RN to MSN – Nurse Practitioner

When students enter a master of science in nursing (MSN) program, they are asked to choose one of four education tracks: Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). An RN to MSN program is the most efficient way to become a nurse practitioner as quickly as possible without sacrificing educational quality. Within a few years, students are qualified for higher-paying jobs in leadership positions.

Overview of a RN to MSN – Nurse Practitioner Program

  • Many RN to MSN programs require students to choose a specialty from the start, which gives them the advantage of getting specialized training in their field even before they complete their BSN.
  • Students learn to diagnose and treat patients in their field, as opposed to clinical nurse specialists, who typically work in administration, research, and education.
  • Students study how to effectively communicate with patients on planning goals that facilitate wellness, health, healing and well-being.
  • The curriculum incorporates adult learning principles and recognizes prior academic course work, continuing education and clinical expertise.
  • Courses include content in the following subject areas: anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, sociology, general psychology, developmental psychology, and health assessment skills.

Steps to Obtain a RN to MSN

  1. Earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
  2. Receive a Registered Nurse Certification.
  3. Enroll and complete a RN to MSN Nurse Practitioner program from an accredited school like Capella University, Georgetown University, Purdue University, South University, or University of Cincinnati.
  4. Obtain NP certification and proper licensure, which varies by state.

Salary and Career Information

The job setting will vary depending on what specific job you get. Possible options include private practices, outpatient care centers, nursing homes, hospitals (intensive care unit), neonatal unit, internal medicine clinics, ambulatory care, and family practice offices. While it is generally not a prerequisite to find a job, membership with the American Nurses Association (ANA) can increase your employability. Other membership benefits include access to the continuing education library, annual conferences, news updates relevant to the field, savings on ANA books, professional liability insurance, and a vast network to connect with.

The average salary of nurse practitioners varies by location, experience, and the type of employer you have. For more information on your earning potential, please refer to our nursing job outlook page.

Online RN to MSN – Nurse Practitioner Degrees

Featured Nurse Practitioner Programs

Purdue University

Accreditation: HLC, NCA


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Liberty University

Accreditation: SACS


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