25 Top Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Nursing 

Students want the flexibility of online medical education without the mountainous debt that often accompanies advanced degrees. Here's our list of the 25 Top Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Nursing. 

The U.S. is likely headed toward a shortage of registered nurses as Baby Boomers march further into their twilight years. This shortage predicts solid job prospects for nurses, and also points to a greater demand for leaders with advanced degrees in the field.

In the Internet age, it's more convenient than ever to obtain an advanced degree in your chosen field while you pursue a career in that field. The increasing demand for flexibility and convenience in continuing education has given rise to programs that let students complete most of their coursework online. Students can complete most online graduate nursing courses of study in a relatively short time.

Steady work isn't the only reason students pursue careers in nursing. Above-average pay also lures aspiring medical professionals to the field, where they can expect to make, on average, about $70,000 annually. And, experts expect that figure to rise over the next several years.

Nurse practitioners—registered nurses who have obtained schooling beyond the bachelor's degree, in addition to other qualifications—make about $104,000, on average. This figure puts their salary on par with the physician assistant role, which annually makes about $105,000, on average. The nurse practitioner role also enjoys a low unemployment rate of about 1%. These numbers combine to make a graduate degree in nursing an appealing option.

Typically, a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN), or its equivalent, is required for admission into a master's program in nursing. Depending on your course load, the master's course of study often requires a three-year commitment and completion of about 40-course hours. Students can then decide to focus on their careers or continue their studies with a Doctor of Nursing degree. The master's degree in nursing helps nurses enter into leadership roles, education roles, and even positions that let them prescribe medicine. A master's degree can also help to distinguish nurses among their peers when leadership considers who to promote.

Methodology 

Each ranking published by Top Master's in Healthcare requires a lot of research, fact-checking, and interest in the world of higher education and medical industries. The editors of TMHC utilize credible data resources from academic journals, government databases, job recruitment organizations, and, especially, degree alumni reviews. TMHC rankings are scored specifically on degree outcomes, alumni reviews, degree affordability, acceptance rates, MCAT and GRE scores, and degree completion rates.

To be considered for ranking by TMHC, degrees must be accredited by the National Science Foundation and, thus, provide appropriate doctorate certifications within the healthcare field and have institutional affiliations with scholarly peer-reviewed publications. For more information about how TMHC scores individual medical degrees, please visit our About Us page.

Here are the 25 Top Affordable Online Master's in Nursing for 2020!

 

#25. The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

For students who want to experience a school with a big college atmosphere, the main campus at the University of Alabama certainly delivers. Students who enroll in Alabama's online graduate nursing program also get a school that ranks high on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Alabama's online nursing program lets students pursue the Master of Science in Nursing while concentrating in one of four areas, including Case Management, Clinical Nurse Leadership, Nursing Administration/ Leadership, and Nursing Practitioner.

With an acceptance rate of only 42%, the school is very selective. Students must attain an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field for admittance. The school does not require applicants to have nursing-related work experience, however. The average undergraduate GPA for students in the graduate nursing program is 3.6.

About 85% of the school's 165 students are employed when they enroll in the online program. To help accommodate its working students, the school records all its online classes so students can pursue their studies according to their schedule. The University of Alabama competes athletically in the Southeastern Conference and is considered one of the traditional powerhouses of college football. Its teams, nicknamed "Crimson Tide," are nationally ranked in several sports. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $10,780 / $29,230
Score: 75.1

#24. Clarkson College

Omaha, NE

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Clarkson College began life as a nursing school, commencing its history of educating nursing students in 1888. The school's long lineage in education and its graduate nursing specialty options appeal to many students seeking an online graduate nursing program. Clarkson's campus sits in Omaha, NE, home to the NCAA College World Series, college baseball's premier event. Residents of Omaha also benefit from several parks and museums within a short driving distance of the school, including the Heartland of America Park, the Henry Doorly Zoo, and the Durham Museum. 

Students who pursue Clarkson College's Master of Science in Nursing degree online can choose from four specialties, including Nursing Health Care Administration, Nursing Education, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Family Nurse Practitioner. These specialties include a varied amount of coursework, ranging from 39 total semester hours for the Nursing Education specialty, to 47 total semester hours apiece for the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and the Family Nurse Practitioner specialties.

As a school that focuses on health care, Clarkson's overall student body is rather small, with an enrollment of about 1200 students. The school boasts a graduation rate of about 67% for its graduate programs. Faculty and administration stress the importance of what they call Success Skills. These skills include communication, critical thinking, technology, professional behavior, and diversity.

Graduate Tuition: $10,764
Score: 78.8

#23. Purdue University Global 

Indianapolis, IN

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Purdue University Global, a part of the Purdue University system, seeks to provide flexible educational opportunities to working adults. Purdue Global includes several regional centers in several states in the US, including Indiana, Maryland, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Maine, and Wisconsin. The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education ranks Purdue University, the flagship campus in the Purdue University system, in the top 10 public universities in the US.

The Purdue University system also enjoys a solid reputation in athletic competition. Purdue competes within the prestigious Big Ten Conference and fields competitive teams in over a dozen sports, while other schools within the Purdue University system compete in Division I and Division II athletics. 

Purdue University Global awards a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Students choose one of five options for specialization, including Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, Executive leader, Family nurse practitioner (primary care), and Nurse educator. All of these options feature clinical experience or, at the minimum, a guided practicum. The school highlights its ability to prepare students to pass industry-recognized certifications after graduation. Its success rate is impressive. Research shows that as of 2018, about 90% of 2017 nurse practitioner graduates known to have taken the AANP and ANCC exams passed. 

Graduate Tuition: $10,560
Score: 67.3

#22. Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Eastern Kentucky University's main campus sits in the historic city of Richmond, KY, where, during the Civil War, Union and Confederate armies fought in the Battle of Richmond. EKU offers a few program options to graduate students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing online, including Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

For admission, EKU requires a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school, at least a 3.0 GPA, an acceptable score in an undergraduate statistics course, and at least one year's experience as an RN. The school is selective, accepting about 52% of applicants into the program. Students admitted typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5. In 2019, EKU's graduate online nursing program enrollment stood at just over 400 students. One hundred percent of the students were already employed when they initially enrolled.

Recognizing the time constraints that many of its students endure as they pursue their degrees, EKU records all graduate online nursing classes and makes them available to students, which makes the program even more convenient. Online program faculty engage with students through weekly video conferences. These virtual meetings enable students to have easy access to their instructors for guidance and to get answers to questions.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $9,900 / $14,400
Score: 72.7

#21. University of Missouri – Kansas City

Kansas City, MO

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The online graduate nursing program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, offers seven specialties for students pursuing the Master of Science in Nursing degree. The MSN specialties include Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. The student's choice of specialty determines which term the student may start the program. The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner specialty starts Summer term, the Nurse Educator specialty starts Spring and Fall terms, and all other specialties start Spring and Summer terms. 

Overall, more than 16,000 students attend UMKC, while the school's online graduate nursing enrollment stands at 388 students. The MSN degree at UMKC requires that students complete on-campus residencies during their course of study. Courses may include online class periods, which are scheduled and communicated on the course schedule. UMKC gives students the option to write a thesis or to complete advanced research projects as a part of their coursework. 

Applicants must attain at least a 3.2 GPA for the final 60 hours of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Also, students must complete a graduate statistics course and an undergraduate health assessment course to progress in the MSN course. U.S. News & World Report ranks UMKC's online graduate nursing program No. 19 in its Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs with an overall score of 89/100. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $9,238 / $23,849
Score: 74.1

#20. William Carey University

Hattiesburg, MS

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

William Carey University's online graduate program in nursing leads to a Master of Science in Nursing upon completion. Concentrations within the degree include Nursing Administration/Leadership and Nursing Education. Just over 130 students enrolled in the program during the 2019 school year. Students must meet several prerequisites for admittance to the program, including a bachelor's degree from a nationally accredited nursing school, an unencumbered RN license, a minimum overall bachelor's GPA of 3.0 (or 2.5 or better for the final 30 hours), and a minimum analytical writing score of 3.5 on the GRE.

The school, whose namesake was an eighteenth-century English linguist and missionary, officially became a university in 2006. The main campus sits in Hattiesburg, MS, which is nicknamed the Hub City because several travel and trade routes converge within its limits. The city is home to a picturesque historic downtown area and a cultural community that celebrates African American history, among other attractions. Hattiesburg is also a destination for fans of Blues music because of its connection to the development of that music genre. William Carey University features an exceptional degree of diversity among its enrollees, with a hefty 42% of its student body composed of racial minorities. The age of the average enrollee for the 2019 year stood at 36 years old. 

Graduate Tuition: $8,880
Score: 78.8

#19. Ball State University

Muncie, IN

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Ball State University designs its Master of Science in Nursing to prepare nurses for career advancement or teaching roles. Students can follow one of three paths to completing their degree, including Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator, or Family Nurse Practitioner. For the Nurse Administrator and Family Nurse Practitioner paths, students can complete all coursework online. For the Nurse Educator path, however, students must take an in-person 180-hour practicum during their final semester. Students can take their practicum with a nursing program in their geographic area so long as the program offers associate's or bachelor's degrees in nursing.

Ball State ranks high in the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, coming in at No. 13 on the list with a score of 92/100. The online graduate nursing program lists a 2019 enrollment of 397 students. For admittance to the program students must attain an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited bachelor's degree in nursing, at least a 3.0 GPA, at least a grade of C in a 2 (or more) credit research course, and possess a current RN license. Located in Muncie, IN, the main campus is home to over 20,000 students, with students who come from all 50 states. Ball State also boasts several athletic teams that compete intercollegiately under the nickname, Cardinals. 
Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $8,730 / $21,666
Score: 80.0

#18. University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Birmingham, AL

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The University of Alabama at Birmingham enjoys large enrollment numbers for its online graduate nursing program, with a 2019 enrollment listed at over 1600 students. But large enrollment numbers aren't the only numbers that UAB boasts. U.S. News & World Report places the school at No. 23 on its list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The school records all graduate online nursing classes and gives students access to these recording. This program feature lets students access their classes whenever convenient. The school offers a Master of Science in Nursing and gives students four concentration options, including Clinical Nurse Leadership, Informatics, Nursing Administration/Leadership, and Nursing Practitioner. 

UAB's main campus sits in Birmingham, AL, a city named after the English city of the same name. Birmingham contains a wide variety of attractions, including several parks, museums, Red Mountain, restaurants, sporting events, and other activities. UAB has an overall enrollment of about 17,000 students. In 2019, UAB was named No. 1 for the second consecutive year in the Times Higher Education list of U.S. Young Universities and No. 12 in the World Young Universities list. The Times Higher Education list ranks the best universities that are 50 years old or younger.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $8,100 / $18,540
Score: 76.6

#17. Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

Peoria, IL

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing lets students concentrate in any one of several areas as they pursue their Master of Science in Nursing degree. Concentration areas include Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Nursing Management Leadership, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Saint Francis' graduate program also features an accelerated route to obtaining an MSN for RNs whose bachelor's degree is not in nursing. This accelerated program lets RNs who possess a bachelor's degree outside the field of nursing enroll in an MSN program without having to obtain a bachelor's degree in a nursing-related field first.

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing had a 2019 acceptance rate of 76% and a total enrollment of 255 students. For admittance, applicants must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an ACEN, CNEA, or CCNE accredited program, a minimum GPA of 2.8, a minimum grade of C in both a health assessment course and a current RN license, among other requirements.

In addition to appearing in our ranking, the online graduate program at the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing recently received recognition from other sources as well, including a No. 27 ranking on Master's Program Guide's 50 Best Online Master of Science In Nursing Degree Programs 2019. The school also attained mention at No. 13 in OnlineU's 2019 Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Programs. 

Graduate Tuition: $7,968
Score: 66.7

#16. Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Liberty University intends its online Master of Science in Nursing program for working professionals so that students can complete 100% of their MSN degree online. Liberty gives students several options for MSN concentrations, with each option consisting of about 42 hours of coursework. MSN concentrations include Community Health, Health Policy, Nursing Administration, Nurse Educator, and Nursing Informatics. For admittance into the MSN program, Liberty requires that students practice as an RN for at least one year and possess a current license to practice as an RN, among other requirements. 

Liberty University's main campus sits nestled in Lynchburg, VA, which gives residents easy access to several museums and restaurants. Known as the City of Seven Hills, Lynchburg area offers plenty of opportunity for biking, hiking, and admiring the beautiful outdoors. In addition to Liberty University, the Lynchburg area is home to several other institutions of higher learning, including the University of Lynchburg, Central Virginia Community College, Randolph College, and the Virginia University of Lynchburg, to name a few. 

Liberty University appears in several recent rankings of online programs. In 2018, SR Education Group listed Liberty's graduate-level nursing program in its Top Online Colleges for Value ranking and its Most Affordable Online Colleges ranking. In 2017, Niche.com ranked Liberty the No. 1 Best Online College in America. 

Graduate Tuition: $7,904
Score: 77.4

#15. The University of Texas at Arlington 

Arlington, TX

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The University of Texas at Arlington's College of Nursing and Health Innovation records all online classes so that students can better balance continuing their education with their work schedule. The flexibility and convenience that this offers students may very well be one of the reasons why UT Arlington's graduate online nursing program boasts an enrollment of over 4300 students. UT Arlington prides itself in the fact that students of its online program enjoy the same access to school faculty and resources as on-campus students.

The school offers several concentration options for students in its online graduate nursing program, including Nursing Administration/Leadership, Nursing Education, and Nursing Practitioner. Concentrations in the UT Arlington graduate nursing program are designed to prepare nurses for roles in education, management, research, and advanced practice. To gain admission to the UT Arlington, students must, at minimum, possess a Bachelor of Nursing from an accredited program, and have a current RN license from Texas, a compact state, or other state nursing board. 

The city of Arlington is rich in opportunities to enjoy sporting events. The city is home to UT Arlington's collegiate athletic teams, but you can also cheer on the Dallas Cowboys at an NFL game and the Texas Rangers at an MLB game. And you can do all this without ever leaving town. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $7,898 / $18,996
Score: 80.4

#14. The University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The University of Arkansas' Eleanor Mann School of Nursing lets students pursue a Master of Science in Nursing online. The total enrollment of the online graduate program barely exceeds a dozen students, but that doesn't prevent the school from crafting a professional program that's both excellent and convenient. The school also records all of its graduate online nursing classes so that students can learn at their own pace and convenience. The university lets Master of Science in Nursing students select a concentration in Nursing Education. It's possible for students who attend the program full-time to complete their course of study in four semesters, including one summer. For admittance, students must possess an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field, among other requirements. Candidates need not have any work-related experience in nursing to apply.

Located in Fayetteville, AR, students of the school can enjoy sports activities of the University of Arkansas. The school's teams, nicknamed Razorbacks, are nationally recognized and compete collegiately in the Southeastern Conference. Students can also enjoy many outdoor activities, such as hiking, in a picturesque setting that includes Pierce Mountain, Milsaps Mountain, and Mount Sequoyah. Also, the nearby 320-bed Washington Regional Medical Center provides employment possibilities for RNs who want to be closer to the main campus. In 2018, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette awarded Washington Regional the Best of Northwest Arkansas honor.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $7,563 / $20,477
Score: 69.8

#13. Indiana State University

Terre Haute, IN

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The graduate nursing program at Indiana State University offers students the courses needed to get their Master of Science in Nursing degree 100% online. Students in the program can choose from a couple of options as they pursue their MSN, including Nursing Education and Nursing Practitioner. Students can complete their clinical practice in their current state of residence. The school records all of its online graduate classes and makes them available to students. This program feature gives students more flexibility as they pursue their degree. This flexibility lets students further their education while they work jobs in the field of nursing. Indiana State University values clinical competence and evidence-based research, believing that these ideas increase the likelihood of positive health outcomes.

To be considered for admission, students must obtain a bachelors-level degree in a nursing-related field. Candidates must also gain work experience in a nursing-related field. The average undergraduate GPA for students admitted into the program is 3.4. In 2019, the school had a total enrollment of about 270 students. Indiana State University's main campus sits in Terre Haute, IN. When not attending classes, students can enjoy any of several area attractions, including the Candles Holocaust Museum, Deming Park, Swope Art Museum, and the Veterans Memorial Museum of Terre Haute.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $7,416 / $14,562
Score: 66.9

#12. Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Ferris State University's online graduate nursing program offers students the Master of Science in Nursing with three areas of concentrations, including Nursing Informatics, Nursing Education, and Nursing Administration. Except for the informatics concentration, all courses of study are 100% online. This convenience helps students because, like many other online graduate nursing programs, most of the students at Ferris State are employed when they initially enroll. The school's enrollment sits at around 100 students with an average age of about 35 for new students. Ferris State gears its online program toward adult learners and so, along with flexibility, the school seeks to create a user-friendly online experience for its students. The program records all of its online graduate nursing classes so that students can learn at their convenience. 

For admittance, applicants must possess an undergraduate degree from a nursing-related field. Although rare, Ferris State allows some exceptions to this policy, however. Also, the school requires that students complete an application essay. Most students admitted are excellent students, with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.5. Ferris State's main campus sits in the city of Big Rapids, MI. With a population of only about 10,000, Big Rapids is one of the smallest host cities on our list. This region is certainly a wonderful place for fans of ice hockey. The school itself is home to the NCAA Division 1 Bulldogs hockey team. Ferris State is also nationally recognized for its excellent pharmacy program.

Graduate Tuition: $7,320
Score: 70.7

#11. University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The online graduate nursing program at the University of Central Florida has an enrollment of about 180 students and offers its students three areas of concentration as they pursue the Master of Science in Nursing. Students can concentrate in Nursing Administration/Leadership, Nursing Education, Nursing, and Healthcare Simulation. The Nursing and Healthcare Simulation concentration is fairly unique. It's designed to teach nurses the best practices of the nursing profession as well as how to evaluate the effectiveness of simulation programs.

To gain admission into the program, students must possess a bachelor's degree in a nursing-related field. In special circumstances, however, some students are admitted with undergraduate degrees from fields that are not nursing-related. It is also not required that candidates have previous nursing-related work experience for admission. The average student admitted to the program possesses an undergraduate GPA of 3.4. The school appears in the top fifty of the U.S. News & World Report 2019 list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The school also boasts a high degree of diversity with a minority enrollment that makes up about 30% of its student body.

The main campus sits in Orlando, FL, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with attractions that include shows, shopping, tours, water sports, and of course, Orlando is home to Disney World and SeaWorld. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $6,916 / $25,759
Score: 82.0

#10. Texas A & M University

Bryan, TX

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Texas A & M University's College of Nursing offers its students three online programs, including the Master of Science in Nursing Education, the Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner, and the Master of Science in Forensic Nursing. The school builds its program around its values, which include a desire to combat the nursing shortage in Texas and to seek practical answers based on real-world observations.

The school prides itself in its solid preparation for nurses who come through the program, boasting a first-pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) of 99%. Also, the first-pass rate for students who graduate from the College of Nursing with an MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner degree exceeds the national average by a significant margin. 

Although the school offers most of its classes online, students of Texas A & M's MSN program must spend a significant amount of time on campus. This on-campus time includes clinicals, specialized courses, and other required activities. The campus of the Texas A & M's College of Nursing sits in Bryan, TX, which is next door to Texas A & M's main campus in College Station, TX. This proximity to the main campus lets students who reside locally to take advantage of all the benefits that accompany campus life at a major university, including major college sports, social activities, convenient shopping, and so on.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $6,552 / $17,904
Score: 84.9

#9. Columbus State University

Columbus, GA

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Columbus State University offers the online Master of Science in Nursing degree as a cooperative program with Georgia Southwestern University. The master's program gives students the choice of three tracks to choose from as they pursue an MSN, including Nurse Educator, Nurse Leader, and Nurse Informaticist. The Nurse Educator track prepares nurses to perform in a variety of settings through the use of technology, course/curriculum design, and program evaluation. The Nurse Leader track prepares students for roles of influence in the modern health care system. The Nurse Informaticist track equips students for competency in careers related to health information technology. All tracks emphasize the importance of health professionals who care as well as health professionals who excel.

For admittance to the online Master of Science in Nursing degree, students must meet minimum requirements, including, but not limited to a bachelor's degree in a nursing-related field, a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and a current RN license in good standing. Columbus State University sits in Columbus, GA. Residents and visitors to the city can enjoy the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, the scenic Columbus Riverwalk, and the Coca-Cola Space Center, among other destinations. Also, the city is about 100 miles from Atlanta and its wealth of visitor attractions. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $5,742 / $11,952
Score: 75.0

#8. The University of Texas at Tyler

Tyler, TX

Master of Science in Nursing – Online

Website

The main campus of the University of Texas at Tyler is, of course, located in Tyler, TX, about 100 miles outside of Dallas. The school offers students a few concentrations to choose from within the Master of Science in Nursing – Online program, including Nursing Administration/Leadership, Nursing Education, and Nursing Practitioner. In addition to these options, students can also engage in the dual study of nursing and business administration by pursuing a joint MSN-MBA degree online. And, for the sake of convenience, most of these programs are 100% online.

More than 450 students enrolled in the online graduate nursing program at UT Tyler in 2019. The average GPA for students in the program is 3.5. The school is selective in its admission policies and boasts a challenging 65% acceptance rate for applicants. To gain admission, students must, at a minimum, possess an undergraduate degree from a nursing-related field, and have nursing-related work experience. In some cases, the school makes exceptions to the nursing-related work experience requirement. Generally, most experts consider the school one of the best online graduate nursing programs in the country. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Tyler's online graduate nursing program No. 19 in its Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $5,472 / $13,374
Score: 80.6

#7. Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Florida Atlanta University's online graduate nursing program has an enrollment of about 150 students and is ranked No. 23 in the U.S. News & World Report listing of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The faculty includes published authors, and research professionals in fields such as holistic health, healthy aging, and so on. 

FAU offers several concentrations for students to choose from as they pursue their Master of Science in Nursing online, including Advanced Holistic Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leadership, Nursing Administration/Leadership, and Nurse Practitioner. The school records all classes for each of these concentrations so that students can complete their studies at their convenience.

The students in FAU's online graduate nursing program are a diverse bunch, with a 57% minority representation. Students admitted into the program attain an average undergraduate GPA of 3.5. Students must complete an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field for consideration to enter the program. Students are not required, however, to have work experience in a nursing-related field for admission.

FAU's main campus sits comfortably on the eastern coast of South Florida. Warm weather and sunny beaches are nice perks for residents and visitors. But there are other fun attractions for FAU's students to enjoy, including Sugar Sand Park, Red Reef Park, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, and many other parks, sporting venues, and attractions. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $5,467 / $16,695
Score: 78.0

#6. University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The online graduate nursing program at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas features a Master of Science in Nursing degree and three areas of concentration that students can pursue. Concentration areas include Nurse Executive, Nursing Education, and Nursing Practitioner. The nursing school records all online classes so that students can study at their convenience. This flexibility is agreeable to the school's student body, 96% of whom are employed when they begin taking courses. The school offers part-time and full-time enrollment options to students, though each concentration area includes mandatory on-campus sessions. The school values respect, connectivity, and interaction, and works to infuse these values into the school's culture. 

U.S. News & World Report ranks UNLV No. 27 on its list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. To gain admittance to the program, students must, at a minimum, attain an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field. Students admitted to the 2019 class attained, on average, a 3.5 undergraduate GPA. The school has a total enrollment of about 80 students. 

The school's main campus sits in Las Vegas, NV, a city filled with tourist attractions of all kinds. Students at the main campus can take advantage of the well-known attractions, such as shows and casinos. But, Las Vegas offers many more attractions to residents and visitors, including the nearby Hoover Dam, the High Roller observation wheel, and even tours of the Grand Canyon. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $5,252 / $19,724
Score: 77.2

#5. Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, GA

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Set in the heart of middle Georgia, Georgia College & State University boasts a quality online graduate nursing program with a 2019 enrollment of 131 students. Minority students make up about 37% of the total enrollment. The Master of Science in Nursing is the graduate school's flagship degree. Students can specialize in Nursing Education, Nursing Practitioner, or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Also, the school gives students the option of pursuing a degree on a part-time or full-time basis. The school records most of its online graduate nursing classes so that students enjoy the flexibility of pursuing their education in their own time. Students must complete their clinical rotations in the state of Georgia using a preceptor approved by the Georgia College School of Nursing.

Georgia College's online graduate nursing program enjoys a good academic reputation. U.S. News & World Report ranked the program No. 30 in its Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The school's acceptance rate stands at around 77%, and, on average, its students attained a 3.5 undergraduate GPA. For admittance, students must possess an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field. The school typically requires that entering students also obtain experience in a nursing-related field, but there are exceptions to this requirement.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $5,184 / $18,486
Score: 76.2

#4. Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

Appalachian State University offers students an online graduate nursing program with a course load that consists of 39 hours of classes. The program focuses primarily on nursing education. Completing the MSN at Appalachian State lets students further their nursing careers in such diverse areas as a nursing instructor, nursing consultant, and nursing trainer. The school designed its program to emphasize educational creativity and leadership, among other values.

For admittance, students must have a bachelor's degree in a nursing-related field and at least one year of nursing experience. Students must attain at least a C in an undergraduate research course, and at least a C in an undergraduate statistics course. Most students admitted earned at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA, but the school also admits students who earn less than a 3.5 with satisfactory scores on the GRE or MAT within the past five years. Also, students must possess an RN license without restrictions from North Carolina or another state that participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact with North Carolina.

Situated in picturesque Boone, NC, on-campus students at Appalachian State can take advantage of many outdoor opportunities for recreation and fun by visiting any of several parks and attractions in the area. Destinations include the Foggy Mountain Gem Mine, the Greenway Trail, and the Cascades Trail. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $4,839 / $18,271
Score: 71.6

#3. East Carolina University

Greenville, NC

Master of Science in Nursing

Website

The College of Nursing at East Carolina University claimed a 2019 enrollment of 379 students in its online graduate nursing program. These students can choose from a wealth of concentrations as they pursue the Master of Science in Nursing. Concentrations include Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Leadership, Nursing Education Nursing Midwifery, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. 

ECU's online program exposes students to an innovative clinical environment. Their advanced, customized Virtual Clinic simulation increases a student's clinical exposure in a safe environment. The unique experience the Virtual Clinic gives students is one of the reasons for the program's solid academic reputation. The school not only appears high on our list of top programs but also comes in at No. 27 on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. 

Students must attain high undergraduate academic achievement for admission. On average, students earn an undergraduate GPA of 3.2. Students must possess an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field for admittance. Also, the school expects students to gain nursing-related work experience before applying. ECU's main campus sits in Greenville, NC, and has an enrollment of almost 30,000 students. Athletically, the school fields teams in most major sports. The teams, nicknamed Pirates, complete in the American Athletic Conference.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $4,749 / $17,898
Score: 78.8

#2. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, NC

Master of Science in Nursing

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The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's nursing school lets students pursue the Master of Science in Nursing degree. Students can concentrate in Community/Public Health Nursing, Nursing Administration/Leadership, or Nursing Education. Online enrollment for the 2019 academic year stood at 138. Students can conveniently complete classes in their own time because of the school's policy to record all of its online graduate nursing classes and to make them available to students. Students can earn their MSN entirely online.

UNC at Charlotte requires that students attain an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field before admittance. Students must also possess a current unrestricted RN license, and receive at least a C in an undergraduate statistics course. However, the school does not require that students attain work experience in a nursing-related field before enrollment. The average undergraduate GPA for UNC at Charlotte students is 3.4. And, the school appears in the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.

The school sits nestled in an area of North Carolina that contains a surprisingly large collection of interesting and fun destinations. Attractions include Carowinds amusement park, Freedom Park, city tours, haunted history tours, the Billy Graham Library, and many more spots for residents and visitors to enjoy. 

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $4,337 / $17,771
Score: 83.2

#1. University of West Georgia

Carrollton, GA

Master of Science in Nursing

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Listed in the U.S. News and World Report list of the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs in 2019, the University of West Georgia's online graduate nursing program lets students pursue a 36-hour Master of Science in Nursing. Students can complete the degree part-time or full time. Students can enroll full time and finish degree requirements in four semesters or part-time and complete requirements in six semesters. The school offers students a choice of three concentrations, including Clinical Nurse Leadership, Nursing Administration/Leadership, and Nursing Education.

West Georgia features several innovative distance learning techniques that make its online program an excellent way for students to learn. The program is 100% online, and it includes a virtual mentoring program, as well as a virtual program orientation, and a scholarly writing course intended to improve students' writing skills. The program also employs a full-time Instructional Designer for its faculty and students.

Applicants must attain an undergraduate degree in a nursing-related field to gain admission into West Georgia's online graduate nursing program. Applicants must attain at least a grade of C in an undergraduate statistics course. Also, applicants must show evidence of a current RN license. West Georgia's main campus sits about 50 miles west of metro Atlanta, so students are about an hour away from a rich assortment of activities, including the Georgia Aquarium, Six Flags Over Georgia, the World of Coca-Cola, and many more fun destinations. Many students at the main campus also enjoy watching West Georgia's athletic teams compete. Nicknamed "Wolves," West Georgia fields teams for most major sports.

Graduate Tuition (In-state / Out-of-state): $4,086 / $15,876
Score: 70.6

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