Excellent Guide to Online Master’s Program in Nursing

Are you a registered nurse or a recently graduated nurse seeking to move your career forward? Are you looking to advance your career with an online MSN degree?  Getting an online degree in a master’s program is a great way of increasing your earning potential and improving your career prospects from your convenience. Read till the end of this article to know all about earning an Online master’s program in nursing.

What is an Online MSN Program?

A Master of Science in nursing degree is a degree for advanced practice registered nurses at a graduate level. An online Master of Science in Nursing program is a combination of prerequisite nursing courses, coursework and practicum activities designed to match a student’s desired NP or APRN Specialty. MSN courses vary according to the institution. However, core coursework for the majority of online MSN programs comprises classes such as Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Assessment, Evidence-Based Practice, Health Care Management, Health Care Policy, Informatics, Path physiology, Research in Nursing Best Practices, and Pharmacology. The remaining MSN degree course load will be determined by one’s state licensing requirements and specialty track. Most specialties include clinical hours which include hands-on activities in chosen fields while keeping a record of the required credit hours.  Full-time students possessing a BSN degree can complete their MSN in two years while part-time students can take about three times longer, depending on their credit hours and course load.

Requirements for Online Master’s in Nursing Admissions

Knowing the requirements of an online MSN program is also a pivotal part of an excellent guide to Online Master’s of Science I Nursing. The following criteria are to be met before admission.

  • Nursing specialties such as certified nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist and clinical nurse specialist are to be chosen by applicants.
  • Information sessions on diverse online MSN programs should be attended by applicants to get a varied view of different schools that offer online MSN programs in order to select the best school.
  • Applicants should ensure to have completed the necessary coursework. Such prerequisite coursework includes a bachelor’s degree in nursing or any other graduate degree in other fields aside from nursing for entry-level nursing master’s, an RN license and an associate degree in nursing or in any nursing-related field for Registered Nurse (RN) to master’s and a bachelor’s degree in nursing or in any other nursing-related field for bachelor’s to master’s.
  • Students who desire admission into online MSN programs must pass the entrance examinations.
  • A letter of recommendation, transcripts, letters of intent, and an interview with an application should be provided by applicants.

NOTE: Universities and institutions can have other requirements and criteria.

Specializations in Online Master of Nursing

Several online MSN programs require students to choose a specialization before enrollment while others do not. It is important to know your desired specialty when choosing and scrutinizing a potential school. A school which offers an online master’s in nursing is not guaranteed to have your desired concentration. There is also no guarantee that the activities, lessons and experiences in each concentration or specialty are of the same quality. Some typical areas of specialization include:

  • Adult Care (ANP)
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A_GNP)
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Leadership and Management
  • Nursing Education
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Neonatal Care (NNP)
  • Pain Management Nurse
  • Pediatric Nurse practitioner (PNP)
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMNHP)
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Benefits of Online Master’s Program in  Nursing

Many nurses who desire a master of science in Nursing already have established careers and want to further study their work ethics. Online study offers lots of flexibility. It also offers an opportunity to acquire a high-level qualification on any suitable schedule of your choice.

If you desire to expand your options for going further in your career as well as increasing your earning capacity, then earning a Master’s degree will aid you greatly in doing so. Learning new skills while gaining more experience will demonstrate your hardworking and committed nature to employers. It will also prove you have amazing time-management skills.

Such online nursing programs provide avenues for interaction with faculty members and other students like yourself. Thus, the benefits of physical learning can still be achieved at your convenience.

Knowing the right institution to apply for is an important part of a guide to an online master’s program in nursing. Below are the top ten institutions with quality education in a master’s in nursing program.

Best Sponsored Online Masters of Science (MSN) Programs

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: This institution is one of the oldest in the country. It is a prominent private university which offers online graduate nursing programs. the institution was founded in 1789. Georgetown University ranked 21st in the United States News and World Report’s National Universities ranking. This university is the oldest catholic university which has a personal approach to its students. four online master’s programs are offered by Georgetown to students who desire to study a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). These four online programs are Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, Family nurse practitioner, Nurse-midwifery/women’s health nurse practitioner, and Nursing Practice. Students here can earn their degree in about twenty-three months. The tuition for online graduate courses at Georgetown University per credit is two thousand, hundred and thirty-nine dollars ($2,139). For more information and application, visit https://online.nursing.georgetown.edu

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: This university is one of the top medical institutions globally. This university offers an online MSN degree, buttressing the importance of online education. Johns Hopkins University (JHU) offers comprehensive and quality education to nurses who desire to further their careers. This institution has ranked first among other nursing graduate programs. students fortunate enough to get admitted will receive both academic and professional gain. The tuition for the Online Masters of Science in Nursing program at Johns Hopkins University full-time per academic year is forty-seven thousand, two hundred and sixty-four dollars ($47,264). This private institution is located at 525 N. Wolfe Street Baltimore MD 21205 United States. For more information and application, do visit www.nursing.jhu.edu

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: The Ohio State University is located in Columbus, Ohio state and was established in 1870. The online MSN degree is provided through Ohio State Online. This online degree program trains students to flourish in several clinical settings. This is achieved through usual coursework, evidence-based practice and clinical experience. This online program offers four Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)- accredited online tracks: tracks in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). The institution’s estimated cost per credit is one thousand, one hundred and fifty-four dollars ($1,154).For more information and application, for the online MSN degree provided by Ohio State University, do visit www.gpadnissions.osu.edu

DREXEL UNIVERSITY: This institution offers seven diverse nursing master’s programs with different options to match diverse specialties. Drexel University offers Master’s Programs in Adult-Gerontology acute nurse practitioner, Adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, Family nurse practitioner, Pediatric primary care nurse, Pediatric acute care nurse practitioner, Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and Women’s health/gender-related nurse practitioner. Drexel University is a private institution and its tuition per credit is one thousand and sixty-nine dollars ($1069). For more information and application, do visit www.online.drexel.edu

SIMMONS UNIVERSITY: This is a private university located in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. The online enrollment for Masters of Science in Nursing has approximately thousand, eight hundred and eighty students. The tuition per credit hour is one thousand, four hundred and ten dollars ($1,410). The online Master’s degree at this university is for students who desire to become Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs). You can contact 617-521-2605 or visit https://online.simmons.edu

SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY: Through this institution’s School of Nursing and Health Science, Saint Xavier University (SXU) provides its students with three Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)-accredited tracks.  SXU online Masters of Science in Nursing can be pursued in Clinical Leadership, Saint Xavier’s online MSN Nurse Educator track or in Executive Leadership. 35 credit hours are required for the Executive Leadership track while 38 credit hours are needed for the other two tracks. The coursework in this institution is taught by the Online Master of Science Faculty of SXU. Students are supported to ensure the completion of hours. The program’s estimated cost per credit is seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750). Visit www.online.sxu.edu for more information and application.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA: Unlike many Master in Nursing programs which require attaining a Bachelor’s degree first, this university offers a Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing program with non-nurse baccalaureate students who desire entry into the nursing field at the graduate level, her target. This program comprises both online and in-person classes with an emphasis on hands-on clinical activities. Foundational nursing concepts and specialized practices in paediatrics, psychiatric nursing, gerontology and a host of others are covered by students over five semesters of study. Students should be able to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) at the end of the program. The estimated cost per credit for residents of South Carolina is seven hundred and seventy dollars ($770), while that of non-residents is one thousand, four hundred and thirty-eight dollars ($1438). For more information and application, do visit https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/nursing/academic_programs/graduate_programs/masters_programa/index.php

DUKE UNIVERSITY: DukeUniversity which is one of the most respected medical schools globally has also acknowledged the value of online education. It offers one of the best online Master of Science in Nursing programs. This university has a variety of majors, which include; Adult Gerontology Acute Care or Primary Care, Pediatric Acute or Primary Care, Neonatal, Family, and Women’s Health, Nursing and Healthcare Leadership and a host of other non-clinical majors. The tuition for her online Master’s of Science in Nursing program is one thousand, eight hundred and thirty-eight dollars ($1,838). You can reach out to them via email at [email protected]. For application and more information, do visit https://nursing.duke.edu/academic-programs/msn/master-science-nursing

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: Located in Orlando, the University of Central Florida provides a Master’s in Nursing to teach leadership and management skills to better serve needy patients and the globally growing healthcare industry. Three tracks, Nursing and Healthcare Simulation, Nurse Leadership and Management or Nurse Educator, can be pursued to attain a Master’s degree in UCF. Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in other majors aside from nursing can also apply for MSN at UCF. However, such applicants will be required to complete the necessary courses outlined for their desired tracks and possess an active nursing license. 31-36 credits are required for graduation and the estimated cost per credit is three hundred and twenty-seven dollars ($327) for residents and one thousand, one hundred and fifty-one dollars ($1,151) for non-residents. For more information and application, do visit www.ucf.edu/online/degree/nursing-m-s-n/

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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON: For an online Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation, there are a variety of specialty areas made available. Only students who are already licensed nurses can partake in any of the three specific online Master of Science in Nursing tracks. These three paths constitute; a 39-credit hour of focus in Nursing Education, a 36-credit hour Master’s of Science in Nursing in Nursing Administration or a Master’s of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner focus. The UTA College of Nursing online MSN Nurse Practitioner Program is further divided into five specialty areas; Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AG PCNP), Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG ACNP), Pediatric Primary Nurse Care Practitioner (PNP-AC) and Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (PNP-AC). UTA charges six hundred and fifty-four dollars ($654) per credit hour. For more information and application, visit www.uta.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do a master in nursing online?

Yes, you can do a master’s in nursing online.

In this article, we have provided an excellent guide to an online master’s degree in nursing.

How do I excel in nursing school?

Some tips to excel in nursing include; determining your learning style, scheduling your study time, joining a study group, hiring a nursing tutor, taking regular breaks, taking practice National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) tests and reviewing the code of ethics for nurses.

What is the typical curriculum for msn?

MSN core curriculum typically comprises advanced classes in physiology or pathophysiology, pharmacology, healthcare policy and ethics, health assessment and principles in nursing management.

For an excellent guide to online Master of Science in Nursing programs, ensure you check out this article.


With the widespread of online education and its flexibility, many students find it a conducive means of education. Attaining an online Master of Science in Nursing degree has been made possible. We have explored the top ten universities which offer such programs and have provided an excellent guide to the online Master of Science in Nursing Program. To learn more, visit smartnib.com.


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