Difference between MSN and MSA degree.

Specialties CRNA


I have a question for you, guys: what is the difference between MSN degree and Master of Science in Anestesia? I was browsing through a list of colleges and suddenly noticed that some colleges offer just MSN degree. Any comments?:p


297 Posts

The MSN programs are regulated by the NLN as well as COA, therefore you will be required to take additional courses in nursing theory etc

The MSA or MSNA is only regulated by COA, so the requirements do not include the NLN content.

Abv. guide;

MSN=Masters Science in Nursing

MSNA=Masters Science Nurse Anesthesia

MSA=Masters Science Anesthesia

COA= Council on Accreditation (AANA)

NLN=National League of Nursing


5 Posts

I hope I don't stir up too much commotion, but here goes. MSN programs are traditionally housed in nursing schools, which usually require you to enroll in several nursing theory classes...and we all know what those are good for...:(

Passin' Gas

149 Posts

Nurse Anesthesia is founded in science. One receives nursing theory from their undergraduate work. Nurse anesthesia education must concentrate on the sciences in this field....physiology, anatomy, chemistry, physics, pharmacology, principles of anesthesia. Ethics and research are also an important part of this profession.

I'm not discounting the relevance of nursing theory and interpersonal interactions. However, spending time studying life cycle stages and tasks to the clinician takes away from the sciences. In my book, acid-base balance or uptake and distribution of inhaled anesthetics takes precedence over family theory.

Once upon a time, when I applied to nurse anesthesia programs, I made sure they were non-nursing degrees. That was my opinion then and it is still my humble opinion today.


410 Posts

THe degree is based on the college or university the program is housed within. There are sciences involved in both types of degrees. You need to look at individual programs not just what degree they confer. There are great programs that grant a MSN and great programs that grant a MS. I have been involved in both types of programs and the degree was only a part of the picture. Good Luck!:)


38 Posts

Thank you, everybody! When I asked my question I did not expect so many people get back with me so fast! I really appreciate you, guys!!!

Well, I guess my other concern about choosing a college is I will have to retake a lot of science courses, if I decide to go for MSA degree. Most schools put a time limit on that. Sometimes it can be very (financially) painfull...You know...Well, on the other hand, schools that offer MSN degree don't have that problem. They will take whatever you got! In my case, it plays a big role. By the way, what do you all think about colleges in OH or MI? Any preferences, gossips? I live in 1hr 15 min. from Wayne State, 2hours from Cleveland and 1 1/2 hr. from Oakland. Eventually, I will have to either move or spend half of my life driving...


410 Posts

I happen to be at Wayne State currently (senior). I see you are in Toledo. Do you know you can do your clinicals there in Toledo and only come to Wayne for class? Great program BTW.


38 Posts

I heard, WntrMute2! But how many times a week is a class? A month ago I was shadowing a senior student and she told me that they commute since there were like 4 other people from Toledo area. That is wonderful if you have a car-buddy.

By the way, how do you like it at Wayne?


410 Posts

Many days a week the first couple of semesters but as a senior I only see them 1X weekly. Beats many other options. Give the school a call for details, all are very nice and friendly. Wayne has been very good to me. If you want additional details, PM me and I'll try to help.


443 Posts

I am going to wesleyan MSA

people tell me that if you go non nursing degree that you cut yourself off from nursing, meaning that someday if you wanted you could not teach nursing without a msn.

is that true. could you teach CRNA school instead?



12 Posts

Specializes in 14 years ER, MICU, SICU, PAT, tons other.

Hello all.......I have to say that when I decided to apply to anesthesia school, I actively looked at programs that did NOT have an MSN as I do not want anymore nursing theory....ever ever EVER...my degree is from Marshall/Charleston Area Medical Center in WV, it is a MS in Health Care Admin.....the only program that I know of that offers a business degree with the anesthesia program....we had lots of courses in health care marketing/bus/etc. I figure if I get too old to do anesthesia, I could do some type of admin. Also, I felt the program prepared us for (someday) forming a CRNA group practice, at least introducing concepts that would be needed as a businessperson in today's health care market... I felt it was a good program......and just because we took those classes, we still had all the necessary science/physiology/anesthesia/pharm/regional/etc classes. See http://www.anesthesiaschool.org for the classes and program description........Kim


47 Posts

Kim Q

I am very interested in Marshall. I would love to know what your application and interview process was like. Is there anything you can tell me to help my application.


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