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!
May 22, '08
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