With a MSN, why do I need a BSN?

  1. Greetings, just a quick question about pursuing higher education. I finished my associates in nursing 1 year ago and ultimately, I want to finish my nurse practitioners degree. I have been told that if I take a ASN-to-MSN bridge program and I do not receive a BSN, I will be inelligible for certain jobs/degrees.

    My question is why does it matter that I won't have a BSN? To my thinking, a MSN is more advanced than a BSN (similar to having a CDL vs just a regular drivers licence). I just want to understand why it matters to future employers that I don't have the lesser degree if I pursue the higher degree. Can someone please help me understand?

    Thanks! !
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   FolksBtrippin
    Who told you that and why do you believe that person?
  4. by   INrnstudent
    I've been told that by my HR dept at my hospital, as well as several college reps (whose school offers a ASN-MSN bridge without offering a BSN...in other words, down-talking their own program).
    Basically I'm willing to put in the extra time/education if necessary, but I'm trying to understand the 'why' behind it. Thanks!
  5. by   chare
    Have you asked them to explain why you would be excluded from, or ineligible for any nursing position that called for a BSN?
  6. by   INrnstudent
    The only answer I ever received was a variation on the classic "that's just the way the requirements are". That's why I'm trying to understand the rationale behind it before spending $ for a BSN and a MSN separately.
  7. by   FolksBtrippin
    The only thing that makes sense to me is that you would not be able to get a staff RN position with a MSN as opposed to a BSN because you would be out of the pay grade and overqualified. There are risks associated with hiring overqualified people. But if you want to work as a NP, this should not be an issue for you.
  8. by   caliotter3
    Theoretically, I would think that an MSN is supposed to present different content than a BSN (bang for buck) and therefore the content of the BSN "could be" missed. BSN content is considered to be minimal level required to enter the profession (another discussion topic). The BSN gives a prospective nurse the 'basics' that would not be repeated for the benefit of someone pursuing an MSN degree without bothering with the BSN.
  9. by   klone
    Having an MSN should not preclude you from any position that requires a BSN.
  10. by   klone
    Quote from caliotter3
    Theoretically, I would think that an MSN is supposed to present different content than a BSN (bang for buck) and therefore the content of the BSN "could be" missed. BSN content is considered to be minimal level required to enter the profession (another discussion topic). The BSN gives a prospective nurse the 'basics' that would not be repeated for the benefit of someone pursuing an MSN degree without bothering with the BSN.
    Most RN-MSN programs that I'm familiar with cover everything that is in a BSN program (statistics, community health, etc).
  11. by   KatieMI
    Quote from klone
    Most RN-MSN programs that I'm familiar with cover everything that is in a BSN program (statistics, community health, etc).
    But that doesn't matter if the program doesn't formally grants BSN. No the letters after last name - no degree - no job which mandates BSN.

    I am pretty much sure, though, that the problem only affects mostly those who want nursing jobs which require BSN while having MSN in specialties other than Advanced Care, like education, leadership and such. These specialties carry higher risk of not finding job after graduation than APRNs and new grads might want to return to bedside. If they live in an area with facilities requiring BSN for entry level positions, they can end up as not eligible for employment.
  12. by   BSNbeDONE
    Have you ever worked for an employer who said that, even though you have your ACLS certification, they still needed to see evidence of current BLS? One would think the ACLS would suffice, but it does not at any of the facilities that I've worked at. Look at the MSN/BSN in the same way.

    For checks and balances purposes, anything that says BSN "required" will probably automatically disqualify a nurse who has everything but. However, if you have a MSN degree and the job says BSN "preferred", an ASN or MSN RN is in the running for that position. If the MSN with limited experience is competing with an ASN with years of experience, don't make the mistake of thinking that the MSN RN is a shoe-in for the job.

    Employers can require what they want, and quite a few BSN programs require that their students maintain employment throughout the program. Some MSN programs only require that you maintain a current, unencumbered RN license....no mention of employment. This may be a key factor in the information that you've been given.

    Not too long ago, there was a thread here where an NP had ZERO nursing experience...NEVER got a job working as a nurse. As such, that person was unemployable since she was no longer a new grad and did not qualify for those positions; and she had no hands-on experience to make her a prime candidate with employers as an NP.

    In your quest for the MSN, just look for a program that, after completion of the MSN, grants both degrees. There's really no need to do a separate pursuit for each one.
  13. by   MunoRN
    It's not really possible to get a masters degree and not a bachelor's degree in the process, ADN to MSN programs are more accurately called ADN to BSN/MSN programs. These programs typically don't define at what point in the program you have qualified for a BSN, so it's not as though part way through the program you are granted a BSN, but at the end you have a combined BSN and MSN.

    As another poster pointed out, if you're applying for a job that states "BLS required" do you think they wouldn't qualify because they have ACLS?
  14. by   klsm1968
    I'm wondering if it has more to do with the software used for applying for applications along with the need to report to accrediting bodies the "number of BSN"s - I don't think it has anything to do with a BSN having critical information that isn't included in the MSN. The profession of nursing has a hard time keeping up with the fast paced, ever changing world of nursing education and vice versa. I think what may happen is that at some point you will be asked if you have a BSN, and you will have to say "no" and that will be unfortunate, because you have a higher degree. If there is a job you really want with that requirement, my recommendation would be to circumvent by getting in touch with the actual person who will be your supervisor - so often if someone requests your application, you can get around the limitations of checked boxes.

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