RN to MSN Nursing Programs

why rn to msn nursing programs

Nursing is an extraordinary career, which allows you to work with sick and injured and helps improve their lives. There are over 2.5 million registered nurses (RNs) currently employed in the U.S. Changing demographics, healthcare insurance accessibility, and lifestyles of the population have pushed the need for better health care services.

Unlike many other careers, nursing offers plenty of room for advancement. Nurses can progress through continued education and prepare for more advanced job positions. If you’re currently working as a registered nurse and want to take your career to the next level, you can do so with the help of RN to MSN programs.

The nursing sector is becoming highly competitive. Employers are constantly on the lookout for nurses with broader skill set, knowledge, and competency. Getting an advanced degree is always a good idea for enhancing your career prospects.

Reason to enroll in RN to MSN nursing programs

  • Can be completed in a shorter period of time
  • Employment outlook for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) is positive
  • Demand for APRNs is expected to grow by 31% from 2012-2022 (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Make your career more challenging and exciting
  • Give your income a boost
  • Enhance your skill set

RN to MSN nursing program

This program prepares students for leadership roles in the healthcare system. It focuses on a multitude of nursing disciplines and help students develop a sound base of academic knowledge along with advanced nursing skills.

Students enrolled in the program will learn about the changing trends in nursing and healthcare work environments. The curriculum will focus on different theoretical, clinical and bridge courses. These courses will help with the transition of RN to nurse practitioner (NP) roles. Students will learn how to use different technologies to improve healthcare delivery systems, apply evidence-based nursing knowledge, and implement strategies to promote health and disease prevention.


Leadership and nursing practice

In this course, students will explore different leadership roles in organizations. Topics such as the following may be covered: principles of leadership, nursing practice, diversity management, motivation, and advanced nursing leadership.

Healthcare policy

This course will focus on the process of policy development. Students will learn how to investigate, propose, analyze, and develop healthcare policies.

Advanced research methods- evidence based practice

This course will help students learn about the research and evidence-based practice. Students will learn how to conduct research, evaluate literature, measure and interpret results.

Foundational concepts and applications

In this course, students will learn about the fundamentals of advanced nursing. Students will focus on professional development of nurses and nursing practices.

Theoretical basis for advanced nursing practice

This course will highlight theories of nursing and relevant fields. Students will explore the theories of evidence-based practice, research, strategy-making, and the components of these theories.

Clinical practicum

This course will provide students with hands on, direct clinical experience. Students will learn how to conduct different nursing tasks in laboratory or clinical settings. This course is aimed at equipping students with practical skills that are required in the professional field. Hands-on training is an important part of becoming a healthcare professional.


In the last semesters of the program, students can opt for specialization in any chosen branch of nursing. Here are some of the popular MSN nursing specializations being offered in many schools:

  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Gerontology nurse
  • Nurse midwife
  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner

What will you learn in an RN to MSN program?

Some of the program’s learning objectives are:

  • Provide effective healthcare to patients in different healthcare settings
  • Incorporate professional values and practice standards in healthcare delivery systems
  • Learn how to develop and implement healthcare policies
  • Understand the issues and challenges faced by the U.S. healthcare industry
  • Coordinate and plan healthcare delivery systems
  • Manage and guide junior nurses or entry-level nurses
  • Demonstrate a complete understanding of health organizational structure, nursing standards and practices
  • Effectively conduct research and use different information technologies to manage healthcare data
  • Devise and implement healthcare plans that focus on community health promotion and disease prevention
  • Demonstrate professional integrity, responsibility, and leadership skills

Admission requirements

To enroll in an RN to MSN program, students may have to submit the following (these are general admission guidelines only):

  • · Completion of an accredited nursing program
  • Registered nurse license
  • A minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Professional resume

Why study online?

The popularity of online learning is growing steadily. This mode of learning has proved to be suitable for professionals who want to continue their college education, particularly nurses and physicians, without compromising their work schedule. Now nurses can advance in their field by enrolling in online RN to MSN programs without having to sacrifice their career.

Here are some of the benefits of online RN to MSN programs:

The coursework is covered via videos, online lectures, and tutorials. Some colleges are offering hybrid programs that are covered both online and on-campus. You can check with different schools to find out more about their online programs.

Where can you work with this degree?

Your job prospects will depend on your area of specialization. After completing an MSN degree, you can also choose to get certified in your area of specialty. The certification requirements may vary from place to place. Some states require APRNs to be certified.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners made a median annual income of $95,350 in 2014, whereas nurse anesthetists made a median annual income of $153,780 in 2014.

  • Study according to your own schedule
  • Minimal travelling cost
  • Individualized attention from instructors
  • Self-paced coursework


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