Entry-Level MSN or Accelerated BSN?

  1. Hi All,

    I am a Biological Sciences major at UC Riverside entering my senior year, and I am in need of advice on how to go about pursing a career in nursing. I originally wanted to pursue a career as an NP, but with news about the DNP requirement, this will probably have to be something I should do down the line. I've done an extensive amount of research on the EL-MSN programs, and also some research on A-BSN programs, but I am currently torn between the two! The EL-MSN program sounded perfect to me until I started hearing about poor job opportunities for newly grads because of a lack of experience. I am planning to apply a year from now. I was just hoping for some feedback regarding the pros and cons of both programs, my chances of getting accepted, or just any feedback, for that matter! Any help would be much appreciated!

    It might be helpful to know some of my stats:
    • Current GPA: 3.159
    • Pre-requisite grades (All of these courses were taken at UCR and are based on quarter units):
    Functional Anatomy of Vertebrates 1 w/ Lab: B+
    Functional Anatomy of Vertebrates 2 w/ Lab: B+
    Human Anatomy & Physiology: A
    (I believe for most schools, this sequence is counted as '1 year of A&P')
    Nutrition: A
    Microbiology: B
    Intro. Psychology: A
    Honors Intro. Sociology: A
    Intro. to Statistics: A-
    Written Composition 1: A+
    Written Composition 2: B+
    I am still in the process of completing other pre-reqs. such as Speech, Critical Thinking, Lifespan Development, Research Methods, and Microbio. Lab
    • Relevant Experience:
      • ~200 hospital volunteer hours through the Clinical Care Extender Program w/ a current Department Coordinator position at a hospice facility
    • Extra-curricular Activities:
      • Current PR Rep. and former Secretary and Performance Chairperson of a cultural organization on campus
      • Active member of Discover Nursing club on campus
      • 2 years of part-time work experience as a cashier at a cafeteria
    I know my GPA is not the best. Most of my lower grades were from my first two years of school, so I'm hoping schools will take the last 90 units GPA into account to see my improvement. I still need to take the GREs and TEAS Test, but I am saving those for after I graduate so that I can focus my attention on my classes right now.

    Please, be as honest as possible! I want to be realistic regarding my route to nursing. I should also mention that I am not willing to leave California for school. Thank you!
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    About jsala013

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 28; Likes: 27


  3. by   willowita
    With the limited seats and stiff competition at all nursing degree levels, I'd say that applying to both ABSN and ELMSN would be a good move. Then you can weight your options when you get acceptance and rejection letters. Don't limit yourself to just one school.

    If you want to be an NP, then I can see why the ELMSN sounds like a better choice but what if you don't get into ELMSN but you get into the ABSN? You can get your MSN later. It's the longer path but remember that waiting and applying for each ELMSN cycle also takes time (most schools only accept applications once a year). It's always best to have a backup plan. It doesn't mean you have to take it but it's better to have something in case you don't get into an ELMSN program.
  4. by   jsala013
    Thank you for your input, willowita! I really appreciate it. That's what I was thinking, too, but I wanted a second opinion. I will most likely apply to both ELMSN and ABSN programs. The only setbacks might be the varying pre-requisites and the fact that a second bachelors will not be covered by financial aid at all. But really, my main concern at this point is getting into a program. I am still hopeful! If anyone else would like to offer feedback as to my current situation, it would be very much appreciated!! Thank you!