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*Our Top 5 MSN Online Programs

Find Flexible Online Nursing
programs with accelerated tracks!

Our List for Masters of Science In Nursing Degrees
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Concentrations: MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leader, Educator Click To See More
Why Choose Purdue Global
  • Specialize in one of five pathways aligned to specific advanced roles.
  • The master's degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • This online MSN program offers the flexibility nurses need to balance work and life responsibilities with their studies.
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Concentrations: MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leader, Educator Click To See More
Why Choose Walden University
  • Walden University provides high-quality classes with a flexible schedule.
  • Students can choose between competency-based and traditional course-based learning formats.
  • Walden University offers a helpful quiz to help prospective students decide which specialization is right for them.
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Concentrations: MSN in Care Coordination, Informatics, Leader & Administration, Nursing Education, Click To See More
Why Choose Capella University
  • Capella’s program integrates AACN standards and was developed around NLN Competencies.
  • Students choose between GuidedPath, a structured learning format, & FlexPath, a self-paced format.
  • Capella University works with applicants to see which credits can be transferred and matched with Capella credits.
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Concentrations: MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leader, Educator Click To See More
Why Choose Purdue Global Online
  • Specialize in one of five pathways aligned to specific advanced roles.
  • The master's degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • This online MSN program offers the flexibility nurses need to balance work and life responsibilities with their studies.
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Request More Information
Concentrations: MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner, Executive Leader, Educator Click To See More
Why Choose Walden Online
  • Walden University provides high-quality classes with a flexible schedule.
  • Students can choose between competency-based and traditional course-based learning formats.
  • Walden University offers a helpful quiz to help prospective students decide which specialization is right for them.
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Request More Information
Benefits of getting an MSN from an RN, while skipping a BSN:
For those looking to speed up the process, choosing an RN-to-MSN program may be the right way to go. For the traditional route of earning your BSN and then your MSN, this could take at least four years full time, plus you will have to pay for two programs. By choosing an RN-to-MSN program, this could take up to three years full time and you would only pay for one program—so ultimately, this program may be more time-efficient and cost-efficient.
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Nursing Students Ask

MSN Degree FAQ

Are online nursing degrees accredited?

Some are, some aren’t. National accreditations are as follows: The Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), and The American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation (ACNM). Each college recommended on NurseDegrees.com is accredited.

Do I have to be an RN to get an MSN?

No. There are multiple paths available to earning your MSN, such as ADN-to-MSN, BSN-to-MSN, and Direct Entry MSN.

Is it worth getting an MSN?

This depends on you and your situation. Just like any graduate program, pursuing your MSN is a big investment. Programs are competitive and can be expensive and demanding of your time.

Is it better to go from RN to MSN rather than RN to BSN then MSN?

This is up to you. Taking an RN to BSN course and then a BSN to MSN course will take longer and cost more than an RN to MSN option. Ultimately, the RN to MSN route is more direct and more cost-effective, but it’s up to the student to determine whether that’s the right academic route for them!

Can I pursue an MSN as an RN?

Yes. If you already have an RN diploma or have a two-year nursing degree under your belt, you can apply for an MSN program.

What are MSN prerequisites?

This will vary on the program and the university. Typically, for those with an RN or a BSN, MSNs requirements will typically include a current RN license in good standing, an ADN or BSN, an academic transcript, letters of recommendation, and a current resume.

For Direct Entry MSNs will typically require a Bachelor’s Degree in another area of study, GRE scores, an undergraduate GPA (usually a 3.0 or higher), a current resume, and a professional and academic letter of recommendation. Some related credits (such as anatomy, microbiology, nutrition, physiology, and statistics) may be required as well.

How long does it take to get an MSN?

The time it takes to earn an MSN will depend on your program. For those with a BSN, it typically takes two years (fulltime), but it can take up to three years (fulltime) for RNs and three to four years for direct-entry or accelerated MSN programs.

Are clinical hours required for the RN to MSN?

In most cases, yes. The number of hours will depend on your state and your program. Programs that do not require clinical hours may require an internship or preceptorship before graduating.