Already have an MBA--BSN or MSN? Career change question


Hello there!

I am super new to this board so take it easy on me if this question has been answered before.

I just turned 30 and I have been contemplating a career change into nursing. I don't have any kind of medical background whatsoever but I am interested in pediatric nursing (I've always admired nurses). I would eventually like to work in management after a few years of actual bedside nursing.

What do you think the best educational path would be for someone like me? I don't have any clinical/medical background, I have a BA in an unrelated field, a Masters in an unrelated field, and an MBA. I'm aware that out of those three degrees, only the MBA will help my nursing career. It guess it goes without saying that I would like to take the path that will put me in the best position for future management positions BUT I have been in college for years so the length and cost of a nursing program is very important to me as well.

Any advice?


UVA Grad Nursing

1,068 Posts

To get into nursing management and administration, you will likely need a MSN degree (this is especially true at any Magnet facilities). The question to ponder is whether do go for a MSN now, or a BSN first and then a MSN.

Advantages of MSN Now: saves time, allows you to be with other individuals with similar work experience. Could qualify for federally-backed financial aid (Stafford loans, etc) individuals seeking a second bachelors cannot obtain.

Advantages of Accelerated BSN: Faster pathway to RN certification. Allows you to enter the workforce sooner. Could work as a RN while pursuing MSN parttime (using employee tuition benefits).

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 11 years experience.

You can get Stafford for 2nd bachelor. I looked into it b/c I have a BS in Bio and an finishing ADN, will be moving on to BSN and I CAN get money. I may do what you suggest for OP: just go get MSN.


3 Posts

Thank you for the responses!

In order for me to get a MSN I would have to already be a RN. So that doesn't look like an option for me right now. I guess it looks like I will have to do the Accelerated BSN. It just seems like a lot of these programs are very expensive and I already have lots of student loan debt.


3 Posts

WOW! Thank you UVA Grad Nursing! I will definitely check out those sites. I have to admit that I am ignorant to so much so I welcome all the advice and corrections possible.

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

If you're interested in moving into nursing management/administration, I would advise obtaining a BSN & getting experience prior to obtaining your MSN. Nurse managers/leaders have to have clinical experience as well as administrative expertise. Leaders must have MSNs. It won't be a quick journey.

BTW, Health care finance has a lot of unique characteristics, so MBAs are not really that marketable in health care unless it is an program that specialized in health care finance. MHAs are much more in demand. Many nurse leaders have combo degrees - MSN/MBA, MSN,MHA, MSN/JD, etc.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

these links may help. but pursue nursing only if it is a life long dream. it is a difficult profession and tough schooling. if it is because there are guaranteed jobs in health care and health care is recession is not.

the market is very tight. there is no nursing shortage. the jobs maybe posted but there are hiring freezes due to the economy. nurses have returned to the workforce because their s.o. is unemployed and nurses who planned to retire cannot because we lost our butts in 401k when everything crashed. there are nursing schools churning out grads at an alarming rate to take advantage of the economy and the flocking of society to the "recession proof" healthcare field...with no positions to fulfill. there are hospitals that offer "internships" or "residencies" that you pay them to train you available but they are few and far between and don't guarantee employment. right now it just stinks out there :sniff: hospitals are "short staffed" but they want it that way......due to budget cuts and hospitals are still laying off.

medscape: medscape access

the big lie?without a doubt, the main source of frustration experienced by recently graduated and licensed but still unemployed nurses is what could be called "the big lie."in other words, the television commercials that encourage young people to become nurses -- and then abandon them for months (or years) without employment; and the educators who tell them that the associate's degree is perfectly adequate to guarantee employment, that they will have their pick of jobs when they graduate, and that there is plenty of time to get a bsn later on. who knows whether it is greed, ignorance, or wishful thinking that underlies the fairy tales told to nursing students about their future job prospects? whatever the motivation, the disillusionment of our new grads is palpable. the jobs they expected after all of their hard work just haven't materialized, and some grads are getting pretty desperate.

although an advanced degree may have a slightly higher demand. all these unemployed nurses are going back to school to meet that demand. eventually.....this too shall pass.... i wish you luck:heartbeat

american association of colleges of nursing | accelerated programs: the fast track to careers in nursingcareer pathways in nursing: entry points and academic progression