9 Online RN to MSN Programs (And What You Should Know About Earning an MSN Online)

Online RN to MSN Programs may help you prepare for new professional goals in nursing, while bridging the gap in your education. For instance, RNs hoping to pursue an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) career generally need to earn an MSN. [i]online rn to msn programs; Nursing Student

RN to MSN Online Programs

Search our sponsored listings for accredited online RN to MSN programs designed for working RNs who have earned an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing.

9 Graduate Schools Offering Online RN to MSN Programs

We’ve partnered with grad schools offering online RN to MSN programs. Check them out, or simply fill out the form on this page to get matched with programs that may be perfect for you.

written by Shannon Fandler


1. Simmons College


Simmons is a private college located in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to their undergraduate programs, which have been offered for over a century, Simmons College is home to coeducational graduate programs in areas of study like nursing and health sciences, education, communications, social work, public health, and more.

Simmons offers a CCNE-accredited, accelerated RN to MSN program that may allow RNS to earn their master’s in as few as three years. The program includes research and clinical components, with a focus on FNP primary care nursing. One goal of the program is to help students prepare to take the family nurse practitioner (FNP) certification exam.

2. Nova Southeastern University


Nova Southeastern University is a private research university with several regional campuses in Florida and Puerto Rico. NSU offers 150 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas like healthcare, education, business, and much more. In addition to traditional programs, the university is home to flexible online programs that may be perfect for students with diverse backgrounds and goals.

NSU’s Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing offers a potential path for RNs to earn a Master of Science in Nursing with an included B.S.N. Depending on their career goals, students may choose from nonclinical or clinical M.S.N. tracks in areas like Nursing Informatics, Family Nurse Practitioner, Executive Nurse Leader, and others.

3. Grantham University


Grantham University is a fully online university, founded by WWII Veteran Donald Grantham. The university’s mission is to serve veterans and other nontraditional students, as they pursue new educational and professional goals. Grantham is home to both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas like Nursing & Allied Health, Engineering & Computer Science, Business, and more.

Grantham University’s College of Nursing & Allied Health offers a 100% online RN to MSN bridge program. Designed for RNs who have earned an associate degree in Nursing (ADN/ASN/AAS), the program incorporates 25 credits of undergraduate coursework before students go on to earn the MSN.

4. Sacred Heart University


Sacred Heart University (SHU) is a private university with roots in the Catholic intellectual tradition. They serve more than 8,000 students in 70+ degree programs, including nursing graduate studies. The university is located in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Sacred Heart is home to an online RN–BSN–MSN program, designed to combine BSN and MSN studies in the same course of study. The goal is to offer a potentially accelerated path to earning an MSN, for current RNs who hold either a diploma or an associate’s degree in nursing. Candidates can choose from three MSN specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nursing Management and Executive Leadership, and Nursing Education. Each specialization varies in terms of clinical practicum hours and other requirements.

5. Walden University


Walden is an accredited university focused on serving adult learners. They are home to online undergraduate and graduate programs in academic areas like nursing, health sciences, human services, criminal justice, and much more. They have been educating students for over 45 years.

Walden University offers several CCNE accredited MSN programs that offer several paths to earning the degree. The RN to MSN path is designed for RNs who have earned a hospital diploma, associate’s degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree other than a BSN. Among other requirements, applicants must have at least two years of work experience as an RN.

6. Grand Canyon University


Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private, Christian university founded in 1949. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, GCU is home to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in fields like nursing and healthcare, business, theology, and much more. In addition to traditional programming, they offer flexible online and evening courses.

The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at GCU offers several learning paths for RNs hoping to pursue further education. The BSN to MSN fast track path may be perfect for RNs who wish to earn both their BSN and MSN, in a potentially accelerated program. Students may choose an MSN emphasis, like Healthcare Informatics or Family Nurse Practitioner, and pursue two graduate-level courses from that emphasis as electives toward the BSN.

7. Bradley University


Bradley University is a private, independent university founded in 1897. Located in Peoria, Illinois, Bradley is home to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs across five colleges in fields like nursing and healthcare, business, theology, and much more. In addition to traditional programming, they offer flexible online and evening courses.

There are multiple nursing paths at Bradley University including a BSN to DNP track, a MSN to DNP Leadership track, a Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate and a RN to MSN program. 

8. South University


South University is a private institution based in Savannah, Georgia. They offer doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate’s degrees, in areas of study spanning nursing and public health, health professions, business, and more. They emphasize a philosophy of life-long learning and service to the community.

South University’s RN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner online program was designed to help RNs earn both a BSN and an MSN in one program. Students pursue a blend of online classes and clinical training and practicums in areas like gerontology, women’s health, pediatrics, and more. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

9. Purdue University Global


Purdue University Global is an accredited online institution of education. As part of the Purdue University system, Purdue Global is dedicated to offering high quality educational paths designed primarily for working adults. They offer over 180 online programs.

Purdue Global is home to a variety of online nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Programs offer multiple start dates and flexible learning paths, potentially perfect for students who need to balance their education with work and other responsibilities. Students may also choose from potential pathways in career-focused areas, like Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, and more.

Fun Fact

  • Get schooled in saving lives! APRN positions may require certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic life support (BLS), and/or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). [i]

3 Things You Should Know About Pursuing RN to MSN Online Programs

With healthcare careers projected to grow considerably in coming years [ii], pursuing new educational and professional goals in nursing may be the ideal move, even for busy nurses. Online MSN programs are available from accredited schools and in a variety of concentrations – including programs specific to your intended career path, like RN to MSN NP online programs or online RN to MSN FNP programs. Because of their flexibility, these programs may be great for working RNs.

However, if your past education took place on campus, online learning is probably brand new to you. Here are just a few things you may want to know before getting started on RN to MSn Online Programs :

1. Accreditation Counts. Online RN to MSN programs may share many things in common with traditional programs, including accreditation. One accrediting organization to keep an eye out for is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which accredits qualifying online programs as well as traditional ones. Graduating from an accredited program may be a requirement for your nursing career [i], so make sure your online program fits the bill.

2. You May Still Need to Show Up in Person. You chose online learning for its flexibility and convenience. But, you’re also committed to pursuing a comprehensive nursing education, which may mean pursuing some in-person preparation. Many online RN to MSN programs, including rn to msn bridge programs online, feature clinicals or practicums in addition to online courses, so students can potentially take part in hands-on experiences under the supervision of experts.

3. You Might Be Able to Choose Your Pace. Interested in potentially earning your MSN as quickly as you can? Some nursing schools offer accelerated RN to MSN programs online, which may allow persevering RNs to pursue their coursework in a shorter amount of time. For example, Capella University offers a FlexPath option, which lets eligible students work at a pace that’s perfect for their needs and ambitions.

Find partner universities in the table below that offer RN to MSN online programs.

List of Online RN to MSN Programs

Graduate SchoolRN to MSN Online Programs Offered
1. Simmons CollegeRN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
2. Nova Southeastern UniversityRN to MSN's : Nursing Informatics, Nursing Education, Executive Nurse Leadership
3. Grantham UniversityRN to MSN Bridge Program
4. Sacred HeartRN-BSN-MSN's : Clinical Nurse Leader, Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
5. Walden UniversityMSN's : Leadership & Management (RN Track), Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (RN Track)
6. Grand Canyon UniversityMSN's : Public Health (Bridge), Nursing Education (Bridge), Health Care Informatics (Bridge)
7. Bradley UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration (RN to MSN)
8. South UniversityRN to MSN - Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner
9. Purdue University GlobalAccelerated BSN to MSN


Search for Graduate Schools with Online RN to MSN Programs

See a program or school that interests you? Click to learn more and request information! Or, simply fill out the form on this page to get matched with RN to MSN programs online. Have other needs like Direct Entry MSN Programs or Nursing Masters Programs with High Acceptance Rates?  You can find those as well!

[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-4

[ii] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm

  • Other programs available: Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, Nursing Leadership
  • Online degrees in business, counseling, education, health administration, human services, information technology, nursing, public health, psychology and social work.
  • 97% of alumni agree FlexPath provided the flexibility they needed to pursue their degree (Alumni Outcomes Survey 2017)
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