What to Expect From Online Nursing Masters Degree Programs

Are you considering an online MSN program? If so, you may be wondering what to expect from your program. Below, we’ve included some of the most important factors you should consider. These factors include curriculum, cost, and requirements. Make sure you choose an online program that will meet your educational goals. Once you’ve decided which online program is right for you, here’s how to choose one:

Online MSN programs

If you’re an RN who is interested in earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, you may want to explore online programs. Most MSN programs require a nursing license for enrollment, but some do not. Those who don’t need a nursing license can take advantage of some online MSN programs to prepare for the RN registration exam. The good news is that online programs are as legitimate and respected as on-campus programs.

MSN programs typically focus on population health planning, as well as integrating nursing informatics. Other programs focus on evidence-based practice, tapping into the perspective of nurses on the front lines of patient care. Coursework will include evidence-based practice and critical analysis of best evidence. You’ll also acquire skills in using databases, evaluating the evidence, and integrating evidence-based practices into daily practice. If you’d like to earn your Master’s degree in nursing without a traditional campus-based program, consider online courses that specialize in specific areas.


The prerequisites for an online nursing masters degree program vary by school, but typically include a current RN license, a statement of purpose, and transcripts. Some programs also require bridge courses, such as advanced physical assessment or research, or clinical practice experience. While these prerequisites are not required for admission to the program, they may be required. Some programs also require a GRE score, which can be quite high if you are not familiar with the test.

Regardless of the requirements, online nursing masters degree programs are designed to meet a student’s individual goals and budget. Many students combine their own savings with financial aid. Grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid, but student loans must be paid. There are also some government loans that offer partial loan forgiveness after completion of the program, as long as the graduate works for at least two years in a nonprofit community.


Cost of online nursing masters degree programs varies widely depending on location and the school. A one-year program can cost anywhere from $14,000 to $50,000. Tuition rates can also vary, depending on residency status and level of education. Some schools will offer the entire curriculum online, while others will require a practicum on campus or occasional campus visits. To make sure that you’re getting the most affordable program possible, you should compare several options.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is among the lowest-cost online MSN programs. You’ll need to complete 36 credits, which means you’ll spend an average of $15,984 over the course of the program. A typical student will pay around $680 per credit hour for the entire program. You’ll need to arrange preceptorships and other internships to complete your program, which can add up to more than $16,000 per year.


One benefit of online nursing masters degree programs is the flexibility they provide working nurses. Graduates of these programs will be well-prepared for leadership roles in the field and for management and education. In addition to preparing students for leadership roles, these programs will help them advance their professional practices and improve patient care. If you’re considering an online master’s degree in nursing, here’s some information you should know before getting started.

First, you should determine whether an online program is right for you. The Institute of Medicine recently released a report on the Future of Nursing, which states that nurses must develop a culture of lifelong learning and competency to meet the challenges of the healthcare industry. Additionally, the shortage of nurses is a concern as the population ages. As such, there is a need for nurses with master’s degrees to fulfill the roles of primary care providers, administrators, educators, researchers, and clinical specialists. Other types of advanced degrees include those for geriatrics and quality care and policy consultants.