes study in advanced pathophysiology, contemporary nursing issues, statistics, research methods, leadership and management, advanced pharmacology, clinical decision making, primary care nursing, informatics and health promotion. The degree program may be completed in 30 months (fulltime) or 36 months (parttime). Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and offers accredited bachelors, masters and DNP programs.
Named by The Princeton Review as one of the Nation’s Top Institutions, Simmons College and has been ranked #14 in U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities ranking North. The publication also rates Simmons College’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences as #60 in its Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Simmons College is a private school, established in 1899 and currently has a total student enrollment over 6,000 students; of which, over 1,000 are enrolled in the graduate nursing program.
Program Length: 68 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $1,135/Credit Hour
29. Western Governors University (Utah)
Western Governors University (Utah) takes a unique approach to online education. Providing a RN to MSN program with a specialization in nurse education. Designed for working registered nurses who have an unencumbered nursing license and have graduated with an associates degree or diploma. Self-paced, students typically graduate from this program in 3 years with courses divided into six month terms. Students may also accelerate their program by successful completion of competency based demonstration. Courses in this Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited program include organizational leadership, policy, politics and global health trends, foundations of nursing education, professional leadership and communication, as well as nursing education field experience. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor who will help map the student’s degree program. A capstone project is required for graduation.
Developed in 1996 at the Western Governors Association meeting, Western Governors University was developed to take advantage of distance education technology with the support of 19 governors. Intended to provide higher educational for those currently in the work force, Western Governors University developed a competency based model with a flat, tuition cost. Western Governors University is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The Gallup-Purdue Index Poll rates WGU’s graduates employment rates at 81% compared to the national 74% average. Forbes Magazine has called WGU, one of “The best kept secret in online colleges.”
Program Length: 150 Competency Hours
Estimated Tuition: $3,250/per term
30. South University
South University offers an online RN to MSN program with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. This program, designed specifically for practicing registered nurses, providing both an undergraduate (BSN) and graduate education (MSN) in one, streamlined program requiring fewer courses than one would find in separate BSN and MSN programs. Students enrolled in this program will be required to complete general education courses in professional development, communications, natural sciences, math and statistics and humanities. Studies for the BSN also include nursing core credits in microbiology, foundations in nursing practice, gerontological nursing, trends in healthcare policy, foundations of nursing research, etc. MSN core studies will involve pharmacology, advanced nursing practice, pre-clinical evaluation, as well as practicums and a graduate project. Note: This program is not available to residents of Alabama, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and Washington DC.
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), South University was established in Savanah, Georgia in 1899 as a business college. Purchased by the South family in 1974, the university began offering four-year degrees in 1996 and now boasts five colleges offering undergraduate and graduate programs. South University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Length: 227 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $8,900 per quarter