Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

A ranking of the most affordable online master's in nursing degrees. Programs ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

Updated August 22, 2022

Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

In today’s uncertain economic climate, one thing is for sure: jobs in the healthcare field will continue to be in demand. And few healthcare professionals have more career options than skilled, licensed nurses.

While nurses with RN certification or even a bachelor’s degree have many options to choose from, those with a Master of Science in Nursing degree have even more flexibility and room for advancement. Speaking of flexibility, the affordable online options today are incredible!

Not only does a graduate degree in nursing open the door to further specialization and promotion, it can extend a nursing career to last throughout your lifetime.

As one nursing website noted, going on for your master’s degree can open the door to teaching and management positions that are more highly paid as well as less physically demanding than front-line and entry-level jobs.

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How much money can you make with an Online MSN degree?

The nursing profession is hugely rewarding. You get to make people feel better all day long! But lucky for you, the salary for nurses with an advanced degree is a significant attraction too. According to Payscale.com, nurses with a master’s degree in some specializations can earn $140,000 a year and up.

Especially given the ever-changing realities of health insurance and reimbursement patterns, nurse practitioners and similar professionals will increasingly find their skills are needed to provide quality care to everyone. In fact, statistics are showing that the demand for these jobs will increase by 31 percent by 2026!

What can you do with an Online MSN degree?

There's a whole range of avenues you can take your MSN degree. You can gain the skills and advanced training you need to deliver care in several of these specialized roles, including nurse anesthetist and nurse practitioner. With an MSN and certification as an advanced practice nurse, you are able to deliver many of the same services as physicians, and can take on a leadership role in the healthcare team both in medical offices and in hospitals.

Nurses who are pursuing an MSN typically concentrate on one of four advanced practice areas:

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife

In addition, graduate study in nursing is recommended for those interested in entering the business and management side of healthcare, and learning more about leadership, management, policies and finance.

What are the requirements for an Online MSN degree?

Typically, an MSN program can take up to two years to complete. While some MSN programs also require work experience for admission, most programs generally require the following:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • A Registered Nurse (RN) license
  • Minimum GPA and GRE scores (varies by program)
  • Clinical experience (varies by program)

What are the Most Affordable Online MSN degrees?

Here at College Choice, we’ve circled in on the Most Affordable Online MSN degrees. We took a number of steps to find our list. First and foremost, we filtered our results for online degree programs. Then we looked at affordability and the return on investment - a big factor in how you decide on a school. Our methodology draws from our data team at College Choice, the quality resources at U.S. News & World Report, and the number smarts at Payscale.com.

If you’re ready to take the next step and begin your MSN while maintaining your current job and studying online, read on! 

Most Affordable Online Master's in Nursing

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Fitchburg State University

  • Fitchburg, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Fitchburg State University offers a total of 33 master's degrees, including a top-ranked program in forensic nursing. The MS in forensic nursing helps graduate students gain specialized training to reach their career goals. Candidates benefit from flexible enrollment options, including schedules designed for full-time professionals.

Learners gain a comprehensive understanding of nursing practice through a curriculum that highlights theoretical and practical approaches. Students strengthen their career-readiness through internships and hands-on learning opportunities. Learners meet with faculty advisors to choose electives and concentrations to individualize the nursing practice degree.

Fitchburg State University at a Glance:

Location: Fitchburg, Massachusetts

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 88%

Graduate Tuition In State: $3,186

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $3,186

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 91%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $6,729

Average Price After Aid: $15,237

Average Tuition
In-state
$970
Out-of-state
$7,050
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
7,251
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A master's degree in nursing from Fort Hays State University helps students seeking career advancement. From its Hays campus, the public institution enrolls degree-seekers with a variety of options, including online delivery formats. In the MSN in nursing education program, learners strengthen their nursing knowledge and skills through a rigorous curriculum.

While earning a master's degree, enrollees rely on college resources and support services for assistance. Academic advisors can help with course selections, while financial aid counselors ensure students can fund their education. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of networking and training events hosted by the university.

Fort Hays State University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 19

Total Online Master's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 43%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $3,582

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,206

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $36,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,990
Out-of-state
$14,070
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
15,908
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Lamar University

  • Beaumont, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The nursing education MSN program at Lamar University stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The MSN in nursing education program appeals to students seeking a graduate degree that will increase their career opportunities. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

During the program, learners complete a challenging curriculum that builds comprehensive knowledge of nursing education. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Faculty advisors help learners choose electives and concentrations to specialize their nursing education.

Lamar University at a Glance:

Location: Beaumont, Texas

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 84%

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,324

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,920

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 82%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $7,485

Average Price After Aid: $12,716

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,032
Out-of-state
$16,160
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
84%
Students Enrolled
15,460
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Union University

  • Jackson, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master of science in nursing from Union University helps graduates pursue advanced careers. The private university, located in Jackson, provides several enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online options designed for working professionals. In the MSN program, learners strengthen their nurse educator knowledge and skills through a rigorous curriculum.

Master's candidates benefit from a generous selection of college resources and support services. Academic advisors help with course selections, while career counselors offer workshops, job fairs, and resume reviews. Master's degree-seekers also attend networking and training events hosted by the university.

Union University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 20

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 53%

Graduation Rate: 68%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,000

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $9,000

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $40,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$21,600
Out-of-state
$21,600
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
3,172
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

West Texas A&M University

  • Canyon, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

West Texas A&M University offers a top-ranked master of science in nursing as one of its 36 master's degrees. The MSN program appeals to students seeking a graduate degree that will increase their career opportunities. Flexible enrollment options, including on-campus and online classes, help enrollees fit school into their busy schedules.

Learners take advanced nursing classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Students strengthen their knowledge through internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, which also build valuable professional connections. Learners specialize their nursing education by choosing electives and concentrations.

West Texas A&M University at a Glance:

Location: Canyon, Texas

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 69%

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,823

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $5,668

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 90%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $7,099

Average Price After Aid: $12,982

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,554
Out-of-state
$6,960
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
9,970
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Gardner-Webb University

  • Boiling Springs, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Gardner-Webb University offers a nursing master's program that helps graduates advance their career. From its main campus in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, the private university offers graduate programs with several enrollment options, including online programs. During the MSN program, learners take graduate classes in nursing that build on their prior knowledge in the field.

Whether enrolled online or on campus, master's candidates can access a generous selection of college resources and support services. Academic advisors help with course selections, while career counselors host workshops, offer internship programs, and provide career planning services. Master's degree-seekers also attend networking and training events hosted by the university.

Gardner-Webb University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 20

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 67%

Graduation Rate: 56%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,000

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $9,000

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $35,100

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,220
Out-of-state
$31,220
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,518
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Spring Arbor University

  • Spring Arbor, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

For students looking to advance their career, Spring Arbor University hosts a master of science in nursing. The private university, located in Spring Arbor, provides several enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online options designed for working professionals. In the MSN program, the curriculum covers advanced topics in nursing.

College resources and support services help master's candidates participate fully in campus life and meet graduation requirements. Academic advisors help with course selections, while career counselors offer workshops, job fairs, and resume reviews. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of career counseling, writing tutoring, and extensive library services.

Spring Arbor University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 14

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 66%

Graduation Rate: 59%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,886

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,886

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,030
Out-of-state
$29,030
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
3,333
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Western Governors University enrolls learners in 29 master's programs, including a nursing leadership and management. The BSN-to-MSN program allows students to grow their earning potential and advance their careers. Flexible enrollment options, including on-campus and online classes, help enrollees fit school into their busy schedules.

The master's curriculum uses theoretical and practical approaches to encourage a comprehensive understanding of nursing leadership. Students apply their classroom knowledge through internships and hands-on learning opportunities, which also build professional connections. Learners work with faculty advisors to choose electives or concentrations that customize the program.

Western Governors University at a Glance:

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,500

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,500

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 72%

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,380
Out-of-state
$6,380
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
136,139
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#9 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

University of Southern Indiana

  • Evansville, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Southern Indiana offers 15 master's programs, including a highly-ranked master of science in nursing degree. The MSN program helps students grow their career opportunities and increase their earning potential. Flexible enrollment options appeal to working professionals who need to schedule classes around their other responsibilities.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and practical knowledge to build a comprehensive understanding of nursing. Internships and experiential learning opportunities build professional connections and provide real-world experience. Concentrations and electives allow learners to customize the degree based on their career goals.

University of Southern Indiana at a Glance:

Location: Evansville, Indiana

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 93%

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,486

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,528

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 92%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $6,249

Average Price After Aid: $13,360

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,986
Out-of-state
$19,296
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
10,705
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Degrees

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

  • Peoria, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing offers a top-ranked master of science in nursing. The MSN program appeals to students seeking a graduate degree that will increase their career opportunities. Flexible enrollment options appeal to working professionals who need to schedule classes around their other responsibilities.

Learners take advanced nursing classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Learners work with faculty advisors to choose electives or concentrations that customize the program.

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing at a Glance:

Location: Peoria, Illinois

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,208

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $8,208

Average Tuition
In-state
$20,638
Out-of-state
$20,638
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
509
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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