#1 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.
#2 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.
#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 University
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.
#11 United States University
United States University (USU) in San Diego, California, is a private, for-profit institution offering an online MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) grounded in the Caring Science model that teaches theoretical and evidence-based nursing and best practices for promoting the health of individuals, families, and communities. While most of this program is online, one four-day face-to-face immersion is required. Full-time students may complete this 48-credit program in two years. Similar programs include an online MSN - Health Care Leadership and an online MSN - Nurse Educator.
USU uses the Desire2Learn (D2) learning management system to deliver its online curriculum to distance learners. Online MSN-FNP students take courses such as Health Promotion, Education and Disease Prevention Across the Lifespan; Common Illnesses Across the Lifespan; Primary Health of Acute Clients/Families Across the Lifespan; and Primary Healthcare of Chronic Clients/Families Across the Lifespan. A practicum and clinical residency are also required to graduate.
#12 University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Public University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV) is an Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander, and Hispanic-serving institution offering an online MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Generalist tracks. Most coursework is completed online. However, this program requires two-day, on-campus orientation sessions at the beginning of each fall semester and five other on-campus sessions. Students complete between 33 and 46 credits, depending on the track, which takes about two years of full-time attendance.
UNLV delivers online coursework and instruction via Blackboard, Canvas, and Kannu. Depending on the track, courses in the online MSN program include Family Theory and Health Promotion, Teaching and Learning in Nursing Education, Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan, and Professional Issues in Midwifery Practice. In addition to coursework, a practicum is required to graduate.
#13 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
The Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (BUP) is a public institution offering an online MSN - Nurse Practitioner (MSN - NP) in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner, depending on career interests. Graduating requires 45-54 credits, generally taking two to three years of full-time attendance depending on the specialty, and includes a practicum. These online programs meet the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC’s) certification-eligibility requirements to sit for the exam.
BUP uses Brightspace for online curriculum delivery. Depending on the specialty, MSN distance learners may enroll in courses such as Comprehensive Assessment of the Older Adult, Diagnosis and Management of Children & Pregnant Women, Family Theory Across the Lifespan, and Community Assessment and Planning.
#14 Azusa Pacific University
California’s Azusa Pacific University (APU) is a faith-based, Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander, and Hispanic-serving institution offering an online MSN - Nursing Education to fill the ongoing need for qualified educators who specialize in training the next generation of nurses. Students complete 37 credits, which generally takes them at least two years of full-time study. This online MSN program also helps prepare students to sit for the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam. An online MSN - Healthcare Administration and Leadership is also available for students interested in preparing for career advancement outside of academia.
APU uses Canvas to deliver its online programming to distance learners. Online MSN - Nurse Education program courses include Theories of Teaching and Instruction, Teaching and Learning Strategies for Nursing Education, and Leadership and Role Development in Nursing Education. Students complete a clinical practicum and a comprehensive exam to graduate.
#15 Northeastern University Global Network
The Northeastern University Global Network (NUGN) based in Boston is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online MSN in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for nurses interested in providing advanced care to the tiniest, youngest, and most vulnerable patients. Graduating requires completing 41 credits, which generally takes two years of full-time attendance and three years of part-time attendance.
Other available programs include an online MSN in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, an online MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner, and an MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
NUGN delivers its online curriculum via Canvas. MSN Neonatal Nurse Practitioner students may participate in courses such as Advanced Health Assessment of the Neonate and Infant, Neonatal Pharmacology, and Nursing Management: Critically Ill Neonatal. This online MSN program also requires a practicum to graduate.
#16 University of Alaska Anchorage
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), which is a medium-sized, public university, offers an MSN with four possible concentrations. Students in the clinical practice track can specialize as an FNP or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), while students in the leadership track can focus on either nursing education or administration. Most students need two to three years to complete the graduation requirements, which include on-site clinical hours as well as several short courses held on the Anchorage campus.
UAA's online MSN includes both synchronous and asynchronous courses delivered via the Blackboard platform. Student resources include academic advising and career preparation services.
#17 West Coast University
West Coast University (WCU) is a private, for-profit institution offering an online RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner through its California and Texas campuses. While most coursework is completed online, some in-person campus work is required to graduate. Students must complete 135 credits. They may choose from an accelerated program, which takes approximately three years to complete, or a working professional-paced program that takes about four years. Additionally, WCU offers an online MSN - Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and an online MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner.
Blackboard is WCU’s learning management system for online program delivery. Online RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner courses include Ethics in Healthcare, Public Health Nursing, Advanced Clinical Concepts, Pathophysiology, and Principles of Leadership for Healthcare Organizations. Two culminating experience courses are also required.
#18 Gonzaga University
Washington’s Gonzaga University (GU) is a private, Catholic institution near Spokane offering an online MSN with Nursing Leadership in Healthcare (NLH), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) tracks. GU also offers an online RN to MSN program. Each track requires 30-47 credits, taking students between three and four years to complete on average. While coursework is primarily online, tracks may require an on-campus immersion at some time during the program.
GU uses Canvas and Blackboard for online coursework and instruction delivery. Depending on the track, MSN distance learners participate in classes such as Clinical Prevention for Diverse Populations, Leadership and Human Potential, Theoretical Foundations for Healthcare Improvement, and Psychopharmacology. Students also need to complete a practicum to earn their online master's in nursing.
#19 Wilkes University
Wilkes University (WU) in Pennsylvania is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) to MSN - Nurse Practitioner with concentrations in Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, and Psychiatric/Mental Health based on career goals. This online degree does not grant a BSN. Based on the concentration, graduating requires completing 51 to 54 credits and a practicum, taking full-time students three to four years. An academic advisor can help determine if more credits are required.
WU’s distance learners access D2L to participate in class and receive instruction. Those enrolled in the online RN to MSN program may take courses such as Psychopathology, Theories and Advanced Clinical Modalities, Diagnostic Reasoning for Nurse Practitioners, and The Work of Nursing Leaders in Healthcare.
#20 University of Connecticut
Considered a “Public Ivy” because of its prestige and high-quality educational programming, the University of Connecticut (UConn) is a public institution offering an online MSN - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) for experienced neonatal nurses interested in career advancement. Students complete most coursework online except for two on-campus visits required during the program to facilitate simulation experiences. Graduating requires completing 44 credits, generally taking full-time students two years.
UConn uses Blackboard to deliver its online coursework and instruction to distance learners. Online MSN-NNP courses include Nursing Science and Patterns of Knowing, Statistical Methods in Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice to Advance Clinical Scholarship, and Health Policy and Populations-Based Advocacy for The Scholarship of Application.
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