Quote from RN4NICU
The MSN qualifies you to take the certification exam that makes you eligible to practice as an NP. It is similar to the RN program qualifies you to take the NCLEX-RN, which makes you eligible to practice as an RN.
I am in a Masters program and want to clarify that merely obtainint the MSN will not qualify you to sit for the Clinical Nurse Specialist Nor the Nurse Practitioner exams, at all. They are not the same thing.
It would be like thinking just because you completed your RN program that you could automatically get your ACLS certification.
Usually programs do combine their NP alongside their MSN but, do not assume this.
In my program, (which is a masters entry and is a general MSN) we complete all the core courses for the RN and the MSN. If I want to pursue the NP or CNS I will not need to repeat the core courses but, will definately have another 5-6 full time quarters of -specialty- area aside from the clinicals it requires.
So, clearly and MSN is not the same thing as an NP.
Good luck and congratulations on your decision to further your education.