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Going back to school for Masters


I'm a foreign graduate and been in practice for over 20 years here in America. I'm interested in going back to school but I don't really know we're to start. Do I need to take GRE and TOEFL because English isn't my first language. Please advise.


Joy M.

Rose_Queen specializes in OR, education.

That's probably going to be dependent on each program you are considering. No idea about TOEFL, but GRE isn't required by all schools- I never had to take it for my MSN. Best bet is to ask someone at the school as that will be the most accurate.

May I ask what Masters in Nursing did you take. I'm thinking I cannot do bedside nursing forever as age is starting to creep in. I'm thinking educating future nurses or leadership. However, I'm never a leader but more of a doer and a follower...

KatieMI specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

You need to decide what you want to do first, and then shop for programs. Get friendly with as many Masters' prepared nurses as you can, in all specialties, and ask them, maybe take a day shadowing. Look over some programs' curricula online so you will know what to be prepared for.

The fact that you are a foreign grad is not a problem per se. What can be a problem is that pretty much all MSN programs want BSN, often with high GPA. If you are BSN, make appointment with one or two local programs' admission officers to see if you can be considered. If you are not, you will have to go either combined RN-to-MSN, direct entry MSN or do BSN first. All three options are OK but add substantially in costs toward the end result.

In any case, your best bet in terms of admission probably would be mid-to-low range public universities. High-ranked programs generally have strict terms about schools they draw applicants from, and for-profits diploma mills take whatever that still breathes to provide low-quality education for $$$$$. You will need to find something with decent level but still not rejecting you only because of your strangely looking papers and not stripping your last money in the process.

JBudd specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

As said above, every program is different. I did my Masters in nursing ed online, at my state university. They required the GRE, but have since stopped asking as they said it had no correlation with how well students did. The student teaching and on the ground stuff was done at my local community college nursing program, they have a good relationship and contracts with the university. I only did one class a semester (expensive way to do it as I has 15 semesters of fees instead of 3 or 4), but that's what I could do at the time.

I would check out your local universities ( for instate tuition), and totally agree with the others that you should avoid the for profit schools.

Thanks for the input. Hopefully my aspiration will come to reality. Working full time and supporting a child for college I think I can only take 1 class at a time until maybe when she's done I can manage to take 2 to three classes if time and availability of classes allows me. Just thinking of this is really starting to stress me...

JBudd specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

nah, just get excited about it, makes the journey more fun!

mmc51264 specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.


I am getting great tuition assistance from the organization I work for. Something you should look into.

I am in an MSN program. My school requires GRE (I didn't have to take as I have a previous Masters)

There are lots of programs, many online and many flexible as far as part time versus full time. I am finding that masters classes are less stressful than my BSN classes were. The pace is slower and I don't feel like they are cramming massive amounts of info in a short time.

I have taken pre-reqs at community college to keep cost down. I bet you will find the right path for you!


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