MSN vs. PhD

  1. I have always been interested in research and teaching, and I have the intention of pursuing a PhD at some point in my life. However, I have always thought that I would earn a Master's degree first, practice as a NP, and raise a family before earning my doctorate.

    However, one of the faculty members at my school is encouraging me to consider attending a BSN to PhD program. I think that this would be something that I would really enjoy, but I have reservations about my abilities, the time commitment (1-2 extra years in school), and balancing life in academia with having children.

    For those of you in PhD programs, please share your experiences. If you have children or are planning to do so, how to you (or how do you plan to) balance family with your career?

    If you have any other insights about MSN vs. PhD, I would appreaciate hearing from you. Thanks in advance.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   RNPATL
    Quote from BSNDec06
    I have always been interested in research and teaching, and I have the intention of pursuing a PhD at some point in my life. However, I have always thought that I would earn a Master's degree first, practice as a NP, and raise a family before earning my doctorate.

    However, one of the faculty members at my school is encouraging me to consider attending a BSN to PhD program. I think that this would be something that I would really enjoy, but I have reservations about my abilities, the time commitment (1-2 extra years in school), and balancing life in academia with having children.

    For those of you in PhD programs, please share your experiences. If you have children or are planning to do so, how to you (or how do you plan to) balance family with your career?

    If you have any other insights about MSN vs. PhD, I would appreaciate hearing from you. Thanks in advance.
    You might want to consider the many new options out there for a BSN to DNP degree. This is the new practice degree and would qualify you for board certification as a NP as well as qualify you for a tenure track to teach. Good luck!
  4. by   10nis
    Hi!

    I am currently enrolled in a BSN-->PhD program, just finished my second semester--I am on an "educator" track, the school also has a "leadership" track. This program will take me 3 full years of classes + dissertation. I am currently on a GAANN Grant; therefore, I can not work. There are several schools in the US that recieved the GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) Grant for BSN -->PhD programs, so--if you are interested in the program, I would highly recommend you finding out if any schools around you received the grant (it covers all of my tuition/book/supplies and pays me a stipend). All schools aren't distributing them the same way but it is very much worth looking in to. Many of the MSN students in the program currently work to pay for their education and find it difficult to manage their time.

    To be perfectly honest, going to school full time is easier on me and my family than working 3-4 x 12 hour shifts per week at the hospital, being gone from home 13-14 hours a day and returning home exhausted. I do alot of my research, writing and studying at home. My masters level courses are on-line and the doctorate level courses are in the classroom. Usually, I take 6 hours of doctorate level courses per semester and 3 hours of Masters level--9 hours is full time in PhD studies. My program has 21 hours of masters level courses and 64 doctorate level hours.

    Since you say in your original note that you are interested in research and teaching I would say this is the perfect fast track option for you. The DNP prepares practitioners, not educators or researchers.

    As far as your abilities, you will be challenged - but, if you have supportive faculty it is a very rewarding process.

    Good Luck! I will be happy to answer any other questions you might have!

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