NP PROGRAM FINDER
Nursingprocess.org is an advertising-supported site. Clicking in this box will show you programs related to your search from schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Best Online MSN to NP Programs – 2021


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

If you have a master’s degree in nursing and are considering pursuing a higher degree level and becoming a nurse practitioner, this article is for you! As a nurse practitioner, you can take on a significant role in patient care with more independent practice and autonomy in choices for your clients. With online MSN to NP programs, you can accomplish this goal without giving up your current role in nursing. For more information about the best online MSN to NP programs for 2021 and to learn how you can begin your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner, keep reading. In this article, you will find program and admission information, as well as information about some of the specialty tracks of study you can choose from.


FOLLOWING ARE THE 10 BEST MSN TO NP ONLINE PROGRAMS IN THE NATION FOR 2021

(These MSN to NP Programs are ideal for MSN prepared Non-Nurse Practitioners who wish to pursue nurse practitioner education at the doctoral level.)

1. Rush University Medical Center - Chicago, IL


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: APRNs or Non-APRNs with an MSN.


Nurse practitioners are playing a significant role, providing specialized nursing care to specific population groups across the country. So, if you are an MSN prepared nurse and have decided to pursue this in-demand APRN position the first step must be enrolling in one of the best online MSN to NP programs in the nation. Rush University offers one such program specifically designed for APRNs and non-APRNs with an MSN, keen on making the shift to an NP position. Here, you will gain the same quality of education as the traditional format, taking courses through online classes. Whether you are interested in adult/gerontology care, pediatric care, or psychiatric mental care, at Rush you can get certified in an area of your interest without putting your current job role on hold. The NP degree is conferred through the MSN to DNP-NP pathway, so you will not only gain specialized skills in your area of emphasis but also graduate with the terminal nursing degree.

To be eligible to apply into any of the NP tracks you must have an MSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an encumbered RN license. Upon being accepted, a gap analysis will be done based on the courses you have already completed in your masters. Approximately, to graduate, regardless of the track you have chosen you must complete around 38 credits. The program takes you through leadership in healthcare, healthcare economics, policy & finance, program evaluation, and management of illness within your chosen population foci. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the certification exam within your chosen population foci.


2. University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: MSN prepared (Nurse Midwives, Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nurse Specialists) or any MSN-prepared Nurse with experience in Informatics.


Are you an APRN or a non-APRN who has already served as a vital member of a healthcare team? Do you now feel drawn towards the role of a holistic patient care provider? If your answer is an astounding yes to both these questions you may want to learn about the online MSN to NP programs offered by the University of Arizona through its DNP-NP pathway. Depending on your area of interest you can enroll in either the AGACNP, FNP, PNP, or PMHNP track and graduate with the eligibility of taking the national certification exam within your chosen specialty.

These MSN to DNP-NP tracks are open to MSN graduates with a minimum GPA of 3.5. Regardless of the track you enter, the curriculum builds upon your previous nursing education and experience and trains you to provide specialized care within a span of 1.5 or 2.5 years, depending on whether you enroll in part-time or full-time classes. This post-master's degree requires completing a rigorous coursework comprising around 35 credit hours. Because you have already completed your graduate-level coursework, you may be able to transfer nine credits into this program. Although the program is offered through the distance format, the college requires you to attend the on-campus RISE experience at least once throughout the course of the program.


3. The University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA


Concentrations Offered: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: Non-APRNs with an MSN.


The University of Iowa's online MSN to NP programs can prepare you for leadership in an advanced clinical specialty, public policy, advocacy, and healthcare marketing & communication. If you are keen on impacting healthcare or simply aspiring for a change of role from a non-APRN MSN position to that of a nurse practitioner, the best next step would be to consider enrolling in this NP program. Not only will your role as a direct patient care provider be more fulfilling, but you will also enjoy higher pay scales and job security as the demand for primary care providers in the nation and across the globe continues to grow. Depending on your area of interest, you can opt for one of the five NP specialty tracks that are offered through this MSN to DNP-NP pathway.

To qualify for any of these NP tracks you must have completed a master's in nursing in any non-APRN specialization. Upon enrollment, a gap analysis will be done after which an individual study plan will be designed. The program can be completed within two or three years, depending on whether you take part-time or full-time classes. Throughout the program, you will master the competencies of your chosen specialization as well as the DNP. You mainly complete the program through the distance format, however, there are few campus visits required for intensives. As such, to graduate around 44 credits are required, but because you may be allowed transfer credits, the final requirement for graduation may vary.


4. Morningside College - Sioux City, IA


Concentrations Offered: Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: MSN prepared Certified Nurse-Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or Clinical Nurse Specialists.



If you are keen on becoming a family primary care nurse practitioner or an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, you may want to learn about the DNP-NP program offered by Morningside College. Designed for MSN graduates who are already certified advanced practice nurses, this program can be a quick route to earn the FNP or AGNP credential at the doctoral level. Both these direct-patient care tracks in primary healthcare can open-up possibilities of autonomous practice as many states now are authorizing NPs to practice without the supervision of a physician.

Counted among the best online MSN to NP programs in the nation, this post-master's DNP-NP track is open to MSN graduates already Certified as Nurse-Midwives, Nurse Anesthetists, or Clinical Nurse Specialists. Regardless of the track you enter, to graduate as an NP you must complete a total of 30 credits, 23 in DNP core and 7 credits in specialty-specific courses. The study plan usually spans across two years, if taken on a full-time basis. Throughout the program, you will be educated on analytical methods in evidence-based practice, applied epidemiology, population health, quality improvement, health care information, and leadership in health care policy & advocacy. You also learn about organizational & systems leadership and your role as an advanced practice nurse.


5. Washington State University - Spokane, WA


Concentrations Offered: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: RNs with an MSN, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or Clinical Nurse Specialists


So, you are already an MSN-RN or an APRN prepared at the master's level, wondering how to further expand your role in direct-patient care, then what better than becoming a nurse practitioner with a DNP degree. With two MSN to NP online programs, Washington State University can prepare you for the role of a family nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health NP, depending on what you choose. Apart from flexible scheduling and the majority of courses offered online, the college provides financial aid opportunities to make your education affordable. Here, you can apply for the Faculty Loan Program and have almost 85% of your tuition costs waived off, provided you commit to at least four years of full-time teaching, post-graduation.

To be considered for this program you must have a master's in nursing with an active RN license, or should have an MSN in either nurse anesthesia, nurse-midwifery, or clinical nurse specialist. Also, one year of practice as a nurse is preferred. Both the NP specialty tracks require completing 69 credits as such; however, the exact graduation requirements depend on your previously completed coursework. The program emphasizes evidence-based practice, leadership, and nursing research and prepares you with the highest level of skills and knowledge to improve health within your chosen population foci.


6. Samford University - Birmingham, AL


Concentrations Offered:Family Nurse Practitioner, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: Nurses with an MSN.



Samford University's NP program is offered with the goal of providing MSN prepared registered nurses the opportunity of advancing into the role of a certified nurse practitioner. Whether you are looking at stepping up your career or simply seeking an expansion of professional duties, here you can choose from any one of the three online MSN to NP programs and become a family nurse practitioner, emergency nurse practitioner, or a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. At Samford, the tuition you pay is not based on your residency status, so even if you are an out-of-state student you can avail the same tuition costs and achieve affordable education.

Out of the three MSN to NP online programs, regardless of the track, you enroll in, you can complete your degree through a choice of part-time or full-time enrollment. This DNP-NP curriculum is designed to train you in the theory & philosophy of nursing practice, biostatistics, method of evidence-based practice, pharmacotherapeutics, advanced physiology & pathophysiology, and healthcare technology. You also master common diagnostic procedures and the management of illness within your chosen population foci. All the three tracks end with a DNP project for which a campus visit is required. The total credits required for graduation are around 55 to 58, including a total of 1000 clinical hours that you must have completed post your BSN.


7. Delta State University - Cleveland, MS


Concentrations Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: Nurses with an MSN.


A career as a nurse practitioner can be appealing as you can earn among the highest nurse salaries. Moreover, a family nurse practitioner is considered the most versatile NP position as you fulfill the much-in-demand role of a primary care provider. If you find your calling in this field of nursing, you may want to shortlist Delta State University's MSN to DNP-NP program that is typically designed for RNs or APRNs prepared at the master's level. The additional qualification can do wonders to your nursing career as well as empower you to play a vital role in improving the lives of your patients and the community at large. Considered one of the best online MSN to NP programs in the region, graduates of this NP program are known to be in demand among employers across Mississippi and Arkansas for their compassionate attitude and professional competence.

To meet the admission requirements, you must have an MSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you must carry an encumbered RN or APRN license. Upon enrollment, you can complete this program either on a part-time or full-time basis. To graduate, you must complete 71 credits and around 1440 clinical hours. Upon the approval of the chair, you may be able to transfer graduate-level credits towards this DNP-FNP degree. The curriculum trains you in core competencies of evidence-based nursing practice, epidemiology, healthcare policy & economics, and healthcare leadership. Besides, you learn advanced theory & ethical issues, advanced statistics for clinical practice, and family nurse practice.


8. Regis College - Weston, MA


Concentrations Offered: Pediatrics (PNP), Family (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health (PMHNP), Women's Health (WHNP), and Adult-Gerontology (AGNP)

Who Can Apply To This Program: Non-Nurse Practitioners with an MSN.


If you are keen on playing a meaningful role in healthcare that not only empowers you to improve health but also shape the future of nursing care, then you must consider obtaining a DNP-NP degree. Boston's first DNP program, Regis College's MSN to DNP-NP pathway trains you for this highly dynamic professional role within 24 to 36 months. The college offers six online MSN to NP programs that prepare you for direct patient-care roles through a well-designed education that is grounded in faith-based values and combined with the latest technology and a plethora of learning opportunities. To take the next step into your nursing career, you can focus on any one of the specializations including, pediatrics, family, psychiatric mental health women's health, or adult-gerontology.

To enroll in any of these MSN to NP online programs you must have a master's in nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an active RN license. Regardless of the specialization you choose, you complete core courses in healthcare informatics, epidemiology, cultural perspectives in healthcare, and advanced nursing research. Thereafter you complete the specialty-specific courses and electives. Graduation requires completing credits ranging from 27 to 64, depending on the NP program you enroll in. Because you have completed your graduate-level education, you may be able to transfer credits from your previous nursing degree towards this DNP-NP program. Finally, upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the NP certification exam within your chosen area of focus.


9. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP) , Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care NP, Psychiatric (Family) Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: APRN's with an MSN.


Ever thought of adding an NP specialty to your advanced nursing practice but not sure where to start? Well, the ideal first step would be to shortlist the best MSN to NP online programs in the nation that not only offer excellence in clinical practice but also prepare you with professional skills at the doctoral level. The University of South Alabama is one such nursing school that can help expand or shift your role in advanced practice nursing to that of a nurse practitioner. Along with offering the widest range of MSN to nurse practitioner online programs, the college also offers DNP subspecialties in various areas which you can be combine with your DNP-NP coursework. Here, you can enroll in either single tracks or dual specializations, depending on your area of interest and goals.

To be eligible for any of the 10 NP programs you must have an MSN and an APRN certification. Depending on whether you enroll in part-time or full-time classes, you can complete the program within 10 or 12 semesters. To graduate, you must earn around 60 to 69 credits in graduate core and specialization courses. Besides, you may also require completing support courses if you already haven't completed them in your MSN. Should you plan to add a sub-specialty from addictions, forensic nursing, cardiovascular, lipidology, nurse educator or palliative care, an additional 11 to 12 credits will be required to finally earn your DNP-NP degree.


10. Maryville University - St. Louis, MO


Concentrations Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric (Primary Care) Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Who Can Apply To This Program: Nurses with an MSN.


Are you an MSN graduate, ready to put yourself at the forefront of healthcare? Do you see yourself as an NP treating patients in various types of healthcare settings? Well, you can play both these impactful roles by obtaining a DNP-NP degree from one of the leading MSN to NP online programs in the country. Maryville University is one such place that offers a range of online MSN to nurse practitioner programs, preparing you for specialized care at the doctoral level. Whether your goal is to transform primary care or provide patients with holistic nursing care, here through rigorous didactic and clinical training you will be prepared at the highest level of clinical practice within as little as 36 months.

All these MSN to NP online programs at Maryville are designed to offer you flexible study options through an online coursework. To qualify for admission, you must have an MSN and an encumbered RN license. Through any of the specialization tracks, you will build a solid foundation of professional skills and knowledge in health promotion, disease prevention, advanced practice nursing, and nursing research. Here, based on your interest you can choose from the FNP, AGPCNP, AGACNP, PPNP, or PMHNP track.

View Ranking Methodology