A BSN to MSN program allows nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to achieve a master’s degree at an accelerated pace. Obtaining your Master of Science in Nursing can open many doors. This advanced degree can help provide the opportunity to specialize in a specific field of nursing and/or pursue leadership roles. Use the links below to quickly navigate the page:

Nursing is one of the nation’s most in-demand professions, and it is estimated that there will be a large nursing shortage as the baby boomer generation begins to age and require an increased amount of care. While employment for most occupations is projected to grow only 11%, registered nurses are on pace to see a growths of 19% and practitioners could see a growth of 20% over the next 10 years (

Growth projection for registered nurses is 19%

Salary and Career Data for Advanced Nurses

Graduates work throughout the healthcare system, from small clinics to large regional hospitals. Nursing graduates can earn a median wage of $58,420 to $68,540 a year. According to The Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS), the job growth is projected as 19% over the next 10 years, faster than the national average for all jobs. BLS reports that over 581,500 new jobs will be created from this growth.

Job Duties for an Advanced Nurse

A nurse with a master’s degree can work in a medical specialty, such as cardiology or anesthesia. Others may pursue leadership roles, where they serve as the lead nurse supervising the medical team in emergency rooms, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Nurses that pursue this advanced degree are passionate about their field, and seek to better both themselves and their patients with the added knowledge an MSN program provides.

Requirements for Earning a BSN to MSN Degree

The coursework in most BSN to MSN programs includes several classes integrated with clinical rotations. Some programs also offer the opportunity to work on ground-breaking research projects with award-winning faculty. When the classwork portion is completed, students are required to complete a set number of hours of clinical work in an approved facility. This is where students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in advanced positions and treating actual patients. Prerequisites for entering a BSN to MSN program may include a strong GPA and GRE, a current RN license, and experience working in the nursing field and of course earning a BSN degree. You can even complete coursework for your degree online from schools like Kaplan, American Sentinel, Grand Canyon, or the University of Cincinnati. Courses that students can expect to take in this type of program include:

  • Health Informatics
  • Research
  • Clinical Rotation
  • Introduction to Healthcare Systems

Types of Nursing Degrees

In addition to BSN to MSN degrees, there are various other types of graduate programs a nurse can consider. Some offer accelerated paths to the next educational level while others are more suited for students with specific career goals in mind.


RN to MSN programs are an alternative bridge program to a BSN to MSN. However, this program is specifically designed for students who have already obtained their registered nurse licensure.

MBA/MSN Dual Major

For students who are interested in the business and logistical operations within the healthcare system, the dual major MSN/MBA degree can lay the foundation for a career working in clinics, hospitals, and facilities.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP, is quickly becoming the new standard for nurse practitioner careers and positions. In many cases, an MSN holder with previous experience in practice will be grandfathered in for licensures. However, new students should consider and plan towards earning their DNP eventually.

Nursing Specializations

As you move towards a Master of Science in Nursing, you become able to specialize in one of the various fields of nursing. Some fields may require you to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice as well, especially if your goal is to become a nurse practitioner. Our list below is not exhaustive, but we do cover the most popular specialties.

MSN in Clinical Nurse Leadership

Clinical nurse leaders work with doctors, practitioners, pharmacists, and specialists to organize the medical teams in place, healthcare delivery, and patient care. CNLs may advance their knowledge of medical technologies and healthcare informatics.

MSN with Nurse Practitioner Training

Nurse practitioners are nurses with advanced training and knowledge of patient care, above registered nurses. In some cases, a nurse practitioner will focus on a specialization like adult care, family nursing, or acute care.

MSN in Nursing Administration

Nurse administrators manage the nursing staff and operations of a health care facility. Nurse administrators often set the standards for employees, training, and procedures and develop schedules, reviews, and policies.

MSN in Nursing Education

Nurse educators work with nurses and medical researchers to develop effective lesson plans, courses, and other types of training designed for students studying nursing. Nurse educators can teach general programs as well as courses focused on specializations.

MSN in Nursing Informatics

Careers in nursing informatics help bridge the gap between technology and healthcare delivery. Positions in this field work to produce medical records, tracking, and patient care that is better, more efficient, and easier to understand.

MSN in Psychiatric and Mental Health

An MSN in Psychiatric and Mental Health trains students to tackle the challenges associated with healthcare delivery in mental health, rehabilitation, and medical facilities. Students learn to provide mental health services in addition to patient care.

Understanding accelerated MSN nursing programs

Accelerated nursing programs are designed to help students complete their degree programs at a much quicker pace. These programs provide a way for individuals with undergraduate degrees or training in nursing to get a head start on higher-level degrees.

Online nursing programs are a viable alternative for students who are working or are unable to take classes on-site. We’ve featured a variety of these options below to help you fit schooling into your schedule:

Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University

  • CCNE
Benedictine University
Benedictine University

  • HLC
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University

  • HLC
Simmons College
Simmons College


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