Online Master's Degree in Nursing - (BSN to MSN)

Learn more about online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs that can prepare you for management roles or to teach nursing. Read on to find out more about classes and career options and get an idea of your earning potential, too. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Can I Earn a BSN to MSN Online?

Online MSN programs are offered at a number of accredited U.S. universities. Distance-learning programs often offer many of the same resources as traditional programs, including career and academic counseling. For online study, you'll need access to the Internet and a computer that meets minimum technical requirements. Some schools will require that you hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, while others may allow you to enroll with only an RN license.

Program Requirements Computer that meets school's technical standards, internet connection, RN licensure and usually a nursing bachelor's degree
CurriculumAdvanced nursing techniques, nursing leadership, medical theory and more; clinical experiences typically required
Job ProspectsSupervisory RN, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator
Potential Salary (2014) $66,640 for RNs (median)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Jobs Could I Get?

With an MSN, you could continue working as an RN and pursue advanced or supervisory positions. If your program offers specialized training in a particular area of nursing, such as psychiatric mental-health nursing, you could work as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. You also could work as a nursing educator, teaching nursing classes at universities, colleges or healthcare facilities; however, some teaching positions might require a doctoral degree.

What Classes Could I Take?

MSN degree programs take 2-3 years to complete and cover advanced nursing techniques, advanced medical theory and research methodologies. You also may be required to complete clinical rotations. Most programs culminate in either a comprehensive exam or a research-based thesis project, both of which are usually overseen by an adviser. Additionally, your school may offer areas of specialty, including gerontology, pediatrics, family practice nursing or nursing education. The curriculum will vary depending on the concentration you pursue. The following are examples of classes in which you could enroll:

  • Nursing pedagogy
  • Applied healthcare decision making
  • Community health principles
  • Evidence-based nursing
  • Health information systems
  • Nursing leadership
  • Medical writing
  • Healthcare statistics

What Salary Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs earned a median salary of $66,640 as of 2014. The BLS also reported that employment opportunities for RNs are expected to grow 16% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than average.

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:

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