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.
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
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