7 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Pennsylvania – 2024


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Is your lack of a BSN standing in the way of your career development as an RN in Pennsylvania? Just because you started working with an associate degree doesn’t mean you can’t continue your education when you decide the moment is right. RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania can cut years off the time it would otherwise take you to earn an advanced degree. With an MSN under your belt, depending upon your specialty, you’ll be qualified to pursue employment as a nurse practitioner, a nurse executive, or a nurse educator, and you’ll make a generous salary of $116,860 a year. Get started by reading through this list of the 7 best RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania for 2024.


WHAT ARE THE BEST RN-TO-MSN PROGRAMS IN PENNSYLVANIA (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 7 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Pennsylvania (Online & Campus).)

1. Drexel University - Philadelphia


Specialties Offered: Clinical Nurse Leader, Healthcare Simulation, Leadership in Health Systems Management, Nursing Education, Public Health Nursing, and Quality, Safety, & Risk Management in Healthcare


Program Details: The RN to MSN bridge program, regardless of the specialization, takes two to three years to complete, based on whether you enroll part-time or full-time. Initially, students complete BSN-equivalent courses and then continue with MSN & specialty-specific courses. To graduate, you require completing a total of 45 quarter credits.

All the RN to MSN tracks, include MSN core courses that cover topics such as issues in healthcare environments, advanced ethical decision-making, quality & safety in healthcare, research methods & biostatistics, and evaluation & translation of health research. This RN-to-MSN program in Pennsylvania also includes practical experiences in your area of focus.

Admission Requirements: To gain admission into Drexel University’s RN-to-MSN program, you must have an active RN license with an ADN from an accredited college. Besides, your GPA must be at least 3.0. To fulfill the admission requirements, you must submit your transcripts, two professional letters, a personal statement, and a resume.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Drexel University RN-to-MSN Students

• Drexel University RN-to-MSN students can continue working as the program is offered entirely online with no on-campus requirements whatsoever.
• Drexel University RN-to-MSN program is ranked among the best in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report. The program also ranks highly for offering veterans several benefits.
• Drexel University RN-to-MSN students can lock their tuition rate for up to three years. Therefore, students who opt to complete the program part-time need not worry about the rising costs.


2. Wilkes University - Wilkes Barre


Specialties Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


Program Details: Wilkes University’s RN to MSN program should be on your list if you are seeking to advance your nursing career. Counted among the best RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania, the school takes you straight from being a registered nurse to a nurse practitioner. With three NP paths to choose from, you can become either a family nurse practitioner, an adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, or a psychiatric mental nurse practitioner.

Regardless of the NP path you choose, you’ll complete the entire coursework online, except for clinicals and residencies. The RN to MSN program covers core topics such as advanced nursing practice, healthcare policy & advocacy, healthcare informatics, leadership & management, and research methods. In addition, students complete NP-related courses and clinical experiences.

Admission Requirements: Wilkes University’s RN to MSN program is open to registered nurses who have an accredited associate degree in nursing. Also, applicants must possess an unencumbered and current RN license. This RN-to-MSN program in Pennsylvania also requires applicants to have at least one year of RN clinical experience.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Wilkes University RN-to-MSN Students

• Wilkes University’s RN to MSN students who come from a military background avail of solid support and may be eligible for financial benefits.
• Wilkes University RN-to-MSN graduates consistently report an NP pass rate that is much higher than the national average.
• Wilkes University’s RN-to-MSN program offers active support in terms of securing placements and having a dedicated student success counselor from the beginning until the end of the program. The best part is, all these services are offered at no additional cost.


3. La Salle University - Philadelphia


Specialties Offered: Clinical Nurse Leader, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


Program Details: La Salle University provides registered nurses with a seamless path to higher education by offering one of the well-known RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania. The school emphasizes professionalism and sets graduates up for academic and professional success. La Salle’s RN to MSN education constantly evolves to stay relevant to the changing needs of the healthcare industry. With four career paths, students can choose to enter the field of either clinical nurse leadership, adult gerontology primary care, family health, or psychiatric mental health.

The program starts with four BSN-equivalent courses in health assessment, nursing research, international public health nursing, and statistics. Students must complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 3.2 to qualify for enrollment into the MSN portion of the program. The MSN portion comprises graduate core and track-specific courses. The core courses cover topics such as advanced nursing roles, population-based care, evidence-based practice, nursing informatics, health assessment, pharmacology, and pathophysiology.

Based on the track you enroll in, you require completing 35 to 45 credits. This RN-to-MSN program in Pennsylvania takes 24 to 36 months, depending on your specialization and whether you enroll part-time or full-time.

Admission Requirements: For admission into La Salle University’s RN-to-MSN program, you must have an associate nursing degree from an accredited college. Also, your GPA must be at least 3.0. Additionally, applicants must have an unencumbered and active RN license. Besides, at least one year of clinical work experience is required. To complete the application, you must be prepared to submit a personal statement, a copy of your RN license, a professional resume, and one letter of reference.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential La Salle University RN-to-MSN Students

• La Salle University is ranked among the best regional universities, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
• La Salle University RN-to-MSN program reports an excellent employment rate, having almost all graduates being placed, soon after graduation.
• La Salle University RN-to-MSN students are taught by expert faculty members who bring their vast real-world experience to the RN-to-MSN classroom.


4. Bloomsburg University - Bloomsburg


Specialties Offered: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Public Health Nursing, and Nursing Administration


Program Details: Registered nurses who want to continue their education in PA should consider applying to one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania such as the one offered by Bloomsburg University. The university offers a student-centric learning environment, where registered nurses can achieve their academic and professional goals.

Bloomsburg’s RN to MSN program offers four specializations, including adult-gerontology primary care, family health, public health nursing, and nursing administration. Regardless of the specialization, the program takes four years to complete, when enrolled part-time.

During the first two years of the program, students complete BSN-equivalent courses. The BSN-equivalent courses help you transition to graduate-level courses by covering topics such as nursing research, pharmacology, pathophysiology, health assessment, nursing leadership, and community health nursing. Thereafter, in the remaining two years of this RN-to-MSN program in Pennsylvania, students complete the MSN and specialty courses.

Admission Requirements: To apply for Bloomsburg University’s RN-to-MSN program, you require to have completed an associate nursing degree from an accredited college. Also, your undergraduate GPA must be at least 3.0. The admission requirements also include the submission of transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a copy of your RN license. The program also requires applicants to have at least one year of work experience as a registered nurse.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Bloomsburg University RN-to-MSN Students

• Among all the RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg University’s RN-to-MSN stands out for conferring students with two degrees, a BSN and an MSN, that too within a shorter duration and with a reduced tuition cost.
• Bloomsburg University ranks among the best regional universities as per the U.S. News & World Report.
• Bloomsburg University RN-to-MSN program takes pride in its impressive placement, having graduates find placement soon after graduation.


5. La Roche University - Pittsburgh


Specialties Offered: Nursing Administration and Nursing Education


Program Details: La Roche University offers a well-rounded master's in nursing education. Grounded in liberal arts, the school’s RN to MSN empowers students with excellent critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborative skills. La Roche’s RN to MSN program prepares students for two career paths, nursing administration, and nursing education. Depending on your interests, you can choose your area of focus and seamlessly earn a BSN and an MSN and be prepared to sit for the national certification exam within your chosen advanced nursing field.

This RN-to-MSN program in Pennsylvania, regardless of the specialization, is offered completely online. During the initial 18 months of the program, you complete the BSN courses, after which you take the graduate-level courses. If you choose nursing administration, you’ll complete 12 courses whereas the education track comprises 11 courses. The nursing administration program prepares you for leadership positions in healthcare, whereas the education specialization prepares you for teaching positions in academic and healthcare settings.

Admission Requirements: To be considered for La Roche University’s RN-to-MSN program, you must have an ADN or a nursing diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.5. To complete the application, you must submit your official transcripts, two letters of reference, a resume, and an essay.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential La Roche University RN-to-MSN Students

• As one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania, La Roche University’s RN-to-MSN program has a job placement rate of almost 100%.
• La Roche University RN-to-MSN students study in small-sized classes with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. The one-on-one learning allows for an engaging and more fruitful learning experience.
• La Roche University RN-to-MSN students are taught by an experienced and expert faculty. Faculty members are committed to the academic and professional success of their students.


6. Chatham University - Pittsburgh


Specialties Offered: Nurse Educator


Program Details: If you are a registered nurse, aspiring to become a nurse educator, then Chatham University’s RN to MSN program can be a perfect stepping stone to a successful career in nursing education. Counted among the well-known RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania, the program seamlessly allows you to leverage your RN education and experience.

The RN to MSN in nursing education is a 47-credit program. The program starts with BSN courses after which you must complete the MSN coursework. Some of the topics covered in the curriculum include healthcare informatics, communication & collaboration for leadership, and health policy & finance. The program also includes courses in women’s health nursing, health assessment, evidence-based practice, and nursing communication & quality improvement. The nursing education courses emphasize teaching strategies, and curriculum design & evaluation. This RN-to-MSN program in Pennsylvania also includes 500 hours of clinical practice.

Admission Requirements: Chatham University has rolling admissions, so you must apply early. Besides, the online application is free. To qualify, you must have an ADN or a nursing diploma with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The program also requires you to submit your official transcripts, a resume, and a copy of your current and unencumbered RN license.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Chatham University RN-to-MSN Students

• Chatham University RN-to-MSN students earn a BSN and an MSN in lesser time and money.
• Chatham University RN-to-MSN students are taught by an accomplished faculty, comprising scholars, leaders, and practitioners.
• Chatham University RN-to-MSN program provides students with several financial aid opportunities.


7. Widener University - Chester


Specialties Offered: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Executive Nurse Leadership


Program Details: Widener University offers an accelerated path to registered nurses seeking an MSN in PA. Offering another of our featured RN-to-MSN programs in Pennsylvania, Widener offers several advanced nursing specializations in direct and indirect patient care. If you are inclined toward direct patient care, you can choose either adult gerontology care or family health. On the other hand, if indirect patient care roles suit you better, you can opt for the nurse leadership specialization.

Regardless of your chosen area of focus, Widener’s RN to MSN program is offered entirely online, with no on-campus requirements. The program starts with BSN courses, after which you can either earn the BSN and exit or continue with the program to complete the MSN and specialty-specific courses. The RN to MSN, in total, requires the completion of 46 credits. In addition to the specialty-specific courses, this RN-to-MSN program in Pennsylvania requires completing courses in nursing leadership, healthcare informatics, nursing research, population health, pathophysiology, health assessment, and health care for underserved populations.

Admission Requirements: To apply for Widener University’s RN-to-MSN, you must foremost be a registered nurse with an accredited ADN or nursing diploma. Also, your RN license must be active and unencumbered in PA. To complete the admission requirements, you must make submissions of your official transcripts, resume, recommendation letters, and a resume.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Widener University RN-to-MSN Students

• Widener University RN-to-MSN students enjoy the flexibility to start the program when they are ready. The program not only starts three times a year but also allows students, who are working nurses to take classes from anywhere and at any time.
• Widener University’s RN-to-MSN program allows students to take three graduate-level courses that can be completed when taking the RN-to-BSN courses. By taking graduate courses in your undergraduate coursework, you’ll not only graduate faster but also save on tuition dollars.
• Widener University RN-to-MSN students receive personalized attention from faculty members who are committed to the success of their students.
• Widener University RN-to-MSN students become a part of an active and accomplished alumni network of Widener graduates.


VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY



RN to MSN Programs in Other States