Jump to content

How are RNs with Entry-Level MSN degrees received?

Posted

Hi there,

I'm a marketing/pr professional, hoping to start an entry-level MSN program in the fall (God willing). I know these types of programs are relatively new. My question is for those of you who have completed such a program or you nurses who have coworkers from these programs, how are the nurses received in the work environment? I guess what I'm trying to see is if there's any type of tension or animosity directed toward those who enter into the field with an entry to nursing MSN degree. I know the "Clinical Nurse Leader" role has yet to fully materialize in hospitals and all of us will start off as entry-level RNs due to he lack of experience, regardless of the degree behind us, but I'm wondering how other nurses view those that have taken this route.

My ultimate goal is to become a neonatal NP, but I know I have to (and I want to) pay my dues first and get all of the experience I can as an RN. Other than allowing me to go back in a few years to get a post-masters certificate in neonatal NP, I have yet to fully comprehend what the MSN Clinical Nurse Leader degree will mean to my career starting off, and how I will be accepted and viewed by other nurses and administrators. But this is the best option available to career changers with ba/bs degrees in other fields, so I'm going with it.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

You will find that you will interview and start with all other new grads. You will be grateful of this, because you really will not learn how to be a nurse at all in college. But you will have glimmers of it at the end. I think that many here would agree on this point. You will understand this quickly as you work clinically as a student. I am also a second career person. Understand that in nursing, your degree matters NOT, without much hands on experience. It's not like the corporate world, where you can go on to your masters immediately and expect weight in interviews as a newbie for the most part.

Thanks 2ndwind, that's pretty much what I was figuring, and I'm ok with that because it makes the most sense. I just wish that this Clinical Nurse Leader role was a tad bit more defined in the clinical world. I guess it's too new of a role to yet have a distinct presence, but I'm wondering if it will ever really have a vital place amongst RNS, CNS, NP, etc. Everything I've read on it and what the schools have sold, sounds all fine and dandy, but for some reason, I feel that once I get on the floor as an RN, I'm going to feel as though I "drank the kool-aid" :p!

Luckily, I've done a ton of research and have a clear direction of where I want to go (although I know things change), but I have a feeling that there will be some entering the field as CNLs thinking that the degree and role will automatically grant them some type of autonomy, and that will not be the case.

There seems to be a lot more that needs to be worked out amongst schools, AACN and the actual medical field, pertaining to this role.

Things are changing. There seems to be a lot of "new roles" put out there in nursing and people begin to flock to those and find that nobody really is ready for them once they're done. Tool around on Allnurses, and you can get a little of that impression from some threads. It's harder to turn the boat around when it is a big boat! I think all this new stuff was full ahead until the economy tanked. Now it seems new ideas, new roles can be irritating to some. More power to you to get to where you wanna be in the end. But keep your eyes open because nursing is never what ya thought it'd be -- you might do a complete turnaround once you get in it and set a different course to follow. Plus, I'd keep details under your hat for a while to help you get that first job. You might test the waters before you do the big throw-down :smokin:

But keep your eyes open because nursing is never what ya thought it'd be -- you might do a complete turnaround once you get in it and set a different course to follow. Plus, I'd keep details under your hat for a while to help you get that first job. You might test the waters before you do the big throw-down :smokin:

;)

Good advice!

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

Over the last three years we have had several of these MSN as entry nurses come to work in our SICU. All of them from University of MN. They are just lumped with the new grads from other programs. They are new nurses and nobody expects them to know anything more about nursing than grads from other types of programs (and they don't).

At first there was some mild curiosity about them as the direct entry masters is a new thing in this area and there where some questions as to why somebody with qualification to get into the U of M program would choose nursing when there are so many better paying fields they could have trained for. However now that the newness has worn off they are just new grads, that's all.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I'm not a big fan of these programs based on the grads that I have worked with and/or had to precept. As others have pointed out they are just new grads and again, just my experience, the ones I know are heavy on the book smarts and extremely light on practical skills compared to other new graduates. It just seems to me that the 4 or so years a nurse would be doing floor work while getting their MSN makes more sense. You asked. :D Here is a thread on the topic: https://allnurses.com/general-nursing-discussion/skill-set-new-447630.html

Music in My Heart

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 10 years experience.

I recently completed such a program.

Here are a few thoughts:

1) The quality of the programs seems highly variable. My program definitely pushed the clinical skills and our clinical hours were similar to those of the local ADN and BSN programs. We were performing selective full-patient care by the end of the first semester.

2) Our program required that we come in as CNAs so we had some basic comfort level when we started.

3) The NCLEX pass rate through our program is 100%.

4) A lot of the CNL curriculum is valuable for any nurse irrespective of whether they're going to step into a CNL role or any other leadership position. Our program was not heavy on nursing theory (thankfully). It was there but none of the faculty were really bought into it so it was pretty perfunctory.

5) There is some definite bias against higher education levels as an entry-level nurse. However, it's not universal. Some people see it for what it is and value the additional education (provided you're not deluded into thinking that you're anything but a neophyte nurse).

6) As a group we received very positive feedback from the staff nurses at our clinical sites and from our preceptors. Those of us who've found jobs (and the graduates who preceded us in better times) have felt well prepared for the floor and our graduates have been successful.

Honestly, because of the bias, I'm not sure I'd choose that route if I were doing it over again. It worked for me but I think I'd be more marketable as a BSN or ADN nurse.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I recently completed such a program.

Here are a few thoughts:

1) The quality of the programs seems highly variable. My program definitely pushed the clinical skills and our clinical hours were similar to those of the local ADN and BSN programs. We were performing selective full-patient care by the end of the first semester.

2) Our program required that we come in as CNAs so we had some basic comfort level when we started.

I'd think this would definitely put out better quality new grads. Sounds like a good program.

Emergency RN

Specializes in ED, CTSurg, IVTeam, Oncology. Has 30 years experience.

personally, imho, a lot of these masters programs were really designed more to sell themselves and not nursing. they make all sorts of wild predictions about nursing "leadership" roles when frankly, you'll probably end up functioning like any other bedside grunt. if you do like the advanced clinical aspects of bedside nursing, then either work in the icu environment or become a nurse practitioner (np) like you stated.

that said, having a masters degree (regardless of stripe) on the other hand, does provide you with the academic credentials to advance into nursing or hospital administration. as for how advanced degree bedside caregivers are received by their co-workers? "welcome aboard; now go take care of your patients while i take care of mine" lol...

good luck, and remember to...

support your nursing unions! :up:

If your long-term goal is to become an NNP, why do a different MSN first? You'll have to complete nearly all of an additional MSN (or DNP, depending on how that proposal shakes out) later on in order to become an NNP; why put the time, effort and money into a Master's with a specialty you don't particularly want (and doesn't seem to be particularly marketable so far) when there are quicker and cheaper ways to achieve RN licensure, which is what you really need?

Why not do an ADN or BSN (accelerated or traditional), either of which would probably be quite a bit cheaper, get licensed, and start working on getting the NICU experience you need to qualify for an NNP program?

Some may choose this route because it is the only school that they are accepted into especially if you already have a bachelor's. Some schools are not allowing second bachelors in any major so it only makes sense to get a Master's and be eligible for Financial Aid. A girl I used to go to school with had a bachelors already and she couldnt get into a ADN program but she applied for the masters and got in.

PostOpPrincess, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

Like everyone else has said, it's not relevant when you are new. I think an advanced degree is very pertinent--but it has to have some bite--meaning clinical experience.

Personally, I think it is just a way for the university to make money and sell it to people who are misguided into thinking that they can slide into a higher level arena immediately.

That's not how it works....

You are though, OP, one of the few that I can actually say may have come common sense--and I agree--if you are going towards the NNP route--going the CNL round seems like a lot of $$$$ spent unnecessarily...

MurseJustin

Specializes in ICU and Telemetry/Step-Down. Has 2 years experience.

I personally think getting a Master's as a CNL seems like an extra and unecessary step if you're ultimate goal is to gain experience as an RN and later become a NNP. I went the accelerated-BSN route, since I had a previous Bachelor's. The program was 12 months and now I am working on gaining some experience before I go back to school for advanced practice. I'm not too familiar with many CNL programs, but to me it seems like more time and money for a degree that you won't necessarily use. Is there a particular reason you're choosing the Master's in CNL route over an accelerated-BSN?

If your long-term goal is to become an NNP, why do a different MSN first? You'll have to complete nearly all of an additional MSN (or DNP, depending on how that proposal shakes out) later on in order to become an NNP; why put the time, effort and money into a Master's with a specialty you don't particularly want (and doesn't seem to be particularly marketable so far) when there are quicker and cheaper ways to achieve RN licensure, which is what you really need?

Why not do an ADN or BSN (accelerated or traditional), either of which would probably be quite a bit cheaper, get licensed, and start working on getting the NICU experience you need to qualify for an NNP program?

Well there are several reasons. One, I already have a BA and a MA, and since these programs are designed for those non-nursing ba/bs students, I think it is the best option for me to enter into this field, and financially it makes more sense, given the financial aid that I have to go after being that I already have an advanced degree. Secondly, I'm a Cali native and have no intentions on leaving Los Angeles. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of schools out here with accelerated BSN programs and they are at least 3 semesters. Majority of the schools here offer the MEPN CNL programs as opposed to the accelerated BSN (not sure why all these schools decided to jump on this path for direct-entry, but you'll find these programs before you find the accelerated BSN for non nursing degree holders), so I'm really limited in that aspect (no interest in an ADN). The program that I have my heart set on is a CAL State, 2 years, $4500/year- I don't think you can beat this!!! And becoming a NP would take just 1 year (3 semesters) part-time as I would go for a post-masters certificate and not another Masters. But believe you me, if there was a direct-entry MSN with a Neonatal NP role that was affordable and local, I'd be sending fresh baked cookies and milk to the admissions board! But unfortunately, they do not exist.....not here at least, but I know there are a few sprinkled across the country - East Carolina University being one. So ultimately, this seems like the best route for me financially, time-wise and academically.

And like someone else said, my clinical path may change once I'm in there getting my hands bloody (

Sorry for the the long @ss thesis-style answer! :rolleyes:

I start an CNA program at west la community college next month, so I'm hoping to get this experience prior to starting the program in the fall and hopefully work part-time as a CNA during the program so I can eat something other than top ramen noodles and lemon water for the next 2 years (although they have tried to freddy kruegar-style scare us by saying it is IMPOSSIBLE to work during the program).

Thanks everyone for your honest answers. Much respect!

Mya

Edited by MiahMSN

LeLeeFNP

Specializes in ICU, CVICU, Surgical, LTAC. Has 6 years experience.

"

Well there are several reasons. One, I already have a BA and a MA, and since these programs are designed for those non-nursing ba/bs students, I think it is the best option for me to enter into this field, and financially it makes more sense, given the financial aid that I have to go after being that I already have an advanced degree. Secondly, I'm a Cali native and have no intentions on leaving Los Angeles. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of schools out here with accelerated BSN programs and they are at least 3 semesters. Majority of the schools here offer the MEPN CNL programs as opposed to the accelerated BSN (not sure why all these schools decided to jump on this path for direct-entry, but you'll find these programs before you find the accelerated BSN for non nursing degree holders), so I'm really limited in that aspect (no interest in an ADN). The program that I have my heart set on is a CAL State, 2 years, $4500/semester - I don't think you can beat this!!! And becoming a NP would take just 1 year (3 semesters) part-time as I would go for a post-masters certificate and not another Masters. But believe you me, if there was a direct-entry MSN with a Neonatal NP role that was affordable and local, I'd be sending fresh baked cookies and milk to the admissions board! But unfortunately, they do not exist.....not here at least, but I know there are a few sprinkled across the country - East Carolina University being one. So ultimately, this seems like the best route for me financially, time-wise and academically.

And like someone else said, my clinical path may change once I'm in there getting my hands bloody (

Sorry for the the long @ss thesis-style answer! :rolleyes:

I start an CNA program at west la community college next month, so I'm hoping to get this experience prior to starting the program in the fall and hopefully work part-time as a CNA during the program so I can eat something other than top ramen noodles and lemon water for the next 2 years (although they have tried to freddy kruegar-style scare us by saying it is IMPOSSIBLE to work during the program).

Thanks everyone for your honest answers. Much respect!

Mya

"

You are very smart and well educated. You have done your research, and you have found a path that works for your situation. Not everyone will understand as many of us nurses come from a variety of different educational backgrounds, experiences, and regions. I can definately understand why you would choose this route. Why get a lower level nursing degree when you can get a higher level one with less time and money? And yest getting a post-masters certificate makes perfect sense for you because as you stated there isn't a second degree neonatal NP program available to you.

however..........

just a thought, have you ever thought about going for FNP instead of neonatal? There are Master's degree programs available that are online and that are designed for the second degree student. You would be able to complete your clinicals in your local community. and yes, perhaps you don't want to ultimately work with adults, but you would be more marketable as an FNP than as a neonatal NP because you could see patients of all ages. If you were to go this route, you would be able to enter into practice as an NP sooner. check out Frontier (i believe they have a program for second degree students). California is pretty big, i don't know for sure but have you checked out second degree options for Family Nurse Practitioners in Cali?

Anyway, no matter what path you decide to choose, don't be like me. I originally got a non-nursing BA, then ADN, now enrolled in and RN to BSN to MSN in leadership and management. Once I finish this program THEN i have to go back for my post-masters (I'll be doing FNP). If I could do it all over i would have gone with a direct entry MSN or accelerated BSN, but i had to pay for my ADN out of pocket and with tuition assistance from my employer at the time because I used all my financial aid with my bachelors degree. The program i am currently in is being paid for through a scholarship program and my post-masters will be paid for by my employer. so i am taking this looooong route due to both indecisiveness of what i really want to do, and also financial reasons. lets just hope i don't change my mind again! LOL

littleneoRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

The work you do as an NNP vs. a FNP don't have very much in common. If the OP is interested in being an NNP and actually understands what a typical day is like for an NNP, then I would say it's not very likely she'd be interested in being an FNP. The same could be said vice versa. The difference is not just the patient population but the setting and activities are very different. I believe, although I don't truly know, that there is still pretty good demand for NNPs nationwide, so I wouldn't worry about marketability. My NNP friends who have recently graduated are all gainfully employed without significant difficulty, even in this economy.

""

You are very smart and well educated. You have done your research, and you have found a path that works for your situation. Not everyone will understand as many of us nurses come from a variety of different educational backgrounds, experiences, and regions. I can definately understand why you would choose this route. Why get a lower level nursing degree when you can get a higher level one with less time and money? And yest getting a post-masters certificate makes perfect sense for you because as you stated there isn't a second degree neonatal NP program available to you.

however..........

just a thought, have you ever thought about going for FNP instead of neonatal? There are Master's degree programs available that are online and that are designed for the second degree student. You would be able to complete your clinicals in your local community. and yes, perhaps you don't want to ultimately work with adults, but you would be more marketable as an FNP than as a neonatal NP because you could see patients of all ages. If you were to go this route, you would be able to enter into practice as an NP sooner. check out Frontier (i believe they have a program for second degree students). California is pretty big, i don't know for sure but have you checked out second degree options for Family Nurse Practitioners in Cali?

Anyway, no matter what path you decide to choose, don't be like me. I originally got a non-nursing BA, then ADN, now enrolled in and RN to BSN to MSN in leadership and management. Once I finish this program THEN i have to go back for my post-masters (I'll be doing FNP). If I could do it all over i would have gone with a direct entry MSN or accelerated BSN, but i had to pay for my ADN out of pocket and with tuition assistance from my employer at the time because I used all my financial aid with my bachelors degree. The program i am currently in is being paid for through a scholarship program and my post-masters will be paid for by my employer. so i am taking this looooong route due to both indecisiveness of what i really want to do, and also financial reasons. lets just hope i don't change my mind again! LOL

Thanks for the compliment (you can't tell me I'm smart enought......go on, tell me again!!:p......I keed, I keed :rolleyes:)

I will check out Frontier, but I have yet to come across any direct-entry online programs with an NP emphasis. Are you sure these are not for RNs who hold a ba/bs in a non-nursing major? I will definitely set out on an intensive google search and see what I find.....but let me tell you, I'm so sick and tired, tired and sick of researching nursing! LOL....I feel like all my free time has been spent on nursing. Prereqs, research, orientations, looking for $ available for nursing students, lurking Allnurses.com, I mean this career change has turned me into a damn stalker!! LOL

Hey, don't beat yourself up. We all have our own individual walks in this thing called life and sometimes we take these crazy maze routes before we get to where we are meant to be, but it's life. I could just kick my own @ss for not discovering this career 12 years ago when I started college! But guess what, 12 years ago, I hadn't discovered myself, so how in the hell could I have possibly discovered my life long professional passion???? I know some folk out there wore stethoscopes or carried around gavels or handcuffs (stay with me here, I'm making a point) before they even learned to use the potty, but that wasn't me! LOL

I even went on to get an expensive masters degree in a field that I had just sort of fell into after undergrad and I thought "oh well, this is your career, so you might as well try and advance in it." And yet 3 years later, here I am learning all the damn systems of the body and having a blast skinning a dead cat and snapping photos with my blackberry and sending them to my facebook account to gross out all of my friends!! Who knew? LOL.....

So, I say all of that to say this, enjoy your journey and know that it was designed specifically for you by the Most High - no mistakes, just a few bumps, concussions and flat tires along the way - but no mistakes! (or at least that's what I tell myself to keep from crying!! LOL.......I'm joking!:p)

Sending you cyber wishes of luck on your continued path!

Edited by MiahMSN