A master of science in nursing (MSN) degree helps nurses move into leadership roles. By choosing an affordable online MSN program, nurses can increase their salary without going into debt.
Earning a master’s degree helps nurses increase their earning potential. Nurses with an MSN degree make $95,150 per year, on average, while registered nurses (RNs) without an MSN earn around $65,000 per year. Advanced practice roles, such as nurse practitioner (NP), offer even higher earning potential. Advanced practice RNs earn a median salary of $115,800 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Nurses with an MSN degree also benefit from strong job growth. The BLS projects demand for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and NPs to grow 45% from 2019 to 2029.
Our ranking lists the most affordable online MSN programs to help nurses find the programs that best fit their budget and career goals. This article also introduces scholarship opportunities for MSN students.
Featured Online Schools
What Can I Do With an MSN Degree?
MSN programs train RNs for advanced practice roles, including NP. NPs diagnose patients, prescribe medication, and create care plans. Many specialize in working with specific populations, such as family nurse practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners, and mental health nurse practitioners. Other advanced practice nursing roles include nurse midwife and nurse anesthetist.
In addition, an online MSN program can prepare graduates for roles like nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse administrator. In these roles, nurses train healthcare professionals, conduct research, and set policies for their division.
During an MSN program, nursing students take courses on topics like advanced health assessment, nursing leadership, and evidence-based practice. They also take specialized classes in their focus area. MSN programs incorporate clinical hours through practicum requirements, which let nursing students apply their classroom training in healthcare settings.
Accreditation for an MSN Program
Prospective nursing students should always choose an accredited online MSN program. Accredited programs meet the highest standards for training nurses. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education grant accreditation to nursing programs. Both organizations provide databases of accredited MSN programs, including online programs.
Only accredited nursing programs meet the requirements for advanced practice nursing licenses and professional certifications. Choosing an accredited program will thus shape a nurse’s career opportunities after graduation. As a result, applicants should carefully research a program’s accreditation status before applying.
In addition to an accredited program, applicants should look for an accredited university. Regionally accredited universities follow the best practices for educating students. Additionally, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. The U.S. Department of Education database lists accredited programs and schools.
How long does it take to get an MSN degree?
Earning an MSN degree can take just one year, depending on the program. However, some MSN specializations take at least 2-3 years.
Is an MSN the same as an NP?
An MSN degree prepares nurses for advanced practice roles like working as an NP. MSN programs also train nurse educators, nurse midwives, nurse administrators, and clinical nurse specialists.
Can a professional with an MSN prescribe medication?
NPs with an MSN degree can prescribe medication for patients. Other nurses with an MSN do not prescribe medication.
How much does a nurse with an MSN make a year?
What Are the Requirements for an MSN Program?
Each MSN program sets its own admission requirements. Many programs require applicants to hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and possess experience as an RN. Some programs offer an RN-to-MSN track for nurses without a BSN degree. Programs may also set a minimum GPA, and some require a certain number of years of clinical experience as a nurse.
After gaining admission to the program, MSN students complete coursework and practicum requirements. The number of clinical hours required varies depending on the specialization.
Courses in an MSN Program
During an online MSN program, nursing students strengthen their patient care and leadership skills through courses on topics like evidence-based practice, advanced health assessment, and nursing leadership. MSN programs also typically include training in health promotion, community nursing, and healthcare policy.
This section introduces courses commonly found in MSN programs. In addition to the following core courses, many programs include specialized training for NPs, nurse midwives, nurse educators, and nurse administrators.
Advanced Nursing Practice
Many MSN programs incorporate courses on advanced nursing practice. The class trains nurses to apply evidence-based practices, develop new practices based on nursing research, and evaluate patient care policies. Students also learn about nursing theories that apply to patient care and healthcare organizations.
The course prepares nurses to develop and lead nursing practices. Learners also study current research in the field to prepare for advanced coursework in their MSN program.
Advanced Health Assessment
Enrollees strengthen their patient care and assessment skills. The course teaches students to conduct health assessments that cover health history, psychological changes, and physical assessments. Nurses also learn how to use health assessments to determine health risks, create health promotion plans, and prioritize care. During health assessment courses, students typically complete clinical requirements to practice their skills. They may also learn about health assessment in different healthcare settings.
This course covers the healthcare system and healthcare policy. Learners study healthcare policy at the organizational and national level, including the roles of laws and regulations in healthcare policy. They also learn how to evaluate policies and develop new ones. The course may also cover healthcare finance, including the insurance industry. The class prepares graduates for leadership roles in healthcare organizations.
Leadership in Nursing
Courses on nursing leadership train graduate students to oversee teams of healthcare professionals and take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Students learn to evaluate quality improvement initiatives, implement plans to improve patient safety, and measure the effectiveness of plans. They also study leadership principles in a healthcare setting, budgeting and management, and strategy development. Nurses can apply their leadership training in positions such as lead nurse, nurse director, and nurse administrator.
In this course, MSN students learn about health promotion at the local and national levels, including program planning, risk assessment, and targeted needs assessment. Nurses learn how to develop and implement health promotion plans. The course also trains nurses to evaluate programs, conduct health screenings, and improve programs. The course prepares students for careers as nurse educators, health and wellness managers, and nurse leaders.
Professional Organizations for MSN Students
Professional organizations help MSN students prepare for and advance their careers. Many of these organizations offer networking opportunities at events and conferences. Members can also access professional development opportunities, job openings, and continuing education resources.
- American Nurses Association Founded in 1896, ANA represents the four million RNs working in the United States. The association promotes high standards in nursing; advocates for RNs; and offers educational resources such as workshops, webinars, and online courses. Members can also participate in career and professional development opportunities to build their clinical knowledge.
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners NPs and students receive various member benefits, including an NP community, educational resources, and research. The association publishes journals and provides resources on how to become an NP. Members can also identify research opportunities and find job openings through the AANP job center.
- National League for Nursing Established in 1893, NLN represents nurse educators, nurse faculty, and others involved in nursing education programs. The league provides professional development resources, networking opportunities, and nursing research grants for members. NLN also accredits nursing educator programs, operates centers for nursing education, and grants certification for nurse educators.
- American College of Nurse-Midwives ACNM advocates for nurse midwives and their patients. The college promotes education for nurse midwives, encourages research to improve patient care, and advances clinical training through its resources. Members can access clinical bulletins, issue briefs, and research.
Scholarships for MSN Students
Professional associations, private foundations, and universities award scholarships to nursing students. Nurses enrolled in an accredited online program typically meet the requirements for MSN scholarships. In addition to the following opportunities, nurses can find scholarships based on other factors, such as their nursing specialty.
Who Can Apply: Nurses in an accredited online MSN program may apply. The award gives special consideration to MSN students planning to work as nurse educators, nurses in accelerated programs, and students in RN-to-MSN programs. Applicants must be currently enrolled in an AACN member institution.
Who Can Apply: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awards this scholarship to students enrolled in an accredited nursing program. Recipients receive funding for tuition, fees, and education expenses. They also receive a monthly support stipend. Recipients must commit to working in a designated Critical Shortage Facility for at least two years after graduation.
Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports nursing students attending an AACN member institution. Online MSN students can qualify by submitting their application through NursingCAS. Applicants need a minimum 3.2 GPA and must demonstrate good academic standing at their nursing school. The scholarship application also requires an essay.
Most Affordable Online MSN Programs 2021
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#49- Queens University of Charlotte
MSN Nurse Administrator Specialization Online
Ranked 94th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report, the Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens University of Charlotte has 20 full-time faculty led by Dr. Tama Morris for eight-week, CCNE-accredited online sessions. The MSN Nurse Administrator Specialization Online admits bachelor’s RNs with minimum 2.8 GPAs for Nurse Executive Board Certification (NE-BC) training. Typical of the best MSN degrees online, one semester-long practicum is arranged at hometown preceptors to apply courses like Financial Management and Clinical Leadership Outcomes from Moodle.
Annual Tuition: $11,583
#48- SUNY College of Technology-Delhi
Online Master of Science: Nursing Administration
Boasting an above-average 86.9 percent NCLEX-RN pass rate, the School of Nursing at SUNY College of Technology-Delhi was placed 154th in the U.S. News & World Report’s online nursing school rankings. It ranks higher here as one of our top 50 choices for MSN degrees online. The CCNE-accredited Online Master of Science: Nursing Administration is a 36-credit, GRE-optional program organized by Rosemary Jane Spring that immerses nurses in managerial skill development. Two seven-week courses, such as Human Resources and Quality Improvement, are taken on Open SUNY each term with practicum scheduled via Castle Branch.
Annual Tuition: $10,870
#47- SUNY Empire State College
Master of Science in Nursing Administration Online
Reaffirmed by the CCNE in November 2015, the School of Nursing and Allied Health at SUNY Empire State College was proclaimed America’s 184th most popular health professions school by College Factual. Accepting $50 applications until June 1st or November 1st, the Master of Science in Nursing Administration Online emphasizes enterprise leadership skills for bachelor’s RNs with 3.0 GPAs or better. The 33-credit, CCNE-accredited online master’s in nursing degree follows a six-term, part-time sequence for pairing courses like Nursing Research and Healthcare Innovation with practica.
Annual Tuition: $10,870
#46- United States University
Online Master’s in Nursing – Nursing Leadership for Health Systems Management Innovation
Known for its 24/7 Nurses Lounge online, United States University has a CCNE-accredited College of Nursing headed by Dr. Anne McNamara that’s ranked 140th among America’s best nursing programs on College Factual. Offering $325 monthly payments, the Online Master of Science in Nursing-Nursing Leadership for Health Systems Management Innovation takes just 24 months full-time. The 38-credit curriculum integrates 96 residency hours into courses like Strategic Healthcare Planning with an optional Online Telehealth Certificate.
Annual Tuition: $10,680
#45- Indiana Wesleyan University
MS Nursing – Nursing Administration Online
Established in 1972, the School of Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University has expanded beyond Ott Hall’s Fortune Simulation Lab on Blackboard for America’s 144th best online nursing education according to Niche. Coordinated by Dr. Debbie Drake, the 41-credit, CCNE-accredited MS Nursing – Nursing Administration Online starts five times yearly to foster Christian servant leadership. Cohorts take accelerated, seven-week courses, including Managerial Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Communication, on Blackboard with three clinicals for 22-month completion, making it a slightly accelerated choice for MSN degrees online.
Annual Tuition: $10,671
#44- Olivet Nazarene University
Master of Science in Nursing Online (MSN), Management/Leadership Track
Olivet Nazarene University, America’s 220th best nursing school online on Niche, enrolls 350 Tigers at a 17:1 student-faculty ratio in its CCNE-accredited School of Life & Health Sciences for programs that emphasize Christian purpose. Reserved for RNs with 2,000+ hours of experience, the 40-credit Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is directed by Dr. Tiffany Greer with Education and Management/Leadership Tracks. Nurses enrolled in this online master’s in nursing devote 17 months to completing Canvas courses like Nursing Informatics and Advanced Pathophysiology with 180 practicum hours.
Annual Tuition: $10,560
#43- McKendree University
MSN in Nursing Management/Administration Online
Chaired by Dr. Kelli Whittington, the CCNE-accredited School of Nursing & Health Professions at McKendree University built a Blackboard classroom for Midwesterners to “Make a Mark” in three programs ranked 115th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report. Offered with an optional Dual MBA, the 14-course MSN Online has nursing specialties in Education, Management/Administration, and Palliative Care. Busy RNs choose the 2.5-year full-time or 10-term part-time routes for tackling courses like Fiscal Systems with 150 practicum hours.
Annual Tuition: $10,410
#42- Clarkson College
Online Master of Science in Nursing Health Care Administration
Authorized in 45 states, Clarkson College has Nebraska’s oldest School of Nursing that brings 130 years of clinical experience to the 77th best online nursing education in America according to the U.S. News & World Report. Admitting until July 1st or November 1st, the Online Master of Science in Nursing managed by Dr. Aubray Orduña has 580 RNs in Health Care Administration, Education, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP, and Family NP tracks. Finishing the 39-credit, ACEN-accredited online MS in nursing program on Canvas requires 135 practicum hours.
Annual Tuition: $10,350
#41- Lenoir-Rhyne University
MSN Nursing Administration Concentration Online
Partnered with the Hickory RIBN Collaborative, Lenoir-Rhyne University is the South’s 31st best value on the U.S. News & World Report that has housed the CCNE-accredited Grace Hospital School of Nursing since 1960. Overseen by Dr. Kathryn Tinkelenberg, the MSN Online grants a Nursing Education or Nursing Administration Concentration on Blackboard for self-paced, non-cohort study. Ambitious leaders meeting the 2.7 GPA mark will take 33 credits, including electives like Bioethics and Operations Management, before a capstone project for NE-BC certification.
Annual Tuition: $10,350
#40- Baker University
Online Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
Placed 92nd among America’s best colleges for nursing on Niche and rounding out our top 40 MSN degrees online, Baker University created the Stormont Vail Health Pozez Education Center in August 1991 to fulfill APRN shortages from a Christian perspective. Pursuing the Online Master of Science in Nursing mandates 1,872 nursing hours before the 40-credit Education and Administration tracks. Organized by Dr. Carol Moore from Topeka, the CCNE-accredited program “Builds Superheroes” who log into Canvas for 24/7 courses like Health Care Policy and Informatics Applications with hands-on practicum.
Annual Tuition: $10,188
#39- Kaplan University
Master’s Degree in Nursing – Executive Leader Pathway Online
Gifting $20.8 million in financial aid to 8,216 yearly, Kaplan University stands as America’s 67th best virtual school on OnlineDegreeReviews.org with a CCNE-accredited School of Nursing that’s chaired by Dr. Deborah Adell. Available in 49 states except for Tennessee, the Master’s Degree in Nursing confers four pathways for Adult/Gerontology NP, Family NP, Nurse Educator, and Executive Leader online. The 60-credit, 122-week curriculum begins bimonthly with KU Campus courses like Health Care Budgeting and Administrative Theory that need 160 practicum hours.
Annual Tuition: $10,128
#38- Concordia University Texas
Online MSN Nursing Leadership Track
Applauded for America’s 118th best nursing degree online by the U.S. News & World Report, the College of Nursing at Concordia University Texas admits RNs with a mean 3.7 GPA into CCNE-accredited cohorts of 15 each January. On Moodle, the Online MSN integrates Lutheran values for faith-forward Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, and Nursing Leadership tracks. Bachelor’s graduates complete the 30-credit curriculum fast with eight-week courses like Change Management, a capstone project, and 16-week practica either domestic or abroad from Congo to Cambodia. Concordia is consistently one of the top online MSN degrees for religious students.
Annual Tuition: $9,750
#37- Grand Canyon University
Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems Online
Generating an economic impact of $1.1 billion, Grand Canyon University was recognized for America’s 74th highest paid graduates on College Factual from its 35-year, CCNE-accredited College of Nursing & Health Professions. Supervised by Dr. Lisa Smith, the Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems Online uses Blackboard to advance BSN-prepared Lopes’ careers. The 36-credit degree blends eight-week courses like Organizational Development with 16 weeks of administrative practicum- a minimal requirement compared to other online master of science in nursing programs.
Annual Tuition: $9,737
#36- Northwest Nazarene University
Online Master of Science in Nursing, Emphasis in Leadership & Education
Northwest Nazarene University, America’s 109th best nursing school online on the U.S. News & World Report, partnered with the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2018 to share 160 years of excellence training caring APRNs. Directed by Dr. Lynette Kingsmore, the Online Master of Science in Nursing Emphasis in Leadership & Education has a 36-credit, CCNE-accredited Christian curriculum for CNE exam prep. Cohorts take one five-week intensive, such as Advanced Health Assessment, at a time on Canvas before 50 internship days.
Annual Tuition: $9,639
#35- Cleveland State University
Master of Science Nursing (MSN), Clinical Nurse Leader Track Online
Founded in 1973 with a 90 percent NCLEX-RN pass rate since the School of Nursing at Cleveland State University has America’s 45th best online nursing degree according to the U.S. News & World Report in partnership with the top-ranked Cleveland Clinic. The Master of Science Nursing (MSN) Online meets CCNE standards for its Forensics, Education, and Clinical Nurse Leader tracks. Led by Dr. Timothy Gaspar, the 31-credit non-thesis program produces certified CNLs with Blackboard courses like Population Interventions and 400 fieldwork hours, more than is required by most nursing master’s degrees online.
Annual Tuition: $9,565
#34- Rasmussen College
Online MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration Specialization
Bestowed the 2015 NCLCA Innovative Use of Technology Award, Rasmussen College is ranked 196th nationally on College Factual for a CCNE-accredited School of Nursing that has eight programs accessed via Blackboard for FlexChoice learning. Overseen by Dr. Joan Rich, the 48-credit Online MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration Specialization offers funds like the Future Nurses of Wisconsin Scholarship to maximize the mean salary of $68,450. Online courses, such as Guided Practice Decisions, take 18 months for RNs with minimum 3.0 GPAs to complete, making this a good choice for those students looking for accelerated online MSN programs.
Annual Tuition: $9,480
#33- Wheeling Jesuit University
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nursing Administration Online
Wheeling Jesuit University, Forbes’ 126th best Southern college, has a 93 percent admission rate into its Health Sciences Division where CCNE-accredited classes help 1,385 students from 20 countries “Luceat Lux Vestra.” Directed by Dr. Janet Bischof, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Online requires total GRE scores of 286 for the Nursing Education Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Administration tracks. The latter 39-credit, non-thesis Blackboard Learn offering applies courses like Health Promotion at approved local clinical sites.
Annual Tuition: $9,450
#32- Old Dominion University
Online Nursing Administrator MSN Degree
Celebrating its 50th year, the College of Health Sciences at Old Dominion University boasts $7 million in HRSA funding, 99 percent job placement, an award-winning Epsilon Chi Chapter, and America’s 58th top nursing degree online on the U.S. News & World Report. Chaired by Dr. Karen Karlowicz, the Online Nursing Administrator MSN is available on Blackboard anywhere besides Washington for AONE certification prep. The 36-credit, GRE-optional program has a March 1st application deadline for starting CCNE-accredited courses and 168 practicum hours–on the low end for the best online MSN degrees.
Annual Tuition: $9,168
#31- Minnesota State University-Moorhead
MS in Nursing Emphasis in Nurse Administration and Organizational Systems Leadership Online
Coordinated by Dr. Brandi Sillerud, an ANA Advocacy Institute Fellow, the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership at Minnesota State University-Moorhead, America’s 293rd best master’s college in Washington Monthly, is 100 percent transfer-friendly into eight programs. The MS in Nursing Emphasis in Nurse Administration and Organizational Systems Leadership (NAOSL) Online admits bachelor’s grads with “B” averages until July 1st or October 15th. Logging into D2L Brightspace for the 36-credit degree involves courses like Healthcare Law and Disease Prevention. At well under $10,000, the tuition makes this a good choice for those students looking for cheap online MSN degrees.
Annual Tuition: $8,976
#30- Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Online Master of Science in Nursing: Administration Track
The North’s 136th best school on the U.S. News & World Report, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, maintains a 12:1 student-faculty ratio for its CCNE-accredited Center of Nursing Innovation that’s captained by Dr. Anthony McGuire. Along with Dual MHA or MBA options, the Online Master of Science in Nursing has 42-48 credit tracks for Administration, Education, and Family/Individual Nurse Practitioner. On Blackboard Connect, RNs spend four 12-week terms yearly earning affordable online master’s in nursing degree courses like Patient Safety Management.
Annual Tuition: $8,720
#29- William Carey University
Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration Online
Linked to the IACBE-accredited School of Business, William Carey University’s Joseph and Nancy Fail School of Nursing is ranked 66th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report for Canvas eLearning with 90 percent acceptance. Coordinated by Dr. Denise Hancock, the dual Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration Online has a fast-paced, 53-credit route to clinical leadership for RNs. Having a minimum 2.75 average is prerequisite to entering virtual courses from Pharmacology to Marketing Strategy before the 15-week practicum required of most online nursing MS degrees.
Annual Tuition: $8,400
#28- East Tennessee State University
Online MSN Nursing Administration Concentration
Operating nine nurse-led Appalachia clinics, the ACEN-accredited College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University has grown since its 1911 funding in Johnson City Memorial Hospital to serve 1,105 yearly as America’s 115th best nursing school on the U.S. News & World Report. The Online MSN Nursing Administration Concentration spearheaded by Dr. Wendy Nehring utilizes Desire2Learn to train for rural clinical business operations. Nurses with cumulative 3.0 GPAs follow a six-term, part-time schedule of 36 credits with 500 practicum hours, making this one of the more rigorous online MSN programs in our ranking.
Annual Tuition: $8,244
#27- Liberty University
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Administration Online
Centered on Patricia Benner’s nursing theory, the Christian School of Nursing at Liberty University has partners like St. Mary’s Hospital and Carillion Roanoke Memorial to immerse 768 RNs in America’s 109th best online education on the U.S. News & World Report. The 42-credit Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Online integrates 200 practicum hours in Administration, Informatics, and Educator tracks. Eight-week, CCNE-accredited Blackboard courses, such as Management of Resources, can be combined with the Online MBA or M.S. in Healthcare Administration too, making this a flexible option for MSN degree programs online.
Annual Tuition: $8,217
#26- Lubbock Christian University
Online MSN Education/Leadership
Noticed for America’s 224th best graduate online education by the U.S. News & World Report, Lubbock Christian University features an 82 percent completion rate for its ACEN-accredited Nursing Department that’s chaired by Dr. JoAnn Long at a 12:1 student-professor ratio. The Online MSN Education/Leadership has a blended focus that adheres to ANCC credentialing for double the career options. Conveniently on Moodle, the 35-credit, non-thesis curriculum gives RNs with minimum 286 GRE scores access to courses like Organizational Behavior and practicum. Well under the $10,000 mark for tuition, this is also one of the more affordable options for top online MSN degrees.
Annual Tuition: $7,884
#25- University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
MSN-LINC in Leadership and Management of Health Systems Online
The College of Nursing & Health Studies at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay was ranked 154th among the country’s best nursing schools online on the U.S. News & World Report for Desire2Learn courses capped at 30 RNs. Headed by Dr. Susan Gallagher-Lepak, the MSN-LINC in Leadership and Management of Health Systems Online advances bachelor’s skills with a six-semester, part-time model. Finishing the 34-credit degree integrates topics like Health Care Policy and Environmental Sustainability in Health Systems with three practica.
Annual Tuition: $7,793
#24- University of South Alabama
Online MSN Executive Nurse Administrator
Affiliated with 12,000 alumni, including the 2018 Community Impact Award winner, the College of Nursing at the University of South Alabama has America’s 235th best faculty according to the CWUR for 73 percent retention. Organized by Dr. Bridget Moore, the Online MSN Executive Nurse Administrator aligns to the ANA standards of practice with 37-credit Post BSN and 51-credit RN Bridge tracks. Starting with a virtual orientation, the degree progresses through Blackboard courses like Personnel Management and Marketing with 240 internship hours total–about average for online master’s degrees in nursing programs.
Annual Tuition: $7,578
#23- Troy University
MSN in Health Informatics & Nursing Leadership Online
Established in 1994, the ACEN-accredited College of Health & Human Services led by Dr. Denise Green at Troy University was congratulated for America’s 171st best master’s nursing school by the U.S. News & World Report with 97 percent job placement. On Blackboard Learn, registered nurses enter the 37-credit MSN in Health Informatics & Nursing Leadership Online with financial aid like the Alabama Board of Nursing Scholarship. Twelve-week online courses like Nursing Politics blend with 180+ fieldwork hours and an optional Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate, making it a standout option for nursing master’s degrees online.
Annual Tuition: $7,506
#22- University of Texas-Arlington
Online Master of Science in Nursing Administration (MSN)
Declared a NLN Center of Excellence, the College of Nursing & Health Innovation at The University of Texas-Arlington enrolls 17,000 Mavericks as America’s 92nd best master’s nursing school on the U.S. News & World Report with selective 70 percent admission. Thirty-two full-time faculty under Dr. Anne Bavier deliver an Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with Education, Administration, Family NP, Pediatric NP, and Adult/Gerontology NP tracks. Five-week Blackboard courses accelerate the 36-credit, CCNE-accredited degree for 18-month completion–faster than average for most online MSN programs.
Annual Tuition: $7,360
#21- Ferris State University
Nursing MSN – Administration Online
Tied for the U.S. News & World Report’s 58th spot among online nursing schools, Ferris State University launched Blackboard Collaborate access to the ACEN-accredited College of Health Professions for cohorts of 20 that apply before April 15th or October 15th. Headed by Dr. Sharon Colley, the Nursing MSN Online awards three emphases in Administration, Informatics, and Education with just one four-hour orientation. RNs complete two 120-hour practica while building portfolios in the 37-credit curriculum’s courses like Health Economics and Clinical Outcomes Improvement.
Annual Tuition: $7,332
#20- Winona State University
Online Master’s in Nursing and Organizational Leadership (NOL)
At Winona State University, the College of Nursing & Health Sciences was ranked America’s 233rd best nursing school on Niche for 50 years of excellence training ethical, progressive wellness practitioners for 96 percent job placement. Led by Dr. William McBreen, the Online Master’s in Nursing and Organizational Leadership (NOL) accepts $20 applications until October 1st yearly from RNs with three references. The 43-credit, three-year program on Moodle strings together courses like Nursing Decision Making with 420 clinical hours and scholarly inquiry projects typical of the best online MSN degrees.
Annual Tuition: $6,980
#19- Arkansas Tech University
Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Emergency Management Online
Gifting $83.7 million in yearly financial aid, including the Sigma Theta Tau Graduate Scholarship, Arkansas Tech University has a CCNE-accredited Department of Nursing chaired by Dr. Rebecca Burris that’s ranked 245th nationally by Niche. RNs access the Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Emergency Management (NAEM) Online via Blackboard to develop crisis healthcare leadership skills. Mandating 3.0 GPAs, the 39-credit, thesis-optional curriculum features courses like Vulnerability Assessment and Epidemiology with six credits of administrative practicum.
Annual Tuition: $6,975
#18- Aspen University
Online Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration and Management
Aspen University, America’s 154th most focused nursing school on College Factual, reaffirmed its CCNE accreditation for a School of Nursing headed by Dr. Nina Beaman to confer 14 online programs on Desire2Learn with monthly payments as low as $250. Bachelor’s RNs with “B” averages or better can earn the Online Master of Science in Nursing in five tracks: Administration and Management, Forensics, Informatics, Education, or Public Health. The 12-course, 24-month curriculum ends with a proctored exam after online courses like Modern Health Care Organizations and practica required of most master’s degrees in nursing online.
Annual Tuition: $6,975
#17- Midway University
MSN Nursing Administration Online
Ranked 236th out of the East’s 1,189 schools by Nurse Journal, the ACEN-accredited College of Health Sciences at Midway University uses Moodle to enroll 215 post-grad RNs only from Kentucky at an average class size of 14. Coordinated by Dr. Barbara Kitchen, the MSN Online takes just 24 months full-time to advance practice in Nursing Administration and Nursing Education tracks. The 36-credit, leadership-oriented program offers a capstone project or thesis after practicum in students’ hometown and business courses like Operations Management.
Annual Tuition: $6,720
#16- University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Online i-LEAD Nursing Leadership and Health Systems Master’s
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is the Rockies’ largest health sciences institute that treats 1.5 million patients, generates $400 million for innovative research, and grants America’s fourth best online nursing programs on the U.S. News & World Report. On Canvas, the CCNE-accredited College of Nursing confers the Online Innovation in Leadership and Administration (i-LEAD) Nursing Leadership and Health Systems Master’s. Directed by Dr. Mary Krugman, the 30-credit program always charges in-state tuition for courses like Relational Communication with 90 internship hours.
Annual Tuition: $6,714
#15- University of Texas Medical Branch
MSN Executive Nurse Leader Track Online
Created in 1890 as the John Sealy Hospital Training School, the School of Nursing at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston ranked 18th among America’s top online nursing schools by the U.S. News & World Report for serving 538 Longhorns with 54 percent admission. The MSN Executive Nurse Leader Track Online has a March 15th deadline for registered nurses to pursue CNL certification easily on Blackboard. Managed by Dr. Deborah Jones, the 39-credit, six-term curriculum requires three practica in courses like Public Policy and Quality Improvement.
Annual Tuition: $6,630
#14- Western Governors University
Online M.S. Nursing Leadership and Management
Labeled a GetEducated “Best Buy,” Western Governors University is a 2013 USDLA 21st Century Award for Best Distance Learning Practices winner that launched a competency-based, CCNE-accredited College of Health Professions with 75 percent retention. The MyWGU Portal connects nurses to the NLN Center of Excellence for an Online M.S. Nursing Leadership and Management. Advised by Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, the program has two-year BSN Entry and three-year RN Entry for customizing 14-36 courses like Contemporary Pharmacotherapeutics with 40 practicum hours, which is minimal compared to most online MSN programs.
Annual Tuition: $6,500
#13- American Sentinel University
MSN Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership Online
Previously ranked 46th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report, the CCNE-accredited School of Nursing at American Sentinel University in Aurora has market-relevant, “Military Friendly” education with a 74 percent completion rate. Chaired by Dr. Elaine Foster, the 36-credit MSN Online starts monthly on Moodle with specialties for Case Management, Management and Organizational Leadership, Informatics, Education, or Infection Prevention and Control. Precepted practice experiences are integrated into the 12 eight-week courses like Health Care Strategic Management.
Annual Tuition: $6,180
#12- Lamar University
Online MSN – Nursing Administration
Boasting a 93.6 percent NCLEX-RN pass rate, the Joanne Gay Dishman School of Nursing at Texas’ Lamar University offers $70,000 in yearly scholarships and 24/7 resources in the Virtual Caring Place to succeed in America’s 111th best online programs according to the U.S. News & World Report. Currently, 157 RNs are accessing Blackboard to earn the CCNE-accredited Online MSN tracks for Nursing Administration or Education organized by Dr. Cindy Stinson. The 37-credit curriculum starts with 15-week business leveling courses like Financial Accounting and ends with the synthesis experience–a unique requirement for nursing MS degrees online.
Annual Tuition: $6,174
#11- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
MSN Nursing Administration Online
Known for its Larry Combest Community Health & Wellness Center that serves nearly 7,500 low-income patients, the School of Nursing at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is ranked 91st countrywide by the U.S. News & World Report with record-high enrollment since 2010. Chaired by Dr. Michael Evans, the NLN Center of Excellence utilizes Blackboard 9.1 to confer an MSN Online in Nursing Administration or Nursing Education. The 39-credit, CCNE-accredited program has February 15th and August 1st deadlines for entering courses like Health Policy Essentials.
Annual Tuition: $5,832
#10- McNeese State University
Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Nurse Executive Concentration
Led by Dr. Peggy Wolfe in Hardtner Hall, the College of Nursing & Health Professions at McNeese State University was tied for America’s 118th best online nursing education on the U.S. News & World Report that attracts 180 RNs into CCNE-accredited cohorts of 20. The 38-credit Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) requires one year of experience with four concentrations: Nurse Executive, Nurse Educator, Family NP, or Psychiatric/Mental Health NP. Don’t miss the May 1st deadline to begin six terms of Moodle courses like Workforce Management and internships.
Annual Tuition: $5,703
#9- Southwestern Oklahoma State University
BSN to MSN in Administration Online
Acclaimed for America’s 117th highest paid health administrative services grads on College Factual for a 20-year net ROI of $246,000, Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s ACEN-accredited School of Nursing has grown since 1976 with financial aid like the Evelyn Huebert Shephard Scholarship. The BSN to MSN Online has Administration, Informatics, and Education concentrations directed by Dr. Juli Bell for fast advancement on Canvas. Finishing the 33-credit, non-thesis degree takes 12 months with eight-week courses like Performance Standards and practicum assignments, making this one of the more accelerated options for MSN degrees online.
Annual Tuition: $5,616
#8- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Online Master of Science in Nursing Administration
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Forbes’ 221st top public college, opened the CCNE-accredited School of Nursing in June 2013 with the Pi Omicron STTI Chapter to help close minority gaps in health professions with a 90 percent financial aid rate. Overseen by Dr. Eloisa Taméz, the Online Master of Science in Nursing confers Administration and Education specializations in quick 12-month schedules. BSN graduates enroll quarterly to finish the 36-credit degree on Blackboard with seven-week courses like Holistic Approaches to Chronic Disorders and a practice intervention project.
Annual Tuition: $5,550
#7- University of Texas at Tyler
Nursing Administration MSN Degree Online
Deemed America’s 119th top nursing college on Niche, the School of Nursing is a Daisy Award partner located in Braithwaite Hall that’s directed by Dr. Barbara Haas and CCNE accredited to train University of Texas at Tyler Patriots for a 95.1 percent licensure pass rate. On Blackboard, RNs could pursue the Nursing Administration MSN Degree or Nursing Coordinated MSN-MBA Online for organizational leadership. The main 36-credit, theory-based curriculum injects 112 clinical hours into courses like Translational Science and Delivery of Care before a scholarly project.
Annual Tuition: $5,220
#6- Kennesaw State University
Online Leadership in Nursing MSN
Founded 45 years ago with Kennestone Regional Medical Center, the WellStar School of Nursing at Kennesaw State University connects RNs to nursing jobs via LiquidCompass, funds like the Julia Perkins Scholarship, and America’s 118th best online courses on the U.S. News & World Report. The Online Leadership in Nursing MSN coordinated by Dr. Yvonne Eaves has two tracks for Nursing Education Leadership in a Digital World or Nursing Administration and Transformational Leadership. Finishing the 12-course, CCNE-accredited curriculum takes 15 months with 315 practicum hours.
Annual Tuition: $4,851
#5- Texas Woman’s University
MS in Nursing Health Systems Management Online
The CCNE-accredited College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University was ranked America’s 87th best master’s school on the U.S. News & World Report for teaching 796 Owls with 108 full-time faculty supervised by Dr. Anita Hufft, one of 2017’s “DFW Great 100 Nurses.” The MS in Nursing Health Systems Management Online accepts $50 applications until May 1st or September 15th from RNs with GPAs above 3.0. Canvas helps complete the 42-credit degree’s courses like Fiscal Assessment and Health Promotion Policy with three 90-hour practica.
Annual Tuition: $4,672
#4- University of Texas at El Paso
Online Nurse Systems Management MSN
Aligned to the APRN Regulation Consensus Model, the University of Texas at El Paso’s School of Nursing, placed146th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report, welcomed its largest graduate class of 147 in January 2017 for culturally-rich, innovative training. The Online MSN arranged by Dr. Lisa Hennessy has full-time, 24-month completion tracks for Nursing Education, Nurse Systems Management, or Nurse Practitioner on Blackboard. Rolling admission helps BSN grads finish courses like Managing Health Outcomes for this 33-credit, practicum-embedded degree.
Annual Tuition: $4,665
#3- University of West Georgia
Online Master’s in Nursing – Health Systems Leadership
Marking its 40th anniversary, the Tanner Health System School of Nursing at the University of West Georgia is a CCNE-accredited, globally-engaged division ranked 31st nationally by the U.S. News & World Report for online class sizes averaging 12 with virtual mentoring. On Blackboard, the Master of Science in Nursing headed by Dr. Sally Richter confers two role options for Health Systems Leadership or Education. Fall cohorts undertake the 36-credit, four-semester curriculum with practicum and courses typical of the best MSN degrees online like Business of Healthcare for CNL credentialing.
Annual Tuition: $4,086
#2- Grantham University
Online Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Management & Organizational Leadership Specialization
Extended ACEN accreditation candidacy in 2018, Grantham University’s College of Nursing & Allied Health was named America’s 129th most focused health administration school on College Factual that’s “Military Friendly,” cheap with $4,500 Textbook & Software Grants, and welcoming with 100 percent admission. Directed by Dr. Cheryl Rules, the Master of Science in Nursing Online has tracks for Case Management, Education, Informatics, or Management & Organizational Leadership. Offering an RN to MSN Bridge, the 37-credit, 24-month curriculum integrates 90 practicum hours.
Annual Tuition: $3,900
#1- Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Nursing Administration MSN Online
Charging our list’s lowest price of $3,744, the CCNE-accredited College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi enrolls over 2,000 Islanders in high-tech, high-touch education that was ranked 66th nationally by the U.S. News & World Report. Open for admission until April 15th, the MSN Online utilizes WebEx and Skype for Nursing Administration, Nurse Educator, or Family Nurse Practitioner concentrations. RNs arrange their own preceptorships while completing the 37-credit, non-thesis program’s courses like Diverse Care Environments and Outcomes Management.
Annual Tuition: $3,744
Pursuing an MSN online at top nursing schools helps post-grads advance beyond the median registered nurse salary of $62,007 posted on PayScale. Stepping into the nurse manager specialty comes with nursing salary jumps of $73,710 to $172,240 per year. Salary.com also pinpoints six-figure income averages of $104,443 for head nurses, $109,692 for nursing home administrators, $121,357 for nursing education directors, and $220,276 for Chief Nursing Officers. Generate the biggest potential ROI in senior-level nursing jobs with impactful leadership authority by choosing from these 50 affordable online nursing administration degree options in 2018.
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