A fast track to your MSN
- $320/credit (BSN), $627/credit (MSN)
- Save time and tuition, earn credit for your RN license
- Transfer up to 90 credits (get 45 credits for your unencumbered RN license, transfer in up to 45 more)
- Save $3,700 in tuition and up to 20 weeks
- Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- No application fee or test scores required
RN to MSN Online Program Option Overview
You need a bachelor's. You want a master's. What if you could do it all in one shot? Our Accelerated RN-to-MSN online program option lets eligible registered nurses do just that, saving you time and tuition – up to 20 weeks and over $3,700 in tuition.
Fast, affordable and online. That's why current nursing students say they chose SNHU and why 96.5% would recommend SNHU to a colleague, friend or family member.1 Our accelerated nursing option fits your busy life and lets your work and family continue to come first.
Virtual classroom. Real impact. You'll also have the option to make a real difference in your community through student groups, projects and initiatives. One such opportunity is the HEaRT – Higher Education and Real-World Training – Challenge, which pairs online students with community leaders to develop collaborative strategies and solutions to organizational problems. This team-based approach supports the interprofessional collaboration employees need to succeed in healthcare.
"The HEaRT Challenge offers students a meaningful way to build confidence, apply soft skills and demonstrate workforce readiness," said Dr. Toni Clayton, associate dean of health professions at SNHU.
Learn how to:
- Promote safe nursing practice and quality patient outcomes
- Use evidence-based practice in implementing and evaluating outcomes of care
- Formulate strategies to promote health and prevent disease
- Implement patient safety and quality initiatives
RN to MSN Career Outlook
As a registered nurse (RN), you are part of a noble profession, one that blends professionalism with compassion. You're also part of the fastest growing field in America. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that healthcare will add more jobs by 2028 than any other occupation - about 1.9 million.2
The demand for nurses with bachelor's-level education continues to grow at hospitals and other healthcare organizations. The Institute of Medicine is urging that the number of BSN-prepared nurses increase to 80% by 2020, and healthcare providers are seeking nurses with an MSN for their supervisory and managerial opportunities.3
The RN-to-MSN option can expand your nursing career employment and leadership opportunities and prepare you to serve in a several types of nursing careers including clinical nurse leader, clinical nursing faculty member and a nursing administrator. It can also set you up to earn a premium - nurses with master's degrees earn $12,000 more on average than those with only a bachelor's.2 Reach your career goals faster by moving from RN to MSN.
"I became a nurse to help other people," said Bonnie Fecowicz, who earned her MSN at SNHU. "Before applying to SNHU, I went back to school but it just didn't fit in with a working lifestyle."
"I've been doing this job for 30-plus years," she said. "[I thought]: What could they possibly teach me? And taking my first course, I was humbled immediately. Healthcare is changing so quickly, you must remain current in best practices. You've got to have that education at your fingertips."
Bonnie's education not only gave her the opportunity to explore the present and future of nursing – it gave her a global perspective on the needs and challenges nurses face every day.
"When you take a course at SNHU, you're meeting students from around the world. So when we talk about global health – I'm working with students that are living in Africa or in South America. I'm hearing firsthand what drought means, what Zika virus outbreaks really mean."
Ultimately, these experiences lead her to career advancement – combining her skill set with an innate ability to lead, support and empower her nursing staff.
"The quality of the program has allowed me to advance my career into more diverse roles as a director of nursing. I use everything I learned every day in my position. SNHU has really invested in my success."
Still interested in learning more? Read all about what degree you need to become a nurse.
Start Your Journey Toward an RN to MSN Program Option
Why SNHU For Your RN to MSN Degree
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
As a Southern New Hampshire University student, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 peers, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
Built for nurses, by nurses
Nursing professionals face a number of unpredictable daily challenges, from overtime shifts to fast-paced, on-the-job demands. These obstacles are especially daunting for nurses looking to pursue leadership roles in their organization. That's why our curriculum was designed with nurses in mind. We aim to simplify the pathway to your master's, from offering affordable access to coursework online and on your time, to providing academic and career support when you need it. Because we believe that nurses are the heart of healthcare – and you deserve the opportunity to lead them.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.1 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Students interested in pursuing the accelerated RN to MSN option will initially be enrolled in our RN to BSN program. Please see the RN to BSN program page for Admission Requirements. From there, students interested in pursuing the RN to MSN accelerated option must achieve a 3.5 GPA for the following courses: NUR 300, NUR 305, NUR 350, IHP 420 and dean approval to be accepted. Current students should work with their Academic Advisor to learn more.
ADN/ASN to MSN Friendly
If you have an ADN/ASN and would like to start the track to pursuing your MSN, we do offer some flexibility to start prior to achieving your RN license. Contact us for more information. If you are a graduate of an ASN program from a New Hampshire community college, mention that to your SNHU admission counselor to learn more about our tuition benefits.
NOTE: SNHU nursing programs are not authorized in the state of Washington or US territories, and we are not accepting students residing in Washington state or US territories into nursing programs at this time. Currently enrolled students who move into the state of Washington or a US territory will not be able to continue in nursing courses until they move out of the state of Washington or the US territory. Prospective students are encouraged to contact Admission, and current students should contact their advisor for more information.
Students enrolled in SNHU nursing programs must comply with requirements of the healthcare organizations where their clinical practice experiences will be completed. If the healthcare organization requires an affiliation agreement prior to conducting clinical practice experiences, additional requirements may include (but are not limited to) criminal background checks and verification of licensure, drug testing, immunization records, health insurance and medical malpractice insurance. Students are responsible for any costs incurred as a result of meeting these additional requirements.
How to Apply
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so SNHU can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
Courses & Curriculum
Nursing is, at heart, a profession about compassion. Your instructors are caring nursing professionals who are leaders in their field and who understand that good nurses put the needs of their patients first, whether they're in the boardroom, the classroom or the operating room.
- Develop a community assessment with a health education plan
- Create a capital budget proposal
- Develop a nursing philosophy and change proposal
- Complete both a genetics and a medical malpractice case study
- Earn NIH Security and Privacy certification and a CITI training certificate
Throughout the accelerated option, you'll develop an electronic portfolio of completed assignments and certificates, a convenient way to demonstrate achievement of program outcomes and showcase your accomplishments to your employer.
General education program: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes if not completed through prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|BS in Nursing - Accelerated Option (RN to MSN)|
|Courses May Include|
|BS in Nursing Accelerated Track Online|
|IHP 420||Ethical and Legal Considerations of Healthcare||Students in this course examine the role of health care policy and legal, regulatory, and quality control in ethical decision making in healthcare. Students explore concepts and principles of health care policy, legal control, ethical conduct, and regulatory environments and their application to the health care environment. The impact of health care policy and multicultural, socioeconomic, political, legal, and regulatory factors on health care systems is explored.|
|IHP 450||Healthcare Management and Finance||This course focuses on the concepts, principles, tools, finances and strategies used in managing operations within a performance improvement model. Students will explore problem solving and decision making models as well as tools and techniques for planning, organizing, directing, controlling, reporting, and improving the productivity and performance of resources within a healthcare department. Additionally, topics will include healthcare finance reimbursement, bookkeeping, accounting principles, budgeting processes (capital and operating), and cost/benefits analysis.|
|NUR 300||Scholarly Inquiry||This course is designed to introduce the licensed registered nurse to the role of the bachelor's prepared nurse in complex health care setting. The Transformational model of learning will be the foundation to develop scholarly inquiry in order to improve practice. Skill development in critical reflection, assessing evidence, professional writing, study habits, and work-life balance will be essential for success. The goal is to provide a knowledge base in nursing theory to improve nursing practice. The role of the Bachelor's prepared nurse as a patient advocate, clinical expert and a leader in evidence-based practice and transformation of health care will be emphasized. The course will discuss the capstone course and development of a project.|
|NUR 305||Information Management and Patient Care Technologies||This course explores patient care technologies, information systems, telecommunication technologies, and communication devices that support safe nursing practice. Topics covered include standardized terminology; electronic health record, patient portal, meaningful use, and pay for performance; data integrity, abstraction and mining; use of clinical decision support tools to promote patient safety, and ethical and legal issues related to information technology.|
|NUR 350||Community and Population Health||In this course, the student will develop the ability to assess, analyze, and recommend change for health issues for groups and in communities. Topics will include local and regional conditions that affect vulnerable populations through the lifespan. Case management and care coordination will be discussed. Application of community health principles will be the foundation for recommending interventions. The prevention will include diverse, environmental disease treatments and healthcare policy strategies. This three credit hour course will include 45 hours of practical application of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired in the course.|
|NUR 400||Systems Leadership for Continuous Quality||This course will explore organizational and systems leadership within the complex clinical microsystems to promote high quality patient care utilizing the knowledge, skills and attitudes to promote care coordination, negotiation, change management, team building and collaboration within the interdisciplinary team. Topics will include quality improvement and safety concepts using structure, process and outcome measures, and performance improvement methodologies to promote quality outcomes for diverse populations. This three credit hour course will include 45 hours of practical application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.|
|NUR 440||Research & Evidence-Based Practice||Undergraduate students will be introduced to theory-guided and evidence-based nursing practice. Students will acquire the skills to become proficient consumers of nursing research. Focus is placed on understanding established research methodologies, ways of knowing in nursing, and developing the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors to retrieve and critique published studies for application to evidence-based nursing practice. This three credit course will include 45 hours of practical application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of the baccalaureate-prepared nurse.|
|NUR 490||Transformational Capstone||The Transformational Capstone course will utilize a seminar process, portfolio development, and final project to illustrate achievement of all program outcomes. In keeping with the Transformational Learning Theory, the summative activities will provide evidence of the student's progression to a baccalaureate-professional nurse. This three credit hour course will include 90 hours of practicum experience to demonstrate synthesis of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired in the program.|
|NUR 540||Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Life Span||Analyze the relationships between normal physiology and specific system alterations produced by injury and disease to foster clinical reasoning skills. Determine the developmental, genetic, environmental influences, and clinical manifestations of major health problems across the lifespan with a focus on etiology and pathogenesis. Utilize the nursing process as the foundation for decision-making and holistic management.|
|NUR 545||Advanced Health and Literacy Assessment||Build on knowledge of pathophysiology and clinical experience to master health assessment skills and communication strategies. Conduct comprehensive, evidence-based health assessments encompassing environmental, genetic, multicultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors. Explore ways of adapting their communication style to meet the specific needs of their clients. Examine the physical and mental health exam and formulate plans to ensure effective patient-centered care, including assessing health literacy when conducting care and education. Utilize simulations to practice knowledge and skill acquisition (additional costs for practice simulation software may occur).|
|Total Credits: 120|
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
Are SNHU's nursing programs accredited?
Yes. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree program in nursing at Southern New Hampshire University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202.887.6791.
Can you go straight from an RN to an MSN?
Not typically – and this is exactly what makes SNHU's accelerated online RN to MSN pathway so special.
While RNs must earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing before moving on to their Master of Science in Nursing, the RN-to-MSN pathway gives you the opportunity to achieve your MSN faster – saving you time and tuition.
The program represents just one of the many ways SNHU works to empower nurses. We understand the daily challenges you'll face as a practicing nurse – and we believe wholeheartedly that, no matter how much time you dedicate to your job, you should always have the option to advance your career on your terms.
Can you get your ADN online?
Pre-licensure nursing programs including an associate degree in nursing (ADN) are not completed online. Many registered nurses (RNs) start with an associate degree in nursing at a community college.
In fact, we partner with a number of In fact, we partner with a number of community colleges across the country that offer all kinds of learning experiences – all built to fit your life and learning style.
Earning your ADN through one of our partner community colleges can be an excellent educational stepping stone – and a practical one, too. You'll be able to gain foundational knowledge you need to advance, then transition seamlessly to an undergraduate degree at SNHU.
You'll also have the opportunity to develop your professional identity and open doors to nursing positions in an array of settings, from hospitals and doctor’s offices, to schools and long-term care facilities.
Can I get an MSN without a BSN?
Yes, it's possible, but here at SNHU, the RN to MSN program is structured so you earn your BSN, then seamlessly progress to a master's program.
We do it this way because we believe every student should have the opportunity to earn valuable credentials as they pursue their goals. Not only will they serve as benchmarks in your own educational journey – it will show employers your qualifications as you complete your coursework. This could ultimately open doors for new employment opportunities, or put you on track to an advanced degree.
How long does it take to go from RN to MSN?
Typically, it can take many years for a nurse to earn an MSN, as it requires a few steps to complete. But at SNHU, we're proud to offer an accelerated RN to MSN pathway that can help you save time and money.
In the accelerated pathway, you’ll take 2 advanced undergraduate courses that meet the competencies of corresponding graduate nursing classes. This means you’ll be able to waive 2 of your MSN classes after completing your BSN. By reducing your 13-course MSN program to 11 courses, you can save up to 20 weeks of class time and over $3,700 in tuition on your path to earning your MSN. If you took one course per term, you could finish your master's degree in under 2.5 years. Taking more than one course per term means you will complete even faster.
You must have your RN license to enroll in any of SNHU’s nursing programs. Still need to become a registered nurse? This can be achieved in a couple different ways. You can:
- Complete a pre-licensure program such as an associate degree (ADN), which takes 2 to 3 years to complete OR Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which typically takes about 4 years to complete
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam
All U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia require registered nurses to have a nursing license. To earn licensure, you must complete an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam. Additional requirements for licensure vary by state.
Nurses are encouraged to continue their education with an RN to BSN program, an MSN program or an RN-to-MSN accelerated program option.
Apart from being both costly and time consuming, students must consider other factors including:
- Transferability. Transferring credits from one institution to the next can be a time-consuming process. By opting for an accelerated RN to MSN pathway, however, you can save the hassle of getting credit for prior coursework.
- Flexibility. Opting for a traditional (in-person) learning experience may conflict with your busy schedule. Earning your degree in a 24/7 online program – and combining two programs – can help you make it work
Is an RN to MSN worth it?
A master's degree in nursing may be worth pursuing, depending on your personal and professional goals. Nurses who earn an MSN open the door to new areas of achievement, whether it's managing a team, creating positive change in patient outcomes or helping implement new technologies into various types of healthcare institutions. There are even opportunities to specialize in several high-demand areas, such as clinical nurse leader and nurse educator.
Taking the next step in your education can result in a number of rewards. You'll have the knowledge and credentials you need to make a bigger impact in the workplace. By leveraging curriculum created by professionals who understand the daily challenges nurses face, you'll have the added knowledge you need to keep up in the dynamic world of healthcare.
While holding a bachelor's in nursing demonstrates a nurse's commitment to a career, the master's degree can help you transition to a more specialized area of nursing. If you're looking to progress even further, an MSN is an essential next step to earning a doctorate degree in nursing.
Nurses with a master's degree may also position themselves for higher earning potential. "The employer interprets the additional credential as a highly desirable indicator of future performance and assigns value to the degree holder accordingly," said SNHU Career advisor Laurie Lewis.
For some, earning an MSN means rediscovering your passion in an established career.
Les Rothrock had worked as a nurse for more than a dozen years – and an emergency nurse for 10 – when he finally decided to go back to school and earn his master's. Partly fueled by a desire to work his way up in his organization, he wanted to build upon his years of experience to open new doors.
"What pushed me was the thought that I was learning many new things, but what I wanted was the credentials to back up what I was learning," said Rothrock, "and the satisfaction that I had earned it."
Eventually, he found the right fit in SNHU – and immediately noticed a change. "The learning experience goes beyond being simply academic to practical in my everyday work," he said. "It has given me the edge to be better prepared and equipped in doing my job. I have learned how to research and problem solve issues in my work as well."
With rejuvenated confidence and a broader skillset, Rothrock's prospects started to grow. He even got an offer from the school where he earned his associate degree in nursing.
"My biggest desire is to inspire other nurses in achieving beyond what they dreamed, to become what patients need today," he said. "A better-equipped nurse is better able to provide compassionate care and become an advocate for the patient and the profession."
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3)
1 According to survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm (viewed June 8, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm (viewed Aug. 15, 2019)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
3 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," on the internet, at http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/ 2010/The-Future-of-Nursing/Future%20of%20Nursing%202010%20Recommendations.pdf (viewed online Dec. 22, 2017)