Get A Real Degree


An RN to MSN degree program is usually a program that is three years long. Programs for RN to MSN allow Registered Nurses with an Associates Degree or a Registered Nurse diploma to skip obtaining a Bachelors degree and proceed directly to the coveted MSN degree. The baccalaureate teaching is front loaded into the program and most be successfully completed before one can go on to graduate level work. Upon program completion some programs will give a successful student both the BS and MSN degree while other programs will just grant a MSN degree.

Whether granted one degree or just the higher degree the value is the accelerated pace at which one earns the Master of Science in Nursing Degree. There is value to earning a degree in a shorter time span. Money. The sooner you earn your MSN degree the sooner you will be in a position to earn nearly a third more than you currently make as a diploma or Associates Degree RN.

University Degree Offerings

  • The University of Arizona College of Nursing

    Established in 1957, the College provides ‘top in class’ programs for entry into or advancing within the profession of nursing. The faculty of the UA College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice – to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses (threatened […]

  • University of San Francisco RN to MS in Nursing

    The University of San Francisco RN to MSN program helps students build upon their nursing expertise through convenient online coursework that still provides personal, individualized attention from our distinguished faculty. The MSN program includes a strong foundation in theory and research inquiry.


As the population ages, technology advances and more nurses retire from the ranks, nurses with degrees from top online nursing schools will continue to be in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nursing employment opportunities will continue to grow at a much faster than average rate in the United States. Students pursuing nursing degrees may obtain an associates, a bachelors, a masters, or a doctorate.

Why an RN to MSN Degree

Nurses who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing have far more career opportunities than a diploma RN or the holder of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. While some of the career opportunities for a MSN are executive or teaching positions, they are high paying, high benefit executive positions that are in demand. If one chooses a clinical path, pay is significantly higher as a Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist. MSN holders also may practice at almost the physician level, diagnosing, treating and prescribing for patients in their area of expertise under the supervision of a physician. Many are called physician extenders as they increase the productivity of a physician’s office without compromising patient care.

RN to MSN Courses & Areas of Study

Students develop vital skills in curriculum development and practical effective teaching-learning strategies. Practicum experiences take place in a variety of educational settings, in or near your home community.

RN to MSN Career Opportunities

Specializations offered by RN to MSN programs include:

  • Certified Nurse-Midwife
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse-Anesthetist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Researcher
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Executive
  • Nurse Administrator

Online RN to MSN Degrees

As a licensed registered nurse (RN) you have great career opportunities in a challenging and rewarding field. But if you wish to advance beyond entry level positions or hope to work in a special medical field, you will need your master degree.

If you choose to pursue master-level study online, you may take core courses such as Nursing Theory; Advanced Practice Nursing Roles; Pharmacotherapeutics; Pathophysiology; Health Assessment; Research Methods; Health Law, Policy and Ethics. Your master program will also include classes in your specialty area and clinical practice experience. You will have to complete a thesis in your area of concentration as well

With an online master degree, you can pursue a career in a number of specialty areas including clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, or nurse anesthetist. All of these specialists are in high demand, particularly in underserved areas and rural locations.

RN to MSN Education & Admissions Requirements

Schools vary in specific requirements, generally RN to MSN degree programs consider the following:

  • Valid RN License
  • Graduate from an accredited associate degree/diploma program
  • Completion of all general education requirements for the BSN (55-58 credits)
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in general education requirements and also in basic nursing courses
  • Three reference letters
  • Essay – Personal goal statement
  • BLS Certification
  • An official transcript for all schools attended,
  • Non-Academic Admission Considerations
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Work experience
  • Diversity of experience, such as study abroad, knowledge of other cultures, proficiency in other languages

RN to MSN Accreditation

Accreditation is very important as it is a regulation system that ensure that the program you attend actually will prepare you for the workforce. MSN programs usually have two accreditations, one from an overall accreditation agency that is either regional or one of the five national accrediting organizations, which are the Distance Education and Training Council, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, and the Council on Occupational Education and the nursing program is also accredited by either the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission(NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Often, schools that are not fully accredited will state they are on their websites (most likely a diploma mill) or some schools are accredited by an agency that is not recognized by most states for licensure. Likewise, fully accredited schools may not have this information on their website. It is easy to check though, just visit both of the links above and check the status of the school you are interested in.

Top Ranked RN to MSN Degrees

Earning a Nursing degree from a top-ranked institution makes the degree more credible and prestigious due to name recognition, as well as excellence in the academic program itself. Renowned institutions with Nursing degree programs also receive high ranks by such organizations as U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review. Furthermore, many of the nation’s oldest music schools routinely receive prominent awards and some are even historic landmarks.

RN to MSN Professional Organizations

There are a number of professional organizations for Nurses:

  • Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses,
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses,
  • American Association of Neuroscience Nurses,
  • American Association of Occupational Health Nurses,
  • American College of Nurse-Midwives,
  • American Holistic Nurses Association,
  • American Nurses Association,
  • American Psychiatric Nurses Association,
  • Emergency Nurses Association,
  • National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses,
  • Oncology Nursing Society,
  • Sigma Theta Tau International,