United States Campus MSN Programs & Nursing MSN Schools

Many MSN Nursing schools offer on-campus Master of Science in Nursing programs. MSN programs prepare nurses to pursue careers in nurse education, nurse informatics, nurse administration and as advanced practice nurses. Along with that, you may find some MSN schools offer unique areas of emphasis or have programs aimed at nurses with a specific level of experience. Or, that a certain school has an affiliation with a teaching hospital or research facility. Consequently, it can help to have a game plan to help you land on the right program for your needs. 

Campus MSN Programs Information

What to Look for in MSN Nursing Schools

Nurses about to embark on a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program should check that the MSN nursing schools on their list are accredited. This is in part because qualified students in institutions or programs accredited by a USDE-recognized agency are eligible for federal financial aid assistance and other needed resources. Many universities that offer the MSN degree are regionally accredited, which is a good start. To that end, there are six regional agencies that are recognized by the Department of Education.

DID YOU KNOW? Per the BLS, overall, job opportunities for advanced practice registered nurses are likely to be excellent.i

 

What Is the Accreditation That a Nursing School Should Have?

On top of that, an individual Master of Science in Nursing program may be accredited by a professional accreditor. One of possible advantages to an accredited nursing graduate program is that it has passed through a kind of scrutiny, and received a ‘stamp of approval’. Two well-known accreditors of nursing schools are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). A third is the National League for Nursing (NLN)

About CCNE-Accreditation

The CCNE is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and works to ensure the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

About ACEN-Accreditation

The ACEN is recognized as an accreditor for all types of nursing education by both the USDE and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Its scope extends to certificates, diplomas, or recognized professional degrees (clinical doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, associate, diploma, and practical nursing).

About NLC-Accreditation

The NLN’s accreditation services is represented by the NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA). The NLN CNEA may accredit nursing programs across the academic spectrum including LPN/LVN, diploma, associate, bachelor, masters, and clinical doctorate degree programs, as a U.S. Department of Education designated accreditor.

Match Your MSN to Career Plans

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program builds on the Bachelor of Science degree with an upper-division focus in nursing. It generally highlights research, theory, and practice. Add to that, many MSN Nursing Schools offer various areas of emphasis that may help to shape the next phase of a career. Whether you want to stay in patient-care or move into management, look at a school from the point of view of a current or future nursing niche. Here are a few examples.

  • Mind-Body-Spirit Healthcare
  • Forensic Nursing
  • Executive Nurse Leader
  • Health Care Informatics
  • Dual Adult Gerontology/Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Dual Pediatric Nurse/Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Check Out a Course of Study

While MSN Nursing schools may offer programs with similar credit requirements, you should look at a course syllabus to see if there are unique classes. Will you be able to personalize your program to align with your interests? Or, is the university known for any specific research projects or point of view? For instance, you might want to focus on healthcare policy because you see yourself employed in a community setting or public health department.

Post Masters Programs

MSN nursing schools may also offer post-masters nursing certificates that add on to existing credentials. These sometimes entail about five thematic courses on one area, such as nurse education. This could be a great way to further expand and focus your studies.

Location, Location, Location

Are you looking for MSN Nursing Schools in a specific city, state or country? Be sure that the schools you apply to are accessible to you. Also, consider class schedules. Does the school offer a schedule of classes that you can get to easily and seems to fit with your life and other duties? Many MSN nursing schools offer night or weekend courses to accomodate working nurses. Finally consider what campus facilities might be accessible to you. Labs, libraries and on campus clinics may be a great way to enhance your studies.

What Types of Campus MSN Programs Are There?

Traditional MSN programs may require nurses to have two basic things. A current RN license and a BSN degree. These Masters of Science in Nursing programs often take the average student about 2 years to complete. Some of the program objectives include those listed below.

  • Build, lead and collaborate with inter-professional care teams
  • Design innovative nursing practices
  • Translate evidence (science, research) into practice

MSN: Entry into Nursing

Do you have a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing field? Some MSN schools offer a program called ‘direct entry’ or ‘entry into nursing’. These graduate programs are designed for the individual who wants to pursue a nursing career and earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). While they may entail some prerequisite courses such as anatomy, biology and statistics, students in these programs accelerate past the BSN. In fact, they often prepare students to take the NCLEX exam after they complete their program.

RN to MSN Programs

Are you a registered nurse with an associates degree of diploma in nursing? An RN to MSN program may allow you to complete a combination of bachelors and masters courses in about 150 credits. These sometimes come as two-fold programs in which students first complete an undergraduate nursing certificate before they apply to the MSN portion of the program.

BSN-DNP Programs

Do you want both the MSN and DNP degrees? If so, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing degree program fast forwards past the Master of Science of Nursing degree, even though it includes those higher-level courses. This type of program may be worth it if you want to go all the way into leadership and/or a highly technical field such as Nurse Anesthesia. In this case, your program not only covers coursework, but also, all the clinical hours required to fulfill the degree requirements. 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNS)

A master's degree in nursing is the academic core that allows advanced practice nurses to work as nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, certified clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse anesthetists.

Find Accredited Nursing Schools with Campus MSN Programs.

While many accredited universities offer online MSN programs, a campus program offers the most in-person interaction with faculty and classmates. These could be other nurses who share your passion, future co-workers, or potential mentors. As a human-centered field, it might feel most natural to refine your nursing skills amongst others and take part in a community of students committed to the same goals.

Additionally, MSN nursing schools often provide students with additional opportunites for hands on learning. Many have onsite laboratories, clinics and other facilities for demonstrations and simulations. They may also have partnerships with area hospitals for students seeking internships or clinical experience. Not to mention the more traditoinal campus perks of libraries, career services and more. Schools vary, so follow up with your preferred program to see what resources might be available.

Take the Next Step

Read about and easily compare sponsored MSN Nursing schools on our directory. You can filter by city, state or country to pinpoint various schools in one area. When you find a program that sounds great, contact the school right away with the on-page form.  


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

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