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I currently am trying to decide between an ADN and a MSN. I already have a bachelor's and master's in art education. Both nursing degrees are going to take about the same amount of time for me to complete, but I have no idea which program is going to give the most opportunities, pay, be most rewarding, etc. Can anyone out there give me some advice? THANKS:)


2,438 Posts

Uh.....don't you need a BSN before MSN? Unless you're looking at a program like Vandy has that you can go from a BS to a MSN in 3 years or something like that.

Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

At what school can you go straight for a MSN without ever taking a single nursing class? Down here in need a BSN before you can go for a MSN. Those with BSN's have told me to get a masters in anything but nursing like hospital administration or business...because a msn doesn't take you very far.

I have a bachelor's in business....I opted to go for the ADN because you get more hands on clinical time/experience compared to the bachelor's program & the classes usually have fewer students compared to the universities.

Specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.

Have you talked to anyone in the schools you are interested in yet? There is a *big* difference between an ADN and a MSN. Or do you mean maybe ADN vs BSN?



5 Posts

There are many, many programs across the country, including Florida, where a person with one bachelor's degree(whethor or not in nursing) can earn a master's degree in nursing. I listed a few here. More can be found at

search for direct entry MSN.

New York


Boston, MA



However, I still do not have an answer to my question. Is there someone out there who is willing to give some advice about which program is going to offer the most? ADN or MSN? Thank you for whatever advice you have for me.



5 Posts

There are a few pre reqs that I have to take to get into the MSN program (like microbiology and some other science classes). While I was checking in to taking these courses at the local community college, the councelor at the community college told me about the RN program there. Of course, the program at the community college is an ADN. The MSN is at a University. I would have to do about the same amount of schooling for both because I already have a lot of the pre reqs for the MSN. So, it's going to take about two years no matter which way I go. My dilema is just which is going to be the best degree all around. Will already having a Master's degree help me? Is there a lot of difference between an RN and an RN with a Master's in Nursing? I'm new to this field and have no clue what I'm doing, other that just having a huge desire to be a nurse.

Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

Ok...I looked at some of those schools you listed. Most are 3 year programs not including the pre-reqs. The first year is between 40 & 50 credit hours of nursing, once you complete can sit for the nclex. You must pass the nclex before you can continue on in the program. After that, you have another 1 to 2 years of school (between 30 & 45 credits) & they require you to work as an RN during that time. If you can dedicate yourself to that type of program, then go for it. 40 to 50 credit hours in one year is a lot of hours...basically you'll be learning in one year what the ADN teaches over two years.

The only real drawback I can see besides the amount of hours you have to take is that if you don't finish the program, you don't get any degree. Also, there will be a difference in cost between a university & a community college...that is something to think about. Something else to think about....some programs won't allow pre-req credits that were taken over 5 years ago in the master's programs & most require a 3.0 or higher to even be considered. I think it's great that they give the opportunity to go this route.....if I could survive it, I'd probably do it. I'm happy with the pace I'm at though. Let us know what you decide.


6,620 Posts

I would go for the MSN. Why not get the higher degree? It can't hurt if you want to go into management or teaching anytime in the future. All the management positions at our hospital prefer Masters degrees.

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Basically you have to decide what you want out of nursing.


5 Posts

I'm going to go ahead and go for the MSN. The comment about being able to teach later on in my nursing career if I want to tipped the scale. As far as credits transferring, I already talked to the MSN counselor at the university I want to attend. She looked at my transcript, told me which credits would tranfer, and which classes at the community college would count toward the pre reqs of the MSN. Luckily, I have a way to pay for it. I never took student loans with my other degrees, so I'm going to go that rout this time with a co-signer. Thanks everyone, for your advice. You were very helpful.



713 Posts

I have thought about teaching as well!

Best of luck to you!:D


64 Posts

Absolutely go for the MSN. The nursing profession is obsessed with degrees and the higher the degree, the more respect one gets within the professional. It will also clear your professional path to any advancements you might want to make for mgmt, teaching, and so on. Without a BSN and often a MSN, you wouldn't be considered for these positions. Also, the program is more geared towards people with your background in that you have BS and have a significant amount of college credits behind you. Good luck on whatever you chose.

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