RN to MSN: Adult Health Nurse Degrees

What is an MSN: Adult Health Nurse Degree?

Students who want advanced nursing careers may consider pursuing an MSN: Adult Health degree, and become adult nurse practitioners (ANPs). ANPs diagnose, treat, evaluate and manage critical illness and disease in adults. An MSN in adult nursing prepares students for the advanced practice of nursing in the primary health care of adults. ANPs are qualified to diagnose and treat patients over the age of 12 and supervise registered nurses (RNs).


Students focus on the study of at risk and critically ill patients and their families who are cared for in ambulatory or extended care settings. Students can further specialize in an area of the body (cardiology), type of care (emergency), or type of disease (cancer). Nurses in the program often work one-on-one with patients to ensure an accurate health assessment. Courses provide nurses a structure for the use of research and theory as a basis for the diagnosis and treatment of illness in adults. Additional coursework includes advanced pharmacology, diagnostics, and clinical management.

Enrollees are expected to have earned an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing prior to applying to the program. Graduates of the program are expected to obtain ANP certification and proper licensure, which varies by state. The degree can take 1.5 to 5 years to complete depending on course load and specialization pursued.

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.

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.
Kaplan University
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. A DNP program is also available.
Walden University
Informatics (RN to MSN)
Education (RN to MSN)
Leadership/Management (RN to MSN)
Walden University - Walden University has specialized RN to MSN programs in Informatics, Education, and Leadership & Management. The RN to MSN in Informatics program combines nursing with computer science to help nurses use technology effectively to improve patient care. RN to MSN in Education incorporates teaching skills to the advanced nursing program. The RN to MSN in Leadership & Management prepares nurses for advanced careers and entry into management level positions.
Chamberlain College of Nursing
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.

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