career change: Non-nursing B.S. to MSN

  1. Hi all,
    I'm new here! I just graduated in June 2012 with a B.S. in Human Biology & minor in Psychology from UC San Diego. I've been on the pharmacy school route: recently applied for pharmacy schools, currently taking anatomy & physiology at a community college, recently started working as a pharmacy technician. However, I've been having doubts about my future in pharmacy...Nursing is seeming more enticing to me than pharmacy & I feel that nursing would be more personally rewarding for me. I actually was interested in nursing when applying to colleges in high school (got into UC Irvine's nursing program but decided on UCSD & changed to pharmacy...sometimes I feel like kicking myself for not pursuing nursing in the first place).

    Anyways, I always knew about Accelerated BSN programs & recently discovered MSN programs...From what I understand, I can get more out of the MSN. Anyone with any advice about MSN programs for people with non-nursing BS? What should I do???
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    About heartappa

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 7
    from US


  3. by   missnurse01
    Well you have asked a really loaded question. First off I would shadow nurses, from many areas of the hospital. Then I would shadow MSN nurses in their varied field. There are a lot of opinions about non-nurse to MSN programs. Many nurses feel that an advanced practice nurse should have experience AS A NURSE first. And that the point of them making adv prac nurses was to take well experienced nurse and then train them more. That could be why you are not getting a lot of replies. Have you also shadowed a pharmacist. I know I could never do the job, it is always rush rush rush and the nurses calling you non stop for stuff. At night most places only have one, and they get run ragged.

    anyway, good luck with your decisions! remember if you go the msn route that you want to come out as knowledgeable and able to practice independently as possible. take the route that does that.

    Have you also looked into PA school?
  4. by   heartappa
    How would I go about finding nurses to shadow?

    I have shadowed/volunteered for a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy. And right now, I just started working at a WalMart pharmacy as a pharmacy technician.

    I have not looked into PA school. Right now with the MSN, I would be interested in being a nurse practitioner.
  5. by   phieud
    I actually just graduated from UCSD as a human bio major this June too, and I also switched from pre-optometry to pursue a NP program! From what I found, most of the nursing programs have similar pre-reqs to pharm and optometry school. Like missnurse1 said though, you should definitely shadow a nurse practitioner to make sure this is what you want to do. The way I found a NP to shadow was by asking my friend's wife if I could shadow her, but I'm sure you can just go to your local hospital and ask one of the NP if you could shadow them for a few weeks. What is your GPA? Also, I'd recommend working as an CNA, EMT, or phlebotomist instead of a pharm tech because that will prepare you more for nursing school and I think the admissions committee will look at that more favorably than a pharm tech.
  6. by   heartappa
    Awesome, a fellow Triton! My GPA is a 3.06. Thanks for the advice about working as a CNA or EMT of phlebotomist, I will look into them. I am also planning to visit Western this weekend to learn more about their MSN-Entry program.
  7. by   phieud
    Oh cool! I'm also going to their preview day! What's your name, maybe I'll see you there =)
  8. by   heartappa
    My name is Eileen, What's yours? At least I'll kind of know someone on Saturday then!
  9. by   phieud
    Patrick. Did you apply this cycle?
  10. by   heartappa
    No I didn't apply this cycle. I would apply next cycle. What made you change from pre-optometry to NP?
  11. by   phieud
    I'm not very good with physics, and I know optometry focuses a lot on light (relfection, refraction, etc). Also, I shadowed an optometrist and I just didn't see myself doing that for a career.
  12. by   dedicatedone
    Wanted to jump on the board the moment I saw UCSD. I graduated UCSD 09' and just started my first year at an accelerated BSN/MSN program. PM me with any questions you may have. I'm loaded with exams but more than willing to help a fellow Triton out. If you're still in the San Diego area, try to volunteer through the hospital to get started. I was at Thornton Hospital my senior year and learned a lot before moving out of the area to work on prereqs to apply to school. In terms of shadowing, I literally pulled out the phone book and found a list of community health clinics in my area and called each one up to see if they had volunteer opportunities or shadowing opportunities. It worked itself out
  13. by   heartappa
    Thanks so much for your input and your offer to help! I really do appreciate it. I am unable to PM yet (lameeee) but I just want to know what kind of stuff you are learning in your BSN/MSN program, how you like it so far. I'm not in the SD area anymore, but I am searching around for volunteer opportunities in my area.
  14. by   dedicatedone
    In terms of the content, it is basic care of patients and learning the skills to improve their status. Due to the fact that it is an accelerated program, there is some overlap where we are learning certain techniques outside of the RN scope of practice and specifically told that these skills or assessment knowledge is more important at an NP level. Unfortunately your question of what I am learning is a little too broad for me to sum up everything that we are doing but know that we are learning all about medications, nursing care, in addition to hands on clinical to use our skills.

    I am liking the program. It definitely is accelerated! We study non stop and get very to few breaks but it will all be worth it in the end. It's all about finding balance in the end