I need advice on nursing programs!!!

  1. Hi everyone. I have just recently graduated from UC Berkeley last year with a BA in Psychology. I am interested in pursuing a nursing career, ultimately becoming a Nurse Practitioner. I was unsure and found it a little unclear about the benefits of applying to Entry Level Masters programs (since I have my BA in another area of study other than nursing). What exactly is the difference between the Masters Programs and the Bachelors in Nursing programs? What about the community college Associates programs? Can anyone help me determine the best path for myself, knowing that I eventually would like a Masters and to be a Nurse Practitioner. I've looked into accelerated BSN programs, such as the one at Mt. Saint Mary's College. I know that all of the programs are extremeley competetive. Do I need a bachelors in nursing to eventually apply to Masters programs or is my Bachelors in Psychology sufficient? I need help!! If anyone can give me any type of advice in my situation, it would be very much appreciated! Thank you!
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    About laurenjm

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 1

    2 Comments

  3. by   melmarie23
    I am a second degree student, with a BS in another field. I just finished my first semester of a direct entry MSN program.

    The main differences that I found between direct entry MSNs and direct entry BSNs (and likewise ADN programs at community colleges) was that I'd be in a better spot to go for an NP once I graduate. My university has a certifcate program for those who have MSNs, so I will be 3-4 classes short of that. That and if I went for a BSN or ADN, I wouldnt be able to qualify for any financial aid. I didnt qualify for any in the direct entry BSN programs because I already had a Bachelor's degree.

    As far as the curriculum between my current program and a direct entry BSN one...there isnt a huge difference. My current one is front loaded with all my basic nursing courses/clinicals that I would need to prep me for the NCLEX. We can take it next spring, and are encouraged to work once we are licensed and finish up the program. However, my Master's program, we will be conducting our own research/quality improvement project (my MSN program is for a CNL), so right now we are also taking all the theory and research programs to help prep us for our last semester where we will be conducting this. We do have a chance to get published too...previous students who went through the program had their capstone project published, which is pretty neat if you ask me.

    For me, the direct entry MSN program seemed to be the better deal/best fit. It will prep me to be able to go further in my career. I would love to be an NP some day.
    Last edit by melmarie23 on May 25, '09
  4. by   Daytonite
    an rn is merely a license to practice as an rn. that can be gotten a number of ways: hospital diploma program, community college, university bachelor degree program and on up. when you graduate from those programs they are guaranteeing the student that they have fulfilled the california state board requirement to teach them everything the state requires them to know to be a safe practitioner as an rn and to be qualified to test for the nclex exam. if you pass the nclex you are entitled to be called an rn. and as long as you follow the california nurse practice act you will remain an rn.


    an adn, bsn or msn are degrees earned and granted to you by a college or university which you attend. generally, the higher the degree the more that is expected of your performance as a professional. bsn level rns are sought after in leadership positions. my bsn program taught a lot of leadership and communication. i would check out the master's programs you are interested in to see what the focus of their programs are in. they will have information on their websites. no doubt there is some type of research project involved but at the master's level your study is more streamlined. some are not requiring a bsn and you earn your rn as you go through the program. you need to contact the individual schools about the programs they offer.

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