Easiest Online MSN Programs to Get Into

12 Min Read Published May 15, 2024
Easiest online MSN programs to get into

If you're considering earning an MSN degree, you have a wide range of options, including many high-quality online nursing master’s degree programs. To help you choose one that suits your needs, we've compiled a list of online MSN programs with the highest acceptance rates. 

Read on to learn about the easiest online MSN programs to get into, with insights on tuition rates, program length, accreditation, and much more.

Popular Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Georgetown University
Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

Fast Facts About Online MSN Programs

Salary

  • The median annual salary for advanced practice registered nurses is $125,900 (BLS)

Program length

  • 2-4 years

Requirements

  • Unencumbered RN license
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Minimum amount of clinical experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal and professional references

Top 10 Easiest Online MSN Programs to Get Into

  • Alcorn State University
  • University of Detriot Mercy
  • Cox College
  • Delta State
  • Arkansas Tech University
  • Curry College
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • University of the Incarnate Word
  • Southeastern Louisiana University
  • Wright State University

We used our ranking methodology to curate the easiest MSN online programs to get into. We only include accredited institutions to ensure that we exclusively reference degree programs that meet professional standards. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has accredited every school in this article.

1. Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University is the oldest public historically Black land-grant institution in the United States and the second-oldest state-supported institution of higher learning in Mississippi. It has a long history of excellence and affordability. There are two available MSN programs including,

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Nurse Educator (NE)

The nursing program even offers DNP terminal degrees so it is easy for students to transition if they wish to continue their education. 

>> Related: 1-Year Online MSN Programs

2. University of Detroit Mercy

 University of Detroit Mercy offers several MSN programs all in varying length. Most programs are entirely online but do require in-person clinicals. Additionally, others require on-campus presence for in-person intensives. For example, the emergency NP program requires two on-campus, two-day intensives during the course of the program. 

Students receive personalized 1-on-1 service with faculty throughout the program, offering a curriculum that meets their needs. There are multiple start dates with varying course options on a full-time or part-time basis. 

  • Tuition:  $959 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 4 - 8 semesters
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Fall term – August 15th
    • Winter term – December 1st
    • Summer term – May 1st
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone number: (313) 993-1828
    • Email: gradnursing@udmercy.edu

3. Cox College

Cox College’s Master of Science in Nursing program has a 100% acceptance rate and offers two different online MSN tracks: 

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

The FNP degree offers 45 credits, while the PMHNP program has 46. Students can finish these programs in 5 semesters of full-time study or 7 semesters of part-time. Admission is available in both the fall and spring semesters. Cox College boosts a 96% job placement rate without one year of graduation. 

  • Tuition:  $620 per credit hour
  • Program Length
    • Full time: 5 semesters 
    • Part time: 7 semesters 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline:
    • Fall semester: March 1st
    • Spring semester: September 15th 
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone number: (417) 269-3401 
    • Email: admissions@coxcollege.edu

4. Delta State 

Delta State’s Robert E. Smith School of Nursing also accepts 100% of applicants. It offers a hybrid MSN degree with online classes and scheduled campus seminars. Delta State indicates that admission is competitive; however, students are not turned away if they meet the requirements, and typically, fewer students apply than seats are available. 

The program offers concentrations in either nursing education or family nurse practitioner. It includes core classes, research, and role-specific theory and practicum courses. 

Delta State's online classes feature both chat and discussion activities. Students can schedule clinical learning opportunities in facilities and agencies near the student’s location with faculty approval. FNP students must complete their clinical requirements in either Mississippi or Arkansas. 

  • Tuition: 
    • FNP: $2,312
    • NE: $1,204
  • Program Length: 
    • Full time: 4 semesters 
    • Part time: 6 semesters 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: February 1st 
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone number: (662) 846-4255
    • Email: nursing@deltatstate.edu  

5. Arkansas Tech University 

Arkansas Tech University offers a fully online MSN in Nursing Administration and Emergency Management. The program teaches principles of nursing administration, including planning, organization, and evaluation. Students also learn emergency management principles like preparedness, mitigation, and recovery.

Courses include epidemiology, research, legal and ethical issues, and principles of hazards and emergency management. In addition to 30 semester hours of coursework, students take nine credits in a nursing administration or emergency management specialty. At the start of the program, students are assigned a faculty advisor who will design a specific course schedule that not only fulfills the degree requirements but also your individual needs and career goals. 

  • Tuition: $314.50 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 39 credit hours 
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Application Deadline:  
    • Fall semester: March 1st 
    • Spring semester: October 1st  
  • Contact Information: 

Popular Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Georgetown University
Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

 

6. Curry College

Curry College offers an affordable, fixed tuition with no hidden fees for all MSN programs. Offering three, nursing education, nursing administration, and accelerated MSN, students partner with top Boston hospitals to complete a capstone and clinical immersion experience.

The acceptance rate to Curry's MSN programs is 100%, partially because of the admission requirements and the low application numbers. Applicants must hold a valid Massachusetts RN license and attend at least one class in person. 

  • Tuition: 
    • NE & NA: $34,020 total tuition
    • Accelerated MSN: $64,152 total tuition
  • Program Length: 
    • Milton Campus: 2 years
    • Plymouth Campus: 3 years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline:  July 1st
  • Contact Information:
    • Phone number: 
      • Milton: (617) 333-2364
      • Plymouth: (508) 747-2424
    • Email: ccce@curry.edu

7. Eastern Kentucky University 

Eastern Kentucky University offers two tracks for its online Master of Science in Nursing Degree. Students may select from a rural health family nurse practitioner (FNP) or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) pathway. EKU provides free textbooks, making it one of the most affordable and easiest MSN programs.

The MSN program at EKU is one of the only FNP programs focused on rural health. Because of this focus, requirements for clinical sites are stricter than those of other FNP programs. 

By the time they submit their application, students must have at least one year of RN experience. The rural health FNP program encompasses 47 hours and boasts a 100% first-attempt pass rate on national certification exams. Similarly, the PMHNP program has 49 credit hours and a 98.6% first-attempt pass rate.  

  • Tuition: $689 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 47 credit hours 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadlines: 
    • Fall semester: July 1st
    • Spring semester: November 1st
    • Summer semester: March 15th 
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone number: (859) 622-6458
    • Email: Hayley.Anders@eku.edu

8. University of the Incarnate Word 

The University of the Incarnate Word’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions offers an online MSN in nursing leadership. This program prepares nurses for executive and advanced healthcare leadership positions. Students can complete the program in two years and take no more than two courses at a time.

At UIW, nursing students don't just learn management theory and organizational skills for healthcare systems and agencies. They also engage in clinical experiences involving financial management, strategic planning, and leadership issues.   

  • Tuition: $450 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: August 1st
  • Contact Information: 

9.  Southeastern Louisiana University 

Southeastern Louisiana University’s online MSN program is part of the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing. This consortium includes three other institutions: McNeese State University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Nicholls State University. Students may enroll in classes at any of the schools. This allows for increased flexibility and the ability to complete the program in an accelerated time frame. This can also be helpful depending on the location of your clinical practicums.

The consortium’s program concentrations offered are:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Education

Each pathway is available on a full or part-time basis, and admissions are available in summer, spring, and fall semesters. Students must complete all clinical hours in Louisiana. 

  • Tuition: $858.10 per course
  • Program Length: 
    • FNP: 42 to 45 credit hours and 600 clinical hours
    • PMHNP: 48 credit hours and 600 clinical hours
    • Nurse Educator: 40 credit hours and 300 clinical hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Spring semester: November 15th
    • Summer semester: April 15th
    • Fall semester: July 15th
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone number: (985) 549-2356
    • Email: gradnursingadmin@southeastern.edu   

10. Wright State University 

Wright State University's online Master of Science in Nursing trains and educates students in several specialty areas, including:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Administration of Nursing and Health Care Systems
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care & Acute Care
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The credit hours required to complete each of these programs vary. Additionally, although the MSN coursework is entirely online, there are some in-person requirements. Students will visit campus six to nine times over the course of the program, including for orientation and final exams. 

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $680 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state: $1,145 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 39-55 credit hours, depending on the program 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Spring semester: December 1st
    • Summer semester: April 1st
    • Fall semester: July 31st 
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone number: (937) 775-3778
    • Email: nursing@wright.edu

Popular Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Georgetown University
Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

Next Steps For Enrolling in an Online MSN Programs

Still not sure where you want to earn your Master of Science in Nursing? Check out these MSN resources to help you decide:

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer
Nurse.org Contributor

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is a freelance writer and editor who is driven by details. She loves to dive into research, ensuring that the information she provides educates, engages and illuminates. Before starting her own business she spent years working in advertising and raising three kids. Today she lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where her she and her husband enjoy travel, the Jersey Shore, and spoiling their grandchildren.

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