GCU Online MSN Program Review 2023

The need for nurses with advanced educations has never been higher, and getting your MSN can do wonders for your career. Fortunately, GCU offers a number of flexible, online MSN degree program pathways that may fit your needs.

MSN programs can prepare you to take on advanced leadership roles in nursing, and Grand Canyon University’s online MSN program is no different.

However, it’s always a good idea to weigh your options before committing to a program. That’s why we’ve put together this review.

In this post, you’ll learn about different MSN degree options at GCU and see if Grand Canyon Univerity’s online MSN program may be a good choice for you.

Why Enroll in GCU’s Online MSN Program?

GCU’s online MSN program offers a variety of different pathways for different specialties in nursing. This is true whether you want to become a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator.

Grand Canyon University even gives you the option of completing a dual degree, combining an MBA with your MSN in a pathway they call “Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Systems.”

Nurses with advanced degrees have never been more critical to the healthcare system than they are now, and their responsibilities are expanding everyday.

Fortunately, with that increase in responsibility also comes a larger paycheck

Better yet, with your advanced skills and knowledge, you’ll also be able to take on leadership roles and play an even bigger part in contributing to improving patient outcomes.

A bigger paycheck and a bigger impact on patients’ lives? What’s not to love about getting your MSN!

Graduate Reviews of the MSN Program at GCU

There are quite a few positive reviews for GCU’s online MSN program. We’ll also share a negative review for your consideration later on in this post, but for now here is some positive feedback from real graduates from UOnline:

“I had a very professional and rewarding experience at GCU. I felt very supported throughout the program and I felt such a level of accomplishment when I graduated in 2018. I am now working at my dream job and I am on scheduled to start their DNP program at the end of the year.”

-MABM, (November 7, 2021)

“I work full time rotating shifts on an ICU and this program is completely doable with that. In fact, it’s actually enjoyable. The professors are highly accessible and really engage with the students. You can also tell the other students actually care about the program making group projects easy and I have never had an issue before. The content is interesting too. I think those that are complaining just don’t want to put the work in because I can’t recommend this program enough. Also, my counselors are amazing and respond to be almost immediately via e-mail. They have been so helpful and I feel like this program will truly prepare me for success. Go here! It’s worth it and the cost is amazing!”

-Jackie, (March 14, 2021)

“I enrolled in the nursing program and had a great experience. The professors, dean, students are all really encouraging and supportive. I made friends throughout the program that I still keep in touch with. The classes were tough but the support is there. We all know nursing isn’t an easy career field, it’s a passion so none of us should be surprised the classes when the classes are challenging! Be engaged, study, don’t wait until the last minute, etc. and you’ll succeed.”

-S. Robin, (June 26, 2019)

4 Pros of GCU’s Online MSN Program

There are quite a few benefits to enrolling in GCU’s online MSN program. We discuss four of them below.

1. Plenty of Degree Options

GCU offers eight different degree pathways through its online MSN program. 

Five of these tracks are MSN degrees with a particular emphasis in different areas. The areas of focus include:

  • Health Care Quality & Patient Safety
  • Health Informatics
  • Leadership in Health Care Systems
  • Nursing Education
  • Public Health Nursing

Two of the eight tracks are Nurse Practitioner pathways. They include:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) – Adult-Gerontology
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Finally, you choose a dual degree option in which you obtain both your MSN and MBA. This pathway is called Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems.

2. Flexible and Affordable

Another upside to getting your MSN with GCU is that they offer flexible schedules. All of your courses will be online, which can be a big help if you’re already busy working as nurse while trying to advance your education in your spare time.

While you’ll need to complete some form of direct clinical experience or practicum wherever you get a nursing degree (whether that’s an online or in-person degree), GCU’s degree is about as flexible an option as you can choose. With GCU, you can study anytime and anywhere.

Each credit in the MSN concentrations costs $575, meaning your total tuition costs will be $20,700. Meanwhile, nurse practitioner track credits each cost $725 and you need to earn 53 to graduate. This means the total tuition cost is about $38,425.

Finally, the MBA-MSN dual degree credits each cost $640, and you need 74 to graduate. Overall, the cost of this degree is $47,360. Don’t forget to budget for additional fees and resources as well.

3. High Post-Graduation Employment Rate

Graduates of GCU’s online MSN program have an incredibly high employment rate after graduating. In fact, according to GradReports, the employment rate for graduates from this program is 99%.

Graduates also have a relatively average median nursing salary. Of the 2,482 alumni surveyed, the median earnings are $97,541.

Meanwhile, the median debt based on a sample of 2,483 alumni is $32,040.

4. RN-to-MSN Options

Finally, one more nice thing about GCU’s online Master’s in Nursing program is that they have options for RN’s who don’t yet have a BSN

By talking with a representative from the school, you can design an RN-to-BSN-to-MSN program that allows you to complete coursework that can contribute to both your BSN and MSN.

If you’re certain you want to get your MSN but don’t yet have your BSN, this can save you a lot of time in the long run. You may also be able to transfer related credits, so be sure to talk with an advisor if you think you may be interested in GCU’s online MSN program.

Remember, the more time you save in getting your degree, the quicker you can advance your career. Also important: the quicker you get your degree, the more money you’ll save on your education!

Cons of GCU’s Online MSN Program

Any degree program you enroll in will have its share positives and negatives, and GCU is no different. 

One potential downside we noticed based on a negative review from GradReports was unclear communication from faculty. Here is the review:

“I was told that I could fast track a 2 year master’s program and complete it in 13-15 months. I took out loans to do this. I was then told that I cannot stack up credits and double up courses until X date. Once that date came, I was then told that actually I can’t stack up credits or double up on courses BECAUSE ALL OF THE CLASSES ARE PRE-REQUISITES FOR THE FOLLOWING CLASS. In essence, this means that I am not able to complete this program faster than I was told.”

-Lina, (December 17, 2020)

While this could be an isolated incident, it’s important to point out that you check–and DOUBLE-CHECK–with your advisor to make sure you are on a pathway that can be completed on your projected timeline and budget.

Keep this in mind for any school you attend, whether that be GCU’s online MSN program or a different school’s program!


While you’ll want to make sure everything your counselor or course advisor says is true, attending MSN courses through GCU does have its fair share of upsides.

From the plethora of degree pathways to its affordability and post-graduation employment rate, getting your degree at Grand Canyon University’s online MSN program could be a great way to advance your skills, knowledge, and career.

If you’re ready to start an online MSN program, then enroll in a program today!

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