If you’re a registered nurse and have earned an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a nursing diploma/certificate from a hospital-based program, you may be able to fast-track your career by completing an online RN to MSN degree program. These programs, also called RN to MSN bridges, provide licensed RNs the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
On this page you’ll find information about online schools for RN to MSN degree programs offered through colleges and universities across the US. We’ve also provided some general information below to help you evaluate different online RN to MSN programs.
To learn more about an online RN to MSN program—including program details, student eligibility and admission requirements—click on a school’s name below. Even after you find a degree program and request more information, be sure to bookmark our resource center and check back often for articles, interviews, infographics, videos and other great resources designed for career-driven nurses like you.
With so many online RN to MSN programs to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? There are lots of factors you can consider when evaluating different online RN to MSN programs, including accreditation, cost and rankings. Other important factors include:
RN to MSN curriculum may vary by program. When evaluating an online RN to MSN program, consider how the curriculum aligns with your nursing interests and career goals. In other words, does the coursework help you develop advanced nursing skills and knowledge? Be sure to look at the program’s academic calendar and course descriptions to learn more about the topics you’ll study and the skills you’ll learn.
Program length/time to complete
Credit hours vary by program. Additionally, some online RN to MSN programs may only be offered full time or part time. That’s why it’s important that you know how long a program will take to complete before you apply. For example, an online RN to MSN degree program that requires 68 credit hours, could be completed in 30 months (full time) or 36 months (part time).
Keep these questions in mind regarding program length and completion time when evaluating online RN to MSN degree programs:
- Is the program available full time, part time, or both?
- As a full-time student, how many credits am I allowed to take?
- As a part-time student, is there a limit on how long I have to complete the program?
- Can I complete the courses out of sequence, or is there an academic calendar to follow?
- Is there a clinical component?
Most online RN to MSN programs include a clinical component, or practicum, intended to help students develop advanced nursing skills under a variety of circumstances. Questions to ask or consider include:
- Does the program include a clinical component?
- How many clinical hours are required to complete the program?
- Does the school provide practicum placement assistance?
Online RN to MSN programs may also include one or more on-campus immersion events. These events are intended to provide students the opportunity to network with their teachers and fellow students, as well as develop hands-on skills through instructor-led exercises and labs.
- Does the program require on-campus immersions? How many?
- How long are the immersions?
- What will I do/learn during the immersion?
- Are accommodations provided?
In order to be eligible for most RN to MSN degree programs, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident and hold a current RN license. Other admission requirements vary by program, but generally may include:
- Official transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Minimum grade point average (e.g., 3.0)
What to Expect
Learn more about online MSN programs, including curriculum and formats.