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    EDUCATION
    January 3, 2021

    Best Online Master's in Nursing (MSN) Programs for 2022

    There are a lot of reasons to further your nursing education. Better pay, positions, and hours are just a few. While deciding to obtain a master's degree in nursing may be an easy decision, choosing what program to attend can be difficult. You can choose between online, on-campus or hybrid options. 

    Many nurses opt to complete their MSN degree online because online programs are convenient, particularly for working nurses. They offer:

    • Flexibility with scheduling
    • Convenience to take your class from anywhere at anytime
    • Freedom to work at your own pace
    • In many cases, a cheaper price tag than on-campus options

    When seeking online MSN programs, be sure to look at the tuition, accreditation, and additionally, the school and your home state to see if you're eligible to apply. 

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    10 Best Online MSN Programs for 2022

    Online MSN Program Tuition Accreditation
    1. Fort Hays State University $2,686.95 per semester  CCNE
    2. Johns Hopkins University $58,048 total cost of the program CCNE
    3. Simmons College $1,210 per credit hour CCNE
    4. The University of Alabama $440 per credit hour CCNE
    5. Baker University $480 per credit hour CCNE
    6. Troy University $494 per credit hour ACEN
    7. Xavier University $670 per credit hour CCNE
    8. Maryville University of Saint Louis $813 per credit hour CCNE
    9. Winston-Salem State University

     In-state: $186.08 per credit hour.

    Out-of-state: $672.21 per credit hour

    CCNE & SACS
    10. Florida A&M University

    In-state: $25,728 per year

    Out-of-state: $36,700 per year

    ACEN

     

    1. Fort Hays State University

    Fort Hays State University offers two MSN degree options: Nurse Administration and Nursing Education. The program requires clinical practicum experiences. So students need to ensure they have clinical sites as the school does not provide coordinate placements. 

    • Tuition: $2686.95 per semester (9 credit hours)
    • Application Deadline: February 1, July 1, and September 1
    • On Campus Requirement: No
    • Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • Contact Information: 785-628-4256

    Things to note: Fort Hays State University doesn’t accept applications from the following states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Tennessee, Utah, Washington or Wyoming

    2. Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins offers a variety of MSN online programs, including tracks for a Masters of Nursing in Healthcare Organizational Leadership or MSN Healthcare Organizational Leadership/MBA

    • Tuition: $58,048 total cost of the program
    • Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • On Campus Requirement: No
    • Contact Information: 410-955-7548 or [email protected]

    Things to note: Johns Hopkins also offers an MSN entry into the nursing track for those who have earned a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. 

    3. Simmons College

    Simmons offers the MSN degree for nurses who wish to become family nurse practitioners (FNP). Simmons does assist with clinical placements which is a HUGE draw for this MSN FNP program. As of July 2020, the placement team has helped students secure more than 6,800 clinical placements across more than 14,000 clinical networks. 

    • Tuition: $1,210 per credit hour
    • Application Deadline: December 1
    • Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
    • Contact Information: 617-521-2605 or [email protected]

    Things to note: Simmons offers an online RN-MSN and MSN direct entry program for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. 

    4. The University of Alabama

    The University of Alabama offers a MSN in Nurse Administration, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Dual Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner.  In addition, there is a postgraduate certificate program with Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner options.

    • Tuition: $440 per credit hour
    • Application Deadline: March 1, August 1, and December 1
    • Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • On Campus requirements: Yes. Two on-campus sessions.
    • Contact Information: 800-467-0227 or [email protected]

    5. Baker University 

    Baker's online MSN programs feature tracks in nursing education and nursing administration. 

    • Tuition: $480 per credit hour 
    • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • On-campus requirements: No
    • Contact Information: 913-270-1307 or [email protected]

    6. Troy University 

    TThe Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program prepares nurses for advanced practice roles in Healthcare Informatics, Nurse Leadership, and Family Nurse Practitioners. There is also a Post Masters Nursing Education option. 

    • Tuition: $494 per credit hour
    • Application Deadline: May 1, July 1, and November 1
    • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • On-campus requirements: No
    • Contact Information: 800-414-5756

    7. Xavier University

    This completely online program features courses with no set meeting times, making it attractive to the working nurse. There are three MSN tracks including Forensics, Education, and Family Nurse Practitioner. 

    • Tuition: $670 per Credit Hour
    • Admission Deadline: Rolling Admission
    • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and Ohio Board of Nursing 
    • On-campus requirements: No
    • Contact Information: 513-745-1006

    Things to note: The program is one of only 12 nationwide to receive endorsement from the American Holistic Nurses Certification.

    8. Maryville University of Saint Louis

    Maryville University offers students five unique concentrations including: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult- Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. 

    • Tuition: $813 per credit hour
    • Admission Deadline: Rolling
    • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
    • On-campus requirements: No
    • Contact Information: 314-529-9654 or [email protected]

    Things to note: Unlike some graduate programs there is no GMAT, GRE, or Statistics required for admission and once your application is accepted you can start taking classes immediately. 

    9. Winston-Salem State University 

    WSSU's MSN focuses on the preparation of Family Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Nurse Educators.

    • Tuition: (instate) $186.08 per credit hour. (out-of-state) $672.21 per credit hour
    • Application Deadline: February 15
    • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS)
    • On-campus requirements: No
    • Contact Information: 336-750-2275 or [email protected]

    Things to note: No GRE or MAT requirement for ANE or MSN-DNP option and removal of time limit for health assessment, statistics, and research courses!

    10. Florida A&M University

    FAMU prepares students to begin a career as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.

    • Tuition: $25,728 (in-state)/ $36,700 (out-of-state) per year
    • Application Deadline: March 1, July 1, November 1
    • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
    • On-campus requirements: No
    • Contact Information: 850-599-3505 or [email protected]

    Things to note: FAMU’s program only requires 42 credits, instead of the typical 57 credits,  which allows students to complete the program faster. According to their website, FAMU is not permitted to provide online courses or instruction to students from some states. While their website does not specify the restrictive states, it is important to speak to an admission counselor for clarity. 

    Why Should I Get My MSN?

    1. Earn a Higher Salary

    For many nurses, the main appeal of earning your MSN is the chance to make more money. An MSN degree can give you a significant pay bump.  According to Payscale, Master's Degree in Nursing holders earn $94,000 on average while Associate Degree in Nursing holders earn an average of $69,000 per year and Bachelor's Degree in Nursing holders take home $83,000. 

    2. More Job Opportunities

    Graduating from an MSN program can open the door to many more job opportunities. MSN graduates enjoy a variety of exciting options, including leadership and corporate level positions.

    3. The Ability to Specialize

    Many MSN programs have specialized tracks that prepare students for a particular field or specialty in nursing. 

    4. Increased Influence 

    An MSN can prepare you to advance to senior-level positions, which may place you in the position to play a more significant role in shaping patient care and policies. 

    5. The Option to Teach

    Nurse educators work in a variety of settings, including universities, schools, and hospitals. As a nurse educator, you can influence and share your knowledge with nurses on every level.

    How Do I Pay For My Online MSN Degree?

    Scholarships

    Scholarships offer monetary value towards studies. There are many scholarships available for nurses in grad school, including merit-based scholarships.

    Service-Based Programs

    If you commit to working in an underserved area, you may qualify for scholarships in exchange for several years of service.

    Loans

    Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for loans. FAFSA gives you access to:

    • Federal Student loans
    • School-based aid
    • State aid

    What Are the Requirements for Getting Into an Online MSN Program?

    The requirements for each program will vary by school. If the program is associated with a traditional brick-and-mortar school, admission requirements will be for both the school and the graduate program. Ultimately, all programs share the same basic requirements.  

    • Registered Nurse license in good standing 
    • Possess an associate's or bachelor's degree from an accredited program
    • Minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Criminal background checks 

    Other requirements may include:

    • Essays
    • Letters of recommendations
    • Child abuse clearance
    • Drug test
    • Proof of vaccinations
    • Physical examination

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    Why is it Important to Choose an Accredited Online MSN Program? 

    A major consideration that must be taken into account when applying to an online nursing program is accreditation. Accreditation ensures the same standards and criteria for all nursing programs. The accreditation process improves the quality of nursing education and keeps the curriculum up to date on current trends in advances in nursing and healthcare.

    There are two main accrediting bodies for nursing programs:

    • The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
    • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

    The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is designed to support nursing education and ensure it is done in a safe, reliable, and consistent manner. 

    The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is considered the voice of academic nursing in America and contributes to the overall safety of the public's health. This committee supports the continuous self-assessment of national programs to ensure quality education is delivered to all nursing students. 

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    Portia Wofford is a nurse, copywriter, content strategist, and nurse consultant. Chosen as a brand ambassador or collaborative partner for various organizations, Wofford strives to empower nurses by offering nurses resources for development--while helping healthcare organizations and entrepreneurs create engaging content that connects and converts. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for her latest. 

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