Accelerated BSN or BSN/MSN?

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    I知 currently finishing my prereq痴 for nursing school and am looking to enter into an accelerated program summer or fall of 2005. My dilemma: BSN, or BSN/MSN? I know now that I definitely want an advanced degree, but I知 hesitant to pick a BSN/MSN degree program without having some practical experience in my specialty area (I知 strongly leaning toward perinatal or neonatal, but I know that could change). However, I致e got the resources now to go for the advanced degree I知 childless, spouseless, without any huge financial constraints and I wonder if that will be the case for me in the future.



    I壇 really love to hear from people who went the accelerated route and which kind of program they chose (BSN, BSN/MSN) and what their experiences were from it, any general advice.



    Thanks!

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    Hi Annabelle57,

    It looks to me like you haven't started a nursing program. If I were you I would pick the BSN/MSN route and just get it over with. I'm 25, and have been in school since '97. I got my B.S. in biology (I was premed) decided to go to nursing school, and I'm in an ADN program now. When I get into my career, my B.S. (I expect) will be just that: b.s. I know that I'm going to need an advance degree in NURSING to get anywhere. I found an accelerated MSN program that will take my B.S. credits and apply it toward my advanced degree, but I wish I would have known what I wanted to do back when I started school, I would be done by now. Anyway, that's just my advice. You'll find out what you want to do as far as your specialty, when you start. In school you are required to do "rounds" (clinicals) where you work in several different wards in the hospital(s) and get experience. You'll surely find what you want to do with yourself in that time. I'm only finishing my first year and I now know what I want to do. Good luck with your efforts!

    Quote from Annabelle57
    I知 currently finishing my prereq痴 for nursing school and am looking to enter into an accelerated program summer or fall of 2005. My dilemma: BSN, or BSN/MSN? I know now that I definitely want an advanced degree, but I知 hesitant to pick a BSN/MSN degree program without having some practical experience in my specialty area (I知 strongly leaning toward perinatal or neonatal, but I know that could change). However, I致e got the resources now to go for the advanced degree I知 childless, spouseless, without any huge financial constraints and I wonder if that will be the case for me in the future.



    I壇 really love to hear from people who went the accelerated route and which kind of program they chose (BSN, BSN/MSN) and what their experiences were from it, any general advice.



    Thanks!

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    sorry for the late reply, annabelle, but i was on vacation. but i will share my response on another post for why i made the decision to go for a direct-entry msn program:

    as far as choices, it was simple for me. after researching nursing and exploring all options, the direct-entry msn is the only way for me to go. my ultimate goal is to obtain a ph.d in nursing and become a nursing educator. to go back to an adn or bsn program would be taking me back some ways (time-wise and finance-wise) to reaching my ultimate goal. i did consider acclerated bsn, but the problem with that is finances - you do not get a lot in financial aid for a 2nd bachelor's degree, while you do get a higher limit in pursuing a master's degree. since there are only two programs in southern california that match my needs, it became clear where i was going.

    remember to look at your overall goals. and maybe you don't know where you want to be in nursing yet. that's ok, too - then just take it one step at a time.
    topcat

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    hey topcat, i think you missed the point of the original poster's question, although you have a good point. the original poster does not have a bachelor's degree, so she can't just go and get a masters (at least, not the last time i checked. you can't get a master's without a bachelors or at least an adn-msn program which would still require you to take bachelor level classes). i have heard of an accelerated master's, but i was already in an adn program, and i did the math as far as timeline and cost, and finishing the adn program + starting an msn program (which would take my bs in biology) won out over the direct entry msn-e program. i would be finished faster than if i started all over again in an msn-e program that cost 20k+ a year (the msn-e program was approx. 15 months for rn license + 2 years for master's portion). it is good that you mentioned a different route that worked for you, but i believe in order to be helpful, it is best to give the best possible advice for the question at hand. remember, giving advice is like giving meds: right patient, right "advice," right dose, right route, right time.

    Quote from topcat1234
    sorry for the late reply, annabelle, but i was on vacation. but i will share my response on another post for why i made the decision to go for a direct-entry msn program:

    as far as choices, it was simple for me. after researching nursing and exploring all options, the direct-entry msn is the only way for me to go. my ultimate goal is to obtain a ph.d in nursing and become a nursing educator. to go back to an adn or bsn program would be taking me back some ways (time-wise and finance-wise) to reaching my ultimate goal. i did consider acclerated bsn, but the problem with that is finances - you do not get a lot in financial aid for a 2nd bachelor's degree, while you do get a higher limit in pursuing a master's degree. since there are only two programs in southern california that match my needs, it became clear where i was going.

    remember to look at your overall goals. and maybe you don't know where you want to be in nursing yet. that's ok, too - then just take it one step at a time.
    topcat

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    I'd say do the accel. BSN first - that way, you can be really sure and have a little more confidence/experience in the specialty field you want to pursue you masters in.

    Good luck!
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    Quote from msdeeva
    hey topcat, i think you missed the point of the original poster's question, although you have a good point. the original poster does not have a bachelor's degree, so she can't just go and get a masters
    i was assuming, based on the op's age, that she already had a bachelor's degree and was looking to make a change to nursing. that is why i responded as i did.

    no worries!
    topcat
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    Sorry... I failed to put that I do have a bachelor's degree already. Minor detail...

    At any rate, I've gotten excellent feedback so far!

    A
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    Okay than that's a whole different ball game. In that case, depending if you have already started your RN, you could go a couple of different routes. If you haven't started, I'd do the accelerated MSN-E (MSN entry) program (that is where you get your RN and practice while you're completing the MSN part of the program). I live in Southern California, and discovered this program (only one in my area) too little too late. If I hadn't started my RN program already, I would have definitely went this route (their very first class of students start Fall 2004 and by that time I would be starting my second year). I talked to the admissions/program director and was really considering starting over, but I found a MSN program that would take my B.S. credits and apply them toward my degree. I have already started corresponding with them to build a rapport with admissions. Anyhow, I hope this helps with your endeavors. I really wish you all the best, because without a forum like this and the internet, it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly what your options are in the way of your career. Good luck applying.

    Quote from Annabelle57
    Sorry... I failed to put that I do have a bachelor's degree already. Minor detail...

    At any rate, I've gotten excellent feedback so far!

    A
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    The big problem that all of you are overlooking is that the original poster stated that she wanted to go into neonatology. I do not know of one hospital that would hire someone who did not have prior work experience in that area. Neonatology is a science into itself and quite different than anything else. Any NNP that I have ever worked with had minimum of three years full-time experience in this area before going for their NP. I suffest that you try to shadow a nurse in this area for a day or two...............before you make any decisions. Personally, I would go for the accelerated BSN, if your goal is NNP.........definitely not the MSN, you will definitely be on stress overload...........and this I am telling you with 26 years of nursing experience and having worked in NICUs all over....................
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    Quote from msdeeva
    i live in southern california, and discovered this program (only one in my area) too little too late. if i hadn't started my rn program already, i would have definitely went this route (their very first class of students start fall 2004 and by that time i would be starting my second year).
    sounds like the school that i am an alternate for - western u in pomona?

    Quote from suzanne4
    the big problem that all of you are overlooking is that the original poster stated that she wanted to go into neonatology. i do not know of one hospital that would hire someone who did not have prior work experience in that area.
    suzanne - how can annabelle get experience in that area if she can't get hired in that area without experience? the old catch-22! yes, the msn programs make you choose a speciality, but your choice is not set in stone - it can be changed. annabelle, i am personally choosing the leadership/management tracks of most programs, as i believe it allows me to be the most flexible. if i really want to be an np in a speciality, i can always go back and get a post-master's certificate in that speciality after i've worked as an rn for a while.

    topcat


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