Registered nurses with an associate’s degree in nursing will have the opportunity to advance their careers with a new specialized online degree program from DePaul University in Chicago. With classes beginning in January, the RN to MS in Nursing program offers a path for RNs to earn a BSN degree and MSN degree from DePaul, as well as a graduate certificate from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Ill., in health administration or health professions education, according to a news release. 

“There is a recognized national need for registered nurses to be educated at higher levels in order to provide care within hospitals, clinics, providers’ offices and other venues,” William Cody, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, director of the DePaul University School of Nursing, said in the release. “Research strongly supports that lives are saved by every additional nurse with a higher academic degree.”

Designed as a two-to-three year program for those who want to become nurse educators or nurse administrators, the RN to MS in Nursing program allows nurses to obtain their degrees and certificates in a flexible online format that can be completed while continuing to work full time.

Admission into the program offered by the School of Nursing in DePaul’s College of Science and Health requires prospective students to be licensed registered nurses and have an associate’s degree in nursing.

“The certificate from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is unique,” Cody said in the release. “It means that the graduate has gained, in approximately three years, a total of two degrees and a graduate certificate to advance his or her career.”

Students choosing the healthcare education path will be trained in clinical content, healthcare systems, and innovative online and computer simulation modalities, in addition to traditional classroom teaching. Those choosing to go into healthcare management will be trained to become experts in evaluating evidence-based outcomes and translational research, and also will learn the effective use of technology and cross-cultural communication.

“DePaul’s RN to MS in Nursing program is an excellent example of how our two universities are bringing the power of collaboration to bear on the nation’s pressing healthcare challenges,” Jim Carlson, dean of the College of Health Professions at RFUMS, said in the release. “We’re working together to help today’s healthcare workforce meet the increasingly complex demands of patient care. Gaining graduate-level competency in health administration or health professions education will help nurses advance in their careers and meet the challenges of their profession with confidence.”

Six courses in the overall program count toward both the BSN and MSN degrees. The bachelor’s degree in nursing allows for career progression even before the master’s degree is completed.

A key feature of the program is the bachelor’s degree stop-out option. If students need to leave the program prior to earning their master’s degree, they still can earn a bachelor’s degree, an advantage that many other RN to MSN programs do not offer, according to the release. 

For more information about DePaul’s School of Nursing and the new RN to MS in Nursing program, visit 

If you have questions about the application, and its legal aspect please contact Illinois Nurse Attorney, James Goldberg at 312-735-1185 or visit his website