What is the best MSN online degree program?

Online education can make an advanced degree in nursing possible. With distance learning, you can get a master of science in nursing while still working as an RN to provide with your family. However, online degree programs, especially in the nursing field, are still relatively new, so many students are not sure how to choose one. When learning about your nursing options, keep in mind the following criteria in order to choose the right program.

Hands On Activities

Just because you’re not sitting in a traditional classroom doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get a quality hands-on education. Many online programs have partnerships with hospitals and doctor’s offices across the country so you can see what you’re learning about, and in addition to these partnerships, your education should include virtual reality learning, as well as a variety of resources. You should also have the chance to participate in chat room discussions with other students and your professors. In other words, programs that just have you reading books and taking tests aren’t among the best MSN programs available.


As an online student, email will likely be your main form of communication. Online MSN schools should have professors who are not only established in the field of nursing, but who also communicate well with students. The school itself should also also have a good communication system through email, forums, help desks, and more. You should never have to wait more than 24 to 48 hours for an answer to your question.

Student Testimonials

Almost all online schools have testimonials from past students, which praise their programs and encourage you to apply. Go a step beyond this and read reviews from past and current students on other websites, paying particular attention to the bad points they bring up along with the good points about the school. If possible, ask students some questions about the program and find out how helpful the school was in their lives after graduation. Are there job resources, alumni networking options, and other ways for you to stay connected with your alma mater?

Financial Aid

Lastly, look at the school’s financial aid opportunities. The cheapest school is not always the best choice, but if the MSN program of your choice is expensive, perhaps find an online school that has both scholarships and grants for its students. Along with loan repayment programs and outside assistance, financial aid may make it possible for you to get your degree when it otherwise would have been too expensive.

Information on Masters in Nursing Degrees

Walden University
BSN to MSN (General)
MSN in Leadership & Mgmt
MSN in Nursing Informatics
MSN in Nurse Education
Walden University — The Walden University online MSN degree is offered in two tracks. The BSN track is reserved for Registered Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the RN Track is for Registered Nurses with a hospital diploma, Associate Degree in Nursing, or Bachelor's degree other than Nursing. Walden also offers many other specialized MSN degrees.
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Kaplan University
MSN in Nurse Administrator
MSN in Nurse Educator
Kaplan University — Kaplan University offers two Master's in Nursing degrees in addition to its general BSN to MSN program. The Masters in Nursing Administration is designed for students interested in management roles, while the Nurse Educator Masters program is focused on training future nurse educators. Both of these degree options are provided in an online format.
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Grand Canyon University
Dual Degree: MBA & MSN
MSN in Nursing Education
MSN in Nursing Leadership
Grand Canyon University — The Grand Canyon University Master of Science in Nursing program offers a variety of degree options to advance the skill set of the nurse practitioner. The program offers degrees in Nursing Education, and Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems. For the business-minded nurse, GCU also offers a dual MBA & MSN degree.
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Liberty University
MSN in Nursing Admin
MSN in Nurse Education
Liberty University — For students looking to earn their degree in a fast, flexible, and convenient way, Liberty has recently included several Masters in Nursing degrees to their course catalog. Students are able to complete course material at a pace comfortable for them in an environment of their choosing. Liberty offers accredited online programs for MSN in Nursing Administration, MSN in Nurse Education, and even a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
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Georgetown University
MSN in Midwifery/Women's Health
MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner
Georgetown University — Georgetown University offers two Masters of Science in Nursing degrees through online programs: Family Nurse Practitioner and Midwifery/Women's Health. These degree programs are accredited and available onsite too, but the online programs have the added benefits of cutting many of the costs associated with campus programs. Assignments can be completed at home, school, the library, or even on the go.
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University of Cincinnati
MSN in Adult Nursing
MSN in CNS/Nurse Educator
University of Cincinnati — The University of Cincinnati Master of Science in Nursing program couples nursing theory and related sciences as a basis for teaching advanced nursing methods that enhance the health care practice. Students will participate in both course work and actual health care settings. The Master of Science in Nursing program is offered both part-time or full-time, in class or online.
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Sacred Heart University
MSN in Clinical Nursing
MSN in Nursing Education
MSN in Patient Care
Sacred Heart University — For nurses that hold an associate degree in nursing or diploma looking for an accelerated MS in clinical nursing leadership, this is the perfect program. The classes satisfy both the undergraduate- and graduate-level requirements. Degrees are also offered in nursing education and patient care services.
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American Sentinel University
MS in Nursing
MSN in Case Management
MSN in Informatics
MSN in Leadership
American Sentinel University — The Master in Nursing degree from American Sentinel University comes in several specializations, including case management, health informatics, infection prevention, and nursing leadership. Actively licensed registered nurses are eligible to enroll in these programs, and completion requires 36 graduate credit-hours plus any additional uncompleted undergrad credits (usually no more than 21).
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South University
MS in Nursing
MSN in Adult Health
MSN in Nurse Education
South University — Designed to train nurses on the rapidly advancing body of knowledge in the nursing field, the online nursing programs from South University provide students with the skills necessary to teach tomorrow's health care professionals. In addition to their general MSN degree and accelerated RN to MSN track, South University also offers specializations in adult health nurse practice and nursing education.
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Chamberlain College of Nursing
MS in Nursing
Chamberlain College of Nursing — Students in the Chamberlain College of Nursing MSN degree program rave over the curriculum's variety and co-curricular learning. The curriculum includes courses in nursing theory, research, leadership, professional role development and informatics in health care. A 100 hour practicum is also required.
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