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ADN to MSN online? With no specialty?


Specializes in Labor and Delivery, Homecare. Has 12 years experience.

My twin sister and I have been nurses for 8 years (labor and delivery and NICU). We both want an MSN, but do not want midwifery or NNP, or any other specialty.

I have done a little research, but maybe the forum can help.

We are looking for an online (we both have kids and full time jobs) program that offers an RN(ADN) - MSN without having to specialize. Also, something affordable and that does not take a million years to complete.

As many of you RNs know, a MSN is not going to make you a ton of money, and we are not looking to get into debt (remember kids?? we have to afford their college lol).

We were originally looking at RN-BSN programs online, but MSN sounds more exciting for us and useful.

Any suggestions are welcomed :)

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I don't know any MSNs that do not specialize in some way. There are MSNs that do not confer advanced-practice nurse status. Such as nursing leadership or nursing education.


Specializes in Labor and Delivery, Homecare. Has 12 years experience.

Lemme edit:

I am not wanting to specialize because I don't want to limit myself. If I want a same day surgery center for example one day, I do not want to be overqualified etc.

That being said, nurse leadership/education wouldn't limit me to staying RN in labor and delivery etc right?


Has 7 years experience.

Western Governors's University

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Western Governors's University
Western Governors University offers an ADN-to-MSN program, but it is not generic like the OP wants. WGU's MSN degree specializations are nursing education and nursing leadership.

The entire point of earning the MSN degree is specialization. The only generic non-specialty MSN programs of which I'm aware are the direct entry MSN (DEMSN) degree programs for people with non-nursing baccalaureate degrees who want to earn an entry level MSN.

While nursing education, leadership and the APRN roles (midwifery, clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner and CRNA) might be the most common MSN specializations, others exist as well. There's case management, infection control, holistic nursing, nursing informatics and other less common specializations. However, I see little point in obtaining a generic MSN degree with no specialty because it qualifies you for nothing.

I am not wanting to specialize because I don't want to limit myself.
If you do not want to specialize, perhaps the RN-to-BSN would be a better fit since it would qualify you to function as a generalist nurse, and therefore, would not limit you.

You can look into the less common MSN specializations such as patient advocate, clinical coordinator, clinical nurse specialist, etc.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

A generic MSN without any sort of clinical or operational specialization is completely irrelevant in terms of career benefit. You may want to look into some of the newer specialization areas such as Quality and Patient Safety.. a very interesting career field that is becoming very 'hot' in US healthcare today.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I totally agree with TheCommuter's post above. The whole idea of graduate education is to produce professionals with advanced knowledge in a specific area (specialization). So that is what you are going to find in the vast majority of those programs.

However ... there are a few programs in which the specialty is defined rather loosely, giving the graduate some more flexibility. An example of that are some MSN programs in "leadership." Another example is the CNL (Clinical Nurse Leader) role. If I were a young nurse today, looking to get an MSN and wanting to work in a hospital -- not attracted to one of the advanced roles (NP, CNS, Midwife, CRNA), I would be getting an MSN as a CNL.

Good luck with whatever you decide.