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tamekaf tamekaf (New) New

Hi everyone, I would like some advice on which degree to pursue. This is my first post and I hope I'm putting it in the right category. I recently decided to pursue nursing. I already came up with an elaborate 10 year plan. Lol But now I'm wondering if I should adjust it. Right now I don't have a degree in anything. I was thinking of going to UC Davis and getting a bachelor's in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. Afterwards I want to go UCLA and apply to their MECN program. This is just the short hand version of everything I have planned, and there are other factors that stretch this into a nearly 10 years of schooling. The reason I wanted to take this route is because I was originally thinking it would be better to have a masters instead of a bachelors. It seems like a bachelors degree is the new high school diploma these days. I figured it may help me stand out to employers. Right now my interests are assisting in surgery (RNFA), CRNA, or maybe even labor and delivery. I'm wondering if going through the MECN program would even be beneficial in terms of making myself more marketable to employers, since I'm still coming out as an RN, just as I would be if I went the BSN route, and not necessarily an advanced practice nurse. All comments and suggestions are welcome! Thanks and I can't wait to hear from everyone!

Ok, first I'll give the caveat: I'm not a nurse, and have yet to attend nursing school. I'm simply someone who has done a LOT of research regarding my various options (I already have a BA, and was debating between an MSN or second-degree BSN). That being said...

I get the feeling that, at the end of the day, you will be hired as a new nurse regardless of which degree you have. Those who do the hiring will do so knowing that you are a new RN with the same hands-on clinical experience regardless of which path you took (at least in our area). Paychecks will be similar, and you will still be viewed as a newbie, fresh out of school with a lot still to learn. To me, if you are just starting out in school and know you want to be a nurse, it would make sense to get your BSN and then continue on with your MSN when/if you so choose. Four years is a long time to spend persuing a non-nursing degree, only to turn around and persue an entry-level masters course upon graduation. If you know you want to be a nurse, do you want to do so at the end of these four years? By persuing a non-nursing degree followed by an entry-level masters, your best bet is six years minimum before you are new RN. Personally, I would ask myself if I wanted to wait that long. Good luck!:)

Thanks for your input! I definitely DON'T want to wait that long. I would really only go that route if it would be more beneficial for me to do so. That's why I'm trying to get as much input I can. I'm wondering for those that already have a degree, why choose to get a second bachelors vs a masters or vice-versa? Is there any difference at all in what you learn?? Would a masters program not go more in depth than a bachelors program? Seems like it should. I guess I'm just stuck on the thought that masters is better than bachelors. Lol I'm also a little sad of even thinking of changing my plan. I got really excited about the whole thing even though I'd rather reach my goal sooner than later.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

For the wages and time lost and money spent on schooling (and the potential loans) going that route, I don't think it's worth it. You're better off doing a traditional BSN program and then going back for your master's if you choose once you have a couple of years of RN experience under your belt. I haven't seen MSNs having much better prospects than BSNs, except at maybe one hospital that wanted MSNs for floor nurses.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

Start with your BSN unless you already have a BS or BA in another field. Spending a fortune on a bachelor's degree in another field will rarely help your nursing career -- and will probably leave you in lots of debt that will haunt you for years. Also, the 1st bachelor's will probably make you ineligible for certain types of financial aid. As a previous poster said, the MSN entry programs are great for those who need them, but their graduates are still considered new grads upon graduation.

Another thing to considered ... a lot of specialties are eliminating (or down-playing) their master's programs. You may be wanting a DNP, depending on what specialty you choose. If so, that MSN would be an unnecessary expense. You might still need/want a DNP or PhD.

Get you basic BSN ... work for a bit ... and figure out what specialty appeals to you. Use that work time to also pay off any student loans. Then go to grad school in the field of your choice to specialize and advance.

That's the quickest and cheapest route.