Southwest Baptist University appears in our ranking of the 20 Most Affordable Private Colleges for Master’s in Nursing Administration Online Degree Programs 2017.

Southwest Baptist University is a private university that has a religious affiliation with the Missouri Baptist Convention. Founded in 1878, it opened in the small town of Lebanon. The college had an enrollment of just 60 students in its first year, and a lack of support and interest led to the college shutting down the following year. Multiple cities vied for the chance to reopen the school with the town of Bolivar eventually winning. The college faced a number of problems during its early years, including a lack of funds and a fire that spread across the campus. It closed down for a short period of time and reopened in 1913 as a junior college that only offered courses from freshmen and sophomores. The college grew slowly over the years and eventually became Southwest Baptist University.

Also called SBU, the university continues its affiliation with the Missouri Baptist Convention. It has a student handbook that outlines all the rules that students must follow. This handbook also goes over what will happen to students who violate those rules. The university expanded beyond Bolivar and now operates campuses in three other cities in Missouri. It also added some online programs to its curriculum that allow both graduate students and undergrads to take classes and earn full degree online. Southwest Baptist University saw its enrollment grow slowly over the years and especially since it added four-year degree programs. Its enrollment now includes more than 3,400 students across all campuses.

Southwest Baptist University Accreditation Details

SBU has both regional accreditation and specialty accreditation for some of its degree programs. The regional accreditation that this university has comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). Not only does this allow students to transfer credits between any two schools with regional accreditation, but it also gives students the right to apply for federal financial aid. Its nursing program has accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), which is one of the main organizations that accredits nursing programs. Other degree programs available from the university that have specialty accreditation include its music and physical therapy programs.

Southwest Baptist University Application Requirements

Applying to the MSN program that SBU offers starts with the application itself. Students will need to download and print off a PDF copy of the application, fill it out and send it back to the university. The application asks for some personal information, including the student’s full name and phone number, but it also asks for an emergency contact. Students will need to write down the program they want to enroll in and when they want to start classes. The application asks if the student has an RN license and for both a license number and the state that awarded that license.

Another section on the application requires that the student write down where he or she went to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The application has space available for students to include information about any colleges they previously attended. It also includes a section where students can list anyone they know who attended SBU and any other schools they applied to recently. Students will need to read the university handbook to ensure they understand the rules the university has in place. They can then sign and date the application before mailing it to SBU.

Tuition and Financial Aid

SBU ranks as one of the more affordable schools for graduate education because its students use fewer student loans than those enrolled at other schools do each year. Tuition for its MSN program starts at $600 per credit hour. The three lab classes that nursing students must take charge an extra $100 to cover the cost of the materials and resources that students use. The university also charges a $25 library fee that applies to each credit hour of classes that students take. SBU will work with students to help them establish a budget and calculate the amount that they’ll pay each semester.

The university offers two scholarships specifically for MSN students. One of these scholarships allows students to take one course for free. The other scholarship acts as a loan forgiveness program and will forgive more than 80 percent of the student loans that students take out while enrolled in the program.

MSN students can also use the FAFSA to find out if they qualify for any state or federal funds. Many students will receive at least one unsubsidized loan. These loans allow students to borrow a little more than $20,000 while enrolled full-time in a graduate program. Students can also look at alternative loans and PLUS loans. Southwest Baptist University works with its students to ensure that they can afford their total costs.

Online Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Administration

Nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree earn more than those who have just a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Southwest Baptist University understands that many of the nurses working today have little free time, which is why it offers a hybrid MSN program. Unlike other online programs that only offer online classes, this program allows students to take classes on the SBU campus and do practical experiences and fieldwork in their own cities. The university offers this program for full-time and part-time students. Part-time students finish their studies in three years, while full-time students can graduate in two years. An accelerated version of the program is also available, which takes 18 months to finish.

The MSN program consists of six courses that are worth 18 credits, including Information Systems, Nursing Research, Concepts of Advanced Practice Nursing and Nursing Science. Students will also take a class called Ethics and Policy Issues in Advanced Practice that goes over the issues and problems that professional nurses face in the field.

SBU offers two concentrations for students in this program. The nursing administration concentration is best for those who want to work as managers and leaders, while the nursing education concentration is best for those who want to teach in nursing schools and programs. Those enrolled in the nursing administration program will learn more about the healthcare industry, including how to communicate with others in a professional manner and how to build relationships with their coworkers and patients.