Most Affordable Online MSN Programs

This page highlights 38 accredited online MSN programs that rank highly on affordability and discusses other ways to lower the cost of your Master of Science in Nursing. Read on to learn if these affordable online MSN programs are right for you and find out how to fund your master’s degree.

Nurses are a vital and irreplaceable part of the healthcare system. Obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) enhances job opportunities and earning potential and increases a nurse’s ability to provide excellent care to their patients. With hundreds of online nursing programs in the U.S. to choose from, finding an affordable and flexible program is essential for avoiding debt and being able to work while in school.

The online MSN programs highlighted below are not only affordable, but they also show you what to look for in a high-quality program. You’ll also get an idea of cost and find information on funding your degree.

38 Most Affordable Online MSN Programs in 2022

When choosing an online MSN program, there are several important factors to consider in addition to affordability. You also want to investigate potential specialties, school and program accreditation, faculty qualifications, clinical placements, and learning format.

Our rankings of the most affordable online MSN programs profiled below are based on a combination of affordability and other data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Click on the “About the ranking” button below for more details.

About the ranking
1
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Salem State University offers three graduate programs for MSN students, a traditional MSN without a concentration, an MSN with a concentration in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and a Post-Master’s Nursing Education Certificate. The Salem State University MSN program is available to registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees or diplomas in nursing in nursing. Salem State’s MSN programs are designed for working professionals with classes in the evening and a hybrid format.

Admissions into Salem State’s MSN program requires a $50 application fee, official transcript, GPA of at least 3.0 or a GRE score, three professional references, a professional goal statement, a resume, and an active Massachusetts RN license.

Master’s of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 45
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $8,757.90/semester (in-state); $10,377.90/semester (Out-of-State)
  • Format: Hybrid
  • Accreditation: MBRN (school); CCNE (program)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
2
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Worcester State University offers four graduate programs for MSN students: Public and Population Health MSN, Nurse Educator MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education, and Post-Master’s Certificate in Public and Population Health Nursing. Worcester’s programs offer a high-quality, engaging, and affordable education with world-class faculty from diverse disciplines.

The Master’s in Nursing Public and Population Health program prepares students to impact societal health, engage in community-based intervention models, and obtain advanced community roles in nursing, teaching, and global clinical healthcare services. The Master’s in Nursing Nurse Educator program provides nursing education as your specialty area. It provides advanced clinical knowledge and instructional techniques that empower students to educate future nurses and improve patient care. Both programs provide core nursing knowledge and allow students to apply their learning in real-world settings.

Admissions requirements include a BSN degree, an active and unencumbered RN license, and a 2.75 or higher GPA.

Master’s in Nursing

  • Credits: 35
  • Length: As little as 18 months
  • Cost: $322/credit
  • Format: Fully-online with in-person practicums
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school); CCNE (program)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
3
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Texas A&M International University’s Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration Online is an accelerated program focusing on leadership, management skills, and knowledge that prepares students for administrative nursing roles. Students study healthcare policy and social justice issues, research methods, organizational behavior, leadership, finance, healthcare informatics, health quality outcomes, population health, communication and relationships, global healthcare, business, and more.

Texas A & M International University’s MSN consists of ten courses that are each seven weeks long. Students also participate in 180-hour practicums to gain real-world application as they observe experienced healthcare professionals and implement the principles they’ve learned in their MSN program.

Admission requirements include a $35 application fee, bachelor’s in nursing, minimum 3.0 GPA, unencumbered Texas RN license, one year of work experience, and completion of an undergrad statistics course.

Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration Online

  • Credits: 31
  • Length: As little as ten months
  • Cost: $11,377
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); ACEN (program)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
4
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Fitchburg State University, with one of the most widely respected graduate study programs in the country, offers an Online Master of Science in Nursing (Forensic). This program prepares students to pursue leadership positions in their communities. Graduates are prepared for employment in specialized areas of forensic practice including as Specialized Assault Nurse Examiners, Death Investigators, Legal Nurse Consultants, Correctional Nurses, Nurse Risk Managers, Forensic Nursing Educators/Consultants, and more. Upon graduation, students are prepared to deal with prevention, scientific investigation, treatment of victims of trauma and/or death, and the investigation and treatment of perpetrators of abuse, violence, criminal activity, and traumatic accidents.

The program is fully online with a 180-hour practicum in forensic nursing. Fitchburg State also offers an online help desk and Online Student Resource Center for student support. Admission requirements include an application, official transcript, minimum GPA of 2.8, three letters of recommendation, an unencumbered RN license in the U.S. or equivalent in other countries, and an essay.

Online Master of Science in Nursing (Forensic)

  • Credits: 39
  • Length: Three to six years
  • Cost: $347/credit
  • Format: Fully-online
  • Accreditation: NECHE (school); CCNE (program)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation NECHE
5
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Fayetteville State University offers an Online Master of Science in Nursing: Patient Safety and Quality Degree. This program provides an understanding of issues impacting healthcare, patient safety, and how healthcare errors impact patient outcomes. Students focus on understanding, applying, and evaluating patient safety principles and healthcare errors and on creating a culture of safety. They learn from experienced professors and become qualified for jobs in risk management, quality assurance, and quality improvement and as nursing directors/administrators and patient safety coordinators.

Fayetteville’s MSN program is fully online with each course lasting 16 weeks. Students must, however, come to campus one to three times a week during the last semester while completing their capstone project practicum hours.

Admissions requirements include a bachelor’s degree in nursing, official transcripts, official TOEFL scores, GPA of at least 3.0, a $50 application fee, three letters of recommendation, and a written professional statement of interest.

Online Master of Science in Nursing: Patient Safety and Quality Degree

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: As little as four semesters
  • Cost: $191/credit (NC resident); $477.50/credit (outside NC); $805.75/credit (non-NC resident)
  • Format: Online except for practicum hours
  • Accreditation:SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
6
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services No
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
7
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
8
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
9
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
10
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
11
San Angelo, TX
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
12
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
13
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
14
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services No
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
15
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
16
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
17
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
18
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
19
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
20
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
21
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
22
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
23
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
24
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
25
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
26
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
27
Laramie, WY
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
28
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
29
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation MSCHE
30
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
31
Russellville, AR
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
32
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
33
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
34
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
35
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
36
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
37
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
38
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC

Funding Your Online Master of Science Nursing Degree: 5 Ways to Save

No matter which online MSN program you choose, cost is a significant factor. Fortunately, there are many ways to make getting your MSN more affordable, and we discuss five of the most common ways below.

  1. Scholarships, grants, and fellowships created for MSN students.

    There are many grants, scholarships, and fellowships available for students pursuing their MSNs. Awards are based on factors like financial need, academics, special interests, race, gender, and ethnicity. You can find scholarships and grants through sources like the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and our scholarships and resources guide.

  2. Work-Study or Assistantships

    Word-Study or Graduate Assistantships allow you to get hands-on experience while also pursuing your degree. Work-study provides part-time work through your school, either on or off campus. Assistantship commitments vary significantly from one opportunity to another.

  3. Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

    Many employers recognize the value of employees pursuing advanced degrees. They know they’ll bring more value and knowledge to the organization and its patients. Offering tuition reimbursement is also a way for companies to attract top talent. Check with your supervisor or HR department to find out if this is an option through your employer. Many companies offer up to $5,250 per year, the maximum allowed by the IRS that is free of taxes. Healthcare employers like Duke University Health System and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center offer tuition reimbursement programs.

  4. Payment Plans

    Many schools allow students to pay their tuition fees via a payment plan. Mt. Carmel College of Nursing, for example, lets students pay costs monthly for up to a year with no finance charges or interest. The University of Cincinnati Online is another school that offers payment plan options based on a student’s needs.

  5. Paid Internships

    Some students find paid internships where they learn on the job by putting their skills and education to work. Internships are offered in hospitals, educational settings, clinics, and in a variety of specialty areas. You can even find some paid internship opportunities on career websites like Indeed.

FAQs about Affordable MSN Programs

Q. What impacts the affordability of an online MSN Program?

Many factors impact the affordability of an online MSN program, including whether a school is private or public or if the program is online or in person. Other factors such as available scholarships, work-study programs, and transfer credits also directly affect how much the program will cost you. Carefully consider each of these factors to calculate the affordability of a program.

Q. What is the ROI of an online MSN program?

Obtaining an MSN advances your career and increases earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median annual income for medical and health service managers was $104,280 with the lowest ten percent of workers making less than $59,980 and the highest ten percent earning upwards of $195,630. Knowing what you might make with an MSN as compared to the cost of your degree can help you determine your ROI.

Q. How can I ensure that an affordable MSN program is high-quality?

To ensure a program is high-quality, choose one that is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education through agencies like the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Also look at a school’s ranking, the faculty’s experience, networking opportunities, available clinical experience, graduate performance on national certification exams, and job placement numbers.

Q. Is an online MSN more affordable than an in-person MSN?

Some schools provide a cheaper tuition rate for online students than for in-person ones. Affordability goes beyond this, though, extending into time saved from travel and from having to take time off to attend classes.

Q. Can job experience count towards an MSN and help cut costs?

Some schools offer credit toward their programs based on previous work experience, which allows students to skip some courses, graduate faster, and ultimately pay less for their degrees. Every program is different, though, and some programs require that applicants take examinations to evaluate the number of credits and assess competency in different subjects before allowing job experience to count toward their degrees.

Q. How can I know if an affordable MSN program is right for me?

Begin by listing your must-haves for an online MSN program. You might include items like cost, program length, whether it’s fully or partially online, the specialties offered, admissions requirements, faculty, etc. Compare this list to what potential schools offer. Only by doing adequate research up front can you be sure that any affordable MSN program is right for you.