Getting an advanced degree in nursing could be just what you need to take your career as a nurse to the next level. Fortunately, Walden University’s online MSN program offers a wide variety of specializations to choose from.
Of all the online MSN programs we looked at, Walden seems to be one of the more flexible, allowing you to choose your learning format, as well as offering tracks for different kinds of nurses (they even offer a DNP, but we’ll be focusing on the MSN options today).
Before you commit to any educational program, it’s always smart to weigh your options. This is especially true when you’re going for an advanced degree.
So, in this post, we’ll tell you all about Walden University’s online MSN program and help you decide if it might be a good fit for you.
Table of contents
- Why Enroll in Walden University’s Online MSN Program?
- Graduate Reviews of the MSN Program at Walden University
- 4 Pros of Walden University’s Online MSN Program
- Cons of Walden University’s Online MSN Program
Why Enroll in Walden University’s Online MSN Program?
According to their website, Walden Univeristy’s online MSN program graduates more MSN students than any other school.
Another thing that sets this school apart is the fact that all of their faculty members hold doctoral degrees. While that’s a typical practice for most traditional, in-person universities, not all online schools can say the same.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a school with expert faculty, Walden could be a good choice.
Another reason to consider Walden University’s online MSN program is the wide array of specializations they offer. Altogether, there are nine different degree pathways to choose from.
Better yet, there are options for you whether you currently hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) or not. Also, there are different ways to learn depending on which works best for you. We’ll discuss some of these upsides in more detail below.
Graduate Reviews of the MSN Program at Walden University
There are quite a few positive reviews of Walden University’s online MSN program on GradReports.com. Here are a few of them:
“Walden University is a phenomenal school, and anytime someone considers graduate school, I always recommend Walden University. I have completed a degree (MSN) and post-graduate certificate (nursing education), and I am enrolled in a WU program for the third time, which shows how excellent the instruction is.”-Danielle Harris, (May 11, 2022)
“My time at Walden University has been the best. I have been able to network with so many professionals. The instructors are wonderful and knowledgeable. At Walden, you are a part of family, and more importantly the educational experience will prepare you for anything.”-Quin Carter, (May 11, 2022)
“Attending Walden University was one of the best decisions I ever made. The online learning environment was organized, well-planned and doable as a full time nurse, wife, and mother. The professors were approachable and available to assist, answer questions and clarify assignments. I never felt alone!”-Sunny Goodyear, (January 6, 2022)
4 Pros of Walden University’s Online MSN Program
There are plenty of advantages to getting your MSN through Walden University’s online program. We discuss four of them below.
1. Variety of Specializations
Walden University’s online MSN program offers nine different areas of specialization in two different categories: Nurse Practitioner or Speciality Practice.
Nurse Practitioner specializations prepare you to become certified as a Nurse Practitioner and provide direct patient care.
The five Nurse Practitioner specializations in Walden’s online MSN program include:
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Speciality Practice specializations, on the other hand, prepare you to take on advanced nursing leadership or educator roles. The four Speciality Practice specializations offered by Walden include:
- Nursing Education
- Nurse Executive
- Nursing Informatics
- Public Health Nursing
2. Multiple Degree Tracks
Another great thing about Walden University’s online MSN program is that you can enroll whether you currently have a BSN or not.
There are two different tracks to get your MSN.
The first is the RN-to-MSN track. This is for Registered Nurses with an Associates or hospital degree and no BSN.
The second track is the more traditional BSN-to-MSN degree track. This pathway is designed for nurses who already hold a BSN but would like to obtain their advanced degree.
Finally, Walden University is unique in that it offers online Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD in Nursing degrees. Many other online universities can’t say the same.
Best of all, if you already hold your BSN, you can skip the MSN and go straight for your terminal nursing degree. Walden offers both BSN-to-DNP and BSN-to-PhD in Nursing tracks.
3. Choose Your Learning Approach
Walden University’s online MSN program offers two different approaches to learning: Course-based Learning and TEMPO Learning.
Course-Based Learning is the more traditional approach to schooling. That is, you have a predetermined class schedule and each class is led by an instructor at particular times each week.
You’d also have set deadlines for assignments and pay by the course.
TEMPO Learning, on the other hand, allows you to learn at your own pace with no predetermined schedule.
There are no set deadlines, meaning you can do work when it fits your busy schedule. Instead of paying by the course, you’d pay an all-you-can-learn subscription fee.
4. Practicum Support
One more upside to getting your MSN through Walden’s online program is that they provide personalized practicum support.
This is especially great for more hand-on specializations where you’ll need to provide a lot of direct care.
Walden provides its students with coaching and tools to help them identify practicum sites that best suit their needs.
Cons of Walden University’s Online MSN Program
Like any education program, Walden Univeristy’s online MSN program has both pros and cons. While the upsides appear to outweigh the downsides, there was one review from GradReports which could indicate something to be wary of if you decide to enroll here:
“I am a great student, it has nothing to do with that. It’s finding a preceptor. They failed to mention when you enrolled that their list of affiliation agreements needs updating (there are facilities on the list that are not even open anymore).”-K. Raynes, June 11, 2021
While this could be an isolated incident, it would be a good idea to try to straighten out your practicum enrollment before beginning the program.
That way, you know for certain that everything will go according to plan!
While there was an incident of one person having trouble finding a practicum preceptor, it does appear that Walden invests quite heavily in helping students find an appropriate placement.
As long as you talk to representatives at the school before you commit, you should be able to get more information about finding practicums so you’re not hit with any surprises later in the program.
The school boasts lots of benefits and credentials, so it’s definitely worth considering. That’s especially true if you think you may want to go for an online terminal degree at some point.
However, let’s stay focused on MSN degrees for now… If you’re looking to enroll in an online MSN program, then start searching for a program today!