Master of Science in Nursing
Online BSN to MSN

All-in price:
View Tuition Details
Application due date for January 9, 2023 term:
January 6
Estimated time to completion:
15 Months
All-in price:
View Tuition Details
Application due date for January 9, 2023 term:
January 6
Estimated time to completion:
15 Months

Go Beyond Your BSN with Our Online MSN

Open the door to new leadership opportunities by earning your Master of Science in Nursing. If the next step on your career path is to become a nurse educator or nurse manager, this program is for you. Our CCNE-accredited online program prepares you to take on a variety of leadership roles in either administration or education by combining core nursing competencies with instruction in areas such as telehealth, patient safety improvement, better community relations and other areas that will prepare you to transform evidence into quality practice.


in the nation for most master's degrees awarded in education*.

Thinking of starting your journey?

Connect with an ACE enrollment counselor who can help you get started.

How you'll get there.

  1. The focus of study areas (16 credits) reflect the most in-demand areas of nursing: leadership and education. Leadership students will focus on applying leadership and strategic management theories to guide their actions and take evidence into practice. The nurse educator focus will teach strategies for working with students and teaching the content and competencies they need to become excellent nurses.
  2. The program closes with a 10-week capstone practicum that provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the program and focus of study outcomes. You’ll work with a nurse-mentor to demonstrate the competencies essential to your chosen focus.
  3. There are no surprises at ACE. You’ll complete a total of 10 courses (31 credits), with most of them 5 weeks long with a week off in between. Your full pathway, including cost, is laid out before you even begin your first class. There are also no textbooks to buy because everything is online, making ACE an even more economical choice.

What you can expect along the way.

  • Quality Online Instruction As an MSN student, you’ll experience an online learning environment built out of our experience as a 100 percent digital college for the last decade. We use the latest simulation tools and avatars to mimic endless real-world medical situations, coupled with instruction from faculty who bring their real-world experiences to the discussion. The result is a nursing education that will prepare you like no other to be a leader or administrator.
  • Future-Focused Curriculum We intentionally built technology competencies into our nursing program so students would be skilled in a variety of platforms when they are working in nursing, education or administration areas. Our forward-thinking approach includes telehealth instruction within the Advanced Health Assessment course, ensuring you’ll have the most in-demand skills for the next stage in your nursing career.
  • Support at every step We’re connected 24/7. You’ll always have faculty support as you navigate your courses. Nursing students have town hall meetings each term and a Student Success Coach who is with you from enrollment to graduation. You’ll have access to free online tutoring and writing help, Office 365 tools and a library for research. Our program is high tech and high-touch, so you’re never alone at ACE.

What it costs

Our tuition and fees have nothing to hide. The total cost you see is your all-in price, without hidden fees, add-ons, and even textbooks. See if you can say the same about other institutions. Go ahead — we’ll wait.

Total Tuition

31 semester credits
x $380 per credit**



$50 Application Fee

$100 Program Conferral Fee


Total Program Cost1


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**With BSN to MSN New Student Grant, cost will equal $380 per credit hour, plus fees. Without the grant, cost will equal $515 per credit hour, plus fees.

Partnerships save you more.

ACE has more than 1,750 education partners that provide a discounted rate and other partner benefits.

Learn about ACE partnerships.

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A degree you can count on.

American College of Education is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission— a federally-recognized accrediting agency. The College’s accreditation includes approval to offer degree programs, in education, healthcare, nursing and business and leadership through distance education via the Internet. Accreditation ensures that an institution’s academic program meets or exceeds acceptable levels of quality and is the most recognized accreditation status for higher education entities. To receive and maintain HLC accreditation and affiliation approval, we must continuously undergo routine peer review cycles and provide proof that our programs meet or exceed HLC accreditation criteria and expectations of quality.



Explore the classes you'll take to fulfill this program's 31 semester credit requirement. For more information, a complete list of requirements, and course options, see the College Catalog.

Choose your focus of study.

Sixteen of your semester credits will specialize in a focus area of your choice. View the College Catalog for full descriptions.

  • Nurse Administration
  • Nurse Educator

Nursing Courses (15 semester credits)

3 semester credits

In this course, the student examines multiple theories from nursing and related fields to explore value and application to research and evidence based practice. Specifically, the course explores the use of theory in the design of research and development of nursing knowledge. Knowledge and skills to critique quantitative research studies are developed. Emphasis is placed on applying four criteria for critique: construct validity, internal validity, statistical conclusion validity, and external validity. Students focus on principles of evidence-based practice and synthesize the evidence from studies and arrive at a conclusion. 

3 semester credits

This course focuses on qualitative research traditions and the critique of qualitative studies for trustworthiness. Criteria for evaluating qualitative research include credibility, dependability, confirmability, and transferability. The purposes for qualitative research approaches, to include theory development, are explored. Students are introduced to the interpretation  and critique of mixed-methods research as well as systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Students integrate evidence from both quantitative and qualitative studies for evidence-based practice and developing patient- centered care guidelines. The relationships between evidence, quality, and outcomes are analyzed.  The impact of health policy is explored. 

3 semester credits

Focusing on leadership and management theory, students prepare to lead organizations from a systems perspective. Systems of care and organizational behavior are examined. Students learn to base practice on evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost effectiveness of patient care. Students analyze leadership to effectively apply ethical and critical decision- making skills to lead healthcare teams. Students will explore practice issue or concern and plan for intervention. Practice experience is part of this course 50 hours required. Note: Practice experience part of this course.

3 semester credits

The focus of this course includes information, skills and processes required to improve quality and patient safety utilizing the Graduate QSEN competencies. Students learn to use health informatics and to base practice on research and evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost effectiveness of patient care. Students acquire the skills to select the methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality and apply quality principles within an organization to improve outcomes. 

3 semester credits

This course focuses on knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to design, implement, and evaluate patient- centered, culturally appropriate care for individuals or populations. Students analyze the multiple dimensions of patient-centered care to include patient/family/community preferences, values, culture, communication, and health literacy. Students are prepared to intervene at the systems level through policy development and advocacy to influence healthcare. Additionally, students will evaluate use of information systems and technology in nursing practice.

Focus of Study

Customize this degree by choosing a five-course Focus of Study to fulfill the remaining 16 semester credits.

Nurse Administration (16 semester credits)

4 semester credits

The Capstone/Practicum course is a culminating experience that provides students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of program and focus of study outcomes. This course emphasizes the application of leadership and management theories and concepts in the role of nurse executive. The student will demonstrate the competencies essential to a nurse leader. The role will be applied and analyzed in a healthcare organizational setting, in collaboration with a nurse-leader mentor. Evidence-based leadership and management strategies will be developed and implemented in the selected organizational environment. Practice experience of 150 hours is required.Note: A practice experience component is present in this course.

3 semester credits

Effective nurse leaders learn and apply leadership and strategic management theories to guide their actions and transform evidence into quality practice. This course prepares students to serve in key positions to participate in decision making, advocacy, strategic planning, and to manage change that affects patient care.  Operations, marketing, informatics, and decision-making strategies are explored to increase understanding of the strategic business aspect of nursing.

3 semester credits

In this course, students connect caring and quality patient care delivery with efficiency and effective financial strategies. They learn to apply evidence-based decision making as it relates to the financial responsibility of the healthcare facility, utilizing resources available to them through the private and public sector and related to the development, delivery and evaluation of patient-centered care. Students learn to apply financial principles to budget forecasting and managerial oversight, capital budgeting and variance analysis. The economics of the US healthcare system will be considered. 

3 semester credits

This course teaches students how to build relationships in the community, in a clinical setting, and in an academic environment through effective oral and written communication. Students acquire conflict resolution skills and behavior management techniques by translating data-driven research into practical communication strategies. Emphasis is placed on inter-professional communication, cultural competency, and communication with diverse populations. The course is based on human resource principles, including hiring, separation, and conflict management, team building. 

3 semester credits

In this course, students demonstrate understanding of the healthcare system and the environment in which healthcare administrators function and serve. The use of strategy management tools to create operational goals and objectives and to identify and leverage marketing opportunities is emphasized. Students investigate transformational thinking as it refers to the changing healthcare environment. They also apply technology as an innovation that impacts practice.

Nurse Educator (16 semester credits)

4 semester credits

The Capstone Practicum course is a culminating experience that provides students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of program and focus of study outcomes. This course emphasizes the application of teaching and learning theories and concepts in implementation of the nurse educator role. The student will demonstrate the competencies essential to the nurse educator. The role will be implemented, applied, and analyzed in an academic or clinical practice setting, in collaboration with a nurse educator mentor. Students must complete a scholarly project which synthesizes advanced knowledge and skills to address an area of relevance to professional nursing in education. Practice experience of 150 hours is required.

3 semester credits

This course provides an intensive and comprehensive foundation of advanced pathophysiological knowledge and physical assessment skills. Students will learn to apply this knowledge and skill in working with students and teaching the content and competencies required for effective practice. Students will learn to discern between normal and abnormal findings, develop treatment plans, and develop teaching plans to promote health and education. Informatics and use of technology will be discussed.

3 semester credits

This course focuses on advanced pharmacotherapeutics and effective teaching methods for nurse educators in this content area. Pharmacological mechanisms, medication management, treatment of side effects and drug reactions are studied. Drug interventions and nurses' role in educating patients about medications will be covered. Technology related to safety, delivery and education will be explored.

3 semester credits

Guided by theoretical foundations of learning, students examine the tenets of andragogy modeled in practice. Emphasis is placed on understanding and applying principles of teaching and effective instructional strategies, ways to establish an effective learning environment, and reflective practices as a means to advance professional nursing skills. Strategies to support the learning environment in both face to face and online classrooms will be considered. The course will integrate ethical and professional collaboration with colleagues to promote patient outcome attainment. 

3 semester credits

By surveying various curricular designs and assessment models, this course integrates aspects of theoretical frameworks with differentiated curriculum, instructional and evaluation strategies delivered in academic and clinical settings. Students analyze assessment and evaluation data to determine effective approaches for supporting effective educational programming and patient-centered health while developing skills as nurse professionals and nurse educators.  Use of technology in program assessment and evaluation is discussed. 

Admission Requirements


ACE General Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit all application components including the admission application, including the enrollment agreement, and payment agreement.
  • Submit the nonrefundable application fee.*
  • Provide official transcripts from an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education indicating successful completion of the level of education required for entry to the program.**

*The application fee is valid for one year from date of submission.
**Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements, including but not limited to verification of professional experience, test scores, or an interview.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing ​​
  • Minimum Grade Point Average cumulative 2.75 on a 4.0 Scale for full admission
  • ​Minimum Grade Point Average cumulative 2.50 on a 4.0 Scale for provisional admission
  • Applicants for the above program must provide documentation of active unencumbered RN license
  • ​Additional evidence may be required to fulfill state requirements
  • Acknowledgement of the requirement to have a clinical/practicum setting to complete the program. Applicants must also acknowledge these sites may require ​​additional documentation (such as drug screening, criminal background checks, etc.) that applicant will be responsible for providing and costs associated with the requirement.  ​
  • All general education courses must be completed prior to adwarding of bachelor's degree and matriculation to graduate portion of the program.


A 200-hour practicum is embedded in the program and required for program completion.

*This is an estimated value of the cost for tuition and fees. Amounts may vary depending on number of transfer credits applied to the selected program hours, the pace and satisfactory completion of the selected program credit hours, receipt of, or eligibility for, institutional or non-institutional scholarship and/or grant amounts, and adjustments to tuition or fees as described in the Catalog Right to Modify Tuition section.

**$515 per credit hour - $135 BSN to MSN New Student Grant = $380 per credit hour.

State of California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF)

It is a state of California requirement that a student who pays his or her tuition is required to pay a state-imposed assessment two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges, rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, for the California Student Tuition Recovery Fund. For more information and to see if you must pay the state-imposed assessment for Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) click here.

For information on international transcript requirements, see the Admissions Information section of the College Catalog.

For English as a second language applicant information, see the Admissions Information section of the College Catalog.

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