I graduated from the U of M MN program. I had a BS in another field and a career in a creative field for 13 years. I got a 4.0 in all my prereq's and worked as an ED unit coordinator to make sure I liked working in a hospital. No doubt it's very competitive to get into the program, and a high GPA is essential, but they are also looking for well-rounded people that are leaders. It is very important to have excellent reference letters, a heartfelt essay, and if invited to interview, let your personality come through. They are particularly interested in people who want to pursue NP, CNS, CRNA and educator routes. That said, it's a great program and the MN will give you a leg up in all future endeavors. There are 640 clinical hours in the program, which is way more than any BSN or ASN program I've ever heard of. Employers love this combination of intense clinical hours and graduate level classwork. They're paying relatively the same wage whether you have an MN, BSN, or ASN, so why wouldn't they get the most for their money? The market is unbelievably competitive for new grads and most employers are looking for at least a BSN. I say pay the extra bit of money up front to get at least a BSN so that you are positioned for being employed after graduation. You will also be able to more quickly "move up the ladder" and apply for management positions with a masters degree, if you choose to. If you are serious about becoming an NP, I would also advise checking out the direct-entry MSN programs at Marquette (in WI) and Iowa. Good luck! It is well worth the effort!