RN-to-MSN: Registered Nurse to Master of Science in Nursing

group of students talking outside the University of Maryland School of Nursing

Maximize your studies—and your career trajectory—with the RN-to-MSN, an accelerated path to earning both your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees.

You can choose to specialize in one of three areas, and take courses online:

The RN-to-MSN combines elements of the BSN program with the MSN program by substituting the master's core courses for BSN electives. Six credits (two classes) completed during your BSN coursework will be applied to the master's portion of the program, reducing the overall cost of your education.

Find out how your prerequisites transfer.

Before you begin the admissions process, you can submit copies of your unofficial transcript(s) to us for review, and an admissions counselor will advise you on your requirements for admission.

This option is designed for:

  • registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree in another discipline
  • registered nurses who do not have a baccalaureate degree but possess the background and the interest in pursuing leadership and specialty preparation at the master's level.

What you'll learn:

This program combines our BSN program with the master’s specialty of your choice. You’ll complete the master’s core courses in place of BSN electives, jump starting your master’s degree before you finish your BSN and saving you both time and money.

You’ll choose one of three master’s specialties:

  • Community/Public Health Nursing (CPH): Make a difference for patients and communities by discovering and addressing the root causes of our most significant health care issues.
  • Health Services Leadership and Management (HSLM): Gain the skills to lead with confidence in today’s complex health care environment. You can concentrate on one of three areas: Leadership and Management, Education, or Business.
  • Nursing Informatics (NI): Building on your nursing experience, you’ll develop expertise in clinical informatics. Learn to develop, deploy, and optimize health care information systems; leverage health care data to improve the quality and safety of patient care; enhance clinician workflow; and help lower health care costs — to impact entire health care systems.

Full-time and part-time options are available. You can:

You must complete the full course of study within six years to earn the RN-to-MSN.

UMSON'S Master of Science in Nursing Program: Ranked Among the Best

No. 12:

U.S.News and World Report - Best Grad Schols - Master's Degree 2020

No. 1:

25 Best Campus Programs MSN from BestHealthDegrees.com

No. 7:

More Information About the RN-to-MSN Program:

Plan of Study: Community/Public Health Specialty

For financial aid purposes, there are credit minimums for full-time status that may differ from the plans of study. See details.

For the RN-to-MSN program, you’ll complete the requirements for both the BSN as well as the MSN degree in the Community/Public Health specialty. Certain courses count towards both the BSN and the MSN, allowing you to earn both degrees in less time and for less money than it would take to earn each separately.

In this section:


Completing the BSN Degree

First Semester
Course Title Credits
NURS 450 RN-to-BSN: Transition: Implications for Practice, Policy, and the Profession 3
NURS 452 Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Care for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 454 Pathophysiologic Implications to Patient Assessment 5
NURS 418 Elective 3
  Total 14
Second Semester
Course Title Credits
NURS 418 Elective 3
NURS 460 Health Informatics for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 467 Public Health Nursing Essentials for the Registered Nurse 5
*NRSG 780 Health Promotion and Population Health 3
*NRSG 782 Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3
  Total 17
  Total Credits for BSN Program: 31

* MSN Core Courses NRSG 780 and NRSG 782 are substituted for BSN Core Courses

Nurses in the RN-to-MSN program are required to complete 2 NURS 418 electives rather than the 3 required for the RN-to-BSN.


Completing the MSN Degree

After completing the Master’s Core courses, students begin courses specific to their specialty.

 Master's Core Courses
Course Title Credits
*NRSG 780 Health Promotion and Population Health 3
*NRSG 782 Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3
NRSG 790 Application of Science for Evidence-based Practice 3
NRSG 795 Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3
  Total 12
Community/Public Health Specialty Courses
Course Title Credits
NURS 761 Populations at Risk 3
NURS 769 Society, Health and Social Justice 3
NURS 671 Epidemiological Assessment Strategies 3
NURS 730 Environmental Health 3
NURS 732 Program Planning and Evaluation in Community/Public Health 3
NURS 762 Program Planning and Evaluation in Community/Public Health Practicum 3
NURS 733 Leadership in Community/Public Health Nursing 4
NURS 753 Practicum in Leadership in Community/Public Health Nursing 4
  Total Credits for MSN Program 38

Plan of Study: Health Services Leadership and Management Specialty

For financial aid purposes, there are credit minimums for full-time status that may differ from the plans of study. See details.

For the RN-to-MSN program, you’ll complete the requirements for both the BSN as well as the MSN degree in the Health Services Leadership and Management specialty. Certain courses count towards both the BSN and MSN, allowing you to earn both degrees in less time and for less money than it would take to earn each separately.

In this section:


Completing the BSN Degree

First Semester
Course Title Credits
NURS 450 RN-to-BSN: Transition: Implications for Practice, Policy, and the Profession 3
NURS 452 Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Care for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 454 Pathophysiologic Implications to Patient Assessment 5
NURS 418 Elective 3
  Total 14
Second Semester
Course Title Credits
NURS 418 Elective 3
NURS 460 Health Informatics for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 467 Public Health Nursing Essentials for the Registered Nurse 5
*NRSG 780 Health Promotion and Population Health 3
*NRSG 782 Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3
  Total 17
  Total Credits for BSN Program: 31

*MSN Core Courses NRSG 780 and NRSG 782 are substituted for BSN Core Courses

Nurses in the RN-to-MSN program are required to complete 2 NURS 418 electives rather than the 3 required for the RN-to-BSN.


Completing the MSN Degree

After completing the Master’s Core courses, students begin courses specific to their specialty. Health Service Leadership and Management specialty students select a focus (HSLM Executive Practice or HSLM Education) for their electives. 

Master's Core Courses
Course Title Credits
*NRSG 780 Health Promotion and Population Health 3
*NRSG 782 Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3
NRSG 790 Application of Science for Evidence-based Practice 3
NRSG 795 Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3
  Total 12
Leadership & Management Core Courses
Course Title Credits
NURS 690 Managerial Health Finance 3
NURS 691 Organizational Theories: Applications to Health Service Management 3
NURS 692 Administration of Nursing and Health Care Services 3
NURS 695 Practicum in Health Services, Leadership, and Management 5
NURS 736 Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care 3
  Total 17
HSLM Focus*
Course Title Credits
NURS xxx Elective 3
NURS xxx Elective 3
NURS xxx Elective 3
  Total 9
HSLM Education Focus*
Course Title Credits
NURS 787 Theoretical Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Nursing and Health Professions 3
NURS 791 Instructional Strategies and Assessment of Learning in Nursing and Health Professions 3
NURS 792 Practicum in Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions 3
  Total 9
  Total Credits for MSN Program
38

Plan of Study: Nursing Informatics Specialty

For financial aid purposes, there are credit minimums for full-time status that may differ from the plans of study. See details.

For the RN-to-MS program, you’ll complete the requirements for both the BSN as well as the MS degree in the Nursing Informatics specialty. Certain courses count towards both the BSN and MSN, allowing you to earn both degrees in less time and for less money than it would take to earn each separately.

In this section:


Completing the BSN Degree

First Semester
Course Title Credits
NURS 450 RN-to-BSN: Transition: Implications for Practice, Policy, and the Profession 3
NURS 452 Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Care for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 454 Pathophysiologic Implications to Patient Assessment 5
NURS 418 Elective 3
  Total 14
Second Semester
Course Title Credits
NURS 418 Elective 3
NURS 460 Health Informatics for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 467 Public Health Nursing Essentials for the Registered Nurse 5
*NRSG 780 Health Promotion and Population Health 3
*NRSG 782 Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3
  Total 17
  Total Credits for BSN Program: 31

* MSN Core Courses NRSG 780 and NRSG 782 are substituted for BSN Core Courses

Nurses in the RN-to-MSN program are required to complete 2 NURS 418 electives rather than the 3 required for the RN-to-BSN.


Completing the MSN Degree

After completing the Master’s Core courses, students begin courses specific to their specialty.

 Master's Core Courses
Course Title Credits
*NRSG 780 Health Promotion and Population Health 3
*NRSG 782 Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3
NRSG 790 Application of Science for Evidence-based Practice 3
NRSG 795 Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3
  Total 12
Nursing Informatics Specialty Courses
Course Title Credits
NURS 690 Managerial Health Finance 3
NURS 691 Organizational Theories: Applications to Health Service Management 3
NURS 736 Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care 3
NURS 786 Systems Analysis and Design 3
NURS 784 Information Technology Project Management 3
NURS 785 Healthcare Database Systems 3
NURS 737 Nursing Informatics Concepts and Practice in Systems Adoption 3
NURS 738 Practicum In Nursing Informatics 4
NURS 770 Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction 3
  Total Credits for MSN Program 40

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your graduate education.

Type of AidAward
Federal Financial Aid various award amounts
Merit Scholarships $1,500-$3,000 per semester
(You are automatically considered for a merit scholarship upon submitting a completed application for enrollment in an UMSON academic program.)
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition and fees
(for those who will have completed 12 credit hours of graduate study by the start of the semester for which the Conway Scholarship is awarded and who have at least half of their credit hours remaining)
Graduate Assistantships stipend, tuition remission, in-state status, and paid student health insurance

Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships


All students receiving funds through the University must:

  • be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree-seeking program
  • complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by UMB's award priority deadline
    • FAFSA Submission period: Oct. 1 (of the previous year) through Feb. 28
    • FAFSA School code: 002104

The UMB Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education is available to guide prospective and current students through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.


Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 | nrsscholarships@umaryland.edu

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 | aidtalk@umaryland.edu

 

RN-to-MSN Admission Deadlines and Requirements

In this section:


Deadlines: 

Spring 2020
Application Opens April 1, 2019
Deadline Dec. 1, 2019
Your online application and all supplemental materials must be received by this date.
Application Review mid-April through mid-Jan.
Admissions Decisions Announced mid-April through mid-Jan.

Competitive applicants will be offered admission first. Space is limited so applicants are encouraged to apply early.


Qualifications:

  • an overall GPA of 3.0
  • a science GPA of 3.0 (chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology)

Application Materials:

Materials

Submission Guidelines

 
Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee. Start your application now via the Admissions Dashboard.The Admissions Dashboard is where you will:
  • submit your online application and fee
  • submit/request any supplemental documents
  • check your application status.
We recommend that you continue to log in for regular updates. 
One recommendation. Your recommendation must come from a recent professional source. Only the first recommendation received will be considered.  Submit/request these materials via the Admissions Dashboard.       
Essay. Please submit a concise essay that addresses your prior education and work experience, as well as how you expect the BSN and the MSN to enhance your professional career goals. A well-written essay will incorporate the following:
  • Your motivation and primary reasons for pursuing a graduate degree.
  • Based on your professional experience, specify qualities that you feel are essential to nursing.
  • Address the specific specialty area you would like to pursue as well as the population you plan to serve.
  • Describe your specific research interests in this specialty area.
Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.
Prerequisite Course List. Download, print, and complete the Prerequisite Course List. Prerequisite courses must be taken at regionally or nationally accredited schools. ACE credits are not accepted.
A copy of your valid, unrestricted (current) RN license in the United States. For a current list of compact states, see the Maryland Board of Nursing website; if you hold an active Maryland RN license, send us a copy of your printable license verification, available on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.
Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. Electronic transcripts from University System of Maryland institutions will be accepted in lieu of official, sealed transcripts.Returning students are required to submit UMSON transcripts via the Office of the Registrar. Submit by mail to:
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Office of Student and Academic Services
655 West Lombard Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21201-1579  
Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status.  Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

This program is not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, due to the amount of online courses.


If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

Transfer of Credit by Examination

What credit by examinations do you accept?

The University of Maryland School of Nursing recognizes the following proficiency examination programs for credit:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • International Baccalaureate Exams (IB)

Required tests scores, credits, and transfer equivalency are determined by UMSON. Credits earned through AP, CLEP, or IB may be used to fulfill UMSON prerequisite coursework requirements.

How do I know if my score can be used, and how do I request a score?

Advanced Placement (AP) 

UMSON will award credit on the scores listed on the AP Transfer Equivalencies for UMSON Chart.

Request your score.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

UMSON will award credit on the scores listed on the CLEP Transfer Equivalencies for UMSON Chart.

Request your score.

International Baccalaureate Exams (IB)

UMSON will award credit on the scores listed on the IB Transfer Equivalencies for UMSON Chart.

Request your score.

Can I use a score that falls below the requirement?

No. Scores that fall below the listed requirements cannot be used towards credit.

My scores are listed on my transcript, do I still need to send an official AP, CLEP, or IB transcript?

Yes. Credit will not be awarded without an official AP, CLEP, or IB transcript.

Where do I submit my credit by exam transcript?

Official transcripts are required if requesting to use towards UMSON prerequisites. All AP, CLEP, or IB scores should be sent to:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
655 West Lombard St., Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21202

UMSON gave me the opportunity to grow more professionally than I thought was possible. In addition to the practical evidence-based courses, the mentors I acquired during my time in the program were key to my success in transitioning knowledge learned into knowledge and skills practiced in an educational role in nursing practice. Jaime Van Allen, BSN ’14, MS ’17
UMSON is an affordable, nationally ranked nursing school with the flexibility of learning online and using the state-of-the-art campus resources. This program has the option of stopping after earning the BSN degree, if needed, which is not true with some RN-to-master’s programs. In addition to having this degree, I now have an ongoing network of resources through my fellow students and professors. Karen Corson, MS ’16, BSN ’14
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