Why go for a MSN?

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I'm new here. I have a BA in English and am applying to accelerated BSN and MSN (that includes the nursing portion) programs. I'm not too sure about the MSN program. Any thoughts on why a MSN is a good way to go? What are the advantages? What can I do with a MSN that I can't with a BSN?
    TIA,
    Lilah
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   KatieBell
    With an MSN you can teach at the Community College level, and sometimes beyond depending on the situation. You can become a Nurse practitioner, depending on the MSN program...

    Those are just 2 things you can do with an MSN.
  4. by   iwannabeanurse06
    Thanks for your response KatieBell! I'm going to look into it some more.
    Lilah
  5. by   elkpark
    An MSN gives you lots of additional opportunities in nursing -- it is the gateway into the four advanced practice roles (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist). It is also often required (depending on the institution) for promotion into higher levels of nursing adminstration, and is the minimum credential (in most schools) for getting a teaching job.

    There are lots of programs now that will take you right into a MSN program without any nursing experience, but I (personally) can't imagine how you could make an informed decision about whether you want to pursue a higher degree in nursing without having any spent time in the field as a generalist nurse and figuring out whether or not you want to make a career in nursing. For one thing, many of us started out in nursing school sure that we knew what we wanted to specialize in for our careers, only to change our minds later on as we gained experience in different clinical rotations. Generalist nurses have much more flexibility to change specialty areas -- once you have an advanced degree and are credentialed in an advanced practice role, you can't just decide that you'd rather do something different (not without going back to school for additional education). It seems to me that it would be an awful shame to go to all the trouble and expense of getting a graduate degree in nursing and then have it turn out after a while that that isn't really what you want to do ...

    I was an RN for ten years before returning to grad school to take an MSN, and it was a logical extension of my practice up to that point -- I had gotten as far in my specialty as I could go as a generalist, and I was ready to take the next step.

    However, different strokes for different folks ... I would encourage you to explore and research further, and make sure that you want to make a career in nursing, in general, before taking on the challenge of an advanced degree. Best wishes!
  6. by   MagicalThinking
    an MSN means potentially more money, advancement opportunities into management and possible autonomy (for some APN's). also depending on what APN role you want the money could be ALOT more...for instance CRNA's where i am start at $100,000 a year and $125,000 is not uncommon. i don't mean to imply money is the most important thing...Lord knows you should never do anything that you aren't passionate about...i just mean depending on your situation (kids, divorce, etc.) money could be an issue. i am going to be a clinical nurse specialist in onc or ccu because that's the nursing role i feel passionate about and i am excited about continuing my education further. just do what is in your heart.
  7. by   iwannabeanurse06
    Thanks so much for your replies. Lot of info I need to process. I'm sure I'll be back to ask more ?????
  8. by   rnlamb
    iam starting my FNP program this Jan. can anyone give me info. as far as job opportunities and salaries????
  9. by   KTakami
    Quote from elkpark
    An MSN gives you lots of additional opportunities in nursing -- it is the gateway into the four advanced practice roles (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist). It is also often required (depending on the institution) for promotion into higher levels of nursing adminstration, and is the minimum credential (in most schools) for getting a teaching job.

    There are lots of programs now that will take you right into a MSN program without any nursing experience, but I (personally) can't imagine how you could make an informed decision about whether you want to pursue a higher degree in nursing without having any spent time in the field as a generalist nurse and figuring out whether or not you want to make a career in nursing. For one thing, many of us started out in nursing school sure that we knew what we wanted to specialize in for our careers, only to change our minds later on as we gained experience in different clinical rotations. Generalist nurses have much more flexibility to change specialty areas -- once you have an advanced degree and are credentialed in an advanced practice role, you can't just decide that you'd rather do something different (not without going back to school for additional education). It seems to me that it would be an awful shame to go to all the trouble and expense of getting a graduate degree in nursing and then have it turn out after a while that that isn't really what you want to do ...

    I was an RN for ten years before returning to grad school to take an MSN, and it was a logical extension of my practice up to that point -- I had gotten as far in my specialty as I could go as a generalist, and I was ready to take the next step.

    However, different strokes for different folks ... I would encourage you to explore and research further, and make sure that you want to make a career in nursing, in general, before taking on the challenge of an advanced degree. Best wishes!

    Wow! So brief but informative! Thanks elkpark for this info. I also love how you said "different strokes for different folks" at the end, after giving your 2 cents. Gee, I'm 21 & getting my ADN this May but already looking to start at least an RN-MSN online option for this Fall. After reading this & hearing similar things from some nurses who got their Master's after working for a while bedside, I'm thinking it might be wise if I wrk for at least a year before going back to school to start an RN-MSN or BSN at the least.
    Thank you!

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