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BSN vs. MSN-Weighing my options.

Posted

Hello!

Looking for advice. I've been working towards a nursing degree for some time now. I'm nearing the end of my pre-reqs, and I'll be taking the TEAS very soon. My goal has been to enter an accelerated BSN program, and begin working as an emergency or ICU nurse, before progressing into Travel Nursing.

Lately, I've been curious about some direct entry MSN programs. Many of these programs promise to not only teach the skills of a bedside nurse, but also include leadership and education based curriculum.

This option seems more appealing, as it would appear that an MSN might qualify me for more opportunities, and higher pay. However, I'm concerned about whether or not an MSN might overqualify me for many bedside nursing roles, in the eyes of employers.

My question: Is an MSN ideal for my desired career path of ED/ICU--> Travel nursing? I have an eye for taking my nursing skills abroad, working for a nonprofit like Doctors Without Borders (or similar). Or should I save the time, effort, and money, and stick with a BSN?

If you are currently enrolled in an accelerated BSN program, MSN program, or if you've completed either of these degrees, and are now a working nurse, I would really appreciate your input. As application deadlines draw ever closer, I feel that I need to get some input from others before making a decision.

Thanks in advance!

Do you NEED an MSN for what you want to do? If yes, then talk to people who do exactly that and get their input on the best track to take. If no, then weigh if you're willing to pay extra for that extra education. Being more educated never hurts, but it costs money, so you want to be responsible about it.

One other thing, which may not may not factor in, is how is your $$$ situation? If you didn't max out your student loan limit while pursuing your first bachelors degree then you can use whatever is left toward the ABSN. If you did max out your student loans for your bachelor's, the MSN would allow you to take out graduate loans.

Hopefully you don't have to worry at all about financing your education, but if you do this might be another consideration.

The fact is, even if you get a MSN, you don't have experience. You'll still start as a nurse w/ a BSN does. It factors in later on after some experience gained, where perhaps more opportunities will open up because you already have a MSN.

Good luck to you!

2 hours ago, Mergirlc said:

One other thing, which may not may not factor in, is how is your $$$ situation? If you didn't max out your student loan limit while pursuing your first bachelors degree then you can use whatever is left toward the ABSN. If you did max out your student loans for your bachelor's, the MSN would allow you to take out graduate loans.

Hopefully you don't have to worry at all about financing your education, but if you do this might be another consideration.

The fact is, even if you get a MSN, you don't have experience. You'll still start as a nurse w/ a BSN does. It factors in later on after some experience gained, where perhaps more opportunities will open up because you already have a MSN.

Good luck to you!

** Correction: which may or may not ...**

I've looked into this a lot. Seems like it doesn't really matter when you graduate if you have a BSN or MSN, you might start at a slightly higher pay rung and that's it. If you go on to DNP, you will have some credits out of the way, but you should really consider cost and convenience as your #1 priority.

Biggest benefit lays in if you might want to go NP in the future.

spotangel, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 32 years experience.

Go for it!

No education goes to waste and your options are more.

Hope you are getting tuition reimbursement as the bills add up fast!

Stay safe and Good Luck!

Personally I wouldn’t do the MSN vs BSN program. You could get your BSN and work then do a BSN-DNP program instead and work while in it. It was the most cost effective way for me. Plus the MSN is a BSN. You won’t see a difference until you get the DNP. Then it comes down to choosing the right NP program to specialize in since your stuck in that specialty for your career. Unless you are planning to go into another specialty that requires a masters to get into that program. I was lucky as most of the program didn’t change over to DNP, until 2019/2020. Now whatever required a bachelors needs a masters and what graduated with a masters now seems to give you a DNP. The salary cap is the same, those that were grandfathered in with masters just got lucky and are riding the wave. Those lucky 🦆.... so jelly!

The other reason and this is just an opinion,I feel those that start out in a BSN and work up the ladder just grasp material better since many specialty programs require you physically work as a nurse for at least a year prior to admitting. The BSN-MSN combo program which is what a direct entry MSN is; they admit students into a MSN program with zero nurse or medical experience then teach the first 12-18 months the BSN nurse core + clinical s and sim lab hours then you are to take the NCLEX-RN and as long as you pass those they push your remaining 18 months teaching the MSN portion in advanced nursing core + more clinical hours and theory and I do believe many want a dissertation paper toward the end. Not all, but I have a few gals I new that still did have them. That solely depends on where you go. I’m only familiar with schools in California, and every state has different requirements for boards and school and hours to be eligible for boards. Oh, and you will take another state board exam into whatever your MSN program specialty is. Same with a DNP program. And yes every school $ is different, not all are crazy expensive and some private ones are so crazy expensive I have no idea how they ever get students to go to them? But I wonder that about ADN programs, those get me. I just saw a sponsee ad pop into my email the other day and they wanted $57k for a 18-20 months. My jaw dropped I was in shock, how do these schools justify those prices? I feel so bad that companies can just do this to people. I wish the government would regulate a max cap on these programs so they would stop ripping students off just to go to school and get an education to be able to work. I now understand why some people don’t see the incentive to get educated anymore. Worst part is, so many of these college hire “adjunct” professors at pennies on the dollar to teach each semester and the college admin/dean is who is pocketing all the profits along with the boards of these places and shareholders at every students expense. Is anyone else just blown away by how bad the college system has become? The crazy tuition costs and the loans? I have 3 kiddos soon I will be paying for college on also, I’m only hoping it isn’t so high I can’t afford to get them in, without a 2nd mortgage on my home and a selling my sole to the devil to do so. ;(

26 minutes ago, Chunkybubblz3 said:

.... But I wonder that about ADN programs, those get me. I just saw a sponsee ad pop into my email the other day and they wanted $57k for a 18-20 months. My jaw dropped I was in shock, how do these schools justify those prices? ....

That’s a total ripoff for an ADN, but a great deal for a BSN/MSN combo program. If I did the traditional community college and in my state it would cost $12k roughly, but take two years. Another 6-12 months to bridge the BSN/MSN through capella or wgu and at least another $6-12k depending on how fast I could knock out the classes. Compared to 60k for a demsn that gets me working in 12 months (sit for NCLEX after BSN portion) and grants the MSN six months later the demsn wins hands down because the ADN route causes a year of lost wages. The effect is even greater if I push on to NP because I get to NP wages a year earlier.

On 6/24/2020 at 10:58 PM, TimothyGnarlson said:

Lately, I've been curious about some direct entry MSN programs. Many of these programs promise to not only teach the skills of a bedside nurse, but also include leadership and education based curriculum.

Hey, So I am not a nurse but I too am applying to a school in the coming weeks and have thought of the exact same things! I have recently stumbled across a few Accelerated BSN programs that actually do a dual enrollment situation. So what that means is that upon being accepted into their Accelerated BSN portion, so long as you progress through the program and keep (let's just say for anecdotal purposes) a 3.2 GPA in the ABSN portion, you are automatically accepted in the MSN or DNP portion (valid for usually up to 2 years after completion of BSN portion) at that institution. No reapplication, no hassle, and you get your NCLEX and work and come back in that 1 to 2-year time frame. This honestly is the downside of many direct entry MSN programs because some don't give a BSN. So you have to be careful.

Alverno demsn awards a BSN.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 6/30/2020 at 1:56 AM, Chunkybubblz3 said:

That solely depends on where you go. I’m only familiar with schools in California, and every state has different requirements for boards and school and hours to be eligible for boards. Oh, and you will take another state board exam into whatever your MSN program specialty is. Same with a DNP program.

 

The state I last taught in did not have a specific number of clinical hours for each area of nursing or for the whole program. More often states will note the percent of time simulation can be used in lieu of on site clinical hours. (due to Covid 19 exceptions were made when students clinical on site experiences were canceled by the facility) 

The entry into practice "board exam' is the NCLEX. There is no further state administered test following the awarding of an MSN. Are you thinking of certification?

On 6/30/2020 at 1:56 AM, Chunkybubblz3 said:

. I just saw a sponsee ad pop into my email the other day and they wanted $57k for a 18-20 months. My jaw dropped I was in shock, how do these schools justify those prices? I feel so bad that companies can just do this to people.

Sometimes students will hear from for profit programs who have a hard time filling classes that they will make up the cost of the program by entering the work force a year or two sooner than someone who has to wait for CC acceptance.

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I wish the government would regulate a max cap on these programs so they would stop ripping students  just to go to school and get an education to be able to work.

Unfortunately, many investors chose to invest in for profit universities and also work in high levels of our government.

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 Secretary of Education, billionaire Betsy DeVos, has no education degree or teaching experience, has never attended a public school or sent her children to one, and supports the funding of for-profit Christian schools over public ones; she got the job because she donated $9.5 million to Trump's campaign.

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Will one of the world’s leading democracies relect as its President a businessman who founded and operated a for-profit learning annex that some of its own employees regarded as a giant ripoff, and that the highest legal officer in New York State has described as a classic bait-and-switch scheme?

We cannot legislate how individuals spend tuition money as long as the school gives truthful information about board pass rates, % who complete program and job outlook. There are some graduates who are happy with their decision to attend a for profit school and some who have a bad experience as such. There are review sites on the internet for many schools, profit and not for profit.

That being said, I too wish the public would stopped enrolling in any and all for profit schools. The lack of admission requirements alone for someone who desiring education in a intellectually demanding profession such as nursing shows that false promises are being made daily.