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Master of Science

The online RN to MSN degree provides Associate and diploma degree prepared Registered Nurses an accelerated pathway to obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing degree while also obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The RN to MSN degree is designed to facilitate the immediate and lifelong professional and personal development needs of Registered Nurses in the three areas of Practitioner, Scientist and Leader. Graduates of the RN to MSN program will be prepared to be agents of change in today’s rapidly transforming healthcare industry.

Note: This RN to MSN program is currently not open for admission to Tennessee residents or Washington State residents.

At this time, this program is not eligible for military tuition assistance; please speak with your admissions representative on other financial solutions.

This program has specific admission requirements.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Improve performance in the professional nursing role by developing leadership, management, and communication skills to promote the health of individuals, families, and communities.
  • Utilize evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and leadership principles to promote a culture of safety and achieve outcomes that are grounded in institutional values and professional ethics.
  • Apply informatics and healthcare technologies to access critical information, to collaborate with other professionals, and to facilitate optimal patient-centered care.
  • Apply scientific principles and the nursing process to evaluate responses to therapies and changes in patient health status.
  • Integrate knowledge of human and organizational behavior to lead teams and to promote cultures of safety.
  • Analyze the impact of financial, regulatory, and political decisions on local, national and global health outcomes.
  • Synthesize knowledge of ethical, socioeconomic, and cultural factors to decrease health disparities and advocate for diverse populations.
  • Employ a spirit of inquiry to embrace the value of lifelong learning and to participate in professional activities that promote and shape the future of nursing.
  • Apply ethical principles to advanced professional nursing practice.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills supportive of safe nursing practices and patient-centered care.
  • Advocate for healthcare policies that improve healthcare outcomes across the lifespan.
  • Apply data management principles in the delivery of cost-effective care to improve health outcomes.
  • Analyze how healthcare policy and health care economics affect change within the healthcare system.
  • Advocate for effective inter-professional communication and collaboration to support safe and efficient coordination of care.
  • Reflect on personal commitment to lifelong learning to gain the competencies needed to lead the provision of care in a complex and changing healthcare environment.

Degree at a Glance


Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.


Nurse Educator Track

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Apply programmatic objectives to the nurse educator role in clinical or academic settings.
  • Create effective educational and curricular materials for a variety of audiences.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of teaching strategies and modalities.


Research and Evidence-Based Practice


Healthcare Systems and Health Policy


Advanced Health Assessment


Nursing Curriculum Development, Assessment and Evaluation


Learner-Centered Teaching Methodologies


Educational Assessment and Evaluation for Nurse Educators


Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology


Practicum in Nursing Education


Nurse Leader Track

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Apply programmatic objectives to the role of the nurse leader.
  • Advocate for business practices that promote healthcare quality and patient safety.
  • Synthesize knowledge of key business and human resources practices to effectively lead healthcare teams.


Healthcare Finance


The Business of Healthcare


Operational Quality in Healthcare


Strategic Human Resource Management Practices


Research and Evidence-Based Practice


Healthcare Systems and Health Policy


Leading Nursing into the Future


Practicum in Nursing Leadership

Admission Requirements

To apply to this program, you must hold the following:

  • Associate degree or diploma in nursing
  • Current, active, unencumbered registered nursing (RN) license
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Signed statement of understanding
  • Current resume/CV
  • 500-600 word statement of purpose and goals for graduate education

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An APU admissions representative will contact you via email or phone to assist you with the enrollment process, review your nursing license and documentation, and to notify you when you have been admitted into the program and may register for courses.

Note: This program is not currently open for admission to residents of Washington or Tennessee.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-755-2787 or

Undergraduate per Credit Hour

$270 | $250 with military grant*
through 12/31/2019

$285 | $250 with military grant
effective 1/1/2020

Graduate per Credit Hour

$350 | $325 with military grant*
through 12/31/2019

$370 | $250 with military grant
effective 1/1/2020

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.