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Can someone help on which route I should take?

Pre-Nursing   (596 Views 7 Comments)
by potatoz potatoz (Member)

853 Visitors; 28 Posts

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My ultimate goal is to become a Family Nurse practitioner, this requires a MSN degree.

Right now my school has a program where you will earn an AAS (Associates degree), but you can also partner up with an university to earn a BSN in around the same time (doing both schools at the same time).

But there is a second option. I can also get my AAS degree and a MSN degree if you have a previous bachelors degree. Which I do have. The problem with this route is that you won't be awarded a BSN degree.

The other problem is that with this MSN route they don't have the program I'm interested in (I will take Public Health). If I do take it it's pretty much because, in all honesty, you probably can earn better money.

The BSN program is around $15,000 for 2.5 years.

The MSN program is around $30,000 for 3.5 years.

My original plan was to work for a couple of years after graduation and then go back to school to take the family nurse practitioner degree while working.

What would you do if you were in my position? Would you take the MSN route because you already have a bachelors degree, and you can probably earn more money? Or would you take the BSN route because.. you will *eventually get that MSN eitherway?

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On a side note, do you think I will have problems if I have an AAS degree and a MSN degree, but no BSN? One requirement of enrolling into a nurse practitioner program is to have a BSN degree. You might think it's okay since a MSN is higher than a BSN... But I had a really hard time enrolling into my community college because I have no high school diploma, even though I did have a bachelors degree (I skipped high school). It literally took a year of discussion for me to be entered, I rather not have it happen again.

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10,528 Visitors; 951 Posts

If it were me... I would not pursue a MSN degree in a specialty that I had little to no interest in. You mention a couple of times that the MSN would allow you to make more money, but this is generally not the case.. an entry level nurse is an entry level nurse regardless of education level. So I would not accrue an additional 15K knowing that I would seek an FNP in a couple of years.

If you do decide to earn your MSN without going the BSN route, you should not have many issues entering into a post-MSN certificate program for your FNP.

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837 Visitors; 97 Posts

I would NOT do the MSN. The direct entry MSN programs charge you a premium. Think about it, you'd be spending an extra $15,000 for ONE year of school. You can do the concurrent ADN/BSN program, start work as an RN, get experience and decide what specialty you want to go into when you get your MSN. And most employers have tuition reimbursement that would cover a good chunk of your MSN tuition. That's just me. Ultimately, you have to decide what's best for you.

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388 Visitors; 28 Posts

I would choose the BSN program. First of all, it's less time and less money. When you are working as a RN, it really doesn't matter if you have a MSN or BSN. You will be doing the same job either way.

Also, in order to become a FNP you will need a MSN or DNP. It's way more time efficient for you to get your BSN, work for a few years, confirm what speciality you want to go into, and then go to graduate school.

Good luck to you!

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2,174 Visitors; 296 Posts

Are you talking about the concurrent enrollment program with GCU? I am also considering applying to that program. All things considered I would prefer to do a BSN because you can enter a DNP program (at least here in Tucson at the UA) with just the BSN and having a BSN is more marketable upon graduation than just the AAS degree (which is what you initially graduate with and then continue on for another 18 months for the MSN). Plus I would hate that most of my cohort would be graduating with their BSN and even though I did all that extra work as well along the way, I do not actually get the degree. However, I am also concerned about financing the second BSN since financial aide and student loans are not available for a second undergrad degree. I think I will apply to both and just see where I am accepted (fingers crossed!).

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NICUmiiki has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

24,802 Visitors; 1,731 Posts

Why do (and pay for) an MSN in a specialty you don't want? That doesn't make sense.

As for whether the MSN is ok without a bachelors: Once you graduate, its a non-issue. But until you graduate, the coursework is pretty worthless. If you have to stop the program for whatever reason (health, family, finances, hate the program), then you wasted a bunch of time and money.

I'd wait til I completed the BSN, then find a good, reputable, vigorous FNP program that sets up clinicals for you, and then apply to them.

Edited to add: How do you figure you'll earn more money with the non-advanced practice MSN? It's likely that as a new nurse, you'll get the same jobs as any other inexperienced RN and will paid the same.

Edited by Miiki

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5,235 Visitors; 908 Posts

I'd do the BSN program. Are you already in the ASN program and planning on bridging, or have you not started the program yet? Which school is this with?

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