MSN Programs in Kentucky

Nurses with an interest in preparing patients for surgery, administering anesthesia and helping with patient recovery, will need to obtain a graduate-level degree in order to become a certified nurse anesthetist. In addition to becoming an advanced practice nurse, a Master of Science in Nursing also allows healthcare professionals to pursue a career as an educator or to assume a position of leadership within his or her field. MSN programs in Kentucky offer just one of many opportunities to qualify for advanced placement throughout the nursing industry.

Schools with MSN Programs in Kentucky

Finding a MSN Program

There are many different MSN programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of MSN Programs...

  • The MSN program at Murray State University is comprised of CCNE accredited studies that focus on shaping the next Academic Nurse Educator (ANE) or Nurse Anesthetist. The Nurse Education program is taught online, and accommodates both part-time and full-time learners.
  • There are seven different tracks that the MSN program at Northern Kentucky Universityhas to offer, which range between the completion of 38 and 49 credit hours of study. Students attending the school part-time generally finish within three years (9 to 10 semesters including summer courses), while full-time study typically commences in two full calendar years which includes classes taken during the summer. Not all programs are offered on a year-round basis. For example, the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Informatics Program only accept students during the Fall semester.
  • Other concentrations offered at Northern Kentucky include Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Adult, Family or Pediatric), Nursing Education, and Nurse Executive Leadership. All of the graduate-level nursing programs available at the University are fully accredited by the ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing), and have full approval from the Kentucky Board of Nursing.
  • In Bowling Green, students attending the CCNE-accredited MSN program at Western Kentucky University may choose to specialize in advance nursing practice, nursing education, or nursing administration. Concentrations that are available at the school include Nurse Educator (offered online), Nurse Administrator, and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (offered in cooperation with the School of Nursing at University of Louisville). There is also an RN to MSN Bridge program for nurses with an associate degree in nursing and a baccalaureate degree in a related field, who must complete specific undergraduate pre-requisite courses before starting his or her graduate studies.
  • At the University of Louisville, registered nurses may pursue graduate-level studies regarding a wide range of concentration options for aspiring nurse practitioners: Adult Gerontology (Acute Care), Adult Gerontology (Primary Care), Family, Neonatal, and Psychiatric. The school also offers a curriculum for nurses to earn an MSN with a Certificate in Health Professions Education that includes 11 track-specific credit hours of study with courses centering on Program Evaluation and Planning, Adult Development and Learning, College Teaching, and a Nurse Educator Practicum. The Master of Science in Nursing program at the University is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • The Louisville-based McKendree University offers both on-campus and online CCNE accredited instruction for students interested in becoming a nursing educator or pursuing a career related to management and administration. The school also has a Palliative Care track that teaches students how to best manage chronic disease. Face-to-face meetings once per week are offered for 500-level courses, while all 600-level classes are taken online. While some students choose to complete a thesis before graduation, others may opt to do a scholarly project instead. All tracks available at the school are typically completed within five semesters.
  • Eastern Kentucky University is home to a handful of online MSN programs for nurses with an interest in becoming a Nursing Administrator, Rural Health Family Nurse Practitioner, or getting involved in Psychiatric Mental Health. The Rural Family Nurse Practitioner program includes the completion of 810 clinical hours, and includes courses such as Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Health Assessment. The Psychiatric Mental Health track is comprised of 39 hours plus 7 hours of NSC 800 (Advanced Practice) to meet requirements. The Nursing Administration program incorporates research and an internship within the curriculum.
  • While you will not earn an MSN from University of Kentucky, there are graduate certificate options for nurses looking to study a specialty of interest. The school offers the following certificate opportunities: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, as well as Populations and Organizational Systems Leadership.

Kentucky MSN Checklist

  • Become licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Kentucky.
  • Earn an MSN degree from an accredited school program.
  • Fulfill requirements regarding supervised clinical experience, if needed.
  • Apply for licensure with the Kentucky Board of Nursing (~ $110 fee). All convictions ever received (other than some traffic violations) must be reported on the application.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Kentucky.
  • Advanced Practice Nurses who have been licensed/registered/certified as such for at least one year can apply for authorization to prescribe controlled substances.

Salary Data

One of the benefits that an RN experiences when pursuing an advanced nursing degree is the chance to qualify for higher-paying job opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses with an MSN stand to earn the following median salaries in Kentucky (depending on his or her occupation): medical and health service manager ($88,770), nursing instructor and teacher ($62,800), nurse practitioner ($84,910), and nurse midwife ($82,620).

While many nurses will earn their MSN degree in Kentucky by taking on-campus classes, many will also pursue an online education. For more information, the following list of schools may provide additional details: