What can I do with a MSN?

  1. Hello all, how is everyone doing?

    I have a simple question, I am currently going to school to get my RN-BSN. What is the advantage of having a MSN? What can I do with it in my career that a BSN will not let me do? How long are we talking about being in school?

    And to those who have already done it, was it worth it?

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    About msdr

    Joined: Sep '07; Posts: 4; Likes: 38


  3. by   graceomalleyRN

    I've been investigating this question ad nauseum myself.

    There seem to be several graduate directions in nursing available: informatics (if you're into administration), nurse-midwife, neonatal nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and of course Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (sp?) and others. It just depends on the sort of nursing you're interested in. In many states, you must have a master's degree to be a certified midwife. Nurse practitioners in my state can prescribe if they work under a physician. You have a lot more responsibility (and of course with that liability) as you are really in advanced practice with a Master's.

    FWIW, I'm definitely planning on getting my MSN after working awhile as an RN/BSN. I'm so excited about becoming a nurse!
  4. by   elkpark
    If you want to pursue an advanced practice role (CNS, CNM, CRNA, NP), you'll need an MSN. It is also the entry into teaching nursing (in most settings; there are still some programs where you can teach with a BSN). If you want to move up into the higher levels of administration in larger facilities/institutions, you'll probably need an MSN (or possibly MPH or MBA; some kind of advanced degree).

    Most MSN programs are two years (there are some one year (12 month) programs). Many people manage to continue working part- or full-time while in school (depends on how demanding the program is -- there's a wide range of programs out there). More and more programs are available on line as time goes on, also.

    Personally, I feel that my graduate studies were definitely "worth it," and an obvious and necessary next step in the arc of my career. However, only you can decide whether it's a good choice for you. I would suggest that you spend some time (a few years, at least) working as a generalist nurse and figure out what really interests you in nursing before you make a decision about further education. I've known too many nurses that rushed to get a Master's and then later realized that they weren't really interested in doing (whatever their Master's prepared them to do) -- that's really a shame.
  5. by   msdr
    Thank you for the responses.

    I've thought of being a nurse practioner, but when I look at the NP forums, they make it seem like so much longer than another year or 2 in school. My heart is in nursing. Bedside nursing that is... holding hands, giving meds, and wiping tears. I don't want to be a 'paper' nurse. Maybe I will be better off staying on the floor....
  6. by   mvanz9999
    My understanding is that you can complete an MSN in two years if you go full time (at least that's how my program is). Most people don't do that...I think a lot work at least part time and go to school part time. Thus taking much longer.