Overview

A graduate degree in nursing lets you put your passion for patients to greater work as you shape the future of healthcare. Individuals who hold a Master’s of Science in Nursing are the generals of the frontlines, whether that’s in direct patient care or in training the next generation of RNs.

Nurse practitioners work directly with patients to enhance quality of life for a wide variety of people while public health nurses stand in the gap to battle health crises. Nurse educators play a critical role in tomorrow’s medical environment, and specialists such as nurse midwives or gerontology nurses provide the care that patients desperately need in their most critical hours.

Best Online MSN Programs

With nursing shortages across the nation, earning your MSN lets you become an inspirational and integral leader in the health care niche, whether you want to step up the corporate ladder or specialize in the field. To help you find the right MSN program for your needs, we’ve combed through the online offerings. Below, you’ll find a list of what we feel are some of the best MSN programs in the nation.
Graduation Rate
54%
Enrollment Rate
9%
Cost
$895 per credit
School Type
Private

The Saint Xavier University offers one of the best online MSN programs in the United States and was awarded the top rank by US News and World Reports two years in a row. Its accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education adds to its credibility to equip you with the required skills and knowledge to become a certified nurse educator.

The MSN Nurse Educator program is a 38 credit-hour course that can be taken 100 percent online, giving you the opportunity to continue your career while pursuing further professional development. The curriculum offers a combination of theoretical learning and clinical practicum. Completion of the program qualifies you to take the Certified Nurse Educator exam, and passing the CNE exam certifies you to take on school faculty or community health educator positions to develop the next generation of nurses.

Best for Nurse Educators
Address:

3700 W 103rd St

Chicago, IL 60655

(866) 319-8966

Graduation Rate
83%
Enrollment Rate
11%
Cost
$7,622 / 8+ credits
School Type
Public

The online Master's of Science in Nursing program at the Ohio State University prepares graduates of undergraduate nursing programs for a variety of clinical careers. Graduates will learn the valuable knowledge and skills that will allow them to have careers as Family Nurse Practitioners, Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, or Clinical Nurse leaders - all careers that can help shape the future of nursing.

Authorized in 43 states of the 50 states, each track of the Master's in Nursing Program at the Ohio State University will teach all students leadership skills, knowledge in health policy, disease prevention, among many other vital industry leading skills. Most online students can earn their MSN in 3 years from the CCNE accredited program.

Best for Nurse Practitioners
Address:

281 W. Lane Ave.

Columbus, OH 43210

(614) 292-6446

Graduation Rate
93%
Enrollment Rate
37%
Cost
$1,639 per credit
School Type
Private

Johns Hopkins University's School of Nursing offers programs designed to fit the needs of a diverse student population. JHU offers flexible nursing opportunities for busy working professionals in a variety of places, times and formats.

The MSN Program at Johns Hopkins centers around the power of choice. If you have a Bachelor's degree in another field but have interest in becoming an RN, the MSN (Entry Into Nursing) program is for you; if you're interested in advancing in the nursing profession and you already have your BS in Nursing, there are multiple tracks suitable for your career goals. While some degree programs require on-campus attendance, other tracks such as those in health systems management are exclusively online. Credit requirements vary by program, but are typically between 35-40 hours.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

525 N Wolfe St

Baltimore, MD 21205

(410) 287-7430

Graduation Rate
56%
Enrollment Rate
43%
Cost
$842 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro aims to make world-class academic programs accessible to everyone through rigorous online courses and degree programs. UNC-Greensboro puts students first by empowering them with the knowledge they need to grow their careers and make an impact on the community.

UNCG offers an MS in Nursing Education degree, which prepares you for positions in pre-licensure nursing education, professional staff development and patient education. Courses are delivered online and are priced lower than traditional face-to-face classroom courses. In-state students can enjoy the steepest discounts, as one three-credit course comes in just over $900, including tuition and fees, making it competitive with other top-tier universities. Total coursework for the MS in Nursing Education program is 38 credits, and the program boasts a job placement rate greater than 90 percent.

Best for Affordability
Address:

1400 Spring Garden St

Greensboro, NC 27412

(336) 334-5400

Graduation Rate
61%
Enrollment Rate
28%
Cost
$973 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Kansas partners with its own medical center to provide nursing education backed by current professionals, making it a leader in BSN and MSN programs. The online MSN program offers tracks in leadership and specialties, making this a good program choice whether you want to continue with a career in nurse education, nursing informatics, leadership or public health.

RNs can complete their MSN in between one and five years by completing 37 to 39 credits, depending on their track, and a two-credit semester-long research project. All courses are offered online, with faculty making use of web conferencing and other technology to provide knowledge and test student aptitude.

Best for Public Health
Address:

3901 Rainbow Blvd.

Kansas City, KS 66160

(913) 945-7347

Graduation Rate
46%
Cost
$925 per credit
School Type
Public

SUNY Polytechnic Institute is known for delivering high-tech education in a small-school format; even at an undergraduate level, the school has a stellar staff-to-student ratio. The MS Nursing Education program is provided via online coursework, and you'll take 39 credit hours to graduate; the recommend plan of study involves four semesters with around nine credits each, which means you can be done with the program in less than two years.

Part-time enrollment is also an option, and you will need to pair the online classwork with relevant internships or field experience. RNs already working in clinical environments may be able to use their work history and current experience to fulfill the requirement, helping you balance further education with the obligations you already hold.

Best for Nurse Educators
Contact:

Alicia Foster

Admissions Contact

Address:

100 Seymour Road

Utica, NY 13502

(315) 792-7347

Graduation Rate
34%
Enrollment Rate
20%
Cost
$396 per credit
School Type
Public

California State University Dominguez Hills has a great faculty-to-student ratio, and the online MSN program offers a variety of specialties to choose from. This is a great school if you know you want to move forward in your career but aren't sure if that looks like a leadership or specialty role; CSUDH lets you choose nurse educator, nurse administrator, family nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, though some roles are hybrid. That means you may need to take some classes on campus.

You have five years from the time you start an MSN program with CSUDH to complete it, which provides some flexibility. You'll have to keep a 3.0 GPA and complete writing, presentation and clinical requirements, making CSUDH a fairly demanding program that prepares you to step forward confidently into your new nursing career.

Best for Most Affordable
Address:

1000 E. Victoria Street

Carson, CA 90747

(310) 243-3645

Graduation Rate
97%
Enrollment Rate
73%
Cost
$1,223 per credit
School Type
Public

Best Colleges.com ranked the University of Texas Medical Branch's online MSN program as the top in the country, and it also shows up on the "best" lists of SR Education Group and US News and World Report. Seven MSN programs are offered to train nurses for advanced practice: Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, Executive Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator, and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (with two tracks: Acute Care and Primary Care).

Six of the MSN programs share a core of seven courses (Executive Nurse Leader only requires four of those). These programs typically require seven semesters, including summers, for completion (Executive Nurse Leader can be completed in six semesters), with students taking two to three courses per semester, totaling 39 to 49 credit hours. Several of the specializations include anywhere from 60 to 180 clinical hours per semester as a requirement.

Best for Specialist Options
Address:

301 University Blvd

Galveston, TX 77555

(409) 772-8278

Graduation Rate
93%
Enrollment Rate
42%
Cost
$1,556 per credit
School Type
Private

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has a well-earned reputation for its innovative nurse education program. One of the first to place nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses in collaborative practices with physicians and within agencies, it ensures graduates have an easy time finding a position. With distributed course programs and multiple entry levels, including the "bridge" program, Vandy's flexible formats and distance learning options make it a model for schools around the country.

Distance learning is available for the MSN program. Courses may be offered in blocks of time on campus, through online conferencing or via digital video and distributed course delivery. These are designed to allow for continued faculty contact between each session. The flexibility allows those who don't live in middle Tennessee access to materials and instruction. Most courses take two years to complete.

Best for Nurse Practitioners
Address:

2201 West End Ave

Nashville, TN 37235

(888) 333-9192

Graduation Rate
95%
Enrollment Rate
48%
Cost
$1,769 per credit
School Type
Private

Duke University's School of Nursing is comprised of a diverse community of scholars and clinicians. Ranked first in the nation by US News and World Report for the 2018 Best Nursing Schools, Duke provides a climate that supports creativity, respect for others and an opportunity to foster your future contributions to healthcare.

Duke's MSN program offers eight advanced practice RN majors and three non-clinical majors, all provided as distance-based or online programs. Each major requires you to complete 11 credit hours of clinical core courses followed by specialty coursework and a final clinical residency under the mentorship of an experienced clinician in your area of expertise. Minimum credit hours vary by major and range from 42-49 credit hours. While the coursework is primarily based online, you'll be required to come to campus at least once a semester for two-to-five day intensives with faculty and other experts.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

103 Allen Bldg

Durham, NC 27708

(877) 415-3853

Graduation Rate
76%
Enrollment Rate
28%
Cost
$1,376 per credit
School Type
Private

Duquesne University is ranked 26th on the list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for the nation and 16th for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Veterans. The online MSN program requires no GRE testing and no application fee. The concentrations offered include family (individual across the lifespan) nurse practitioner, forensic nursing and nursing education and faculty role. Students who choose any of these concentrations can also add a transcultural nursing concentration to their program.

The graduate nursing programs at Duquesne University can be completed entirely online. Students will be connected with an academic advisor and a nursing faculty mentor. The online faculty are composed of advanced-practice nurses who have academic and clinical teaching experience. All nursing graduate programs consist of 12 courses and either 36 or 42 required credit hours. The transcultural nursing concentration add-on requires 9 additional credit hours.

Best for Veterans
Address:

Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15282

(412) 396-6222

Graduation Rate
29%
Enrollment Rate
18%
Cost
$872 per credit
School Type
Private

Mercy College is a coed, nonsectarian institution serving New York City students since 1950. Traditional and nontraditional students have 90 programs from which to choose, with an MSN program available through the online Dobbs Ferry campus for nurses with a four-year degree or higher. Program completion requires 36 credits. Students can attend part- or full-time; there is a 15-month program available for those who prefer an accelerated pace. There is a 120-hour practicum requirement for which students are placed with an area mentor.

Students may qualify for a 15 percent tuition discount, thanks to Mercy's partnerships with the NYSNA and Suburban Hospital Alliance member hospitals. Many graduates of the online MSN program at Mercy College proceed to leadership positions at top healthcare facilities like Westchester Medical Center.

Best for Affordability
Address:

555 Broadway

Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

(800) 637-2969

Graduation Rate
67%
Enrollment Rate
45%
Cost
$903 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Oklahoma combines experienced staff with small class sizes and plentiful opportunities for academic research and hands-on application to create an environment that fosters learning, leadership and creativity. The school offers four MSN programs, all of which have flexible options including part-time tracks and online classes to help you further your career while fitting education into your busy schedule.

Some tracks, including the MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist and MSN Nurse Practitioner programs, require in-person work at the school's Lawton, Oklahoma City or Tulsa campuses, but the MSN Education program lets you do your coursework entirely online. Each degree track requires between 32 and 40 credit hours, which typically take two to three years to complete. If you've already completed a master's degree, post-master certificates are available to help you increase your marketability and broaden your career options.

Best for Nurse Educators
Address:

1100 N Stonewall Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73117

(405) 271-2428

Graduation Rate
56%
Enrollment Rate
24%
Cost
$366 per credit
School Type
Public

California State University-Fullerton's School of Nursing has been ranked as Best in Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Anesthesia, and it's known for graduating nurses with degrees ranging from bachelors to doctorates. Online programs are offered at the graduate level for RNs who want to earn a School Nurse Services Credential. For those who already have an SNSC, a program offering an MSN with a school nurse concentration is also available.

You can earn your SNSC in 16 months (four semesters). Most courses are online, though students must come to campus for Saturday classes one to three times per semester. In addition, you must complete some clinical hours during your final semester. The MSN program requires five continuous semesters (21 months), with all work completed online. Nurses go through both programs as a cohort, following a set study plan and participating in discussions with instructors and classmates.

Best for School Nurse Concentration
Address:

800 N State College Blvd

Fullerton, CA 92831

(657) 278-2618

Graduation Rate
70%
Enrollment Rate
35%
Cost
$599 per credit
School Type
Private

Cedarville University offers three online MSN programs designed to help Christian nurses take their training and careers to a new level. The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares nurses for AANP or ANCC certification as a nurse practitioner, while the MSN in Global Public Health Nursing focuses on world health problems, community development and environmental health. Nurses who wish to share what they've learned can earn an MSN Nurse Educator degree, with a graduate certificate in nursing education available to nurses who already have their MSN.

All three MSN programs are available full-time or part-time, with all coursework completed online. Four on-campus experiences of two to three days each are required for the MSN NP degree, and students will need to earn 600 hours of clinical experience in their own locale. The Nurse Educator and Global Public Health MSNs each require 300 hours of clinical and/or practicum experience.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

251 N Main St

Cedarville, OH 45314

(937) 766-8000

Graduation Rate
30%
Enrollment Rate
58%
Cost
$484 per credit
School Type
Public

Located along the Savannah River, Augusta University is situated in the heart of Augusta, Georgia's second-oldest and second-largest city. The university educates over 8,000 students spread among 10 individual schools.

The College of Nursing at Augusta University offers an online MSN program that leads to a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification. Designed for RNs and individuals with non-nursing bachelor's degrees, the program prepares students to take on new nursing leadership roles in any healthcare setting.

The RN-MSN path is completed in 44 semester hours with about 400 additional clinical hours, while the BSN-MSN track can be completed in 38 semester hours and around 400 clinical hours. For both tracks, full-time students can complete their respective program in just over one year if classes are taken in the summer, and part-time students can finish in just over two years. All courses are offered online, and students are encouraged to complete programs at their own pace.

Best for Fast Track
Address:

1120 Fifteenth St Augusta

Augusta, GA 30912

(706) 721-9767

Graduation Rate
95%
Enrollment Rate
29%
Cost
$1,066 per credit
School Type
Private

Rush University provides students and professionals the opportunity to build their career in fast-growing industries and medical fields. The school has nine programs in the top five of graduate school rankings compiled by US News and World Report.

Rush University offers two main MSN programs: a Nursing Leadership track, offered online, and a Master's Entry in Nursing for non-nurses, offered on campus. The MSN Nursing Leadership program prepares RNs with a bachelor's degree in nursing to assume leadership and accountability for the health outcomes of patients across a variety of clinical settings. The program is offered on a part-time basis and takes an average of two years to complete. You'll likely be in a class of 24, and tuition is relatively affordable. Master's-prepared clinical nurses are highly sought after by acute care facilities, giving RNs plenty of career growth opportunities after completion of the program.

Best for Leadership Development
Address:

600 S Paulina St

Chicago, IL 60612

(312) 942-7100

Graduation Rate
53%
Enrollment Rate
19%
Cost
$691 per credit
School Type
Private

At Spring Arbor University, you have your choice of three online MSN programs if you already have a BSN. Advance your career by earning an MSN/NP as a Family Nurse Practitioner or an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP. An MSN/Education degree prepares you to teach future nurses, and an MSN/MBA puts you in line to be a Chief Nursing Officer. If you have an associate's degree (ADN or ASN), you can go straight to the MSN stage with these same three programs; Spring Arbor also offers an online BSN.

The courses accommodate nurses who work full-time. Courses for the MSN/NP degrees are taken one at a time, and the programs prepare you for national certification. The MSN/Education degree requires 39 units of online classes, with the first year classes all taken with your cohort. The MSN/MBA program teaches you management, administration and leadership in 63 units that lead to two degrees.

Best for Nurse Leaders
Address:

106 E Main St

Spring Arbor, MI 49283

(844) 261-0900

Graduation Rate
48%
Enrollment Rate
56%
Cost
$1,572 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Louisiana Lafayette provides rigorous online degree and certificate programs to students interested in advancing their careers and education level. Courses are created with flexibility in mind and taught by dedicated and experienced faculty.

UL-Lafayette's online MSN Program is designed for RNs interested in expanding their career options and supplementing their education. Offerings include a Family Nurse Practitioner track or Nurse Educator program. Graduate nursing students work with experienced faculty members and create flexible course schedules through a distance learning structure. Total course hours are between 40-43 hours, which are typically completed within 5 semesters, or about two and a half years on average.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

104 East University Avenue

Lafayette, LA 70504

(337) 482-1029

Graduation Rate
69%
Enrollment Rate
40%
Cost
$1,006 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Missouri offers online Master's of Science in Nursing programs through the Sinclair School of Nursing. The school has provided quality online education for more than 10 years, allowing students to pursue their degree off-campus. It's not necessary to be local to participate; there are Sinclair students located around the world. Most of the coursework is completed online, and in most cases, clinical coursework can be completed at a location close to home.

The online MSN program at the University of Missouri is for nurses with a four-year degree. Students must complete 33 to 41 credits of graduate coursework. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required, as is successful completion of a Master's Thesis and Master's Exam. UOM's online MSN program is great for working nurses because most coursework can be done anytime.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

105 Jesse Hall

Columbia, MO 65211

(573) 882-0277

Graduation Rate
45%
Enrollment Rate
39%
Cost
$1,322 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Texas at Tyler strives to be the primary educational driver of East Texas. It's grown substantially in the twenty years since it became a four-year University; in 2012, US News and World Report ranked UT Tyler's online master's and doctoral nursing programs number three in the nation for teaching practices and student engagement. The general MSN degree for nurse practitioners has a 100 percent pass rate on the national certification examinations through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Small class sizes and the combination of coursework and clinical application focuses on thorough preparation for the national certification exam. Some doctoral prerequisites are offered. The program is 48 credit hours; 26 online and 22 offered in a Web-enhanced format requiring time on the Tyler campus. All clinical hours must be in Texas.

Best for In-state Affordability
Address:

3900 University Blvd

Tyler, TX 75799

(903) 566-7128

Graduation Rate
79%
Enrollment Rate
29%
Cost
$1,340 per credit
School Type
Private

The Nursing School at George Washington University, located in the nation's capital, is ranked in the top 13 percent of graduate schools across the country. It's emerging as a go-to resource for health policy, and its curriculum prepares students to be leaders in the nursing field.

GWU's online MSN program is ranked #5 by US News and World Report. It offers a unique learning experience for its students through a combination of online courses and in-person training in simulation centers. All classes are taught by industry-leading, experienced faculty. The school offers seven program options students can choose from based on their area of interest or expertise. GWU's online MSN program is unique in that it blends online learning with in-person training on campus. In addition, some specialties require completion of a set number of clinical hours to complete the curriculum.

Best for Academics
Address:

1919 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20006

(571) 553-0138

Graduation Rate
61%
Enrollment Rate
37%
Cost
$1,311 per credit
School Type
Public

Students at the University of Cincinnati receive the benefit of a top-rated education combined with real-world experience. The university's College of Nursing offers several educational paths, including BSN, MSN and Doctorate options. Students with a bachelor's degree in a different field can still participate in the UC MSN program through their Accelerated Direct-Entry program, allowing them to earn their master's in just five semesters. The university provides a leadership-focused curriculum and students are connected with an advisor that will work with them throughout the entire program. Credits from previous programs can easily be transferred before enrollment.

The RN to MSN online program offers flexible options for nurses looking to increase their education. Students have the choice of completing the program in 9 months, 12 months or five semesters with just nine required courses. Six starting dates are available so RNs can enroll without waiting.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

2600 Clifton Ave

Cincinnati, OH 45220

(513) 556-6000

Graduation Rate
70%
Enrollment Rate
39%
Cost
$694 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Central Florida online degree program is considered one of the top 20 best online programs in the United States. The MSN program is available via online coursework, though all students are also required to visit the Orlando campus for program orientation and the presentation of a final project. The MSN degree requires a minimum of 42 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the online MSN program prepares nurses for a variety of leadership opportunities in various healthcare settings. Classes are taught by the same faculty who teach classes on campus. The University offers a healthcare simulation graduate program, which is the first and only program of its kind in Florida. Peer-assisted learning and online tutors are also available for assistance.

Best For Nurse Educators
Address:

4000 Central Florida Blvd

Orlando, FL 32816

(855) 903-8576

Graduation Rate
43%
Enrollment Rate
58%
School Type
Private

Concordia University offers a Master's of Science in Nursing based on the school's faith-based foundation and the standards required for accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. You can choose from nurse educator (39 credits) or nurse practitioner (41 credits) tracks, and the average progression through coursework for online students is three to four years. You can take all classes online with the exception of Advanced Health Assessment, but this class is offered on campus over the course of two weeks to allow students from other areas to plan accordingly for the requirement.

Rather than passing a comprehensive exam at the end of your studies, you'll present a professional portfolio to obtain your degree. Afterwards, a higher-than-national-average percent of students from the online MSN program at Concordia University goes on to pass the NP license exam.

Best for Nurse Educators
Address:

4090 Geddes Road

Ann Arbor, MI 48105

(262) 243-4300

Graduation Rate
63%
Enrollment Rate
41%
Cost
$706 per credit
School Type
Private

Roberts Wesleyan College, located in upstate New York in Rochester, is a distinctive Christian college that offers a wide variety of graduate programs and certificates. It aims to provide students with the resources they need to grow their careers and make a difference in the world.

Nursing professionals can take advantage of the Roberts Wesleyan community and support network while enrolled in convenient online classes. The school's online MSN programs are offered through three tracks, depending on your career goal: RN to MSN, Nursing Education and Nursing Leadership and Administration. The RN to MSN program consists of 56 credit hours, typically completed in about two and a half years. Students interested in becoming nurse educators complete their program in about 20 months. Individuals seeking a leadership position in nursing through completion of the Nursing Leadership MSN program complete 39 credits in 20 months.

Best for Academic Choices
Address:

2301 Westside Dr

Rochester, NY 14624

(585) 594-6600

Graduation Rate
78%
Enrollment Rate
35%
Cost
$660 per credit
School Type
Private

Messiah College offers online MSN degree programs for concentrations in either nurse education or nursing administration. Coursework is completely online, making it easier to balance your life and career. The entirety of the MSN program can be accomplished with without ever going to a campus.

Messiah College's RN-MSN program lets RNs who only hold an associate degree or who hold an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor's in another field to streamline education and earn an MSN in less time than traditional channels might allow, making it an ideal choice for nurses of all degree levels. The total number of credits required depends on what degree you have entering the program.

Best for RNs with Associate Degrees
Address:

One College Avenue

Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

(717) 796-5061

Cost
$479 per credit
Enrollment Rate
23%
Graduation Rate
79%
School Type
Public

The online MSN Nurse Leader program at Florida State University focuses on provided the skills and knowledge base to allow students to become well-prepared nurse leaders including managers, outcome specialists, care managers, project managers, and quality specialists. Along with nursing leadership, student of the MSN Nurse Leader program also learn about business and organization in order to be well rounded health care leaders.

The MSN program at FSU is a 32-credit program and is accredited by the CCNE. Coursework includes hands-on experience managing healthcare systems. The majority of coursework can be complete through online portals but students are required to obtain the invaluable in-person clinical hours in FLorida. Applicants of the program must also have a BSN degree and a valid RN license in Florida

Best for Leadership
Address:

600 W College Ave

Tallahassee, FL 32306

(850) 644-2525

Graduation Rate
50%
Enrollment Rate
39%
Cost
$557 per credit
School Type
Public

Frostburg State University offers online MSN programs for those interested in both nurse educator and nurse administrator roles, and the coursework and progression are designed for adult learners with full-time jobs in mind. The CCNE-accredited degree program allows rolling admission, so you don't have to wait until a certain semester to move your career forward.

Part-time and full-time options let you further your education at a pace that works with your budget, career and family life, and the relevant curriculum lets you start achieving more success in the workplace as soon as you start your first class. FSU also draws on faculty that are well versed in both nursing specialties and online learning environments, so they know how to support adult learners who are balancing work, life and education.

Best for Nurse Administrators
Address:

101 Braddock Road

Frostburg, MD 21532

(301) 687-3156

Graduation Rate
47%
Enrollment Rate
19%
Cost
$510 per credit
School Type
Private

Briar Cliff University maintains a Catholic perspective while focusing on higher education. The school's values include a challenging academic environment with a liberal arts focus, diversity and respect. At Briar Cliff, nurses can advance their career on their own terms with the online MSN Nurse Practitioner degree program. With an MSN, nurses are able to offer a higher level of care to patients and serve as a primary healthcare provider.

Obtaining this degree in an online class format allows nurses to work around their already busy schedules and complete their education faster than they would in a traditional classroom setting. The MSN degree is earned with a total of 49 to 51 credit hours followed by 540 clinical hours in an approved location. Briar Cliff offers financial aid options and easy payment plans to make this program accessible to nurses on any budget.

Best for Nurse Practitioners
Address:

3303 Rebecca St

Sioux City, IA 51104

(712) 279-5200

Graduation Rate
52%
Enrollment Rate
34%
Cost
$650 per credit
School Type
Private

Benedictine University offers an online MSN program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and aligned with standards published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The program provides nurses with the knowledge they need to step into organizational and leadership roles within their specialty, and students interact with nurse leaders from across the country in courses that include foundational and concentration options.

Students must take between 36 and 39 courses over the course of two years to graduate with their MSN. The number of courses depend on which concentration you choose; Benedictine offers both nurse executive and nurse educator paths.

Best for Nurse Educators
Best for Nurse Executives
Address:

5700 College Road

Lisle, IL 60532

(866) 295-3104

Graduation Rate
95%
Enrollment Rate
47%
Cost
$1,309 per credit
School Type
Private

Georgetown University is a school that encourages its students to become men and women in the service of others, especially those who are disadvantaged or living in impoverished communities. The School of Nursing and Health Studies has a clear mission to advance the health and well being of individuals and communities. Georgetown offers nurses the opportunity to advance their careers with MSN degrees in a variety of nursing fields, including adult gerontology, family practice, midwifery and women's health.

Programs combine live online coursework with clinical experience, requiring between 40 and 49 credits plus clinical hours to graduate. Most of the programs require several on-campus intensives. Depending on the program, nurses can graduate within 23 to 27 months on average.

Best for Nurse Practitioners
Address:

3700 O St NW

Washington, DC 20057

(202) 687-1596

Graduation Rate
43%
Enrollment Rate
25%
Cost
$585 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus' MSN program is structured to provide the foundation for the future leaders of healthcare. Graduates of the MSN program can expect to be caring and competent nurses that practice nursing reflectively. The College of Nursing offers a graduate specialty program that prepares nurses who are interested in become effective leaders and managers. The Innovation in Leadership and Administration in Nursing and Health Care Systems (i-LEAD) is a 30 credit program focused on providing educated leaders the ability to shape the future of healthcare.

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the College of Nursing allows students to try the i-LEAD concentration without formally applying for the program. Students can expect to finish the program in 2 years.

Best for Nurse Leaders
Address:

13001 E 17th Place

Aurora, CO 80045

(303) 724-1039

Graduation Rate
92%
Enrollment Rate
25%
Cost
$1,800 per credit
School Type
Private

Designed for BSN graduates, the Master of Science in Nursing program at USC is grounded in deep and rich history. The University of California was the first school in the world to have a nursing program. The online program focuses on delivering evidence-based instruction in order to teach students comprehensive leadership skills, deep knowledge on research and policy, and effective care treatment.

The 49 credit program delivers coursework through online portals and face-to-face video conferencing. The program coursework includes topics such as pharmacology, health care policy, health care management, pathophysiology, community-based research along with many other areas of study students will be exposed to. The experienced and and knowledgeable faculty make USC's MSN program one of the top in the nation.

Best for Nurse Leaders
Address:

3601 Trousdale Parkway Student Union 301

Los Angeles, CA 90089

(213) 740-9033

Graduation Rate
59%
Enrollment Rate
39%
Cost
$465 per credit
School Type
Public

Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center offers a wide range of academic programs for its students based on groundbreaking research. Regardless of your career goals in the health profession, whether as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, researcher or other health care professional, you will find programs with the highest caliber of instruction available.

Texas Tech University offers two online-based MSN programs: MSN Education and MSN Informatics. For students aiming for a career in nursing education, Texas Tech's MSN Education program is completed in 42 semester hours via online courses combined with some on-campus practicum experiences. The MSN Informatics degree offers an online track that requires occasional travel to the Lubbock campus for field experience or immersion work on technical and analytic competencies. Students who pursue the MSN NI track complete it in 39 semester hours.

Best for Nurse Informatics
Address:

2500 Broadway

Lubbock, TX 79409

(806) 742-2787

Cost
$985 per credit
School Type
Public

The Medical University of South Carolina is the only academic health center in the state. Rather than dedicated programs, the university offers RNs the option to earn their MSN as a DNP Stop Out. Students must enroll in one of the BSN to DNP programs and have the option of stopping once they've earned their MSN. The three MSN concentrations available are Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. These programs are primarily offered online with very few visits to campus necessary.

Applicants are required to hold a BSN from a program that is nationally accredited and must have completed a statistics course. They must also have a nursing GPA of at least 3.0 and have a valid, current RN license.

Best for Advanced Education Options
Address:

171 Ashley Ave

Charleston, SC 29425

(843) 792-3281

Graduation Rate
33%
Enrollment Rate
81%
Cost
$393 per credit
School Type
Public

Delta State University got its start as a teacher's college and has since branched out into more traditional degree programs such as the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing. RNs ready to take the next step can take advantage of the school's online MSN program. The program offers three concentrations: Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner. Students primarily handle classwork online, engaging with faculty and classmates through chat and online discussions, with campus attendance only required for scheduled seminars. Faculty must approve facilities for clinical learning in the student's local area.

Students complete between 44 and 49 credit hours depending on degree concentration. To graduate, RNs must also maintain a 3.0 GPA, complete a research project and score at least 800 on the HESI APRNFNP Exam, a 70 percent on the APEA Post-Predictor University Exam or an 83 on a written comprehensive assessment.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

1003 W Sunflower Road

Cleveland, MS 38733

(662) 846-4700

Graduation Rate
50%
Enrollment Rate
28%
Cost
$1,298 per credit
School Type
Private

Nova Southeastern University, located in sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL, offers small class sizes and prestigious graduate programs that can be completed on-campus or online.

NSU's graduate nursing program was ranked by US News and World Report as one of the best online programs nationwide. Nursing education is the only MSN track offered entirely online. Students complete 15 semester hours of core foundational nursing courses, followed by an additional 21 semester hours of nurse education courses, all of which are taught by experienced nursing faculty members through distance learning strategies.

Three of those 21 hours are part of a nurse education practicum, which may be completed in a location close to the student as long as the setting and instructor meet the course learning outcomes. Students may be eligible for state or hospital grants to help offset tuition costs.

Best for Nurse Educators
Address:

3301 College Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

(954) 262-1975

Graduation Rate
67%
Enrollment Rate
15%
Cost
$1,385 per credit
School Type
Private

Simmons University offers an innovative online learning platform through virtual classrooms where students collaborate with their mentors and peers. This setup helps build social engagement and interaction, which is lacking in some online programs. The university's academically rigorous online MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and its faculty bring field expertise to help transform students into primary healthcare providers.

The university offers two degree programs, which can be taken on part-time or full-time schedules. Its Family Nurse Practitioner program (48 credits) caters to licensed RNs with a bachelor's degree while its RN to MSN program (68 credits) caters to licensed RNs without a bachelor's degree. Both programs include clinical placement that provides a hands-on learning experience in a physical setting. Students can take advantage of various financial aid options to support their studies as they work to become leaders in nursing.

Best for Collaborative Interaction
Address:

300 The Fenway

Boston, MA 2115

(617) 521-2000

Graduation Rate
51%
Enrollment Rate
32%
Cost
$430 per credit
School Type
Public

The online nursing programs at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing rank in the top 100 in the country. SIUE offers two online Master of Science degrees (Nurse Educator and Health Care/Nursing Administration), as well as a two online Nurse Practitioner/Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. The Post-Master's DNP program may be teamed with a concurrent MBA program.

The MS programs include 11 online courses, plus clinical experience that's individually designed for each student. Typically the practical experience is accomplished in three sessions, and the entire degree takes seven semesters (including summers) to complete. If you're a nurse working in the SSM Health system in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, you may qualify for discounted or fully reimbursed tuition for the MS degrees. The DNP programs are conducted almost solely online, requiring two on-campus immersion experience of three to five days each.

Best for Affordability
Address:

1 Hairpin Dr

Edwardsville, IL 62025

(618) 650-3705

Graduation Rate
38%
Enrollment Rate
30%
Cost
$1,262 per credit
School Type
Public

Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi offers three online MSN programs, all designed to let you keep working full-time while earning advanced credentials. The Family Nurse Practitioner program prepares you to sit the National Certification Exam, while the Leadership in Nursing Systems MSN trains nurses for administrative and leadership positions. In the Nurse Educator MSN, you can choose your own area of specialization. In addition, the university offers online post-Master's certification in all three MSN specialties plus Health Care Administration.

The FNP MSN takes three years (eight semesters) to complete and includes a requirement for 630 hours of clinical practice. While the administrative MSN also takes three years, it only requires seven semesters and 225 hours of clinical practice. The Nurse Educator MSN program consists of 12 classes, including one practicum. In all cases, you may be able to transfer up to 12 units from another accredited university to shorten your program time.

Best for Nurse Educators
Address:

6300 Ocean Dr

Corpus Christi, TX 78412

(361) 825-5700

Graduation Rate
48%
Enrollment Rate
40%
Cost
$412 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of Alabama in Huntsville brings students the benefits of hands-on research opportunities through its alliances with area businesses and federal agencies. The UAH College of Nursing's online MSN - Nursing Administration degree program meets the AONE and QSEN standards and is taught entirely online by campus faculty through 10 courses with the option of completing clinical hours in your current location.

Its flexible seven-week courses have multiple start dates in the calendar year and let you choose a full-time or part-time workload. Students can also opt to earn the total 30 credit hours and finish the program in just 10 months. By taking advantage of pay-by-the-course tuition costs and financial aid for qualifying students, RNs can enjoy an affordable, high-quality education that lets them stand confidently in their field.

Best for Fast-Track Students
Address:

301 Sparkman Drive

Huntsville, AL 35899

(256) 824-6002

Graduation Rate
61%
Enrollment Rate
21%
Cost
$14,090 per semester
School Type
Private

With a knowledgeable and experienced faculty, Michigan State University's school of Nursing boasts a variety of online programs. Available concentrations include adult gerontology and nurse education. Addressing the healthcare needs that continue to plague the country, MSU's knowledgeable and experienced faculty are dedicated to providing the highest level of knowledge and expertise possible. MSU's MSN program is committed to preparing the future leaders of the healthcare industry.

The online program available at MSU requires students have their BSN, undergraduate or graduate statistics, registered nurse license in the state of their residence. Students can take advantage of the flexibility that the program offers by offering both full-time and part-time options.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

220 Trowbridge Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824

(517) 355-1855

Graduation Rate
32%
Enrollment Rate
48%
Cost
$257 per credit
School Type
Public

Georgia Southwestern State University is contained within the University System of Georgia and offers a full-range of degree programs. The school aims to foster intellectual, personal and social growth for students, faculty and staff.

The online MSN program in nursing is offered in a partnership with Georgia Southwestern State University and Columbus State University. The Consortium aims to prepare safe, competent professional nurses so they can make positive contributions to their communities. The school's online MSN program consists of four tracks and two certificates, which can all be completed online. Each program is between 36-44 hours and is designed to prepare RNs for advanced practice nursing roles as educators, leaders, informaticists or family nurse practitioners. Many programs also require additional clinical hours that are typically completed at pre-determined clinical sites located close to the student's geographic residence for convenience.

Best for Nurse Informatics
Address:

800 Georgia Southwestern State University Drive

Americus, GA 31709

(229) 931-4206

Graduation Rate
73%
Enrollment Rate
30%
Cost
$533 per credit
School Type
Public

The University of South Carolina-Columbia's MSN program specializes in organizational leadership and is perfect for students pursuing careers in leadership roles at clinics and hospitals. The school is known to provider students with a very interactive and collaborative learning experience that often times involves work in groups, class discussions, project collaboration, and even class presentations.

Understanding the varying needs of the ever changing online student, SC MSN courses are delivered asynchronously. Another benefit of enrolling in the MSN program is that tuition is the same for all students - both in-state and out-of-state. Students enrolled in the program can expect to finish in 12-18 months.

Best for Nurse Leaders
Address:

902 Sumter St

Columbia, SC 29208

(803) 777-0169

Graduation Rate
86%
Enrollment Rate
59%
Cost
$1,090 per credit
School Type
Private

The University of Pittsburgh's School of Nursing ranks among the best grad programs in the country and aims to prepare nurses to deliver the highest quality care, guided by research, intellect and passion.

Pitt's Master of Science in Nursing program provides a sequential plan of study that leads to preparation for a specialized nursing role. Flexible in design, it can be completed through full or part-time study, and you can specialize in one of two areas of concentration: Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and Nursing Informatics. Both options are available online, and local students can choose to complete CNL-related courses on-site if they choose. The curriculum is composed of five core courses, with additional coursework related to your chosen area of concentration. Total credits vary depending on the area of specialty, but generally range between 35-40 credits.

Best for Flexibility
Address:

4200 Fifth Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15260

(412) 624-4586

Graduation Rate
64%
Enrollment Rate
15%
Cost
$818 per credit
School Type
Private

Loyola University offers a bevy of online programs designed with the busy professional in mind. Bearing the same academic prestige as their on-campus counterparts, Loyola's online graduate programs enable students to earn an advanced degree on a convenient schedule that fits their lifestyle.

Ranked #12 for the Best Value in the South and one of the Best Colleges for Your Money by US News and World Report, Loyola offers online MSN programs that are accessible and affordable for many. LU's MSN programs are offered on three tracks, depending on your desired area of specialty: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Leadership and Nurse Educator. All three MSN programs prepare nurses to take on leadership roles, improve health care and strengthen nursing skills. Total credit hours are between 36-48 depending on your chosen path and all have additional practicum hours, which are typically completed off-campus.

Best for Affordability
Address:

6363 St Charles Ave

New Orleans, LA 70118

(844) 490-6766

Graduation Rate
59%
Enrollment Rate
59%
Cost
$598 per credit
School Type
Private

Clarkson College's MSN programs, cited as among the best online programs in the country, are conducted entirely online, with minimal on-campus visits required for those with a nurse practitioner specialization. Four programs are offered: Nursing Health Care Administration, Nursing Education, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner.

The Nursing Health Care Administration degree requires 42 semester hours of coursework. Only 39 hours are required for the Nursing Education MSN. The Nurse Faculty Loan Program provides financial assistance for those seeking a Nursing Education MSN, with graduates eligible for loan forgiveness if they teach for four consecutive years after receiving their degree. Both NP degrees require 47 hours of coursework. All programs can be completed in eight semesters if students are full-time, and part-time students can earn their degrees in as little as 12 semesters.

Best for Nurse Educators
Address:

101 S 42nd St

Omaha, NE 68131

(402) 552-3100

Graduation Rate
74%
Enrollment Rate
65%
Cost
$580 per credit
School Type
Private

Frontier Nursing University specializes in distance learning with thousands of clinical experience sites available nationwide and only a few required on-campus stays. Online courses are available in full-time and part-time options across four specialty tracks and can be completed in eight to eleven 11-week terms. RNs who wish to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will be able to complete their MSN and seamlessly transition into the DNP program without a second application.

A minimum of 16 weeks and 675 clinical hours are required for MSN and ADN Bridge Entry Option students, with students traditionally choosing the location for their experience. Personalized guidance and support are provided by a master clinician preceptor and a Regional Clinical Faculty member, which allows students to begin building a strong network before they step into their chosen field.

Best for Specialty Tracks
Address:

195 School Street

Hyden, KY 41749

(606) 672-2312

Graduation Rate
51%
Enrollment Rate
57%
Cost
$277 per credit
School Type
Public

Georgia Southern University offers a diverse culture and low student-to-teacher ratio, which sets individuals up for success. Nationally recognized as one of the nation's best, the MSN program offers a blended program with concentrations as a family nurse practitioner or as an adult-gerontology nurse. Most of the classes are offered in an online format, however, some require a combination of on-campus class meetings in addition to online meetings.

Online coursework involves both synchronous and asynchronous activities. All students within the MSN program are also required to complete a Graduate intensive, which is a mandatory orientation with online modules and a four-day on-campus workshop. Completion of the course provides eligibility for the national certification exam.

Best for Specialized Nurses
Address:

1332 Southern Dr

Statesboro, GA 30458

(912) 478-5384