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Everything You Need to Know About Doing an Online Master’s in Nursing Administration

Many nurses these days are choosing to do a master’s degree in nursing administration. This degree can help nurses advance and their careers. Many online programs offer master’s degrees in nursing administration, which makes it easier for nurses to complete their education, no matter where they are. However, doing an online master’s in nursing administration is a big decision and you need to be prepared. Read on to learn everything you need to know about doing an online MSN nursing administration degree.

Differences Between an Online Program and a Traditional Program

If you’re going to do any online degree, you need to understand the differences between an online degree and a traditional program. Of course, if you’re doing an online degree, you can do all your coursework from home. Most online degrees also do not have set lecture times that you have to attend virtually. There are many benefits to doing a degree online, but there are challenges as well. For example, students may find communicating with their professors more challenging if they cannot speak to them in person. However, the best online programs make it easy for students to communicate with their professors through email and even instant messaging.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for an online MSN vary depending on which school you’re considering. However, there are some constant qualifications that all programs will have. As with any master’s degree, you must have a bachelor’s degree to be considered for admission. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is also a standard requirement. Most programs also require candidates to have several years of professional experience. Also, it is common for MSN programs to require nurses to get recommendations from a nursing administrator. Finally, schools often require students to write a personal essay about how they will use what they learn after completing their MSN degree.


An MSN degree is focused more on administration than on nursing practices. Students are often required to take more general courses in administration and leadership. Studies in ethics are often included in the curriculum, as well. As students advance in the program, they will often take classes related to medical administration specifically. Some programs even offer students the opportunity to complete a research project in which they study medical administration and analyze the data they have gathered to recommend how health administration practices can be improved.


It is common for online MSN programs to have several start dates throughout the year. This stands in stark contrast to traditional programs that usually only allow students to start during the fall semester. This means that applicants who have been accepted will not have to wait as long to begin their online degrees. It’s also common for online MSN programs to offer accelerated classes. These classes can often be completed in roughly two months, rather than the four months traditional classes would take. This also allows students to complete their degrees more quickly. An MSN degree at a traditional school usually takes two to three years to complete. However, an online MSN degree can often be completed in 12 months. Of course, you still have to take a heavy course load to complete your online degree in only one year.

Possible Career Opportunities

After completing an MSN, nurses will have a variety of career opportunities. Of course, they will be immediately qualified to work as a nursing administrator. Depending on their experience, they may even be eligible to work as a director of nursing. Many large hospitals and medical practices have a chief nursing officer position. While most new MSN graduates will not be qualified for this position, this degree will eventually enable them to work their way up to this position.

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