How does one change careers to become an advanced practice nurse?

  1. Hi I am looking for the best way to get an MSN in the shortest amount of time possible. I have a four year degree in a different field that is not really related to nursing. I am wondering if anyone has any advice on whether I should get a second four-year degree or if its better to get a two-year degree and try my chances at being accepted into a masters program with a two-year degree in nursing and a four-year degree in the arts. Please respond if anyone has any advice whatsoever, the onyl guidance I have is information from schools and internet. Thanks.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    There is another option -- there are quite a few schools that offer a program for non-nurses with baccalaureate degrees in something else -- typically, you take one year of "basic" nursing and then go directly into their MSN program. You emerge with an MSN and prepared for an advanced practice role.

    My graduate school offered this option, but it was a really brutal and demanding program (I was a "traditional" grad student, but took classes and became friends with students of the other program). Whatever course you decide to pursue, you will put an awful lot of blood, sweat, tears, and $$$ into it -- you'll want to be sure that this is really what you want to do.

    I, personally, have a problem with the idea of people becoming advanced practice nurses without being "regular" nurses first, but these programs are popular (as usual, nobody asked me what I thought! :chuckle )
  4. by   kimtab
    Would you really want to be an advanced practice nurse with no clinical work experience as a nurse? I guess people do it but it would scare the daylights outta me. I would do BSN or ADN, work for a bit then go for MSN or or do RN-MSN bridge if you do the ADN. Look around at the programs in your area and see what is going to be your best option to get you working as a nurse quickly. In many cases there is not too much difference between getting an ADN or BSN if you already have an undergrad degree. Also, if you are working in a hospital they may give you quite a bit of money for tuition when you go back...

    Kim
  5. by   belladelicious
    You can't be an advanced NURSE, if you aren't a NURSE in the first place!

    I really don't get why people try to do this. Whatever. It's annoying.
  6. by   newgrad2005
    I know that University of San Diego has a 3 year MSN program for people with a bachelors degree in another field. In the first year you take basic nursing courses, and take the NCLEX during the summer. The next 2 years are masters coursework.
  7. by   mitchsmom
    The MSN program I will probably try to go to requires a BSN first. Some places do have fast track programs for people who already have another degree, but my degree was in education (I took very minimal sciences the first time around), so it really didn't help that much. I would just really, really talk to the places you are interested in to find the best option for you. All the ins and outs of this kind of stuff can bite you in the a$$ if you don't find out the facts and details for sure.
  8. by   meandragonbrett
    Umm...what type of APRN are you wanting to be? That would be a key factor in your route.
  9. by   marilynmom
    Quote from belladelicious
    You can't be an advanced NURSE, if you aren't a NURSE in the first place!

    I really don't get why people try to do this. Whatever. It's annoying.
    Ummm, yes you can. There are a *lot* of programs for people with a bachelors in one field to get a master's in nursing and enter as an advanced practice nurse. I have a friend currently doing this right now, she had a BA in Psychology, then went into a mater's program for a NP and is now working as a NP. It was like a BSN/NP program all in one, and I'm thinking it took her 3 years to complete full time. She is an excellent NP and has a huge client base her first year out.

    If I were the OP this is exactly what I would do.

    Marilyn

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