BSN/MSN Bridge programs

  1. So for my first post, I figure I might as well get the noob question out of the way that I cant find with the search function.

    So I just graduated from HS and am about to start getting my GE out of the way at my local community college. Lucky for me I also was able to get onto the waiting list for the schools nursing program.

    But I'm rather...ambitious you could say. I want to get my MSN and hopefully become a NP one day. But enough blather, my question is, assuming you take the max amout of classes you can while working, about how long does it normally take to complete the bridge from RN-BSN? And then again from BSN to MSN? And if there is no "set amount" (which I assume there isn't) what would you say is average?
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    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 3


  3. by   Tweety
    All programs differ. When I started my program we were only allowed to take one class at a time. Now they allow two, so people can do it in about 1.5 years. University of Phoenix online program is one that lets you take more than one class as well.

    RN to BSN programs are designed for the working student, and sometimes schools only offer a couple of classes at a time each semester, rather than a bunch at a time.

    Probably you can get RN to BSN done in about 1 to 1.5 years by doubling up on classes.

    I would say about the same for BNS to MSN/NP. It's hard to rush NP school because of the clinicals and it's usually 1.5 to 2 years.

    Good luck!!!
  4. by   llg
    I agree with Tweety (as usual), though he may have underestimated the length of time it takes to get an MSN with an NP focus. There are lots of clinical hours in most NP programs that are often more than those required for other MSN's. However, note that the timetable he is giving is about as short as it can be. Most people actually take longer because of life's realities.

    For example, most people find that they are more successful in the BSN completion programs (and at their jobs) if they work for an RN for at least a few months before starting back to school. The transition from student to staff nurse is usually a difficult one and I strongly recommned completing the orientation for your first RN job and working at least 2 or 3 months before going back to school. It doesn't have to be a long break from school, but it should be enough to get your feet on the ground as a working RN. Some new grads can do that in 2 or 3 months: others take a year or two. Sure -- some people can do everything simultaneously and still do a good job, but most people benefit from making the transition first and then starting back to school for their BSN.

    Also, NP education is changing and by the time you are ready to enter graduate school, the programs may be much longer. You may even find that the local NP programs are no longer at the MSN level, but rather at the doctoral level (DNP). That will add an extra 2 years to Tweety's estimates.

    Take it one step at a time. You never know. You may find that your opinions and preferences change as you become more familiar with the many choices that nursing has to offer. I have known many, many people who entered the nursing profession believing that they wanted one type of job -- and ended up wanting another type of job after they got some actual experience with nursing and explored more options.
  5. by   Tweety
    Good advice llg, as always. My estimates were based on doubling up on some of the courses. Obviously one can't double up on the clinicals so there's only so fast one can go.

    I've met many an ambitious person that have loaded themselves up with courses, only to drop later when the reality of working full time and taking extra courses above the recommended amount takes ahold.

    Take your time, one step at a time as llg states. Once you get into school there's no telling what direction your nursing life is going to take. I admire your ambition, but nothing wrong with working and taking only a class or two at a time and taking 2 years to be RN to BSN.

    Best wishes.