If interested in learning more about what an MSN degree (Master of Science in Nursing) can do for you, there can be loads of questions to ask. Everything from what is a bridge program to how to pay for it all can all come up. And with so much time, energy, and money on the line, being as informed as possible can help you make the right decision.
To help you, we have listed below 20 tips for picking the right MSN program. They include many tips for licensure and accreditation, as well as what to look for in a program.
Tips for Picking the Right Accredited MSN Program
- Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
Stop here for the first tool in any accredited school search. Simply type in the name of the school you are interested in to see if it is accredited and which agency it is accredited by. You can also look up schools by accrediting agency.
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The mission of the AACN is to advance higher education in nursing. Stop by to look up member schools all across the country. You can also learn more about CCNE accreditation.
- National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
One of the things the NLNAC is best known for is its accrediting of education programs. Simply click on the column to the left to see which programs have passed their standards. They also have resources and information for both students and educators.
- National Council of State Boards of Nursing
The NCSBN is charged as a sort of central unit to each of the 50 state boards of nursing, which have their own license requirements. In this special section, you can read more about the approval/accreditation process. There are also tons more resources for nurses, including info on the NCLEX, on the site.
- National League for Nursing One of the goals of the National League for Nursing is to lead in setting standards that advance excellence and innovation in nursing education. Stop by to see which schools stand out in their eyes and to learn more about certified nurse educators. They also have other resources for nurses.
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
Nurses and other health professionals can stop here to see if their school has been accredited by the ABHES. They have been nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a private, non-profit, independent accrediting agency since 1968. Students can also visit to get information on why accreditation matters, credit transfers, and even how to file a grievance.
- State Board of Nursing
If you know which state you would like to get a nursing license in, look up their nurse licensing board site to learn more about which schools they have accredited. This one is for Kansas and lists all their approved schools.
Tips for Picking the Right Specialty MSN Program
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
One of the best paying nurse careers, learn more about becoming a nurse anesthetist here. They have a list of accredited programs by state, or you can see them all with a click. There are also guides on how to become a CRNA.
- American College of Nurse Midwives
If looking to become a nurse-midwife, stop here. The ACME has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a programmatic accrediting agency for nurse-midwifery education programs since 1982. In addition to reading more about approved programs, the site also offers more information on education and other professional resources.
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Those interested in becoming nurse practitioners should have a look here before choosing an MSN program. They list schools that are both for nurse practitioners and for continuing education. They also have many resources for those preparing to become an NP.
- Nurse Practitioner in Women’s Health
Those looking for continuing education in the area of nurse practitioners who specialize in women’s health can stop here. They have a list of CE programs that are currently approved. Be sure to check out the main page to get information on publications, events, and even free webinars.
- Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
Their mission is to accredit naturopathic medical education programs that voluntarily seek recognition and meet or exceed CNME’s standards. Students who graduate from approved programs are eligible to apply for the naturopathic licensing examinations administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners. Read all about it with a visit.
- CGFNS International
If looking to learn more about international accreditation, click here. Their mission is credential evaluation and verification of education, registration and licensure of nurses, health care and other professionals worldwide. They have loads of certifications to apply for in several different countries.
Other Tips for Picking the Right MSN Program
- Top Health Schools
U.S. News is one of the most thought of sites when it comes to school rankings. They also have this section which outlines the best health schools, including graduate schools for nursing. They also have useful articles such as those with tips on how to apply for and pay for school.
- American Nurses Association
Although nursing certification isn’t required in many cases, nurses can still voluntarily get one or more. The ANA offers one of the most popular certification programs, and you can read more about it here. There are also tips for continuing education.
- Princeton Review
They are also a major college ranking body. The best in colleges are featured with other tools for students. This particular one is a quiz just for future nurses.
- Community College Week
If a community or junior college is being considered for an MSN program, stop here to get a site all about them. It includes rankings, as well as the latest news. Be sure not to miss the blog with more.
- Students Review
Sick of all these institutions of rankings? Then click here to get a site where actual students rate their schools. There are over 100,000 in 16,000 majors. Simply click to read, or add your own school review.
- Pass Rates
See how your MSN program stacks up by seeing the pass rate for their students on the NCLEX. This can help you determine how serious both the educators and students are. This particular one is for pass rates in California.
- All Nurses
Finally, if you still have questions on how to pick an MSN program or related, click here. It is all the forums from Allnurses.com and contains tons of answers to many nurse related questions. They also have sections for current nurses, specialty ones, and much more.
The above 20 tips for picking the right MSN program are for education purposes. Only the student can determine which factors are most important to him or her when choosing an MSN program.