Accelerated BSN or BSN/MSN? - page 2

I'm currently finishing my prereq's 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... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    There is a reason NNPs still have the word nurse intheir title. NNPs are expected to be expert nurses, so becoming one without having been a nurse first puts you at a big disadvantage. For instance, if we have trouble getting an IV on a kid, we expect the NP to be able to do it. Now, without prior experience as a nurse before going into an NNP program, you are not going to have your clinical skills up to par. Not to mention the intuition you develop as a nurse on the floor! Because you are with the babies 12 hours a day, you get really good at picking up subtle changes. I don't know if a few years in NNP school would teach you that, since NNPs do not spend the shift at the bedside.
  2. by   Gompers
    Just my opinion here.

    While I understand that many people want to go straight through school and get all their advanced degrees right away "to get it over with" before they have families and to not "waste" any time...

    I would not have an ounce of respect for a nursing clinical specialist, administrator, educator, or practioner who hadn't spent at least a year or two working as a bedside nurse. How can you guide, manage, or teach nurses when you've never been one yourself? How could you treat patients as a nurse practitioner when all you have is school clinical experience? Just like doctors have to do their residency after school, nurses have to work in the field before becoming independent practitioners. Just having a nursing degree and passing boards makes you legally a nurse, but working as one is a totally different ballgame.

    Again, just my opinion.
  3. by   TopCat1234
    if it helps...the school that i am an alternate for, western u, requires that you have at least one year of nursing experience before you graduate with the msn. after finishing the first year of nursing courses and while working on the master's part of the program, you are expected to work as an rn. since the master's part takes two years, you technically should have at least 2 years of work experience under your belt when the msn is conferred.

    fergus and gompers, i said the same thing when i was looking at these programs. western was the only one that i found in california where the work experience was a requirement of graduation. one reason why i chose western. i think most of the other programs assume you will be working as a nurse, after the first year and while pursing the master's. that is the emphasis - the school is getting you up to speed with the intensive nursing classes to get you out there to alleviate the shortage. however, western made it a requirement. strong statement in my book.

    i feel totally confident that i will be able to handle whatever comes my way before getting to the np or management part of the degree. i fully expect to be working as a bedside rn for two years until i get the msn.

    topcat
  4. by   TopCat1234
    i am looking at two msn programs: university of san diego and western university. both of these schools offer the direct-entry msn and you can choose your specialty. usd has the most specialties to choose from: fnp, pnp, anp, acns and health care systems, with further np subspecialites in gerontology, integrative health, latino health and school health. western only has fnp and clinical leadership. so the fact is, i could choose to become an np or to go the leadership/management track.

    i am choosing the leadership/management track, because it seems to be the most flexible for me - right now, my goal is to become a ph.d nurse educator. however, i can certainly find out that am i am loving the personal nursing care and switch from the leadership/management track and become an np. or again, add the np as a post-master's cert.

    i would certainly hope that none of you would think less of me simply because i hadn't been in nursing as long as some of you have.

    topcat
  5. by   vermonster
    I do not think that people were implying that they would less of you but rather that they may think less of your clinical capability IF there was not prior bedside nursing experience.

    I am speaking from the viewpoint of someone who researched accelerated BSN versus Direct-entry programs and who ultimately made the decision to do the accelerated BSN because it fit my personal circumstances.
    For myself, one of the biggest factors was geography-it sounds like both of you are planning on going to school in So Cal which I assume you already live. My state, Vermont, unfortunately does not have any accelerated BSN programs or Direct entry MSN programs. So..for myself I could go to Binghamton New York and do the one year accelerated program and then come back to Vermont and eventually do a MSN at the University of Vermont in two years if that is what I decided to do, which it seemed like was the same total amount of time in school as the Direct-Entry MSN programs-aren't most of them three years????


    Good luck and I hope you both find a good fit for a school. I know that I am starting in the fall-a big change from being a middle and high school teacher and am excited.

    Vermonster
  6. by   fergus51
    Quote from topcat1234
    if it helps...the school that i am an alternate for, western u, requires that you have at least one year of nursing experience before you graduate with the msn. after finishing the first year of nursing courses and while working on the master's part of the program, you are expected to work as an rn. since the master's part takes two years, you technically should have at least 2 years of work experience under your belt when the msn is conferred.

    fergus and gompers, i said the same thing when i was looking at these programs. western was the only one that i found in california where the work experience was a requirement of graduation. one reason why i chose western. i think most of the other programs assume you will be working as a nurse, after the first year and while pursing the master's. that is the emphasis - the school is getting you up to speed with the intensive nursing classes to get you out there to alleviate the shortage. however, western made it a requirement. strong statement in my book.

    i feel totally confident that i will be able to handle whatever comes my way before getting to the np or management part of the degree. i fully expect to be working as a bedside rn for two years until i get the msn.

    topcat
    i think that's a good idea, but it still wouldn't be enough for me as far as nnps are concerned (i don't do medical nursing, so i don't have any strong feelings about fnps). i have been in the nicu for over a year and i know i am not ready to be an nnp yet (and i had previous nursing experience in pp and l&d). there is just so much to learn in this area! my orientation was 3 months long. a year of experience seems like a lot, but once you've done it, you realize it isn't. for psychomotor skills alone, it takes more than that. you have to be able to deal with everything from 400g 23 weekers to term babies with various anomolies. when we were hiring for the nnp position that was open the posted requirements were 3+ years of nursing experience, including experience with rescucitation and orientation of new staff.

    i can understand why someone would want to do a program like this, but i don't think it's really in their best interests as a clinician in this specialty. it would be great to be done so quickly, but they will pay for it in the end.
    Last edit by fergus51 on May 8, '04
  7. by   msdeeva
    Hey TopCat,

    I'm going to do the Administration route too. Good luck with your application process.
  8. by   ChrisA
    I've been looking around at accel. and direct entry programs, both BSN and MSN. I already have a degree (in History, '95, University of California - Santa Cruz). I'm living in Seattle, but I don't think I have many restrictions on where I live. My parents would love to see me move back to Boston, of course, where Boston College and Northeastern both have MSN programs. I've been learning towards a direct-entry MSN. I've had people tell me that the practical experience is always gained in the first few years of work anyway, so if I'm going to school I might as well push straight through.

    Can anyone talk more about the differences in financial aid between 2nd Bachelors degrees and Masters?

    Thanks, Chris
  9. by   Hopegirl
    Quote from ChrisA
    I've been looking around at accel. and direct entry programs, both BSN and MSN. I already have a degree (in History, '95, University of California - Santa Cruz). I'm living in Seattle, but I don't think I have many restrictions on where I live. My parents would love to see me move back to Boston, of course, where Boston College and Northeastern both have MSN programs. I've been learning towards a direct-entry MSN. I've had people tell me that the practical experience is always gained in the first few years of work anyway, so if I'm going to school I might as well push straight through.

    Can anyone talk more about the differences in financial aid between 2nd Bachelors degrees and Masters?

    Thanks, Chris
    I'm trying to get into a Direct Entry Masters Program at USD in San Diego. From my experience, it seems that there is A LOT more money for the Direct Entry programs than for a second bachelors. Especially at a private college. USD has quite a lot of money to give to those students who choose the Direct Entry route. Second bachelor's students aren't eligible for a lot of the undergraduate money/loans since they already have a bachelors degree, but aren't eligible for graduate loans since they are not in a Masters program. Anyway, good luck!
  10. by   TopCat1234
    Quote from chrisa
    can anyone talk more about the differences in financial aid between 2nd bachelors degrees and masters?

    thanks, chris
    this is what my financial aid officer at my current school told me. i am finishing my bs in finance this summer. unfortunately, because i am reaching the aggregate level for undergraduate degree, i will be coming out of my own pocket this summer and for any 2nd bachelor's degree.

    see, you can borrow up to $5,500 subsidized and $5,000 unsubsidized for your junior and senior years as an undergraduate. that's a total of $10,500 per year and that is what you are looking at receiving for an accelerated bsn or 2nd degree bachelors = $21,000. but your total lifetime loan limit for an undergraduate degree is $46,000. so if you have taken out loans for your first degree, your may not get the full $21,000, depending on how much you already have outstanding.

    for a graduate degree, you can borrow $8,500 subsidized and $10,000 unsubsidized per year = $18,500. however, your total lifetime limit combined for undergraduate and graduate loans is $138,500. so even if you have the full undergraduate limit of $46,000 outstanding, you still get another $92,500 to pursue graduate degrees.

    personally, this is why i am pursing a direct-entry msn program. the only way i can go is on financial aid and i am close to the loan limit for an undergraduate degree. i cannot pay for a 2nd bachelor's thru an accelerated program.

    hope that helps,
    topcat
  11. by   ChrisA
    Wow, TopCat! That's incredibly helpful. Thanks. Fortunately I didn't have to take out loans for my first Bachelors (parents planned very carefully for our educations, thanks be to God) so that's all very helpful information. Do you have any idea what sort of impact credit rating has on student loans, while we're at it?
  12. by   TopCat1234
    thank goodness your parents were prepared! i went back to school when i "grew up" :chuckle and "paid" my own way via loans.

    credit rating has absolutely no bearing on the federal student loan amounts i mentioned above. if you take out private loans, from like your bank or something, then your credit rating comes into play. but federal money is for anyone!

    yippee!:hatparty:

    topcat
  13. by   chiliwings
    Hi Top Cat!

    Thanks for that info about receiving financial aid. I too have a previous degree, but fortunately was already paid for by my parents. I am considering getting a a second bachelors by going the accelerated BSN route. My question is, so if the total lifetime limit loan of an undergraduate is $46,000, can I avail all that if I apply in accelerated BSN? I dont have any student loans from my previous degree, but I am thinking of applying for the ABSN in a private university here in chicago (Loyola University). And if my calculations are correct, the total amount I need to borrow including living expenses (dorm, books etc) is about 40,000. So I was wondering if I can get the maximum amount??

    Thanks again!

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