Explore the cost and curriculum of each program in our school listings. Discover how online RN to MSN programs in New Hampshire are structured. And find out who’s willing to offer the cheapest New Hampshire RN to MSN programs.
Thinking about working in the Granite State after graduation? Our sections on New Hampshire’s healthcare landscape and jobs for New Hampshire RN to MSN graduates may be helpful. We’ve included links to local job boards, wage data, and NH hospital rankings.
Trying to find a preceptor? Debating whether the MSN is worth the money? Don’t forget that members of NH nursing associations & organizations are often willing to provide advice & mentorship to aspiring APRNs and nurse educators.
Online RN to MSN Programs in New Hampshire
Almost all of the New Hampshire universities in our school listings have developed online RN to MSN programs. Better yet, Rivier and SNHU are happy to offer NP concentrations. You’ll find complete details in the school profiles—here’s a short recap of important points:
- Franklin Pierce University: FPU’s nursing courses are offered in hybrid or online form through the Portsmouth, New Hampshire branch. Because FPU is not dealing with clinical concentrations, state authorization for online programs should be relatively straightforward, but it never hurts to check.
- Rivier University: All of Rivier’s concentrations are offered online, with terms that start every 7 weeks. However, you may want to ask the program coordinator how many campus visits are required for the PMHNP’s “low residency” curriculum. While you’re there, we suggest you inquire about state authorization and NP licensure. Rivier is part of NC-SARA, but we didn’t see any specific info on authorization.
- Southern New Hampshire University: SNHU’s programs are 100% online and offered in asynchronous format, with 24/7 access to coursework. Students typically complete discussion posts and responses each week. Other work may include papers, individual or group projects, presentations, labs, and assessments. On the program webpage, SNHU states that its online nursing programs are not authorized in the state of Washington or U.S. territories abroad.
Bear in mind, too, that UNH’s on-campus program will include hybrid or online elements.
Cheapest RN to MSN Programs in New Hampshire
This ranking of the most affordable New Hampshire RN to MSN programs is based on per credit graduate tuition rates. But please use it as a ballpark figure! The final cost of the program will depend on the total number of credits, any additional fees, and your ability to transfer previous coursework. Schools may also charge different undergraduate rates for BSN-level credits.
- Southern New Hampshire University: View Tuition Rates
- Rivier University: View Tuition Rates
- Franklin Pierce University: View Tuition Rates
- University of New Hampshire: View Tuition Rates
A few more things to note while you’re putting together a budget:
- SNHU offers a 25% military discount on online graduate and undergraduate tuition rates to U.S. service members and spouses of those on active duty.
- Rivier’s baseline rate is about the same as SNHU, but it charges a higher tuition rate for MSN clinical courses.
- UNH is a public university, so the tuition rate for out-of-state residents is much higher than the in-state rate.
New Hampshire’s Healthcare Landscape
On the face of it, New Hampshire is blessed with some distinct advantages:
- The healthcare system usually does well in the Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance, especially for factors like access and affordability.
- New Hampshire elected to take part in Medicaid expansion and it has a low uninsured rate.
- It received an A+ in the 2018 Rural Health Report Card (37% of the state’s population lives in rural counties).
- And according to data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), it’s beating out many states in death rates from heart disease, stroke, and other lifestyle-related causes.
But in recent years, it’s been hard-hit by two intertwined issues—a mental health crisis and the opioid epidemic. This is where PMHNPs and primary care providers are fighting the good fight. For instance, New Hampshire tends to have high rates of suicide & adults with mental illness reporting an unmet need. The lowest grade in the Rural Health Report Card is usually mental health.
Doctors and nurses are the forefront of the crisis. For years, a lack of funding has eaten away at services, including in-patient treatment and community mental health centers. With places at their maximum capacity, and centers experiencing severe staffing shortages, there is nowhere left for patients to go (except the ER).
Drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire also tend to be well-above the national average. From 2015-2018, they increased by 120%. Unsurprisingly, the areas with the most deaths were around the metropolitan hubs of Nashua and Manchester (i.e. Hillsborough County), which are just up the drug highway from Lawrence in Massachusetts.
Despite all of this, nurse leaders and APRNs will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in solutions. In 2019, the state promised more money in the budget to address the mental health (e.g. more in-patient beds, mobile crisis teams, etc.). New Hampshire now has a “hub and spoke” Doorway program to provide drug treatment to regional areas. And a 10-year Mental Health Plan is in play.
Jobs for New Hampshire RN to MSN Graduates
Career Outlook for RN to MSN Graduates
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps a watchful eye on job & wage data for Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary. You can use the employment maps to compare job numbers in New Hampshire regions, Massachusetts, and even New England itself. Hover over an area to view the data.
- Generally speaking, New Hampshire has the one of the highest concentrations of nurse practitioners in the country.
- Yes, there are jobs in Manchester (20% of the state’s NPs work in the city) and Nashua.
- But there are also hotspots in the West Central-Southwest area (think Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon) and Central (think Concord Hospital).
- In fact, many of the Best Hospitals in New Hampshire and Magnet Facilities in New Hampshire are distributed around the state.
Interested in running your own practice? In New Hampshire, NPs have full independent practice & prescribing authority, and are recognized as primary care providers. The Board of Nursing’s section on APRN Licensure has full details.
Career Resources for Future APRNs
New Hampshire Nursing Job Boards
- NHHA Career Opportunities: Map of job openings in New Hampshire hospitals
- ONL Career Center: Job listings for New England nurse leaders & executives
- NEMSD Career Center: Openings for New England & New York nurses, including APRNs
New Hampshire APRN Salary & Wage Data
- Annual Mean Wages for New Hampshire Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: Categories can include “Nurse Practitioners,” “Nurse Midwives,” and “Nurse Anesthetists”
- Annual Mean Wages for New Hampshire Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary
- AANP National Compensation Survey: Available to AANP members
New Hampshire Nursing Organizations
State Board of Nursing
New Hampshire Nursing Associations & Coalitions
- New England Multistate Division (NEMSD)
- New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA)
- New Hampshire Nurses Association (NHNA)
- New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association (NHNPA)
New Hampshire Nursing Specialty Organizations
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association – New England Chapter (APNA New England)
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses – New Hampshire (AWHONN New Hampshire)
- New Hampshire Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NHANA)
- New Hampshire Association of Occupational Health Nurses (NHAOHN)
- New Hampshire Emergency Nurses Association (NH ENA)
- New Hampshire School Nurses’ Association (NHSNA)
- New Hampshire Student Nurse Association (NH SNA)
- Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL)
- Vermont New Hampshire Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (VTNHAPAN)
Nursing School Overview
FPU is a small, private university in Rindge, with ~550 graduate students. That means the School of Nursing has more of an intimate feel than some of the big state universities. The school posts success rates for the MSN on its website, and these numbers are solid (e.g. 93%-100% completion rate and 100% employment rate). MSN courses are offered through online learning at the University's Portsmouth center, so we recommend you ask the program coordinator about the possibility of collaborating with local area hospitals and universities (e.g. Portsmouth Regional Hospital, UNH, Granite State, etc.). We didn't find a great deal of reviews about FPU on the web, but the ones we saw were positive. One online MSN student noted that classes were well thought out and teachers were supportive and encouraging. For a real sense of the program, ask if you can "sit in" on an online course.
RN to MSN Admissions & Curriculum
FPU has a flexible admissions policy for its online RN to MSN - it will accept RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing and RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree. All applicants should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher, a prerequisite in statistics, and an RN license. The application should also contain a resume and personal statement. Once admitted, students are placed into the appropriate track. RNs with a diploma or associate degree must transfer or complete a set of undergraduate foundation courses and also tackle 10 BSN-level courses (e.g. Community Health Nursing). To accelerate the program, 2 graduate-level courses (6 credits) can be applied to the baccalaureate portion. In contrast, RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree only have to take an RN-MSN Bridge course before proceeding to the master's degree. The MSN itself is 11 courses - 5 core courses (including a capstone project) and 6 concentration courses. Full-time study (e.g. 2 courses per term/2 years)) and part-time study (e.g. 1 course per term/3 years) is available. Courses are offered in either a hybrid or 100% online format.
Nursing School Overview
Rivier is a private Catholic liberal arts university in Nashua, just over the border from Massachusetts. So the Department of Nursing and Health Professions often attracts nursing students from Lowell and neighboring areas. Faculty are involved in regional organizations (e.g. NHNPA) and serve on nursing & public health advisory councils. We're also pleased to report that the department has excellent NP certification pass rates. From 2016-2018, Rivier had a 100% pass rate in the FNP exam and a 90.4% pass rate in the PMHNP exam. In the past few years, it has also raised its NCLEX pass rate (e.g. 100% for first-time test takers in 2018). In the MSN handbook, Rivier states that it will make every effort to place students with appropriate preceptors, but it does warn that clinical/practicum sites are at a premium. Having said that, Nashua and Manchester should have opportunities for NPs. Overall, reviews of Rivier on nursing message boards and independent web sites have been primarily positive. One reviewer noted that graduate classes were challenging and worthwhile; another PMHNP student stated it was a great school and highly recommended.
RN to MSN Admissions & Curriculum
Rivier is another NH university that offers multiple paths to an online MSN. RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing can apply for the RN-MS track. RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree can apply for the Bridge Option. All applicants should have at least 2 years of RN experience (full-time or the equivalent), a minimum 3.0 GPA (Rivier will consider lower), and a prerequisite in statistics. RN-MS applicants will also need to complete a Professional Portfolio that documents their mastery of BS competencies. The application packet should include a resume or CV, 2 letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Because RN-MS students have already proved their competencies, the RN-MS and Bridge Option are the same length. You'll begin by taking 2 undergraduate-level courses (6 credits) in leadership and community nursing, and then proceed to the MSN. In total, Bridge and RN-MS students complete 49 credits for the FNP or PMHNP, including practicums, and 42 credits for the Nursing Education or Leadership. Overall, the MSN portion of NP specialties might take 3-5 years; non-clinical concentrations might only take 2 years. Courses are offered online in 7-week or 14-week terms. However, Rivier states that the PMHNP has a low residency requirement.
Nursing School Overview
SNHU is a large private university that caters to working adults, military, and non-traditional students. Although it's a non-profit school that's situated between Manchester and Hooksett, SNHU employs some of the same strategies as for-profits (e.g. lots of advertising, 6,000+ adjunct professors, etc.). On the other hand, the university's nursing faculty are seasoned and online nursing programs are well-structured. SNHU has also developed unique partnerships with New Hampshire community colleges - graduates of those colleges receive easy academic transitions, tuition discounts, and financial aid. Since SNHU's RN to MSN program includes a BSN, be sure to ask if you are eligible for any of its undergraduate nursing scholarships. If you'd like more opinions, you'll find plenty of reviews of SNHU's nursing programs on the web. RN to BSN students often comment on the user-friendly format & platform, the helpfulness of advisors, and the content. But - as always - we suggest you chat with recent graduates to get the full picture.
RN to MSN Admissions & Curriculum
SNHU's accelerated RN to MSN is designed for RNs who wish to earn a BSN along the way. Candidates should have an associate degree or diploma in nursing from a state-approved or nationally accredited program, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and an active & unencumbered RN license. However, students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in BSN courses in order to be able to participate in the RN to MSN option. Once accepted, RN to MSN students are granted 45 credits for their RN license; SNHU will also evaluate your transcripts for any transfer credits. To earn the online BSN, students must complete 42 General Education credits (minus any transfers), 3 credits of electives, and 30 credits in the nursing major, including a transformational capstone. To accelerate the program, 2 graduate-level courses can be completed during the BSN. That means the online MSN portion - in any concentration - should only be 33 credits. SNHU has five graduate terms per year, so the MSN may take under 20 months to complete (plus time for the BSN). All MSN concentrations include clinical practice experiences and a capstone.
Nursing School Overview
UNH is a large public research university with multiple campuses, including the main campus in Durham. Because of this, the Department of Nursing has its own research arm and a relatively new simulation laboratory (opened in 2012). If you'd like more info on the professors, a faculty directory is listed on the program page. UNH requires BSN students to complete a senior practicum, which means it has developed relationships with a number of New Hampshire & Massachusetts hospitals and medical centers - feel free to ask the program coordinator how much help is given to MSN students when it comes to securing clinical sites. You can also take a tour of the campus and Nursing Department on select days throughout the year, including summer. Despite its size, we didn't see many opinions about UNH Nursing on the web. Professor reviews were a mixed bag, but some of the comments were also outdated. This is a scenario where alumni opinions will be invaluable - you may wish to contact them through LinkedIn.
RN to MSN Admissions & Curriculum
This streamlined Non-BSN pathway is open to RNs with a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than nursing. In addition to that degree, candidates must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, an unencumbered & active RN license, and prerequisites in statistics & research. Nurse experience is preferred but not required. The application will also need to include 3 letters of recommendation and a personal statement/essay. Successful applicants will be considered for the MSN track that is commensurate with their clinical experience, based on faculty discretion. Those MSN tracks include CNL (34 credits), Evidence-Based Nursing (30 credits), and the FNP (45 credits). All of the tracks include a capstone course, but CNL and FNP students may elected to complete a thesis instead. Clinical nursing practice tracks can be completed in 3-4 semesters of full-time study, including one summer (FNP may take longer). Part-time study is also available. The program is taught in Durham, but selected courses may be offered online or in a hybrid format.