Direct entry Master's with no BSN (BC and MGH), good idea?

  1. 0
    Hi everybody!

    I have recently gotten into Boston College for women's health and MGH IHP for women's health/adult-gerontology. I know that both schools are very different, and being from California, it's hard for me to grasp the general feel of either of these places.

    My biggest dilemma is that Boston College doesn't offer a BSN, just an RN and straight to the Masters. I have a BS in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, but I've heard that it's very hard to get hired with just an RN and no BSN. Does this mean that it would be virtually impossible to find a job before the completion of my Masters? (which also becomes even more difficult since I didn't have the option of getting RN experience)

    Would getting the dual certification (WH/AG) open up any more opportunities, or would I still be able to get hired for jobs outside women's health with some experience?

    Does anybody have personal experience of feeling that the BC 22 month program was too short, or that it readily prepared you as much as the 3 year programs?

    I know MGH offers the BSN, but the program is much more expensive and much longer.

    I keep going in circles:

    Boston College: shorter program, no BSN, far from Boston (was hoping for more city feel)
    MGH: longer program, BSN, closer to city center, but in very commercial/industrialized area

    If anybody has any insight it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!!
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Hi there! I hope this isn't finding you too late, but a program with no BSN is not a good idea. I'd go for MGH if it offers the BSN. Also, many of the students who are in your position (and mine, as well) post in the "Post Graduate Nursing" section under "students". Good luck!
  4. 2
    Ultimately it really doesn't matter if you are planing on continuing to a MSN.

    Are there benefits to having an interim BSN? Sure. Does it preclude you from getting employment without and interim BSN? Not really. Are their drawbacks to an interim BSN? Some.

    Either program will serve you well.

    Be careful listing a short program as a pro. It is also a con, especially at the masters level.
    elkpark and BCgradnurse like this.
  5. 1
    It would be better if you go back for the bsn first then work awhile and then go for your DNP. Experience is very important, I personally wouldn't consider going to grad school w/o experience as an RN first.
    hopefulnurse24 likes this.
  6. 0
    I would just be careful about not having a BSN. I know for a fact that Duke Hospital requires a BSN and a MSN to work in their hospital as an NP (it is in the job description for the job listings), and I'm sure that there are other hospitals that are the same. And getting a job as an RN to get that bedside nursing experience can be very hard without a BSN... The only exception to this is midwifery, because they don't need bedside nursing experience as much as some of the other NP specialties do. I had received admission to Marquette's direct entry MSN program, where they award you with an RN (not a BSN) and then a masters, and I spoke to some students who said that not having a BSN ultimately hurt them when finding a job to work as a bedside nurse. A lot of them haven't been able to find jobs in their hopeful field as an RN, and many of their classmates had trouble too. This is a personal decision that you will have to make on your own after lots of reflection about what is best for you, but just think about it carefully and do lots of research! And please note that all of this comes from someone who is NOT yet a nurse, just someone currently in the application process.
  7. 1
    I graduated several years ago from BC as an FNP. Not having a BSN has not made a bit of difference, and I think it becomes less and less of an issue once you get NP experience. I had no trouble finding a job and I never worked as an RN. I wanted to, but no one was hiring new grad RNs at the time, BSN or not. I find that I use very little of what I learned in the RN portion of my program. I work outpatient. The BC program prepared me to be a novice, entry-level NP. No one is going to be an expert NP at graduation, regardless of how much RN experience you have or if you have an ADN vs. BSN. I think RN/BSN experieince is more of an issue if you want to work in-patient or do Acute Care.
    Also, BC is on the very edge of Boston, and the whole city is accessible by subway and bus. It's in an active, busy area that's loaded with restaurants, bars, and shops. Should you decide to go there, find your own housing-graduate housing is very expensive and not so great.
    mzaur likes this.
  8. 0
    If you want to work inpatient then RN experience is important and you do need a BSN. That being said MGH only gives you the BSN after you graduate so it won't help you in between the licensure year and your masters. MGH also has quite a few online classes... If I were you I would talk to former and present students (especially people working in your dream job) and see what they say about their programs and how hard it was to land those jobs. If you could go out and visit--I would! It helps to get a feel for the schools when you are there in person. Good luck! Let us know what you pick!
  9. 0
    Are you referring to the direct entry MSN program at MGH? As far as I know, it is the same as BC (RN ->MSN, no BSN).
    Master of Science in Nursing (Direct Entry) - MGH Institute - Boston, MA

    Most direct entry programs do not give BSN. There are a few like UPenn, Columbia, and Northeastern (also in Boston) that do give the BSN. I can't apply to these because you are considered an undergraduate during your first year, and I reached my limit already for maximum undergraduate financial aid. So if you plan on taking out federal loans, make sure you can take loans out for the first year of a BSN program


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