Direct Entry MSN Degrees Online (241 Programs)

If you have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline but want to be a nurse, you don’t have to start from scratch. A direct-entry Master of Science in nursing (MSN) degree was designed for people like you.

These programs are growing in number. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), there were only 12 nationwide in 1990. By 2010 there were 65 and six more are under development.

We have 241 Direct Entry MSN Programs in our database.

The direct entry MSN program can be completed in as little as 24 months, depending on the institution. This change has truly changed the way that people view their degrees. Having the ability to change fields without have to obtain an entirely new bachelor's degree has opened doors for students that have not been available up until recently.

What is a Direct Entry MSN?

Direct-entry MSN is becoming a popular choice especially for people who want to go into advanced practice specialties such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist. Graduates also enter careers in education, research, management, and consulting.

The Direct Entry MSN is an accelerated program that takes about three years to complete. Admission requirements are different at each institution, but usually a GPA of at least 3.0 in previous undergraduate studies is desired. Letters of reference and interviews are also common requirements. The nature of your previous coursework and your professional record may carry significant weight in the admission process.

The time commitment and curriculum depends on which track you take. Although some classes may be online, hybrid, or offered on evenings or weekends, clinical rotations are typically very time consuming and completed during daytime working hours - particularly for advanced practice specialties.

The Master’s of Science in Nursing Degree

Throughout a lifetime, it is not uncommon for people to change their goals and even their overall career desires. After completing a bachelor’s program, some individuals may decide that furthering their degree is the best option for getting the very most out of their education. Whenever these desires are drawn other fields, however, there are not many options for change for bachelor’s degree holders.

Over the years, educational facilities have accommodated those interested in the field of nursing. Since the medical field is one that continues to grow over the years, there are constantly positions that need to be filled. In response to the demand, universities provide Direct Entry MSN programs that allow bachelor’s degree holders to obtain a Master’s degree in Nursing, regardless of their current degree.

If you already have a nursing degree or licensure, consider a bridge MSN program:

Choosing a Direct Entry MSN Program

Choosing a degree program is the first step to getting into the field of nursing. Different universities have different requirements for those interested in the Direct Entry MSN programs. Some schools require that students satisfy some of the prerequisite requirements of a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing prior to getting into the master’s program.

These requirements are sometimes integrated into the current program so that a master’s degree is completed within a quick time-frame. The Direct Entry program is designed to fast-track learners through the master’s degree process without having to engage in a BSN program.

Upon choosing a university, students can choose the MSN track from either the accelerated bachelor’s degree program or master’s degree program. It is important that students know that these programs are carefully designed for each path, so changing a path after its started can be tedious.

Since the Direct Entry MSN program is specifically for those with non-nursing degrees, some degree programs may require that students work full-time as a registered nurse while working on their MSN degree part-time. Since the requirements for institutions vary so greatly, it is vital that prospects research each program thoroughly before choosing one that seems fitting.

Online Direct Entry MSN Programs

Although nursing is a very hands-on field, there are online programs available. Higher level degree programs appreciate a student’s need for flex-learning. It is realistic that most individuals within this program need to be able to set their own schedules and work at their own pace.

Online Direct Entry MSN popular among adult learners

Both online and in-person learning programs provide the right amount of structure while still giving students the freedom they need to continue their careers. Traditional learning is still the most popular option for those seeking this type of degree, but online options are more realistic for busy working professionals. These online programs include the same curriculum as traditional courses, with the added bonus of flexibility and schedule management.

Online learning environment

While in an online program, students are expected to participate in classroom discussions, group projects, and complex exams. These courses are designed to give learners a sense of independence while learning, which will allow students to grow intellectually. Clinical training is still a requirement even in online courses. Clinical training can be arranged through local hospitals or medical facilities in designated areas.

Focus on nursing procedures

While in the Direct Entry MSN program, students will find that the curriculum is highly focused around the understanding and application of nursing procedures. The most important aspect of nursing is patient care, which is highly targeted in this program. However, at a master’s degree level, nurses will also qualify for positions at higher tiers, which will increase the responsibility of each professional. Careers in management positions or supervisory positions are common at this degree level, which intrigues those wanting to have higher paying careers.

The Online MSN Program

The MSN program also includes subjects regarding employee management as well as information technology. The importance of learning information technology goes alongside the general patient care requirements for this field. As technology continues to change the face of the medical field, nurses need to be up to date with the recent trends and programs.

These courses help mold a well-rounded nurse that is knowledgeable of the different techniques and applications of treatments as well as the business management properties that is needed for supervisory jobs and research. Throughout the program, students will be required to take part in vigorous clinical training, which requires students to work in hospitals or private practices while under the observation of instructors. This provides needed experience in the field that will contribute to a more effective nursing professional.

Career Options for MSN Graduates

Completion of a Direct Entry MSN program will deliver a plethora of opportunity to graduates. Nurses at the master’s level can work in a variety of fields, from advanced practice to research. Since bachelor’s level students are graduating a records amounts each year, it is important the professional nurses consider a path that will set them apart from the crowd.

The growth expectations are large for this field, meaning the potential for jobs will only continue to grow. There is no wiser choice for someone seeking a degree that will pay them back throughout their entire career. Financially, nursing is a field that is reliable and highly respectable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nurses at a master’s level can earn anywhere from $66,640 to over $100,000 per year. Wages of this level are way worth the effort of getting into a higher degree program.

Master’s level nurses are needed in higher positions within medical facilities, providing supervision to lower level nurses and staff. Nurses are responsible for more than just patient care in most medical facilities. A nurse may be responsible for organization of treatment, office management, and employee conduct. Direct Entry MSN programs provide exactly what a professional needs to excel in all of these layers of responsibility.

About the Direct Entry MSN Program

Your first semesters may be spent taking bachelor’s level classes related to nursing such as anatomy and physiology, life sciences, nutrition, or pharmacology. Some programs require that you have these classes under your belt prior to admission. Typical MSN core classes include leadership, ethics, health information technology, and nursing theory. Electives are related to your specialty.

After you Graduate

When you graduate you will be eligible to take your RN licensing exam. You can learn more about this exam at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing . The board of nursing in your state has specific exam requirements and information. According to the AACN, practically all Direct Entry MSN graduates pass the exam the first time.

Employers value MSN graduates because of their professionalism, maturity, and commitment. Despite a relative lack of RN clinical experience, graduates tend to be motivated to succeed and thus learn their jobs quickly. After a few years of experience in their specialty, those with an MSN are ideal candidates for a terminal nursing degree such as a Ph.D. or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP).

List of Programs

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants
Aspen University
laptop www.aspen.edu/Schools/Graduate-School-Of-Health-Professions
Denver CO
  • Online MSN Nursing Administration and Management
  • Online MSN Nursing Education
Aurora University
laptop www.aurora.edu/academics/colleges-schools/nursing/index.html#axzz1T2D14iCE
Aurora IL
  • Direct Entry MSN
Azusa Pacific University
laptop http://www.apu.edu/nursing/
Azusa CA
  • Entry Level MSN
Barry University
laptop www.barry.edu/nursing/default.htm
Miami Shores FL
  • Direct Entry MSN
Boston College
laptop http://www.bc.edu/schools/son/
Chestnut Hill MA
  • Master's Entry Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse
  • Master's Entry Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master's Entry Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Master's Entry Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Master's Entry Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
Bradley University
laptop http://www.bradley.edu/academic/departments/nursing/
Peoria IL
  • MSN General
California Baptist University
laptop http://calbaptist.edu/explore-cbu/schools-colleges/school-nursing/
Riverside CA
  • Entry Level MSN
California State University - Dominguez Hills
laptop www.csudh.edu/cps/son/
Carson CA
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse Leader
California State University - Fresno
laptop www.csufresno.edu/chhs/depts_programs/nursing/
Fresno CA
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nurse Specialist/ Nurse Educator
  • Online Master's Entry School Nurse Services Credential
California State University - Fullerton
laptop http://nursing.fullerton.edu/
Fullerton CA
  • Direct Entry MSN
Case Western Reserve University
laptop http://fpb.case.edu/
Cleveland OH
  • Graduate Entry Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Graduate Entry Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Graduate Entry Education with Population Focus
  • Graduate Entry Family Nurse Practitioners
  • Graduate Entry Family Systems Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Graduate Entry Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Graduate Entry Nurse Anesthesia
  • Graduate Entry Nurse Midwifery
  • Graduate Entry Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Graduate Entry Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care
  • Graduate Entry Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
Chamberlain College of Nursing
laptop chamberlain.edu/admissions/graduate/Masters-of-Science-in-Nursing-Degree
St. Louis MO
  • Online MSN Educator Specialty Track
  • Online MSN Executive Specialty Track
  • Online MSN Informatics Specialty Track
Charleston Southern University
laptop www.csuniv.edu/nursing/index.asp
Charleston SC
  • Online MSN - Nurse Educator program
Clarkson College
laptop clarksoncollege.edu/Academics/Nursing/
Omaha NE
  • Online Adult Nurse Practitioner (MSN)
  • Online Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN)
  • Online Nurse Anesthesia (MSN)
  • Online Nursing Education (MSN)
  • Online Nursing Health Care Administration (MSN)
  • RN to MSN program
College of Mount St. Joseph
laptop www.msj.edu/view/academics/undergraduate-programs/nursing.aspx
Cincinnati OH
  • Direct Entry MSN
College of New Jersey - The
laptop www.tcnj.edu/~nursing/nursing.html
Ewing NJ
  • Direct Entry MSN
College of Saint Elizabeth
laptop cse.edu/academics/academic-areas/health-wellness/nursing/index.dot
Morristown NJ
  • Master of Science in Nursing Program
College of Staten Island - CUNY
laptop www.csi.cuny.edu/nursing/index.php
Staten Island NY
  • Master of Science Degree Programs -Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Master of Science Degree Programs -Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Practitioner (CNS/NP)
  • Master of Science in Adult Health Nursing (MS)
  • Master of Science in Gerontological Nursing (MS)
Columbia University
laptop www.nursing.hs.columbia.edu/
New York NY
  • Master's Entry Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Master's Entry Anesthesia
  • Master's Entry Midwifery
  • Master's Entry Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Master's Entry Pediatric Primary Care
  • Master's Entry Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Master's Entry Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
DePaul University
laptop las.depaul.edu/nursing/Programs/MastersEntryProgram/index.asp
Chicago IL
  • Masters Entry to Nursing Practice
Frontier Nursing University
laptop frontierschool.edu/academics/master-science-nursing
Hyden KY
  • ADN to MSN Bridge
Johns Hopkins University
laptop http://son.jhmi.edu/
Baltimore MD
  • Master's Entry into Nursing
Joint DNP Program University of Alabama
laptop www.uab.edu/nursing/
Birmingham AL
  • Direct Entry MSN
Loyola University - New Orleans
laptop css.loyno.edu/nursing
New Orleans LA
  • Online MSN Second Degree Bridge
Marquette University
laptop www.marquette.edu/nursing/index.shtml
Milwaukee WI
  • Direct Entry MSN
Metropolitan State University
laptop www.metrostate.edu/msweb/explore/cnhs/nursing/index.html
Saint Paul MN
  • Online Direct Entry MSN
MGH Institute of Health Professions
laptop http://www.mghihp.edu/academics/nursing/
Boston MA
  • Direct Entry MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Direct Entry MSN Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Direct Entry MSN Dual Adult-Gerontology/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Direct Entry MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Direct Entry MSN Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner
  • Direct Entry MSN Psychiatric/Mental Health Lifespan Nurse Practitioner
  • Direct Entry MSN Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
Millikin University
laptop https://www.millikin.edu/academics/cps/nursing/Pages/default.aspx
Decatur IL
  • Master's Entry Nursing Practice
Northeastern University
laptop http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/nursing/
Boston MA
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Online Direct Entry MSN - Hybrid
Pace University
laptop http://www.pace.edu/lienhard/
Pleasantville NY
  • RN Bridge Program
Pacific Lutheran University
laptop http://www.plu.edu/nursing/
Tacoma WA
  • Entry Level MSN
  • MSN Care and Outcomes Manager
  • RN B to MSN
Regis College
laptop http://www.regiscollege.edu/academics/ug-department.cfm?id=Nursing_Dept
Weston MA
  • Accelerated BS/MS in Nursing
Resurrection University
laptop http://resu.edu/academics/prospective-graduates/graduate-nursing-overview/
Oak Park IL
  • MSN Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN Nurse Administrator
  • MSN Nurse Educator
Rivier College
laptop http://www.rivier.edu/academics.aspx?menu=76&id=521
Nashua NH
  • MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Track (Bridge Option)
  • MSN Leadership Track (Bridge)
  • MSN Nursing Education Track (Bridge Option)
  • MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track (Bridge Option)
Rush University
laptop http://www.rushu.rush.edu/servlet/Satellite?c=RushUnivLevel1Page&cid=1204497838852&pagename=Rush%2FRushUnivLevel1Page%2FLevel_1_College_Home_Page
Chicago IL
  • Direct Entry Master's Clinical Nurse Leader
Saint Louis University
laptop http://www.slu.edu/nursing-x17932
Saint Louis MO
  • Accelerated Generalist Masters of Science in Nursing
Salem State University
laptop http://www.salemstate.edu/academics/schools/253.php
Salem MA
  • Direct Entry/MSN
Samuel Merritt University
laptop www.samuelmerritt.edu/nursing
Oakland CA
  • ELMSN Case Management
  • ELMSN Family Nurse Practitioner
Seattle University
laptop http://www.seattleu.edu/nursing/
Seattle WA
  • MSN Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN Advanced Community Public Health Nursing
  • MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN Nurse Midwifery
Seton Hall University
laptop http://www.shu.edu/academics/nursing/
South Orange NJ
  • Master's Entry - Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Online Masters in Nursing Education
Simmons College
laptop http://www.simmons.edu/shs/
Boston MA
  • BSN to MSN
St. Catherine University
laptop https://www2.stkate.edu/nursing/home
St. Paul MN
  • Direct entry MSN
Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi
laptop conhs.tamucc.edu/
Corpus Christi TX
  • Online RN-Bridge
Thomas Jefferson University
laptop http://www.jefferson.edu/university/nursing.html
Philadelphia PA
  • Accelerated Pathway to the MSN
University of Alabama at Birmingham
laptop http://www.uab.edu/nursing/home/
Birmingham AL
  • Online Accelerated Masters Entry to Nursing Pathway
University of Arizona
laptop http://newsite.nursing.arizona.edu/
Tucson AZ
  • Masters Entry to Nursing
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
laptop http://nursing.uams.edu/
Little Rock AR
  • Bridge to Master of Nursing Science
University of California - Los Angeles
laptop http://nursing.ucla.edu/default.cfm
Los Angeles CA
  • MSN - Masters Entry Clinical Nurse
University of California - San Francisco
laptop http://nursing.ucsf.edu/
San Francisco CA
  • Master's Entry Program in Nursing
University of Cincinnati
laptop http://nursing.uc.edu/
Cincinnati OH
  • Accelerated Pathway
University of Hawaii at Manoa
laptop http://www.nursing.hawaii.edu/home
Honolulu HI
  • Graduate Entry Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Graduate Entry Program in Nursing
  • Online Graduate Entry Advanced Public Health Nursing
University of Illinois at Chicago
laptop http://www.nursing.uic.edu/
Chicago IL
  • Graduate Entry MSN
University of Indianapolis
laptop nursing.uindy.edu/
Indianapolis IN
  • Accelerated MSN in Health Systems Leadership
  • Accelerated MSN Program
University of Maryland
laptop http://www.nursing.umaryland.edu/
Baltimore MD
  • Master's Entry Clinical Nursing Leader
University of Massachusetts Worcester
laptop http://www.umassmed.edu/gsn/
Worcester MA
  • GEP to MSN Population Health Track
University of Minnesota
laptop http://www.nursing.umn.edu/
Minneapolis MN
  • Master of Nursing degree
University of New Hampshire
laptop http://chhs.unh.edu/nursing
Durham NH
  • Direct Entry Master's in Nursing
University of Rochester
laptop http://www.son.rochester.edu/
Rochester NY
  • Accelerated Master's Program
University of San Diego
laptop http://www.sandiego.edu/nursing/
San Diego CA
  • Master's Entry Program in Nursing
University of San Francisco
laptop http://www.usfca.edu/nursing/
San Francisco CA
  • MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
University of South Alabama
laptop http://www.southalabama.edu/nursing/
Mobile AL
  • Accelerated BSN/MSN Track
University of Southern Maine
laptop http://usm.maine.edu/nursing
Portland ME
  • MS in Nursing
University of Texas at Austin
laptop http://www.utexas.edu/nursing/
Austin TX
  • AE-MSN Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • AE-MSN Healthcare Leadership in Diverse Settings
University of Toledo
laptop www.utoledo.edu/nursing/index.html
Toledo OH
  • Clinical Nurse Leader Graduate Entry MSN
  • Graduate Entry Clinical Nurse Leader
University of Virginia
laptop http://www.nursing.virginia.edu/
Charlottesville VA
  • Direct Entry MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
laptop http://www4.uwm.edu/nursing/
Milwaukee WI
  • Master of Nursing Direct Entry
Vanderbilt University
laptop http://www.nursing.vanderbilt.edu/
Nashville TN
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Online MSN Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Online MSN Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • Online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Online MSN Healthcare Leadership
  • Online MSN Neonatal NP
  • Online MSN Nurse Midwifery Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Online MSN Nurse-Midwifery
  • Online MSN Nursing Informatics
  • Online MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care
  • Online MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Online MSN Womens Health Nurse Practitioner
Western University Of Health and Sciences
laptop http://www.westernu.edu/nursing/
Pomona CA
  • Online MSN-Entry
Xavier University
laptop http://www.xavier.edu/csshe/index.cfm
Cincinnati OH
  • MSN Direct Entry
Yale University School of Nursing
laptop http://nursing.yale.edu/
New Haven CT
  • Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing

Still Looking for a Nursing Program?

Here are some of the most popular nursing programs. On each page you will find a detailed writeup of the program, specific courses, and even schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.