MSN direct entry/CNL/NP questions

  1. 0
    Hello,

    I'm currently planning on attending UCLA for the direct entry MSN program. This certifies me as a CNL. I'm hoping to receive more information and advice about this position.

    As a student completing a non-nursing bachelor degree 2014, what would be my best option? I am more interested in an accelerated MSN program in comparison to BSN program, given I would have my masters. What would I do as a CNL, are there many jobs as a CNL?

    If I'm interested in becoming an NP down the road, I see there are post-masters certificates, would I be able to do these programs? The average length I'm looking at seems to be around a year, is this accurate?

    Any information and insight would be greatly appreciated. I would be more than happy to elaborate as needed.

    Thank you so much for your input!
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I don't have an interest in CNL. I hope to work as a bedside RN/ ultimately become a Nurse Practitioner. From what I've seen, a lot of people aren't recommending a program that is direct entry NP.

    So- if my aspiration is to one day go back and become an NP. Would it be best for be to do an ABSN program or still the direct-entry MSN, CNL program? I would be fine working as a bedside RN after completing that program. Would pay be different because I had a masters?

    Would it be easier to later become an NP if I went through the direct-entry MSN program now rather than ABSN? To my understanding, if I already had my MSN I would just have to later get a FNP certificate for example, after I've practiced as an RN for awhile?

    Sorry- still new to all of this. Was considering PA school for awhile but am deciding this is what I would rather do. Thanks!
  5. 0
    I'm starting a grad entry CNL program in a month and here's why I chose the CNL focus when applying. I have a background in sports medicine at the high school level and a strong desire / passion / interest in trauma and emergency medicine. Even with this desire I still was very unsure if I could handle constant pediatric trauma or if I would be better off in an adult setting. There was also a feeling of what if I fall in love with L&D during our pre-licensure work...how would I be able to switch to a more appropriate focus (we have to petition to change and only if there are openings)? Our CNL program doesn't pigeon hole me into one focus like a neonatal NP or FNP track would and that was a major draw for me.

    As for becoming a NP down the road, yes you can do a Post-Masters program to satisfy the NP requirements. The length depends on what type of NP you're going for. I believe our FNP is a semester longer than the peds NP but can vary based on the program.

    Hopefully some of this is helpful. Don't hesitate to ask more questions!
  6. 0
    We have had a Master's Entry CNL program at the University of Virginia since 2005, and have graduated ME:CNL's since 2007. Many of these have gone on to further education (PhD, DNP, NP, CRNA, etc).

    If you have not discovered yet, there is no uniform pathway in nursing education. Even though our CNL grads have earned a MSN degree, not all universities have admitted them into a Post-Master's certificate program. Some schools have required that they re-do a MSN degree.

    Most of our own graduates have worked for 2-3 years before going on for the specialty certification program. For most, the first 12 months after NCLEX is to work beyond the pure novice stage to advanced novice. Year Two is when everything 'clicks' and mastery of a specific field (or subspecialty) develops. Our CNL alum report that at the end of Year Two has been the best time to then start a specialty NP, CNS or CRNA program. Two years of working full-time as a RN has also allowed them to pay down any student loan debts before taking out any more for the next stage of their careers.
  7. 0
    @KAR813 thanks for your input! I feel similar to your thoughts in many ways. Just because I'm having a hard time understanding still.. would you plan to work as a bedside RN for awhile following this then? I'm confused as to the difference of a bedside RN verses a CNL then between us having an MSN in comparison to nurses with a BSN or simply RN associate programs.

    I want to get into nursing in a way that will most easily allow me to become licensed as I'm
    1. a non-nursing degree holder
    2. I want to be in a position that's easy/easiest to advance if I chose to later do so and become ARNP
    3. Money is a factor, whether it be paying for MSN/ABSN/RN community college schooling. And what my pay would be coming out of those programs.

    Would I be payed more to work as a bedside RN if I had my MSN compared to a BSN or simply RN?
  8. 0
    I do plan on being at the bedside at the completion of my CNL program because my ultimate career goal is to be a flight nurse which does require critical care or emergency department experience before applying. Where I am in the mid-west, the CNL position is just beginning to emerge so it's difficult for me to answer how we would differ from BSN grads when entering the workforce. Personally, I have no issue being clumped into a normal new grad program at a hospital at the beginning of my career because I will have about the same amount of clinical experience (maybe an extra semester and a half). As I make my way through my program I will learn more about my job outcome.

    I'm also not too worried about how much more I might be paid off the bat by having a MS as my entry level degree. If it helps me, great. If not, I can figure out a way to make it benefit me in the future. For me, I want to begin my career as a nurse, begin my family, and THEN worry about advancing my education if I see fit at that point. I know that this isn't the path for everybody, but for me and my hubbs, this is our happy medium.
  9. 1
    For us, we tell our CNL students from day one that they will be applying for the same entry-level positions as our traditional BSN grads. The nursing system is structured that everyone starts as a novice. However, we are seeing that CNL grads are rising faster up the clinical ladder than BSN (or community college grads) when employers see their enhanced skill set.

    Some employers are loving CNLs. The UCSD Health System just last week awarded their Nurse of the Year award to one of our Master's Entry CNL grads from 2008.
    NurseCrespoEm likes this.
  10. 0
    Thanks for your input!

    @KAR813 Thank you so much for your input! I really feel like I can relate to your thoughts and reasoning behind the MSN program and I really appreciate your input in helping me make a decision.

    UVA Grad Nursing, so if I'm just trying to get into the field as an RN in an accelerated program (with possible advancement in the future)- you would recommend the MSN over BSN programs? I still am trying to figure out program costs. My big concern is that if I pay a little more for an MSN program compared to BSN program that it will be worth it down the long wrong/I'll be able to pay off those loans. Because I'd be getting my MSN/CNL/RN would that hurt me to not have a BSN? Or not because I'd have an RN? Sorry, still new to all of these different roles and ways to get into the field and trying to figure out what's best for me.
  11. 0
    Glad I could provide some helpful views and I wish I had all the answers about life after nursing school as a CNL for both of us! I just went through my orientation and most of what was covered was what we need to know for the first week of classes and not so much on after we've made it through. But that will come in time.
  12. 2
    I debated this myself. I applied to MSN-CL and direct enty programs and ABSN programs and didn't decide until I got into all of them. I decided on ABSN because most people are more familiar with a bachelor's in nursing. I went with a really good school (Duke I start this fall) that I knew would really prepare me to be an awesome nurse. I definitely think you need experience as an RN before becoming an NP so that's why I didn't pick the direct entry programs I got into. I didn't go with the MSN-CNL because it was two years and I wanted to graduate earlier. But actually the MSN would have been cheaper for me because there are more scholarships and federal loans available for graduate degrees than for undergraduate degrees. It was a hard choice. Good luck! I say apply to both. I only knew my true feelings when I was accepted to all of them. Also ask future employers at places you want to work what they would prefer to hire or are familiar with.
    mgh26 and soulshine101 like this.


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