Accelerated MSN Programs

By building on previous learning experience, accelerated MSN programs, or Master of Science in Nursing programs, are a top opportunity for students who have earned a non-nursing bachelor’s degree enter the healthcare field with an advanced degree.

Normally, these programs are intensive and designed for full-time students with no summer breaks so that you may earn your degree as quickly as possible.

Continue reading to learn all about best components of accelerated MSN degrees and check out 9 universities that offer the degree.

List of Accelerated MSN Programs

Graduate SchoolExample Degrees Awarded
1. UPennDirect Entry BSN-MSN
2. EmoryAccelerated BSN to MSN
3. DrexelMSN Nursing Education, MSN Nursing Innovation, MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
4. Sacred HeartRN-BSN-MSN: Nurse Education, RN-BSN-MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
5. Johns HopkinsMSN in Health Systems Management
6. Grand Canyon UniversityMSN Health Care Informatics, MSN Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
7. Indiana WesleyanMSN Nursing Education, MSN - Nursing Administration
8. Liberty UniversityMSN Nursing Administration, MSN Nurse Educator
9. FDUMSN Adult Gerontology, MS NFamily Nurse Practitioner

What Is an Accelerated MSN Program?

Accelerated MSN programs are also referred to as direct entry nursing programs. These innovative nursing degrees combine a BSN and an MSN in about four years of study by using credits earned in a non-nursing degree and only focusing on nursing requirements.Accelerated MSN Programs

However, every school has unique offerings. For instance, some schools offer bridge programs such as an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) to MSN. Others are RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN to MSN.  Some schools offer accelerated msn degree programs online as well. 

All of these degrees are academically equivalent to a traditional MSN and, if you’d like, you can continue your education and pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice. If you’re confused, take the time to understand the difference between a DNP vs NP.

Did You Know?

There were 38,560 master’s degrees awarded in Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, and Nursing Research in 2015.i

9 Accelerated MSN Programs

Below are 9 universities that offer accelerated MSN programs. Keep in mind that they are in no particular order and that each school has unique admissions requirements.

Therefore, be sure to check out each of the sponsored listings below for more information about the schools, their MSN program, and specific admissions requirements. In addition, many of these schools offer various concentrations that may not all be listed.

1. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

With more than 10,000 undergraduates and an additional 10,000 students in the world-renowned graduate and professional schools, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies.

The School of Nursing at UPenn consistently ranks among the best in the world with a curriculum that merges the scientific basis for healthcare with clinical experience.


Among a number of Graduate Nursing Programs, UPenn offers an accelerated Direct Entry BSN-MSN, which is designed for students interested in an advanced practice nursing degree and who know which MSN specialty they’d like to pursue.

2. Emory University

As a top-ranked institution, Emory University is internationally recognized for its outstanding liberal arts education. Plus, Emory has one of the world’s leading healthcare systems and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

With more than 500 students enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and continuing education programs, Emory offers a variety of Graduate Nursing Programs. Plus, the School of Nursing was ranked as the #4 graduate nursing school by U.S. News and World Report in 2018.

The accelerated BSN to MSN provides a fast track for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in other disciplines.

3. Drexel University

With roughly 25,000 students, Drexel University is one of America’s 15 largest private universities. Plus, their unique approach to education sets students up for future success and the school is committed to becoming the “most civically engaged university in the United States”.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has been educating nurses and health professionals for more than 100 years. One of their programs is the dual accelerated RN/BSN/MSN which is designed for students with a bachelor’s in a subject other than nursing.

Some of the concentrations for an MSN at Drexel include:

4. Sacred Heart University

At Sacred Heart University, the true worth of your experience won’t be measured by the number of facts you acquire. Instead, the school believes that inquiry, pursuing knowledge and intelligent reflection create greater opportunities.

The College of Nursing at SHU offers a comprehensive philosophy, individualized student counseling, and hands-on clinical practice. The accelerated nursing programs offer a number of concentrations to focus your curriculum, which include:

5. Johns Hopkins University

Founded on the principle that by pursuing big ideas and sharing what we learn will make the world a better place, Johns Hopkins University is driven by curiosity. In addition, JHU reaches nearly every corner of the globe by conducting research, training, and related activities in more than 150 countries.

JHU offers nursing programs focused on an interdisciplinary approach, including the Master of Nursing in Science (MSN) in Health Systems Management, which is one of the majors you can pursue while earning an accelerated MSN.

6. Grand Canyon University

As Arizona’s premier private Christian institution, Grand Canyon University has been the gateway to success for countless scholars and industry leaders. Their commitment to a Christian worldview is carried out in a loving way that teaches the next generation of working professionals to enjoy the complete university experience.

As healthcare grows increasingly complex, GCU offers a variety of nursing degrees fit for those at any stage of learning who want to become nurses, including accelerated MSN degrees. Some of these programs are:

7. Indiana Wesleyan University

Founded in 1920, Indiana Wesleyan University is a Christian comprehensive university committed to liberal arts and professional education. Now, with nearly 3,000 enrolled students, Indiana Wesleyan is an energized community committed to changing the world.

Among the seven MSN programs at IWU, including an accelerated MSN, are concentrations such as:

8. Liberty University

Offering a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, Liberty University teaches the values, knowledge, and skills you’ll need for success in every aspect of life. In addition, Liberty has been a pioneer in distance education since 1985 and offers exceptional resources to online students.

The accelerated MSN degree at Liberty is designed for RNs who are looking to jumpstart their career. 100% online, this program also allows you to transfer up to 75 hours of previous college credit.

Some of the available concentrations for the MSN at Liberty include:

9. Fairleigh Dickinson University

As the largest private university in New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University is a not-for-profit, nonsectarian, multicampus institution that was founded in 1942. With more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees available, FDU has more than 11,500 students.

FDU offers an accelerated nursing program that, upon completion of an Associate Degree and passage of the NCLEX examination, will award a minimum of 66 credits toward BSN and MSN degrees.

When pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), there are six concentrations available for you to choose from, including:

  • Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Information Systems

Benefits of Accelerated Nursing Programs

Some of the benefits of earning an accelerated MSN through an accelerated MSN program include:

  • May earn BSN and MSN in less time
  • Earn advanced degree quickly
  • Qualify for NCLEX (if not already an RN)
  • Choose concentration for focused curriculum
  • Many programs are completely online
  • Learn strong leadership skills

How Long Do Accelerated MSN Programs Take?

Most accelerated MSN programs take less than three years to complete. However, depending on whether you attend a direct entry program, you may need to also earn your BSN, which may take anywhere between 11 and 18 months in an accelerated program.

Common Admissions Requirements

While every school has unique requirements, some of the most common admissions criteria include:

  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE scores

Keep in mind that some schools are stricter than others and may have different admission requirements. For instance, some universities require that you have earned a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Other schools may not have any GPA requirement, or have one that’s much lower. For instance, there are a number of graduate schools that accept a low GPA and graduate schools that don’t require a letter of recommendation.

Did You Know?

Established in 1862, the New England Hospital for Women and Children was the first school for nursing in the United States.

Find the Perfect Accelerated MSN Program for You Today!

Check out any of the sponsored listings on this page, including the partner schools in the table above to learn how you can earn an accelerated MSN. Or, complete the form on this page to get matched to the perfect program for you!


[i] datausa.io/profile/cip/5138/#demographics

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