A master’s degree in nursing will open up a variety of career options beyond employment as a Registered Nurse (RN). Many of these job opportunities have higher salaries than typical RN careers, as the average annual salary for an RN is $70,000. For example, MSN graduates are qualified to become Advanced Nurse Practitioners, who earn an average salary of $107,480, Medical Service Managers, who earn an average salary of $98,350, or Nurse Anesthetists, who earn an average salary of $169,450.

In addition to making a higher salary, master’s degree courses will give nurses in-depth knowledge in a specific area, which can allow them to make a unique contribution to the field. For more information on the dynamics and career options in the field of nursing, be sure to check out our list of 30 Free Online Tools for Nursing Students and Healthcare Professionals.

Many schools have flexible RN-MSN degree options for RNs who are currently employed and are looking to go back to school to complete their MSN while maintaining their current employment. There are many online RN-MSN programs which allow their students to complete their coursework when it’s most convenient for them. For a list of the best online MSN programs, check out our list of The Top 25 Online Masters in Nursing Programs. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the top programs.

Featured Programs

Liberty University

Liberty University is a private Christian university that was founded in 1971 and is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university offers an MSN degree that can be completed entirely online, giving students ultimate schedule flexibility. MSN students will choose one of three different specializations depending on their professional expectations. The specializations offered are Nursing Administration, which prepares students for organizational roles in hospitals or private clinics, Nurse Educator, which prepares students to train other prospective nurses, and Nursing Informatics, which prepares students for analytical roles within the medical field. Students also have the option of earning a dual degree with their MSN. Students who want to get into the fiscal side of nursing can earn an MSN/MBA dual degree, and students who want to get into the specifics of healthcare can earn an MSN/MSHA dual degree. Tuition at Liberty came out to $21,310 for the 2017-18 school year, making it an affordable choice for a top online MSN degree.

George Washington University

George Washington University is a private university that was founded in 1821 and is located in Washington, D.C. The university’s School of Medicine and Health Services offers an online MSN program that allows students to choose from three different specializations: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse-Midwifery. All courses can be completed online, though there may be some events which require you to visit campus depending on your field of study. Tuition at George Washington University came out to $53,518 for the 2017-18 school year, which is fairly expensive. Fortunately, online degree students can get a break on tuition by applying for one of the 50 Best Scholarships for Online College Students.