All About Online R.N. To M.S.N. Bridge Programs: How They Work, How Long They Take And More

Online RN to MSN bridge programs are growing in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer an accelerated bridge program for registered nurses (RN) who are interested in pursuing their master’s degree. It offers a faster way to complete your degree and opens up new career opportunities for RNs. Here is a comprehensive guide to what you need to know about these programs, so that you can decide if they might be right for you. Sometimes programs are popular because they’re just that good.

How Do They Work?

Online RN to MSN programs work like most online programs. You just start taking online classes and using the study materials to start working toward your MSN degree. If you choose the right program then you can be working toward a fully accredited degree in no time at all. You complete the same type of coursework that you would be completing in a traditional campus education, but the difference is in how you receiver the material, the manner in which you schedule your courses, and how you study. Going to school online requires students to be independent and self-motivated since most of your coursework will be completed on your own time, around your own schedule.

Some things you can expect from an online program:

  • Lectures delivered electronically
  • Homework, tests, and other assignments submitted via email or online program
  • Contact with teach via email or phone call
  • Group communication through online messageboards
  • Coursework completed on your own time

    How Long Do They Take?

    How long these programs take depends largely on you. Many of the online programs offered allow you to work at your own pace, so you can go as quickly or as slowly as you like depending on how much free time you have to complete your work. Many such programs can be completed in less than three years. A lot of students choose the online route in order to keep working as well, so it will also depend if you are attending classes full time or part time.

    This is even more exceptional when you realize that many campus programs have schedules and waiting lists that can prevent you from even beginning your studies for a long time. Some online schools even work with you to help you to design your program to fit you. You can create a program that is made to work with your schedule from the start so that you know how much you can do each week and how long completing the program will take with the time that you have to devote to it.

    Why Choose an Online RN to MSN Degree?

    The list of reasons to complete this coursework online is a long and convincing one. You can find programs that may be more affordable than a traditional campus setting, and you can receive financial assistance if you are eligible in order to make paying for it even easier. Usually the most convincing argument for an online program versus a campus experience is that you can structure your studies around your family and work schedules and advance in your career without having to leave it behind in the meantime. This is usually a major selling point for students, because it is important for many to be able to keep their jobs and keeping making a living while still being able to go back for a more advanced degree.

    Online programs come with many benefits and few, if any, drawbacks. You can start these programs anytime and finish at a time that works for you. So if you can’t commit to taking full-time classes every semester, that’s fine. Take them slowly as you can fit them in, and work toward your degree over time.

    Most Popular RN-MSN Degree Programs

    Registered nurses looking for career advancement and higher salaries would do well to look into earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. An RN to MSN specifically is a degree designed for registered nurses who may or may not have already completed a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). Upon completion of an RN-MSN degree program, one will be educationally prepared to become a clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner. Below are online schools offering masters in nursing degrees.

    Kaplan University
    RN to MSN
    RN to MSN: Nurse Admin
    RN to MSN: Nurse Education
    Kaplan University - Kaplan University's RN to MSN program allows students to complete their bachelor's degrees and MSN together, with the MSN program in a condensed format. In addition to learning everything from basic to advanced nursing practices, students can opt to get MSNs in Nurse Administration or Nurse Education if they want to pursue management or teaching positions.
    Post University
    RN to BSN
    Post University - For students looking to advance their career in Nursing, Post University has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing available online. The online course can cut many of the costs associated with campus programs, like commuting, and increased living expenses. This course can be completed at a relatively fast pace compared to its campus counterpart too.
    South University
    RN to MSN
    RN to MSN: Adult Health
    RN to MSN: Nurse Education
    South University - South University's RN to MSN nursing programs are intended to prepare students to use research, apply nursing theories, design teaching plans, implement teaching skills, and analyze how health care policy will impact clinical practice. Students will learn about caring for multicultural societies, financial management for nurses, legal and ethical issues, theoretical perspectives, nursing research methods, palliative care, and gerontological care. Specialized degrees are offered in adult health and nursing education.
    Chamberlain College of Nursing
    RN to MSN
    Chamberlain College of Nursing - Chamberlain College of Nursing makes the RN to MSN simple by offering two tracks: the Educator Track and the Executive Track. Courses are offered online and include classes on informatics, leadership, assessment and evaluation, managerial communication, as well as advanced nursing practices.
    University of Cincinnati
    RN to MSN: Nurse Admin
    RN to MSN: Nurse Educator
    RN to MSN: Nurse Midwife
    RN to MSN: Women's Health
    University of Cincinnati - The MSN Programs at the University of Cincinnati's College of Nursing include perspectives from nursing sciences and holistic care to enhance the quality of health care its students can provide. Several MSN degrees are offered, including psychiatric NP or CNS, CNS/Nurse Education, Nursing Administration, Nurse Midwifery, and Women's Health.
    American Sentinel University
    MSN
    MSN: Case Management
    MSN: Health Informatics
    MSN: Infection Prevention
    MSN: Nurse Leadership
    American Sentinel University - The RN to MSN degree programs from American Sentinel University teach advanced methods in nursing. An MSN in Informatics prepares students to manage healthcare information systems. The MSN in Case Management teaches patient care innovations, while the MSN in Leadership will help you develop leadership skills.
    Sacred Heart University
    Nursing Education
    Clinical Nurse Leader
    Patient Care Services Admin
    Sacred Heart University - Sacred Heart University offers several MSN degree programs that can be completed through online courses. As an online course, these programs are great for students who have to balance school with busy or inconsistent work schedules. These programs will prepare students looking to enter nursing education positions, become clinical nurse leaders, or patient care services administrators.
    Capella University
    MSN: Educator
    MS: Educator Bridge
    Capella University - Capella University offers two MSN programs: Nurse Educator, and Nurse Educator Bridge. Both programs are designed to teach registered nurses the skills they will need to take on roles as nursing faculty or clinical nurse mentors. The Nurse Educator Bridge specialization is especially good for nurses who wish to have careers teaching in higher education institutions, or even the military.
    Utica College
    RN to BSN
    Utica College - Utica College is an inexpensive alternative for students who want to further their careers in Nursing quickly. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing provides a more in-depth study and allows students to pursue higher level positions. Moreover, most masters programs required a Bachelor's degree making this a highly sought-after program and valuable addition to your education.
    Grand Canyon University
    RN to MSN: Education
    RN to MSN: Leadership
    Grand Canyon University - Grand Canyon University offers an RN to MSN in Nursing Education and an RN to MSN in Leadership in Healthcare Systems. GCU has an exceptional record of students passing the NCLEX-RN examination, and graduates are frequently recruited by health care facilities. The RN to MSN in Leadership in Healthcare Systems uniquely combines graduate nursing core courses and courses taken with the MS in Leadership program, emphasizing communication skills.

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