Difference between MN and MSN

  1. 0
    Hi everyone,

    Is there any difference between MN (Master of Nursing) and
    MSN (Master of Science in Nursing)? If you could elaborate
    on these degrees, it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I believe the difference is mainly semantic.
    Melis1KY likes this.
  5. 0
    Thank you; but could you please elaborate on the
    word 'semantic' please?
  6. 1
    Semantics is the study of the meaning of words or how people assign meaning to words. In this case, it's the assignment of meaning that matters. Universities determine what they're going to call the programs they offer. Some universities call their graduate program in nursing a Master's of Science in Nursing and others simply call it a Master's of Nursing. There's not a huge world of difference in the content of the different programs, with both containing science, arts and humanities courses.
    egamboa likes this.
  7. 2
    Same applies to Bachelor programmes. You will see BN (Bachelor of Nursing) or BSN or BScN (both refer to Bachelor of Science in Nursing). It all depends on whihc University you graduate from.

    Dalhousie University BN '86
    rinks2010 and egamboa like this.
  8. 0
    Actually, as a nursing student, we just discussed this in class today. A Masters in Nursing will essentially make you a Nurse Practitioner where your studies up to that point will be intense clinical work. A MSN will be more theory based and will allow you to join jobs such as an educator or an administration role.

    hope that helps!
  9. 4
    Quote from miche4
    Actually, as a nursing student, we just discussed this in class today. A Masters in Nursing will essentially make you a Nurse Practitioner where your studies up to that point will be intense clinical work. A MSN will be more theory based and will allow you to join jobs such as an educator or an administration role.
    I'm not sure where you are located but in Ontario, Nurse Practitioner is a protected title that cannot be used unless you are qualified. These nurses receive extensive training and are registered differently with the college of nurses. They perform advanced skills and are able to diagnose and prescribe certain meds under specified conditions. Holding a Masters degree in Nursing regardless of the focus of study does not qualify you as a Nurse Practitioner.
  10. 0
    There was a post about this quite some time ago that explained the difference. It has to do with some classes being one type instead of another. Also, more of a distinction a long time ago. Not much distinction is made today. The MN is not seen much anymore.
  11. 0
    I have noticed at a couple local universities, the difference between the MN and an MScN, is that the MScN has a thesis component, while the MN is course based only.
  12. 0
    I've been researching graduate programs here in WA state and it does appear to be mostly semantics. For example, if I wanted to be a FNP, I could go to WSU and get my MN or I could go to Gonzaga and get my MSN - both leading to a career as a FNP. It appears the coursework is very similar.


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