Master's Degrees in Nursing (MSN)

Explore Nursing Master's Programs for Many Specializations

Earning your MSN degree can potentially open the door to a variety of nursing specializations. Grand Canyon University offers several different options for registered nurses to specialize and advance their nursing education to position themselves to potentially achieve new heights in their careers. From nurse practitioner to nursing informatics programs, you can find a program that can provide you with the knowledge you need to pursue a career in your area of interest.

Benefits of Pursuing Your Nursing Master's

A master’s in nursing can provide you with an advanced understanding of nursing practice which can help you position yourself for potential career advancement and additional opportunities in the healthcare field. Advanced nursing positions such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners also typically command a higher earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners had a median annual wage of $129,480 in May 2023.1


Median annual wage for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners in May 20231

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Explore Master’s Nursing Degrees From GCU

As a nurse looking for the opportunity to advance your education through an MSN degree, you may be wondering which program is best suited for you. Browse through our different MSN options at GCU to find the type of degree and emphasis that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Examples of Master’s Degrees in Nursing

Whether you’re looking to specialize in family practice or desire to go into health informatics, GCU offers various advanced nursing options for you to choose from. Explore some examples below.

Earn Your MSN: FNP Degree

The family nurse practitioner MSN option at GCU teaches you advanced nursing concepts that are designed to prepare you to provide care for patients of all ages. You will utilize your previous nursing knowledge, these advanced MSN studies, and evidence-based practices to potentially position yourself for advanced nursing roles in family care.

Pursue a Dual Degree for Business and Nursing

The dual MSN MBA degree program is unique in that it can provide BSN-educated nurses with a business foundation. This new knowledge set can be used to position oneself for additional opportunities in the healthcare field. In this program, you can gain a comprehensive education of the business side of healthcare as you work to gain additional competencies in nursing.

Emphasis Options for MSN Programs

GCU offers a variety of different nursing master’s degrees that can help you focus your nursing career in your preferred area of specialization. Browse through our different MSN emphasis degree options to find the one best suited for you.

Picture of MSN RN degree graduation cap at GCU's nursing college commencement

University and Nursing Program Accreditation

GCU is an institutionally accredited university, offering quality programs that have been approved by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968. Institutional accreditation reflects the quality of the programs that a university offers. GCU is dedicated to providing all students with quality learning that can help them reach their professional goals. Learn more about the accreditation of nursing programs and other university approvals at GCU.

Coursework Taught in Nursing Master’s Degrees

This nursing coursework is designed to provide nurses with additional supportive and immediately applicable competencies that can help them elevate their understanding of the nursing profession as well as provide them with advanced knowledge of their area of interest. In these programs, you can study topics such as organizational leadership, advanced health assessment and evidence-based practices.

In order to be eligible for our master’s programs at GCU, you must meet certain educational requirements for graduate students. Review our graduate admissions requirements and fill out the form on this page to learn more about your eligibility for our MSN programs at GCU.

FAQs for Master’s Nursing Degrees

If you’re a nurse who is seeking to advance your education through earning a master’s degree in nursing, read through some commonly asked questions to learn more about this advanced degree path.

There are nursing options available for current RNs who do not have a BSN to transition into MSN-level studies. GCU offers different nursing bridge pathways that can help prepare you for the opportunity to enroll in an MSN program at GCU. You will complete focused, relevant courses that are designed to help you transition into the MSN program of your choice.

Online2 MSN programs are specifically designed to be able to provide you with the same quality of nursing education as many expect from in-person programs. With online2 programs, students typically still have hands-on requirements, such as practicums and field experience hours where they exercise and apply their advanced skills.

To ensure you are receiving your degree from a quality university that offers approved degree programs and curriculums, review the accreditation status of your university and its nursing programs.

The specific length of your online2 master’s program will vary depending on the specific program you choose. However, the majority of online2 courses for GCU’s MSN programs are typically eight weeks. To discuss how long an online2 master’s in nursing may take you to complete, fill out the form on this page to get in contact with a university counselor.

A master’s degree in nursing can help prepare you to position yourself to potentially transition from a BSN-level nursing career to an advanced position in the healthcare field. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are advanced nursing professionals such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives who all require an MSN education and typically additional certification. There are also non-clinical positions, such as nurse educators or nurse informaticists that require a minimum of an MSN degree.3

Your career goals ultimately play a major part when making your decision on which MSN degree to pursue. With the many emphasis options and opportunities to specialize that GCU offers, it can be a good idea to explore your different options and the specific course offerings to help determine which program can help you best prepare yourself for your desired career.

For example, a master’s in nursing with a nursing education emphasis can provide you with knowledge relevant to becoming a nurse educator. On the other hand, a public health nursing MSN emphasis will teach you important concepts and principles of a career in public health nursing.

A master’s-level nursing degree may be the additional education you need to open yourself up for potential advanced positions in the healthcare field. These degrees also can provide you with the opportunity to specialize in your area of interest.

Additionally, in May 2023, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners had a median annual wage of $129,480, according to the BLS.1 The BLS also estimates job growth for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners to increase by about 38% from 2022 to 2032, faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 123,600 jobs in the field.4

Career Possibilities With a Nursing Master’s

Earning your master’s gives you the opportunity to position yourself for possible advancement or additional career opportunities in the healthcare field. Many career paths typically require a master's-level nursing education,3 such as those involved in:

  • Adult care
  • Family practice
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing education
  • Pediatrics
  • Public health

There are both clinical and non-clinical roles that those with an MSN degree may choose to pursue as they advance their learning and choose to specialize.

MSN degree graduates smiling together outside in front of cherry blossom tree

Nursing Student Resources and Support

As a nursing student at GCU, you can be assured that you have our dedicated faculty and learning community behind you. Along with the online resources and support that GCU offers, the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions offers additional resources to help students as they pursue their healthcare studies.

1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners, as of May 2023, retrieved March 6, 2024. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 to 2023 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, nor does it reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country, or a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc. against a pool of candidates.

2 While all courses are completed online, you will need to attend clinical, practicum and immersion hours in person locally.

3 (n.d.). Master’s of nursing opens the door to many careers. Retrieved March 6, 2024.

4 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioners, retrieved on Oct. 20, 2023.

If you are ready to apply for one of GCU’s master’s nursing programs or have additional questions, we’re happy to help!