MSN Accelerated Degree Programs

If you have a bachelor's degree in nursing or another field and wish to pursue a master's in nursing, there are several accelerated programs that can help you achieve your goals.

How to Apply for an Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing Degree Program

  • Degree Requirements: Accelerated Master of Science programs in nursing require an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. There are programs for students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a non-nursing bachelor's degree.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exams) Scores: GRE scores of no less than 5 years old are often required at the graduate admission level, but some schools offering MSN programs either have no GRE requirement or waive the GRE in lieu of a master's degree having already been earned.
  • Prerequisites: Applicants without a bachelor's degree in the nursing discipline will likely need to complete prerequisite courses like human anatomy and physiology, statistics, nutrition, and microbiology.
  • GPA: For schools requiring a GPA, a minimum 3.0 is a standard requirement.

General Course Requirements for a Master of Science in Nursing Degree

Graduates with a master's in nursing science aren't only academically adept nurses, but they are also equipped to be leaders in their field. Their roles can range from nurse practitioners to nurse informatics specialists to clinical nurse researchers, and the curricula offered in accelerated master's programs in nursing science reflect this diversity and the broad knowledge base required to succeed.

Advanced Pharmacology

As with many master's courses in nursing, advance pharmacology classes build upon previous coursework and address various health issues across the lifespan. Evidence-based pharmacological modalities, to include alternatives to pharmaceutical intervention, are covered in this coursework. Drug classification, drug use in clinical settings, and patient-specific drug administration are also topics focused upon in pharmacology studies.

Advanced Health Assessment

Learning to differentiate between normal and abnormal findings utilizing advanced assessment techniques is the essence of coursework in advanced health assessment. Students learn techniques to understand diagnostic results and use that understanding to make evidence-based diagnoses. Students must learn to interpret data in order to promote health and prevent and manage diseases.


Expanding on foundational knowledge from previous studies and clinical experience, pathophysiology courses may focus on individual organ systems, as well as the whole body, to better understand each system's functions and the effects of pathogens on those systems. Core and advanced knowledge of the human body down to the cellular level facilitate an awareness of how the systems of the body should optimally function. This knowledge is used to predict pathological processes and manage them in order to restore and manage the patient's health. Communication techniques may also be addressed to enable nurse practitioners to best communicate with fellow staff, patients, and their families.


Technology is everywhere and healthcare settings are no exception. Nurse practitioners benefit from understanding how to manage data as well as how to interpret and understand the information that databases provide. Database design and data query may be covered, and students may explore data science studies and clinical prediction models.

Leadership & Management

Being a leader and managing people can be complex work in any setting, and the healthcare setting has its own specific rules of engagement. Nursing leaders will need to communicate effectively while navigating healthcare and organizational policy and juggling managerial decision-making skills. Coursework in nursing leadership and management should ready students to assume multiple roles as nurse practitioners, including financial management, while improving overall patient outcomes and quality of care.

Advanced Primary Care

From gerontology and adolescent care, to prenatal and preconception care, advanced primary care classes offer specialty training in providing care specific to each developmental timeline. Chronic and acute health concerns in adult populations, disease prevention, and healthcare promotion at the pediatric to adolescent ages are amongst the topics explored. Students may also explore the role of the family on overall health.

Both novices and nurse professionals will find that there are a number of schools offering accelerated programs to earn a master's degree in nursing science in an average of 15-24 months of full-time study. The expansive coursework prepares graduates to be well informed and broad minded in their holistic care of a diversity of patients across the lifespan, while also providing graduates with the skillset to be leaders in healthcare settings and wellness advocates.

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:

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.

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