preload preload preload preload

Online Resource for MSN to DNP Programs

MSNtoDNP has several guides and resources for students pursuing an MSN to DNP degree. Obtaining a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) is important to obtain for someone to further their specialization of a field of nursing or seek high level roles in that field. DNP programs explore applications of clinical research, advanced practice, and leadership.

The MSN to DNP program is a great option for a variety of different students. In order to enter into this program, in addition to having obtained your MSN degree, some programs also require that you’ve already practiced for at least two years as an advanced practice nurse.

Kaplan University
Kaplan University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is designed for nurses that possess their master's in nursing. Courses explore the ethical responsibilities of nurse leaders. Graduates work as researchers, administrators, educators, clinicians, and authors. This program is known for its passionate professors and dedicated students.
Click to Request More Information
Click here to see more online MSN to DNP programs

What is a MSN to DNP Degree Program?

It’s important to understand the differences between the Master of Nursing degree (MSN) versus the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Both degrees are open to RNs who want to increase their professional competency. They prepare you as an advanced practice nurse, nurse practitioner, or nurse educator. The DNP degree though is a more advanced degree that focuses on leadership, management, and innovation in clinical settings, in addition to specializations within advanced practice nursing. The MSN to DNP bridge programs are designed for nurses who already have a Master of Nursing degree and who already are specialists in their field (nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, etc.), to continue their education to receive the DNP degree, which offers more career options. Program requirements for receiving the DNP degree are to have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university, diploma or associate degree from accredited RN program and baccalaureate degree in non-nursing field or a Master of Nursing degree from accredited nursing program.

Typically DNP nurses have four years of undergraduate education (BSN degree), and four years of advanced practice education in a sub-specialty (DNP). Going back for your DNP degree after your MSN will give you the credentials you need to assume a greater leadership role within a healthcare organization. This degree will help you contribute to improved patient outcomes and healthcare delivery. You’ll build on your knowledge to further patient care, gain the knowledge and skills needed to train the next generation of nurses, and translate theory into an advanced nursing practice that can enhance specific communities and populations of people. Courses explore the ethical responsibilities of nurse leaders and graduates work in a variety of settings such as researchers, administrators, advanced practice nurses, educators, clinicians, and authors.

Recently it’s been stated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) that the nursing academics are going to phase out MSN degrees by 2015, which means nurses will be trained on the more advanced DNP degree instead.

What is a Typical MSN to DNP Degree Track

DNP programs will pick up where your MSN program left off. The DNP degree will give you the skills necessary for advanced nursing practices in primary health care, and will teach you advanced clinical and leadership skills. The following objectives will most likely be accomplished in a MSN to DNP degree program:

  • You will learn to incorporate theories, knowledge and concepts to create ethical systems and new ways of nursing practices that address disparities.
  • You can expect to study research methods and results to produce an evidence base for nursing practices and delivery systems.
  • You’ll acquire important skills that are needed to covert evidence-based care into practice and enhance systems of care and measure the outs of patients, communities and populations.
  • Your courses will feature the fundamentals of advanced care as well as specialty courses and instruction in nursing theories and nursing research.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to work as mentors to colleagues to improve nursing practice and systems of health care.

What Does an Online MSN to DNP Program Look Like?

If you want to earn your DNP degree it’s likely you’re already in the field of nursing with career and familial obligations. That’s why many schools have started online MSN to DNP programs so you can earn your higher education with a flexible schedule. The following is a guide to online MSN to DNP program expectations:

  • Flexibility: You’ll have a much more flexible schedule with online programs. You aren’t required to be in classes at specific times. You also don’t have to worry about commuting, getting stuck in traffic, or missing class lectures because of prior obligations. These programs allow you to study whenever you want from wherever you want. Even if you’re out of the country you can still access your class online and download any needed lectures or homework assignments.
  • Workload: Even though this is an online program, you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that means less work. You can complete your coursework on your own schedule, but there are still due dates that you need to continue working towards. Therefore it’s important to be aware that you’ll need to spend twenty to forty hours per week on your degree. You do have the option of going part-time, so if this workload seems too much then consider taking the degree at a slower pace.
  • Offline work: Even though you complete the MSN to DNP program, your state will most likely require fieldwork that obviously can’t be done online. Sometimes programs will help you find placements, but other times you need to find your own fieldwork placement to satisfy your state’s requirements.
  • Cost: MSN to DNP online programs allow you to pay less for the same education that you would get on-campus. You also won’t be spending money on commuting or eating out for lunches on the university campus.

Salary Outlook for MSN to DNP Graduates

Earning a more advanced degree will almost automatically earn you more money, since you’ll be qualified for more advanced positions. DNP, like MSN degrees, prepare you to become a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, or a nurse midwife, among other options. Taking on these roles with an MSN degree you can expect an average salary of $50,000 to $150,000 annually, with the median annual nurse practitioner salary at $85,200. With the DNP degree though you can take on these advanced nursing positions and earn a much higher salary. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of these potential job positions and incomes include:

  • Nurse Practitioner: A NP usually specializes in either family practice or child pediatrics with board certification within their particular area of focus. The average annual income for NPs is $92,100.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist: CNSs specialize in certain types of diseases, working alongside other nurses to provide training and clinical expertise. This is one of the most versatile nursing careers and offers a lot of flexibility. Job positions exist in the operating room, emergency room, critical care, and various other practice areas. CNSs make an average annual income of $80,975.
  • Nurse Anesthetist: A certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) specializes in administering anesthesia, preparing prescribed solutions, and monitors patients’ vital signs. A CRNA needs to be certified by the National Board on Certification and Re-certification of Nurse Anesthetists. This is one of the highest paying nursing jobs with an average income of $154,188 annually.
  • Nurse Midwife: A certified nurse midwife (CNM) focuses on both nursing and midwifery. They can work in hospitals, medical clinics, birthing centers, or assist during home births. The average annual salary for CNMs is around $90,119.
  • Clinical Nurse Leader: A CNL position focuses on the management and direction of care for a specific patient group. This may include overseeing nursing staff as well as the day-to-day operations of clinical services such as assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating patient care. Annual salaries are around $76,000.
  • Nurse Administrator: Otherwise known as a “head nurse,” duties in this position include supervising staff and recommending policy and procedures for nursing departments. This position also serves as instructor and mentor to new nurses. Salaries can begin at $77,000 a year, but depend greatly on size of the facility, location, and number of staff members.
  • Nurse Educator: This position is good for those with a passion for teaching, public outreach, and public education. Within this position you can work in community health organizations, conducting health seminars in schools and clinics, or in hospitals. Overall a nurse educator prepares students for careers in the medical field. The average annual salary is around $73,000.
  • Nurse Manager: Nurse managers are similar to nurse administrators, although nurse managers work more in recruiting new nurses and maintaining patient medical files. Nurse managers also may be involved in department budgets. The annual average wage in this position is $85,000.

A DNP degree also gives you much more room for different positions in the nursing field. With certain specialties, such as emergency nursing or case management, you can earn an even higher income than those listed above. DNP degrees also give you the option to take on leadership roles in research or education.

Search online and campus MSN to DNP programs