Confused about what an MSN really is.

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    Hi. I'm a 2nd year student in a pretty good California nursing program and I am totally confused about what an MSN is. I understand that it is a post-grad program but what I really don't get is if the degree itself is the same/or higher than a BSN or RN. The program that I am in is a generic masters program for people who already have BA/BS in another field. We take the same nursing curriculum as the BSN students in our cohort, but they get a BSN and we get an RN, then one more year an MSN/CNS. After I get the RN, is that considered equivalent to an ADN, or a BSN, and can I get a job before I get my MSN? Once I get the MSN is that considered the same as a BSN? I'm really confused and starting to get worried. Thnaks a bunch for any help.
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    Same as with me, I'm really confused about it! Also, I'm thinking about psychology graduate programs. Will that be related to my course?
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Oct 9, '12 : Reason: ToS
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    BSN = Bachelors of science in nursing. After obtaining this degree you can take the test to become an RN = registered nurse.
    MSN = Masters of science in nursing. After obtaining this degree you can take the test to become a nurse practitioner or specialize in another field. So to answer your question, yes a MSN is a higher degree than a BSN. The program you are describing is a direct entry to a MSN program, which requires you to hold a bachelors degree in a non-nursing field to apply. Typically, the first portion of the program requires you to take the NCLEX, which allows you to become an RN. Then the second portion of the program is where you get your MSN.
    tinburma likes this.
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    Quote from phieud
    MSN = Masters of science in nursing. After obtaining this degree you can take the test to become a nurse practitioner or specialize in another field.
    Please note that only MSN programs that offer a specialization in NP or other advanced practice role qualify one for certification and practice in those roles. There are many different MSN programs out there with different "concentrations" (same as a major in undergrad degrees). If you want to be an NP, you have to graduate from an MSN program with an NP concentration. If you want to be a CNM, you have to graduate from an MSN program with a CNM concentration. Etc.
    tinburma likes this.
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    Quote from bradleystacks
    Same as with me, I'm really confused about it! Also, I'm thinking about psychology graduate programs. Will that be related to my course?
    A psychology graduate degree will not benefit you professionally in nursing. If psych is your specialty area, get a graduate degree in psychiatric nursing. Or get out of nursing and switch to psychology. Best wishes for your journey!
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Oct 9, '12 : Reason: Edit quoted post for ToS
    tinburma likes this.


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