Navigating degrees


Hello All,

I am looking for professional opinions regarding my next step in education.

Currently, I am an ADN and it is time to go back. I have worked in Primary care (not for me) and Acute care. My interests are in ER/OR/ICU/Cardiac, as well as lifestyle management for disease prevention and management. A BSN is an obvious route, but I am more drawn to a Bachelors of Science in Wellness and Alternative Medicine, with the idea that I would get a masters in public health or my MSN in the years to follow.

The struggle is will following my personal desire inhibit professional opportunities down the road. I have many friends in BSN and MSN programs that say there is a lot of busy work and if I am going to spend so much money, I want to take away all that I can.

Any thoughts are appreciated.


14,633 Posts

Unless you want to use a baccalaureate degree to get out of nursing, or just for the personal satisfaction, do the BSN. There is no other baccalaureate degree that will benefit you in nursing as much as a BSN.

A lot of people complain about "busywork" and "fluff" in BSN completion programs. My long-held belief is that you pretty much get out of any education program what you put into it. If you go in with the attitude that the courses and assignments are useless and annoying, that's probably what your experience is going to be. If you go in with the mindset that you're going to learn as much and get as much out of this as possible, that's most likely what your result is going to be.

Best wishes for your journey!

allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

I agree with elkpark. If you want to stay in nursing ... then get a BSN or go straight for an MSN (if you can find a program that suits your needs well). A non-nursing degree will not help your nursing career because most higher level jobs within nursing require at least a BSN.

If you want to leave nursing ... then pursue a different degree. But understand that you will probably have to search for jobs in that new field -- and that you should thoroughly explore the career options that those other degrees get you. A lot of times, those other degrees qualify you only for jobs that don't pay as well as nursing. So find out what types of jobs graduates of those other programs can expect to get before you invest. If you prefer those jobs over the ones you can get with a nursing degree, go for it. But research the jobs first, their pay, benefits, etc.


1,035 Posts

Me too. Besides, in a reputable BSN and certainly in a reputable MSN program you'll have electives you can take to broaden your knowledge base in lifestyle mgmt. Perfect background for later when you want to get out of ICU and do, like, cardiac/pulmonary rehab and/or research, for example. I took several electives in my MN program and they serve me very well to this day.

Specializes in Ambulatory Care, Rheumatology. Has 10 years experience.
FiguringitoutasIgo Your choice depends on your end goal. I wanted to be a Contractor of some sort. What helped me was looking at for desirable Contract listings. I noticed a MSN was not required for any Contractual positions in my desired Niche. Based on what I saw and what contracts are paying now, spending additional money on a degree has not made financial sense for me.

Thank you for all the great advise. I have been researching like it is my job, and have found a program at Florida Atlantic University at the Christine Lynn College of Nuraing that will get me a MSN!

From their website 'Students will earn a MSN degree and are eligible to sit for two Board Certifications; one in Advanced Holistic Nursing (AHN-BC) and the second in Health and Wellness Nurse Coaching (HWNC-BC). The Advanced Holistic Nursing Concentration does not prepare students to enter a Nurse Practitioner role.'

Thinking this may be the answer!!!