Online ADN to MSN Degree Programs

ADN to MSN programs enable nurses with an associate's degree in nursing to directly purse a Master of Science in Nursing. Many schools offer these programs online and may allow students to choose a focus track within their curriculum.

Online ADN to MSN Programs

Online ADN to MSN programs consist of online instruction and clinical practice which can typically be conducted at sites that are local to students. These programs have a bridge requirement which can involve one or several undergraduate bridge courses. Bridges may consist of 12 hours or 24 hours and prepare associate's degree graduates for graduate level coursework. Programs may be completed in around two years of full-time study and may include some of the courses listed below.

Advanced Health Assessment

Advanced health assessment courses explore methods for patient examinations and how to identify normal and abnormal findings. Students learn advanced methods for assessments, analysis, and diagnosis. Within these courses, students may also develop skills for health promotion and disease prevention.

Women's Care

Women's care courses provide a deeper overview of advanced nursing practice for women, and may include midwife/childbearing topics. Courses typically cover topics such as reproductive health, female anatomy, and health issues that may be more common in women. Students should come away from these courses with the skills to effectively treat female patients of all ages including those who are pregnant.

Population-Based Care

In population-based care courses, students explore principles and practices of health maintenance and promotion to improve patient health. They often emphasize health promotion and disease prevention by populations, especially those which are at a higher risk for illness. Courses may also discuss population-based environments of care such as communities, schools, and workplaces.

Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement

Classes in evidence-based practice and quality improve explore how research can improve patient care. Many courses will discuss how care has been improved by finding and applying evidence to practice methods. Students will learn how to find applicable and reliable information and how to analyze that information in order to improve healthcare. Courses may involve one or more research assignments requiring students to solve a theoretical or real-world issue in nursing or healthcare.

Advanced Pharmacology

Advanced pharmacology courses explore pharmaceuticals and their applications in advanced nursing. Students become familiar with common pharmaceuticals as well as their uses and limitations. Students should develop an understanding of common treatment methods used in acute and primary care for various health concerns across all ages.

Admittance Requirements for Online ADN to MSN Programs

Students interested in completing an ADN to MSN program typically need to be licensed RNs with some work experience, and must have an associate's degree in nursing. Programs may require students to have earned a B or a GPA of 3.0 on their ADN coursework and completed prerequisites such as anatomy, English, and statistics. Some programs may require students to complete an entrance exam, such as the GRE, if their previous GPA is below a certain level. Other requirements typically include an essay of purpose, professional references or letters of recommendation, and copies of applicable transcripts, test scores, and licenses.

What Can You Do with a Master of Science in Nursing?

While some ADN to MSN programs may have a general nursing or general advanced nursing curriculum, many feature concentration options for a more focused career preparation. These concentrations may include nursing administration, nursing education, clinical nurse specialist roles (CNS), and nurse practitioner roles (NP); CNS and NP concentrations are often relevant to specific populations; for example, family, adult/gerontology, psychiatric/mental health, women's health or midwifery, and some tracks may also specify acute care or primary care. Employers typically prefer graduates with a concentration in the role that they are applying for.

Nurse Midwife

Nurse midwives may work as primary care providers to women or as a collaborative care provider. They may provide services including gynecological examinations, family planning, delivery, prenatal care, and surgical assistance during labor when needed. Nurse midwives need at least a master's degree in nursing with preference given to those who have a women's health or midwifery concentration.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners work in multi-provider practices and primary care facilities providing advanced nursing and primary care to patients. Many nurse practitioners work with specific populations such as pediatrics or elderly. Applicants must have a master's degree in nursing in the field that they are applying. For example, to work as a pediatric nurse practitioner an applicant may need to have an MSN with a pediatric NP concentration.

Medical/Health Services Manager

Medical and health services managers may manage facilities, small practices, or departments. Employers may prefer applicants with a master's degree and relevant experience in nursing or management. An MSN program with a nursing administration or leadership concentration gives graduates an understanding in healthcare ethics, leadership, and legal implications, which are fundamental to these roles.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Nurse Midwives $103,770 16%
Nurse Practitioners $107,030 28%
Medical and Health Services Managers $99,730 18%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online ADN to MSN programs allow nurses with an associate's degree in nursing to directly earn a Master of Science in Nursing by first completing one or more bridge courses. ADN to MSN programs can be completed in about two years and customized to fit specific career objectives by choosing concentrations in administration, education, or nursing practice.

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.

Popular Schools

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