Best Online Master’s in Nursing MSN

Best Online Master’s in Nursing MSN

Find top-ranked online master’s in nursing (MSN) degree programs for students wanting to acquire positions such as nurse practitioner, director of nursing, nursing informatics specialist, and nurse educator.

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Frequently Asked Questions About MSN Degrees

Why get a master’s in nursing?

Registered nurses looking to build their resume and earn credentials for more specialized positions should consider a master’s in nursing (MSN). This degree provides in-depth instruction for a variety of concentrations, including family nurse practitioner, healthcare policy, nurse educator, nursing informatics, pediatric acute care nurse practitioner, and nurse-midwifery.

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How long does it take to get a master’s in nursing?

Both online and on-campus programs are available, and depending on the chosen field, required credits range from 30 to 57. Most tracks involve a capstone project or thesis and practicum hours. Students can typically fulfill these requirements in about two years.

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What can you do with a master’s in nursing?

Some students pursue doctoral studies after graduating, but many go on to acquire positions that are in line with their specialization, such as nurse practitioner, director of nursing, nursing informatics specialist, and nurse educator.

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Learn more about what you can do with a master’s degree in nursing.

Best Online Master's in Nursing-MSN

50 Best Online Master’s in Nursing MSN Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1520/34

    Online Degrees

    MSN: Master’s of Science in Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    University of Cincinnati

    Cincinnati , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    34K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/26

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Systems Leadership
    • Required Credits: 36-40
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 51
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/28

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Population-Based Infection Control & Environmental Safety, Advanced Practice Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing and Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: 38
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1209/26

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Maternal and Child Health
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #9

    University of Houston

    Houston , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    39K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/25

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Administration
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #10

    University of Arkansas

    Fayetteville , AR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/26

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 39
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  8. #11

    Excelsior University

    Albany , NY

    Student body

    5K

    Online Degrees

    MSN: RN to MSN

    Concentrations

    • Nursing Education
    • Nursing Informatics
    • Required Credits: 142
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  9. #12

    William Carey University

    Hattiesburg , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1190/23

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 41
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 49
    • Completion time: 2.5-3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #14

    Simmons University

    Boston , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/26

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing: RN to MSN
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. #15

    Marshall University

    Huntington , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1042/22

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Administration
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #16

    Oakland University

    Rochester Hills , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/23

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Forensic Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #17

    Frontier Nursing University

    Versailles , KY

    Student body

    1K

    Online Degrees

    MSN: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Required Credits: 57
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN: Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner
    • Required Credits: 58
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN: Nurse Midwife
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. #18

    Oklahoma City University

    Oklahoma City , OK
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1171/25

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Community-Based Public Health
    • Education
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/22

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 38
    • Completion time: 36 months
    • Format: Online
  17. #21

    Texas Christian University

    Fort Worth , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/28

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Administration and Leadership
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  18. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Student body

    4K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    7K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Nursing
    • Required Credits: 43
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
  20. #24

    King University

    Bristol , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/22

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Nursing
    • Required Credits: 35-45
    • Completion time: 16-20 months
    • Format: Online
  21. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    19K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing-Pre Licensure
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 18 months
    • Format: Online
  22. #26

    Graceland University

    Lamoni , IA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    Online Degrees

    BSN/MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  23. #27

    Wilmington University

    New Castle , DE
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    10K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Leadership

    Concentrations

    • Executive
    • Educator
    • Legal Nurse Consultant
    • Public Health
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  24. #29

    Georgia Southern University

    Statesboro , GA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1081/21

    Online Degrees

    MSN: Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 14 months
    • Format: Online
    MSN: Chronic Care Management
    • Required Credits: 26
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Online
  25. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/20

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Nursing
    • Nursing Leadership/Management
    • Required Credits: 36-44
    • Completion time: 22 months
    • Format: Online
  26. #31

    Quinnipiac University

    Hamden , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    9K

    Online Degrees

    MSN: RN to MSN
    • Required Credits: 140
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  27. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 44
    • Completion time: 3 years
    • Format: Online
  28. #33

    University of Hartford

    West Hartford , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/25

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  29. Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    8K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  30. Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Nurse Administrator
    • Nurse Educator
    • Clinical Nurse Leader
    • Nursing Informatics
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  31. #36

    Florida Atlantic University

    Boca Raton , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/23

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Advanced Holistic Nursing
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  32. #37

    University of Bridgeport

    Bridgeport , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/19

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  33. #38

    Shenandoah University

    Winchester , VA

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Midwifery
    • Required Credits: 49
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  34. #39

    Lourdes University

    Sylvania , OH

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/20

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: 3-4 years
    • Format: Online
  35. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/23

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Nursing
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Online
  36. #41

    Idaho State University

    Pocatello , ID
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    9K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  37. Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/18

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 19 months
    • Format: Online
  38. #43

    Madonna University

    Livonia , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    52%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/20

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Leadership
    • Required Credits: 34
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  39. #44

    Nova Southeastern University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing – Non-Clinical

    Concentrations

    • Executive Nurse Leadership
    • Nursing Informatics
    • Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  40. #45

    University of West Georgia

    Carrollton , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/19

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Nursing
    • Required Credits: 35-38
    • Completion time: 24 months
    • Format: Online
  41. #46

    Sacred Heart University

    Fairfield , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    9K

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 39
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN: RN to MSN Operational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 30-120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader
    • Required Credits: 39
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 36-39
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  42. #47

    Elms College

    Chicopee , MA

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing And Health Services Management
    • Required Credits: 35
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN in School Nursing
    • Required Credits: 42
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 37
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN/MBA in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 3 years
    • Format: Online
  43. #48

    Austin Peay State University

    Clarksville , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1053/21

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing

    Concentrations

    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Educator
    • Required Credits: 12
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Online
  44. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    29K

    Median SAT/ACT

    987/19

    Online Degrees

    MSN in Nursing Administration
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    MSN in Nursing Education
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.