Advice Please- MSN, no specialty? - page 2

by Peace.Love.Cupcakes. 5,302 Views | 15 Comments

Hello all! First post, long time lurker. I am currently dying to start graduate school. Problem is I'm not quite sure what I want to be when I grow up, so I decided I'd just earn an MSN and not choose a specialty. Problem is,... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from missbecky2006
    I respectfully disagree.

    I am planning on going into a MSN/CNL (Clinical Nurse Leader) program next year. CNLs are prepared as advanced generalists. If you look at curriculum and the CNL white paper (gigantic job description), it is about 1/3 clinical, 1/3 leadership, and 1/3 mentorship education. There are online programs out there. It is NOT an advanced practice preparation, so if you are looking to diagnose/prescribe, then not for you.

    FYI the job prospects are not stellar as the role is new and still in the implementation phase in most areas. The VA system uses them extensively but they are the only ones that I know of for sure in the Midwest that do (I work for them, so this works for me). Other areas of the country might be different. However, having an MSN is always going to give you more opportunities. I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to get a job in management or education with it, or other upper level nursing positions.

    Anyway, something to think about.
    I just graduated from one of these programs (generalist entry master's and CNL), and unless you have experience and work in the VA system, I really don't know if it's worth the time to pursue something like this at this time. As you said, CNLs are still newish in the field of nursing, and quite frankly, no one seems to know what to do with them outside of the VA. It's something that looks good on paper but doesn't really translate into any added benefit or salary increase unless you happen to be somewhere that uses them heavily (i.e. the VA). I think it's better to just figure out what you want to do and pursue that - NP or CNS or whatnot. Unless you want to pursue a career in management, because a generalist MSN may help with that.
  2. 0
    Quote from chicagoNIT
    Unless you want to pursue a career in management, because a generalist MSN may help with that.
    Even then, it wouldn't help nearly as much as an MSN in administration/management ...
  3. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    Even then, it wouldn't help nearly as much as an MSN in administration/management ...
    Agreed!
  4. 0
    Northern Arizona University offers a MSN- Generalist track that does not require any years experience.
  5. 0
    I am also one for waiting to determine what you want to do.

    Financial aid regulations have changed in recent years, and prioritize those enrolled in degree programs (MSN, DNP, PHD). This includes scholarships, fellowships and loans. While you could always go for a generalist MSN now and a post-masters certificate later, you should not expect any scholarships or Stafford loans for that post-masters certificate since it is not an academic degree.

    Of course, if you have the personal savings to pay the full price for a post-masters specialty certification than Go For It! But not everyone can self-pay.
  6. 0
    Check out DePaul's MENP program. It doesn't have the CNL focus, and doesn't require you to specialize. What I do like about it though is that it does incorporate core courses for advanced practical nursing (but it's general), so should you choose your specialty later on, you will be a step ahead.

    Master's Entry to Nursing Practice | Nursing | Graduate Programs | Academics | DePaul University


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