Washington, DC RN to MSN Programs
Nurses in the Washington, DC area considering advancing their education to a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) have many options. While there are fewer schools available in the direct DC area, there are many schools just outside the district in neighboring states, or online. Nurses with an MSN have numerous specialties to choose from within the profession including being an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
There are only two RN to MSN programs offered in the DC area. Most programs offer not only a variety of specialty areas of focus, but various learning modalities such as online, traditional, or hybrid programs. By the end of the program, most students earn a BSN as well as the MSN degree. Most programs are designed for the working nurse, even at a full-time pace for students. Specializations may include informatics, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse education and executive leadership.
Nurses applying to an RN to MSN program in DC must meet these admission requirements:
- Must have an active, unrestricted license
- Must have completed an associate degree in nursing from an accredited college
- Must have an accumulative GPA of 3.0 for all undergraduate work
Must have completed prerequisite coursework that includes:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Humanities/Social science
While there are some general courses for an MSN, many of the courses are focused to the specialty concentration of study. General courses for all MSN programs include:
- Community and Public Health Nursing
- Patient Safety and Health Care Quality
- Population Health
- Nursing Leadership
- Health Policy
- Principles of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
- Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology
- Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing
Due to the availability of nursing schools in the DC areas, there are limited online programs that are located specifically in the district. For example, George Washington University offers an RN to MSN program where the student earns a BSN degree around 15-months into the program. Nurses who desire a complete online RN to MSN program can consider the flexible, yet rigorous curriculum at George Washington University (GW) in the heart of DC. Students can choose from three pathways: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse-Midwifery. Each program is designed to allow the student to complete a BSN degree towards the middle of the program.
Admission and Program Length
With just over three years of part-time attendance, nurses can earn an MSN at GW completely online and completing clinical requirements at a local facility. Nurses must possess a current, unencumbered RN license and must have graduated with a 3.0 or higher from an accredited nursing program.
Tuition and Cost of Attendance
The cost of an RN to MSN program will vary from school to school, however, many schools offer various scholarships and grants to students furthering their education. George Washington University lists tuition for undergraduate hours as $660 and graduate courses as $1,395 for each credit hour. Nurses coming into the program with all prerequisites completed will pay less, but the school still includes many fees for clinical time and portfolio review in addition to the university fees. Nurses should take all of these into consideration when seeking an RN to MSN school.
Nurses with an MSN degree in the DC area have numerous job opportunities. As the MSN degree is so varied for specialty pathways, once graduated and certified, MSN nurses can work in their specialty of:
- Nurse Midwife
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontologic Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Informaticist
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Nurse Educator
- Executive Nurse
RN to MSN Salary Comparison
Nurses with advanced degrees and certifications not only earn considerably more than nurses with an associate's degree, but their scope of practice and job opportunities is also significantly better as well. According to Payscale.com, nurses with an MSN earn an average of $81,000 each year compared to nurses with a BSN earning an average of $70,000 per year. Certified Nurse practitioners earn an average of $120,000 and Nurse Anesthetists earn up to $180,000 annually working full time.