Online RN-MSN Programs with a Nurse Practitioner Focus

If you are a nurse with an RN degree thinking about becoming a nurse practitioner, the new year is the perfect time to start planning your continued education.  While there are a few ways you can advance to becoming an NP, an RN-MSN program is the most efficient path and can save you time and money in your education.  An online RN-MSN offers unprecedented flexibility for nurses looking to go back to school.  Which schools offer online RN-MSN programs?

While plenty of RN-MSN programs offer continued education to nurses, most do not offer programs with a nurse practitioner focus.  The majority of RN-MSN programs offer specialties like nurse leadership, nurse education, clinical nurse leader and nursing informatics.  Fortunately, there are a few schools across the U.S. that do cater to students looking for a more clinical education.

The following schools offer online RN-MSN programs leading to a nurse practitioner degree.

University of Central Arkansas

The Univeristy of Central Arkansas offers an online RN-MSN program allowing students to select between the Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner and the Primary Care Adult/ Gerontology Nurse Practitioner specialties.  The University of Central Arkansas does an excellent job preparing students for a career as an NP.  In 2012, nurse practitioner students at UCA had an overall 99% pass rate on the national NP certification exam, well above the national average.

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware also has high standards for nurse practitioner students with a 2012 overall pass rate on the national nurse practitioner certification exam of 99%.  RN-MSN students at the University of Delaware may choose between Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner specialties.  Admissions faculty warn that admission to the RN-MSN program is competitive.

Ball State University

Ball State University’s RN-MSN program has additional prerequisite requirements compared to other programs.  Students applying to the RN-MSN track at Ball State must have not only an RN degree but also a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field.  Students at Ball State may choose from Adult or Family Nurse Practitioner specialties.

Allen College

Allen College provides students with more options for their education than most RN-MSN programs.  RN-MSN students may specialize in the Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specialties.  Applicants to the program must have completed at least 60 undergraduate credits.  Students applying to acute care programs must also have recent acute care experience.

Frontier Nursing University

Offering both Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse-Midwifery specialties to RN-MSN students, Frontier Nursing University is a popular option for nurses looking to further their education.  Frontier does not require that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree.  Frontier Nursing University also offers the unique option for RN-MSN students to seamlessly enter the DNP program once their MSN is complete.

Walden University

Walden University offers multiple educational paths for RN prepared students.  Students may select either a 30 month program awarding both a BSN and MSN degree, or students may select a 24 month RN-MSN degree bypassing the BSN providing a more accelerated education.  Both educational paths are offered in the Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner specialties.

Graceland University

Graceland University offers an RN-MSN program with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus.  Graceland gives students the unique opportunity to stop their education once the BSN portion of the program is complete should they choose not to continue their education.  In total, three on-campus sessions are required to complete the program.

Drexel University

Drexel University’s online RN-MSN program is available to students with an RN degree and a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.  Drexel University offers a number of nurse practitioner specialties including Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.

Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University offers an MSN track that allows RN’s to earn both a BSN and MSN degree as well as a track for RN’s with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.  Both tracks take about 27 months to complete.  Graduates of Thomas Jefferson University do quite well as evidenced by a 95% pass rate on the national nurse practitioner certification exam as well as a 100% post graduation job placement rate.

Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Jesuit University’s RN-MSN program awards both a BSN and MSN degree.  While the program is mostly online, students may be required to travel to campus on to two times per semester.  Wheeling Jesuit University offers a Family Nurse Practitioner specialty.

Concordia University

The Family Nurse Practitioner RN-MSN program at Concordia University awards both BSN and MSN degrees.  Students must have completed roughly 31 credits of undergraduate coursework prior to entry with a grade of B or better.  Concordia’s RN-MSN program is flexible with faculty saying coursework is easily accommodates a full-time work schedule.

Are you planning on attending an online RN-MSN program?  Where will you  apply for your nurse practitioner degree?


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