The Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Nursing Degree Programs (MSN)

The best Online Master’s in Nursing Degree Programs prepare individuals for careers as nurse educators, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse leaders (CNL). Top online programs can offer concentrations in patient care services, nursing informatics, health administration, and nurse wifery, among others.

Ranking the Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Nursing Degree Programs (MSN)

We based our selection of the top 10 accredited online Master’s in Nursing degree programs on a number of factors, including reputation of high admissions standards, high placement rate for graduates in top positions of their choice, and standing in major nursing school ranking publications. Graduates of an online MS in Nursing degree have the skills and confidence necessary to take their place as leaders in the health care field. Concentrations vary, depending on the school, but all of these programs offer students the flexibility to study at a time which suits their schedule.

#1 – Georgetown University Online Master of Science in Nursing

Executive Summary

Georgetown University holds the No. 22 ranking on the U.S. News Best Colleges list and has a well-established and highly respected nursing program.

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Tuition

Full-time students pay approximately $31,700 in tuition and fees, and part-time learners pay $19,570 to pursue an online Nursing degree from Georgetown.

Unique Features

The online MSN program at Georgetown operates in a seminar style. Students are encouraged to communicate with instructors on a one-on-one basis. The program’s clinical component can be completed at a location close to the student’s home.

Concentrations

Family Nurse Practitioner and
Nurse Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Nursing Education

#2 – Ball State University Online Master’s in Nursing

Executive Summary

Ball State University has been named as one of the best universities in the Midwest by The Princeton Review for seven years. It holds the No. 8 ranking on US News & World Report’s list of up and coming colleges and universities.

Tuition

State residents pay $299 per credit hour (one of the cheapest online master’s in nursing degree programs in this list), while out-of-state learners are charged $364. Depending on the area of concentration, studying at Ball State online will cost $9,800-$14,950 for in-state students and $12,000-$18,200 for out-of-state students.

Unique Features

Participants can study at their own pace and have up to six years to complete their online MSN degree.

Concentrations

Adult Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner
Leadership (Educator or Administrator)

#3 – Capella University

Executive Summary
The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The MSN program is CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) accredited.

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Tuition
Tuition is $375 per credit and the program requires 57 credits for completion.

Concentrations
Concentrations include the following.

Nursing Leadership and Administration
Nurse Educator
Diabetes Nursing
Gerontology Nursing

#4 – Benedictine University Masters in Nursing

Executive Summary

Benedictine University is a regionally-accredited institution which has been designated as one of the best universities in the Midwest, according to US News & World Report.

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Tuition

The cost to attend Benedictine University is $540 per credit hour, which brings the cost of completing a 36 credit-hour degree to $19,440. This is one of the more affordable online master’s in nursing degree programs in this list.

Unique Features

Students can choose electives to create a personalized concentration if they wish.

Concentrations

Administration
Disaster Management
Health Education
Health Policy
Leadership, Management & Finance
Public Health

#5 – Drexel University Online Masters in Nursing

Executive Summary

Drexel’s online nursing program is one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. The University has been offering nursing programs online since 1997.

Tuition

Students pay $765 per credit. A 58-credit program would cost $44,370. Some programs, such as the Women’s Health Care Practitioner concentration, require students to go the campus for mandatory assessments and include a clinical component.

Unique Features

Courses are taught by the University’s board-certified faculty.

Concentrations

Adult Acute Care Practitioner
Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Clinical Trials Research
Innovation and Intra/Entrepeneurship in Advanced Nursing Practice
Nursing Education & Faculty Role
Nursing Leadership in Health Systems Management
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

#6 – Jacksonville University Online Master of Science in Nursing

Executive Summary

Jacksonville University has been offering online nursing programs for a decade. The school is consistently ranked by US News & World Report as being one of the best in the nation.

Tuition

Jacksonville University Nursing students pay $618 per credit hour ($1,854 per course). The cost of an 18-course degree is $33,372.

Unique Features

Streaming videos and online chat rooms help students feel connected to their instructors and each other. Lectures can be downloaded in MP3 and MP4 formats. Courses are 16 weeks in length.

Concentrations

Nursing Education and Leadership in Healthcare Systems concentrations are offered by Jacksonville University.

#7 – Johns Hopkins Online Master of Science in Nursing

Executive Summary

Johns Hopkins’ School of Nursing has been ranked as the top graduate program in the nation by US News & World Report.

Tuition

MSN students at Johns Hopkins will pay $32,352 in tuition ($1,348 per credit) to obtain their degree.

Unique Features

Students can complete a Master’s degree online in 18-24 months, depending on whether they are studying on a full or part-time basis. The distance learning program uses a variety of teaching methods, including:

Clinical logs (completed weekly)
Discussion boards
Live conferencing
Reflective activities
Video presentations
Virtual media
Wikis

Concentrations

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical Nurse Specialist (Forensic Focus)
Health Systems Management

#8 – Loyola University Master’s in Nursing

Executive Summary

Loyola’s MSN degree is accredited by the accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National League for Nursing (NLN).

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Tuition

This 36-credit hour degree program costs $26,784 ($744 per credit hour).

Unique Features

Students have the flexibility to study anytime and can pursue this degree on a part-time basis if they wish. A Personal Support center and a Help Desk are available on a 24 x7 basis.

Concentration

The Masters in Nursing program concentration is in Targeted Health Care Systems Management.

#9 – Saint Xavier Online Master’s in Nursing

Executive Summary

SXU is one of only 17 schools in the US to be recognized by the National League for Nursing (NLN) as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. It holds the No. 6 ranking on The Best College’s list of the top MSN programs in the country.

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Tuition

This program costs $595 per credit hour. Students will pay $22,610 for a 38 credit hour program.

Unique Features

All students complete a set of core courses for this degree. They can choose to complete their clinical component in an area of nursing which reflects their interests and career goals.

Concentrations

Nursing students can choose to specialize in Clinical Leadership or Executive Leadership.

#10 – University of Cincinnati Online MS in Nursing

Executive Summary

Cincinnati’s School of Nursing has been ranked as one of the top 10 percent of programs in the country by US News & World Report. College Match ranked it as one of its Top 15 Underrated Gems.

Tuition

Tuition for each concentration is calculated separately and ranges from $23,700-$38,400 for in-state students. Out of state learners will pay $24,200-$35,950.

Unique Features

The Program includes core and specialty courses related to the student’s concentration, as well as a practical component.

Concentrations

Adult Nurse Practitioner
Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Educator
Family Nurse Practitioner
Nurse-Midwifery
Nursing Administrator
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

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Ranking Recap

1. Georgetown University – Family Nurse Practitioner
2. Ball State University – Nursing Leadership
3. Benedictine University – Nurse Educator
4. Drexel University – Variety of Concentrations
5. Capella University – General Nursing
6. Jacksonville University – General Nursing
7. Johns Hopkins University – Variety of Concentrations
8. Loyola University – Health Care Systems Management
9. Saint Xavier University – Clinical Leadership
10. University of Cincinnati – Variety of Concentrations

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This concludes our recommendations in the top online master’s in nursing degree programs.

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