Advance with a Master’s in Nursing Online
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As the healthcare system continues to evolve, opportunities in nursing will steadily emerge. Now is the time to build on yesterday’s success and prepare for tomorrow’s future roles in healthcare.
Southern New Hampshire University's online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can prepare you for these advanced positions with critical-thinking and leadership skills centered on patient care. This affordable master's in nursing online degree can also start you on the road to becoming an advanced practice nurse.
"The learning experience goes beyond being simply academic to practical in my everyday work," said Les Rothrock '15. "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."
New therapies, technologies and complex medical treatments to address patient needs are introduced on a daily basis. Healthcare legislation and regulation are more stringent than ever before. To keep quality of care aligned with the industry's expectations and demands, healthcare organizations need highly educated nurses to fill leadership roles.
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) online program at SNHU prepares you with the key competencies necessary for continuous improvement of the safety and quality of healthcare systems.
Learn how to:
There are 4 MSN tracks for students. You may choose to customize your degree with electives within the generalist MSN, or choose a specialty track that aligns with your career goals:
No BSN yet? No problem! SNHU offers an accelerated RN to MSN pathway option that allows eligible registered nurses to achieve their MSN faster and for less money.
A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled ''The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health'' identifies a growing demand for qualified nurses who are prepared to meet the complex and changing needs of the 21st-century healthcare workforce.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nurses with advanced skills and other medical and health services managers is projected to grow 18% through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.2 And the median annual pay in May 2019 for these managerial roles was $100,980.2
"At Southern New Hampshire University, the quality of the program has allowed me to advance my career into more diverse roles as a director of nursing," said Bonnie Fecowicz '16, now a director of professional development and education at a New Hampshire hospital. "I use everything I learn every day in my position."
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, some of the most common direct and indirect care roles for MSN-educated nurses are3:
Top treatment centers – including ANCC Magnet hospitals – are actively looking for nurses with advanced degrees to take their patient care to the next level. A master's in nursing online degree can expand your nursing career employment and leadership opportunities and prepare you to serve as a clinical nurse leader, clinical nursing faculty member and a nursing administrator.
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 12 graduate 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 regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.4 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.
MSN admission requirements:
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.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process, which includes:
The master's in nursing online degree provides you with the opportunity to acquire key competencies necessary for nursing practice.
The MSN electives allow you to customize your degree with specialty knowledge in the areas of continuous improvement, quality and safety of healthcare systems, patient-centered care, inter-professional collaboration and evidence-based practice.
"The instructors at Southern New Hampshire University are professionals, they're friendly and they connect to you as a person," said Bonnie Fecowicz '16. "They share their personal lives with you and want you to share yours."
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
SNHU's MSN degree is 39 credits.
Total Credits: 39
Students enrolled in the MSN Generalist and MSN Patient Safety and Quality programs must comply with requirements of the healthcare organizations where their practicum experiences will be completed. At least one term in advance of the capstone course students will need to submit a letter of mentor support. It is recommended, but not required that nursing students carry their own medical malpractice insurance. If an affiliation agreement is indicated there may be additional requirements which may include (but are not limited to) criminal background checks and verification of licensure, immunization records, health insurance, and medical malpractice insurance. Students may incur additional costs to meet the healthcare organization requirements.
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for 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.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Students enrolled in MSN programs may be subject to ongoing licensure checks through a third party vendor, additional fees will apply and may vary by state.
Yes, you can enroll in and graduate from online nursing programs that are accredited and can help you in your career.
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.
CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency that ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing across the country.
In 2019, SNHU's online nursing programs received a 10-year reaccreditation from CCNE, which awarded initial accreditation in 2014.
“The goals of accreditation are to ensure that nursing programs consistently fulfill their stated mission and expected program outcomes through self-evaluation, continuous program improvement and the pursuit of academic excellence,” said Dr. Lisa Urban, associate chief of nursing at SNHU. “These [CCNE] accreditation goals align with the university and SNHU nursing program missions.”
Full-time students who satisfactorily complete their coursework could expect to complete an MSN degree in less than 2 years.
SNHU's master's in nursing program is 39 credits, which equals 13 classes. Full-time status means you'd take 2 courses during each 10-week term. At that rate, you could finish your degree in about 20 months.
Attending school as a full-time student isn't always feasible for working adults. At SNHU, taking 1 class per term puts you at part-time status, which means it would take longer for you to earn your degree. However, it can be worth it, if it gives you the time you need to learn the information and do the coursework.
What's most important in deciding whether to enroll at full- or part-time status is how successful you can be at that level. If you feel comfortable taking 2 courses per term with your schedule, it may be worth it to you so that you can reach that finish line sooner.
Earning your master's degree means you're creating more opportunity for yourself. It opens so many more doors for your career and, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)3, it positions you to be able to:
With a projected 18% growth for medical and health services managers2, the outlook looks good for MSN-educated nurses. The AACN notes that because of the high demand, established and new positions are opening in practice areas like administration, forensics, genetics/genomics, geriatrics, informatics, pediatrics, public health and systems improvement.3
If you have career goals that align with where an MSN can take you, then, yes, earning a master's in nursing is definitely worth the investment.
"A degree opens doors that were previously closed," said Sherry Consolin '19. "As I proceed through the program, I discover new opportunities for nurses that excite me."
Beyond the reward of expanded knowledge, nurses who earn their MSN degree broaden their range of opportunities and open the door to a potential boost in pay.
"The employer interprets the additional credential as a highly desirable indicator of future performance and assigns value to the degree holder accordingly," said Laurie Lewis, an SNHU Career advisor.
Some value may not be monetary rewards, either. Though the potential of a bumped-up paycheck is certainly one of the biggest benefits, there may be other perks. You may find it valuable to be eligible for positions that come with better hours – meaning an MSN could have benefits to your personal life, too.
And while you may have a career goal in mind as the reason behind getting your master's, an MSN continues to open the door to opportunity beyond that first role that you land.
Plus, getting your master's in nursing doesn't have to be expensive. The cost of tuition for an entire online MSN degree at SNHU is $24,453 – meaning you could achieve your return on investment (ROI) on your degree faster. And with a tuition freeze that's been in place since 2012, the university continues to show its commitment to affordable education.
Yes. Students who are already registered nurses – and who have previously earned their BSN – can enroll in an online MSN program.
Because you've already mastered the clinical portion of your education through an on-site undergraduate program, earning a master's in nursing through an online program allows you to acquire the key competencies necessary for nursing practice.
Not only are nurses able to pursue this advanced credential online, but for many, the pathway makes sense. Many nurses have demanding schedules that aren't always the same week to week, making it nearly impossible to attend set classes at a brick-and-mortar institution.
"The flexibility and support the nursing program offers students is exceptional and has been instrumental in helping me achieve my goals," said Sherry Consolin '19, who spent time as a travel nurse throughout her program and needed the convenience of an online degree.
By earning a master's in nursing online, it allows you to continue your career as a nurse – while working to advance it at the same time. SNHU's program was designed so that the learnings from each course are immediately applicable to your career, which can help patients reap the rewards right away.
The best online MSN program is the one that can help you reach your personal and professional goals, at an affordable price, on your timeline and is accredited.
At SNHU, that translates to:
SNHU also offers 3 MSN specialty programs – clinical nurse leader, nurse educator and patient safety & quality – which may meet your needs more closely as you determine the next path of your career.
SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.
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.
1 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.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (viewed June 11, 2020). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
3 American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Master's Education, on the internet, at https://www.aacnnursing.org/Nursing-Education-Programs/Masters-Education (viewed Nov. 21, 2019)
4 According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.