50 Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs of 2015

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The Smart Choice ranking of online graduate nursing schools is designed to help current and future nurses make a smart choice about where to start or advance their nursing education. We extracted data from publicly available websites like the National Center for Education Statistics in order to provide a superb, objective ranking that will help students find a high quality online graduate nursing program that is affordable and flexible.

The Value of an Accredited Online Master of Science in Nursing

There are a five major reasons that obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a great decision. First, the field of nursing is exploding in growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for nurses will grow by 19% in the next 10 years. Second, obtaining an MSN gives nurses the ability to choose favorable specializations that are not available without a master’s. For example, advanced practice nursing (APRNs) such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners requires a master’s degree.  Next, an MSN degree can also dramatically increase earnings potential.  APRNs make an average of $96,460 per year  while licensed practical nurses (LPNs) make an average of $41,540 per year. Fourth, nurses interested in teaching higher education need at least a master’s degree to qualify. Nursing schools across the United States are reporting a shortage of nursing faculty which means that qualified nursing professors will have a high level of job security. Finally, accredited online nursing programs allow professionals who need to continue working in a full-time job the ability to complete a graduate degree.

In recent years some of the top ranked nursing programs in the country have added online degrees to meet the demands of nurses who what a good program but need heightened flexibility. All of the MSN programs on this list are either 100% online or online with limited campus visits. While programs vary in length, many MSN programs can be completed in as few as 18 months. Note that some schools are not able to admit out-of-state applicants from certain states. Clarify whether or not you are eligible by contacting admissions counselors from your top schools.

Our Methodology for This Ranking

In developing our Smart Choice ranking of the best online master’s nursing programs we only considered online nursing schools that are accredited by CCNE or ACEN (formerly known as the NLNAC). This guarantees that all online programs have met the highest standards of recognized institutional accreditation. The nursing schools that met this initial accreditation criterion were then evaluated based on reputation, awards, affordability, and return on investment. The result is a ranking of online nursing schools that offers prospective students a helpful tool for making a smart choice about where to earn an online graduate nursing degree.

#50. Seton Hall University

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Established in 1865, Seton Hall University is a private university with Catholic roots. The school has a campus in South Orange, New Jersey. Approximately 9,900 students enrolled in academic programs. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation.

Program Details: Seton Hall’s College of Nursing offers an online RN to BSN, an online MSN, and a Post Masters Certificate for Nurse Practitioners. The MSN has specializations in the following areas: Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Health Systems Administration, Nursing Case Management/Administration, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. The MSN programs vary in length and completion requirements. Most of Seton Hall’s online instructors are full-time faculty who have terminal degrees. Courses tend to be small with a faculty to student ratio of 1:10. The CCNE provides accreditation for the nursing degrees.

Admissions Website

#49. West Virginia University

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West Virginia University is a public land grant research university in Morgantown, West Virginia. The university has nearly 29,500 students enrolled and has a faculty to student ratio of 1:20. WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The School of Nursing at West Virginia offers an online RN to BSN, an online MSN, an online DNP and a blended PhD in Nursing. Students enrolled in the 44 hour MSN degree can focus in the areas of Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Leadership. The DNP is a 40-44 credit hour post-Master of Science in Nursing program that can be completed in three years with a part-time progression plan. The 54 hour Ph.D. in Nursing at WVU is a part-time blended program composed of in-person and online components. The nursing programs at West Virginia are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#48. University of Iowa

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The flagship campus of the University of Iowa sits on 1900 acres in Iowa City. This national research university has nearly 30,000 students enrolled. The Higher Learning Commission provides accreditation for the university.

Program Details: The University of Iowa’s School of Nursing offers an online RN-BSN as well as an online Master of Science in Nursing. The MSN has a Clinical Nurse Leader specialization. This 39 credit program is slated to take students three years to complete. All classes but one are offered exclusively online. Students must also visit the campus during the first and last semesters of study. Campus visits are limited to one and a half days each. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the program.

Admissions Website

#47. University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a public research university on a  332-acre campus near the Las Vegas strip. Nearly 28,000 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Program Details: UNLV’s School of Nursing offers a few advanced online nursing degrees. The school has an MSN with a Nurse Educator focus, and MSN with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The MSN programs are 33 credits. The DNP takes students two to three years. Cohorts of up to 14 students are admitted to the DNP each year. While the classes are facilitated online, the DNP program requires three on-campus visits. Accreditation for the nursing programs is provided by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

#46. Texas Christian University

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Texas Christian University is a private institution with a campus that is just outside of downtown Fort Worth, Texas. The school is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ and has just under 10,000 students enrolled. Accreditation is provide by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences houses TCU’s nursing programs. The school offers two online graduate nursing programs: an MSN and a DNP. The Master of Science in Nursing has a specialization in Clinical Nurse Specialist (adult and pediatric), Clinical Nurse Leader, and Nursing Education. The DNP has a general track that is offered online as well as a track in Anesthesia that is has eight months of online classes, twelve months of on-campus classes, and 16 months of residency. The Anesthesia DNP is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The nursing programs at TCU are accredited by the CCNE.

Admissions Website

#45. University of Colorado ​Denver

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The University of Colorado Denver is one of three universities in the University of Colorado system. The public university has over 22,000 students enrolled. The University of Colorado Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

Program Details: The University of Colorado Denver offers an online RN to BSN, an online MSN, an online DNP, and an online PhD. The MSN has concentrations in Leadership and Healthcare Systems or Informatics. While all of the classes for the DNP have online components, some classes require a one- to two-day intensive session on campus. The PhD in Nursing program has only one campus visit per semester. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing programs.

Admissions Website

#44. Norwich University

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Norwich University is in Northfield, Vermont and has nearly 3,500 students enrolled. Instituted in 1819, Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the United States. Students do not need to be in the military to attend the school. Accreditation is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE).

Program Details: The university offers a 36-credit online Master of Science in Nursing with a Nursing Education track and a Nursing Administration track. All classes are 100% online with the exception of a week-long residency at the end of the program. The program is designed to take students 18 months to complete. Classes are capped at 15 students to ensure a high level of academic support. The cost per credit of the MSN is $616. Accreditation is provided by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#43. Chamberlain College of Nursing

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For over 125 years Chamberlain College of Nursing has been equipping nursing professionals for successful careers. This for-profit nursing school is owned by DeVry Inc. and has many locations around the US. The college is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS).

Program Details: Chamberlain College of Nursing has a variety of online programs: an RN to BSN, RN-BSN to MSN, an MSN, and a DPN. Students in the online MSN program can specialize in Nurse Educator, Nurse Executive, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Informatics or Healthcare Policy. Students in the online DNP program can focus on Advanced Practice Leadership or Healthcare Systems Leadership. Courses are 100% online. When practicums are required, they can be fulfilled at locations chosen by the students. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation.

Admissions Website

#42. Georgetown University

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Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit research university in Washington DC. Nearly 18,000 are enrolled in the university. Georgetown is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: The university’s Department of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program for students with a BSN who are licensed registered nurses. The online MSN has three specializations: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (40 credits), Family Nurse Practitioner (44 credits), and Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (49 credits). The degrees can be completed in as few as 19 to 27 months depending on the specialization. Most courses are facilitated in a live video feed. Some programs require visits to the campus. The online Nurse Midwifery program is accredited by The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), and the graduate program as a whole is accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#41. Duquesne University

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Duquesne University is a private, Catholic university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10,000 students are enrolled in the school. Accreditation is provided by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: Duquesne’s School of Nursing offers a variety of online programs to fit the needs of students. The programs include an RN to BSN program, a MSN with two concentrations (Forensic Nursing and Nursing Education), two post-master’s certificates, a PhD, and a DNP. While the coursework is completed online, students are required to visit the Pittsburgh campus for a few days. Check individual programs for more details. The nursing degrees at Duquesne University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#40. Lamar University

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Lamar University is positioned in the southeastern Texas town of Beaumont. The university is a public research university with over 14,000 students. The school was founded in 1923 and transitioned to being a part of the Texas State University system in 1995. LU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Details: The JoAnne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing offers an online RN to BSN program and two 37 hour online MSN programs. The online MSN programs are in the areas of Nursing Administration and Nursing Education. Most classes are asynchronous although a few are synchronous. Students in the MSN program are assured one-on-one attention with a graduate advisor to ensure a maximized learning experience. Tuition for the MSN is $705 per credit. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) provides accreditation for the nursing programs.

Admissions Website

#39. Graceland University

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Established in 1895, Graceland University is a private liberal arts university that is sponsored by the Community of Christ. Approximately 2300 students are enrolled in the school. Graceland has campuses in Lamoni, Iowa and Independence, Missouri. The university is a member of the North Central Association (NCA) and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Program Details: Graceland’s School of Nursing has a variety of online options for healthcare professionals. Students can pursue a BA in Health Care Management, an RN to BSN, an RN to MSN, an MSN, and a DNP. The online MSN program has two tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. MSN students must complete at least two visits to the Independence, Missouri, campus. The post-master’s program is 31 hours delivered online within a 16 week  trimester schedule The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing programs.

Admissions Website

#38. University of Arizona

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The University of Arizona was founded in 1885 as the first university in Arizona. This public research university is located in Tucson and has over 40,000 students enrolled. Accreditation is provided by Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Program Details: The College of Nursing at the University of Arizona offers online programs in the following areas: an MSN for RNs, a DNP, a PhD in Nursing, and a handful of Nurse Practitioner Certificates. The MSN program is 100% online. The DNP and the PhD programs require a five day on-site visit each year. The nursing programs at the University of Arizona are approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#37. Arizona State University

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Arizona State University is a public research university with a main campus in Tempe, Arizona and several extension campuses. Around 49,000 students are enrolled in programs through the Tempe campus. Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: ASU’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation offers three online nursing programs. The school has an RN to BSN, a Master of Science in clinical research management for nurses and healthcare professionals, and a certificate for nurses and healthcare professionals in Clinical Research Management. The MS program for nurses is a 33-semester-hour program with online courses. There is an optional two-day orientation program. This program requires a six semester-hour capstone clinical research project. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing program.

Admissions Website

#36. University of Colorado ​Colorado Springs

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

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The University of Colorado Colorado Springs has over 11,300 students enrolled. The campus is located on approximately 521 acres in northeast Colorado Springs at the foot of Austin Bluffs. The university is accredited the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers an online RN to BSN degree, an online MSN, an online DNP, and an online certificate in Forensic Nursing. The MSN is 38-47 credits with and has a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialization (Adult or Family) as well as a Nurse Education specialization. There are no campus visits required for the online MSN or the online DNP. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#35. University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

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Considered to be the second largest university in the United States, the University of Central Florida has nearly 60,000 students enrolled.  UCF is a member institution of the State University System of Florida and is located in Orlando, Florida. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: UCF’s College of Nursing has seven online programs and six hybrid programs.  The exclusively online graduate programs include an MSN in Leadership and Management, a Nurse Educator MSN, an Advanced Practice Nurse DNP, an Executive Nurse DNP, and a PhD in Nursing. The MSN programs are 100% online. The DNP and PhD programs are online with a few on-campus intensives. UCF nursing degrees are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#34. McKendree University

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McKendree University is a private liberal arts college with a main campus in Lebanon, Illinois as well as courses at  Scott Air Force Base, and in Louisville, Kentucky and Radcliff, Kentucky. The school was founded founded in 1828 under the name Lebanon Seminary. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in the institution and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: The School of Nursing and Health Professions at McKendree offers three different online nursing degree programs: a Master of Science in Nursing, a combined MSN/MBA, and a RN to BSN. Students engaged in the MSN program can specialize in Palliative Care, Nurse Manager/Administrator, or Nurse Educator. All courses in the MSN are facilitated online. The dual MSN/MBA graduate program is specifically crafted for professionals who want executive positions or who desire to start their own nursing related businesses. Tuition for both online graduate nursing programs is  $420 per credit. Accreditation for the nursing program is provided by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#33. University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati is a public research university that was founded in 1819. Located in Cincinnati, OH and part of the University of Ohio system, UC has more than 34,000 students enrolled. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Program Details: The University of Cincinnati  College of Nursing offers an online MSN program, with specializations in Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse-Midwifery, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Students are allowed to choose a clinical practicum in their own region with approval from the college. Tuition for the online MSN program is $724-$739 per credit depending on residency. The College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#32. Drexel University

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Drexel University has been providing high quality education since 1891. Its primary campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but the school operates out of several extension campuses in Pennsylvania a campus in Sacramento, California and globally through online degrees. The the Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation.

Program Details: The university’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers a variety of online nursing programs. Students can pursue an online RN to BSN, an online RN to MSN, an online MSN with over 10 concentrations, an online DNP, and a wide variety of certificate programs. The school offers top notch tech support that is available 24/7 for questions. Students in the online programs have full online access to the school library. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing programs

Admissions Website

#31. Old Dominion University

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Old Dominion University is a public research university in Norfolk, Virginia that was established in 1930. The university has nearly 25,000 students enrolled in academic programs. Accreditation is provide by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Since the early 1960’s Old Dominion has been training nurses. Currently the school offers a few online programs out of the School of Nursing. Students can pursue an RN to BSN, an MSN with four different concentrations (Adult-Gerontology, Family Nurse Practitioner, Administration and Midwifery) and a DNP with two concentrations (Executive and Advanced Practice). The MSN programs are 45-47 credits and facilitated online via the asynchronous format. The Midwifery program requires a practicum. The DNP is 36 credit hours, facilitated online via the asynchronous format, and requires an internship or a practicum. The online graduate nursing programs at Old Dominion have a tuition of $437-456 per credit hour. The CCNE provides accreditation.

Admissions Website

#30. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University

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Eastern Kentucky University is a research university located in Richmond, Kentucky. The school also has extension campuses throughout Kentucky in Corbin, Danville, Hazard, Lancaster, Manchester, and Somerset. Total enrollment of EKU is over 16,000. The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges – Commission on Colleges provides accreditation.

Program Details: The university has a wide range of program options for those interested in pursuing online nursing programs. The school has  four nursing certificates, an RN to BSN program, an MSN, and a DNP. The MSN program has three concentrations: Rural Health Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Administration. EKU regularly has a 100% pass rate on national certifying exams. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#29. Michigan State University

The Bott Nursing building extirior on Thursday November 1, 2012.

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Michigan State University was founded in 1855. This public research university is located in East Lansing, Michigan and has over 49,000 students are enrolled. Accreditation is provided by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: MSU’s College of Nursing has an offering of two 100% online nursing degrees and two online/hybrid programs. The online/hybrid programs include a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Master of Science in Nursing with two specializations: Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. The 100% online programs include an MSN with a Clinical Nurse Specialist concentration and an RN to BSN degree completion program. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing programs.

Admissions Website

#28. University of Delaware

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With over 22,000 students enrolled, The University of Delaware is the largest university in Delaware. The main campus is in Newark and there are satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown. Accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: The University of Delaware offers a variety of online nursing degrees out of the College of Health Sciences. UD has an online RN to BSN program and an online RN to MSN program. The school also has an MSN program with with three concentrations completely taught online and two concentrations taught through a hybrid format. The tuition for graduate nursing degrees at UD is $1625 per credit hour. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing programs.

Admissions Website

#27. University of South Carolina

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The University of South Carolina is a public research university that was founded in 1805. The has a main campus in Columbia, South Carolina and several other campuses. There are nearly 32,000 students enrolled in the flagship campus. Accreditation for the school is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: USC offers an online MSN and DNP out of the School of Nursing. Though the coursework for the MSN and DNP programs are delivered online, some clinical courses require on-campus visits.  The MSN has the following specializations: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner – Adult/Geronotology, Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Family, and Organizational Leadership. The nursing degrees are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#26. Western University of Health Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences

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Western University of Health Sciences is a private, non-profit graduate school for the health professions. The main campus sits on 22 acres in Pomona, California. Accreditation is provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.

Program Details: The school has an online Master of Science in Nursing program for students with a BSN who are licensed registered nurses. Students can specialize in Health Systems Leadership-Administrative Nurse Leader, Health Systems Leadership-Clinical Nurse Leader, or Ambulatory Care Nursing. The school also has a web-based DNP program. Although the graduate nursing curriculum is online, students need to attend weekend seminars at the Pomona, CA campus twice per semester for both programs. The Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education provides accreditation for nursing programs.

Admissions Website

#25. University of Alabama in ​Huntsville

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a public research university that is located on a 400-acre campus in the heart of Huntsville, Alabama. There are over 7,300 students enrolled in the school. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: The College of Nursing at UAH offers four online nursing programs – a certificate in Nursing Education, an RN to BSN program, an MSN with an emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems, and a DNP. The MSN is a 39 hour program that is almost offered completely online. Two classes in the program require visits on campus for three days each. The DNP is an online program with one required orientation on campus and annual spring visit for DNP Intensives. The programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#24. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina

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Located in Cullowhee, NC, Western Carolina University is a public university and is a member of the University of North Carolina system. The university has over 10,000 students enrolled. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: Western Carolina’s School of Nursing offers four online nursing programs. The school has a Post-Masters Certificate with an emphasis in Nurse Educator, an RN to BSN program, an MSN with a focus in Nurse Educator and an MSN with a focus in Nurse Leadership. The online MSN programs are 38-41 credits depending on the program. Online graduate degrees at Western Carolina University are $228.58 per credit for residents of North Carolina and $738.73 per credit for non-residents. The degrees are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#23. University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh

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The University of Pittsburgh is a public research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1787, the school is one of the oldest universities in the United States. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation for the university.

Program Details: Pitt’s School of Nursing provides a variety of online nursing programs: a Certificate in Nursing Research, a Post-Masters Nursing Informatics Certificate, an MSN, and a Post-Masters DNP. The online MSN program has three specializations: Nursing Administration, Clinical Nurse Leader, and Nursing Informatics. Online classes at Pitt are facilitated by the same high quality faculty as the on-campus programs. Nursing programs at the University of Pittsburgh are accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.

Admissions Website

#22. Sacred Heart University

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Sacred Heart University is a Roman Catholic university located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Nearly 7,000 students are enrolled in the school. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges provides accreditation for Sacred Heart University.

Program Details: The coursework at Sacred Heart is designed to equip students with tools thrive in the nursing profession by preparing students intellectually, relationally, emotional, and spiritual for the job. The school has three online nursing programs – an RN to BSN, an RN to MSN, and an MSN. The MSN program has four specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Family Nurse Practitioner, Patient Care Services Administration, and Nursing Education. The tuition of the MSN program is $625 per credit. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing program.

Admissions Website

#21. Ball State University

Ball State

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Ball State University is a public research university in Muncie, Indiana. Over 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in the school. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation for the degrees at Ball State.

Program Details: The School of Nursing at Ball State uses a liberal arts approach to facilitate the online nursing degrees. They have four online nursing options: an RN to BSN, an RN to MSN, an MSN, and a DNP. The MSN has a leadership track in education or administration and an advanced practice nurse practitioner track. Students have up to six years to complete the MSN. The post-master’s DNP is for nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives. The nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing.

Admissions Website

#20. Cedarville University

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Cedarville University has been providing Christian high education since 1887. This private, Baptist university is located in Cedarville, Ohio and has approximately 3,600 students enrolled. Accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Program Details: The university has an online Master of Science in Nursing as well as an online Graduate Certificate Global Public Health Nursing. The MSN has a specialization in family nurse practitioner and as well as one in global public health nursing. Full-time students can complete the degree is as few as two years. Tuition for the CCNE accredited online MSN is $536 per credit.

Admissions Website

#19. Gardner–Webb University

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Gardner-Webb University is a private Christian university with ties to the Baptist denomination. The school is located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina and has nearly 4,700 students enrolled in academic programs. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: The Gardner-Webb University School of Nursing provides an online RN to BSN, an online RN to MSN, as well as an online MSN with two areas of study: Nursing Administration or Nursing Education. The school offers an online 63 hour MSN/MBA dual degree. Students interested in pursuing a post-master’s DNP should consider the low residency program at Gardner-Webb which requires 20-23 hours of on-campus course work. The online MSN program is $413 per credit. The DNP program is $682 per credit.  The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) for the nursing programs at Gardner-Webb.

Admissions Website

#18. University of Missouri

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Established in 1839, the University of Missouri is a public research university located in Columbia, Missouri. The campus sits on 1,262 acres and is designated as a botanical garden. The school, also known as Mizzou, has approximately 35,000 students enrolled. The Higher Learning Commission provides accreditation.

Program Details: The Sinclair School of Nursing houses Mizzou’s nursing programs. The school offers two online certificate programs, an online RN to BSN, an online MSN with two concentrations (leadership and education), an online PhD, and an online DNP with five concentrations. Many of the online nursing degrees require a few short visits to campus to enhance the program. The program is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing and is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#17. Saint Xavier University

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Founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. This private school has approximately 4,200 students enrolled. Saint Xavier is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Saint Xavier offers an online Master’s in Nursing program with two tracks: Executive Leadership which focuses on preparing nurses for high-level administrative duties over departments or units and Clinical Leadership which emphasizes working closely with patients while improving patient care and outcomes as a leader. These programs are crafted for registered nurses who already have a BSN. The nursing programs are at Saint Xavier are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#16. Georgia College & State University

Georgia College

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Located in Milledgeville, Georgia, Georgia College & State University is a public liberal arts university. The school has over 6,500 students enrolled. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: The university offers three online nursing degrees out of the College of Health Sciences’ School of Nursing. Students can pursue an online RN to BSN, an online DNP, or an online MSN with a focus in Nurse Practitioner or Educator. Though the MSN and DNP programs are facilitated online, the degrees require a two week on-site immersion experience each year.The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation.

Admissions Website

#15. Gonzaga University

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Founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus, Gonzaga University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Spokane, Washington. Approximately 7,600 students are enrolled in programs at the school. Gonzaga University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Program Details: The university offers an array of online nursing programs including an RN to MSN, an MSN, and a DNP. Students in the online MSN can focus on five areas of study including but not limited to Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse. Students in the online DNP program can specialize in the following areas: Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Admissions Website

#14. University of Kansas

University of Kansas

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With nearly 27,000 the University of Kansas is sonsidered to be the largest institution of higher education in Kansas. This public research university in Lawrence, Kansas. Accreditation is provided by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: University of Kansas School of Nursing offers two fully online nursing degrees and a handful of online certificates in nursing. The degrees that are 100% online are the RN to BSN and the MSN. The school also offers a hybrid PhD in nursing as well as a hybrid DNP. Students in the online MSN program can specialize in clinical research management, nursing informatics, organizational leadership, or public health nursing. The nursing programs at KU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Admissions Website

#13. Regis University

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Regis University is a private, Roman Catholic university with nearly 10,000 students enrolled. The main campus in Denver, Colorado. The school also has extension campuses in a couple of locations in Denver as well as in Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Loveland, and Thorton. Regis is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The university has a robust online nursing degree offering offered out of the Loretto Heights School of Nursing. The online, accelerated graduate programs include an online Post-BSN to DNP, an RN to MSN (Education or Management Focus), an MSN in Leadership Healthcare Systems, and a DNP. The DNP has two specializations: Advanced Leadership in Health Care and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. Tuition is $620 per credit for the MSN and $825 per credit for the DNP. The nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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#12. University of Texas at Tyler

UT Tyler

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UT Tyler sits on 259 acres in the pine and oak forests of the East Texan town of Tyler. The school is considered to be one of the fastest-growing universities in the University of Texas System. Nearly 7,500 students are enrolled in the school. Accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Texas at Tyler houses a number of online nursing programs. The online offering includes an RN to BSN, an MSN with two concentrations (education and administration), an MSN-MBA program, and a PhD in Nursing. The school also has an online hybrid MSN with a Nurse Practitioner emphasis and two nursing certificates. The PhD program is exclusively online with the exception of a five-day orientation each summer prior to beginning classes. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing program.

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#11. University of Texas Medical Branch

UTMB

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Located off the Gulf of Mexico on the island of Galveston, Texas, the University of Texas Medical Branch is a component of the University of Texas System. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in the school. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: UTMB offers an online RN to BSN program, an online MSN, an online DNP and an online PhD program. With a 91% graduation rate, the School of Nursing boasts the highest Academic Health Center graduation rate in the state of Texas. The MSN has six tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), Executive Nurse Leader (ENL) and Nurse Educator (NE). The DNP is a 42 credit program that requires only one trip to campus each semester for 2-3 days. The Nursing PhD Program requires one five days visit to the campus each year. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the programs.

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#10. Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY; Stony Brook University: Main Entrance

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Sitting on a 1,039-acre campus on Long Island’s North Shore, Stony Brook University is a public university that is part of the State University of New York system. Over 24,000 students are enrolled. Accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Details: The School of Nursing at Stony Brook offers several online blended nursing programs. They offer an RN to BSN, an RN to MSN, and an MSN with four specializations (education, leadership, Nurse Practitioner, and midwifery). Students working towards an MSN with a Nurse Practitioner specialization can choose to focus on one of the following areas: Adult-Gerontological Health, Family Health, Perinatal/Women’s Health, Neonatal Health, Pediatric, and Psychiatric/Mental Health. The online nursing programs at Stony Brook require some on-site visits. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing program.

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#9. University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst

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The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship campus of the UMass system. The other campuses are in Boston, Lowell, and Dartmouth. The flagship campus has over 28,500 students enrolled. Accreditation for the UMass schools is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Program Details: UMass Amherst offers three online nursing degrees – an RN to BSN, an MSN, and a DNP. Students enrolled in online programs at UMass take classes from the same professors as traditional students. The MSN degree has a speciality in Clinical Nurse Leadership. The DNP has five specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner,  Public Health Nurse Leader, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or the Post Master’s DNP Completion program. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation for the nursing programs.

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#8. George Washington University

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George Washington University is a private university located in the heart of Washington DC, mere blocks from the White House and the National Mall. Over 25,000 students are enrolled in the university. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation.

Program Details: The university offers an online Master of Science in Nursing in the following fields: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Research Administration, Family Nurse Practitioner, Health Care Quality, Nursing Leadership and Management, and Nurse-Midwifery. The midwife specialization is a collaborative option between George Washington University School of Nursing and Shenandoah University.  On-campus visits are dependent upon the specialization. In general, students should plan on visiting the campus at least once during their studies. The MSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and has a tuition of $920 per credit.

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#7. Samford University

Samford University

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Samford University was founded in 1841. This a private, coeducational university is located in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. Nearly 4,900 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The university offers a variety of online nursing options out of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. Students can pursue an online MSN with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner, Health Systems Management and Leadership, Nurse Anesthesia, or Nurse Educator. Qualified students can also pursue an online DNP with a specialization in Administration or Advanced Practice. The nurse anesthesia program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia/Educational Programs (COA). The CCNE provides accreditation for the nursing degrees.

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#6. Loyola University New Orleans

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Situated in the culturally rich city of New Orleans, Louisiana, Loyola University New Orleans is a private Jesuit university. Around 4,700 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: The Loyola School of Nursing Online offers RN to BSN, RN to MSN, and BSN to MSN degree programs. The MSN degree specializes in Health Care Systems Management (HCSM). There is an optional BLEND program to allow registered nurses with a non-nursing Bachelor’s degree to enter into the online MSN program. Courses are facilitated 100% online in the asynchronous format. Loyola’s MSN is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

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#5. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt U

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Sitting on over 300 acres in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University is a private research institution of higher education. Nearly 13,000 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist’s and doctor’s degrees.

Program Details: The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing offers an all-online MSN in Health Care Leadership through their e-learning program, with a practicum located near students’ place of residence. In order to fit the demands of professional students with busy schedules, students post responses to timely curriculum on the discussion board, receive feedback, and submit assignments 24/7. This 39 credit MSN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Graduate tuition in the nursing school is $1,195 per credit.

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#4. Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Nursing

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Wheeling Jesuit University was founded as Wheeling College in 1954 by the Society of Jesus. This private, Roman Catholic university is in Wheeling, West Virginia on the Ohio River. The school has over 1,600 students enrolled. The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides accreditation.

Program Details: Wheeling Jesuit University integrates liberal arts education into the nursing programs. The school has three online nursing degrees – an RN to BSN, an RN to MSN, an MSN with concentrations in Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education Specialist, and Nursing Administration. All courses are offered online, with clinical and practicum requirements completed in the student’s home community. The tuition for the MSN is $625 per credit. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) provides accreditation.

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#3. Ohio State University

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Considered to be one of the largest universities in the United States in terms of attendance, Ohio State University has approximately 57,500 students enrolled. The main campus of this public research university is in Columbus, Ohio. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Details: Ohio State offers a 100% online MSN degree for students who already have a BSN. The online program has three specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The school also has an online Doctor of Nursing Practice with two tracks: Clinical Expert and Nurse Executive. While the DNP courses are offered online, students are required to attend an orientation on campus. Both programs are accredited by the CCNE.

Admissions Website

#2. Duke University

Duke University

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Duke University is an award winning private research university in Durham, North Carolina. The school was originally established by Quaker and Methodist families in 1838. Nearly 15,500 students are enrolled in the university. Accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees.

Program Details: Duke University School of Nursing offers a distance-based Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The MSN offers the following tracks: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Nursing and Health Care Leadership, Nursing Informatics, and Nursing Education. While much of the MSN is online, there is a limited on-campus component for the program. The minimum number of credits required for the MSN degree ranges from 42 to 49 credit hours depending on the major. The DNP program is 73-94 credits for students who enter with a BSN and 34-41 credits for students who enter with an MSN. Courses for the DNP are primarily online with a 2-3 day visit per session. Both programs are accredited by the CCNE and have a tuition of $1,495 per credit.

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#1. Johns Hopkins University

Johns hopkins

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John Hopkins University was founded in 1876 and named after its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. The school is located in Baltimore, Maryland and has nearly 21,000 students enrolled. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides accreditation.

Program Details: John Hopkins Nursing programs are regularly ranked highly. The university offers an online Master of Science in Nursing in the following areas: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Health Systems Management, and a combination of the two.  The Health Systems Management program is 35 credits and generally takes four semesters to complete. The 38-39 credit Clinical Nurse Specialist program has four specializations and can be completed in 15 months (four semesters). The programs are accredited by the CCNE and have a tuition of $1,451 per credit.

Admissions Website

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