Master's Degree in Nursing


Am I qualified to get into a online nursing master’s program?






2+ Letters

At least two letters of recommendation from professors only

Writing Samples

Sample + Letter

One undergraduate writing sample between 2k and 5k words and a letter of intent



Most graduate nursing programs will require students to submit a GRE score. Students should check with their university to determine which entrance exam(s) will be accepted. For nursing applicants, admissions officers may place a higher emphasis on quantitative scores over verbal scores.

Additional Requirements


Current RN licensing is required by many MSN programs.

National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses

The NCLEX is required for nurses to earn their RN license. Many nurses take this exam after graduating from nursing school, but many graduate programs will require current NCLEX scores for admission.

What undergraduate degrees do nursing master’s students typically hold?

  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

What can I do to better my chances of getting into an online master’s program in nursing?

  • Get in touch (or better yet, work closely with) different types of advanced practice nurses. Ask them about their experiences before during and after graduate school.
  • Consider which kind of advanced practice specialty you’d like to work in and learn everything you can about the role and why it appeals to you. You’ll need to be able to articulate this in your application.
  • Join a professional nursing association that best fits your current interests and career. There are dozens of regional and specialty specific organizations that can help you connect with prospective employers and schools, including: American Nurses Association (ANA), the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), the Academy of Neonatal Nursing (ANN), or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). See this full list of organizations from the National Student Nurses Association for more ideas.

Financial Aid

What scholarships and grants are available to online MSN students?

  • NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: In exchange for a minimum 2-year service commitment after graduation, NURSE Corps members receive full coverage of tuition and fees at any accredited baccalaureate or graduate nursing program in the country. Preference is given to full-time students and graduate students that can demonstrate financial need.
  • Nursing Economics Foundation: The NEF awards up to four $5,000 scholarships each year to RNs pursuing a graduate degree in nursing with an emphasis on administration or management.
  • TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship: Tylenol awards 40 undergraduate and graduate nursing students scholarships each year. Scholarship amounts vary based upon demonstrated need and merit.
  • Nurse Practitioner Health Association Awards: The NPH offers students enrolled in accredited NP programs a variety of scholarships ranging from $1,000-$5,000 to recognize outstanding achievements in research, leadership and academics.
  • March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarships: The March of Dimes awards several $5,000 awards to RNs enrolled in graduate programs in maternal-child nursing each year.
  • After College/AACN Scholarship: Preference for this scholarship is given to graduate students who are pursuing a master’s degree with the goal of a faculty career and those enrolled in an accelerated MSN program.
  • The Senior Care Scholarship: This $1,000 award is awarded to both undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Recipients are selected based upon essays demonstrating interest in pursuing and advancing care for seniors.

Careers & Salary

Upon graduation from an online nursing master’s degree program, what skills will I have?

  • The ability to manage the care of patients with acute and chronic medical conditions
  • Perform physical exams, diagnose medical conditions, recommend treatments and, in many cases, prescribe medications
  • Order diagnostic tests, interpret results and recommend follow-up treatments or refer patients to specialized providers
  • Manage department nursing staff operations, including the supervision and delegation of teams of RNs and medical assistants

Once I’ve earned my online master’s in nursing, what will my job prospects look like?

  • Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Post-Secondary

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      California — $82,120
    • City with Highest Pay

      Salinas, CA — $103,020
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      North Dakota — $56,660
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Wheeling, WV-OH — $47,420
  • Nurse Midwife

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      California — $120,450
    • City with Highest Pay

      Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA — $129,390
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Indiana — $82,050
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Indianapolis-Carmel, IN — $81,720
  • Nurse Anesthetist

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      Nevada — $221,240
    • City with Highest Pay

      Las Vegas-Paradise, NV — $238,350
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Tennessee — $145,020
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Chattanooga, TN-GA — $125,830
  • Nurse Practitioner

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      Alaska — $111,800
    • City with Highest Pay

      Columbia, IN — $146,920
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Maine — $92,480
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Johnson City, TN — $104,120
  • Registered Nurse

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      California — $96,980
    • City with Highest Pay

      San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division — $127,670
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      South Dakota — $53,050
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Rome, GA — $54,840

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook and Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor and Statistics; Collected July 2014

* Highest concentration of jobs refers to the location with the highest number of jobs (by field) for every thousand jobs. Average annual wage is then identified for the career in each location.


What are some of the most important publications in the nursing field today?

  • Online Journal of Issues in Nursing: OJIN is a peer-reviewed, online publication that provides information on developments in the field of nursing, research and nursing education.
  • American Nurse Today: This magazine is published by the American Nurses Association and covers issues in nursing and nursing advocacy efforts.
  • National Nurse Magazine: This magazine is published by the National Nurse United, a professional organization for nurses; the magazine features true stories from nurses, healthcare policy and nursing practice.
  • AACN Bold Voices: This is a member publication of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.
  • Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews: This publication focuses on providing information for nurses who work with newborns and infants.
  • AORN Journal: First published in 1963, this journal provides news and analysis of interest to perioperative nurses.

What RSS feeds related to nursing are worth subscribing to?

  • The American Journal of Nursing: This publication offers RSS feeds in categories like palliative care, audio and video and the magazine’s content.
  • Nursing Outlook: Nursing Outlook offers RSS feeds for the magazine’s archives and current issues.
  • National Institute of Nursing Research: This feed promotes funding opportunities in nursing research.
  • NurseZone: Here, you’ll find RSS feeds for student and professional jobs, student and professional news and Q&As.
  • Nursing Times: This site gives RSS feeds for breaking news, specialist news and specialist practice information.


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