One of the nation’s best online MSN degree programs

One of the best online graduate nursing programs in the nation

– U.S. News & World Report

The demand for nurses is expected to grow 16% from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For nurses with advanced degrees and specializations, the projection nearly doubles to a staggering 31%. To prepare nurses for these high-demand, specialized positions, Loyola University New Orleans offers a 100% online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. This accredited, online MSN program educates nurses to provide effective and cost-efficient care, as well as take on leadership roles to improve and extend healthcare delivery to specific populations.

Loyola’s nationally-recognized online nursing master’s program offers three tracks to prepare nurses for in-demand careers as Family Nurse Practitioners, Nursing Leaders, and Nurse Educators. There are also three different paths to the MSN degree based on whether a student is entering the program with an associate or diploma in nursing, a BSN degree, or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Read on to learn more about the different options Loyola offers to help you leverage your past education and find the best route to the career you’ve always wanted.

Tracks to Launch Your Career

In addition to preparing nurses to take on leadership roles and initiate change in healthcare delivery, Loyola’s master’s degree in nursing offers specialized training in three different, in-demand tracks:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Nurse Educator

Family Nurse Practitioner Track

The MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track develops your advanced nursing skills so you can provide evidence-based, holistic care to individuals, families, and populations across the health continuum. The Family Nurse Practitioner track consists of 48 credit hours and 720 hours of supervised practicum. All courses are provided online, except for supervised practicum work, which is completed in a state in which the student is licensed to practice. Students attend an on-campus conference each spring.

Courses in the Family Nurse Practitioner track include:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Primary Care of Adults & Women’s Health
  • Primary Care Pediatrics

For a full list of Family Nurse Practitioner courses and course descriptions, visit the curriculum page.

Nursing Leadership Track

The MSN-Nursing Leadership (NURL) track is designed to provide you with information and advanced training in order to be an efficient and effective leader in a variety of healthcare settings. Utilizing a systems approach to leadership in healthcare, the Nursing Leadership concentration covers a range of topics from population health to workforce management and measurement of key performance indicators. Graduates of this track are prepared to sit for the American Nurses Association Certification Exam in Nursing Administration Advanced and/or the Commission for Case Manager Certification Exam. The NURL track consists of 36 credit hours and a 180-hour practicum.

Courses in the Nursing Leadership track include:

  • Population Health Management
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care
  • Human Resource Management

For a full list of Nursing Leadership courses and course descriptions, visit the curriculum page.

Nurse Educator Track

The MSN-Nurse Educator (NE) track is designed to address the growing, nationwide shortage of nurse educators and to prepare students to become the next generation of teachers. The Nurse Educator track trains future nurse educators to develop comprehensive curricula that will inspire tomorrow’s workforce.  The NE track consists of 39 credit hours and a 180-hour practicum. Students in this track graduate with advanced training in teaching methods, curriculum design, assessment, and evaluation, ready to excel in any academic or health care educational setting. Graduates are prepared to sit for the National League for Nursing’s Certification Exam for Nurse Educators (CNE).

Courses in the Nurse Educator track include:

  • Teaching Methods
  • Assessment of Learning Outcomes
  • Curriculum Design & Evaluation

For a full list of Nurse Educator courses and course descriptions, visit the curriculum page.

Find Your Path to the MSN

Loyola offers three degree paths that leverage your current education and training to create the fastest path to the MSN.

RN to MSN (MSN Bridge)

This program, also known as the “MSN Bridge” program, is designed for students who are entering with a diploma or an associate degree in nursing and an undergraduate degree in a non-nursing field. This program is a “fast track” to the MSN, in which students earn the MSN without earning a terminal BSN. (Students will receive a BSN equivalency.)

RN to BSN & MSN (Combined Degree)

This program is designed for active RNs who have not earned a bachelor’s degree in any subject and would like to earn both the BSN and MSN degrees. Students who plan on pursuing careers as nurse educators might consider this option, as a BSN is a common requirement in many teaching programs for nurses. At the successful completion of this specially arranged undergraduate curriculum, you will be awarded your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and be eligible to pursue your MSN in one of two concentrations: Nursing Leadership or Nurse Educator.

Pursuing the RN to MSN option rather than earning a traditional BSN followed by a traditional MSN shortens the overall credit hours required by six credit hours (two courses). You may transfer up to 64 credit hours from a two-year institution and up to 90 total credit hours.


This program is designed for students who have already earned the BSN and are looking to earn the MSN.

About the College of Nursing and Health

The College of Nursing and Health has been preparing students and working nurses to be innovative, ethical, and well-rounded leaders in the healthcare field for more than 30 years. Graduates of Loyola’s School of Nursing are committed both to serving individual people, as well as working to improve the healthcare field as a whole. Not only is the School of Nursing consistently ranked among the Best Graduate Schools of Nursing (USN&WR), but it is also considered one of the Top Online Graduate Nursing Programs – and the highest-ranked Jesuit online graduate nursing program (USN&WR). The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Loyola University New Orleans are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.