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Earn Your Nursing Degree Online

Earn Your Nursing Degree Online

Earn Your Nursing Degree Online

Online Nursing Programs from a Fully Accredited School

As a registered nurse (RN), having a college degree in nursing is increasingly a must if you want to move into leadership roles or position yourself for a promotion. In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80% of nurses hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing by 2020, and the American Nurses Association urges all RNs who graduate from an ADN or diploma program be required to obtain a “BSN in 10” – a Bachelor of Science in Nursing within 10 years of licensure. Earning a bachelor's or a master's degree in nursing through Sacred Heart's suite of online nursing degree programs is a convenient way to earn this in-demand degree from a respected, accredited institution while balancing the demands of your job.

Read the video transcript


KAREN BAUCE: We have a full suite of online nursing programs that meet the educational needs of just about anybody, wherever you are.

MARY ALICE DONIUS: We're not just a picture on a screen. We really are a presence in their life.

PATRICIA CUNLIFFE: The Sacred Heart online program made going for my BSN attainable.

KAREN BAUCE: What's unique about Sacred Heart University is that we have full-time faculty for all of our online nursing programs. And they are all doctorally prepared.

MARY ALICE DONIUS: And they live all over the country. And they bring different kinds of perspectives to that virtual classroom. One of the things I think our online faculty do very well is to create that intimacy.

KAREN BAUCE: Jean Watson, who is a prominent nursing theorist, coined the term "cybercaring." And in the online learning environment, what's really critical for student engagement is that the faculty teaching the course establish presence.

DR COOK: Good morning, Tim. It's Dr. Cook. How are you today?

SUBJECT 1: It looks to me like you got transfer credit for health assessment and statistics. Is that your understanding as well?

SUBJECT 2: I'm seeing that right here.

KAREN BAUCE: I was fortunate to have had Emily as a student in two of my courses. She was a great example of how it is possible to get to know your students in an online environment.

EMILY NGUYEN: The research course I had with Dr. Bauce really allowed me to take a deeper dive into how research is conducted, how to analyze research, and how to use it in my clinical practice.

KAREN BAUCE: Emily came to me for advice at one point because her mother had recently been diagnosed with a rather serious illness.

EMILY NGUYEN: (CRYING) So I called Dr. Bauce. And I said, I don't think I can finish the program. I'm going to take a break.

KAREN BAUCE: I knew that Emily wanted to stay in school. And I have to think that in the back of her mind, she probably wanted to finish so that her mother could share in the celebration of her graduation.

EMILY NGUYEN: (CRYING) And Dr. Bauce said, nope. You're going to get through this. And you're going to do it. So I give her a lot of credit to this day because if it wasn't for her and to help me have the support to keep going, I probably wouldn't be here. It was the best feeling ever and most gratifying. And I was so very happy that she was able to see me walk across the stage.

KAREN BAUCE: We have a full suite of online programs, anything from a nurse needing to complete her BSN to a nurse who already has a master's degree and wants to get a doctor of nursing practice. We even have opportunities for nurses who have an MSN in one field but decide they want to be an advanced practice nurse. And for that, we have our online family nurse practitioner program.

PATRICIA CUNLIFFE: I graduated in 1989 from a nursing diploma program. And that's why I found it, initially, difficult learning online. And then I found it very flexible with my work schedule, my family life, to be able to do my assignments whenever I had time available.

I'm in the last two modules before graduation. And it's required that you perform clinical. In the ICAN program, the whole team navigates the system for homeless people. So it's trying to engage them and getting them into detox, housing, maybe set up preventative care visits, so they're not always going into the emergency room. And with going through the Sacred Heart program, I'm starting to look at it different. Like, how can we break these patterns?

EMILY NGUYEN: So the master's program really helped me transition from a clinical staff nurse at the bedside to have a different way of thinking, more in the perspective of patient safety, quality care, and outcomes.

MARY ALICE DONIUS: We're very committed to sustaining the quality that we've already established in our programs as we launch new programs. So whether they're on ground or online, they have the same foundation. They have the same core curriculum. They have the same student outcomes. And they're measured as such.

EMILY NGUYEN: Overall, this program has allowed me to be able to work full-time, go to graduate school, graduate with honors, and have this amazing degree. I found it to be very flexible, rewarding, and achievable.


Our Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Nursing are ranked best in the state by U.S. News and World Report.

RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and RN-Master of Science in Nursing (RN-MSN)

The online RN to BSN program is designed to help RNs with a diploma or ADN develop their professional skills in health assessment, information technology, evidenced-based practice, and more. The curriculum also covers such topics as concepts of health care and wellness across cultures, clinical leadership development, and methods of measuring care outcomes.

If your nursing career ambitions compel you in earnest toward clinical nurse leadership, education, or management, combine your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in SHU's online RN to MSN program and save time and money. Depending upon your MSN specialization, this accelerated program requires you to take only eight or nine MSN classes instead of 12.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Sacred Heart University's online MSN is a rigorous program designed to meet the needs of the working career nurse seeking superior clinical, managerial, and educational skills. The program offers four specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nursing Management & Executive LeadershipNursing Education, and Family Nurse Practitioner.

*Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Learn to provide family-focused primary care, including diagnoses and prescriptions, to patients of all ages. This specialization prepares students pass national certification examinations from the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Earn nursing’s top credential with Sacred Heart University. The online DNP program builds upon your masters-level training to prepare you for advanced practice, leadership, teaching or research. You will develop the scientific excellence in practice to influence healthcare outcomes on multiple levels.

Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education Accredited

CCNE Accredited Nursing School

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the master’s degree program in nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Sacred Heart University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. http://www.ccneaccreditation.org

Nursing Rankings & Recognitions

Sacred Heart University’s online nursing programs have been ranked through various, reputable organizations and associations. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Sacred Heart University among the top universities in the North region (2015), as well as among the institutions with the best online programs. SHU’s MSN program specifically has been ranked among the best online graduate nursing programs also by U.S. News & World Report. Furthermore, the MSN program has also been ranked among the Top 50 Best Value Online MSN Programs of 2015 by Value Colleges.

Student Experiences Abroad: Studies, Missions, Clinicals

Sacred Heart University’s College of Nursing offers all nursing students the opportunity to travel internationally through our Global Programs and make an impact on the world, whether it be to study abroad, provide mission work or to conduct clinical studies – which may count toward your required clinical hours for your nursing program! This program speaks to Sacred Heart’s mission of preparing individuals for professional excellence, while instilling in them a sense of social responsibility.

Clinical & Service work abroad may include performing the following tasks:

  • Conducting clinics with an interdisciplinary team
  • Working in local clinics
  • Educating communities on preventive care
  • Providing medication
  • Performing surgeries
  • Wound care
  • Home care visits

While healthcare services are the primary purpose of these trips, local excursions are also part of the itinerary, providing for an educational and fun experience.

These global programs may vary in terms of locations, assignments, and dates. Recently visited international locations include Guatemala1, Haiti, Jamaica2, Ireland3, Luxembourg4 and Mexico.5 Find out about upcoming international opportunity trips by visiting this page. If you are interested, please consult with your faculty advisor to ensure it fits with your plan of study. To sign up, apply on the respective trip of interest page. Please note that space is limited and the trip needs to be coordinated with your faculty advisor. If you have any questions, you may contact Christina Gunther, Director of Global Programs and Assessment at guntherc@sacredheart.edu as well as Karen Bauce, Associate Dean of Online Programs at baucek@sacredheart.edu.

Be sure to participate in one of these rewarding experiences with Sacred Heart University!

* While all specializations are open to all MSN students, the FNP specialization involves a specialized set of courses, requires more courses not reflected on this program brochure, and has different admission requirements. Students interested in the FNP specialization can request detailed information by calling (877) 791-7181.

Guatemala service trips are offered twice a year in order to provide healthcare and service work.
Jamaica service trips are usually offered annually in the fall semester.
Ireland offers study abroad courses each May.
Luxembourg offers study abroad courses each May.
Oaxaca, Mexico service trips are offered annually during spring break.

Learn more about the online nursing degree programs at Sacred Heart University: call us today at 877-791-7181 to speak to an admission team member, or request more information.