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ABSN vs Direct Entry Masters Program.



I have a few questions about the difference between ABSN and Direct Entry Masters programs. I have a BS already in a non-nursing major and have been looking at a variety of different programs.

I am coming across 3 types of accelerated nursing programs for non-nursing Bachelors students.

1) Accelerated BSN programs that are about 15-18 months. You graduate with your BSN and are eligible to take the NCLEX. e.g Concordia University

2) Direct Entry Masters of Nursing programs that are also 15-18 months. For these programs, you graduate with your MSN and are eligible to take the NCLEX. e.g John Hopkins University

3) Direct Entry Masters of Nursing program where the curriculum is split into two. One half being your RN coursework and the second half being your speciality coursework to become a nurse practioner, DNP, etc. When you graduate, you have your RN license and your Advanced Practice license.

My confusion lies in what the difference really is between option 1 and 2. Essentially, both programs finish with you having your RN license. Is the hiring/ job outlook different for someone who has a MSN vs a BSN if they both program end with you having your RN license?

Thank you so much for any responses !

I have been trying to decide between these programs also. I am leaning towards direct master's programs because they seem to be about the same cost and length of time. I would rather personally have an advanced degree so I can grow. If you want to stick with nursing, I think a BSN is a good option. If you want to eventually become an NP or nurse anesthetist or nurse leader, an MSN seems like a better option.

One strong consideration factor is the MSN allows for larger student loans. It’s graduate level.

I decided to pursue the ABSN route because for me it's way shorter. Additionally the MSN programs around me offers a FNP career path, which is not something I wanted to pursue because I feel that it focuses more on primary care. As for the ABSN route, I would have a wider variety of specializations to choose from.

I heard the difference lies in your career goals. Watch Nurse Liz on Youtube. She does a great job explaining the difference between Direct entry MSN and ABSN. If you're set on becoming a nurse practitioner or any APRN then the MSN program will save you time and money towards a DNP or post masters certificate. The ABSN is geared towards students just interested in the field of nursing without any specialty. It really depends on what you want to do though. Personally, I don't want two bachelors degrees because then I would feel like my first bachelors was a waste of time and money. I would rather have a Master's degree at this point in time.