Registered nurses in Pennsylvania looking to further their career and increase their earning potential are increasingly earning their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees. RNs who have completed their Associate's Degree or Bachelor's of Science in Nursing can choose from full-time or part-time MSN programs as well as in-person or online classes and a variety of specialization options, making an MSN degree attainable for ambitious nurses across Pennsylvania.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Pennsylvania

Nurses considering applying to an RN to MSN program in Pennsylvania will likely face the following admissions requirements:

  • Must hold an unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work
  • Submission of resume which documents clinical experience, and/or professional letters of recommendation
  • Application forms that may include a personal statement or essay
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses; for instance York College of Pennsylvania requires completion of a statistics course that covered descriptive and inferential statistics, a physical assessment course, and a nursing research course

RN to MSN Courses

There are several pathways to an MSN degree in Pennsylvania. RNs have the choice between programs for ADN-educated RNs, which allows them to earn a BSN simultaneously, programs for ADN-educated RNs that bypass the BSN degree and deliver only the MSN degree, and programs for nurses who already hold a BSN or non-nursing Bachelor's degree and now want to earn the MSN degree. MSN students often have the option of moving into a specialized track that leads to a particular advanced nursing career once they have completed their general education courses. These specialties may include Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nursing Education, Nursing and Healthcare Administration, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric / Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, Nurse/Midwife and others.

As part of their MSN program, University of Pittsburgh, for example, offers the following nursing courses:

  • Research for Evidence Based Practice
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Culturally Diverse Populations
  • Ethics for Advance Practice Nursing
  • Pathophysiology Across the Life Span
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Leadership & Healthcare Systems: Policy, Organization & Financing

Online RN to MSN Programs in Pennsylvania

RNs in Pennsylvania who are looking for the flexibility of online courses have multiple options that allow them to take courses at their own pace while working full- or part-time. Convenient and often affordable options, online programs also usually include a clinical requirement that can be completed on campus or in the student's local area. Some schools, DeSales University in Center Valley, for instance, offer a hybrid MSN program with some coursework completed online in addition to on campus study.

Featured Online School

Drexel University in Philadelphia offers a variety of CCNE-accredited, online RN to MSN programs. With programs designed for working RNs with an ADN, BSN or non-nursing Bachelor's degree, Drexel also offers a variety of specialization tracks, including Clinical Nurse Leader, Adult / Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult / Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education, Pediatric Acute and Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. Classes are primarily offered online, with a few programs requiring select on-campus intensives during the course of the program.

Admissions and Program Length

The length of an RN to MSN program varies depending on both the school and the student. Full-time or part-time study, online or in-person courses, and specialization chosen can all impact how quickly the coursework can be completed. For example, the Adult / Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner MSN program at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is offered in a two-year full-time option or a four-year part-time option.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of an RN to MSN program in Pennsylvania varies from school to school. For instance, the current cost of graduate level nursing programs at University of Pittsburgh is around $1,039 per credit hour for in-state residents, the current cost of full-time graduate level tuition at University of Pennsylvania is around $45,000 per year, and the current cost of graduate tuition at Bloomsburg University is around $483 per credit hour. Keep in mind these tuition costs do not include additional course fees, or expenses like books and course materials. Tuition costs are subject to change at any time, so make sure to check on the latest costs with your school of choice before making your final program decision.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Pennsylvania

An MSN degree opens the door to a variety of potential career paths for nurses in Pennsylvania. From management positions and educator roles to direct patient care positions, the MSN-educated nurse has a number of options to choose from. The following are just a few nursing careers that require an MSN:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse/Midwife

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

In addition to career advancement opportunities, completing an MSN degree delivers increased earning potential for Pennsylvania-based nurses. The mean annual wage for MSN-educated nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania is around $94,540. That is a significant increase over the mean annual wage for a registered nurse in Pennsylvania: around $68,770. There are dozens of other career pathways for MSN-educated registered nurses, all with salaries that are significantly higher than an ADN- or BSN-required nursing position.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

$75,000 or more could be the yearly income you start out making when you have an MSN degree in Pennsylvania. The pay scale increases from that figure depending on location, specialty and experience, but the possibilities, and security in that earning potential are considerable. If you were to attend one of the more than 10 RN to MSN programs, either full-time, part-time or online you could be in that realm of income. Your job title might include being a nurse on surgical ward, in a community health care center, private practice or even in research, the income potential is just as amazing as the job opportunities that become available.

ProgramWebsite
Bloomsburg University
Campus
Department of Nursing
400 East 2nd Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301
DeSales University
Online Campus
Department of Nursing and Health
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
(610) 282-1100 x1285
Gannon University
Campus
Villa Maria School of Nursing
109 University Square
Erie, PA 16541
(814) 871-5547
Gwynedd Mercy University
Campus
Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing & Health Professions
1325 Sumneytown Pike
Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437
Immaculata University
Campus
Division of Nursing
1145 King Road
Immaculata, PA 19345
(610) 647-4400 x3475
La Roche College
Online
Education & Nursing Division
9000 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5808
La Salle University
Campus
School of Nursing and Health Sciences
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141
(215) 951-1432
Messiah College
Online
Department of Nursing
One College Avenue
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
(717) 691-6029
Moravian College
Campus
Nursing & Public Health Department
1200 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 861-1660
Robert Morris University
Online
School of Nursing and Health Sciences
6001 University Boulevard
Moon, PA 15108
(412) 397-6801
Thomas Jefferson University
Campus
Jefferson School of Nursing
901 Walnut Street, Suite 804
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5233
(215) 503-8057
University of Pittsburgh
Online
School of Nursing
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
(412) 624-7838
Widener University
Campus
School of Nursing
One University Place
Chester, PA 19013
(610) 499-4214
Wilkes University
Online
Passan School of Nursing
84 West South Street
Wilkes Barre, PA 18766
(570) 408-4086