2022 Best Online Master's in Nursing (MSN) Programs
We rank the best online master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees currently available based on each program's alumni salary outcomes. This graduate degree is designed to help registered nurses (RNs) gain advanced knowledge of patient care and become experts in their field. An MSN opens the door to managerial and specialty roles as well as positions in the higher education sector involving research or teaching. Currently, 2.6 million new jobs are expected to open up in this industry through 2030, which is the highest growth among all U.S. occupational groups.
2022 Best Online Master's in Nursing (MSN) Programs
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||AdventHealth University||$187,060|
|# 2||University of Southern California||95||$167,228|
|# 3||Touro University Nevada||92||$149,891|
|# 4||Texas A&M International University||85||$129,066|
|# 5||Midwestern State University||84||$125,822|
|# 6||Samuel Merritt University||83||$123,663|
|# 7||California State University - Dominguez Hills||82||$120,577|
|# 8||Mercy College||82||$120,372|
|# 9||Fairleigh Dickinson University||80||$117,472|
|# 10||University of San Francisco||80||$117,274|
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2022 Online Colleges Offering Master's Degrees
#1 AdventHealth University
AdventHealth University offers an online MSN program. The degree is entirely online, with the option to work on coursework at any time. However, students choosing the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty track are expected to visit the campus at least twice. Students must complete 14 credit hours of core courses and 17 additional credit hours from one of the three MSN specialty tracks: (1) Administration and Leadership, (2) Education, and (3) Family Nurse Practitioner. Students who already have a Bachelor’s of Nursing may be required to take some prerequisite courses before beginning this MSN program.
#2 University of Southern California
The University of Southern California — a large, private non-profit — offers an online MSN - FNP. Focused on research and evidence-based practice, the program's curriculum explores the biomedical, social, economic, and environmental influences on nursing care. Applicants must be RNs with bachelor's degrees and at least one year of clinical experience. Full-time students typically complete the MSN program in 21 months, while part-time students typically need 33 months. Graduation requirements include the completion of 49 credit hours, 784 clinical practice hours, and two on-campus intensives.
The Blackboard learning platform allows online students to interact with peers, access course materials, and complete assignments.
#3 Touro University Nevada
Touro University — a small, private, non-profit — offers an MSN - FNP. The program requires the completion of 53 credit hours, including five trimester practicums and three clinical intensives on the Nevada campus. Courses cover specialized topics, such as disease prevention, mental health, pharmacology, and caring for children and seniors. Newly enrolled students can choose among three annual start dates per year, and most complete the program in seven trimesters.
Touro's MSN is delivered primarily online through the Canvas learning platform. Graduate students can take advantage of the school's academic coaching, mental health counseling, and other services.
#4 Texas A&M International University
Students can pursue an online MSN - Nursing Administration at Texas A&M International University. This fast-track program — which can be completed in 10 months or less — prepares students for managerial and executive nursing roles. The MSN program is composed of 31 credit hours, with a 180-hour intensive practicum focused on the leadership roles of nurse executives. Eligible applicants must have a BSN, 3.0 minimum GPA, at least one year of work experience as a registered nurse, an unencumbered Texas RN license, and a completed undergraduate course in statistics.
#5 Midwestern State University
Midwestern State University, a medium public institution, offers an online Family Nurse Practitioner MSN program. This degree is suitable for graduates with a Bachelor's of Nursing who want to expand their skill sets in the field. A total of 48 credit hours are required to complete the course, which includes 24 hours of clinical work, 18 hours of nursing core courses, and six hours of thesis or project-based courses.
Out-of-state students can complete their clinical rotations locally with preceptor supervision. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Family Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam, and they are eligible to meet the Board of Nurse Examiners' needs for the state of Texas.
#6 Samuel Merritt University
Samuel Merritt University (SMU) is a small, private, non-profit. Applicants to the MSN - FNP must hold a bachelor's degree and a license to practice nursing in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, or Virginia. Once enrolled, students take courses in health assessment, pharmacology, and care management. In addition to completing 49 credit hours of coursework, MSN students must complete three clinical practicum semesters and attend two on-campus intensives in Sacramento. Full-time students may be able to finish in 20 months.
SMU students gain access to coursework and class discussions through Canvas, a digital learning platform. Academic advising, writing support, and career services are among the available resources.
#7 California State University - Dominguez Hills
California State University (CSU) - Dominguez Hills is a large, public university offering an online MSN program. This online degree requires the completion of 30-48 credit hours composed of core courses, role-specific classes, and practicums. Students can choose between five role-specific outcomes for their degree: (1) Clinical Nurse Specialist (Adult/Gerontology), (2) Clinical Nurse Specialist (Neonatal), (3) Clinical Nurse Specialist (Pediatric), (4) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), (5) Nurse Administrator, and (6) Nurse Educator.
All coursework done through Blackboard must be completed within five years after beginning the program. In addition, CSU students are required to have a California RN license and complete their clinical hours within the state of California.
#8 Mercy College
Mercy College, which is a medium-sized, private, non-profit, has earned the distinction of being a Hispanic-serving institution. RNs interested in furthering their careers in nursing management may be interested in Mercy's MSN Administration. On the other hand, RNs interested in becoming nurse educators may be interested in an MSN Education. Both programs require the completion of 36 credit hours and 120 practicum hours, and most students complete their degrees in 15 months.
Mercy graduate students use the Blackboard platform to access course materials and interact with peers and instructors. The school's student support services include academic advising, tutoring, and mental health counseling.
#9 Fairleigh Dickinson University
A medium-sized, private, non-profit college, Fairleigh Dickinson University's (FDU) Metropolitan Campus has earned the distinction of being a Hispanic-serving institution. FDU offers two MSN programs for licensed New Jersey State nurses: The MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) requires the completion of 37 credit hours and 650 clinical practicum hours to graduate, and the MSN - Nursing Education requires 35 credit hours and a one-semester practicum.
Although online nursing students at FDU enjoy the flexibility of independent online learning, they are encouraged to engage with peers in a supportive environment. The FDU Metropolitan Campus offers a number of student services, including counseling, tutoring, library access, and career development assistance.
#10 University of San Francisco
The private, non-profit University of San Francisco (USF) is a medium-sized school associated with the Catholic church. USF offers an MSN designed for both practicing RNs and bachelor's degree holders from other fields. Depending on their background, students are required to complete 33-38 credit hours. Most students take two years to fulfill the degree requirements, including an internship and practicum. With a focus on nursing leadership, the MSN program synthesizes concepts from the physical sciences, management, public health, and the humanities.
MSN students at USF use the Canvas learning platform to access course materials, complete assignments, and engage in class discussions. Tutoring and job placement assistance are among the student resources available.