Easiest Online MSN Programs to Get Into

7 Min Read Published October 6, 2023
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.

Fast Facts About Online MSN Programs


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

Program length

  • 2-4 years


  • 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

We used our proprietary 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.

We then looked at which programs offer the highest acceptance rates to find online MSN programs that will be easiest to get into.

1. 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. 

  • Acceptance rate:  100% 
  • Tuition:  $620 per credit hour
  • Program Length
    • Full time: 5 semesters 
    • Part time: 7 semesters 
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Application Deadline:
    • Fall semester: March 1st
    • Spring semester: September 15th 
  • Contact Information: 

>> Related: 1-Year Online MSN Programs

2. 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. 

The program offers concentrations in either nursing education or 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.

  • Acceptance rate: 100% 
  • Tuition: $2,242.00 total course and lab fee 
  • Program Length: 
    • Full time: 4 semesters 
    • Part time: 6 semesters 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: February 1st 
  • Contact Information: Dr. Addie Herrod, Department Chair.

3. Arkansas Tech University 

Arkansas Tech University offers a fully online MSN in Nursing Administration and Emergency Management that has a 100% acceptance rate. 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. 

  • Acceptance rate: 100% 
  • Tuition: $314.50 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 39 credit hours 
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 
  • Application Deadline:  
    • Fall semester: March 1st 
    • Spring semester: October 1st  
  • Contact Information: Jennifer Helms, PhD, Program Director


4. 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. In addition to its 98% acceptance rate, EKU provides free textbooks, making it one of the most affordable and easiest MSN 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.  

  • Acceptance rate: 98% 
  • 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: Stephanie Konkel, Online Enrollment Advisor.

5. 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 that has a 97% acceptance rate. This program prepares nurses for executive and advanced healthcare leadership positions. 

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. The program begins in August of each year.  

  • Acceptance rate: 97% 
  • Tuition: $450 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 31 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: August 
  • Contact Information: Dr. Diana Beckmann-Mendez, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, Graduate Program Chair. 

6. 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. 

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. 

  • Acceptance rate: 97% 
  • Tuition: $475 per credit hour (up to 9 credit hours) then $100 per credit hour for each additional hour. 
  • Program Length: 
    • FNP: 42 to 45 credit hours
    • PMHNP: 48 credit hours
    • Nurse Educator: 40 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Spring semester: November 15th
    • Summer semester: April 15th
    • Fall semester: July 15th
  • Contact Information: Susan Prude, RN, PhD, Graduate Nursing Program Coordinator. 
    • Phone number: (985) 549-2356
    • Email: gradnursingadmin@southeastern.edu   

7. Wright State University 

U.S. News & World Report ranked Wright State among the best online nursing programs nationwide. It boasts a “high certification pass rate, excellent clinical site placements, and an outstanding reputation in the region” (Wright.edu). Students can develop individualized curriculum plans, including part-time schedules.

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
  • 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. 

  • Acceptance rate: 96% 
  • 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: Crystal Hammond, MSN, APRN, CNM, NP-C Family, Clinical Assistant Professor. 

8. Auburn University of Montgomery 

Auburn University at Montgomery College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers three online MSN programs that have a cumulative 96% acceptance rate:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator for Interprofessional Practice
  • Health Systems Leader

Though students take courses online, they also must attend on-campus intensives that include orientation, evaluation, and simulation experiences. AUM has a reputation for excellence, with a graduate pass rate on the FNP certification exam of 100%. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report named it one of the nation's top public schools.  

  • Acceptance rate: 96% 
  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $451 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state: $496 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: All programs can be completed in six semesters.
    • Family Nurse Practitioner: 48 credit hours 
    • Nurse Educator: 39 credit hours 
    • Health Systems Leader: 35 credit hours 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Summer semester: May 24th
    • Fall semester: August 9th
    • Spring semester: January 2nd 
  • Contact Information: 

9. Northwestern State University 

Northwestern State University offers online MSN programs leading to roles as nurse administrators, nurse educators, and nurse practitioners. 95% of applicants are accepted into these programs. 

Students who choose the nurse practitioner concentration can choose from among several specialty areas, including:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute or Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN students must also attend in-person labs and simulations on an NSU campus or at an off-campus learning site. Both the nurse educator and administrator degrees offer optional maternal child or adult-gerontology concentrations.  

  • Acceptance rate: 95% 
  • Tuition: $475 per credit hour up to 9 hours, then $100 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 
    • Nurse Educator/Nurse Administrator: 39 credit hour
    • Nurse Practitioner: 44 to 46 credit hours 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: June 1st 
  • Contact Information: 
    • Phone number: (318) 677-3100
    • Email: msn_pmc@nsula.edu

10. Central Methodist University 

Central Methodist University offers two tracks for nurses interested in earning an online MSN degree: Clinical Nurse Leader and Nurse Educator. These programs have a 95% acceptance rate. 

Students who chose the Clinical Nurse Leader path prepare to take responsibility for and improve patient care outcomes and enhance nursing practice. Nurse educators learn to improve student outcomes through the design and implementation of evidence-based curricula for nursing practice.

Central Methodist has 10-12 students per MSN cohort. Students in both programs complete 16 hours of core classes and 18 hours of coursework related to their concentration.

  • Acceptance rate: 95% 
  • Tuition: $390 per credit hour 
  • Program Length: 34 credit hours 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling 
  • Contact Information: 

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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