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Online Direct Entry MSN, PA, or Nurse Anesthesist

by AC7941 AC7941 (New) New


Does anyone know of any fully online MSN, PA, or Nurse Anesthetist programs for someone who has a bachelor's in a different subject (other than nursing)? I have been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for many years with some experience in pediatric and adult rehab (in a large medical facility) and am now interested in a career change, to either nurse practitioner, physicians assistant, or nurse anesthetist but do not want to spend a decade in school again :)

Fully on-line as in no labs or clinicals?

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

You need a bare minimum of 2 years ICU experience as an RN to even apply to a CRNA program.

No fully-online MSN programs exist for non-nurses. There are hundreds of clinical hours required for nursing licensure.

PA requires ~2000 hours of clinicals as well.

What would be the best route (time and cost efficient) to take for me as a mom who wants to be able to balance family life/responsibilities and this 2nd career change? That is why I was interested in the online only option - but it sounds like that does not exist :/ I'm looking for something that will not cause too big of a financial impact on our family and is also the best use of my time since it sounds like I will have to start from the very beginning all over again if I do pursue one of these paths.

Thanks in advance for any input :)

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

You are looking for a unicorn. One does not make a transition to an advanced practice provider without both a significant time and financial investment. For both NP and CRNA, you will first have to be an RN, no matter what "direct entry" label the school uses. As previously noted, you cannot even apply to a CRNA program without the appropriate amount of critical care experience.

PAs fall under the medical model, and that is likely the shortest pathway of the three if you have the proper pre-reqs. The three are totally different roles, so I suggest some investigation and introspection to figure out what appeals to you about each role. But bottom line, it will be an expensive and time-consuming switch.

physicians assistant,

I'd like to suggest that prior to or considering becoming a PA you learn the correct name of the profession.

I would go PA over NP. NP would likely end up being longer, and you would take a paycut by working as a RN first before you get your NP licence. Both routes are roughly the same cost, PA schools are about $80,000-$100,000 in total for tuition, not including living expenses. But the salary you'd male evens out the loan cost, and you shouldn't have trouble paying it back. Plus there are loan forgiveness programs for NPs and PAs that you should look into. PA schools require a fairly decent amount of direct patient care hours, which you won't have a problem with since you were a SLP for the last 5 years. The only thing you'd have to focus on is your GPA, and obtaining all of the necessary pre-reqs (biology, chemistry, o-chem, genetics, A&P, microbiology, and maybe a few extra depending on the school). Unfortunately, PA and NP programs cannot be taught in an online-only format. You're going to school to be an advanced practice clinician, not obtaining an online MBA or other degree that is capable of being taught online. These programs require you to be present in class. PA school is tough, and you will need to dedicate a lot of time to studying. That being said, I have tons of friends who went to PA school mid-career when they had young children at home. They sacrificed some family time for two years, and then after that had the career of their dreams. It all comes down to what is most important to you.