As patient needs and health care environments have become more complex, there's an increasing demand for nurses with strong leadership qualities and advanced skills spanning from evidence based practice to interprofessional collaboration and process improvement. While a Master's degree in nursing opens many doors for motivated nurses, some may find it challenging to pursue an MSN alongside a demanding nurse role. Our 100% Online MSN program for Registered Nurses (RNs) addresses this exact need - it delivers a rigorous MSN curriculum in a format that is designed to fit a busy RN work-schedule. Our RN to MSN Online program is available to students with both an associate and bachelor’s degree in nursing.

An MSN will allow you to:

Program Details

At USF, the MSN degree takes a holistic approach that combines evidence based practice with developing our students as leaders and changemakers who can leverage human and material resources to improve the healthcare of individuals and populations.

  • Obtain your MSN in Two (2) years: The RN-MSN Online program comprises of 35 credits for RNs with a BSN and 46 credits for RNs with an ASN/ADN over the course of two (2) years of study. Designed with a comprehensive online instruction plus evidence-based quality-improvement practicum coursework.
  • Bypass the BSN: Nurses with an associate's degree can bypass the BSN degree and complete their master's degree in two (2) years. Save time and money.
  • Top Ranking Program: Rated among the best graduate schools in the country for training nurses in assuming leadership roles in health care facilities.
  • Recognizable Degree: MSN is considered one of the most versatile and flexible advanced nursing degrees. Our graduates are everywhere -on the frontlines of patient care, on the boards of leading health organizations, and in hospitals and governmental organizations where health policy is crafted. They will be your network - AND employers love our graduates.

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RN-MSN Online Student Testimonials

Rose Geronimo, MSN, RNL, CNL, Director of Clinical Operations in Cardiovascular Health, Stanford Health Care; USF RN-MSN Online Alumni, 2017Having grown up in the Bay Area, I know the great reputation that USF has in the nursing field. Stanford Health Care also hires many graduates from the university, so I know that the industry considers it as a great university too.

Rose Geronimo, MSN, RNL, CNL; Director of Clinical Operations in Cardiovascular Health, Stanford Health Care; USF RN-MSN Alumni, 2017

Cynthia Huff, MSN, RN, OCN, CRNI, CNL, Home Infusion Coordinator with Sutter Care at Home; USF RN-MSN Online Alumni, 2017I have also taken on a more proactive role in education and mentoring my peers. In particular, a Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center has provided opportunities for me to teach the staff about issues surrounding hazardous drug administration. In addition, I am functioning in my organization at a much higher level than before graduating. I regularly liaise with decision-makers, and that is fulfilling to me. I have also joined several national and international nursing organizations that promote nurses to work at their fullest capacity.

Cynthia Huff, MSN, RN, OCN, CRNI, CNL; Home Infusion Coordinator with Sutter Care at Home; USF RN-MSN Online Alumni, 2017

Liam Malpas, MSN, RN, DNP - in progress Clinical Operations Manager, Kaiser Permanente; USF RN-MSN Online Alumni, 2017USF consistently came up as a top choice based on other students recommendations and the way that the online structure worked. I wanted to make sure I would have flexibility and I actually completed the last year of the program in London whilst working over there.

Liam Malpas, MSN, RN, DNP - in progress; Clinical Operations Manager, Kaiser Permanente; USF RN-MSN Online Alumni, 2017

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Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program the student will demonstrate:

  1. Clinical leadership for patient-care practices and delivery, including the design, coordination, and evaluation of care for individuals, families, groups, and populations;
  2. Participation in identification and collection of health care outcomes;
  3. Accountability for evaluation and improvement of point-of-care outcomes, including the synthesis of data and other evidence to evaluate and achieve optimal outcomes;
  4. Risk anticipation for individuals and cohorts of patients;
  5. Lateral integration of care for individuals and cohorts of patients;
  6. Design and implementation of evidence-based practice(s);
  7. Team leadership, management and collaboration with other health professional team members;
  8. Information management or the use of information systems and technologies to improve health care outcomes;
  9. Stewardship and leveraging of human, environmental, and material resources;
  10. Advocacy for patients, communities, and the health professional team; and,
  11. Leadership in delivering competent and safe patient care to individuals and groups in a variety of settings based in liberal arts and the natural sciences.

Based on The American Association of College of Nurses. (2011). The Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing. Retrieved from:

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The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

It is also approved by the California State Board of Registered Nursing. Students who graduate from the program are also eligible to receive the California Public Health Nursing Certificate.

RN-MSN Online Pre-recorded Webinar

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