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RN to MSN Programs

About RN to MSN Programs

No matter the field, students who earn a masters degree in their area of specialty gain additional expertise in their subject and a qualification that is extremely useful for career advancement. This is true even in nursing. A masters degree is not usually required to become a registered nurse (RN); in fact, students can attain sufficient preparation to the take the National Council Licensure Examination for nursing certification (NCLEX-RN) with a diploma or associates degree, depending on state requirements. Yet while such degrees and certification as an RN are enough to qualify nurses for many different entry-level positions, leadership positions are all but closed off completely to those who do not have a master of science in nursing (MSN). Those who are already registered nurses, however, have an advantage in getting their masters degree. That is because there are many RN to MSN programs that allow registered nurses to earn their MSN degree quickly.


Both RN to MSN traditional programs and RN to MSN online programs are structured to allow students to make the most of their existing nursing experience. Students who are already working in the field will find certain courses and internship requirements overly repetitive and unnecessary in a normal MSN program. Normal MSN programs are designed for those who have little to no nursing experience, so the courses are designed as if the students have never performed any nursing tasks at all. Such a design is perfectly fine — and even preferable — for those who do not yet have extensive nursing experience. An RN to MSN program, however, understands that such a design is not optimal for those who already know what nursing entails and have the basic knowledge required for fulfilling this role in the medical profession.

RN to MSN online programs and traditional, on-campus RN to MSN programs both emphasize the acquisition of leadership skills, while maintaining and improving basic nursing techniques. It is advantageous for those who are already working as a nurse, especially RN to MSN nursing degrees online, as many of these degree programs can be structured around an already busy working schedule. Unlike accelerated programs that usually require students not to work at all outside of the classroom, RN to MSN degrees sometimes allow students to enroll as students and maintain their outside work in the nursing field. Of course, students who work and study at the same time will be putting themselves through a lot. But the pain is short-lived and worth it when all is said and done.

RN to MSN degree programs will require students to possess a bachelors degree already. Some schools will allow students to enroll for a probationary period if they do not have the degree, but they will pick up their undergraduate qualification along the way. In such cases, the program length will generally be longer, but that is because of the extra degree. Students who want more information on this RN to MSN degree option should contact the school of their choice for more specifics on the degree and its structure.

Featured Accredited Online RN to MSN Schools

Take your career to a whole new level with a degree from Everest Institute. Programs available in Accounting, Paralegal, Business Administration and more.
Grow, lead, succeed - with an online graduate degree Keiser University Graduate School provides student-centered, quality career education that enables you to make an immediate contribution to your profession. For over 35 years, Keiser University's commitment to excellence has led to success for our graduates. Our unique combination of a strong curriculum rich in relevant courses for today’s workforce and our students-first approach provides an outstanding academic experience. Become part of a caring, learning environment, whether online or on campus, led by experienced faculty who bring you real-world challenges and solutions.
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree online at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.
Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs that can be completed 100% online. Degree programs are available in the fields of education, nursing and health sciences, business, fine arts and production, and liberal arts.
Grantham University's 100% accredited online degrees are convenient, portable and designed so you can fit education into your life instead of arranging life around your education. 
Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.
An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. We serve more than 36,000 students from the U.S. and around the world and offer more than 140 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 20 certificate programs.
Take your career to a whole new level with a degree from Everest Institute. Programs available in Accounting, Paralegal, Business Administration and more.
Grow, lead, succeed - with an online graduate degree Keiser University Graduate School provides student-centered, quality career education that enables you to make an immediate contribution to your profession. For over 35 years, Keiser University's commitment to excellence has led to success for our graduates. Our unique combination of a strong curriculum rich in relevant courses for today’s workforce and our students-first approach provides an outstanding academic experience. Become part of a caring, learning environment, whether online or on campus, led by experienced faculty who bring you real-world challenges and solutions.
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree online at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.
Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs that can be completed 100% online. Degree programs are available in the fields of education, nursing and health sciences, business, fine arts and production, and liberal arts.
Grantham University's 100% accredited online degrees are convenient, portable and designed so you can fit education into your life instead of arranging life around your education. 
Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.
An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. We serve more than 36,000 students from the U.S. and around the world and offer more than 140 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 20 certificate programs.
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