Registered nurses considering high-profile careers in nursing are increasingly opting for master's-level degrees in Idaho. Schools in the state are answering the call by offering Master's of Science in Nursing degrees through a few RN to MSN programs. For nurses who currently hold an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in nursing, these RN to MSN programs are a great way to continue their education with the intent of entering prestigious nursing specialties.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Idaho

Common admissions requirements in the state of Idaho may include:

  • Must have previously earned an ADN or BSN from an accredited university (degree level varies by program)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on undergraduate coursework
  • Verification of valid and current unencumbered RN license
  • Personal goal statement

RN to MSN Courses

Idaho offers a few different RN to MSN pathways; there are bridge programs for those who currently hold an ADN degree, as well as a version that caters to those who already hold a BSN degree. In either case, the program generally consists of core advanced nursing courses mixed with specialized courses that pertain to a nursing concentration, such as Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator.

For example, the core nursing courses offered as part of an MSN program may include:

  • Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Practice
  • Rethinking Nursing Education
  • Advanced Evidence Application
  • Health Assessment for Clinical Practice
  • Health Policy

Online RN to MSN Programs in Idaho

The two main RN to MSN programs in Idaho are both offered via online learning. This increasingly popular option allows students to complete courses in the comfort of their own home, and sometimes even on their own time schedule. This is convenient for RNs who wish to continue working or have other commitments to attend to while they earn their graduate degree.

Featured Online School

Northwest Nazarene University, based out of Nampa, offers a fully online, CCNE-accredited MSN program with an emphasis in Leadership and Education. Nurses with an associate's degree can finish the program in 3 years, while those with a BSN can expect to earn their degree in 2 years. The program prepares RNs for the role of leader/educator in a variety of settings, from clinical facilities to educational institutions.

Admissions and Program Length

RN to MSN program length can fluctuate due to a few factors. ADN-educated nurses can expect to take a bit longer due to the bridge component than BSN-educated nurses. Part-time or full-time study options are also available, and can drastically affect the length of time for degree completion. Generally speaking, students can expect to take an average of 2-3 years to complete most MSN programs.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

While an MSN degree can be a big financial undertaking, the program outcomes of advanced nursing careers and higher salaries can often make up for it. Students will need to account for tuition costs, mandatory fees, and course materials. As an example, the MSN program at Idaho State University runs roughly $4,251 per semester for full-time in-state students (9 credits or more). This does not include the MSN Professional Fee of about $1,200 per semester, or the $35 per-credit online course fee.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Idaho

RNs with MSN degrees can expect to land rewarding jobs in a number of specialties, which may include:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nurse Educator

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

MSN-educated nurses tend to earn substantially higher salaries than nurses who don't hold a graduate-level degree. For example, a nurse practitioner (a specialty that requires an MSN) in Boise, ID earns an annual base salary of approximately $100,000. A general registered nurse in Boise earns a median annual salary of around $70,000.

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