Vanderbilt's MSN Program (non-BSN)

  1. What reputation does Vandy's MSN program have among hospitals and providers? I was thinking about doing their accelerated program for non-BSN students. I'm weighing all the pros and cons about doing this, and I need help deciding if it's a wise decision.

    • Shaving a year of tuition off my parents' backs (they have the option of starting after junior year)
    • If possible, getting a decent job early on
    • Less schooling after graduation

    • No BSN and won't have RN experience prior to the program
    • From what I heard, lack of RN experience will make me much less appealing to employers, MSN or not.

    The second con is a BIG concern and is the reason why I'm wondering whether it'll be worth it. Half of what I hear people say is being an NP without RN experience is a recipe for disaster; the other half says being an NP is a different beast from being an RN and therefore isn't completely necessary to become an RN beforehand. Some hospitals around my area require at least a year or two of clinical experience before hiring, but others don't (okay, make that most of them require two years, but a prominent hospital doesn't).

    Is it really that bad if I don't start out as an RN first? I can't really be an RN without enrolling in Vandy's MSN program as a non-BSN student, since I'll have received by RN certification after the first year of the program (pre-specialty year). Do hospitals and other providers know about Vandy's MSN program and NP preparation, and is it highly regarded -- to the point where I could get some leeway for my lack of RN experience?

    P.S. I live in Houston and I'm hoping to work there, if that elucidates anything about job prospects (yes, I'm aware that the Med. Center breeds fierce competition).