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Hi All!

I'm attending the University of Indianapolis for the Accelerated Masters Program. I have a bachelor's degree in a different field. I'm currently in the process of finishing the BSN portion (after which I'll take the NCLEX and hopefully pass!). My ultimate goal is to be an Advanced Practice Nurse (as of now, women's health, neonatology, or peds). The problem is, the only specialty option for the master's portion is Nursing and Health Systems Leadership. I know I'm able to "stop out" after the BSN portion in order to work and explore more options.

Does anyone know of BSN to MSN/APN programs? I know there are several accelerated programs for non-nurses, but what about nurses wishing to be an advanced practice nurse in a specific field?

I appreciate your guidance!


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

Most APN programs are for BSN-prepared nurses. What specialty do you want? Look at different schools' websites to see what programs are available.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

A non-clinical masters won't help you much with your goal of APN practice. Take a look at various APN programs in your area of interest and get a better idea of their requirements. It may be a good idea to step out after you get that BSN so that you can gain experience to qualify for one of those programs. Keep in mind that there are various types of "APN" credentials. For instance, in many states, CNS's can obtain AP status & prescriptive authority after taking advanced parmacology classes & jumping through other hoops.

Good luck on your career goals


2,723 Posts

Specializes in Forensic Psych.

Aren't all MSN programs techs ally BSN-MSN? The ones that are ADN-MSN or direct entry are the exception to the rule.


14,633 Posts

The majority of graduate programs in nursing are for those who are already RNs. However, a lot (not all) of the non-"direct entry" programs (for those who are already nurses) require some specific amount (1 or 2 years) of clinical experience for you to be eligible for acceptance. Also, NNP (neonatal NP), unless the "rules" have changed recently, is one of the few advanced practice specialties that requires candidates to have some specified minimum amount of experience (2 yrs?), working in a NICU. Lots of hospitals either rarely have openings in their NICU or have a policy against hiring new grads into intensive care settings, so it may take a few years (or more) to get the experience necessary to apply to an NNP program.

Best wishes for your journey.


18 Posts

Thank you for all your help, everyone! I am leaning toward neonatology or OB/women's health, so I'd like to work for at least a couple years in one or both fields before deciding to pursue APN certification. I'm a pretty long way off, but it's helpful to know which trajectory to choose. The only advantage to this accelerated MSN is that I'll have a master's in 3 years as opposed to waiting to go back after potentially several years. But a specialty I'm passionate about takes priority.

Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it.

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