Nurses interested in a leadership or management position would benefit from earning a Master's in Nursing Administration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay (as of 2020) for those in medical and health services management is $104,280 per year, which makes the master's degree in nursing administration a lucrative choice. Additionally, the BLS also reports that the job outlook for those in this field is expected to grow 32% by the year 2029, which is considered much faster than average. With career options that span from nursing managers to directors and more, it's easy to see why the MSN-level nursing administration pathway is the perfect career advancement tool for motivated nurses.

Like nursing education, nursing administrating programs are highly sought after by colleges to fulfill the severe leadership shortage necessary for a growing nursing profession in the coming years. If anything, the past year and into the foreseeable future will test nursing leadership's resolve to curb the pandemic while catering to the professional growth on the front line and beyond.

2021 - Best MSN in Nursing Administration Programs

Many RNs find themselves drawn to the management and administrative side of healthcare. Earning a Master's of Science in Nursing Administration can set ambitious nurses up for high-level roles within hospitals and medical organizations. It is imperative, however, that a prospective student find the right program. That's why we have ranked the top online/hybrid MSN in Nursing Administration programs in the nation. A rewarding career as a Nurse Administrator starts with one of the high-quality programs below.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, visit our Methodology Page (

Union University

Jackson, TN

Tennessee's Union University provides students with a traditional MSN in Administration as well as an RN-MSN Administration track. Both programs are offered online and can be completed in as little as 16 months of full-time study. The curriculum focuses on the economic and management skills necessary for high-level administrative nursing positions. Students enrolled in the traditional MSN program have the option of adding an MBA dual enrollment.

MSN Programs
Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Private Non-Profit 4-Year
  • Admits students once per year
  • Full-time and Part-time options available
Clarkson College

Omaha, NE

Nurses looking to enroll in a Nursing Administration graduate program can enroll in either of Clarkson College's programs, including the traditional MSN and the RN to MSN option. Both program tracks offer theory coursework in a 100% online format, while clinical/practicum sites can be arranged in or around the student's hometown. The curriculum aims to prepare students to make evidence-based, data-driven leadership and management decisions in healthcare environments.

MSN Programs
Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Private Non-Profit 4-Year
  • Full-time and Part-time options available
  • Flexible course scheduling
University Of Mississippi Medical Center

Jackson, MS

The University of Mississippi Medical Center's Nursing and Healthcare Administrator program tracks include an MSN, a Post-Master's track, an RN-MSN, and a BSN-DNP pathway. Coursework for these programs can be completed online independently, with a few live online courses. The curriculum emphasizes financial, organizational, and strategic management processes in healthcare systems for nurses to act as administrative leaders.

MSN Programs
Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • School has a Hospital Affiliation
  • Public 4-Year
  • Can be completed in as few as 4 semesters
Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, NC

North Carolina's Gardner-Webb University provides students with an MSN degree in Nursing Administration. This program aims to integrate concepts in nursing, public health, education, business, and more to prepare RNs for nursing leadership roles within healthcare organizations. Required courses may include Nursing Economics and Finance, Healthcare Law and Ethics, and many others. A capstone experience is also included in the curriculum.

MSN Programs
Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Private Non-Profit 4-Year
  • Nursing Education, FNP, and MSN/MBA tracks also available
  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.7
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Edwardsville, IL

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) offers students an MSN-level program in Healthcare and Nursing Administration. This degree pathway is offered in an online format for maximum flexibility, and students also complete 315 practicum hours. The goal of the program is to facilitate executive-level nursing roles, emphasizing management and leadership to improve healthcare outcomes for patients.

MSN Programs
Tuition & Fees:
  • $$$$$
Quick Facts:
  • Public 4-Year
  • 33 semester hours required
  • Post-Master's Certificate also available

Which MSN in Nursing Administration Program is Right for Me?

Nurses who choose to go back to school for their master's degree might not know quite where to start when researching nursing administration programs. The following considerations provide a foundation that hopefully helps the decision-making process:

  • Does the MSN-Nursing Administration Program Offer Campus or Online Options? Most nurses who are looking to earn a master's degree are already working. Some nurses may work twelve-hour shifts, nights, weekends, or holidays. Nurses may need a program with flexible times or even online courses. There are many online options for nurses seeking a degree in nursing administration.
  • Is the MSN-Nursing Administration Program Accredited? Ensuring accreditation is essential when choosing an MSN program. Nursing programs in the United States must be accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or by local/regional entities. Prospective students should visit their state's board of nursing to find out which accreditations are acceptable for licensure and practice.
  • MSN-Nursing Administration Program Course Topics- Many students may be unsure if the course content is what they are looking for. There are many management and executive-level careers for nurses, so those looking into nursing administration should make sure it is the right course of study for them. Common nursing administration concepts include informatics, organizational management, healthcare finance, and quality and safety in the healthcare setting.
  • Associated Tuition Costs- Tuition and associated costs can be a huge factor when selecting a master's program. Fees vary greatly between schools and are largely dependent on location. Students should not only look at the tuition rates but any associated university fees, as well as residency status. Out-of-state residents may pay higher rates, even with online programs. The good news is that most schools have financial aid options and offer part-time status to help offset the cost.

Learn about post-master's nursing administration certificate programs.

Online Master's in Nursing Administration Program Advantages

There are many advantages to selecting an online master's program. The following describes the numerous perks of online programs.

Flexible Schedule

Nurses work odd hours. They may work days, evenings, nights, holidays, weekends, and on-call. When choosing to return to school, many nurses need flexibility when studying and attending classes. Master's degree students also need to squeeze in clinical practicums.

Online programs offer a great deal of flexibility. Students may study at any time, and all they'd need is a computer and internet access. Students can also study at their own pace. Many students are concerned that there is a decrease in the ability to collaborate with peers or instructors, but most online programs facilitate support between faculty and students.

Online programs are not always 100% online; some require a mandatory orientation on campus, and some may require "block" scheduled days (i.e., several consecutive days on campus per semester). However, most schools recognize that students must often continue to work and offer weekends and flexible scheduling.

Learn about other options, such as online APRN programs.

Tuition and Costs

As stated earlier, tuition costs for a master's in nursing administration can vary greatly. Location is a huge determinate of tuition cost. Fees may vary based on state and even city. Although not always the case, some online programs offer flat tuition fees regardless of resident status. In other words, a resident of California may pay the same tuition rate as a New York resident at a New York-based program. This is variable, so students should research tuition rates carefully.

Tuition fees are one cost, but students may pay additional fees such as:

  • University fees
  • Study materials
  • Graduation fees
  • Technology fees
  • Technology equipment costs (e., laptops, webcam, etc.)

With online programs, however, students save on the costs associated with commuting and parking on-campus.

Accessibility and Convenience

Convenience is one of the main reasons why students choose online programs. They can log on anytime, study anytime, work on and submit projects any time. Assistance from peers and faculty is only a click away.

Online programs also reduce or even eliminate the time required to commute, park, and walk to class. Battling traffic, inclement weather, and on-campus congestion is a thing of the past with online study. Those living in more remote or rural areas also greatly benefit from online programs.

Fast Completion

Most master's in nursing administration programs are between 35 and 48 credits. Many programs can be completed in as little as 18 months. However, the time to completion may be longer for part-time students. The beauty of online programs is that students can study at their own pace, so completion time is up to them. It's important to note, however, that some schools place limitations on the length of time to completion - for example, some schools require the program to be completed within five or six years. Self-paced learning also helps to facilitate faster completion.

Program Curriculum

The online curriculum in MSN nursing administration programs can vary depending on the school. Some programs are 100% online, no campus visitation is required. Some have minimal campus visitation requirements, such as a mandatory orientation session or block "intensive" days on campus. Some programs are hybrid, offering some courses online and some on-campus.

Many programs offer a sample curriculum online so prospective students can visualize what the course of study looks like based on full or part-time status.

Accreditation of Master's in Nursing Administration Programs

The CCNE and ACEN are the two nationally-recognized accreditation bodies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. They work to establish educational standards for nursing programs. Attending a program recognized by these agencies not only ensures licensure but that education credits are transferable to other educational institutions. Moreover, employers do look at a candidate's educational background and a school's accreditation.

Master's in Nursing Administration Classes and Courses

Master's level nursing programs usually begin with core courses related to advanced-practice nursing. Courses include:

  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced health assessment
  • Role development
  • Healthcare policy

Students also learn executive-level nursing skills in specialization courses. Course topics may include:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Quality and Risk
  • Informatics/technology
  • Advanced finance and operations
  • Organizational structures
  • Human Resources

Students must also complete a specific number of supervised clinical practicums. This requirement allows students to apply evidenced-based methods into practice. Usually, students must find an approved preceptor, but sometimes schools assist in placement. A minimum of 1000 hours is usually required to graduate.

What Are the Tuition and Costs of an MSN-Nursing Administration Program?

The tuition and costs of an MSN program can vary greatly between schools. Base tuition (i.e., per credit hour) can range from a few hundred per credit to over a thousand per credit. For example, the University of Phoenix lists current tuition at $540 per credit. The program is a minimum of 36 credits, so students can expect to spend around $20,000 for the program for tuition only. However, there may be additional fees required, so students must prepare for those costs. Most schools are very transparent on their website with tuition rates and fees, so performing a little research would behoove any prospective student when planning to return to school.

What Are the Career Options for Nurses With an MSN in Nursing Administration?

Nurses looking to get into the field of administration have several career options. The role a nurse administrator plays in a facility may include the following:

  • Develop facility-wide policies and procedures
  • Provide oversight to an entire healthcare facility
  • Plan and implement budgets
  • Participate in and utilize research to facilitate evidenced-based practice
  • Manage quality metrics
  • Utilize the latest technology in healthcare delivery

Specifically, careers for nurses with a master's in nursing administration may include:

  • Nurse Administrator or Healthcare Administrator- Completes executive-level administrative duties in a department or organization, usually reporting to a CEO and often overseeing nurse/healthcare managers.
  • Nurse Manager or Healthcare Manager- Responsible for a specific department or unit in a healthcare facility. Usually works directly with front-line staff and patients. They assist in implementing workflows and provide ongoing oversight.
  • Charge Nurse- This type of nurse supervises the nursing staff in a department or ward. While charge nurses tend to have hands-on roles, they also handle a number of managerial and administrative duties as well.
  • Director of Nursing- Usually an upper-level executive position. Provides oversight to multiple care areas and sometimes an entire facility. Assists in using evidence-based practice to develop policies and workflows.
  • Chief Nursing Officer- One of the highest levels in nursing. This type of nurse executive supervises patient care throughout an entire facility. Develops ways to work efficiently but maintain quality and reduce risk. Manages the budget for a facility or organization. Sets goals for quality measures and develops plans to reach those goals.
  • Health Information Manager- Informatics nurses working in this role help to develop and maintain electronic medical records. They provide critical insight when assisting in developing new programs and software. They also help to protect confidential health information to maintain patient privacy.

Organizations and Helpful Resources

Other Nursing Degree Programs

List of All MSN in Nursing Administration Programs

There are a wide variety of nursing administration programs available across the country, see our detailed list below and find the best nursing administration program that's right for you.

Select Your State:


SchoolContact Information
The University of Alabama
MSN Programs
50 University Boulevard East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
(205) 348-6639
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
(844) 749-8043
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294
(205) 975-7529
University of North Alabama
501 Circular Road | UNA Box 5009
Florence, AL 35632
(256) 765-4328
University of South Alabama
5721 USA Dr N
Mobile, AL 36688
(251) 445-9400


SchoolContact Information
University of Alaska Anchorage
MSN Programs
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-4406


SchoolContact Information
University of Phoenix
1625 W. Fountainhead Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85282
(866) 484-1831


SchoolContact Information
University of Arkensas for Medical Sciences
MSN Programs
4301 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 686-7000


SchoolContact Information
Azusa Pacific University
901 E. Alosta Ave., PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 969-3434
Cal State LA
MSN Programs
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
(323) 343-3000
California State University Dominguez Hills
MSN Programs
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747
(310) 243-3696
Loma Linda University
MSN Programs
11262 Campus St.
Loma Linda, CA 92350
(909) 558-4923
Mount Saint Mary's University- Los Angeles
10 Chester Place
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 477-2500
University of California San Francisco
UCSF Box 0602
San Francisco, CA 94143
(415) 476-1435
Western University
309 E. Second St.
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 623-6116


SchoolContact Information
Colorado Technical University
4435 N Chestnut St
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
(719) 598-0200


SchoolContact Information
Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825
(203) 371-7999


SchoolContact Information
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 297-6261


SchoolContact Information
Columbus State University
MSN Programs
4225 University Avenue
Columbus, GA 31907
(706) 507-8800
Georgia Southwestern State University
800 Georgia Southwestern State University Drive
Americus, GA 31709
(877) 871-4594
Georgia State University
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-2000
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(470) 578-6000


SchoolContact Information
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4040
Normal, IL 61790
(309) 438-2583
Loyola University of Chicago
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
511 NE Greenleaf Street
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 655-2201
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
1 Hairpin Dr
Edwardsville, IL 62025
(888) 328-5168
University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox St.
Joliet, IL 60435
(800) 735-7500


SchoolContact Information
Ball State University
MSN Programs
2000 W. University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306
(800) 382-8540
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
600 Barnhill Drive, NU 122
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 274-2806
Indiana University East
MSN Programs
2325 Chester Blvd.
Richmond, IN 47374
(765) 973-8200
Indiana University Kokomo
MSN Programs
2300 S. Washington Street
Kokomo, IN 46902
(765) 453-2000
Indiana Wesleyan University
4201 S. Washington St.
Marion, IN 46953
(866) 468-6498
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712
(812) 464-8600
Western Governors University - Indiana
10 W Market St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(866) 225-5948


SchoolContact Information
Mount Mercy University
MSN Programs
1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 363-8213


SchoolContact Information
Fort Hays State University
MSN Programs
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601
(785) 628-3478


SchoolContact Information
Bellarmine University
MSN Programs
2001 Newburg Rd
Louisville, KY 40205
(502) 272-8000
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101
(270) 745-0111


SchoolContact Information
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71497
(318) 357-6011
Northwestern State University of Louisiana- Online
MSN Programs
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71497
(318) 357-6011
Southern University and A&M College
MSN Programs
801 Harding Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
(225) 771-4500


SchoolContact Information
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
MSN Programs
278 Whites Bridge Road
Standish, ME 04084
(207) 893-7957


SchoolContact Information
Elms College
291 Springfield Street
Chicopee, MA 01013
(413) 594-2761
Endicott College
MSN Programs
376 Hale Street
Beverly, MA 01915
(197) 892-7058 x5
Regis University
235 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000


SchoolContact Information
Ferris State University
MSN Programs
200 Ferris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 591-2270
Madonna University
36600 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
(734) 432-5300
Saginaw Valley State University
MSN Programs
7400 Bay Road University
Center, MI 48710
(989) 964-4000


SchoolContact Information
Minnesota State University Moorhead
1104 7th Avenue South
Moorhead, MN 56563
(180) 059-3724 x6


SchoolContact Information
University Of Mississippi Medical Center
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216
(601) 984-1000


SchoolContact Information
Clarkson College
101 S. 42 Street
Omaha, NE 68131
(402) 552-3100

New Jersey

SchoolContact Information
Fairleigh Dickinson University
MSN Programs
1000 River Rd
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 692-2000
Felician University
MSN Programs
One Felician Way
Rutherford, NJ 07070
(201) 559-6000
Ramapo College
MSN Programs
505 Ramapo Valley Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430
(201) 684-7500
Thomas Edison State University
111 W State St
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372

New Mexico

SchoolContact Information
New Mexico State University
MSN Programs
P. O. Box 30001, MSC 3185
Las Cruces, NM 88003
(575) 646-3812
The University of New Mexico
MSN Programs
2502 Marble Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 272-0858

New York

SchoolContact Information
Adelphi University
MSN Programs
One South Ave, P.O. Box 701
Garden City, NY 11530
(800) 233-5744
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
MSN Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300

North Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Gardner-Webb University
110 S. Main St., P.O. Box 997
Boiling Springs, NC 28017
(704) 406-4484
Queens University of Charlotte
MSN Programs
1900 Selwyn Ave
Charlotte, NC 28207
(704) 337-2200
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
MSN Programs
1400 Spring Garden Street
Greensboro, NC 27412
(336) 334-5000
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
MSN Programs
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
(704) 687-8622

North Dakota

SchoolContact Information
Rasmussen College - Fargo
4012 19th Avenue South
Fargo, ND 58103
(800) 817-0009


SchoolContact Information
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
MSN Programs
127 S Davis Ave
Columbus, OH 43222
(614) 234-5800
Ohio University
MSN Programs

Athens, OH 45701
(740) 593-1000
University of Cincinnati
MSN Programs
2600 Clifton Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45220
(513) 556-0000
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45431
(937) 775-3333
Xavier University
MSN Programs
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207
(513) 745-3000


SchoolContact Information
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
MSN Programs
2201 Silver Lake Road
Bartlesville, OK 74006
(918) 335-6219


SchoolContact Information
Bloomsburg University
MSN Programs
400 E. Second St.
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
(570) 389-4000
California University of Pennsylvania
250 University Avenue
California, PA 15419
(724) 938-4129
Moravian College
MSN Programs
1200 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 861-1660
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-8281

South Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Charleston Southern University
9200 University Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29406
(843) 863-7000
Clemson University
MSN Programs
508 Edwards, Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634
(864) 656-7622
University of South Carolina
MSN Programs
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7412

South Dakota

SchoolContact Information
South Dakota State University
MSN Programs
1015 Campanile Ave.
Brookings, SD 57007
(605) 688-4121


SchoolContact Information
East Tennessee State University
MSN Programs
365 Stout Drive
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-4578
King University
MSN Programs
1350 King College Road
Bristol, TN 37620
(800) 362-0014
Lincoln Memorial University
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752
(423) 869-3611
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
(615) 898-2300
Tennessee Tech University
1 William L Jones Dr.
Cookeville, TN 38505
(931) 372-3101
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(423) 425-4416
Union University
MSN Programs
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 661-6545
University of Memphis
MSN Programs
101 Wilder Tower
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2003


SchoolContact Information
Lamar University
4400 S M L King Jr Pkwy
Beaumont, TX 77705
(409) 880-7011
Prairie View A&M University
MSN Programs
P.O. Box 519
Prairie View, TX 77446
(936) 261-3311
Texas Tech University
3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730
The University of Texas at Arlington
701 S Nedderman Dr
Arlington, TX 76019
(817) 272-2011
The University of Texas at El Paso
500 West University Avenue
El Paso, TX 79968
(915) 747-5000
The University of Texas at Tyler
MSN Programs
3900 University Blvd
Tyler, TX 75799
(903) 566-7000
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
MSN Programs
1201 W University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539
(888) 882-4026
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio - UT Health San Antonio
MSN Programs
7703 Floyd Curl Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 567-7000
West Texas A&M University
2501 4th Ave
Canyon, TX 79016
(806) 651-0000


SchoolContact Information
Norwich University
MSN Programs
158 Harmon Dr
Northfield, VT 05663
(802) 485-2000


SchoolContact Information
Hampton University
MSN Programs
100 E Queen St
Hampton, VA 23668
(757) 727-5000
Liberty University
MSN Programs
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000
Old Dominion University
MSN Programs
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000
Radford University
MSN Programs
Southeast, 101 Elm Ave
Roanoke, VA 24016
(888) 985-8483
Virginia Commonwealth University
1100 East Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23298
(804) 828-0724

Washington, DC

SchoolContact Information
Trinity Washington University
MSN Programs
125 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 884-9000

West Virginia

SchoolContact Information
Wheeling Jesuit University
316 Washington Ave
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 243-2072

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.