Earn Your MSN 100% Online

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$695 Per Credit Hour

BSN Not Required

CCNE Accredited

GRE/GMAT Not Required

Your Road to Leadership

The Sacred Heart University online Master of Science in Nursing is a direct entry (RN to MSN) program that offers a customizable experience for working nurses. You can support the next generation of nurses as an educator, aspire to become a CNO to manage nursing staff and improve patient outcomes, or lead a team to direct patient care. Whatever your goal, SHU has three specializations to tailor your degree: Nursing Education; Nursing Management and Executive Leadership; and Clinical Nurse Leader.

SHU’s award-winning program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It’s designed for you to finish your coursework at your own speed – from two years to six – to align with your schedule and provide the best balance for your life. All coursework is 100% online and you’ll complete your clinical locally.

  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Master’s degree holders earn nearly $13,000 more per year than four-year degree holders1
  • 85% of students believe online learning is the same or better than classroom learning2
  • Jobs requiring a master’s degree are the largest category of projected job growth3

Specialize to Educate, Manage or Lead

Set yourself apart from other nurses with an MSN specialization. Whether you want to advance your bedside skills, educate the next generation or become a leader of other nurses, we have a specialization that suits you.

You’ve mastered patient care and working as part of a team. Advance as a leader who can inform a team about evidence-based practices, tools and processes to improve patient outcomes. Reshape policy, reduce costs and identify solutions to problems within your healthcare system after a deep immersion of quality care research within the curriculum. This unique MSN without BSN requirement degree offers four core and eight specialized courses. Complete your degree in two to six years, at your own pace, and then be prepared to sit for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing CNL Certification Exam.

Become a well-respected mentor and begin preparing new nurses to care for the patient population. With this online degree from SHU, you can transition into a teaching role, answering the call to address the growing nurse educator shortage. Among the most respected nurse educator programs, our CCNE-accredited degree features core knowledge in health care policy, practice and research plus nine specialized courses to prepare you as a nurse leader, educator and evaluator. Engage with expert faculty and work with a preceptor in two role immersions designed to apply theory to practice, and emerge ready for your CNL exam.

This program prepares you for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification exams offered by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Through 42 total credit hours, you will gain the skills to diagnose and treat patients over their entire lifespan through the use of health assessments, statistical data, and the diagnostic reasoning process. You’ll also learn to communicate health plans to diverse patients with varied family systems, understand the various drug groups, and manage drug therapy to avoid adverse reactions.

The nursing occupational outlook is positive, with plenty of roles for CNOs, directors of patient care and nursing administrators. Whatever your plans are, SHU’s online MSN degree in Nursing Management and Executive Leadership develops within you the sought-after skills to become an effective nurse leader who can improve processes and ultimately affect patient outcomes. Apply integrative expertise in strategic planning, quality improvement, workforce development, research and ethics, and human resource management. Courses on budgeting and process will also help you lead with expert insight in your new, advanced role. Upon graduation, enjoy a generous MSN nurse salary and an advanced education that opens doors to higher positions. You can lead a team, department or facility.

Develop the knowledge and skill to manage the care of patients with psychiatric mental health conditions independently, meeting a growing demand in the healthcare marketplace. Courses/topics include: Healthcare Policy and Ethics for Contemporary Nursing Practice, Principles of Healthcare Research for Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, Role Development of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and more.

21 Credits; 15 Months; $955 per Credit

Prepare for a career managing patients’ psychiatric mental healthcare conditions independently with an affordable, online advanced practice nursing certificate.

Courses/topics include: Role Development of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, The Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Role with Children and Their Families, Advanced Role Development of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Complex Systems and Advanced Psychopharmacology for the PMHNP.

24 Credits; 15 Months; $955 per Credit

Gain skills and knowledge to pursue certification as a family nurse practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Courses/topics include: Comprehensive Primary Care of the Adult, Primary Care of Children, Primary Care of Women and Advanced Primary Care of Families in Complex Systems.

You Belong with SHU!

Our mission to prepare students for lives of professional success and personal and spiritual growth excludes no one. And it’s because of that mission — and the spirited way we live it that students of different faiths, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds have made SHU the launching pad for their dreams and ambitions.

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Why Online Learning is Right for You

The advantages of online learning are obvious – you don’t have to pause your career or rearrange your life to earn the degree you need to take your career to the next level. Another key factor is fit – making sure a school feels right to you. Sacred Heart’s Center for Career & Professional Development will welcome you as if you had just walked through the door here in Fairfield. With an exclusive, online recruiting system of 10,000+ employers, one-on-one career counseling, resume workshops, and an active alumni network of more than 35,000, you can rest assured knowing that our campus reaches wherever you are.

A Curriculum with No Residency Required

In our MSN curriculum’s four core courses, you will explore topics such as health care policy and ethics, the principles of health care research, and the underlying theories of contemporary nursing. Customize your degree with a specialization made up of eight to nine courses. Each specialization concludes with a practicum you can complete near you.

Courses you may take while earning your MSN include:

Quality and Safety in Practice

3 Credit Hours

During this course, you will proceed in a step-by-step progression through the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process. This approach prepares you with the necessary skills to complete a CQI capstone project in the practicum courses. You will review the historical background and theory of quality improvement and apply it to the current health care environment. After a review of the national and regulatory issues of patient safety, you will identify one issue to use in the course to apply CQI methods.

Evidence-based Practice for Quality Care

3 Credit Hours

The primary focus of this course is to integrate best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient/family preferences and values for the delivery of optimal health care. To that end, the emphasis of the course is on critiquing and rating the research literature for application of research to practice and the development of an evidence-based practice project. Select research designs frequently used in practice settings will also be explored. Quality improvement strategies, methods and issues will be discussed and applied to practice. Analysis and use of appropriate statistical methods will be integrated throughout the course.

Principles of Patient and Staff Education

3 Credit Hours

The focus of the course is to explore the master’s-prepared nurse’s role in education in a hospital or clinical setting. Theory and research-based knowledge in the design, coordination, and evaluation of the delivery of patient care and staff education will be reviewed. Communication skills and strategies necessary to interact and collaborate with members of the interdisciplinary health care team and to develop a therapeutic alliance with the patient will be discussed.

Disease Management & Outcomes Assessment

3 Credit Hours

This course is designed to introduce the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) to concepts directed towards maximizing patient outcomes through the management of illness and disease across the lifespan. The social, physical, psychological, and spiritual responses of the individual, family or caregiver to illness/ disease will be examined. Strategies for empowering patients and families to manage their chronic conditions will be emphasized. You will explore concepts of health promotion, illness prevention, and health maintenance of clients (individual, group, and/or community). Research on the outcomes of case and disease management is covered along with strategies for identifying and measuring outcomes of care.

Career Outlook

Earning your MSN opens the door to a wide range of new opportunities, including educational, leadership and administrative positions.

Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.6 million new jobs.4 This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for healthcare services. As a result, health care organizations prefer nursing candidates with advanced credentials to fill senior roles. An MSN degree shows that you have the knowledge and critical thinking skills to handle the demands of today’s complex medical environment.

Average Annual Salaries in Nursing

  • Registered Nurse $75,3305
  • Clinical Nurse Leader $94,0796
  • Clinical Educator $86,5287
  • Chief Nursing Officer $142,0128

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  1. “Occupational employment projections to 2022 | Monthly Labor Review,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved April 2021 from https://www.bls.gov.
  2. “Learn more, earn more: Education leads to higher wages, lower unemployment,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved April 2021 from https://www.bls.gov.
  3. “Online College Students | Comprehensive Data on Demand and Preferences,” The Learning House, Inc. and Asianian Market Research. Retrieved April 2021 from http://www.learninghouse.com.
  4. “Healthcare Occupations,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.bls.gov.
  5. “Registered Nurse Salaries,” Glassdoor.com. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https;//www.glassdoor.com.
  6. “Clinical Nurse Leader Salaries,” Glassdoor.com. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.glassdoor.com.
  7. “Clinical Educator Salaries,” Glassdoor.com. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.glassdoor.com.
  8. “Chief Nursing Officer Salaries,” Glassdoor.com. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.glassdoor.com.