RN to MSN, skip the BSN?

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    I have an associates in Nursing with a previous Bachelors. I've been working as a nurse for a year now and am starting to think of options to further my education, since job options have been fairly limited without the BSN (basically required to work as a nurse in Boston).


    So my options are to go for a BSN or an MSN. There are several programs in my area that will grant me an MSN without the BSN first, so that's not an issue. The programs are each roughly 30 credits, though the MSN program will obviously cost more (not really an issue).


    What I'm worried about is how I'll be viewed by potential employers. I don't want to be "overqualified" as a staff nurse. I want to be a floor nurse for the next 10 years or so, at least. So becoming an NP, CNS or CRNA is not on my radar at all. At the very most, I'd like to be a nurse educator or clinical leader, but at this point I don't have enough experience to make that decision.


    So is it worth it to get a MSN (clinical nurse leader) and then get a second master's if I change my mind later on? Or should I just go for the BSN right now and get a MSN later on? I just don't want to waste my time and money getting a the BSN when I'll be getting the MSN in a few years anyway.
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    I don't think you have to worry about being overqualified - if you have zero experience, you're really only qualified to be a floor nurse, whether you have an ADN, a BSN, or an MSN. I highly doubt your application would be looked down on because you did it on a Master's level, and it would give you an edge when you have the experience necessary to enter leadership, if you are so inclined. No returning to school!

    Obviously you'd have to pursue another degree if you decide to pursue a different role in nursing (like NP), but my biggest concern about that would be the cost of two Master's degrees vs one bachelors and one masters. But if cost isn't a concern to you, I'd go forward and apply to the direct-entry programs.
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    If I were you, I'd go RN-MSN. My opinion. No telling how much of your current bachelor's will speed up your program. The reason RN-MSN takes so long is because they make you go back and take all those Eng, History, Communications, etc. bc most applicants only have an associates. You probably already have a lot of what the BSN requires. Best of luck!
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    I totally misread your post - thought you were going direct entry, not RN - MSN. Whoops! That's what I get for reading while doing dishes

    I thought CNL was a strange direct entry degree.
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    I am considering this as well although I haven't grad yet. I have a prev Bachelor's in Sociology, and will have my ADN....I want to be a CNM, so Im thinking I will go straight to the MSN program.
    FutureNurseK likes this.
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    I was considering this as well. Then, I found out that if I want to go for CRNA I might as well forget the MSN. They are now requiring a doctorate. Not gonna happen for me.

    I think if you ultimately want to be a nurse educator, you'll need the MSN. But, what kind of financial difference are we talking about here? If you can afford it, I'd probably go for it.
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    The cost difference is about 15K for the BSN and 25-30K for the MSN. But if I am eventually going to go for the MSN anyways, now I'm looking at 45K or more total for both. Costs are always going up so I'm thinking of just doing the MSN and being done with school forever.

    Another issue is my age. Right now I am nearing 30, and by the time I finish this next degree I will be around 35, and I don't want the BSN to be already obsolete by the time I obtain it.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!
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    I'd definitely do it if that's your long term goal anyway. Now that I read your post properly lol. I'm planning on going the same route, but with an APN. Obviously working as a bedside nurse after that program would be a bit more complicated, but if that's possible, I'm sure it's doable as a CNL. I'd just go for it.
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    I would like to suggest going straight for the RN-MSN degree in CNL.


    Despite what many think, you do not have to "go back" and take the "filler classes" like American Government, World History, etc, to "make up" for your BSN. YOU CAN completely skip the BSN degree.
    Anything after you obtain after your MSN is a "certificate" (FNP, CNS, etc). It is not an additional MSN degree.

    For example, you have your ADN RN with zero bachelors class work. (Not even in another field). You can enter into the MSN program, earn your degree in CNL, and then go back and get an FNP certificate, if you so desire, later.

    Several MSN, CNL programs allow you to obtain your Public Health Nurse certificate upon graduation from the program.
    Google the MSN, CNL program at University of San Francisco, California.


    Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

    It's nice to know that there are more and more colleges out there that are recognizing the educational background of an ADN prepared RN.
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    Quote from ŽNurse
    I would like to suggest going straight for the RN-MSN degree in CNL.


    Despite what many think, you do not have to "go back" and take the "filler classes" like American Government, World History, etc, to "make up" for your BSN. YOU CAN completely skip the BSN degree.
    Anything after you obtain after your MSN is a "certificate" (FNP, CNS, etc). It is not an additional MSN degree.

    For example, you have your ADN RN with zero bachelors class work. (Not even in another field). You can enter into the MSN program, earn your degree in CNL, and then go back and get an FNP certificate, if you so desire, later.

    Several MSN, CNL programs allow you to obtain your Public Health Nurse certificate upon graduation from the program.
    Google the MSN, CNL program at University of San Francisco, California.


    Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

    It's nice to know that there are more and more colleges out there that are recognizing the educational background of an ADN prepared RN.
    Just wondering how do you get the certificate FNP. I start the CNL program in a couple of weeks and would love to know what to do once I finish


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