Direct Entry Msn Programs for Non-Nursing Majors Online

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by Team College Learners

If you have a higher calling to become a nurse, now is the perfect time to change careers. Not only are nurses in high demand, our Direct Entry Msn Programs for Non-Nursing Majors Online can help you change careers sooner. Want to know more questions about list of direct entry msn programs for non nursing majors, direct entry np programs online to direct entry msn programs near me & direct entry msn program online

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Best Online Direct Entry MSN Programs

Direct-entry MSN programs for non-nursing majors are designed for career changers and other individuals who have a bachelor’s degree but no prior nursing experience. These programs provide a straight path to becoming a professional nurse while awarding an advanced degree at the same time. And online direct-entry MSN programs offer an additional level of flexibility and convenience not available with traditional fully on-campus programs.

It’s important to understand, however, that all direct-entry MSN programs, whether they feature online study or not, require on-campus attendance for certain classes and labs. On-campus attendance is most typically required in the pre-licensure phase of the degree program, but some on-campus visits may be required during the program’s graduate-level phase as well. Additionally, students must complete a substantial number of clinical hours at health care facilities either in close proximity to the school or in or around the student’s local community.

As a proactive measure, colleges are beginning to offer different degree tracks as a way to address the well-known nursing shortage in the United States. One type of program demonstrating high success rates is the Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) option. Instead of requiring a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), these programs permit admittance to non-nursing Bachelor’s degree holders. Job options for MSN degree holders include

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner with a Non-Nursing Bachelor's

Earning an MSN through an accelerated msn program oline is a great way to launch your nursing career if you have a bachelor’s degree in different area, but finding the right school isn’t always easy. To help get you started, we’ve researched accelerated nursing program for non nurses offered online by schools throughout the U.S. and evaluated them based on a variety of factors, including accreditation, affordability, and curriculum comprehensiveness. The result is our list of the direct entry msn programs for 2020.

Direct Entry MSN Program for Non-Nursing Majors

Here’s a closer look at three of the very best:


Marquette University’s full-time, five-semester (19-21 month) direct-entry MSN program prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination and jumpstart their advanced professional nursing careers. The program’s curriculum is offered in a blended study format that combines fully-online nursing theory courses with in-person nursing skills and simulation lab work on Marquette’s Nursing School campus located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Students additionally complete a minimum of 700 clinical practicum hours at healthcare facilities located throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Because of the in-person requirements, all students must currently reside in or relocate to the Pleasant Prairie/Kenosha, Wisconsin area for the program’s duration.

Admission requirements include a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university, earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants with a GPA below 3.2 must also sit for the Graduation Records Examinations (GRE) test. All applicants must additionally complete six prerequisite courses, as well as submit three letters of recommendation, an updated resume, and personally-written admissions statement.



Direct-Entry MSN Online Program Cost

Non Nursing Bachelor's to NP - College Learners

Total costs can vary significantly from program to program. Generally speaking, programs offered by private institutions tend to be more expensive than those offered by public schools. Below are the current (as of fall 2019) tuition costs for three online direct-entry MSN programs. Keep in mind, however, that total costs will likely include additional fees.

Sentara College of Health Sciences

Master’s Entry to Nursing Practice (MSN)

Total Credits: 80


Ameritech College of Healthcare

Direct-entry MSN

Total Credits: 95


Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Master of Science in Nursing Direct-entry Program (MSN-DEP)

Total Credits: 74

$59,280 (fixed total cost, including books and fees)

Accelerated Direct-Entry MSN Program Online

Since direct-entry MSN programs are designed for individuals with no prior background in nursing, students in these programs receive a solid education in foundational nursing concepts and practices, as well as specialized knowledge and skills that prepare them for advanced practice and leadership roles in the profession. By the end of the program, students should be able to:

Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of professional knowledge and the application of critical-thinking skills to improve healthcare outcomes throughout the nursing process.

Provide safe, efficient, and respectful patient-centered care through all levels of care across diverse patient populations.

Provide efficient, effective, and ethical management of healthcare resources across the spectrum of care settings.

Demonstrate the ability to assume leadership roles in a range of healthcare systems and settings.

Demonstrate comprehensive communication skills, both written and oral, in leading interdisciplinary healthcare teams.

List of Direct Entry MSN Programs for Non-Nursing Majors

Policy and Ethics in Healthcare Practice

This course provides an examination of the moral behaviors and ethical principles underlying professional nursing and healthcare practices. Issues of ethical decision-making and policy development are considered in relation to a variety of contexts, such as quality care, patient safety, healthcare financing, and the application of relevant laws and regulations.


Nursing Informatics and Quality Improvement

Leadership and Management in Advanced Nursing

Evidence-based Nursing Practice

How to Check Accreditation for Direct-Entry MSN Programs Online

Accreditation of colleges and universities – and the programs they offer – is the means by which students and the public are assured that the schools and programs meet important standards of academic quality. There are two basic types of accreditation: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation is administered by several national and regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Programmatic accreditation of direct-entry MSN programs for non nursing majors in the U.S. is administered primarily by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), although programs may also be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).   

It is critical that prospective students confirm both institutional and programmatic accreditation of any and all degree programs they are considering. Accreditation information can typically be found on program and school websites. You’ll also find accreditation information by visiting the CCNE and ACEN websites, or by using the search feature on the DOE’s Database of Accredited Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) webpage.

Direct Entry MSN Programs Requirements

Earning a direct-entry MSN requires a major commitment of time and effort. But the doors that your degree can open for you make that commitment well worth it. Here’s a look at what you’ll be doing next once you have your degree in hand.

Passing the NCLEX-RN Exam and Getting Your Nursing License

Chances are good that you will sit for the NCLEX-RN examination following completion of the pre-licensure component of your direct-entry MSN program. If not, then taking and passing the exam will be your first order of business upon graduation. The NCLEX-RN examination is a national exam, so you may sit for it at any exam location that is most convenient to you regardless of where you earned your degree or where you intend to practice.

After passing the exam, your next step will be to apply for RN licensure in the state (or states) in which you intend to practice. While passing the NCLEX-RN exam is a requirement for RN licensure in all U.S. states, it is not the only requirement. Each state has its own unique set of licensure requirements, so be sure to contact the board of nursing in each state you intend to practice for detailed licensure information.

Online MSN Degree Career Options

Once you’ve received your license, you’re ready to move right into a challenging and rewarding job as a registered nurse. And having earned an MSN degree, you’ll likely find higher-paying positions with better career growth potential than RNs without an MSN degree. While the great majority of direct-entry MSN grads will enter careers as RN’s, others will find additional job opportunities available as well. Below are three examples of careers you might pursue as an MSN program graduate.

Registered Nurse

The backbone of practically every healthcare services provider is their registered nurses. RNs coordinate and carry out patient care under the direction of physicians as part of a larger team. Specific duties include: assessment of a patient’s condition; recording patient symptoms and medical histories; observing and monitoring the patient’s condition during treatment; administering medications and treatments; teaching patients how to manage their injuries and illnesses, and much more. RNs are also often called upon to oversee other patient care team members, like nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and home health aides.

Job Outlook

12% (projected growth from 2018 to 2028)

Median National Salary

$71,730 (as of May 2018)

Additional Experience/Training Needed

RN’s providing specialized care may be required to complete additional training and/or professional certification.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners provide a variety of advanced primary, acute, and specialized services to their patients, including: diagnosing acute and chronic health conditions; prescribing medications and treatments; ordering, performing, and interpreting the results of diagnostic tests; and educating patients about disease prevention and healthy lifestyles. NP’s often work autonomously, managing the patient’s overall care themselves. Specialization areas include, among others: acute care, family health, neonatal health, gerontology, oncology, women’s health, and psychiatric/mental health.

Job Outlook

28% (projected growth from 2018 to 2028)

Median National Salary

$107,030 (as of May 2018)

Additional Experience/Training Needed

Specialized certification is required. Some MSN students will be able to opt for a specialization track as part of their degree program that will prepare them to qualify for certification as a nurse practitioner. Others will need to obtain additional education and training.

Nurse Educator

Nursing educators teach patient care to nursing students in classrooms and clinical settings. Specific tasks include: developing lesson plans and presenting them in the classroom; initiating and leading classroom discussions with students; evaluating program curriculums; supervising student clinical and lab work; and creating, administering, and grading assignments and examinations. Many nurse educator careers combine teaching with academic research and/or clinical practice.

Job Outlook

11% or higher** (projected growth from 2018 to 2028)

Median National Salary

$73,490** (as of May 2018)

Additional Experience/Training Needed

Further education (doctoral degree), training and/or certification may be required depending on the academic level and setting.

**Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary.

Education Advancement Paths

For many individuals, earning an MSN degree will mark the end of their academic endeavors in the nursing profession. However, those with an interest in moving up into the very top-tier of nursing leadership can continue their academic studies to earn a doctoral-level degree. There are three options available for these highly-ambitious nurses:

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP degree is designed for nurses seeking to participate in the highest levels of clinical practice. DNP curriculums emphasize clinical and leadership knowledge and skills that allow graduates to apply the latest research findings to improve care systems and the treatment outcomes of their patients. In short, think of the DNP as the “nursing practice” doctorate.

PhD in Nursing

The PhD in Nursing prepares graduates for careers as researchers and policy-makers. PhD holders lead interdisciplinary research teams in designing and conducting academic studies meant to improve nursing and broader healthcare practices, especially in the areas of chronic illnesses and care protocols. In short, think of the PhD in Nursing as the “nursing research” doctorate.

Doctor of Education (EdD) in Nursing

Available from only a small number of schools in the U.S., the EdD in Nursing is designed for professionals specifically interested in advanced teaching, administrative and leadership positions in nursing academic or staff development settings. In other words, the purpose of the EdD in Nursing is to prepare nurses to lead the way in advocating change in nursing education.

Today, online programs are becoming popular. That is in the wake of the Corona Virus; colleges and universities are seeing higher enrollment in online programs than traditional brick and mortar programs.

For a direct-entry MSN program, students will learn the basics of becoming a nurse practitioner. The courses will prepare students to be nurse practitioners, even with no previous experience in the medical field. The direct-entry MSN courses are for anyone who has a bachelor’s degree.

Direct entry MSN programs for non-nursing majors online are for anyone who wants to change their career or increase their earning potential.

Accelerated Nursing programs For Non Nurses majors

All MSN programs, including direct-entry programs, will be accredited either through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

15 Best Direct Entry MSN Programs in 2021 - Best Value Schools

If you are considering the direct-entry MSN programs for non nursing majors, you can expect to spend three years studying full-time. During their first year in the program, students can expect to learn from bachelor-level courses. Over the final two years of the program, students can expect to take graduate-level courses. A student enrolled in a direct-entry MSN program for non nursing majors can assume that many of their general education and science credits from their bachelor’s degree will transfer into the program. They will begin taking core nursing courses almost immediately.

The direct-entry MSN program might go by many names. Some of these names are as follows.

  • Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN)
  • Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse (MECN)
  • Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AE-MSN)
  • Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN)
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • Entry-Level Master’s (ELM)

Like many traditional MSN programs, direct-entry MSN programs will offer classes on a variety of platforms. These formats include online, part-time, and accelerated. Many students favor the online delivery format for these courses. There are many colleges and universities throughout the US, offering the online form for direct-entry MSN programs. Now, they can provide students with a quality education no matter where the student lives.

These learning institutions are offering students an online option partner with many clinics throughout the US. A student can then fulfill the clinical requirements of the program close to their home.

Admission Requirements

For admission into a direct-entry MSN program for non nursing major, a student must meet all the following requirements.

  • A bachelor’s in any program other than nursing, it must be from an accredited university or college.
  • The student’s GPA from undergraduate studies of a 3.0 or higher
  • The student must have letters of recommendation. These can be from the student’s workplaces, or they can be from academic institutions.
  • The student must write an application essay.
  • The student must have a current resume or CV.
  • The student must have GRE scores to present.


Besides possessing a bachelor’s from a non-nursing program, the student must also transfer in many classes to the direct-entry MSN program. These courses may be outside of the bachelor’s degree. They include many of the following.

  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy
  • Human Growth and Development Throughout the Lifetime
  • Nutrition
  • Physiology
  • Statistics

Curriculum Requirements

During the first year of a direct-entry level MSN program, the student will take courses at a bachelor-level. These courses will include many of the following.

  • Nursing Science
  • Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Practice and Public Health
  • Pharmacology and Nutrition
  • Pathophysiology

Simultaneously as students are learning the curriculum, they are beginning to work on their clinical hours. When the student completes the academic and clinical portion of the program, the student will sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. After passing this exam, the student will be a registered nurse (RN).

When the student completes the RN portion of the program, they will move into the graduate-level courses for the training. Along with the coursework, students will have another set of clinical hours to complete.

The academic portion of the direct entry MSN program includes a core. It also provides classwork related to the specialty of nursing that the student has chosen to enter. Finally, it has more clinical hours. The student gains experience in the selected nurse specialty.

The MSN core includes studies in many of the following areas.

  • Clinical Prevention and Population Health
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Informatics
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Program Evaluation for Improving Patient and Population Outcomes
  • Quality and Safety
The Complete Guide to Online MSN Programs (Online, Campus, and Hybrid)

If the student is taking an APRN core, it will include courses in the following.

  • Ethics
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Healthcare Financing
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Human Diversity and Social Issues
  • Organization of the Healthcare Delivery System
  • Policy, Organization, and Financing of Healthcare
  • Professional Development
  • Research
  • Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice

If a student is taking an APRN course, they can also expect to have three graduate-level courses. These include the following.

  • Advanced Physiology and Pathology
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Advanced Pharmacology

Besides the core coursework, an MSN student must complete their clinical hours. These are educational activities that include five-hundred hours of supervised clinical experience. These clinical hours should relate to the student’s chosen area of nursing.

Accelerated Msn program online

One might think they have done the hard work, and that should be it, right. The student has completed the direct-entry MSN program. That was difficult in and of itself. But, before the student can apply for their nursing license, there are a few more things, they will need to wrap up first. Most often than not, the student will be permitted to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam while they are attending school and to progress through the MSN program. You need to complete the pre-license courses in the program before you can sit for the exam. Afterward, you will take the NCLEX_RN exam before you finish your MSN studies.

You might think you will need to fly or drive to the area where the school’s physical location is. That is not the case, though. The NCLEX-RN exam is nationally recognized. You will have the same questions on the exam, no matter where you sit for it. That means you can sit for the exam in your hometown. The tricky part is that once you have passed the NCLEX-RN exam, you need to apply for a license. Every state is different. What if you are going to practice nursing in North Carolina for two years after graduating? Then you move to California; you will need to apply for a license in the new state as well. All fifty states have their own rules and regulations about how one is to become an RN. You might need additional requirements other than the NCLEX-RN exam in California.

Best Nursing Schools In Houston Texas | Requirements, Cost

Salary and Job Outlook: How much does a nurse with an MSN make a year?

What you will make with an MSN will vary. It will be significantly higher than what you will earn as an RN, though. That is a statement with more accuracy if you take and pass the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse exam. The salary difference between an RN with a bachelor’s degree is significantly less, more than $40 thousand less than someone with an MSN.

How Much is a Master’s in Nursing Salary?

The MSN salary ranges significantly depending on the nurse’s chosen specialty. Someone with an MSN can expect to earn more than $100 thousand per year. Despite that, you will be making more with an MSN, what you make will depend on your practice specialty.

List of Direct Entry Msn Programs

An MSN degree is what it appears to be—a Master of Science. Regardless of what type of specialty nurse you are pursuing, you will learn all the foundations and core principles that everyone in an MSN program will acquire. These foundations and core principles will include the following.

  • Community and Public Health
  • Ethics
  • Research
  • Community Skills
  • Leadership

Regardless that all MSN programs will have the same core principles when you decide on a specialty, your curriculum will change from other students’ classes. Your program’s courses will depend on your area of specialization. For instance, if you are going into an administrative field, you will learn about leadership skills. A Masters in Nursing salary will vary depending on the specialty.

The following includes the highest paying MSN jobs.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)—if you are one of these nurses, you can expect to be at the top of the pay scale. The CRNA can anticipate earning more than $175 thousand per year.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)—a CNM is someone who cares for pregnant women. They work in the offices of obstetricians and gynecologists. These types of nurses can expect to earn just under $110 thousand per year.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)—As a nurse practitioner, you may choose from a variety of specialties. These specialists include the following.

  • Family Practice
  • Pediatrics
  • Mental Health
  • Acute Care
  • Emergency Care
  • Much More

The type of specialty a nurse practitioner chooses will determine how much they can make. There are many fields to select from, with the highest paying specialties being the following.

  • Psychiatric Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Gerontology
  • Neonatal
  • Orthopedics

A nurse practitioner earns an average of $90 thousand per year. That can quickly become six figures if you choose to specialize in a high-demand field.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)—as a CNS, you must be a specialist within the field. That is what the name suggests. A CNS can expect to earn anywhere from $90 thousand to over six figures. A CNS should have a high level of knowledge in their chosen field. The higher the experience in the area they work, the more money they can demand.

Nurse Administrator—the area of nurse administrator includes medical and health service managers. The salary a nurse administrator can demand will vary but can be as high as six figures.

Clinical Nurse Leader—a nurse in the position of leadership should have much experience in the field and will advance quickly within it. Nurse leaders with a least ten years of experience can demand payment of around $88 thousand per year. That will increase as the nurse gains experience and moves up the ladder.

Nurse Educator—as the name suggests, a nurse educator is one who will train other nurses. Nurse educators work in the academic field. They instruct nursing students who are achieving their nursing degrees. They can also work in a clinical setting, like a hospital. In the clinical setting, they would lead hospital staff on educational updates. A Nurse educator salary varies. While the wage for a nurse educator will differ, they can expect to earn around $80 thousand per year.

Informatics Nurse—with a degree in informatics nursing, the nurse can expect to work with the intersection of computers and with clinical care. Nurses who work in this field should be familiar with and enjoy working with technology. The pay scale for an informatics nurse is not plentiful. It is only around $75 thousand per year. While the pay scale might be on the lower end, you will find that the profession of informatics nursing is becoming demanding. The job should have a high rate of growth in the coming years. With the increase, it should also bring a higher rate of pay. You can expect a raise in the future.

Universities that offer Direct Entry MSN Programs

California Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA
  • California State University, Fresno in Fresno, CA
  • California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, CA
  • California State University, Long Beach in Long Beach, CA
  • California State University, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
  • Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, CA
  • Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA
  • San Francisco State University in San Francisco, CA
  • University of California, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
  • University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, CA
  • University of San Diego in San Diego, CA
  • University of San Francisco in San Francisco, CA
  • Western University of Health Sciences in Poloma, CA

Connecticut Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Yale University in New Haven, CT

Georgia Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Georgia Regents University in Augusta, GA

Hawaii Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, HI

Illinois Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • DePaul University in Chicago, IL
  • Millikin University in Decatur, IL
  • Rush University in Chicago, IL

Indiana Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, IN

Maine Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME

Maryland Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD

Massachusetts Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA
  • Northeastern University in Boston, MA
  • Regis College in Weston, MA
  • Salem State University in Salem, MA
  • Simmons College in Boston, MA
  • University of Massachusetts Worcester in Worcester, MA

Minnesota Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, MN
  • University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN

Missouri Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Saint Louis Univeristy in Saint Louis, MO

New Hampshire Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH

New Jersey Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ

New Mexico Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • New Mexico State University in Las Cruses, NM

New York Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Columbia University in New York, NY
  • Pace University in Pleasantville, NY
  • University of Rochester in Rochester, NY

North Carolina Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • East Carolina University in Greenville, NC

Ohio Direct Entry MSN Programs

Pennsylvania Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA
  • University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA
  • University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA

Tennessee Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

Texas Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • University of Texas at Austin in Austin, TX

Virginia Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA

Washington Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA
  • Seattle University in Seattle, WA

Wisconsin Direct Entry MSN Programs

  • Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI

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