RN to MSN program in connecticut

RN to MSN Program Guide: Students’ Top Questions, Answered

Registered nurses represent the largest proportion of healthcare workers in the United States, more than doubling the second-most represented healthcare occupation. As of 2022, there were 3,363,000 registered nurses across the nation. Amongst RNs, only about 15 percent have an advanced degree, compared to nurse practitioners, who have advanced degrees at a rate of 96 percent.

If you’re a motivated, compassionate individual who loves working in healthcare, we don’t blame you for seeking ways to stand out from the crowd! Taking steps to transition from an RN to MSN career path is one of the best things a registered nurse can do for their career. With an advanced education, more challenging jobs will become attainable, along with a salary increase, not to mention personal satisfaction.

If you’re hoping to bring the most potential to your future in healthcare, consider Goodwin University’s RN to MSN bridge program, and discover what’s possible through our Family Nurse Practitioner,  Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or Master of Science in Nursing  concentrations.

If you’re interested in learning more about escalating your education from RN to MSN, read on. Below we answer common questions about the RN to MSN degree journey.

What are the different types of RN to MSN programs?

There are many ways to approach becoming a licensed registered nurse. Most RNs have earned an associate degree in nursing (ADN), which made them eligible to become licensed. ADN to MSN programs are a great option for those who wish to earn their BSN on the way. BSN to MSN programs are perfect for nurses who have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, but who may need a few additional courses to improve on weaker subjects, or to increase their depth of knowledge on subjects of interest.

Goodwin University’s RN to MSN program is for registered nurses who have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing. Yes, that’s right: any bachelor’s degree can qualify a learner for their MSN, with the right bridge program! Goodwin University’s RN-to-MSN bridge fills in the gaps so that students can earn a bachelor’s degree worth of nursing credits, and move on quickly and efficiently to advanced nursing MSN programs.

How long does it take to go from an RN to MSN?

There are five courses in Goodwin University’s RN to MSN program. They are all offered fully online, and four out of five are offered every semester, so there’s no waiting to get started! Completing all courses may take up to two semesters.

How can I go from an RN to an MSN at Goodwin University?

The classes offered in Goodwin University’s RN to MSN bridge are meant to apply to all three of our MSN program types. They are:

  • Health Assessment - Develop theoretical knowledge and skills related to physical examinations, health promotion, and illness prevention and management.
  • Introduction to Nursing Research - An advanced nursing education requires research scholarship. In this course, students learn how to analyze nursing research and apply critical thinking to quantitative and qualitative studies.
  • Public and Community Health - The role of the nurse extends beyond just the patient-to-caregiver relationship. Advanced nurses work within the healthcare system, and are responsible for partnering with the community at large. Students must complete 45 clinical hours of independent study during this course.
  • Seminar in Professional Nursing Leadership - Advanced nurses serve as mentors and advocates. This seminar explores leadership and ethics concepts.
  • Biostatistics, or Principles of Statistics - Biostatistics is technically a public health course that educates students about statistical methods in the context of public health problems. Similarly, Principles of Statistics dives into data collection, measurement, and hypothesis in a mathematical approach.

With the background of these courses, students become prepared to cross that bridge with confidence and choose an area in which to focus their Master’s in Nursing education.

Which areas of focus can I pursue at Goodwin?

There are three avenues towards which you can direct your passion for nursing, and improve your career options with a master’s degree in Nursing from Goodwin.

  1.  FNP: Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) learn how to apply their pathophysiology and physical assessment skills to the entire lifespan and with adults, children, and women. They train for 600 hours in a clinical setting, and become qualified to work in urgent care, hospitals, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, home care, and more! It takes as few as 27 months to complete the FNP degree program, yet with an FNP, you can have the joy of being a family’s doctor for their lifetime.
  2. PMHNP: Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) are vital to combatting the mental health crisis, identified by the Surgeon General as an epidemic. At Goodwin University, aspiring counselors and mental health care program developers learn how to help patients manage stress and improve their quality of life. It takes as few as seven semesters to complete the PHMNP specialization.
  3.  MSN: In as few as 20 months, it is possible to go from RN to MSN with a cohort of peers, who will become one another’s support system and future professional colleagues. Goodwin University’s MSN program focuses on public and community health, including offering training in policy and politics, as well as social justice in healthcare. A 90-hour capstone project encourages students to immerse themselves in the field as early as possible. There’s no time to waste when the movement for health justice in America requires leadership, scholarship, and activism!


Interested in becoming an advanced practice registered nurse? Download our FNP or PMHNP Get Started Guide to learn more about program completion time, curriculums, and more!


What additional career options are available with an MSN vs. RN?

RNs may work in a general or a more specialized capacity. Regardless of whether an RN is caring for the public in critical care settings, focusing on elderly health, newborn babies, or rehabilitation, the RN job includes tasks such as assessing patient condition, administering medicine or treatment, creating and amending care plans, and educating patients’ support system for a successful transition home. RNs make an average salary of $81,220 annually. 

Nurses with an MSN who become nurse practitioners make an average salary of $121,610 annually. With a master’s level degree, nurse practitioners help patients make major decisions about their health, including methods for health promotion and treatment. They have the power to diagnose health issues, prescribe medication (in most states), order and perform tests, evaluate a patient’s response to treatments, and collaborate with doctors. Nurses with MSNs act as leaders in their healthcare facility. Learn more about the differences between nurse practitioners and RNs.

There are no excuses for not living up to your potential when Goodwin University’s RN to MSN bridge program, as well as our MSN specializations, are designed for working nurses. Fitting coursework into your already busy life may be hard to imagine, but the benefits of an online format are that assignments can be approached at your own pace, and the result is rewarding.

To find out more about our RN to MSN bridge, give us a call at 800-889-3282, or contact us today to schedule a tour of our campus or speak with an Admissions representative and have your questions answered.