If you would like to complete an online MSN program to earn your Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, it is important to learn how long it takes to complete these special distance education programs before you enroll. Online degree programs offer nursing graduate students the flexibility they need to be able to work while attending school. Because there are so many advanced technologies available to facilitate distance education, it is possible for distinguished faculty members to teach traditional curriculum in a not so traditional setting. Read on, and learn more about the duration of various online MSN programs so that you can map out your career path.
What Factors Can Affect How Long It Will Take You To Earn Your MSN?
There are a variety of factors that will affect how long it will take you to earn your MSN when you study online. One of the biggest factors is the setup of the program. You will need to review how many credits you must complete and how the sessions are laid out before you even apply for admission into a specific school. Most online programs run in 8 or 16 week sessions.
Once you compare the curriculum requirements and session layout, the next step will be to decide if you want to complete a full-time schedule or a part-time schedule. It is important to be realistic about the amount of time that you will be able to commit as a graduate student studying nursing online. If you believe that you can complete full-time classwork as if you were attending courses on-campus, be sure that you have 35 to 40 hours per week to work on school assignments. If you can only commit 15 to 20 hours, a part-time pace may be much more practical.
What Degree Must You Already Possess?
You need to determine if you already meet prerequisite requirements before you apply to a program; not all prior education requirements are the same. Many schools with online MSN programs do not actually require you to have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Instead, you can have a Bachelor’s in any field and an Associate’s degree in Nursing to fulfill requirements. It is beneficial to review and understand the specific course requirements for an MSN while you are still an undergraduate to avoid admission delays. Having prerequisites complete will ensure that you do not have to push off admissions until the next open enrollment period.
How Long Will It Take Based on Your Enrollment Status?
If you are planning to attend school full-time from home, you will need to spend about 2 years attending courses to earn your degree. If you choose a part-time pace, or find the course availability does not align, you may take longer to graduate. Some part-time students can graduate in 3 years and others may take 4 years to complete an online MSN program.
A Master’s degree can help you advance your career by helping you develop an expertise in a specific area of practice. If you want to advance your career, be sure to take the time to find an accredited program that offers a good curriculum. Once you have decided the best path to complete an online MSN program, you will be one step closer to your advanced nursing career.