Combined BSN/MSN programs or Master's entry programs in nursing??

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    Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum, and it was so wonderful to discover this site and find so many people in the same, confused boat as I am.

    Anyway, I'll just cut to the chase. I've been doing a lot of research on 2nd degree BSN/direct entry MSN programs, trying to find schools that offer this combined program in which individuals who already have bachelors degrees (though not in nursing) can earn a BSN (accelerated) and soon after, can directly enter the school's MSN program. (ie. Columbia, JHU, University of Pennsylvania)

    But amidst my research, I found that there are also schools that have similar accelerated, direct entry MSN programs that do not offer a BSN degree. The first 1 or 2 years are meant to prepare you for licensure, and after that, you enter a master's specialty of your choice at that same school. (ie. University of Washington, Yale, UCSF)

    Could anyone help shed light on whether there is a true difference in these two paths? Is it all that necessary to hold a BSN if you're going to earn a MSN anyway? Will not holding a BSN result in any drawbacks, such as lower pay, difficulty in getting employed, etc.?

    Thanks so much, and I appreciate any responses! Take care all!
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  4. 0
    Quote from Cheezy
    Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum, and it was so wonderful to discover this site and find so many people in the same, confused boat as I am.

    Anyway, I'll just cut to the chase. I've been doing a lot of research on 2nd degree BSN/direct entry MSN programs, trying to find schools that offer this combined program in which individuals who already have bachelors degrees (though not in nursing) can earn a BSN (accelerated) and soon after, can directly enter the school's MSN program. (ie. Columbia, JHU, University of Pennsylvania)

    But amidst my research, I found that there are also schools that have similar accelerated, direct entry MSN programs that do not offer a BSN degree. The first 1 or 2 years are meant to prepare you for licensure, and after that, you enter a master's specialty of your choice at that same school. (ie. University of Washington, Yale, UCSF)

    Could anyone help shed light on whether there is a true difference in these two paths? Is it all that necessary to hold a BSN if you're going to earn a MSN anyway? Will not holding a BSN result in any drawbacks, such as lower pay, difficulty in getting employed, etc.?

    Thanks so much, and I appreciate any responses! Take care all!
    Hi,
    As I understand it, the programs are designed so that you will get the BSN along the way before you begin the true masters courses. I have a friend who attended the Columbia direct entry program and she even took some time to work/get experience for a year between the BSN portion and the MSN. You can't get an MSN withouth having the BSN. that's how I understand it. So, in the long run it is basically the same a a dual degree-type program, except you have to take the GRE's before you are admitted (at least a Columbia, and you don't have the option of just doing the BSN, at least officially...).
  5. 0
    Quote from Agenyc
    Hi,
    As I understand it, the programs are designed so that you will get the BSN along the way before you begin the true masters courses. I have a friend who attended the Columbia direct entry program and she even took some time to work/get experience for a year between the BSN portion and the MSN. You can't get an MSN withouth having the BSN. that's how I understand it. So, in the long run it is basically the same a a dual degree-type program, except you have to take the GRE's before you are admitted (at least a Columbia, and you don't have the option of just doing the BSN, at least officially...).
    Thanks for your insight Agenyc! You can in fact get a MSN without a BSN, through one of those programs that I mentioned in my first post. Those programs are primarily for people who have bachelors in fields that are not nursing, which allows for not needing a BSN.

    I just want to know what are the pro and cons of entering either a combined BSN/MSN program or a master's entry program that does not give you a BSN.
  6. 0
    Entering an MSN program that does not give you a BSN, but still allows you to sit for the exam, will make it easier should you want to pursue an advanced degree/certification in the future, such as a NP or CRNA. The MSN and BSN each provide a route to becoming an RN, thereby allowing you to practice. The MSN programs tend to provide more leadership training, which I would guess makes you more attractive to employers. Then, if you choose to continue your education, your NP or CRNA curriculum will be much shorter than the typical 2-3 year full-time program. Most schools offering the MSN have a part-time certificate program for such advanced practices.

    I'm looking into these options as well, so this is my understanding based on my own research.

    Good luck!!
  7. 2
    I think there are several fronts to this question.

    1. If you are going for Direct Entry Master-generalist i.e CNL, CNS. then the job market may not look much different than a BSN immediately after you graduate. Plus you've just paid grad school tuition. The flip side is that if you're eligible, you can receive grants that you would not for a second Bachelors.

    2. If you're Direct Entry into a specialty, that is different. My MW went Yale Direct Entry into Midwifery. She regretted that she never had any nursing experience to bring to the table and felt it was more difficult to hit the ground running when she graduated. She felt less prepared for emergencies than her counterparts. Interestingly, her business partner - who did have L&D exp. before her CNM- felt that the Yale grad had an advantage in that because she was more likely to expect birth to progress normally and without complication than peers who had been in L&D.

    3. The only place I have found the Direct Entry getting tricky is if you would ever want to work overseas. I did lots of research when I chose to begin this path, and since the opportunity to work Internationally is quite important to us; it was key that I got the BSN first. Interestingly enough, many countries look at actual program hours when deciding reciprocity and many of the DE- no BSN- Master's programs are actually not fulfilling their requirements. I also looked into the Indian Health Services loan repayment program, and if I remember correctly they too had a similar requirment. (I would double check that if you are interested, but it is my recollection.)

    Either way, the DE programs are becoming much more common and recognized nationally. I wouldn't worry too much if you are planning to work in the States in the private sector.
    Last edit by clhRN2b2010 on May 22, '08
    Tanguera and pazzaragazza like this.
  8. 0
    I know this is an old thread but I am very curious about all of this reciprocity overseas thing.

    I just got accepted into Columbia's combined BSN/MSN program and considered other similar programs because of the fact that if unable to practice as an NP abroad, I would probably be able to use the RN license abroad. Where exactly do you find the rules and regulations for reciprocity? I am very interested in doing international projects and hope that when I get my RN or NP license I can do that... however, I don't know then that Columbia's combined program would be an obvious choice if it would best that I get a BSN first, then a master's.

    Please inform me where you found that information! Thanks!
  9. 0
    calstate fullerton
  10. 0
    Hi Cheezy,

    Considering you posted a year ago, did you already decide whether to do combined BSN/MSN track or did you decide to do the general entry masters? If so why?

    I'm in the same situation you were in. I hold a bachelors in a non nursing field and ultimately hope to be a CRNA. I would rather do a combined BSN/MSN or general entry masters route instead of going to school to be an RN, working a year, and then reapplying to nurse anesthesia schools.

    Do the general entry to nursing programs you mentioned offer nurse anesthesia as a specialty?

    Also,
    The list of schools you provided for the combined BSN/MSN a complete list?

    Thank you so much for your help.
    I hope to hear from you soon.
  11. 0
    i know this is an old thread but i too am wondering what you chose to do? i am in the same position right now and can't decide which would be the best option
  12. 0
    I was looking at a book today at the library called something like Nursing Programs...and it had all the colleges in the us that have programs...

    Ones I glanced at that had it was Emory and Johns Hopkins...but I'm sure there's more...check out this book...or google it...


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