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Bachelor's RN or Masters?

by NursieN NursieN (New) New

I have been pondering continuing my nursing education, I will soon graduate with an associate degree and do not know whether to apply to a bachelors program or a associate to masters program...any suggestions?

S.N. Visit, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health Care. Has 8 years experience.

One thing to consider is, some Masters programs will require you to already have your Bachelors before acceptance. Personally, I am going the RN-BSN route first.

From the research I've done, you will need time in the field before being accepted to an associate's to master's bridge program. On the other hand, you will be able to get your bachelor's right away -- I have even seen on-line programs for that.

So, the question I suggest asking is do you want to go back to school right away? Or work and decide on a specialty, work for a few years in that specialty and then apply to a master's program for that specialty. FYI, and there is some debate on this, but it is pretty likely that in the next few years the master's programs (for NPs) will turn to doctorate programs, adding at least another year of school.

Good luck!

I had wondered about the same thing, but I have decided to go the RN-BSN route. The only difference in progression I have seen between going RN-MSN and RN-BSN then applying for MSN is that you are granted admission into the MSN program before starting the BSN portion of the program.

I graduate in May too. The RN-MSN programs I have considered require the GRE & letters of recommendation stating that you are prepared for graduate level coursework & probably expect experience. The RN-BSN programs do not. I don't feel that I am prepared to apply for Master's level programs yet since I have no expereince. After completing my BSN as well as gaining work experience during my BSN, I feel I will be a more competitive candidate for MSN. Hope that helps you too. =)


Specializes in Critical Care & ENT. Has 10 years experience.

In addition to what is said, I think its important to get your masters in an area that you really like. It's not a good idea to spend that kind of money and not have a solid direction. Some of that direction can be gained from having nursing experience. I completed my BSN first so that I could apply to any school with a Masters, PhD or DNP program. It allowed me to have more options. Be careful that you have your eyes set on a ASN to MSN program and then it dissolves due to the changes with MSN programs across the country.

Does this ASN to MSN program award a Bachelors along the way? Some programs I've seen over the years will not award a BSN or will award both at the completion of the MSN portion. If your unable to complete the entire program, you would have just taken a bunch of classes with no degree to show for it.