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Master's Degree

Online Direct Entry MSN
Program for Non-Nurses


May 6th

20-24 Mo.1

Program Length





Earn 9

DNP Credits

Master's Degree

Online Direct Entry MSN
Program for Non-Nurses

Go from non-nursing to MSN in our direct entry program

AccreditationCCNE accredited,2 Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Format100% online didactic classes, including both on-demand and real-time learning with flexible scheduling
AdmissionsDesigned for non-nurses; non-nursing bachelor's degree required for admissions
EligibilityAvailable for enrollment in select states3
DNP Dual CreditEarn 9 credits towards a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
QuickPathsBuild a foundation to pursue an advanced specialty in a future post master's certificate program; transfer credit, stackable credentials, and adaptive learning technology build a faster pathway to a higher education with Herzing
Nursing Student in Scrubs Taking MSN Direct Entry Classes Online
US News Best Graduate Nursing Programs 2024

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online graduate nursing programs in 2024

MSN - Direct Entry

Overview: Online MSN - Direct Entry Program

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Direct Entry degree is a 60-77 credit graduate program which prepares non-nursing majors for a career as an MSN-prepared Registered Nurse (RN). The degree program provides students with fundamental knowledge and skills in pathophysiology & pharmacology, scholarly practice, mental health nursing, nursing informatics and healthcare technology, population health, and much more.

Career-focused curriculum

Discover the crucial knowledge and skills required to succeed in your work and build a foundation for continued career growth.

Flexible schedule

We work hard to help you maintain school-life balance, striving to be as flexible as possible for busy non-traditional students.

Virtual services

Access to extensive virtual services, including academic advising, tutoring, support services, technical support and library services.

Lifelong support

We support your ongoing career advancement by providing comprehensive, personalized student services with lifelong career coaching.

Rolling admissions

No application deadlines to worry about. Apply when you’re ready and prepare to get started soon.

Classes Start May 6th

Learn More Today


Direct Entry MSN program classes & curriculum details

Due to the rigorous nature of the online direct entry MSN pathway, we implemented several benchmarks to ensure you’re on track to successfully complete the program, develop the knowledge and skills you need to excel as an RN, and position yourself for career advancement.

The program includes multiple progression milestone exams, and an RN Exit Exam designed to fully prepare you to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). You will earn 9 credits you can transfer into a Herzing Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the future.

Master of Science in Nursing - Direct Entry20-2460-77

Students who meet the undergraduate general education requirements can complete the program in as little as 20 months (60 credits). For those who do not have the required undergraduate general education credits, this program is a minimum of 77 credits and can be completed in 24 months.

Required Undergraduate Pre-Requisite Core Courses

17.00 semester credit hours are required. The following courses, or the equivalent, must be successfully completed prior to entry in the core nursing courses:


Note: Students must earn a "B" or better in both the SC 154 Anatomy and Physiology I for Nurses and SC 254 Anatomy and Physiology II for Nurses courses.

Required Courses in Nursing

60.00 semester credit hours are required.

Online + In-person

What's online, and what's in-person?


All online didactic, lecture-style courses may be completed asynchronously (24/7 on your schedule) through the Herzing University Canvas Learning Management System.

Clinical instructor and peer collaboration requirements will be done via synchronous (live) distance learning, which will be required at times throughout the program.

Our online classes provide the foundational nursing knowledge and skills you need to prepare for in-person clinicals and intensives.


Practical, hands-on training supplements your online learning to provide the well-rounded education you need to succeed as an MSN-prepared RN. Our curriculum includes:

  • Clinicals. You’ll complete a total of 585 clinical hours over the course of the Direct Entry MSN program. We use a precepted model for student clinical experiences in our online nursing programs, and we have a dedicated team to help you find clinical placement.
  • Intensives. You’ll need to attend three 2-4 day intensives throughout the program at our Nashville campus. They will include skills introduction, skills checks, testing and faculty advisement to ensure you’re on the right track.
Tuition & Cost

Tuition & Cost

The cost of tuition for the MSN - Direct Entry program is $735 per credit.

You can potentially earn even greater savings by transferring credit from prior college coursework, applying for financial aid, or potential partnership opportunities through your employer.

Our goal is your career advancement. That’s why we are always working to improve our curriculum and processes to make our program as affordable as possible while preparing you best for success in your work.

Find my estimate

 Scholarships & Financial Aid

You may be eligible for multiple scholarships and grants—including our Nurses Circle of Achievement scholarship, which offers up to 10% tuition reduction.

Find scholarships and grants 

 Military/Veteran Discounts

Veterans, Active Duty U.S. Servicemembers, and spouses may qualify for a 10% tuition discount or tuition reduction to $250 per credit.

VA/Military benefits 


MSN Direct Entry enrollment requirements

Prerequisites to enroll in the Herzing Direct Entry MSN program include:

Prior educationEvidence of graduation from a non-nursing bachelor’s degree program awarded by an accredited institution of higher education
Minimum GPAi3.0 GPA
Entrance testingAggregate score of 66 on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). No GRE required.
i. Students will be assessed on their collegiate cumulative GPA from either a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or master’s degree program.

Prerequisite courses

The following courses, or the equivalent, must be successfully completed prior to entry in the Master of Science in Nursing - Direct Entry core nursing courses:

Statistics3 credits
Anatomy & Physiology I4 credits; must earn “B” or better
Anatomy & Physiology II4 credits; must earn “B” or better
Chemistry3 credits
Microbiology3 credits

Alternative entry points: if your GPA is too low, or you do not hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you may also consider several undergraduate nursing degree options. We offer nursing programs at the bachelor’s, associate, and diploma levels—if you want to become a nurse, we offer a pathway to help you start your journey.

Meet our Leadership

Tricia Wagner DNP, APRN-BC

"The MSN Direct Entry is a great program for someone who is looking at a career change, second career, or has been a displaced worker.

The degree provides a long list of opportunities after graduation in combination with success on the NCLEX-RN. This dream can be a reality in less than 2 years!"

A leader, educator, and advanced practice nurse that currently serves as the Associate Dean of Nursing for Graduate Programs, Dr. Wagner has a practice specialty as both an adult-gerontology and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She completed her Diploma RN and BSN in Springfield, Missouri and her MSN and DNP through the University of South Alabama, Mobile. She has 30 years’ experience in healthcare with 20 years as a nursing executive in both academia and healthcare organizations. She has been ensuring that nurses have the opportunity to reach their desired education potential for many years.

Tricia Wagner DNP, APRN-BC Associate Dean of Nursing

Tricia Wagner

Associate Dean of Nursing for Graduate Programs

Classes Start May 6th

Waived Enrollment Fee

Job outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of registered nurses is expected to increase 9% from 2020-2030.*

Now is an excellent time to begin working towards becoming an RN with goals of advancing even higher.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) are also projected to be in very high demand in coming years. The BLS expects employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners to greatly increase—largely boosted by a 45% growth estimate for nurse practitioners from 2022-2032.*


What can you do with an MSN?

The purpose of our Direct Entry MSN program is to fully prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN and become a Registered Nurse (RN).

The Direct Entry MSN pathway is designed to expedite the process for students who already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.

While a master’s degree is not required to become an RN, a master’s-level education gives you a head start on advancing your nursing career.

Earning an MSN opens doors to many possibilities in advanced practice nursing. This is an opportunity for you to pursue graduate-level nursing pathways and minimize your cost and time.

Advance to the highest levels faster

By committing to the MSN pathway right from the start, you can position yourself best for graduate-level specialization in the future.

Upon graduation, you can potentially leverage your MSN into post master’s certificate programs in several different specialties:

Nurse Practitioner Discussing Treatment Options with Adult Patient

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend that you keep work to a minimum during the program given the required synchronous sessions and overall volume of work needed for success.

Increasingly yes, but it ultimately depends on the institution who issued the degree.

As the popularity of online degrees continues to rapidly trend upward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, so has mainstream acceptance of online degree programs.

Attitudes toward online degrees were already becoming more positive before the pandemic forced the issue. According to a 2019 study from Northeastern University, 61 percent of HR leaders say online learning is “of equal or greater quality to more traditional methods.” More than half believe that in the future, most advanced degrees will be online.

Regarding nursing applicants who earned online degrees, there are a few important factors employers consider:

  • The school and degree program’s accreditation. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and programmatically accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).i
  • If you have earned nursing licensure. Our programs are designed to help you pass any necessary exams and become licensed before getting your first job.
  • The school’s reputation and history of producing excellent employees. Consider our many happy graduates and 50+ years producing more than 40,000 alumni.

For all these reasons employers know what it means when they see “Herzing University” on a resume!

i. Programmatic accreditation varies by program and by campus location. Find details about all Herzing University accreditations and approvals.

The highest degree, or terminal degree, in nursing is the doctoral degree.

We offer the practice-focused Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) for students seeking to ascend to the highest ranks of the nursing field and begin making a significant impact in how nursing is implementing evidence-based practice and researching into the practice setting.

After completing the direct entry MSN program, you may be eligible to enroll in our post master’s DNP program.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earn an average salary of $89,010 per year ($42.80 per hour).*

There are a wide variety of different career paths in nursing, and depending on what makes the most sense for you there are several different types of nursing degrees you may consider:

  • Diploma in Practical Nursing. The fastest way to start your nursing career is to earn a diploma in practical nursing and become a Licensed Practical Nurse. This isn’t a “degree” but it’s an alternative starting point if you’re ready to get your feet wet in nursing.
  • Associate degree in nursing. Earn an associate’s degree in nursing and you’ll be eligible to site for the NCLEX and become a Registered Nurse (RN).
  • Bachelor’s in nursing. A bachelor’s degree is becoming the new educational standard for registered nurses, and it will qualify you for a master’s degree program.
  • Master’s in nursing. Many roles up the ladder in nursing will require a master’s degree.
  • Doctorate in nursing. Earn the terminal degree in nursing and reach the top of the field.

All schools have their own distinct degree programs based on their qualifications and areas of focus. Herzing University offers many different options to provide the shortest path to your destination no matter where you are right now, including campus bridge programs and online programs to help you reach the next level in your education. View all of our nursing programs.

No, but you can get much closer to reaching that goal. You will need to complete additional education in the NP specialty of your choosing before becoming eligible to practice.

After completing the direct entry MSN program, you are eligible to enroll in a post master’s certificate program to help you prepare to become a nurse practitioner.

We currently offer post master’s certificate concentrations in:

We use a precepted model for clinical experiences in our MSN Direct Entry program.

Upon admission, you have the opportunity to complete a form that will help us select and place you with a preceptor. This will be locations that you have in your area that you desire to complete your clinical or even a location that you might be interested in working in the future.

Our dedicated clinical placement team will assist you in preceptor placement. We work with many clinical sites to ensure you can find the right fit (ideally within 100 miles of where you live).

Ultimately, our clinical placement team is responsible for providing assigned preceptors—but your ability to identify potential sites and preceptors in your community is integral to the process. However, we cannot guarantee you will be assigned to a preferred or specific preceptor or location.

Occasionally you will have virtual clinicals for basic skills checks and faculty advisement, which may be done via synchronous remote sessions.


Program Finder

MSN - Direct Entry Degree Programs

Showing 1 program for the Online campus

On Campus| Online

To learn more about this program, click the Request Info button to the right.

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Accreditation & Disclosures

1. Completion time based on transfer credit for undergraduate general education courses.

2. The master's degree program in nursing at Herzing University-Madison is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( Herzing University is approved to offer programs in an online learning modality through association with the main campus in Madison, Wisconsin.

3. Eligible states for enrollment: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,i Michigan, Minnesota,i Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

iLimited to 100 mile radius of physical campus (Minneapolis, New Orleans)

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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Opt-In to Receive SMS Messages

By selecting this button you agree to receive updates and alerts from Herzing University. Text HELP to 85109 for help, Text STOP to 85109 to end. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. By opting in, I authorize Herzing University to deliver SMS messages and I understand that I am not required to opt in as a condition of enrollment. By leaving this box unchecked you will not be opted in for SMS messages. Click to read Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Herzing Tuition Wizard

When do you want to start classes?

The program has an automatic transfer of credits, and allows you to transfer up to additional credits.

  Transfer Credits

The program allows you to transfer up to credits.

  Transfer Credits

The program allows you to transfer up to credit hours.

  Transfer Credit Hours
MSN - Direct Entry Online Campus
Cost per Credit$735.00
Base Tuition$56,595.00
Savings from Transfer Credits (17 x $735.00 )(-$12,495.00)
Estimated Tuition Cost*$44,100.00
One-time Program Fee$0.00
Per-semester Program Fee$750.00
Per-semester Learner Resource Fee$530.00
Estimated Total Fee*$6,400.00
Total Semesters 1
Total Credits
Estimated Cost 2
Base CostYour Cost
Estimated Savings*


Reach out to a member of the Financial Aid team at the Online campus:

Financial Aid Team
(866) 508-0748


Actual semesters to complete are dependent upon university approved transfer credits and program mapping.


Estimated program length, estimated number of semesters, and estimated program shown above are standard by program for each student based on: a student taking a full-time course load each semester, the student not having any transfer credits (from previous Herzing experiences or from other post-secondary institutions), and successful completion of each course.

Current tuition rates for Nursing programs are effective through the Summer 2023 semester, and tuition rates for all non-Nursing programs are effective through the Summer 2023 semester.