Compare getting Masters to getting RN


So, I am very interested in getting my Masters. Right now I have a Bachelors in Biology, went back to school to get my ASN, and now want to take the next step. Many have said that after getting your initial RN, the continueing education for a nurse is easy. Does anyone else agree or disagree and why? Thanks for any advice and/or opinions.

PS - If anyone is interested, there are Masters programs that bridge a non-nursing Bachelors and RN into an MSN program.

Specializes in OB, NICU, Nursing Education (academic).

A Master's easy? Not in my experience. It is very time consuming. I have never had to do so much reading, writing, and presenting in my life. Statistics and research were probably the toughest classes in my program.

Clinically.....much easier; I think mostly because I was already familiar with the "culture" of nursing. My Master's is in nursing education, so my clinical consisted of leading a group of clinical students (and being observed by a preceptor, on occasion).

midinphx, BSN

853 Posts

Specializes in ED. ICU, PICU, infection prevention, aeromedical e. Has 28 years experience.

My masters is an MBA/healthcare management.

I worked fulltime while I did it. It was alot of paperwork. I can now pop out an APA formatted 2000 word paper in no time.

I don't think it has made any impact on my career, but it was a personal goal. I need 5 more classes to get an master's in nursing. I don't have the energy! lol

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

I found that one Masters course was about equivalent to a whole semester of BSN courses, in the time I had to spend doing the work. I don't think it was any more difficult, but it sure was time-consuming.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I think the MSN was easier in one area - I had already learned and practiced most of it. That would not be true in your case.


321 Posts

Specializes in mental health, military nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I think that it depends on one's strengths. A lot of nurses have a good clinical background, but struggle with research techniques and writing papers. If you have plenty of prior writing experience, it shouldn't be too bad.

iPink, BSN, RN

1,414 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 10 years experience.


Just curious how long did you work as an RN before deciding to go back for your MSN? I'm taking the Accelerated BSN route instead, then plan to go for the MSN. I planned to work as an RN for a couple of years first before going after the MSN.

allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

For me, graduate work was MUCH easier than my undergraduate program. I went to a BSN program that was very academically oriented -- and more than prepared me for the academic nature of graduate school. Reading, writing, stats, etc. they were all easy as I had a strong background in the academic side of nursing from my undergrad experience.

However, there were people in my graduate programs (both MSN and PhD) who did not come from academically strong undergrad programs -- and some of them struggled. They had never learned how to make an argument in a paper, how to formulate conclusions from the literature, how to analyze/evaluate research articles, etc. while they were in their undergrad programs. The world of higher academic world was foreign to them and they struggled.

As one of my classmates said, grad school was the first time she had been expected to write about her OWN ideas and back them up with research and sound reasoning before. In her undergrad days, all she did was quote the opinions of others -- or give her opinions based on her impressions without having to justify them rigorously. She wasn't prepared for that.


6 Posts

I think the MSN was easier in one area - I had already learned and practiced most of it. That would not be true in your case.

Practiced most of what? Explanation please. And how do u know what my case is like?

As for how long I have been an RN, I have been working a little over a year on a Step-Down unit. I want to go back now because a school in my area has a great bridge program that will allow me to start taking my MSN classes after completing a 3 credit Transition course. I'm just paranoid that they will change the requirements and I will be made to take more transition credits. Thanks for all the great responses.

As for dealing with the course work in research, writing, defending ideas in papers etc., I have a lot of experience in that area as well. I would have not graduated with a BA if I didn't and a BSN program is not the only major that requires that ability in 4 year institutions.

Otessa, BSN, RN

1,601 Posts

Has 19 years experience.

I am 10 weeks away from MSN-much harder than my BSN but I also have a lot of practical experience which makes it easier from the "putting it all together" perspective.