As a busy nursing professional, you may wonder whether you should pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). As a registered nurse, you’re already able to deliver patient care and provide education on health conditions in various settings. 

If your current role and income fulfill you, there may be no reason to add an MSN to your resume. However, if you aspire to advance the scope of your responsibilities and your career trajectory, a master’s in nursing can help you reach your goals.

An MSN offers an essential credential leading to licensure for those interested in Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) roles such as pediatric nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner. Alongside your advanced skills, you’ll gain access to improved job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects demand for APRNs to grow 38 percent between 2022 and 2032, compared to 6 percent for registered nurses. With a median annual wage of $129,480, APRNs also have higher salaries than registered nurses, who earn a median income of $86,070.

Thanks to the availability of part-time online programs, you can earn your MSN with minimal disruption to your personal and professional schedules. The online Master of Science in Nursing programs at Houston Christian University enable students to pursue their degrees while continuing to work. You’ll complete asynchronous coursework 100 percent online as well as an in-person clinical practicum experience to prepare you to advance your nursing career.

Please continue reading to explore the online learning experience and its benefits. 

Degree Advantages: Why Students Choose to Learn Online

According to Statista, affordability drives students to choose online education. Other reasons students choose online learning programs include:

  • Flexibility: Online programs allow students to study and complete coursework when their schedules allow, a critical boon for working students. 
  • Convenience: Students can access programs outside their geographical area and log in from anywhere with a stable internet connection—no more time-consuming commutes to and from campus.
  • Professional development: Studying online allows working professionals to remain employed while pursuing their degrees, which can help students fund their degrees and maintain their professional momentum while they work towards a career-boosting credential.
  • Employer assistance: Some organizations provide qualifying employees tuition assistance and other education benefits. Enrolling in an online program can help you take advantage of this benefit while you continue working.
  • Environment: Some students prefer to study alone. They may get uncomfortable in large groups or find group learning distracting. 
  • Broader perspective: Online programs attract students from around the world, connecting students to a diverse peer group with whom to learn and network. 

Houston Christian University incorporates the benefits of online learning into world-class curriculums and program design.

Curriculum Insights: What Will You Learn Online at HCU? 

HCU’s accredited online nursing programs develop highly skilled and passionate nursing professionals equipped to provide quality care in diverse healthcare settings.

The programs consist of 100 percent online asynchronous coursework and an in-person clinical placement; working students enjoy the flexibility to balance their jobs with their studies. The industry-aligned curricula also incorporate invaluable hands-on experience through in-person practicums that students complete at a location near their homes. 

Nursing students at HCU complete core courses that include Theory Integration, Research Integration, and Leadership for Quality, Safety and Health Policy. The remaining coursework alls under one of the specialization areas outlined in the program descriptions below, enabling students to tailor their studies to their career goals and interests. 

  • RN to MSN: The RN to MSN program targets ADN-prepared nurses seeking to earn their BSN and MSN degrees. The program requires six fewer credits than earning the degrees separately, saving students time and money. Students choose a specialization in Nurse Leadership to prepare for leadership roles or Nurse Education to prepare for educator roles; they can complete the program, which entails both online coursework and an in-person clinical practicum, in three years.
  • MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: A pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) cares for children from newborns to young adults. PNPs provide well-child care and work to prevent or manage common pediatric illnesses and chronic conditions. HCU’s PNP program explores health assessment, clinical decision-making, evidence-based practice, research integration, leadership skills, and disease prevention in classroom and clinical settings. Students gain on-site practical experience supervised by experts in pediatric nursing.
  • MSN Family Nurse Practitioner:  A family nurse practitioner (FNP) delivers comprehensive healthcare services to patients of all ages. The online FNP program at HCU prepares students to provide compassionate care to patients across their lifespans and sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination
  • MSN Nurse Education: Nurse educators teach aspiring nurses and current nursing professionals the skills they need to perform their duties effectively. The MSN in Nurse Education prepares students to impact the next generation of nurses and improve community health systems in educator roles within community colleges or hospital settings. Students integrate theory and clinical practice under a mentor’s supervision.
  • MSN Nurse Leadership: Nurse leaders oversee nursing staff, manage organizational structure, deliver patient care, and create new nursing protocols. The MSN in Nurse Leadership prepares nurses for high-level, nonclinical leadership roles in hospitals, private practice, government agencies, long-term care facilities, community service organizations, and private corporations. Students gain the skills needed to lead organizations toward effective change.

A Rigorous Curriculum Combined With Christian Values

Houston Christian University develops rigorous curricula rooted in Christian values. Its faith-based foundation integrates education with spiritual growth, fostering both professional and personal development.

HCU’s MSN programs incorporate American Association of Colleges of Nursing Competencies (AACN) competencies and address the needs of leading healthcare employers. They leverage user-friendly technology to equip nurses with the skills to thrive in the rapidly evolving healthcare environment. Through active learning, mentorship, and partnerships with local employers, students also gain practical experience and build authentic relationships. 

HCU nurtures a sense of belonging and encourages exploration, helping students grow in confidence, understanding, and faith. This prepares them not only for successful nursing careers but also for a meaningful life in service to God.

Reach Your Career Goals with a Degree That Works for You

Houston Christian University’s online nursing students enjoy many benefits. The flexible programs, tailored to working nurses, feature industry-aligned coursework and hands-on training that prepares graduates to address the needs of their patients and communities.

Students can access a personal success coach who provides individualized guidance; they also join a supportive community of faculty and peers dedicated to fostering their personal and professional growth.

You can learn more about HCU’s online MSN programs by contacting an enrollment advisor to discuss program specifics. If you’re ready, you can start your application now.