10 Best Online Master of Science in Nursing Graduate Schools

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Updated: March 11, 2024, Reading time: 18 minutes

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Being a nurse is a job and a responsibility like no other. The nursing profession is rewarding, stable, and offers good salaries. It is one of the most well-respected occupations in society. It’s no wonder nurses aim to climb the career ladder and move forward with their profession! Doing so, however, requires enriching your level of competence in the field academically—the primary objective of an Online Master of Science in Nursing!

Quick audio summary:


Statistics point to job openings for 1.2 million registered nurses in 2030. It is easily categorized as a shortage in the number of qualified professionals in this field, partly due to the work that can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Ultimately, staffing problems have caused burnout among professionals to rethink their work.

The good news is that this shortage presents every hopeful and passionate nurse with the fantastic opportunity to become part of the workforce and qualify for higher positions with a graduate degree.


If you think the nursing profession is one that you will truly enjoy and find fulfillment in, it makes sense to welcome more responsibilities that come with career advancement. To achieve this, attending an Online Master of Science in Nursing program should be in your plans!

Earning this graduate degree qualifies you for better, higher-paying opportunities in nursing research, administration work, and patient-centered care.

Here are the reasons to consider the top Online Master of Science in Nursing programs on our list, as offered by some of the country’s best colleges:

Read our Methodology and learn about the process for selecting our top-ranked graduate programs!

The 10 Best Online Master of Science in Nursing Graduate Programs

Advent Health University

Advent Health University - Online
Online Master of Science in Nursing

The nursing field is constantly evolving, so advancing your education is essential. Nurses who pursue graduate degrees have the opportunity to enter higher-paying management positions, which provides them with the opportunity to shape healthcare as a leader.

If you wish to get promoted or land higher job positions like a nursing director or nurse manager, this is the best higher education to advance your career. The university offers three tracks to choose from, and these are Administration and Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner (F.N.P.), and Education.

In this program, nurses can enter various stages of their careers and training. The master’s portion of the program may require a few prerequisite courses if you already have a BSN

Standout Features of Advent Health University- ONLINE MSN:

CCNE-accredited, AHU’s MSN program has a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing. AdventHealth developed a program designed for nurses in the middle of their careers seeking advancement with the support of their distinguished doctoral-level faculty.

Did You Know?

AdventHealth’s University’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program has a 95% certification rate from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Walden University

Online Master of Science in Nursing

Walden University offers this CCNE-accredited online Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program designed for working nurses with specializations that reflect the current demands of the field as well as nurses’ changing goals.

They emphasize both hard and soft skills to help you succeed in your online MSN program. Join Walden and pursue your passion. RNs like you can pursue advanced leadership and clinical training through an online master’s degree in nursing at Walden.

Standout Features of Walden University- Online MSN:

Rapid change occurs in the healthcare landscape because of technologies like telemedicine and data analytics. Through Walden’s online MSN program, you will gain the skills and confidence necessary to find your place within this exciting evolution. 

Did You Know?

Walden University has more than 189,000 electronic books, more than 91,000 full-text journals, more than 170 databases, and more than 4.8 million dissertations in its fully digital library. 

Stevenson University

Stevenson University
Online Master of Science in Nursing

You can expand your career horizons with a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Stevenson University Online. There are four concentrations available in the 36-credit-hour nursing master’s program offered online by this program:

Standout Features of Stevenson University- Online MSN:

There are six sessions per year, each lasting eight weeks. With their relationships with local hospitals and organizations, Stevenson University offers a partnership tuition rate.

Did You Know?

Villa Julie College was renamed Stevenson University on June 11 by the Board of Trustees. Villa Julie prides itself on its tradition, history, and academic quality, all of which have contributed to the name Stevenson University.

Additionally, Villa Julie has a geographic connection to Stevenson, Maryland, where the university was founded. Villa Julie College of Arts and Sciences bears the Villa Julie name. Henceforth, Stevenson’s original campus will be called Greenspring Campus.

Duke University

Stevenson University
Online Master of Science in Nursing

Eight advanced majors and three non-clinical majors are available in their Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) Program. Studying a specialty is also an option. Duke University School of Nursing offers a master’s degree in nursing accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Standout Features of Duke University- Online MSN:

At least once every semester, students will participate in campus interactions, simulations, and in-person activities with faculty and other experts on campus.

Did You Know?

Scholars, clinicians, and researchers from Duke University School of Nursing make up a diverse community. The university is a pioneer in different fields such as clinical practice, global impact, and leading research.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University
Online Master of Science in Nursing

 Ohio State University’s College of Nursing offers one of the most popular: the Master of Science in Nursing online. The curriculum, clinical experience, and evidence-based practice will allow graduates to gain knowledge, values, and skills. Several clinical settings are covered in the program, such as private practices, clinics, hospitals, businesses, managed care organizations, and governmental organizations. 

Standout Features of Ohio State University- Online MSN:

In addition to core classes like Quality Improvement and Informatics, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Across the Life Span, specialty coursework prepares students to sit for specialization certification exams.

Did You Know?

In a study, Ohio State was named among the schools with the “happiest freshmen.”

Ball State University

Ball State University
Online Master of Science in Nursing

The online MSN at Ball State offers three options, depending on your career goals. Nurses at Ball State University are committed to providing holistic and non-discriminatory health care based on the worth and dignity of all individuals. They created one of the nation’s first online master’s programs in nursing thanks to their faculty’s innovation in the online classroom.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, a well-respected accrediting agency in the field, recognized Ball State’s online MSN degree program.

Standout Features of Ball State University- Online MSN:

The school is awarded a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, which is an honor bestowed to only selected programs in the US. 

Did You Know?

Eastern Indiana Normal School was the previous name of Ball State. 

Xavier University

Xavier University
Online Master of Science in Nursing

Xavier University’s Online MSN is perfect for nurses looking to move to management, educational or consulting roles. For RNs with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), this 36-credit program is ideal. It has four high-demand nursing specializations: 

Standout Features of Xavier University- Online MSN: 

Obtaining an Online MSN degree prepares nurses to serve and lead, empowers them to take on additional responsibilities, and enable them to perform higher-level functions in health care. The American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation, which categorizes only 17 nursing degrees as ideal programs, endorses Xavier’s MSN degree program. 

Did You Know?

Xavier College is Ohio’s oldest Catholic college, founded in 1831.

University of Arizona

University of Arizona
Online Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Systems Leadership

The Master of Science in Nursing online program at the University of Arizona strengthens a nurse’s leadership skills and patient care abilities further! As you gain experience in various healthcare environments, you will expand your knowledge of emerging interventions and technologies.

 Standout Features of the University of Arizona- Online MSN:

This program develops nurse leaders who are capable of providing comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate patient-centered care through systems leadership while emphasizing patient advocacy.

You’ll be tackling courses such as leadership, concepts of patient care, systems management, healthcare technology, and evidence-based practice improvement. The graduate becomes capable of leading complex healthcare delivery across the spectrum of illness and affecting the delivery of optimal health outcomes to patients.

Did You Know?

The University of Arizona’s Department of Geosciences maintains the world’s most comprehensive mineral database.

Angelo State University

Angelo State University
Online Master of Science in Nursing

Develop your teaching skills at community colleges, universities, nursing schools, and healthcare settings by earning your M.S.N. degree at Angelo State University. Their online nursing degree program can prepare you to become a nurse teacher at an advanced level.

By joining their student organizations, you can network with healthcare professionals and fellow nursing students. They have dedicated and talented professors with real-world nursing experience across virtually all healthcare settings and in the subjects they teach.

Standout Features of Advent Health University- Online MSN:

Develop the skills necessary to teach health care providers in a variety of educational settings, including vocational, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs.

Did You Know?

ASU has one of the largest endowments in the regional university category. The Distinguished Scholarship Program has awarded over 87 million dollars to one in three ASU students since it was founded in 1981.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University
Online Master of Science in Nursing Education

The Masters of Nursing Education Track offered by the Department of Nursing prepares students to teach nursing. It is suitable for working nurses who wish to pursue a nursing education career, with 100% of the course work completed online. Small class sizes and personalized advising are two of the department’s strengths.

Students can complete courses on a schedule that fits their schedule by taking rolling classes each semester.

Standout Features of Advent Health University- Online MSN:

With Fort Hays State University’s Department of Nursing, you can leverage your drive and relentless attention to detail. Fort Hays State provides programs and courses designed to meet your diverse career goals with undergraduate and graduate programs, postgraduate certificate programs, and a doctoral program.

Did You Know?

Several regional universities in the American Midwest consistently rank FHSU among the top institutions. Ninety-five percent of FHSU graduates find jobs or higher education opportunities after graduation.

Reasons to Study Online Master of Science in Nursing

Lots of Job Opportunities

In many of the best nursing careers, such as nurse educator and nurse practitioner, a master of science in nursing is a mandatory nursing degree. As a result of this program, you may also be able to advance to managerial and other leadership roles within the nursing industry.

Some of the higher job positions you can land are nurse educator, nurse trainer, mental health nurse, nursing instructor, nurse practitioner, or administrative nurse faculty.

Advances Your Knowledge and Skills

An advanced degree will allow you to study areas of interest in depth. Your patients will benefit from that additional expertise.

Higher Salary

You can increase your earning power by earning your Master’s in Nursing online. The financial benefits of pursuing an advanced degree are evident in many of the highest-paying nursing positions. 

Develops Leadership

As a nurse, you need to exhibit leadership and guide your fellow nurses, particularly when you have gained more experience in the job.

Convenient to learn

Getting an MSN degree online doesn’t require you to pause your nursing career. The reason is that most of your MSN program can be completed online, so you won’t need to drive to campus or be away from home. You can also take your classes at any time convenient with an online master’s degree in a nursing program.

Skills to Be a Good Nurse

Job growth, influence, and leadership demand for registered nurses (RNs) are not expected to slow down in the near future. In fact, the American Bureau of Labor Statistics affirms a 9% increase within the decade in the demand for RNs.

With hospitals and health systems aiming to attract and retain the best nursing talent, understanding the qualities of a good nurse is crucial. Here are some basic skills needed to be a good nurse:


If communication cannot be interpreted and conveyed correctly, medical errors may occur, patients may feel neglected or misinformed, and the entire unit may suffer. Developing your communication skills will enhance the quality of care and support nurses’ long-term careers as well as those of their patients, units, and health systems.

Attention to Detail

Despite receiving orders from physicians, nurses are constantly under pressure to provide high-quality patient care while using their own skills and judgment. Human error is almost inevitable when multiple patients are being cared for at the same time.

In contrast to most other careers, nurses are responsible for people’s well-being and, most importantly, their lives. Nurses with strong attention to detail will easily and quickly succeed in their roles.

Lifelong Learning

Adaptability is key to providing the highest quality patient care with technological advancements and scientific breakthrough studies. An essential quality of a good nurse is their willingness to learn and put new knowledge into practice. Did you know that nurses spend more time with patients than any other healthcare professionals?


As the nursing field grows, the ability to lead successfully will become a more and more valuable quality for nurses. An individual who practices leadership skills at any level or role within the organization shows that they are willing to grow and adapt at their own pace. Learning invaluable nursing skills from mentoring by nursing leaders is also possible.

Professional Experience

Nurses who retire from the healthcare industry leave behind a wealth of experience and knowledge that can’t be replaced quickly. Despite nursing leaders’ efforts to bring in new nurses, most of the available candidates are largely new graduates-a vastly different experience and skill set from their predecessors.


One of the most overlooked aspects of nurses’ careers is their physical demands. As a nurse, you’ll be using a lot of your physical strength every day, from lifting your heavy patient’s weight to doing long-distance rounds in the hospital.

Nurses exercise both physical and emotional stamina throughout an average 12-hour shift. A great nurse can manage this skill effectively. Nurses, their co-workers, and their patients benefit from this extremely important skill. A great nurse should have sufficient stamina.

Is an online Master of Science in Nursing worth it?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an online Master of Science in Nursing worth it?

Those who wish to advance their careers in this field and have experience in this field should consider pursuing a postgraduate degree in nursing. You can specialize even further and become a better all-around nurse with an online MSN degree, and also expect incredible rewards. 

In the most challenging times in a patient’s life, you can help them through their pain. Helping patients and learning from them are two of the most fulfilling aspects of the nursing job.

How long does completing an online master’s degree in Nursing take?

Students can complete master’s in nurse education online programs in two to five years, depending on their enrollment status. Some programs come with accelerated tracks, which allow you to finish the program in as little as 15 months.

However, if you study full-time and in a regular online master’s degree track, it should be completed within 2 years.

What can you do with an online Master of Science in Nursing?

After earning a nursing master’s degree, you have a variety of career options to choose from. 

Do you need to go to the campus while studying for an online master’s degree in nursing?

Online MSN programs hold web-based classes and discussions for some of its courses, but students are typically asked to participate in program-specific seminars and clinical work. When students are required to attend classes on-campus, they usually receive advance notice in plenty of time to make arrangements.

What is the typical cost of an online Master’s in Nursing program?

A typical MSN program costs between $295 and $350 per credit hour, but this is only a rough estimate. Some online colleges charge monthly tuition, such as $250, depending on the program. Find programs with financial aid options to save on costs.

Key Takeaways

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