Aspen University Online MSN Programs: Forensic Nursing, Nurse Informatics, More

Aspen University offers an online master of science in nursing (MSN) and an RN-to-MSN bridge program with specializations in forensic nursing, informatics, administration and management, nursing education, and public health. The MSN degrees can be completed in 20 to 24 months and include local clinical practicums.

The RN-to-MSN bridge program is designed for nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. They can be completed in 2.5 to three years and include the MSN courses plus seven additional bridge courses. No campus visits are required for the Aspen nursing programs.

Aspen University seeks to make earning an MSN degree flexible, affordable, and practical. Courses begin every two weeks. Instruction is asynchronous; tuition is kept very low; no travel to campus is required; and payment plans are available. There are full-time and part-time study plans offered and students get to choose their capstone experience.

Forensic nurses typically care for victims of assault or provide healthcare in correctional institutions. They may also work with legal consultants, community violence prevention programs, and law enforcement. Forensic nurses may be called on to testify in court about a crime.

Nursing informatics students learn to gather and analyze data and use electronic information systems, tools, and software. Graduates of the informatics specialization may go on to positions with healthcare organizations, hospitals, government facilities, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, consulting firms, and biotechnology companies.

The administration and management specialization prepares nurses for roles as nurse executives, nurse managers, and health coordinators. Graduates of the administration and management specialization may be eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Nurse Executive Advanced Certification exam.

The nursing education specialization prepares nurses to educate new generations of nurses in healthcare settings and higher education. Graduates of the nursing education specialization may be prepared to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator exam.

The public health specialization prepares nurses to serve in the public sector, including government facilities, schools, home healthcare, hospice, palliative care, and case management.

Aspen University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The MSN and RN-to-MSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Aspen University is located in Denver, Colorado.

What to Expect from the Aspen University Online MSN Programs

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the MSN program must hold a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants to the RN-to-MSN bridge program must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing from a CHEA-recognized accredited program. In addition, RN-to-BSN applicants must have completed at least 30 semester-hours of liberal arts coursework.

Application materials include a completed application, proof of RN licensure, official transcripts, and documentation of at least one year of nursing experience within the past five years. No GRE is required.

Study Plan: The MSN programs can be completed in about 20 to 24 months, depending on full-time or part-time study. The RN-to-MSN bridge program takes 2.5 to three years to complete and both part-time and full-time plans are available.

Courses begin every two weeks throughout the year. No campus visits are required and students complete practicums locally. Courses last eight weeks each.
A final proctored exam is administered after the MSN program and a mid-program proctored exam is administered after the bridge courses are completed in the RN-to-MSN program.

MSN Curriculum: The MSN programs comprise 36 credits plus practicum hours. Core courses include healthcare systems; diverse populations and healthcare; legal and ethical issues in healthcare; theory and research; and nursing capstone.

Forensic Nursing: Students complete a 120-hour practicum. Specialization courses include forensic nursing; advanced physical assessment; advanced pathophysiology; advanced pharmacology; advanced correction; advanced forensic nursing; and forensic nursing practicum.

Nursing Informatics: Students complete a 120-hour practicum. Specialization courses include healthcare informatics; healthcare finance and economics; management of information systems; information system strategic planning; customers, markets, and technology; advanced healthcare informatics; and informatics in nursing practicum.

Administration and Management: Students complete a 180-hour practicum. Specialization courses include modern organizations and healthcare; healthcare informatics; advanced healthcare informatics; healthcare finance and economics; healthcare strategic management and planning; and nursing administration practicum I-II.

Nursing Education: Students complete a 120-hour practicum. Specialization courses include issues in nursing education; advanced pathophysiology; advanced pharmacology; advanced physical assessment; teaching strategies in nursing education; curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation; and nurse education nursing practicum.

Public Health: Students complete a 120-hour practicum. Specialization courses include overview of public health nursing; advanced physical assessment; advanced pathophysiology; advanced pharmacology; school nursing; case management and home health services; and public health nursing practicum.

RN-to-MSN Bridge Curriculum: The RN-to-MSN programs comprise 57 credits plus practicum hours. Bridge courses include issues and trends in professional nursing; concepts and theories in nursing; community health nursing I-II; essentials of nursing research; health assessment; and nursing leadership and management. Students then complete the MSN core and specialty courses for their chosen specialization.

Online Experience: MSN and RN-to-MSN courses are delivered asynchronously in eight-week sessions. Courses may include case studies, readings, lectures, projects, and assessments. Students collaborate through discussion boards, email, and chat. Student services include academic advising, faculty office hours, online tutoring, technical support, and student success and career services.

On-Site Requirements: No campus visits are required for the online MSN and RN-to-MSN programs. Practicum experiences are completed at an approved location under a preceptor near the student.

Paying for the Aspen University Online MSN Programs

The online MSN and RN-to-MSN programs cost $325 per credit plus fees. Aspen University offers monthly payment plans to keep costs manageable. Interested nurses should contact the Aspen University School of Nursing for current tuition and fee information.

Many financing options may be available, including unsubsidized federal Stafford Loans and Graduate PLUS loans, private loans, employer tuition reimbursement programs, tuition discounts, and organizational and community scholarships and grants.

Aspen University MSN - Forensic Nursing

  • Prepare to care for victims of crimes, provide health care in correctional institutions, and work with legal consultants, community violence prevention programs, and law enforcement
  • Key topics covered include collecting and preserving evidence, taking photos, writing reports, critical thinking , and legal and ethical issues in forensic situations
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 36
Time to Complete? Graduate in 20 to 24 months.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelors degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 36
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $11,700.00

Aspen University MSN - Informatics

  • Learn to gather and analyze data and use electronic information systems, tools, and software
  • Designed for nurses who want to address issues through data and computers
  • Key topics covered may include data analysis, data interpretation, resource management, legal and ethical issues in healthcare, information security, and fraud management
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 36
Time to Complete? Graduate in 20 to 24 months.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelors degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 36
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $11,700.00

Aspen University MSN - Administration and Management

  • Prepare for higher-level nursing administrative roles such as nurse executive, nurse manager, or health coordinator
  • Key topics covered may include nursing theory, organizational management, healthcare economics, and interprofessional communication
  • The practicum experiences take place in clinical settings and students can tailor their capstone project to suit their professional goals
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 36
Time to Complete? Graduate in 20 to 24 months.
100% Online? Yes, plus 180 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelors degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 36
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $11,700.00

Aspen University MSN - Nursing Education

  • Prepare to educate the next generations of nurses in higher educational institutions or in hospitals and healthcare organizations
  • Graduates of the nursing education specialization may be prepared to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator exam
  • Key topics covered may include instructional methods for nursing education, curriculum development, teaching strategies, and nursing theory and research
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 36
Time to Complete? Graduate in 20 to 24 months.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelors degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 36
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $11,700.00

Aspen University MSN - Public Health

  • Graduates will be prepared to serve in the public sector including home health care and palliative care, hospice, and government facilities and schools
  • Specialization courses cover topics such as school nursing, home health nursing, public health theory, policy, and politics, and community health issues
  • Learn how whole communities work together through case management and hospice care
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 36
Time to Complete? Graduate in 20 to 24 months.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelors degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 36
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $11,700.00

Aspen University RN to MSN - Forensic Nursing

  • Prepare to care for crime victims, work in correctional institutions, and work with legal consultants and law enforcement
  • The RN to MSN bridge program is designed for nurses who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and who would like to move seamlessly toward earning their MSN degree
  • In addition to the 12 MSN courses, bridge students complete 7 bridge courses
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 57
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2.5 to 3 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Associate degree or diploma in nursing
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 57
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $18,525.00

Aspen University RN to MSN - Informatics

  • The RN to MSN bridge program is designed for ADN and diploma prepared nurses to seamlessly earn their MSN degree
  • Nursing informatics students gather and analyze data and use electronic information systems, tools, and software to solve healthcare challenges
  • Designed for nurses who want to address issues through data analysis and interpretation
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 57
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2.5 to 3 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Associate degree or diploma in nursing
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 57
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $18,525.00

Aspen University RN to MSN - Administration and Management

  • Earn your MSN from an ADN or diploma in nursing in two-and-a-half to three years
  • Prepare for nursing administrative roles such as nurse executive or nurse leader
  • Aspen University offers very low tuition, local practicums, and asynchronous learning for maximum flexibility
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 57
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2.5 to 3 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus 180 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Associate degree or diploma in nursing
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 57
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $18,525.00

Aspen University RN to MSN - Nursing Education

  • In just two-and-a-half to three years you could be training the next generation of nurses in higher educational institutions or in hospitals and healthcare organizations
  • Nursing education students learn how to develop curriculum, instructional methods for nursing education, varying teaching strategies, and nursing theory and research
  • Graduates of the nursing education specialization may be prepared to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator exam
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 57
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2.5 to 3 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Associate degree or diploma in nursing
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 57
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $18,525.00

Aspen University RN to MSN - Public Health

  • Prepare to serve as a school nurse, in home health care, in palliative care and hospice, and in government facilities
  • Go from an ADN or diploma in nursing to an MSN in just two-and-a-half to three years
  • Practicum experiences and the capstone project can be tailored to meet your specific career goals
Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates Courses begin every 2 weeks
Credits Needed to Graduate 57
Time to Complete? Graduate in 2.5 to 3 years.
100% Online? Yes, plus 120 practicum hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Associate degree or diploma in nursing
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of nursing experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 57
Average Cost Per Credit $325.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $18,525.00

* Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the currently published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the out of state, part-time student rate. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Total cost of tuition does not include additional fees.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil
Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online MHA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.