Why get an MSN?

  1. What are the career advantages of getting an MSN? Does it automatically equate to more money or flexability or training (than an BSN)? Does anyone regret not getting one while their life was set up for school?

    Thx,
    Mr_D
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I'm finishing a BSN in May 04 and then am going right in to an MSN (generic) program. I've been an RN for 10 years and was an LPN for 2 years before that. My main reason for doing the MSN thing is because I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that as I age and get frail, I can still get a job - lol. However, in Illinois, where I live, NP and CNS's have little authority to practice autonomously so a generic MSN is just fine. Good luck...
  4. by   llg
    An MSN opens up different job opportunities -- ones that are not available to those with only a BSN -- jobs such as university teaching, staff development, CNS, NP, some management positions, etc. Some of those jobs offer more money: some have better working conditions than staff nurse positions: some have more autonomy, etc. Sometimes the money is better: sometimes it is not. It's more about the type of work you and the working conditions.

    It's all a matter of what type of career you want to have. What type of work do you want to be doing in 5, 10, 20 years? If you would like to have the choices that an MSN gives you, then it is well-worth the investment. If you are content with the more limited number of choices that are available to those nurses with only a BSN, then that's OK, too.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    llg
  5. by   Mr_D
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I'm finishing a BSN in May 04 and then am going right in to an MSN (generic) program. I've been an RN for 10 years and was an LPN for 2 years before that. My main reason for doing the MSN thing is because I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that as I age and get frail, I can still get a job - lol. However, in Illinois, where I live, NP and CNS's have little authority to practice autonomously so a generic MSN is just fine. Good luck...
    Thanks for your response. What do you mean by a "generic MSN"?

    Also -- I am 39 now, will complete my BSN by 41. If I go for a MSN, I would finish around age 43. Do older nurses have a more difficult time finding work? IYO, what age does that become a factor?

    thx.
  6. by   Mr_D
    Quote from llg
    An MSN opens up different job opportunities -- ones that are not available to those with only a BSN -- jobs such as university teaching, staff development, CNS, NP, some management positions, etc. Some of those jobs offer more money: some have better working conditions than staff nurse positions: some have more autonomy, etc. Sometimes the money is better: sometimes it is not. It's more about the type of work you and the working conditions.

    It's all a matter of what type of career you want to have. What type of work do you want to be doing in 5, 10, 20 years? If you would like to have the choices that an MSN gives you, then it is well-worth the investment. If you are content with the more limited number of choices that are available to those nurses with only a BSN, then that's OK, too.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    llg
    I lose more replies on this new system -- I'll try again for the third time.

    I am quite conflicted about this. If I want to go for an MSN, then I better do it immediately following my BSN. However, I plot it on a calandar, geez, I'll be in school through summer 2008! That's a long time!! That's a hard sell to the spouse . . . especially considering the starting wages of a nurse graduate.

    I've also have conflicting messages about this. I went into nursing b/c of the flexibility. I've been told that a BSN offers a lot of flexibility (compared to ASN or LPN) and could ride that through retirement. Keep in mind that I'm a career changer, will enter into nursing as a BSN-RN full time at 41.

    Flexability and autonomy are usually important to me -- but I have young children and a marriage, and 4 years of school would definately impact the family. I see compelling reasons on both sides of the issue -- which is why I'm so stuck!!

    Are there any BSN's out there who regret NOT going for an MSN years ago? Why?

    thx.
  7. by   hock1
    I'm pretty new here and have only just passed boards so take my advice with a grain of salt...Try this question in the general discussion forum. There might be more experienced nurses there. For what it's worth, all of my instructors had gone back for their MSN after years of nursing practice. One of my clinical instructors was in the process of finishing her MSN. She's in her 50's and said it's never too late to go for ones dreams. In Michigan, the universities are pretty flexible if one already has a nursing license. I can go right into the MSN completion program as an ADN. They admit Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall! Good luck with all you do.
  8. by   llg
    A BSN does give more flexibility and opens up more options than does an ADN or Diploma. A nurse with a BSN can work in just about any clinical specialty -- but most specialties are also available to those with just and ADN or a Diploma. A few educational or managerial jobs are available to BSN-prepared. However, the majority of nurses with a BSN work as "staff nurses." If you think that will keep you happy for the next 20 years, then by all means, stop at BSN.

    However, a lot of nurses find that as they get older, they would like a job that doesn't require them to rotate shifts, or that does not require them to be on their feet for 12 hour shifts, or work holidays, etc. That's where age becomes a factor. Staff nursing in a hospital is physically demanding work and many of us find that our bodies do not handle the strain as well when we are 50 years old we could when we were 25. Haven't you ever noticed that other phyical professions (such as policemen, firemen, military, etc.) have planned retirement packages at 25 years or so? That's because it's hard for a lot of people to keep up with the physical demands as they age.

    Also, some of us want jobs with more autonomy and responsibility as we develop the increasing expertise that comes with years of experience. An advanced degree enhances that experiential learning and qualifies us for jobs that may more fully utilize that expertise than a staff nurse position often does.

    Yes, graduate school is nursing requires a significant investment -- just as it does in any other field. It's not for everyone. But, again, if you want the choices and the opportunities that it offers, then it might be right for you. Only can know what will satisfy you in the long run.

    For me, I knew I wouldn't be happy unless I went the whole way. So, I spent 11 years in college and grad school and got my PhD. I have never regretted it -- but I know it is not the right choice for everyone.

    llg
  9. by   Renee' Y-Y
    I am an MSN. I have been considered for jobs that I wouldn't have without the MSN. The other issue is what do you want to do with your MSN: Education, Nurse Practitioner, CRNA. I'm in education with mine. I do plan on going for my PhD in a couple of years.
  10. by   TopCat1234
    Quote from Renee' Y-Y
    I am an MSN. I have been considered for jobs that I wouldn't have without the MSN. The other issue is what do you want to do with your MSN: Education, Nurse Practitioner, CRNA. I'm in education with mine. I do plan on going for my PhD in a couple of years.
    I agree with Renee' - what do you want to do? I am looking at the direct entry MSN after finishing my BS in finance. My ultimate goal is to become a nurse educator.

    Do you already have a BS? Perhaps you should look into what they call the direct entry MSN. It's the MSN for people who have BS/BA degrees in other fields. You have one year intensive, equivalent to the AccBSN, to get you up to speed on becoming a nurse and passing the NCLEX. But you do not have a BSN after the one year intensive - you are technically a non-degreed person sitting for the NCLEX. But once you pass, you then can work as a RN while you complete the MSN part-time. It's a 3 year program.

    TopCat
  11. by   moonshadeau
    Yikes, I hope that there isn't any programs out there that let you be a nurse (An RN) in less than a year. Either that or I hope that these people are extremely dedicated to learning more about nursing on the job.
  12. by   orrnlori
    I'm going for my MSN as Nurse Educator. I was 39 when I started in school and 42 when I graduated with the AAS in nursing. I have worked for the last 6 years and the old body is starting to tell on me at 48. I am finishing a BSLA this summer and will go directly into a 3 year MSN part time distance learning program this fall. I hope to teach one day, or at least be involved in staff development and training at my university hospital, or nurse recruitement or something where I get to wear a white coat and carry a clip board (lol) but sit down when I want. I have no great buring desire to be at the bedside. I do enjoy new nurses and nursing students immensely. Obvioulsy if I end up teaching I will probably make less money. But there are some very cushy hospital jobs that pay 60,000-70,000 per year for the MSN. I feel that the MSN will open many many doors for me to do lots of things that a BSN won't. And ultimately it will take me less hours going the route I've devised than going AAS-BSN-MSN. Less time, less money, same results.

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