RN-MSN? (no BSN)--bad move?!

  1. Hello nurses,

    I am doing an ADN program to become a nurse. This is a career change for me. I have a Bachelor's in Bio and a Masters in Health Systems Mnmgt (Health Care Admin). I am trying to decide if I should do a RN-BSN or RN-MSN program when I complete the ADN program. I'm thinking that with RN experience and a MS in Health Systems Management, I would already be qualified for Head Nurse or Nurse Manager positions. Is this right or would I need a Masters or Bachelors in Nursing? (The CNO of a local hospital was in my MS program). I've looked up hospitals in my area to review job requirements but am still unsure. I saw that a "Clinical Supervisor" (not sure what this equates to) requires RN license and MS in Nursing OR Health Care Admin so I would be qualified for this position.

    It's kind of hard for me to say exactly what I want to do beyond bedside nursing, but I think Head Nurse/Nurse Director may be as far as I want to go. I don't see myself wanting to be a CNO or other admin type positions (that's why I'm leaving my current health-admin like field b/c I want to be hands on with patients). I guess I could see myself attracted to the NP role (which would require MSN) as this is still clinical care and not administrative but then again, Head Nurse may be good enough for me.

    I just want to make sure not having the "BSN" won't haunt me if I go for a RN-MSN program.
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    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 17; Likes: 2


  3. by   SNB1014
    im quite positive you are still considered a new graduate rn and will not be remotely considered for a charge/head nurse/ nurse manager position. you'll certainly be a competitive job candidate, but i encourage you to ask around at your clinical sites, and I think you'll come to find that the charge nurses and managers have been around the units for years. you shouldn't be managing others when you don't have a leg to stand on yourself, you know?
  4. by   toekneejo
    I believe that the response from SNB1014 is definitely correct. However, I also would recommend if you are wanting to further your career from the beginning, a BSN is a definite. Many hospitals have implemented the Magnet status which is a symbol of being mainly BSN staffed. The other hospitals will follow suit. When I began nursing (1986) LPN/LVN were utilized on nearly every unit of the hospital I worked at (which was a county regional hospital in Iowa). However, that same hospital now (even though I don't work there anymore) has went with this model of care and you can only find a handful of grandfathered in LPN's in the entire facility and ADN's are now utilized in these positions (along with new, inexperienced BSNs). GN's can get hired at certain times of the year. RN's with experience are always in need, however they are looking more and more at the increased education. Let's say 2 nurses apply for the same job; an ADN applies with 20 years acute care exp. and a BSN with 2years of acute care exp. The BSN will be hired. Some of us "old timers" may not agree with this hiring policy, but it is here to stay, I say get your BSN it will only be about 9 more classes if you hold a bachelors or master's degree. You will still have to work your way up but you will have a better chance to do that and get your foot in the door with the BSN as part of your signature.
  5. by   WillLeads2Way
    I have the same question. I think people may be misinterpreting the person's post. She's asking if RN experience (will take years) + her current Masters will make her a candidate for a nurse manager in the future. Sounds like she's planning ahead.

    I'm in the same boat. I currently have a MS in a health-related field. I had nurses in my grad program. I'm wondering if my current MS degree + years of experience as a RN (not there yet) would meet the qualification. Basically, what can a MS in Health Care Admin and RN license (with years of experience) get you?

    @toekneejo, sounds like you're saying it's best to go the RN-BSN instead of the RN-MSN way b/c of Magnet status. So even if you have an ADN and MSN, you may still run into problems finding a job b/c you don't have a BSN? This is good info to know.
  6. by   toekneejo
    No I wouldn't go that far... the magnet status will hire MSNs but for the OP she has higher inspiration yet doesn't seem to be interested in the upper management positions and with her's and maybe like yourself, a BSN will take her as far as she is wanting to go especially since see already has an MS. Education is a personal choice.
  7. by   health care analyst
    thanks everyone. Yes, I was planning ahead for the future. I wouldn't be qualified as a manager now nor would I want to be...that's why I said "RN experience and MS in Health Sys Mngmt". I'm the type of person that would want to get the educational piece out the way though... my question was pretty much How far can I get with a ADN (w/ experience) and a MS in Health Care. I think I'll just do the RN-BSN when I complete the ADN and after yrs of experience as a RN, I'll look into charge nurse/ head nurse roles and hope that the MS I already have will meet the educational requirements., but I become attracted to the NP role between now and 1-2 yrs of nursing, I'll go for the RN-MSN.

  8. by   daviex
    I have to disagree with the BSN advice. I say go for the MSN and not waste your time on the BSN. You already have a master in healthcare admin, an ADN will get you your RN, you don't need a BSN. Once u have the experience required for a head nurse role your admin degree will be more than sufficient. Good luck, do what u want and follow your heart. I just stepped out of a director role to pursue my FNP. As a director you will not fulfill the desire for bedside care, you may want to seriously consider the practitioner role if you crave patient contact. A good option is to shadow someone in the role you think u want, this will clear up what u want to do and how to go about getting there.
  9. by   health care analyst
    thank you! lI am craving patient contact (at least for now). I know feelings change after you've been doing it for years, but I figure I can always go to a different unit for a change (seems to be the interesting thing about nursing). I will look into shadowing an NP in the future.
  10. by   RNpearls1908
    I am in the same situation where I have a BS in a Health related field and currently getting my ADN. I want to get my Masters in Anesthesia. Majority of masters programs will accept you if you have a BS in a health/science related field an a RN license. As will most hospitals will hire you with an ADN and BS and MS in health related. Alost of nurse residency programs around the country will as well. There are hospitals of course that prefer a BSN but don't require it.

    I say if you can skip over getting a BSN then mos def do it. A BSN I think is a waste of time right now if you have BS or MS already in a health/science related field. Now of course a couple years from now it may be strictly required to have a BSN but when that happens the hospital will pay for u to go back to school and do a online RN-BSN but I'm sure if you have ADN and MSN it is not neccessary to go back to school and get a BSN. Besides BS degrees are even themselves becoming outdated and a lot of NP positions are even moving towards requiring or preferring DNPs
  11. by   MrChicagoRN
    For management you will need either a BSN or a MSN. MHCA or MBA etc will satisfy most requirements as long as you have the BSN. My masters is a non-nursing management degree and about the only thing it doesn't let me do, is to teach.
  12. by   CCRNDiva
    A lot of it depends upon the facility you would work in and their magnet aspirations. Some places require their nursing leadership to have a BSN or a MSN while others will accept an ADN with a bachelors or masters degree in the healthcare field. For instance, I have two former colleagues who were recently promoted to unit director positions as ADNs with bachelors degrees in healthcare administration (one has not yet completed her degree). Unit directors at my current facility, however, are required to hold a MSN or obtain one within 2 years of securing the position. My current facility is a magnet facility. According to the new Magnet guidelines, by 2013, 100% of nurse managers must hold either a bachelors or graduate degree in nursing at the time of application. So a lot would depend upon the hospitals magnet aspirations. My previous facility is not pursuing magnet status so they are willing to promote nurses with experience and degrees in other fields.

    My advice would be to complete the ADN, work as a RN and decide if you want a career that involves direct patient care or management and what type of facility you would like to work in. There is no sense in wasting time and money pursuing another degreee without knowing what you want to do. I worked as a charge RN for several years prior to obtaining my BSN and that was enough for me to know that I did not want a career in management. Your current degrees along with an ADN may qualify you for a leadership position in an ambulatory care center or hospital without an additional degree. If you find that you would like to become an advanced practice nurse, several universities will accept you into their program with your current degrees (you would most likely have to complete some transitional courses like nursing theory, community nursing and research).

    Good luck in journey!!
    Last edit by CCRNDiva on Oct 7, '12 : Reason: clarification
  13. by   summer03
    I really liked the responses to the question about whether to go the RN/MSN or RN/BSN route. I am in a somewhat similar position, having an ADN RN and a separate BS, except my BS is not health-related. I currently work full-time as an RN in a hospital and would love to some day be a nurse practitioner; I am beginning to take courses towards my MSN, but have not applied to a program yet. As you know, with the first courses, they can also count to a BSN if you choose that route instead. I would really prefer to go direct to the MSN and not get my BSN. I would appreciate your opinions, as I don't have much experience. Of course, it would take several years to get my degree and would then have experience, but would hate to have gone down the wrong path. Thanks.
    Last edit by summer03 on Feb 21, '13
  14. by   nursegreen
    I would advise you to contact the CON that you are interested in attending and ask them about their RN to BSN and RN to MSN program so you can compare them. Many universities who offer the RN to MSN will grant you the BSN when you graduate from the masters program if you have met university and state requirements. Ex: Florida has a foreign language requirement for a bachelors degree, and as long as you have met that, they will give you the BSN when you complete the RN to MSN at USF. Basically, it cuts some of the cost by preventing you from taking certain courses at the bachelors level and then having to take them again at the graduate level. Good luck!!!!