Penn State launches its first online graduate nursing degree

March 05, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 76 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are increasing demands on the nation’s health services, leading to expanded employment, including for registered nurses (RNs). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers will grow 22 percent through 2020. RNs who want to move into these and other health care management roles will need a master’s degree. Penn State’s master of science in nursing will be delivered online beginning this fall and is designed to enable nurses to complete the degree while working.

“Penn State already offers a high-quality master of science in nursing degree at several campuses,” said Janet Fogg, assistant professor of nursing and professor in charge of professional graduate programs for Penn State’s School of Nursing. “We wanted to offer Penn State’s first online graduate degree in nursing to reach nurses who cannot come to a Penn State campus. The flexibility of online education is ideal for RNs who are working full-time.”

The School of Nursing offers the master of science in nursing (MSN), which will be delivered online through Penn State’s World Campus. This degree meets an education need identified in the Institute of Medicine’s “The Future of Nursing” report.

“The report states that the more well-educated the nurse workforce is, the better patient health and outcomes will be,” said Fogg. “To achieve these results, it is very important for nurses to continue their education.”

Penn State’s online program offers nurses who have their RN license and have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing two master’s degree options: nurse administrator and nurse educator. The core curriculum of the MSN program includes principles of health care policy and leadership skills needed to influence positive changes in health care within organizations and on a national, state or local level. In addition to course work, the program includes a clinical practicum, where students will work closely with a mentor or preceptor in their area to apply what they are learning, as well as a written capstone project demonstrating their skills and competencies.

Applications are now being accepted for Penn State’s online master of science in nursing at

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 90 of Penn State’s most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, which serves more than 5 million people each year, in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.

  • World Campus logo blue
    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 30, 2013