Kentucky RN to MSN Programs
Kentucky's focus on improved patient outcomes has encouraged many of its registered nurses to complete a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. RNs who current hold an ADN or a BSN are seeing the value in going back to school to obtain a graduate degree, as it generally affords a wider variety of nursing career options as well as increased salaries. With schools in Kentucky offering RN to MSN programs, gaining an advanced nursing degree is within reach.
With admission being competitive, prospective students looking to apply to an RN to MSN program should ensure they meet all requirements, which typically include:
- ADN or BSN from an accredited university (degree level requirement varies by program)
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate study
- Unencumbered RN license in the state of Kentucky
- Two letters of recommendation
- Essay detailing professional goals
RN to BSN programs generally consist of core nursing courses and specialty nursing courses that pertain to a concentration, like Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator. Nurses with an ADN will need to complete bridge courses before they continue on to graduate coursework. A number of clinical hours are also usually required, and can often be arranged in the student's local area if they are taking online courses.
Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, for example, offers the following courses as part of its MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program:
- Principles of Health Promotion
- Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Epidemiology and Health Statistics
- Evidence Based Practice
Online RN to MSN programs are increasingly common, thanks to the flexibility they offer to busy working RNs. These programs offer the same academic courses as classroom-based programs, but students can complete the coursework in the comfort of their home and often on their own time schedule.
Featured Online School
Western Kentucky University offers a 100% online RN to MSN program for nurses who hold an ADN degree. The program offers two distinct concentrations: Nurse Educator and Nurse Administrator. Upon completion of the degree, students are eligible to sit for Board Certification in their chosen specialization.
Admissions and Program Length
The length of an RN to MSN program can fluctuate based on many factors. Part-time or full-time study makes a difference, as does number of credits needed due to the specialization chosen. ADN-educated nurses will need to take additional "bridge" courses in order to begin the graduate coursework, which can lengthen the total time it takes to earn the MSN degree. Generally, 2-3 years is needed to complete the degree on average, and typically 35-45 course credits are required.
Tuition and Cost of Attendance
Program costs can and will differ from school to school, and students will need to cover expenses including tuition, fees, and course materials. To provide an example regarding cost, tuition for the MSN program at Spalding University in Louisville costs $860 per credit hour. This does not include mandatory fees and extras like textbooks.
An MSN can lead to specialty nursing careers including:
- Nurse Educator
- Nurse Administrator
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Nurse Leader
RN to MSN Salary Comparison
Completing a graduate degree in nursing leads to prestigious nursing careers, better patient outcomes, and higher salaries. For example, a Clinical Nurse Specialist with an MSN in Louisville, Kentucky earns an annual base salary of approximately $95,530, while a general registered nurse in the same city earns an average salary of $60,046. With salary increases like this, graduate degrees in nursing are becoming a common goal for ambitious RNs.
- Kentucky Nurses Association
- Kentucky Board of Nursing
- Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives
- Kentucky Organization of Nurse Leaders
There are at least 4 schools throughout Kentucky that offer the RN to MSN program, these programs are offered with full-time and part-time options, giving candidates some flexibility. Becoming a nurse educator, clinical nurse, or nurse in a surgical ward are all possibilities if you have your MSN degree.
Frontier Nursing UniversityCampus
ADN Bridge Option
195 School Street
Hyden, KY 41749
Kentucky Christian UniversityOnline
Yancey School of Nursing
100 Academic Parkway
Grayson, KY 41143
School of Nursing
901 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40203
Western Kentucky UniversityOnline Campus
School of Nursing
1906 College Heights Boulevard
Bowling Green, KY 42101