Direct Entry MSN. Should I do one that awards a BSN along the way?

  1. I am interested in a Direct Entry MSN to become a NP (I have my bachelors in Psychology). Should I go to a program that will grant you a BSN along the way? There are programs that you only get your RN license and MSN at the end.

    OR should I do an accelerated BSN and then a MSN?

    What looks better for employers?
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    About Pat23

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 9; Likes: 3


  3. by   SCSTxRN
    I would want a RN license somewhere in the middle there, just in case life happens - and so you can get work experience. The exception might be a 2 year program that gives them both at the end. Maybe. But the idea of being in school for years and years, and finish or nothing is not comfortable for me.
  4. by   elkpark
    There have been a few posts here in the past from individuals who entered a direct-entry MSN program that did not award a BSN, completed the portion of the program that made them eligible for licensure in the state in which the school was located, and then had to/chose to leave the program without completing the entire MSN program. They got licensed as generalist RNs without difficulty in the original state, but then ran into problems later on when they wanted to relocate and applied for licensure in a different state -- and found that, since they hadn't completed (graduated from) an approved nursing education program, they weren't eligible for licensure in the other state(s).

    Totally apart from that issue, I encourage people to go ahead and complete a conventional RN program (whether ADN, traditional BSN, or accelerated BSN) and get some experience as an RN before trying to move into advanced practice. Most people entering nursing have no idea of the vast range of different professional opportunities and pathways within nursing until they have been in nursing for a while, and it's extremely common for nursing students to start school thinking they are sure they want to specialize in one area only to find that they are more interested in something entirely different by the time they finish school or after they've been practicing for a while. Unlike "basic" nursing programs, graduate education in nursing locks you into a specific, particular career role and path, and, once you're on that path, you can't switch specialties or roles without returning to school and completing further graduate level education. I've known (personally) a few individuals who went the direct-entry route only to find after they completed an expensive graduate program that they didn't particularly enjoy doing what the program had prepared them to do (and I'm sure the few individuals I've known personally have not been the only people who've found themselves in that situation ). Then they find themselves in the situation of having a graduate degree and career path that they don't want, plus the significant student loans they took out to pay for them, and the prospect of returning to school to get another degree to do something they do want to do (or figuring out how to "make do" with the credentials they have). Any graduate degree in nursing is going to cost you a lot of "blood, sweat, and tears" (as well as the $$$) -- IMO, it is well worth investing the time and effort up front to be sure it is a credential and career pathway that you really want.
  5. by   the healer's art
    I definitely prefer master's entry programs that award a BSN as well. Just because life happens and you never know if you will have to stop early.

    I also like the programs that award a BSN like Northeastern, Columbia, JHU, and Duke because they have the option (and in some cases it's a requirement) of letting you work as an RN for a while. It'll be easier to get an RN job during that period if you have a BSN. It's nice though because you're already guaranteed a spot in the master's portion but you can work part-time to complete the rest of it.
  6. by   myelin
    Depends. Do you ever see yourself working as a bedside RN throughout your career? If so, then I'd get the BSN along the way. My direct entry program doesn't offer the BSN, it's RN licensure only (although we do technically graduate after the one year RN portion, so people don't run into any problems working as an RN in other states if they don't complete the MSN). I went ahead with my program because I'm certain I won't stop before completing my program, since all of my career goals are geared to the PMHNP role.
  7. by   mzaur
    Myelin, does a BSN help at all? Or is RN+MSN sufficient for all intents and purposes?