Choose from population focus areas designed to provide further knowledge in your chosen specialty and your specific advanced role. Each option includes a guided clinical experience.
Online Master's Degree in Nursing
Program at a Glance
- This online MSN program offers the flexibility nurses need to balance work and life responsibilities with their studies.
- The master's degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
- Prepare to sit for industry certification exams.
- Specialize in one of six pathways aligned to specific advanced roles:
We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.
Purdue Global Career Outcomes 2020–2021
Each year, our Center for Career Advancement sends a NACE First Destination survey to our graduating class to learn more about their career choices and potential income within 18 months of graduation. We’re proud of our recent Purdue Global alumni accomplishments.
Graduates in Purdue Global’s Master of Science in Nursing program were employed or continued their education within 18 months of graduation.
“Career Outcomes Rate” is not the same as an “employment rate”—it includes graduates who are: (1) employed (whether full or part time); (2) participating in a program of voluntary service, (3) serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, or (4) enrolled in a program of continuing education. This rate may also include graduates employed in jobs unrelated to their degree or who were employed while attending Purdue Global. (9,106 graduates surveyed across associate's, bachelor's, master's, JD, EJD, and DNP programs from July 1, 2019, to December 31, 2020. 7,803 of 9,106 replied.)
Online Master of Science in Nursing Program Overview
Nursing is undergoing a radical transformation, with advanced practice registered nurses taking on greater responsibilities across the health care industry. At Purdue Global, you can earn a valuable nursing credential online to help advance your career.*
Purdue Global's online master's degree in nursing builds on your nursing education and practical experience, offering you leadership and independent practice opportunities. The degree plan includes specialized courses in organizational theory, health care finance, health policy, human resources, information technology, and health care systems.
See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to the master's in nursing program.
Note: Residents of TN may not enroll in this program. Residents of the following states and territories may not enroll in the nurse practitioner population focus areas: HI, LA, NY, OR, UT, Guam, Puerto Rico. In addition, residents of DC or WA may not enroll in the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner population focus area or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner focus area. Residents of IL, IN, or WI may not enroll in the executive leader or nurse educator concentration.
Some pathways are not available to international students.
The master's degree in nursing program at Purdue Global is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (https://www.aacnnursing.org/
Purdue Global Is Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
The HLC (HLCommission.org) is an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Current information and techniques are taught by practicing professionals who have advanced degrees in nursing. Academic advisors and faculty offer personalized academic support as you earn your master's in nursing online.
A bachelor's degree with an upper-level major in nursing and an approved criminal background check is required. You will need to provide an official transcript that shows completion of your bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, though an unofficial copy may be provided during the application process. Additional requirements apply. Refer to the program-specific policy page in the University Catalog or speak to an Advisor to learn more.
Prepare for Industry Certifications
Nursing credentials demonstrate your adherence to a higher standard and may be a condition for employment in nursing. As of October 2021, 97.8% is the average pass rate for nurse practitioner students who graduated in 2020 and are known to have attempted a certification exam through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), or AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses).‡
Upon completion of the master’s degree in nursing program, you may be eligible to pursue industry-recognized certifications in your selected specialty area†:
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN): Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP): Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): Nurse Executive or Nurse Executive, Advanced (if you meet the organization’s eligibility requirements)
- American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL): Certified in Executive Nursing Practice
Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): Family Nurse Practitioner
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP): Family Nurse Practitioner
- National League for Nursing (NLN): Certified Nurse Educator (if you meet the organization’s eligibility requirements)
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Across the Lifespan) Certification (PMHNP-BC)
Gain Real World Experience
Faculty- and preceptor-supported clinical practice experiences in your community provide knowledge and mentoring specific to your area of interest.
Contact an Admissions Advisor for information on the number of clinical hours required in your specialty area.
Accelerate Your Master’s Degree With ExcelTrack®
Forget what you know about earning a degree. ExcelTrack® is personalized learning that gives you more control over your education, getting you to the same degree faster, for less money.
Ways to Save
Earn credit for prior coursework completed at eligible institutions, including community colleges.
Title IV federal financial aid is available for many of our degree programs.
Corporate Partner Benefits
Employees of Purdue Global partner organizations may be eligible for special tuition reductions.
Military Tuition Reduction
55% reduction per credit for current servicemembers, 38% per credit for veterans for undergraduate programs.
International Tuition Reduction
International students living outside of the United States are eligible for a 25% tuition reduction.
What Courses Will I Take?
The Master of Science in Nursing curriculum prepares you to fill advanced practice and nursing leadership roles. Courses are reviewed and revised by industry experts to ensure they reflect the most recent developments in health care.
The degree plan includes core curriculum and concentration or population focus area courses.See All Nursing Courses
- Advanced Nursing Roles
- Scientific and Analytic Approaches to Advanced Evidence-Based Practice
- Epidemiology and Health Promotion
- Health Policy, Ethical, and Legal Perspectives of the Health Care System
- Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Health Care Delivery
Choose from six pathways designed to provide further knowledge in your chosen specialty and your specific advanced role:
- Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
- Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner
- Family nurse practitioner, primary care
- Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
- Executive leader
- Nurse educator
- Core Credits30
- Elective Credits48–60
- Total Credits78–90
- Core Credits30
- Elective Credits30
- Total Credits60
- Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner population focus area
The adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner population focus area is designed to prepare registered nurses as practitioners for professional practice in the medical, surgical, and critical care management of acutely ill adult patient populations. Graduates may expect to practice in acute and complex care settings in roles such as a hospitalist in a medical-surgical unit or an intensivist in a general or specialty critical care unit. Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners function within the interprofessional acute care team providing direct care management including diagnosis and treatment planning. This population focus area also includes an online skills lab that incorporates an Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) headset for a virtual lab experience, allowing you to work remotely with faculty and staff.
- Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner population focus area
The adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner population focus area is designed to educate you on the topics of how to best provide primary care as a member of an interprofessional team and improve the availability of evidence-based, culturally relevant health care in diverse communities. The curriculum helps you develop the skills to evaluate the health and wellness of individuals, families, and their communities. The nurse practitioner is expected to possess skills in diagnosing, treating, and managing acute and chronic health conditions, delivering primary and preventive care, and participating in the development of appropriate policy and evidence-based practice.
- Family nurse practitioner primary care population focus area
The family nurse practitioner population focus area is designed to educate you on the topics of how to best provide primary care as a member of an interprofessional team and improve the availability of evidence-based, culturally relevant health care in diverse communities. The curriculum helps you develop the skills to evaluate the health and wellness of individuals, families, and their communities. The nurse practitioner is expected to possess skills in diagnosing, treating, and managing acute and chronic health conditions, delivering primary and preventive care, and participating in the development of appropriate policy and evidence-based practice.
- Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner population focus area
The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner population focus area is designed for master’s prepared nurses who want to obtain further knowledge to provide comprehensive psychiatric mental health care through the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of psychiatric mental health disorders, medical organic brain disorders, substance abuse problems, and complex co-occurring disease processes and disorders across the lifespan. Graduates may expect to practice in acute care and primary care settings in hospitals, community mental health centers, home health care, partial hospital care, residential settings, prisons, or private practices as well as in collaborative practices with other specialties. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners function within the interprofessional acute care or primary care team providing direct care management including diagnosis, treatment planning, conducting therapy, prescribing psychotropic medications, and providing emergency psychiatric services. This population focus area also incorporates an Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) headset for a virtual lab experience to augment and enhance concepts presented in the program.
- Executive leader concentration
The executive leader concentration is designed to prepare you to pursue managerial positions and leadership roles in hospitals, community health, long-term care facilities, and other health care systems. The program focuses on the principles of personnel management, policy development and implementation, budgeting, and the use of information technology.
- Nurse educator concentration
The nurse educator concentration prepares nurses to address health care problems in a variety of settings. Learn to effectively teach patients and their families, provide staff development programs, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, and instruct undergraduate nursing students through the application of advanced nursing knowledge, learning theories, and curricular development and instructional design techniques.
Note: Residents of the following states and territories may not enroll in the nurse practitioner population focus areas: HI, LA, NJ, NY, ND, OR, TN, UT, Guam, Puerto Rico. In addition, residents of DC or WA may not enroll in the acute care adult-gerontology nurse practitioner population focus area. Residents of IL, IN, or WI may not enroll in the executive leader or nurse educator concentration. Some pathways are not available to international students.
Choosing a Master’s Degree in Nursing
Accelerate your nursing career and position yourself for more advanced roles. Discover the value of pursuing a master’s degree in nursing.
Where will technology take the health care system? Learn about the growing trend of telehealth, how nurses deliver these services, and more.
Interested in our flexible nursing programs? Discover the ease of pursuing an online degree at Purdue Global and build your pathway to success.
Accelerate your nursing career in a thrilling and influential management role. Learn the key qualities of achieving this distinguished honor.
Nursing is undergoing a radical transformation, with advanced practice nurses taking on greater responsibilities across the health care industry. Purdue Global’s online Master of Science in Nursing builds on your previous nursing education and practical experience, offering you a pathway to leadership and independent practice opportunities.
Top 5 Skills Employers Are Looking for:
- Active Learning
- Active Listening
- Critical Thinking
- Social Perceptiveness
Top Jobs With This Degree
Labor market, salary, and projected growth information are supplied by Emsi. Average salary range is based on national data. Projected growth represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018–2030) at the state level and is based on your geographic location. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment. Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields.
Get to Know Our Faculty
Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.View Nursing Faculty Directory
Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, July 2022. 2021–2022 academic year.
Download our brochure to learn more about the online Master of Nursing and the benefits of earning your degree at Purdue Global.
Prepare yourself for success with a master’s degree in nursing.
MSN Dual Degree Options
Our MSN offers dual degree programs that let you combine your master’s in nursing with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Public Health (MPH), or Master of Health Care Administration (MHCA). Gain a competitive edge in your career by building on your nursing experience with a specialization in these in-demand areas of focus.
*Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields.
†Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. The University cannot guarantee students will be eligible to sit for or pass exams. In some cases, work experience, additional coursework beyond the Purdue Global program, fieldwork, and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams.
‡Purdue Global School of Nursing, October 2020.