BSN to MSN Master's Degree

If you have an existing bachelor's degree in nursing, there are many options for you to convert it into a master's degree. This article shows you how to quickly and efficiently earn your master's degree with the right programs. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Find a BSN-to-MSN Degree Program?

BSN-to-MSN programs can be found at colleges and universities around the nation. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) establishes standards for bachelor's and master's degree programs in nursing education. Through the AACN, you can find a direct-contact list of more than 660 member schools of nursing, organized by state. The AACN recommends that you contact the individual schools regarding undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programs they offer.

Degree LevelMaster's
Program Length2-3 years depending on educational background
Program FormatsOnline or in-class
Specialty AreasEducation, administration, anesthesia, neonatal nursing, pediatric nursing
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 16% (for all registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Types of Programs Available?

Depending on the school, a BSN-to-MSN program can take 2-3 years for you to complete. For example, a 3-year accelerated program requires that you hold a diploma or associate's degree in nursing and be a licensed RN. In this case, you're actually admitted to the graduate school, but complete courses that fulfill both BSN and MSN requirements. Typical courses can include health assessment, research methods, pathophysiology, pharmacology, patient management and concepts of professional nursing.

There is also a 2-year BSN-to-MSN program that requires you to hold a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school and be a licensed RN. This type of program can consist of 21 credits, and it may be pursued on a part-time basis.

If you hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing but are interested in becoming a nurse, you may qualify for a third type of program. For two years, you complete core-nursing courses leading to a BSN. You may be required to complete this portion of the program on a full-time basis. Graduation qualifies you to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Once you become licensed, you must complete the requirements for the MSN portion of the program. Some schools give you the option of completing this portion full- or part-time. Some programs offer a number of courses online; however, clinical practicum experiences require on-site participation.

What Are Some Common Specialties?

During the master's degree portion of your program, you're generally given the chance to specialize. You establish a concentration that prepares you for positions such as nurse midwife, family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, neonatal nurse, nurse administrator, nursing educator, gerontology nurse or pediatric nurse.

How Is the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for qualified nurses in healthcare professions is one of the most quickly growing in the country. Although opportunities may vary by specialty or geographical area, the overall employment outlook for all registered nurses is excellent. The BLS projected that from 2014-2024, employment for registered nurses is expected to grow 16%.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master

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  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

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  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    • Master

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  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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