dcsimg

MSN Degrees: Frequently Asked Questions

Opportunities for registered nurses in today's health care environment are rapidly expanding. An MSN degree (master of science in nursing) opens the door to many new career options.

What is the difference between an RN degree and an MSN degree?

An MSN degree is an academic degree indicating master's degree level preparation in the nursing field. An RN on the other hand is actually a license, issued by the state board of nursing, that is obtained following completion of an accredited nursing program and a passing score on the NCLEX test. Nursing programs leading to an RN may be either at the associate's degree level (ADN), typically a two-year program or may be four-year baccalaureate degrees (BSN). There are also RN to MSN degrees that bridge the gap, inclusively.

What is the range of cost for MSN degrees?

The primary factor affecting the cost of MSN degree programs is whether the university offering the program is privately funded or is state supported. Tuition at private colleges and universities is typically significantly higher than state schools, as is tuition for out-of-state students attending public universities. While MSN degree program costs vary, there is a push to increase the numbers of nurses with advanced degrees, so funding may well be available.

What are some of the options open to someone looking to earn an MSN degree--both online and off?

The option of attending school on a part-time basis is popular since many nurses continue to be employed while pursuing an MSN degree. Combining online learning with clinical experience and leadership seminars is another option. More schools of nursing are also offering online MSN programs that allow students to complete many of their requirements without being on campus.

What are popular majors within MSN degree programs?

MSN degree programs tend to divide into advanced practice clinical tracks, nursing education, and nursing administration. All of these MSN degree majors may also be pursued at the doctorate level, which is becoming increasingly common. Clinical majors may be further divided by an emphasis on primary care or on acute care specialties. Primary care options are women's health, midwifery, anesthesia, adult and family practice, pediatrics, and geriatrics.

What does an MSN degree do for my nursing career?

An MSN degree allows you to be more specialized and to have greater autonomy in your chosen work area. It prepares you to be involved in nursing education or administration, which allows you to have greater influence in contributing to the best possible nursing care outcomes. Depending on the MSN degree that you choose, you can prepare to sit for certification exams for advanced practice license as a nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner. Your MSN program also gives you experience with the nursing research process.

What is my earning power after earning an MSN degree?

Again, this varies among specialties and among geographic areas. The highest earnings are typically for nurse anesthetists, which may be in the six-figure range. Nurse practitioners in primary care are likely to earn upwards of $80,000 annually. Nurse administrators in large hospital systems and deans of nursing schools in large universities also are typically paid comparably to other administrators and deans in those institutions.


Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • As a CCNE-accredited school of nursing, Wilkes University is fully committed to preparing our students for a career of lifelong learning and success in a constantly evolving, dynamic profession.
  • We offer online programs for nurses at any stage in their career. From our R.N. to M.S.N., to our Ph.D. in Nursing, choose the program that is right for you.
  • Learn from doctorally-prepared, highly qualified instructors. Our faculty are true "scholar-practitioners," and bring real-world experience to every subject.
  • Receive a supportive, student-focused online education. Our programs are designed so that you can complete coursework when and where it's convenient for you.
  • We offer accelerated completion options for qualified students in our R.N. to M.S.N. and M.S.N. programs – earn your master’s degree fully online and finish faster.
  • Our net tuition cost for nursing programs is among the most competitive for regionally accredited universities.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include Healthcare Management, Public Health, IT, Psychology, BBA & Criminal Justice
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found

About Capella University

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.

  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • CCNE-Accredited Master of Science in Nursing Programs
  • Grand Canyon's 4-credit master’s classes allow you to complete your Master of Science in Nursing degree in less time.
  • Our master's in nursing programs include advanced practice roles in primary care and acute care, as well as curriculums which prepare nurses for roles in nursing leadership, nursing education & more.
  • Students can elect to take courses online or through our evening classes which meet just once a week at the Phoenix campus and other satellite locations throughout Arizona.
  • Grand Canyon is highly recognized in the healthcare industry for outstanding programs for practicing nurses who are seeking to further their education.
  • Request information – learn more about program offerings, start dates, financial aid & more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Several institutional scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
  • Features several learning model options, including online, residency, and hybrid options.
  • Offers graduate degree programs in organizational leadership, mind-body medicine, psychology and human science.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Two teaching locations in Seattle, Washington with the university headquarters located in Oakland, California.
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • 100% online M.B.A. programs offered, with specializations in Business Analytics, Healthcare Administration, & Nonprofit Leadership
  • Program focuses on core competencies of Leadership, Organizational Innovation, Faith & Ethics, & Data-Informed Decision-Making
  • Courses cover topics such as Innovation, Managerial Decision-Making, Strategic Marketing, & more
  • Degree program is designed to be completed in as little as 24 months
  • Online Courses
  • Go Higher with a career-enhancing degree from Concordia Nebraska you can earn fully online. All our online programs are designed to give you the flexibility to study around your schedule. 
  • You'll also benefit from exceptional student support and a rigorous academic experience ranked in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2016 Midwest Regional Universities.
  • Concordia offers a wide variety of MBA program offerings in such fields as Accounting, Business Intelligence, Human Resources, Leadership and Managing, Management, Marketing and Risk Management
  • Concordia also offers programs in the M.Ed field specializing in Early Childhood Development, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration, and Special Education
  • As an institution, Concordia University, Nebraska is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of its North Central Association
  • Concordia University, Nebraska is an excellent academic and Christ-centered community equipping men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • UMass Online MBA Programs
  • Earn a top ranked and highly-respected 100% online business education that works for you.
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Featured Schools