masters in biological science versus masters in the science of nursing

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    Hi everyone,Just wanted to hear everyone's thoughts on this topic. I've noticed a lot the Crna schools I applied to give you either an MSN or a master's in biological sciences. I was curious on everyone's opinion on the two degrees, pros and cons and all in the long run. Thank you.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    Quote from marco346
    Hi everyone,Just wanted to hear everyone's thoughts on this topic. I've noticed a lot the Crna schools I applied to give you either an MSN or a master's in biological sciences. I was curious on everyone's opinion on the two degrees, pros and cons and all in the long run. Thank you.
    The MSN will have a core set of classes that all nursing majors have to take (nursing research, nursing theory etc.). The MS in X for anesthesia will allow the school to skip those core nursing classes. Those non MSN schools may still replace those core nursing classes with other similar classes, but most SRNAs that have attended the non MSN anesthesia programs seem to like the paired down curriculum that is more directed towards the certification exam and clinical aspects of nurse anesthesia.
    The only problem is that if you ever want to go on and get your DNP or PhD in nursing is that you will have to either get your MSN or find one of the programs that will you go from a BSN to DNP or PhD in nursing. Overall, there seems to little concern with doing either program and you should just apply to your top picks without regard to the type of degree offered unless your plan is to get a Doctorate later on.
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    Quote from wtbcrna
    The MSN will have a core set of classes that all nursing majors have to take (nursing research, nursing theory etc.). The MS in X for anesthesia will allow the school to skip those core nursing classes. Those non MSN schools may still replace those core nursing classes with other similar classes, but most SRNAs that have attended the non MSN anesthesia programs seem to like the paired down curriculum that is more directed towards the certification exam and clinical aspects of nurse anesthesia.
    The only problem is that if you ever want to go on and get your DNP or PhD in nursing is that you will have to either get your MSN or find one of the programs that will you go from a BSN to DNP or PhD in nursing. Overall, there seems to little concern with doing either program and you should just apply to your top picks without regard to the type of degree offered unless your plan is to get a Doctorate later on.
    Hi wtbcrna,
    thanks for the information. i really appreciate. I just wasn't sure if there were any drawbacks to the masters in biological sciences program. Only thing i did think about was the whole 2015 date i've been hearing talk about mandatory Phd education for advanced level nurses. I heard some people say that those who already have an MSN at that time will be grandfathered w/ a doctorate. I'm not sure if that is the case. Do you know anything about that? And if that was the case and i only had a masters in biological sciences, would I still get the same benefits or not?
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    Quote from marco346
    Hi wtbcrna,
    thanks for the information. i really appreciate. I just wasn't sure if there were any drawbacks to the masters in biological sciences program. Only thing i did think about was the whole 2015 date i've been hearing talk about mandatory Phd education for advanced level nurses. I heard some people say that those who already have an MSN at that time will be grandfathered w/ a doctorate. I'm not sure if that is the case. Do you know anything about that? And if that was the case and i only had a masters in biological sciences, would I still get the same benefits or not?
    1. CRNAs are switching to a mandatory practice/clinical doctorate in 2025 not 2015 (the 2015 is a recommendation adopted by the AACN, but the AANA and COA for CRNAs decided to wait until 2025).
    2. Since it is a clinical doctorate (DNP/DNAP) it does not require a dissertation. In other words these programs will not be graduating new CRNAs with PhDs (there maybe rare exceptions, but this would add years to the overall coursework). The clinical doctorate is supposed to prepare students to be experts in the utilization of research, and a PhD is supposed to teach students how to be experts in conducting research.
    3. CRNAs will be grandfathered in just as the certificate and bachelors CRNAs were grandfathered in years ago when the degree requirements changed.
    4. It will not matter if your degree is MS in X with a focus in nurse anesthesia you will still be grandfathered in.
    Last edit by wtbcrna on Nov 15, '12
    CPhT2RNstudent likes this.
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    Wow, wtbcrna. U have been so helpful. Thank u so much for the information. I really appreciate it. BTW, r u a student or an already practicing crna?
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    Quote from marco346
    Wow, wtbcrna. U have been so helpful. Thank u so much for the information. I really appreciate it. BTW, r u a student or an already practicing crna?
    Lol...both. I have been a CRNA for about 3yrs, and I am currently doing my DNAP.
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    Quote from wtbcrna
    The only problem is that if you ever want to go on and get your DNP or PhD in nursing is that you will have to either get your MSN or find one of the programs that will you go from a BSN to DNP or PhD in nursing. Overall, there seems to little concern with doing either program and you should just apply to your top picks without regard to the type of degree offered unless your plan is to get a Doctorate later on.
    This is true much less often than in the past. I know of 5 or 6 CRNAs with a MS in Nurse Anesthesia who are currently in, or have recently completed a PhD or DNP program in 3 different large university based Colleges of Nursing without a MSN. They all have a BSN, and that was acceptable. I don't think this was true 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago, but the trend seems to be Colleges of Nursing doctoral programs are accepting of CRNAs regardless of their lack of a MSN.
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    O that's great news loveanesthesia. Thank you for that update.......wtbcrna, u sound like ure a busy person. Just out of curiosity what was the push for u to go back to school? Are there more perks for getting DNAP? R U able to do more clinically with the higher degree? Just curious to the circumstances that led you to pursue higher education.
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    Quote from marco346
    O that's great news loveanesthesia. Thank you for that update.......wtbcrna, u sound like ure a busy person. Just out of curiosity what was the push for u to go back to school? Are there more perks for getting DNAP? R U able to do more clinically with the higher degree? Just curious to the circumstances that led you to pursue higher education.
    I want to teach anesthesia eventually, so I needed a doctorate to teach in the military system. A doctorate does not offer any more clinical practice privileges.
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    thanks again wtbcrna, u've been a great resource. same for you loveanesthesia. I feel much more at ease with the programs i've applied to for crna school.


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