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BSN vs. MSN-Weighing my options.

Students   (1,659 Views | 8 Replies)

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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!

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1 Follower; 572 Posts; 2,554 Profile Views

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.

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1 Follower; 455 Posts; 1,646 Profile Views

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!

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1 Follower; 455 Posts; 1,646 Profile Views

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 ...**

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33 Posts; 267 Profile Views

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.

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1 Follower; 329 Posts; 906 Profile Views

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

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spotangel has 31 years experience as a BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP and specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds.

1 Follower; 30 Articles; 289 Posts; 34,733 Profile Views

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!

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44 Posts; 190 Profile Views

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. ;(

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1 Follower; 329 Posts; 906 Profile Views

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. 

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