Straight to the MSN, skip the BSN postlicensure?

  1. Hello everyone!

    I posted a similar question a few years ago when I was a prelicensure nursing student. Now that I'm a licensed RN, I'm seeking some additional insight.

    I have an ADN, a non-nursing bachelor's, and am 1.5 trimesters away from a master's in a health-related field. I would like to pursue additional credentials in nursing and am considering ADN-MSN programs that do not award the BSN along the way.

    Specifically, I'd like to teach RN-BSN students online in the future. Would the lack of a BSN be a detriment to such career goals? Can anyone share reasons why skipping the BSN would be a bad idea, given my previous bachelor's and impending master's?

    Eventually, I plan to pursue a PhD in nursing or public health.

    Thanks in advance!
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    About 777RN

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 310; Likes: 114
    from US
    Specialty: 4+ year(s) of experience in Geriatrics, dementia, hospice

    11 Comments

  3. by   Anonymous1257
    There are numerous bridge programs in nursing that skip the BSN and go straight to the MSN, you won't stick out for not having a BSN, only thing folks will care about is the MSN.
  4. by   777RN
    I appreciate your thoughts on this and agree with this line of thinking.

    However, I have heard that some employers, such as the Veterans' Administration and other federal entities, absolutely require a BSN. I read a story about someone who had to obtain a BSN after an MSN to satisfy VA requirements. While I never plan to work for the VA or the federal government, I also want to keep as many options open as possible.

    Still, though, the idea of getting another bachelor's doesn't sit well with me. I want to get the most bang for my educational buck.

    Thoughts?
  5. by   Anonymous1257
    I haven't heard of that, it seems kind of silly on the part of the VA but I suppose that's a beuarocracy for you! If I ever ran across an organization that required both a BSN and an MSN, I'd move right along. The MSN is more marketable than a BSN at large and opens the door into nurse educator, research and advanced practice settings.
    I doubt that you'll ever regret taking the efficient path to the MSN rather than meandering through a BSN first unecessarily.
  6. by   777RN
    Again, thanks for your reply!

    Any opinions on the best ADN-MSN programs? Just curious. In particular, I've been considering the University of Arizona (expensive), Western Governors University (inexpensive), and Southern New Hampshire University (mid-range). UA only awards the MSN, WGU awards both degrees at the end of all study, and SNHU awards the BSN along the way.

    Thanks again!
  7. by   Anonymous1257
    I'm not familiar with those programs, but if you can get a BSN en route to the MSN and it takes the same amount of time, that sounds reasonable. Expense is always a big factor, all other factors held equal I'd take less debt and an MSN over more debt and a BSN and MSN
  8. by   JBMmom
    I did hear feedback from one nurse when I was researching programs that the MSN without the BSN might not satisfy hiring criteria at certain institutions (like some magnet hospitals), because of the foundational theory covered in the BSN. I chose the RN-MSN program at Sacred Heart University. It's relatively expensive (approx. $2K per course- $660/credit hour, 12 courses total), but it's all on-line until the last two classes and it's convenient for me. The course format is mostly writing and discussion boards which is much easier for me than traditional nursing school with the crazy multiple choice exams. I'm about half way through, taking it slowly, and am happy with it so far.
  9. by   mmc51264
    I have a friend that wanted to get her DNP and was told she had to have the BSN. She got the BSN and is almost finished MSN while working on DNP. A lot of it overlaps, so it is not 3 distinct programs. She will have completed all three in about 3 1/2 years.
  10. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    I'm kinda in the same boat. I'm graduating with my RN (wow that was a fast 2 years) from an ADN, and I have a bachelors in a non-nursing field, so I want to do the RN-MSN route, but I have a few things that I'm afraid of. I know people say that A's aren't everything, but as hard as I tried, I simply could not get one in my ADN program. I was a straight B, and I'm not sure if that makes me uncompetitive or if I'm midpack, being that nursing is such a hard program to ace. But as mentioned above, I'm hearing that the whole skipping BSN thing is not looked too highly upon. So as much as I'd like to skip an additional few years of school to get the MSN, it appears this would not be feasible in the long run. Any thoughts?
  11. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    And also, this appears to be kind of a weird route to take now. Everyone wants a BSN...so if I go RN-MSN, I would need experience working first before I can be taken as a legitimate contender for any MSN programs...so I wouldn't get that experience without the BSN. is this getting more confusing?
  12. by   mmc51264
    Depends on what type of MSN you want. It is such a fluid state. I have heard now that you must have DNP to be CRNA (like all the OT/PT/Pharm.D issues). I just finished my BSN. I have a BS in another field (and a masters in another field), so all I had to take were the nursing classes-took me a calender year. Now I have applied for an MSN in Informatics. The masters I have waives the GRE (thank GOD!). I could have applied with my ADN, I still have the minimum of 2 years experience. Each place is different. Some look at the individual, some, just GPA and degree-check the little boxes.

    The VA is a little weird. They make stuff up as they go. I have a friend who was in Army, has an MBA but they wouldn't hire her while she was doing BSN. Another person had LPN and they hired her with an ADN. ????

    OP, If you want a Ph.D in nursing, you may have to have the BSN. Where I am, you have to have it to get DNP. Like I said, there are such a wide range of requirements. I guess you could see where you want to go and do some research.
  13. by   besaangel
    Quote from jlmPMHNPstudent
    I'm not familiar with those programs, but if you can get a BSN en route to the MSN and it takes the same amount of time, that sounds reasonable. Expense is always a big factor, all other factors held equal I'd take less debt and an MSN over more debt and a BSN and MSN
    ^^this. Bridge classes for the RN-MSN may take a year or more to complete so in hindsight, one could earn a BSN to show for that bridge year.

    Frontiers bridge year, for example costs about 13k with nothing to show for it, whereas one could earn BSN in the same time and for less.


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