In this article, we profile the 20 most affordable private colleges for online master’s in nursing administration degree programs in 2017.
Employment for medical, health, and nursing managers and administrators is projected to grow 17 percent through the year 2024. As the large baby-boom population ages, the healthcare industry as a whole sees an increase in the need for nursing administrators and similar occupations. To land one of these high paying nursing positions, one must have adequate education and training. An MSN in nursing administration can leverage your career and increase your earning potential. Now, online programs are available to meet the needs of nurses who want to earn an MSN but are unable to complete an on-campus program.
Ranking the Most Affordable Online MSN Nursing Administration Programs
We looked at 75 accredited private colleges listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered online master’s in nursing administration degree programs. From the list, we selected schools with graduate tuition/fees under $18,000 per year. We confirmed accreditation and listed our schools in order of affordability, choosing the 20 least expensive institutions.
Below are the resulting selections for our top 20 most affordable private colleges for online master’s in nursing administration degrees.
#20 – Franklin Pierce University
Online MSN Leadership
Rindge, New Hampshire
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,175
Franklin Pierce University offers an online MSN degree with a concentration in leadership, which should appeal to those interested in accredited online master’s in nursing administration programs. Three tracks are available: for nurses with a BSN, for nurses with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, and for nurses without a bachelor’s degree. Admission requirements are the same for all applicants and require a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.8 or higher, official transcripts, professional resume, and a statement of purpose or goals. The institution is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North.
#19 – Carlow University
Online Master’s in Education and Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,391
Carlow University is a small private institution that offers online MSN nursing administration type degree programs. The online MSN in education and leadership program requires no GRE or GMAT for admission. The program is delivered entirely online with classes taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Courses include health care innovation and quality, leadership in health care ethics and policy, and nursing leadership. A total of 33 credits is required to complete the degree. Carlow is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 118th best regional university in the North.
#18 – Mercy College
Online Master’s in Nursing Administration
Dobbs Ferry, New York
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,776
Mercy College’s online master’s in nursing administration program prepares nurse administrators for interprofessional practice in the always-changing health care environment. The program can be completed entirely online by taking classes taught by qualified Mercy instructors. Fall and spring starts are available, and classes include a wide exploration of advanced nursing curriculum. These classes include healthcare and human resource management for nurse administrators, nursing and healthcare financing, nursing education and administration, and strategic planning for healthcare organizations. Mercy is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North, and its online graduate nursing programs have also received recognition.
#17 – Bradley University
Online MSN in Nursing Administration
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,560
Bradley University offers an accredited online MSN nursing administration program designed for working nurses who want to advance their careers and education. The program is recognized and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and can be completed 100% online with no campus residency requirements. This fast-track program offers flexible courses and a learning environment that fits busy nursing schedules. Courses include conceptual basis for professional nursing practices, evidence-based practice, health informatics, nursing administration theory, and nursing theories – analysis and development. Bradley is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 6th best regional university in the Midwest and 36th best value school. Also, the online graduate nursing programs are ranked #97 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#16 – Olivet Nazarene University
Online MSN in Management Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,945
Olivet Nazarene University’s online master’s in nursing administration program is an MSN with management and leadership track. Three start dates are offered throughout the year, generally in August, October, and February. The program length runs 17 months with 40 credit hours required for completion of the degree. Typical applicants are current registered nurses with at least 2,000 hours of RN experience and a BSN degree from an accredited college or university. Classes are delivered online and include healthcare – financial and resource management, nurse as a leader and manager of care, and transforming leadership in nursing. Olivet is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 49th best regional university in the Midwest and 7th best value school.
#15 – South University
Online MSN in Nurse Administrator
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,707
South University is a small private college that offers online degree options like the online MSN nursing administration. This online MSN degree program is designed for busy nurses looking for a way to earn a CCNE-accredited advanced nursing degree. All classes are delivered fully online and led by dedicated faculty who teach both on-campus and online. These courses include twenty foundational credits and twenty-eight specialization credits. Students take courses like advanced theoretical perspectives in nursing, human resource management in healthcare organizations, and managing complex healthcare systems. South is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the top regional universities in the southern region. All graduate programs are accredited and adhere to the standards set forth by governing bodies.
#14 – Walden University
Online Master’s in Nursing – Leadership and Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,555
Walden University is among our top affordable online MSN nursing leadership programs for small private colleges. This CCNE-accredited MSN degree offers a specialization in leadership and management for nurses interested in pursuing administration roles in healthcare settings. Curriculum is delivered entirely online and taught by university professors. There are three different completion tracks for students with RN or BSN degrees. These tracks include the BSN to MSN track, the RN to MSN track, or the RN to BSN to MSN track. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree or higher for most of the nursing programs and the completion of an online application. Official transcripts are also required. Walden is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.
#13 – Nebraska Methodist College
Online MSN – Nurse Executive
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,942
The CCNE-accredited online MSN nursing administration degree program at Nebraska Methodist College is a nurse executive MSN degree that is designed to be completed in just 21 months. Students are required to complete essential coursework online and gain access to several professional organizations, including the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Courses run five or ten weeks in length and usually break for one week before the start of the next class. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s in nursing from an accredited program, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, and a current unencumbered license as a registered nurse. No GRE is required for admission. Nebraska Methodist has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report.
#12 – University of Mary
Online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management
Bismarck, North Dakota
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,820
University of Mary offers an online MSN nursing leadership and management degree designed for working registered nurses. This completely online and CCNE-accredited program is flexible and convenient for those interested in earning a BSN to MSN online degree. Courses include critique and design of nursing research, evidence-based practice and strategic healthcare decision making, influential nursing leadership, management and organizational behavior, and professional roles in advanced nursing. Admission to the program requires an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher, a current unencumbered RN license, two letters of reference, and a criminal background check. The GRE is not required for admission to the program. University of Mary is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 94th best regional university in the Midwest.
#11 – MidAmerica Nazarene University
Online Master’s in Nursing Healthcare Administration
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,000
MidAmerican Nazarene University’s online MSN nursing administration degree program is designed to prepare working nurses to lead and function successfully as healthcare administrators in health organizations. Designed for working registered nurses with a bachelor’s in nursing degree, the program offers online courses that can be taken at your own pace. Courses include advanced health assessment, healthcare law, human resources and workforce development, strategic planning and financial management, and theoretical foundations of leadership. Admission to the program requires a BSN degree, minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, an active and unencumbered RN license, and the completion of one undergraduate statistics course. The school is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 115th best regional university in the Midwest.
#10 – Queens University of Charlotte
Online MSN – Nurse Administrator
Charlotte, North Carolina
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,730
One of the most affordable online MSN nursing leadership and administration programs on our list is the online MSN – nurse administrator program at Queens University of Charlotte. This is a CCNE-accredited program designed for working nurses. Coursework is delivered entirely online and set up with eight week classes. Students take one course at a time until requirements are met. Some of the courses include data interpretations, health policy, management of clinical outcomes, leadership principles and practices, management of the care environment, and professionalism and ethics in clinical leadership. Queens University is a regionally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 22nd best regional university in the South. Also, the online graduate nursing programs are ranked #102 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#9 – Grand Canyon University
Online Master’s in Nursing – Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,612
One of the most affordable online master’s in nursing administration and leadership programs on our list is the online MSN from Grand Canyon University. The degree program offers an emphasis in leadership in health care systems and can be completed entirely online. Courses include ethics and policy in the health care systems, health care research analysis and utilization, leading as a general manager, organizational development and change, and theoretical foundations for nursing roles and practice. A total of 36 credits are required for the completion of the degree. Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree from an accredited college with a 2.8 GPA or higher. If you do not meet the GPA requirements, the GRE must be taken and satisfactory scores received. Grand Canyon is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.
#8 – Clarkson College
Online MSN – Nursing Health Care Administration
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,422
Clarkson College’s online MSN nursing administration program is designed to offer rigorous and patient-focused preparation for students interested in obtaining advanced practice nursing roles. Classes are delivered online and taught by qualified faculty. These courses include application and evaluation of theory in nursing, essentials of scholarly writing, health care economics, health care leadership, health care strategic planning and marketing, and human resources and organizational behavior. All but nine hours in the core courses must be completed at Clarkson College. Clarkson is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top institution, and its online graduate nursing programs are ranked #39 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#7 – Lenoir-Rhyne University
Online MSN in Nursing Administration
Hickory, North Carolina
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,900
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s online MSN nursing leadership program offers a 33-credit hour nursing administration track designed to prepare nurses as leaders in their field. The program is CCNE-accredited and designed with the working adult in mind. Part-time and full-time options are available, and any clinical requirements can be completed close to the student’s geographic location for added convenience. Courses offered include advanced nursing leadership, introduction to advanced nursing administration/leadership, nursing informatics, nursing research and evidence-based practice, organizational behavior, and theories for advanced nursing practice. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 56th best regional university in the South and 16th best value institution.
#6 – McKendree University
Online MSN in Nursing Administration/Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,662
McKendree University offers an online MSN nursing administration degree program designed for part-time or full-time students. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. These courses include human behavior in organizations, management of fiscal systems, nursing informatics, and theories and principles of nursing management. A scholarly project or thesis is also required. The master’s program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) – a premiere governing body. McKendree is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 74th best regional university in the Midwest and 35th best value school. Also, the online graduate nursing programs are ranked #81 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News and World Report.
#5 – Northwest Nazarene University
Online MSN – Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,971
Northwest Nazarene University’s online MSN nursing administration degree is a CCNE-accredited program that allows nurses to earn a master’s in nursing degree with an emphasis in leadership and education. The program is open to nurses with either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, although the completion time varies between two and three years depending on which degree the student holds. Admission requires an accredited college degree, current RN licensure, current employment as a registered nurse or experience, and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Northwest Nazarene is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 44th best regional university in the West and 25th best value school. Also, the online graduate nursing programs have received recognition.
#4 – Saint Joseph’s College
Online MSN in Nursing Administration
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,460
The online master’s in nursing administration from Saint Joseph’s College is an online graduate nursing program designed for experienced or working registered nurses. The nursing administration track requires 45 credits, which can be combined with the MHA or the leadership MBA as a dual degree. Graduates become qualified to sit for the national nurse administration certification exam. All classes are delivered online and include contemporary issues in nursing administration, financial management, quality performance, and strategic planning. A BSN to MSN and RN to MSN fast-track option are both available. St. Joseph’s College is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North.
#3 – Lubbock Christian University
Online Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Education
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,668
One of the most affordable online MSN nursing administration degree programs on our list is offered by Lubbock Christian University. The school offers a 35-hour, non-thesis MSN with a blended leadership and education focus. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same instructors who teach on campus. These courses include applying best practices in community health care, management of health care resources, nursing theory, and research and statistical methods. Admission requirements include RN licensure, a BSN from an accredited program and school, official transcripts, and a strong GPA or GRE scores. Criminal background checks are required prior to enrollment. Lubbock Christian is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 76th best regional university in the West.
#2 – Grantham University
Online MSN in Nursing Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,080
Grantham University offers online MSN nursing administration and leadership programs like the online MSN with nursing management and organizational leadership specialization. This program is 100% online and does not require a bachelor’s in nursing degree. If you are an RN and interested in the program, but only have an associate’s degree, an online RN to MSN option is available. Courses begin frequently and are taught by qualified instructors. These courses include concepts of healthcare informatics, diverse populations and healthcare, leadership in healthcare organizations, legal and ethical issues of advanced practice nursing, and nursing research and evidence-based practice.
#1 – Southwest Baptist University
Online MSN in Nursing Administration
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,020
Southwest Baptist University offers the most affordable online master’s in nursing administration degree program on our list. The program boasts a 100% job placement rate within one year of graduation and offers part-time (3 years), full-time (2 years), and accelerated full-time (18 months) completion tracks. All courses are taught by qualified instructors and include ethics and policy issues in advanced practice, health care finance, human resource management in health care, organizational analysis and innovation, and statistics and data analysis for nursing. All courses are in eight-week blocks with a mixture of hybrid and fully online formats. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as a top regional university in the Midwest.