The Online Guide to RN to MSN Programs

RN to MSN programs are designed with registered nurses who want to advance their careers in mind. Most of these programs either focus on a specialization with in nursing or on training nursing for leadership roles. Below are online programs from some of the best schools with MSN programs as well as links for free information.

Purdue University Nursing (RN to MSN) Nursing Nurse Administrator Nurse Educator Purdue University - Purdue University is a leader in providing online education. Their programs are accredited and highly-rated because their curriculum is industry-driven with today's technology and practices in mind. Their MSN degree programs range from Nursing (RN to MSN) to a general Masters of Science in Nursing degree as well as helping students become Nurse Administrators, Nurse Educators, or enter Nursing Informatics.
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Walden University Informatics (RN to MSN) Education (RN to MSN) Leadership/Management (RN to MSN) Walden University - Walden University offers a variety of accredited degrees in the ever-expanding field of nursing. These positions are always in high demand and the programs at Walden University can be completed at a pace that is comfortable to you. These degrees are for students who want to obtain a General Track MSN degee or specialize in nursing informatics, nursing education, or nursing leadership/management.
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Liberty University DNP Liberty University - Liberty University's MSN degree in Nursing Administration is a fast-paced accredited program that can help students quickly achieve their career goals. This program provides an education with practical applications that students can use to succeed when they enter the workforce. The degree program specializes in the administrative roles in nursing and the healthcare system and is available through online courses.
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Grand Canyon University MBA/MS: Nursing Leadership Grand Canyon University - Grand Canyon University is a highly-rated leader in online education, backed by years of excellence in helping student works towards their life goals. GCU has two accredited, online degrees for students to choose from. The first, Nursing, gives students a well-rounded education to enter the workforce as a versatile employee. The second, Nursing Leadership, is for students wanting to fill high level positions.
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What Else is a RN to MSN Degree / Program Called?

An MSN degree is known as a Master of Science in Nursing. The MSN is a graduate degree generally for RNs, BSNs, and other nurses looking to advance both their education and earning power. It is also a minimal requirement in entering one of the more advanced nursing practices such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, cardiovascular nurse, and director of nursing. The RN to MSN is also known as a degree for registered nurses to earn a Master of Science in Nursing. Those looking to get a PhD in nursing or other doctoral degree/program might end up with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in the process. Because the MSN is a graduate degree, an undergraduate or four year degree is required to obtain it.

What types of RN to MSN Degrees are there?

Most RN to MSN programs are accelerated options intented for students who already possess a background in healthcare. There is also a BSN to MSN option for students who have an undergraduate degree as well as several specializations:

What Sorts of Skills Might a Student Expect to Learn in a RN to MSN Degree?

The RN to Master of Science in Nursing (RN-MSN) degree prepares students in advanced practice and even management for leadership in a professional nursing practice or patient-centered healthcare facility. The RN-MSN degree also teaches innovative interdisciplinary approaches to resolve health care problems.

Students can choose to learn skills involving family practice and can be directly involved in diagnosing patients and deciding on a plan of care. Those with an RN to MSN degree also learn the skills to communicate with diverse groups of people, work in a variety of settings, and within the complex health care systems.

The RN-MSN degree can also show students how to work in specialties such as acute care, family, geriatrics, neonatal, palliative care, pediatric, psychiatric, women’s health, and many others.

What Sorts of Careers can Someone with a RN to MSN Degree Get?

Specialties for those with an MSN degree include clinical nurse specialist, who can become midwives or even enter the world of forensics. A nurse practitioner with a Master of Science in Nursing can also choose a specialty such as adult, family, pediatric, and critical care.

What Types of Classes are Involved in the RN to MSN Degree?

RN-MSN programs are available for individuals who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in another field and usually last two years. Core curriculum for an RN to MSN degree can include classes such as Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse, Theoretical Foundations, and Nursing Leadership and Management. However there are a variety of RN-MSN degrees to choose from and classes vary on each.

For example, the traditional MSN program is typically for those who already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This requires admission into an accredited graduate school and about two years or 18 to 36 months of study. The RN to MSN program is for those who already hold a registered nurse degree and license. It is also designed for registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field.

There is also an Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing program, which is an accelerated program designed for students with a prior non-nursing baccalaureate degree. These MSN classes focus on gaining nursing licensure and completing the MSN degree in approximately 24 months. Accelerated RN to Master of Science in Nursing degree programs are also available. They typically take three to four years to complete full time and result in the award of both the BSN and MSN.

What Are The Average Salaries for a RN to MSN?

The average salary of a RN to Master of Science in Nursing holder depends on the type of career chosen. According to, the average salary of someone with a MSN degree is $78,130. The highest salary of someone with a MSN degree was for Director of Nursing at a whopping $96,123 in average annual salary. Even the lower paying salaries still came in at $71,211 for Women\’s Health Nurse Practitioner and $72,548 for Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner.

What Are The Degree Requirements for a RN to MSN?

Depending on the type of MSN degree, the requirements can vary. Because it is a graduate degree, a Master of Science in Nursing will require a four year or bachelor\’s degree from an accredited university. Grade point average varies per school but is generally at least 2.0 and can be as high as 3.0 for the more prestigious MSN programs.
When becoming any kind of nurse from RN to NP, a license is required in all 50 states to practice. The agency responsible for this is The National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Although each state has its own requirements for nurses, the NCSBN gives the same exam to everyone.

When choosing a school in which to obtain a MSN degree, accreditation is also important as it is part of the licensure exam. Two such accrediting agencies include The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and The American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Each lists the programs and schools that have been accredited for a RN to Master of Science in Nursing and other degrees.

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