Quote from celle507
I just wanted to give my opinion on the subject as I am currently a student in a direct entry MSN program that does NOT grant a BSN.
If I had to do it over, I would definitely go to a program that granted a BSN after the first year. It is not necessarily because I think the BSN will be useful in obtaining jobs (I'm honestly not sure but I can say that I haven't had any trouble obtaining interviews for nursing jobs), but because it will provide you with more flexibility. When I went into the program, I assumed I would finish the program straight without stopping. But, after the first year, I really don't feel comfortable going into the NP portion without having experience as a nurse first. My conflict is that I don't want to stay in this state for any longer than I need to. If I had a BSN, I could just stop and take a couple years off and then continue with the MSN at a time when I felt more comfortable and at any school I chose. Unfortunately, not having a BSN after the first year means that I HAVE to finish the program at the school I started at since after the first year, you're left kind of hanging with no degree or certificate given.
I know it's kind of an unusual situation but if you can get the BSN-MSN in the same amount of time as a direct entry MSN, I think there is an advantage in case anything comes up as you will have something tangible after the first year.
I see your point. Yes, since you are in a program that ONLY offers a NP and no intermediate stopping point, you do need to go on through the entire program. I agonized about that too. I am at Johns Hopkins for the direct entry BSN/MSN program. I was thinking of going straight through, but I think it would be better to get the BSN, work for a year as a RN fulltime and then go on for a masters. I will see if I change my mind, but I'm leaning that way.
I have talked to some durect entry BSN?MSN students who worked fulltime after the 1st year (they got their BSN) and took classes part time. (The hosptial does not really like you to work part time.) But after the 2nd year (that's the 1st year master's portion), they had to drop down to working part time to take all the clniccals (those don't offer much flexbility for a schedule with a full time job). The hosptial by that time was OK with them working part time because they had already worked full time for a year. It had to be planned very carefully with their admissions counselor to be sure they were able to graduate. It's taking this one woman (who will be a FNP) 1 extra year (that's 3 years for the masters portion and 4 years total for the BSN/MSN.)
There are a lot of direct entry NP programs with no BSN, so they must feel you can go through the program without getting RN experience. However, depending on the job maarket where you want to practice, you could have a challenging time to find a job as a NP striaght out of school without some RN experience. I would love to hear more from other NPs and direct entry grads for their thoughts on this. Thanks.