online masters of nursing programs

Nursing is a rewarding and challenging career that offers many opportunities. Not only can nurses earn high salaries, but they also have the ability to make a significant impact on the health of individuals, families and communities. With an online master’s degree in nursing, you can advance your career while balancing work and family life.

online masters of nursing programs

1. Online Masters Programs

Online master’s programs in nursing are a great choice for nurses who want to advance their careers or work full-time and earn a degree. Nursing students can complete an online master’s program in as little as two years.

Online master’s programs in nursing are growing in popularity, with many schools offering this type of advanced degree program to students who have already earned an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some schools also offer accelerated options for students who already possess certain degrees, such as:

  • Master of Science (MS) for individuals holding an MSN from another institution
  • MSN/MBA Programs for RNs with an undergraduate business degree

The following list of top schools that offer online masters of nursing programs has been compiled based on several factors including tuition costs, percentage acceptance rate, reputation among employers and overall student satisfaction ratings (as reported by Newsweek & US News).

2. University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama College of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, which is available online. Students will learn to assess and manage patients with acute and chronic health problems, develop nursing care plans, provide emotional support for patients and families, collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure optimal care for patients, and advocate for positive policy changes that affect the healthcare system. The MSN program at USA is a rigorous 24-month curriculum that includes coursework in leadership skills; advanced pathophysiology; community health nursing; evidence-based practice; nutrition sciences; professional practice standards & ethics; clinical decision making & management skills; family health care planning & physical assessment; gerontological nursing practice methods & technology applications

3. Capella University

Capella University offers an online RN to MSN program that is designed for students who have already earned their associate degree in nursing (ADN), and want to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The four-semester, 36-credit hour master’s of science in nursing degree provides students with the knowledge they need to become advanced practice nurses. Students will be prepared for roles such as consulting physician or hospital administrator, and can expect to learn about health care systems and services management, medical ethics, human sexuality across the lifespan, maternal/child health care policy issues, gerontological nursing practice management principles and more.

4. Ohio State University

Ohio State University is a public research institution located in Columbus, OH. It’s accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its programs are offered at the graduate level.

The university offers degrees in nursing, including MSN and DNP programs that can be completed online or on campus. The MSN program requires 30 credits to complete (4 semesters), while the DNP program requires 60 credits (8 semesters).

Students can apply online through the Graduate Admissions web site; there is no paper application process required. The minimum requirements include a GPA of 2.75; GRE scores with a verbal score of 154 or higher and quantitative score of 153 or higher; TOEFL exam scores with a reading score of 22 or higher and speaking/writing score at least 24 (internet-based test); transcripts from all universities attended within 15 years prior to application date; letters of recommendation from three people who know you well professionally

5. University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing

If you are looking for an online masters of nursing program, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing has several options. Online masters of nursing programs are available to students who have already completed a bachelors degree in nursing and want to specialize in another area. These programs require students to complete clinical hours and exams on-site at a specific hospital or other health care facility where they will be working with patients during their studies.

Some examples include:

  • Nurse anesthesia
  • Nurse informatics
  • Nurse executive leadership (NEL)

6. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is located in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. The university was founded in 1819 and is currently home to over 44,000 students enrolled across all of its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. The nursing program at UC is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This means that it has met high standards for quality education and training and can be used as evidence for licensure applications. The UC nursing program ranks #2 in Ohio and #25 nationally according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings.

7. Sacred Heart University

Sacred Heart University offers an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Education. This program is designed for nurses who have at least two years’ clinical experience and want to become nurse educators. The MSN program prepares students to meet the educational needs of diverse populations and healthcare systems, while also providing them with the skills needed to plan and implement clinical programs, manage teaching resources, promote student learning and evaluate outcomes.

8. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Maryville University of Saint Louis is a private Catholic university in St. Louis, Missouri. The college of nursing and health sciences offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree, which you can complete online.

The university has a 98% student satisfaction rating, according to College Choice’s 2019 ranking of the Best Online Nursing Programs. For the graduate program specifically, Maryville was ranked in the top 20 by U.S News & World Report (2019).

9. West Virginia University School of Nursing

West Virginia University School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; Telephone: (404) 975-5000

  • online and on-campus programs available
  • nursing to bachelors, masters, doctorate and post-doctorate degrees

10. Purdue University Global

  • Purdue University Global is a private, nonprofit, online university that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • The RN-to-BSN program can be completed in as little as 12 months.
  • The MSN programs are designed to prepare nurses for leadership roles in health care settings.

11. Grand Canyon University College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

The online Master’s in Nursing program at Grand Canyon University is a comprehensive advanced degree program that will prepare you to care for patients with a wide variety of medical conditions.

The online Master’s in Nursing program immerses students into a rigorous curriculum by combining traditional classroom courses, hands-on clinical experiences and career coaching to help you meet your goals. Our flexible schedule accommodates your work and personal life as we strive to make our education accessible no matter where you live. The advanced practice nursing curriculum provides students with the essential knowledge, skills and abilities needed to safely deliver compassionate care across the lifespan through evaluation of patient needs, diagnosis and treatment planning.


Whether you’re looking to earn an advanced degree or just expand your knowledge, there are plenty of online master’s programs in nursing for you to choose from. Take some time today to explore your options and find out which one is right for you.

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