8 Schools That Can Help You Turn Your BSN into a Master's Degree in Nursing

8 Schools That Can Help You Turn Your BSN into a Master's Degree in Nursing

Continued education is necessary for many of the in-demand, top-level careers in nursing, but working nurses may have a hard time finding space in their schedule to earn all the required credits. We've put together a list of 10 nursing schools that offer accelerated nursing degree programs, both online and on campus, that can turn your BSN to an MSN in less time than you might have thought. Registered nurses without a bachelor's degree can also find options to get their education up to speed for advancement, enabling them to eventually move into master's-level nursing jobs. Check out the list below and see if one is right for you:

  • Concordia University Wisconsin -- Tailored for RNs with an associate degree, and designed to take them all the way to an MSN in a single program, the RN to BSN to MSN program at this Mequon, Wisconsin university requires registered nurse licensure, CPR certification, and 31 credits of prerequisite courses in the liberal arts before admission can be considered. Students may choose between Family and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator for their MSN concentration. Courses are offered online, in Concordia's E-Learning format, to accommodate nurses who wish to continue working full time.
  • Emory University - Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing -- The accelerated BSN/MSN program at Atlanta-based Emory University was developed for aspiring nurse practitioners who have already earned a bachelor's degree in another field. Prerequisites for the program include mainly science courses, including general chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and human life span development. Graduate specialties to choose from include nurse-midwifery, women's health, pediatric primary care, gerontology, and health systems leadership.
  • Robert Morris University School of Nursing and Health Sciences -- The RN to MSN program at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania takes an average of three years to complete, and confers both a BSN and an MSN on its graduates. A valid RN license, a current résumé, two recommendation letters, and a 300-word statement of purpose are needed before an application can be considered. The program coursework is delivered almost entirely online, with a total of just four courses over the length of the program requiring that the student spend time in a clinical setting.
  • The University of Akron School of Nursing -- Among its multiple undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs, this Ohio university offers an accelerated nursing degree for RNs who want to get to their MSN studies as quickly as possible. The seven- or eight-semester program allows dedicated nursing students to take BSN courses along with their master's-level coursework, awarding the bachelor's degree whenever the BSN course requirements are completed. Prerequisites for the program include basic chemistry, sociology, ethics, psychology, public speaking, English composition, and statistics.
  • Thomas Edison State College -- This Trenton, New Jersey college offers an online RN to BSN/MSN program structured in such a way that only 27 credits, or approximately two full-time semesters of coursework, are required to complete the MSN after BSN requirements have been met. Graduate specializations include nurse administrator, nurse educator, and nursing informatics specialist. The program uses open and rolling admissions, and there is no time limit on degree completion as long as students finish at least three credits every 12 months.
  • Troy University School of Nursing -- The online RN to BSN/MSN program at Troy University in Alabama offers accelerated nursing degrees that future nurse informatics specialists can complete in six semesters, and family nurse practitioner (FNP) students can complete in seven. A current RN license and certified background check are necessary to be allowed into the undergraduate clinical nursing sequence of the program. Requirements for admission to the MSN program include an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test and, for FNP students, at least one year of clinical nursing experience.
  • University of Delaware College of Health Services -- The RN to MSN program at the University of Delaware is offered as a series of online and hybrid courses, with an option to complete clinical practice requirements at an affiliated worksite in your area. Prerequisites for the program include biology, nutrition, psychology, and statistics, and between 134 and 149 credits are required to complete the MSN curriculum. Graduate specializations include adult/geriatric health, family health, nursing of children, and health services administration.
  • University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professionals -- Clinical nurse leader (CNL) is an emerging role among nursing professions, and the BSN to MSN-CNL program at the University of San Francisco can help prepare students to be on the leading edge of this wave. Full-time students can earn their degree in just six semesters -- summer, fall, and spring for two years -- and some courses are taught one day a week to help accommodate established, working nurses in the program. The university also offers a 100 percent online MSN program for those with either an associate or bachelor's degree.

Although they might not mention it explicitly, any of the RN to MSN programs listed above may have modified or abbreviated paths, equivalent to BSN to MSN programs, for nurses who already hold a bachelor's degree. If you're curious about an individual program's rules in that regard, contacting a registrar or administrator can help you get the answers you're looking for.


  1. ABSN/MSN, Emory, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, http://www.nursing.emory.edu/admission/programs/bsn/absn_msn.html
  2. MSN for Registered Nurses, University of San Francisco, School of Nursing and Health Professions, http://www.usfca.edu/nursing/bsn-msn_cnl/
  3. Nursing Education for the RN, University of Delaware, College of Health Sciences, http://www.udel.edu/nursing/undergraduates/nursing_education.html
  4. Online Nursing (RN to MSN), Robert Morris University, http://www.rmu.edu/Online/AcademicPrograms/MastersPrograms/Nursing-RNtoMSN
  5. RN to BSN/MSN, Thomas Edison State College, http://www.tesc.edu/nursing/bsn-msn.cfm
  6. RN to BSN and RN to BSN to MSN programs, The University of Akron School of Nursing, http://www.tesc.edu/nursing/bsn-msn.cfm
  7. RN to BSN STEP Program in Nursing, Jacksonville State University, http://www.jsu.edu/edtech/online/degrees/nu_rn_bsn_step.html
  8. RN to BSN to MSN, Concordia University, https://www.cuw.edu/programs/rnbsnmsn/