The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that the field of nursing is growing much faster than average in the United States, and those who choose to earn an online master’s in nursing will find that even more prospects are available to them. Not only can online MSN programs open doors to new opportunities, but they also allow nurses to specialize in a field of interest. Not all master’s in nursing online programs are alike, however, and there’s a lot to consider when choosing the ideal school. In this ranking, we examine the 50 top value online MSN programs for 2017.

Ranking Methodology
Awards and Recognition (Related to Nursing)
• National Level – 2 points
• Regional Level – 1 point
20-Year Net ROI
• Above 500,000 – 5 points
• Above 400,000 – 4 points
• Above 300,000 – 3 points
• Above 200,000—2 points
Customization Options
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations and Specializations)—1 point
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid, Synchronous, etc.)—1 point
Innovative Programs and/or Teaching Methods in Nursing – 1 point
Internship Opportunities in Nursing – 1 point
Scholarship Opportunities in Nursing – 1 point
Related Student Organizations and Societies – 1 point
Wow Factor: for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us – 1 point

Best Value Colleges for an Online Master’s in Nursing
To determine the best value online MSN programs, our editors began with the 100 top-ranked programs according to US News & World Report. To narrow the pool further, we then chose the most lucrative schools according to PayScale.com. We then visited each school’s program website to gather the information required to apply the ranking methodology above. In cases where two or more schools received the same rating, we used graduate tuition and fees—as reported by College Navigator—to break the tie, presenting the more affordable school higher in the ranking.

#50 – Georgia Southern University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Statesboro, Georgia

Georgia Southern Univeristy online nursing master's program

Georgia Southern University offers an online master’s in nursing program in Chronic Care Management.

Website
Points: 5

Georgia Southern University offers an online master’s in nursing in Chronic Care Management. This program is designed for licensed RNs with at least a year of full-time nursing experience. Because this means most of the program’s students work full-time, it is also designed to be fairly flexible. Students are advised to keep Tuesdays available for synchronous activities such as course meetings, but this is the only major scheduling requirement. There are also no required visits to campus for this online nursing master’s program, as clinical hours can be completed close to where students live.

Tuition & Fees: $8,728

#49 – Union University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Jackson, Tennessee

Union University msn programs online

Union University’s master’s in nursing online students can complete coursework on a full-time or part-time basis.

Website
Points: 5

Online master’s in nursing students at Union University can choose between administration and education tracks. This program is designed for licensed RNs with a BSN degree. However, individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing may still be eligible for admission if they have taken certain science courses. Students in this program are required to attend a two-day orientation, but after this, there are no more required visits to campus. Clinical hours can be completed locally. Full-time students can complete this online nursing master’s program in just over a year, and part time students can finish in about two years.

Tuition & Fees: $6,630

#48 – The Catholic University of America

Master’s in Nursing Online

Washington, D.C.

Caldwell Hall online nursing master's program

The Catholic University of America’s online master’s in nursing program features a Family Nurse Practitioner track.

Website
Points: 6

The Catholic University of America offers an online master’s in nursing program with a Family Nurse Practitioner track. This track meets the standards of multiple organizations, and it thoroughly prepares students for the national certification exam. The program includes both a residency requirement and a clinical requirement. The clinical requirement is flexible and can be completed in the student’s own community, but students will still have to visit campus twice during the second half of the program. Most students complete their online MSN programs with CUA in three years.

Tuition & Fees: $41,800

#47 – Baylor University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Waco, Texas

Baylor University online nursing master's program

Baylor University offers an accelerated option among online MSN programs.

Website
Points: 6

Baylor University offers an online master’s in nursing in Leadership and Innovation. This is an accelerated option among online MSN programs that students can complete in just over a year. Students complete one course every five weeks. These courses are designed in collaboration with the Baylor Health Care System, which ensures that courses are practical and relevant. Most courses are also taught by the same highly-qualified professors who teach on campus. Students who complete this online nursing master’s program are well prepared for both national certification and employment in a wide variety of settings.

Tuition & Fees: $30,150

#46 – Duquesne University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Duquesne University msn programs online

Duquesne University offers three different online master’s in nursing programs.

Website
Points: 6

Distance nursing students at Duquesne University can choose from three different online MSN programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Forensic Nursing, and Nursing Education and Faculty. All of these programs are primarily online, but two of them, Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education, require visits to campus. All programs have slightly different requirements, but they all can be completed in three years at full-time pace. The online MSN programs also have a part-time option, which gives students up to five years to graduate.

Tuition & Fees: $21,402

#45 – University of Connecticut

Master’s in Nursing Online

Storrs, Connecticut

University of Connectivut online nursing master's program

The University of Connecticut’s online master’s in nursing program requires three on-campus visits.

Website
Points: 6

The University of Connecticut offers an online master’s in nursing Neonatal Nurse Practitioner/Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist program. Coursework is delivered completely online, but the program does include multiple in-person activities. Students are required to visit campus three times for orientation and simulations. Students also must complete clinical practicum courses. This online nursing master’s program is rigorous and requires previous nursing experience. However, because this means that many students are working, the online portions are delivered in an asynchronous format in order to accommodate students’ busy schedules.

Tuition & Fees: $15,296

#44 – University of Utah

Master’s in Nursing Online

Salt Lake City, Utah

University of Utah msn programs online

The University of Utah’s online master’s in nursing program features both synchronous and asynchronous components.

Website
Points: 6

The College of Nursing at the University of Utah offers an online master’s in nursing program in Nursing Education in a primarily online format. Students are expected to visit campus at least twice a semester for activities such as orientation, exams, and intensive educational experiences. Clinical experiences can typically be completed in students’ own communities, and online courses are delivered in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats. Prospective students should note that this online nursing master’s program is limited to students living in the Intermountain West.

Tuition & Fees: $7,312

#43 – Georgia College & State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Milledgeville, Georgia

Georgia College and State University online nursing master's program

Georgia College and State University offers two distinct online master’s in nursing programs.

Website
Points: 6

Georgia College and State University offers two online master’s in nursing programs: Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner. The Family Nurse Practitioner program includes both a general track and a Psychiatric Mental Health track. These programs are primarily online with clinical experiences. Most of these clinical experiences can be completed in the students’ own communities, however. The only other in-person requirement for this online nursing master’s program is the Lab Immersion Week, which prepares students taking Advanced Assessment during the first semester with a clinical instruction foundation.

Tuition & Fees: $7,174

#42 – Clayton State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Morrow, Georgia

Clayton State University msn programs online

Clayton State University’s online master’s in nursing program requires a clinical practicum.

Website
Points: 6

Clayton State University’s offers its online master’s in nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program through its School of Nursing. This program prepares its students to sit for national certification, as well as to provide primary care to a wide variety of patients. Courses are primarily asynchronous, but do occasionally include synchronous activities. The program includes a practicum, but this can be completed at a local hospital or school of nursing. Most students finish their online MSN programs at CSU in just three and a half years.

Tuition & Fees: $6,966

#41 – University of Nevada—Las Vegas

Master’s in Nursing Online

Las Vegas, Nevada

University of Las Vegas-Nevada msn programs online

The University of Las Vegas-Nevada’s online master’s in nursing program requires occasional campus visits.

Website
Points: 6

The University of Nevada–Las Vegas offers its students two online MSN programs: a Family Nurse Practitioner MSN program and a Nurse Educator MSN program. Both of these programs have on-campus requirements. Students attend two three-day orientation sessions, and some clinical courses require on-campus sessions. These on-campus sessions can last between one and three days, and the amount of on-campus sessions varies by instructor. Most students complete their online nursing master’s program in three years, but busier students can take up to six years.

Tuition & Fees: $5,500

#40 – George Washington University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Washington, D.C.

George Washington University online nursing master's program

George Washington University’s online master’s in nursing program features five specialization options.

Website
Points: 7

Online master’s in nursing students at George Washington University can choose between five different specializations within the MSN program: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery, Nursing Leadership and Management, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Most of these programs require multiple visits to campus for orientation, intensives, and clinical examinations. However, the online portions of the programs are still designed to accommodate busy students. Courses required for this online nursing master’s program are asynchronous, so students can access lectures and other course materials at their convenience.

Tuition & Fees: $27,851

#39 – Texas Christian University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Fort Worth, Texas

Texas Christian University msn programs online

Texas Christian University is home to three online MSN programs.

Website
Points: 7

Texas Christian University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers three online MSN programs: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nursing Administration and Leadership, and Nursing Education. These programs are designed for individuals with at least two years of nursing experience. The programs vary in length, but they all are typically completed in two or three years. While all of these MSN programs online include clinical hours, they are still primarily online. All didactic courses are completely online and delivered in an asynchronous format.

Tuition & Fees: $25,518

#38 – Florida State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State University msn programs online

Florida State University’s online master’s in nursing program is designed for working nurses.

Website
Points: 7

Distance nursing students at Florida State University can choose between two online MSN programs: a Nurse Educator MSN program and a Nurse Leader MSN program. Because these programs are meant for individuals with nursing experience, they are designed with the needs of working students in mind. Courses are completely online, and most clinical experiences can be completed close to where students live. Nurse Educator students may be asked to visit campus for a one-day clinical experience in the fall, but this is the only on-campus requirement for this online nursing master’s program.

Tuition & Fees: $11,543

#37 – Regis University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Denver, Colorado

Regis University online nursing master's program

Regis University’s online master’s in nursing program can be completed in just two and a half years.

Website
Points: 7

Regis University offers an online master’s in nursing program in Leadership in Health Care Systems with a Management focus and an Education focus. Students can choose just one of these focus areas or complete a dual focus. Both focus areas include two practicum experiences, and neither require visits to campus. Full-time students can complete their education in two and a half years. However, students can choose a slower pace and take up to six years to complete their online nursing master’s program if needed.

Tuition & Fees: $10,800

#36 – University of Kansas

Master’s in Nursing Online

Lawrence, Kansas

University of Kansas msn programs online

The University of Kansas offers an online master’s in nursing program with four specialization options.

Website
Points: 7

The University of Kansas’s School of Nursing offers an online master’s in nursing program that emphasizes not only nursing skills, but also research and leadership. It also includes four specialization options: Clinical Research Management, Nursing Informatics, Organizational Leadership, and Public Health Nursing. These concentrations vary in credit hours required, but they all can be completed in about three years. All course content is the same content that is offered on campus, and all required courses for this online nursing master’s degree can be taken entirely online.

Tuition & Fees: $9,958

#35 – University of Colorado—Colorado Springs

Master’s in Nursing Online

Colorado Springs, Colorado

University of Colorado Colorado Springs msn programs online

No on-campus visits are required for the University of Colorado-Colorado Spring’s online master’s in nursing.

Website
Points: 7

The University of Colorado–Colorado Springs offers Primary Care Adult/Gero Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online MSN programs. These programs can be completed without any visits to campus, though they do require students to complete a practicum. The nearly 100% online nature of these programs, as well as the asynchronous delivery format the programs use, make this university a good choice for faraway or busy students. Students who move frequently or intend to complete practicum hours in a different state may need to choose a different online nursing master’s degree program.

Tuition & Fees: $9,916

#34 – Indiana University-Purdue University—Indianapolis

Master’s in Nursing Online

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indiana University- Purdue University - Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis offers a flexible master’s in nursing education program.

Website
Points: 7

Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis offers four online master’s in nursing programs: Nursing Education, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. The Nursing Education program is the most flexible. Courses are primarily asynchronous, and students can complete their practicum in their own community. The other three programs, however, are much more limited. While they do allow students to complete their degree without visiting campus, courses are synchronous and practicum hours must be completed in Indiana. This may be suitable for Indiana residents who like working from home as opposed to a campus setting, but these particular online MSN programs are definitely not ideal for students in other states.

Tuition & Fees: $9,183

#33 – McKendree University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Lebanon, Illinois

McKendree University msn programs online

McKendree University’s online master’s in nursing can be completed in as little as 2 years.

Website
Points: 7

McKendree University’s online master’s in nursing program includes three tracks: Palliative Care, Nurse Educator, and Nurse Manager/Administrator. This program is designed for experienced nurses. As a result, the program is also designed to accommodate working students. The degree can be completed with no visits to campus, and practicums can be conducted locally. The amount of practicum hours required varies by track, but all online MSN programs can be completed in as little as two years at a full-time pace.

Tuition & Fees: $9,016

#32 – West Virginia University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Morgantown, West Virginia

West Virginia University msn programs online

West Virginia University offers an online master’s in nursing program with three optional emphases.

Website
Points: 7

West Virginia University offers an online master’s in nursing program with Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Leadership, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner emphases. Full-time students can complete the program in two years, and part-time students typically complete the program in three or four years. Courses are delivered in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats. All emphases include in-person requirements, such as practicums and special sessions. These sessions can last between two days and one week. This online nursing master’s program is ideal for students who want both the flexibility of an online program and the interactivity of a face-to-face format.

Tuition & Fees: $8,568

#31 – Boise State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Boise, Idaho

Boise State University online nursing master's program

Boise State’s online master’s in nursing program offers two specializations.

Website
Points: 7

Boise State University offers its distance nursing students an Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner online master’s in nursing program. The program includes two specializations: Primary Care and Acute Care. The main difference between these specializations is the setting they prepare the student to work in. Both tracks include clinical and on-campus requirements, and both tracks prepare students for certification. Prospective students should know that this program is only available in fewer than twenty states. This program may be great for students who can make the trips to campus, but it is less flexible than some other MSN programs online.

Tuition & Fees: $8,166

#30 – New Mexico State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Las Cruces, New Mexico

New Mexico State University msn programs online

New Mexico State University’s online master’s in nursing program is primarily asynchronous.

Website
Points: 7

New Mexico State University offers an online master’s in nursing in Nursing Administration that is designed for nurses with a BSN degree and an RN license. This is an online only program, and all coursework is completed online. However, students are still expected to visit campus for a four-day orientation. Courses are primarily asynchronous, but do occasionally include synchronous activities, such as chats with peers and instructors. Students have up to seven years to complete this online nursing master’s program, but most students only take three or four years.

Tuition & Fees: $4,941

#29 – University of San Francisco

Master’s in Nursing Online

San Francisco, California

University of San Francisco online nursing master's degree

The University of San Francisco’s online master’s in nursing offering includes a BSN and an ADN track.

Website
Points: 8

The University of San Francisco’s online master’s in nursing program is designed to prepare its students for roles as clinical nurse leaders. The program includes two tracks: one for ADN-level students, and one for BSN-level students. The main difference between these programs is the amount of credit hours required to graduate. The ADN track requires 12 more credit hours than the BSN track, but both can be completed in only two years, as this particular online nursing master’s program is meant to be taken at a rigorous pace.

Tuition & Fees: $22,460

#28 – University of Pittsburgh

Master’s in Nursing Online

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh online nursing master's program

The University of Pittsburgh’s online master’s in nursing informatics is offered exclusively online.

Website
Points: 8

The University of Pittsburgh offers two online master’s in nursing programs: Clinical Nurse Leader and Nursing Informatics. Both of these MSN programs online are designed with busy students in mind. They can be completed with no visits to campus, and clinical experiences can be completed in students’ own communities. The Clinical Nurse Leader program has the same curriculum and instructors as its on-campus counterpart. The Nursing Informatics program is online only, but it is still taught by highly qualified university faculty.

Tuition & Fees: $22,060

#27 – Benedictine University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Lisle, Illinois

Benedictine University msn programs online

Benedictine University’s online master’s in nursing features a unique concentration in Nurse Executive Leadership.

Website
Points: 8

Benedictine University offers an online master’s in nursing program with Nurse Educator and Nurse Executive Leader concentrations. This program can be completed in two years, and there is no residency requirement. All courses are taught by credentialed faculty with relevant experience in the field. Courses are also delivered in an asynchronous format, so students can access lectures and other materials at their convenience. This online nursing master’s program is great for busy students whose schedules do not allow them to visit campus or attend live classes.

Tuition & Fees: $16,695

#26 – University of South Carolina

Master’s in Nursing Online

Columbia, South Carolina

University of South Carolina online nursing master's program

The University of South Carolina offers four diverse online MSN programs.

Website
Points: 8

The University of South Carolina offers four online master’s in nursing programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration: Organizational Leadership, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: Family. All of these programs require students to make regular visits to campus for intense clinical courses. These courses meet during the work week, so working students will have to adjust their schedules accordingly. There is also a mandatory new student orientation. While all didactic course content is available in a flexible, asynchronous online format, these in-person requirements may make this online nursing master’s program less ideal for faraway students.

Tuition & Fees: $16,664

#25 – Michigan State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University online nursing master's program

Michigan State’s online master’s in nursing requires an on-campus orientation.

Website
Points: 8

Michigan State University’s only online master’s in nursing program is Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist with a concentration in Nurse Education. Students are required to attend an on-campus orientation once, but after this, students do not have to make any more visits to campus. Internships can be completed at locations close to where students live. Full-time students can complete the program in five semesters, but busier students can choose the part-time, eight-semester option. This online nursing master’s program is perfect for students who have work or family responsibilities.

Tuition & Fees: $16,122

#24 – University of Cincinnati

Master’s in Nursing Online

Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Cincinnati msn programs online

University of Cincinnati’s master’s in nursing online students enjoy an accelerated, flexible program.

Website
Points: 8

Distance nursing students at the University of Cincinnati can choose from four online master’s in nursing programs: Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. All of these programs can be completed with no visits to campus, and the only in-person requirement is a clinical experience that can be completed in the students’ communities. The program is full time and meant to be completed in two years. The flexible online format of this online nursing master’s degree does allow working students to continue working despite the program’s faster-paced structure, however.

Tuition & Fees: $14,468

#23 – Jacksonville University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville University msn programs online

Jacksonville University offers one of the more flexible online master’s in nursing in this ranking.

Website
Points: 8

Jacksonville University offers an online master’s in nursing program with three specializations: Leadership in Healthcare Systems, Clinical Nurse Educator, and Informatics. This program is especially flexible. Students can set the pace of their education by taking as many or as few courses per eight-week session as they want. Students can even take a couple sections off if needed. There are six starts per year, so students may begin the program when it is most convenient for them, rather than being restricted to a fall or spring start date. Students can even complete projects and practicums at locations in their own community, so there is no need to visit campus to finish their online MSN programs.

Tuition & Fees: $12,960

#22 – University of Texas at Arlington

Master’s in Nursing Online

Arlington, Texas

University of Texas at Arlington online nursing master's program

UTA offers three accelerated online master’s in nursing programs.

Website
Points: 8

Online nursing students at the University of Texas at Arlington can choose between Nursing Education, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Administration online master’s in nursing programs. These are accelerated programs that can be completed in two to three years. The programs’ structures are more flexible than the traditional semester format, which allows students to have more control over the pace of their education. Prospective students should note that these programs may not be available in their state, however. The Family Nurse Practitioner program is exclusive to Texas residents, and the other two online MSN programs are unavailable in several states.

Tuition & Fees: $8,517

#21 – University of Arkansas

Master’s in Nursing Online

Fayetteville, Arkansas

University of Arkansas msn programs online

University of Arkansas’ online master’s in nursing program prepares students to teach at the nurse generalist level.

Website
Points: 8

The University of Arkansas offers an online master’s in nursing program with a concentration in Nursing Education. This program is flexible both in terms of scheduling and in terms of academics. The program primarily focuses on teaching at the nurse generalist level, but students have opportunities to gain some specialization in a particular population. Courses in this program are asynchronous to accommodate working students, and students can take up to six years to complete their degree if they prefer a more relaxed pace. Most students complete this online master’s nursing program in only two or three years, however.

Tuition & Fees: $8,096

#20 – Lamar University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Beaumont, Texas

Lamar University online nursing master's program

Lamar University offers an entirely online master’s in nursing education program.

Website
Points: 8

Lamar University’s online master’s in nursing program includes two tracks: Nursing Education and Nursing Administration. All MSN courses are available online, but the business classes required for the Nursing Administration track are not. Students may transfer up to nine hours from another institution to make up for this. Students are not required to visit campus for exams, orientations, or other activities. This makes the program great for students who are too busy or two far away to make the trips to campus that other online MSN programs require.

Tuition & Fees: $7,898

#19 – University of Missouri—Kansas City

Master’s in Nursing Online

Kansas City, Missouri

University of Missouri-Kansas City msn programs online

The online master’s in nursing program from the University of Missouri-Kansas requires campus visits each semester.

Website
Points: 8

Distance students at the University of Missouri–Kansas City can choose from several online master’s in nursing programs, including Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Most of these programs start in the spring, but summer starts are available for a few programs. Students are required to visit campus at least once per semester while they are taking their clinical courses. However, most courses are online. The curriculum for this online nursing master’s degree is delivered in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats, so students can enjoy both a high amount of flexibility and a high amount of interaction with peers and faculty.

Tuition & Fees: $7,215

#18 – Ferris State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Big Rapids, Michigan

Ferris State University online nursing master's program

Ferris State University offers an online master’s in nursing with three available concentrations.

Website
Points: 8

Ferris State University’s online master’s in nursing program includes three concentrations: Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, and Nursing Administration. This program allows students to complete the program at their own pace. Students can take one to four courses at a time, and there is no penalty if they choose to not take a course when it is offered. The Nursing Education and Nursing Administration courses are completely online, with the only in-person requirement being a practicum that can be completed near where the student lives. The Nursing Informatics concentration, on the other hand, requires students to attend multiple face-to-face meetings to meet the requirements for the online nursing master’s program.

Tuition & Fees: $6,324

#17 – Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi

Master’s in Nursing Online

Corpus Christi, Texas

Texas A&M Corpus Christi msn programs online

Texas A&M Corpus Christi offers three completely online MSN programs.

Website
Points: 8

Distance nursing students at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi can choose from three different online master’s in nursing programs: Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Leadership in Nursing Systems. All of these programs are almost completely online, with the only in-person requirement being clinicals. The site of these clinicals can be selected by the student, so students should not have to travel far to complete them. Students are given up to seven years to complete their MSN programs online, but most only take a little over two years.

Tuition & Fees: $6,164

#16 – Duke University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Durham, North Carolina

Duke University online nursing master's program

Duke University offers a highly customizable online master’s in nursing program.

Website
Points: 9

Duke University’s online master’s in nursing program offers seven advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) majors such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. It also offers three non-clinical majors, including Health Informatics and Nursing Education. APRN students not only have several nurse practitioner programs to choose from, but also multiple specialization options. All APRN majors require students to visit campus at least once a semester, as well as complete a clinical residency. However, the non-clinical MSN programs online can be completed entirely online.

Tuition & Fees: $48,656

#15 – Vanderbilt University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt University msn programs online

Vanderbilt University’s online master’s in nursing students can complete their degrees on a full-time or part-time basis.

Website
Points: 9

The School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University offers an online master’s in nursing in Healthcare Leadership. This program is completely online with the exception of two practicum courses. Students can choose the location and preceptor for their practicum, so faraway students do not have to worry about traveling far to complete the practicum. In fact, most students are able to complete their practicum at their current workplace. Many students are also able to study full-time while still continuing to work full-time as well. However, there is a part-time option for individuals who do not feel comfortable with the more rigorous pace of the online nursing master’s program.

Tuition & Fees: $44,050

#14 – Creighton University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Omaha, Nebraska

Creighton University online nursing master's program

Creighton University offers its online master’s in nursing students several content customization options.

Website
Points: 9

Creighton University offers an online master’s in nursing program with Clinical Systems Administration and Clinical Nurse Leader tracks, as well as specializations in Cardiology, Education, and Oncology. Compared to many other programs, students have an impressive amount of customization options. Most courses are delivered online, but students are required to make multiple visits to campus for orientations, simulations, and projects. Students are given up to six years to graduate, but most are able to complete this online nursing master’s program in as little as two years.

Tuition & Fees: $16,664

#13 – University of Massachusetts—Amherst

Master’s in Nursing Online

Amherst, Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts- Amherst msn programs online

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s online master’s in nursing program prepares students for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam.

Website
Points: 9

The University of Massachusetts–Amherst’s Clinical Nurse Leader online master’s in nursing program is designed by both the College of Nursing faculty and leaders in nursing practice. It aims to prepare experienced nurses for the Clinical Nurse Leader certification examination, as well as train them to lead in a wide variety of interdisciplinary environments. This online nursing master’s program is primarily online but includes multiple clinical internships in the student’s community, which gives them the valuable experience they need to be effective leaders.

Tuition & Fees: $14,754

#12 – Stony Brook University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Stony Brook, New York

Stony Brook University online nursing master's program

Stony Brook University’s online master’s in nursing program requires several campus visits.

Website
Points: 9

Stony Brook University offers several online MSN programs, including Nursing Leadership, Nursing Education, Neonatal Health Nurse Practitioner, and Family Health Nurse Practitioner. All programs, even the non-clinical programs, have some in-person requirements. However, the programs are still primarily online and asynchronous, which gives most working students the flexibility they need. Students who live far from campus may prefer to choose an online nursing master’s program that allows them to complete their clinical experiences at a location closer to them, however.

Tuition & Fees: $12,421

#11 – University of Arizona

Master’s in Nursing Online

Tucson, Arizona

University of Arizona msn programs online

The University of Arizona offers an online master’s in nursing program with BSN and ADN tracks.

Website
Points: 9

The University of Arizona offers an accelerated online master’s in nursing in Clinical Systems Leadership. This program has two tracks: one for RNs with an associate’s degree and one for RNs with a bachelor’s degree. The biggest difference between these programs is the time needed to graduate. Students with BSN degrees can complete their degree in 15 months, whereas students with ADN degrees can complete their degree in two years. There are no on-campus requirements, so students who live far away from campus or have unusual schedules should have no problem completing this online nursing master’s program.

Tuition & Fees: $12,048

#10 – Old Dominion University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Norfolk, Virginia

Old Dominion University online nursing master's program

Old Dominion University offers a highly interactive online master’s in nursing program.

Website
Points: 9

Old Dominion University Online offers multiple online master’s in nursing programs, including Nurse Midwifery, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Administrator. Courses are delivered in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats, so students enjoy a balance of flexibility and interactivity. Courses are also taught by faculty with not only extensive experience in the field, but also several years of experience in distance education. Most students complete their MSN programs online in two years. However, students are given up to six years to graduate.

Tuition & Fees: $11,136

#9 – Cleveland State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland State University msn programs online

Cleveland State University offers a unique online master’s in nursing program in forensic nursing.

Website
Points: 9

Students taking Cleveland State University’s online master’s in nursing program can choose from four different tracks: Nursing Education, Forensic Nursing, Specialized Populations, and Clinical Nurse Leader. All tracks include a practicum that can be completed locally. The amount of clinical hours required varies by track, however. Non-thesis tracks require 400 clinical hours, whereas thesis tracks only require 300 clinical hours. Outside of the practicum, students can complete the program completely online. It is possible for students to graduate in two years, but most students take three years to finish their online nursing master’s program.

Tuition & Fees: $9,625

#8 – University of Alabama—Huntsville

Master’s in Nursing Online

Huntsville, Alabama

University of Alabama - Huntsville online nursing master's program

The online master’s in nursing program at the University of Alabama-Huntsville is taught by on-campus faculty.

Website
Points: 9

The University of Alabama–Huntsville offers an online Leadership in Health Care Systems master’s in nursing program. This program is primarily online, but requires students to attend two three-day on-campus experiences. Students must also complete clinical hours, but this can be done locally. All courses are taught by the same experienced faculty who teach on-campus. Most students complete this online nursing master’s program in roughly two years, but they are given up to six years to finish if needed.

Tuition & Fees: $9,548

#7 – University of North Carolina—Charlotte

Master’s in Nursing Online

Charlotte, North Carolina

University of North Carolina Charlotte msn programs online

The University of North Carolina-Charlotte’s online master’s in nursing program can be completed in just two years of part-time study.

Website
Points: 9

The University of North Carolina–Charlotte offers three online MSN programs: Community/Public Health, Nursing Education, and Nursing Administration. All of these programs can be completed in just over two years of part-time study. All programs also include clinical experience requirements. At least a year of previous nursing experience is recommended, but unrestricted licensure as a Registered Nurse will suffice. While there is some variation between the on-campus offering and the online nursing master’s program, both are taught by the same highly-qualified faculty.

Tuition & Fees: $7,032

#6 – University of Texas at Tyler

Master’s in Nursing Online

Tyler, Texas

University of Texas at Tyler msn programs online

The University of Texas at Tyler offers a unique online master’s in nursing program with an optional MBA track.

Website
Points: 9

The University of Texas at Tyler’s online master’s in nursing program is flexible both in regard to academic customization options and format customization options. Students can choose between Education, Administration, MBA, and Family Nurse Practitioner tracks. The Nurse Practitioner program is only available in a hybrid format, as students in this track must regularly visit campus for labs. However, the rest of the tracks can be taken in either a completely online or hybrid format. Most students complete the online nursing master’s program in three years, but busier students have up to six years to finish.

Tuition & Fees: $2,618

#5 – Johns Hopkins University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University online nursing master's program

Johns Hopkins University offers an online master’s in nursing program with three specialization options.

Website
Points: 10

Distance nursing students at Johns Hopkins University are offered an online master’s in nursing program with specializations in Adult-Gerontological Critical Care, Pediatric Critical Care, and Health Systems Management. This program is designed for individuals who are already nurses but want to advance their career or become more specialized. All specializations include a practicum, but other than this, students can complete the degree online. Prospective students should note that this online nursing master’s program is not available in Iowa or Kansas, and some states where the program is available do not allow students to conduct externship activities.

Tuition & Fees: $50,510

#4 – Georgetown University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Washington, D.C.

Georgetown University msn programs online

Georgetown University’s online master’s in nursing program features on-campus immersions.

Website
Points: 10

Georgetown University offers multiple online master’s in nursing programs, including Nurse Educator, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner. Courses in these programs are delivered synchronously and recorded for students to review whenever they want. The programs also require clinical placement experiences and at least one campus visit for On-Campus Intensive Learning Immersions. While synchronous delivery and campus visits may make these MSN programs online too inconvenient for busier students, they are ideal for students looking for a more interactive distance program.

Tuition & Fees: $45,136

#3 – Ohio State University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State University online nursing master's program

Ohio State University’s online master’s in nursing program is not available in every state.

Website
Points: 10

Ohio State University’s College of Nursing offers Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner online master’s in nursing programs. All of these require students to complete clinicals, but students are allowed to complete these clinicals at locations near their own community. One thing that prospective students should note is that the programs are not yet available in all states. These online MSN programs are pursuing authorization in over 15 states, including New York, Oregon, Arizona, and Florida, but until the university gains authorization in these states, the degrees cannot be offered to the states’ residents.

Tuition & Fees: $12,425

#2 – Drexel University

Master’s in Nursing Online

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University msn programs online

Drexel University offers a synchronous online master’s in nursing program.

Website
Points: 11

Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers multiple online master’s in nursing programs, including Clinical Trials Research, Nursing Innovation, and Leadership in Health Systems Management. All of these programs are primarily online with minimal in-person requirements. Most programs only require a practicum, which is flexible and can be completed close to where the student lives. However, the Nursing Education program requires both a practicum and a short, three-day residency. Most of these MSN programs online also deliver their course material in a synchronous format, so despite this program’s primarily virtual nature, students still have plenty of opportunities to interact with faculty and peers.

Tuition & Fees: $31,519

#1 – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Master’s in Nursing Online

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University msn programs online

Texas Tech University offers both hybrid and completely online master’s in nursing programs.

Website
Points: 11

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers several online master’s in nursing programs, including Nurse Midwifery, Education, Administration, and Family Nurse Practitioner. These programs vary greatly in terms of in-person requirements. For example, the Nursing Administration program is completely online, but the Nursing Informatics program requires multiple trips to campus. Other programs, such as Nurse Midwifery, are delivered in a hybrid format. The programs also differ in credit hours needed to complete the degree, but it usually takes around three years for students in these MSN programs online to graduate.

Tuition & Fees: $8,301

This concludes our ranking of the 50 top value online MSN programs for 2017.

Sources:
Payscale.com
NCES College Navigator

CVO Staff
January 2017