What You Should Know About This Degree
There are a few caveats to be aware of with online MSN degrees. If you live close enough to a university campus to attend on-campus sessions, more clinical-focused MSN degrees than those on our list will be open to you. So while the degrees listed for each university are (at time of writing) 100% online, this meant we excluded a fair number of clinical-focused programs that required on-campus work.
Similarly, if you want to become a nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife, you’ll probably need to commit to some on-campus work. For more details, see our Best Online Nursing Degrees.
Here are a few questions you should consider when researching MSN programs:
- Is the program authorized in your state? If your state of residence is different from the state where your future university is located, you’ll need to check whether your home state has authorized your school’s state to teach classes online. Most universities include a “state authorization” page to help you out. If it’s unclear or missing, contact the nursing department or your local board of nursing for clarification before you apply.
- Do you need a BSN? While some MSN programs allow registered nurses to apply without having earned a BSN first, many require that intermediary step.
Also, it’s important to keep track of any requirements and deadlines that may apply to the documentation that you need to submit for admissions. If this information cannot be found on the school’s website, contact their admissions department.
You should consider how you will finance your degree as well. Research scholarships, grants, federal loans, and any other financial aid options that are available to you.