Fashionable Degree

  1. Hi,
    In the area where I live there are a bunch of accelerated BSN-MSN programs. Two of them have the students transit to the MSN portion of the program after only a few months of hospital or clinical experience. This seems quite alarming to me.
    Any thoughts on this? Any students or graduates of such a program? Was the education thorough? It's like bedside nursing is a dirty word so they try to pass over that career phase as quickly as possible to grow a Nurse Practitioner.
    These programs are attractive and have a very polished sell when you visit them but I'm wondering about the value of such a program so I'd appreciate any input.

    Thanks.
    Javagirl, a coffee drinker, not a java programmer.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   dwag
    I think sometimes the reason these programs are attractive to some people is because if their ultimate goal is to teach or work in a management position an accelerated MSN program can provide them this option quicker. However, the problem arises when you begin to question how effective a teacher or manager can be that hasn't really worked the field that long. I don't really think it is a question of disliking bedside nursing but rather an individuals perception of their time constraints with regards to their education.
    Last edit by dwag on Feb 25, '04
  4. by   klone
    I'm confused - are these programs for people who already have a BSN, or do you get your BSN and your MSN at the same time? If so, is it just for a person who already has their ADN? If they already have their ADN or BSN before entering the program, then I don't think it's a problem because they've already had a lot of clinical experience, and they're working mostly on theory at this point.
  5. by   RNSuzq1
    Quote from javagirl
    Hi,
    In the area where I live there are a bunch of accelerated BSN-MSN programs. Two of them have the students transit to the MSN portion of the program after only a few months of hospital or clinical experience. This seems quite alarming to me.
    Any thoughts on this? .
    Java, A friend of mine from High School (many Moons ago) is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She went to Boston College for 4 years for her Nursing Degree, then spent a few years on her Masters in Nursing and eventually became a FNP. All during her College years she worked part-time in hospitals in various Nursing positions (lots and lots of training). She spent a lot of years on her Nursing Education and she is as close to an MD as you can get without the title. I would totally trust her with my healthcare, she's been incredibly trained. My family Doc has a FNP working with her - she's had the same training as my friend and sees patients just as if she's the Doc - it's a huge responsibility.

    I agree with you that it would be "alarming" if someone is accepted into an accelerated BSN-MSN program with little clinical experience. I don't know exactly how that works, but if it means simply having a 4 year degree in "anything" and being able to get through a nursing program in a matter of months and then onto a MSN Program - to me at least, that definitely doesn't seem like enough time to take on the responsibility of a FNP. They are working under a Doc, but treat patients, prescribe meds, etc. Personally, I'd want tons of experience and education under my belt before I attempted that. Just my opinion. Susan
  6. by   AnnaN5
    Quote from SusanNC
    Java, A friend of mine from High School (many Moons ago) is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She went to Boston College for 4 years for her Nursing Degree, then spent a few years on her Masters in Nursing and eventually became a FNP. All during her College years she worked part-time in hospitals in various Nursing positions (lots and lots of training). She spent a lot of years on her Nursing Education and she is as close to an MD as you can get without the title. I would totally trust her with my healthcare, she's been incredibly trained. My family Doc has a FNP working with her - she's had the same training as my friend and sees patients just as if she's the Doc - it's a huge responsibility.

    I agree with you that it would be "alarming" if someone is accepted into an accelerated BSN-MSN program with little clinical experience. I don't know exactly how that works, but if it means simply having a 4 year degree in "anything" and being able to get through a nursing program in a matter of months and then onto a MSN Program - to me at least, that definitely doesn't seem like enough time to take on the responsibility of a FNP. They are working under a Doc, but treat patients, prescribe meds, etc. Personally, I'd want tons of experience and education under my belt before I attempted that. Just my opinion. Susan
    I personally have been looking into accelerated BSN programs and have come across some accelerated BSN-MSN programs. If you have a previous bachelors degree you can get your BSN in 12-18 months depending on the program then you start right into the MSN portion of your education. A few of the schools allows you to start taking some of the master's courses before being completely done with the BSN portion. I haven't dug that deeply into the MSN details since I am mainly focusing on just the accelerated BSN programs but it seems like you are able to finish the whole program pretty quickly.
    Last edit by AnnaN5 on Feb 25, '04
  7. by   275Main
    These programs do not neccessarily make getting a masters degree faster. You have to already have a BA or BS, then you need to take the nursing classes which are done at the same pace as an accelerated BSN program. What the direct entry masters allows is for someone to enter a masters program after ataining a BSN, which is possible if you have a traditional BSN as well. For those who want to do this option, I would talk to the school and find out if they encourage students to work at least part time during the masters portion as a nurse, I believe that a lot of programs STRONGLY encourgae students to do this. And I do know people who entered traditional BSN programs, went straight for the masters and have never worked as a nurse. They are very intelligent and know their stuff but as to whether or not they will find a job easily once they have finished, well we'll see.
  8. by   belladelicious
    Well, from a previous post, it seems you can be an advanced nurse in 3 years, never being a nurse. I think that is ridiculous. Then again, you have PAs who don't have clinical experience going into grad school, so I guess this is similiar? But, NPs can practice on their own in some states. So, 3 years of education in nursing, and you're acting as a doctor in some situations if you're on your own? Not to mention, what a damn waste of time the people who spend 4 years getting their bsn, then 1-2 years minimum getting experience, then 2 years grad school. When, hey, I could have just majored in something simple, and gone into an accelerated program and be through in 3 years?
  9. by   275Main
    I think that you missed the idea, that even though accelerated students do this, so do traditional students as well. And I am not sure if you ment to be mean, but I do take offense to the idea that as an accelerated student you majored in an easy area. I can say from attending one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country that my degree was not easy and tell that to the engineer and the student with the masters in public health who is getting a second degree in nursing. We take the same prereqs and take the same nursing classes, except that we are taking them back to back, non stop. Whether or not someone continues on in an advanced practice area immediately after the BSN is the students and the instititions decision and it works the same for accelerated and traditional BSN students.
  10. by   AnnaN5
    Quote from belladelicious
    Well, from a previous post, it seems you can be an advanced nurse in 3 years, never being a nurse. I think that is ridiculous. Then again, you have PAs who don't have clinical experience going into grad school, so I guess this is similiar? But, NPs can practice on their own in some states. So, 3 years of education in nursing, and you're acting as a doctor in some situations if you're on your own? Not to mention, what a damn waste of time the people who spend 4 years getting their bsn, then 1-2 years minimum getting experience, then 2 years grad school. When, hey, I could have just majored in something simple, and gone into an accelerated program and be through in 3 years?
    Not everyone who gets into these accelerated programs got their degree in something simple the first time around. While I do agree with you on the fact that it may not be the greatest thing in the world to be an advanced practice nurse in only 3 years, it is a good opportunity for people who want to get it done in one shot. I am getting my Bachelors in Human Biology in May then going onto a nursing program in some form. My major wasn't easy by any means, and pretty much all of my classes were taken with nursing students so I think my degree in combination with a BSN and maybe a MSN will be very good. If I do decide to do a BSN/MSN program I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable practicing on my own but it would be the most time/cost effective program to go through.
  11. by   belladelicious
    I wasn't trying to be mean. I guess I just didn't get the whole idea of it all. I don't think it's really fair, that say, a person who has a bach. in art, can just go and get their masters in nursing, in 3 years. When, I have to go through nursing school, then work for at least 1 year, then spend the two years in grad school.

    How can you be taking the same things that we took while getting our bsn? I understand all the pre-reqs probably don't have to be taken...but how can 2 years of nursing school plus the experience the bsn students are expected to have before entering grad school....be put into 1 year?
  12. by   275Main
    sorry to be slightly snippy, but i feel like i have to defend myself all the time as to the viability of the accelerated program. We do have to take the same prereques as everyone else does, 2 semesters bio, 2 semester chem (some programs require ochem), 2 semester anatomy and phys., microbiology, statistics, psych, human growth and developemt, and nutrition. The rest of the humanities are covered by the first degree. So the normal 4 semesters or so of nursing courses that the traditional students take, we take as well, but go full time during the summers (we take between 4-5 classes each semester). Also I spend 24+ hrs per week in clinical. The only part that I feel like I miss out in is the preceptorship that the traditional students have as a fifth semester. As to moving into the masters straight after graduation, that is per the institutions policy. So those programs which have direct entry masters degrees most likely allow traditional students to continue on to the masters right after the BSN. I did not choose this route since I am still deciding between two different areas of specialization in which I am interested.
  13. by   AnnaN5
    Quote from belladelicious
    I wasn't trying to be mean. I guess I just didn't get the whole idea of it all. I don't think it's really fair, that say, a person who has a bach. in art, can just go and get their masters in nursing, in 3 years. When, I have to go through nursing school, then work for at least 1 year, then spend the two years in grad school.

    How can you be taking the same things that we took while getting our bsn? I understand all the pre-reqs probably don't have to be taken...but how can 2 years of nursing school plus the experience the bsn students are expected to have before entering grad school....be put into 1 year?

    All of the acclerated BSN programs I have been looking into are 3-4 semesters with no break and 18-20 credits each semester so you are taking at the minimum 60 credits of nursing classes. So pretty much you are taking the same classes as traditional BSN students, it is just packaged into a shorter time frame. You have to have all of the anatomy, phys, chemistry, biology, etc classes done before you can begin the programs.
  14. by   belladelicious
    Quote from 275Main
    sorry to be slightly snippy, but i feel like i have to defend myself all the time as to the viability of the accelerated program. We do have to take the same prereques as everyone else does, 2 semesters bio, 2 semester chem (some programs require ochem), 2 semester anatomy and phys., microbiology, statistics, psych, human growth and developemt, and nutrition. The rest of the humanities are covered by the first degree. So the normal 4 semesters or so of nursing courses that the traditional students take, we take as well, but go full time during the summers (we take between 4-5 classes each semester). Also I spend 24+ hrs per week in clinical. The only part that I feel like I miss out in is the preceptorship that the traditional students have as a fifth semester. As to moving into the masters straight after graduation, that is per the institutions policy. So those programs which have direct entry masters degrees most likely allow traditional students to continue on to the masters right after the BSN. I did not choose this route since I am still deciding between two different areas of specialization in which I am interested.
    Ok, I understand now. :imbar

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