Is it hard to find jobs for someone who went through Entry Level Masters Program?

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences and I'm not a RN. I am planning to apply to Entry Level Masters Program near the Bay Area, such as USF, SMU, SFSU, SSU. I saw on a website that it is more difficult for people in these programs to get jobs than other people who went through the traditional nursing route. Is this true?! I really want to be a nurse and I'm just so intimidated by all these rumors and the fact that it is sooo impacted! Please help me! Much appreciated!!


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  3. 18 Comments...

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    I haven't heard that it's difficult. What is the "traditional route"? Because with an entry-levels masters, you still come out as an entry level RN first, you just have the additional master level courses that can prepare you for future career advancement, say NP or CNS. So no, I don't believe it is difficult. I start entry-level msn program in August and for someone who already has a BA and MA, this route made the most sense.
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    I have my BA, too, and am considering doing an ADN program first, because I heard the same thing about the entry-level Masters. With the way the job market is, I would rather not have any debt upon completing nursing school. There are also many ADN/MSN programs. I also am not sure what exact path I would like to take at this point. I am not comfortable with getting a generalist CNL-MSN. I am sure that both routes are just fine, though.
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    Hi! Thanks for the replies!

    Mya2bRN- The "traditional route" is the BSN route. Yeah, I agree with you on how it makes the most sense to enter the entry level msn program instead of going through years of schooling again. Congratulations on getting into a program! Where will you be attending this August? Is it difficult to get in?

    mfrancisco- Why aren't you comfortable with getting a CNL-MSN?
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    You take the same classes as required by other BSN programs.
    So no, it would not be MORE difficult to find a job with an entry level MSN. I graduated with one, and I was hired.
    If anything, I think having an MSN and a BA/BS makes you a more competitive applicant, esp with this tight job market and hospitals looking into Magnet status.
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    Basically, Sonoma State and USF have entry-level MSN programs that result in a CNL. A CNL is not considered an Advanced Practice Nurse. San Francisco State has a CNS or FNP entry level masters, and so does UCSF. Sonoma State also has the option of continuing on to pursue the FNP. If I were to do the entry level MSN, I would definitely choose a program that results in a CNS or FNP.

    I am in the Bay Area, too, so I have heard about the terrible job market. It makes me a bit nervous. If you haven't already seen it, visit USF's website. They are doing a three month unpaid residency program for new nurses who have not been able to find a job yet. That goes to show how bad the job market is in the Bay Area right now. I've heard mixed opinions. I have definitely heard that the ABSN at Samuel Merritt is not worth the cost. The administration is unorganized, and I have heard that the new graduates are not as prepared. I have heard this from nurses, and it is third party information, so I can't say for sure. Personally, I will either be doing the ADN or an entry level MSN that is a CNS or FNP program. I have researched my options extensively, and it is such a huge decision that I want to make sure I do it the right way.
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    There is always the chance that you might run into the rare individual who discounts education in general, who might exercise a "hidden" prejudice. I have come across people who have made it obvious that they did not respect those who had higher educational achievements. A jealous thing, I suppose. But those people are in the minority. I certainly would not make decisions based upon the possibility of meeting them.
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    I was going to go the accelerated BSN route, but I read that many accelerated program students have trouble getting their first jobs with no experience. I think it is how the economy is right now. There used to be loan forgiveness programs through Kaiser where they would pay off your loans in exchange for two years of work. Now there are not many of those situations left. With all this being considered and the present state of the economy, I felt it was better to get the ADN in a traditional school in two years. I find that most jobs want an RN and mostly experience not necessarily the BSN. I believe that the more experience you get, the better off you are in getting jobs. The new grad training programs have to be willing to take on new nurses and presently there are enough with experience taking the jobs. In a few years, it might be easier.

    I think some people do get jobs right away whether they have the MSN or RN. Some of it is luck, some of it is personality and some of it is the area where you are looking for jobs. I really believe that taking time with it if you can is not a bad idea right now. I don't want to be deep in debt when I graduate and feel I have to take any job to pay off my loans. I hope that I can get back on the fast track to go from RN to MSN once I have some education and experience. Everyone's situation is different, but I have read many posting to the effect that MSN end up taking jobs that RNs would normally do if they have no experience and that it may take time to get that first job.
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    One of my thoughts when deciding between an accelerated bachelor's and an entry level masters was that the hospitals in my area pay a differential for nurses with a masters if someone is looking at two applicants, one new grad BSN and one new grad MSN (all other things equal), they may be more likely to hire the BSN because it would be more cost efficient. I'm not sure how my logic plays out in the real world though.
  12. 0
    I think this is very true many times. I believe that with nursing experience is very important, so the degree alone is not a guarantee of a high paying position. It is unique in that way, I think. I see many jobs for RNs, less for BSN and very few for MSN-NP. That is not to say that things won't change over the years, but for right now, it is more difficult. I read in forums about MSN having trouble getting jobs and being deep in debt from school. I want to have an RN and work. After that, I will decide if I need more education to fulfill my goals and a better postiion. That is what I feel, but others may want to go for the MSN directly and see how it goes.

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