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DEGREES & PROGRAMS

RN to MSN
Bridge Programs at WGU

Zach Johnson, B.S. Nursing & M.S. Nursing–Education

BRIDGE PROGRAMS | RN TO MSN ONLINE

Online RN to MSN Programs Designed To Help You Change Lives—Including Your Own

Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Earning advanced degrees can be critical in helping your hospital achieve Magnet status, in helping you earn more money, and in helping you get a promotion or job change. Pursuing an RN to MSN nursing program allows you to earn both your BSN and MSN in a single program—preparing you for the next move in your career. 

The online RN to MSN nursing programs also include clinical practice experiences such as real-time simulation using immersive virtual reality training. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to earn the NAHQ (National Association for Healthcare Quality) HQ Principles certificate along with your RN to MSN degree, helping you to boost your resumé before you even graduate.

The RN to MSN programs at WGU are fully online, on your time. In addition to flexible, online coursework, you will also complete approximately 200 hours of field experience to ensure you gain the skills you need to be successful. Designed to work around a busy registered nurse's schedule, you are in the driver's seat of your education. You decide when to learn material, do assignments, and take assessments. Get started today to begin changing the lives of your patients, and your own life.

How the RN to MSN Programs Work

If you're a current nurse ready to earn both your BSN and MSN, the bridge program at WGU is designed with you in mind. The process is simple:

  1. Apply for the RN to MSN bridge program option at WGU.

  2. Work with enrollment teams to transfer credits and get started.

  3. Complete the BSN portion of the program and graduate with a bachelor's degree, along with a post-baccalaureate certificate for the 5 graduate-level courses you have completed.

  4. Choose your MSN specialty when you are nearing completion of your BSN coursework.

  5. Finish your MSN and specialty coursework so you can graduate with a master's degree in nursing informatics, nursing education, or nursing leadership and management.

POST-BACCALAUREATE CERTIFICATE

When you complete the undergraduate (BSN) portion of the RN to MSN degree at WGU, you will have taken 5 graduate-level courses. This earns you a post-baccalaureate certificate. A great boost for your résumé, a post-baccalaureate certificate allows you to demonstrate to employers that you have taken graduate-level coursework in nursing and are qualified for additional responsibilities and opportunities. This certificate can immediately benefit your career, even as you continue with the MSN portion of your degree.

View Program Guides
Learn about all the courses you will take in the BSN and MSN portions of these degree programs.

RN to MSN Programs

Nursing – Leadership & Management (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.

This program for RNs includes a BSN component and is a substantial leap...

This program for RNs includes a BSN component and is a substantial leap toward becoming a nurse leader.

  • Time: 75% of RN-to-MSN grads finish within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,475 per 6-month term during undergraduate portion, $4,240 per 6-month term during graduate portion, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350
  • Courses: 32 total courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Director of Nursing
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Quality Director
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Project Manager

If you're driven to lead, this online nursing degree will provide you everything needed to make that career a reality. This program is ideal for current RNs who are interested in earning both their BSn and MSN in an accelerated program.

Compare degrees

This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees.

Nursing – Nursing Informatics (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.

A nursing program that empowers data-driven nurses with a BSN and MSN...

A nursing program that empowers data-driven nurses with a BSN and MSN component, allowing them to go from RN to MSN.

  • Time:  67% of RN-to-MSN grads finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,475 per 6-month term during undergraduate portion, $4,240 per 6-month term during graduate portion, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.
  • Courses: 31 total courses in this program.

This program is ideal for currently licensed RNs who are looking to earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree at an accelerated pace.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Chief Nursing Informatics Officer
  • Informatics Director
  • Nursing Informatics Specialist
  • Informatics Analyst

The trajectory of data and informatics in healthcare will continually open opportunities for registered nurses who take this path.

Nursing – Education (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.

This MSN – Education online nursing program for RNs includes a BSN program...

This MSN – Education online nursing program for RNs includes a BSN program component and is a substantial leap forward for an aspiring nurse educator.

  • Time: 73% of RN-to-MSN grads finish within 42 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,475 per 6-month term during undergraduate portion, $4,240 per 6-month term during graduate portion, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.
  • Courses: 32 total courses in this program.

This program is ideal for current RNs who are looking to earn both their BSN and MSN in a single, accelerated program.

Sample careers and jobs this online nursing degree will prepare you for:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Faculty
  • Program Director
  • Academic Clinical Nurse Educator

Given the growing nurse educator shortage, earning your MSN with a focus in education is both a rewarding decision and a solid career move.

$3,475 | $4,240

During the undergraduate portion of the RN to MSN program, you pay $3,475 per six-month term. Once you've earned your BSN and move to the MSN portion of the program, you pay $4,240 per six-month term. Students are also eligible for federal financial aid and scholarships to make their tuition even more affordable.

42 Months

Nearly 75% of students are able to complete the RN to MSN program at WGU in 42 months or less. That means most students are able to earn two degrees—a BSN and MSN—in less than 4 years. Competency-based education lets you move at your own pace and use your experience to help you accelerate your coursework.

90 Credits

Currently licensed nurses can transfer up to 90 credits into their BSN program as part of the RN to MSN bridge degree. This amount of transfer credit helps nurses move through the rest of their program quickly and allows them to complete two degrees at an accelerated pace. Finish faster, save money, and move forward with your career!

Why an Advanced Degree in Nursing Matters

Earning a BSN and MSN can be crucial for continuing to grow and develop in a nursing career. Some of the benefits of earning a BSN and MSN include:

  • Magnet status. Magnet status designates a hospital as one of the best in the country. As more hospitals are working to obtain Magnet status, they are looking to have their current RNs obtain bachelor's degrees, or plan to hire only BSN holding nurses. A BSN can help you move to a Magnet hospital, or can help your current hospital move up in status. Additionally, a BSN or MSN is a requirement for certain nursing positions in a hospital.
  • Clinical skills. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing say that BSN nurses tend to have better clinical skills than ADN nurses. BSN nurses are shown to have lower mortality rates, lower failure-to-rescue rates, and better ability to diagnose and evaluate patients. Additionally MSN training can help you get even more specific training for working with patients or in diverse healthcare settings. 

  • Career opportunities. A BSN and MSN degree can help current nurses be prepared for additional career opportunities. They are able to move into teaching, case management, policy review, and more. 

Why WGU?

Affordable

WGU offers affordable tuition charged per six-month term, not per-credit. This means you can take as many courses as you are able during the term and not pay extra. This means the path to earning two degrees is affordable. Students also qualify for financial aid and scholarship opportunities at WGU.

Flexible Schedule

Nursing careers mean busy schedules, overnight shifts, and demanding responsibilities. School should work with your schedule. At WGU, there are no required log-in times for courses, no scheduled tests. You learn the material and take assessments whenever it works for you.

Valued By Alumni and Employers

95% of WGU alumni would choose to go to WGU again, according to a 2020 Harris Poll. In nearly 2,000 reviews on Trustpilot, students and graduates rate WGU 4.7 out of 5. And 96% of employers say they would hire a WGU graduate again.


Accredited and Recognized

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree programs in nursing at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). 

WGU has been named a 2021 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.  

WGU has partnered with The DAISY Foundation to honor WGU nursing faculty with The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty. 

Celebrating Nurse Leaders with a Special Scholarship

One thing the pandemic has shown us is just how much America needs nurses, especially nurse leaders. Named for Dr. Margaret McClure, the catalyst for today’s magnet hospital program, this $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to one recipient each quarter who has demonstrated activism or innovation in nursing that improves patient outcomes. 

Transfer Credits to Your WGU Degree

WGU offers current RNs the ability to transfer credits from their nursing education into their BSN program. Registered nurses can transfer up to 90 of their 120 credits into the program, helping them accelerate their undergraduate coursework and utilize their past experience to their advantage. Work with the enrollment team to learn how your credits transfer!

See How Our Students Are Making a Difference

Students and graduates of WGU's College of Health Professions are unified by their service to caring for others. One grad, Rhonda, was also driven by duty. She found a way to connect her duty to serve and her calling to care. Discover how you can join thousands of students like Rhonda, focused on making a difference in the lives of patients.

What Students Are Saying About WGU


 

Our students say it best. See why their WGU experience means so much to them, and what makes us different.

"Great experience—allowed me a career as a nursing professor, which in turn helped me discover that I'm happiest when I'm taking care of patients and mentoring new nurses. I wouldn't have figured that out had it not been for WGU."

—Mary Cox
M.S. Nursing – Education

"At WGU there is no busy work. Everything is related to your degree and related to the work you'll be doing in your job."

—Natalie Hill
M.S. Nursing – Education (RN to MSN)

"Not only did my degree at WGU help me advance my career—it also helped save a rural hospital and the community's access to local, quality healthcare."

—Sarah Aronack
M.S. Nursing – Leadership and Management (BSN to MSN)

Where WGU Nursing & Healthcare Graduates Work

Careers Your Online RN to MSN Prepares You For

When you pursue an RN to MSN degree at WGU, you're prepared to move into diverse job titles based on the specialty you choose. Some of those positions include:

Frequently Asked Questions about RN to MSN

An RN to MSN program allows students who are currently licensed RNs through an ADN or diploma program to earn BOTH their BSN and MSN in a singular program. 

Typically a bachelor's degree takes 4 years and a master's degree can take 1 to 2 years. However, with an online program like that offered at WGU, you can accelerate your learning and finish your programs much faster. Most graduates finish in 42 months or less.

Yes! If you already pursued an ADN or nursing diploma program and are a registered nurse, it is absolutely possible to earn your MSN! You will earn your BSN along the way, but the RN to MSN program at WGU allows you to double-up on coursework and earn both of these degrees.

The average salary for RNs is around $70,000, with MSN credentialed RNs earning an average of $86,000 per year.