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HELP!! Trying to get BSN or ELMSN

HiJuliane HiJuliane (New) New

Hello! I recently graduated UCR with a B.S. in Neuroscience with a 3.052. I have now decided I would like to become a pediatric nurse, but I would like some advice on how to go about this. I initially wanted to do an entry level masters in nursing program somewhere in California, but would have to complete several prerequisites before even applying and retake courses to improve my GPA. In which, I would plan on taking at a community college or state school. Of the schools I've looked at most prerequisites I would need to complete are similar. Once I complete these prerequisites, should I apply to an accelerated BSN program and then pursue my masters? Or should I find an online program to become an RN, then complete a masters program in a traditional classroom setting? Or are there any other suggestions on ways I can go about becoming a pediatric nurse? Thank you so much in advance for your advice :woot:.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

First of all, there is no such thing as an online pre-licensure program. There are some hybrids - where you can take didactic courses online, but clinical courses have to be hands-on. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous. You will also need to carefully investigate the pre-requisite requirements as many nursing programs will not accept online 'lab' classes (chem, micro, A&P, etc).

My recommendation is to go for a BSN. Entry-level MSNs are a very recent phenomenon & have proven to be a complete flop in many parts of the country. Basically, a graduate degree does not add any value to new grad status. ELMs compete for exactly the same jobs as BSN grads who have had much more exposure to the clinical environment... more opportunity to effectively network during clinical rotations and therefore, a better chance of being hired.

In our profession, a graduate degree is synonymous with advanced clinical &/or operational qualifications. You will need to gain some experience as a nurse in order to determine which direction you wish to pursue with your MSN. A generic MSN is pretty much irrelevant in terms of career growth. In order to be qualify for many graduate programs, especially those associated with APRN practice, you will have to have a specific type of clinical experience. For instance, CRNA programs require 2+ yrs of ICU, CNM programs require 2 years of L&D, etc.

Best of luck on your educational pathway.