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Post-Masters Certification vs Advance Practice Nursing

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by CSUSM10 CSUSM10, RN (Member) Member

CSUSM10 is a RN and specializes in ER psych.

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I am a BSN graduate and was thinking of becoming a psych NP.  The school I went to for my BSN (Cal State San Marcos) offers two different programs for MSN...Advance Practice Nursing and Post Masters Certification.  The hospital I work for (Kaiser) pays 100% for MSN degrees from Capella or Colorado Technical University however the specialty would be Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, Care Coordination, or Nursing Informatics.  I'm curious if it may be beneficial for me to do the MSN through Capella or CTU and have it paid for 100% then do the post masters certification in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Cal State San Marcos?  Or should I just do the Advance Practice Nursing route with a concentration on PMHNP from the start?  Obviously the cost would be about 2x as much going that route and it wouldn't be paid for by my employer.

Curious if there are pros/cons to getting the post masters certificate after getting a non NP MSN?  

Edited by CSUSM10
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JENFKB is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Informatics, Home Health, Telehealth.

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I am kind of in the same boat. My employer pays for the same concentrations - education, informatics, leadership etc. They will not pay for NP, however. I went ahead and obtained my MSN in Informatics through Capella University while working full time. It was very doable and I enjoyed the program. The cost covered by my employer was roughly 20k. Now, I am considering going back for a post-masters PMHNP, which will cost me about 10-12k. This includes taking the 3 P's, which was not included in my Informatics program (pharm, patho, advanced health assessment). I think it makes perfect sense to have your employer pay for your MSN, then go back for PMHNP. You will save money and have an additional concentration in leadership/informatics/education, or whichever specialty you choose. Best of luck!

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Jenfkb I did my masters in nursing education and now will be starting a post masters mhnp program. I definitely think doing Capella first will end up being cheaper in the long run! But I’m wondering what Pmhnp program is 10-12k I’m thinking it will cost almost 20k

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JENFKB is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Informatics, Home Health, Telehealth.

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Check out USI - it's online and they charge in-state tuition. 

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Hi CSUSM10! I’m in the same exact boat as you are. I too graduate from CSUSM w/ my BSN and work for KP and trying to decide which route to go into and which school. Have you heard any differences in the curriculum with CTU and Capella? 

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umbdude has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych/Mental Health.

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I would be pretty careful getting a MSN in areas such as Leadership & Admin. These programs don't normally have the 3 P's and the courses might not qualify you to apply for a Post-Master PMHNP cert program.

As far as I know, post-master NP cert. usually are for those who are already NPs and who want to add another specialty (for example, a FNP who wants to expand her scope to practice in psych getting her PMHNP post-master cert). These NPs already have all the NP core courses so they can just take the psych specialty courses and clinical.

With a MSN in admin, technology, or education, you might not have the clinical core to apply to post-master certs.

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JENFKB is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Informatics, Home Health, Telehealth.

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 umbdude That is true that she will most likely have to take the 3Ps, but that does not make it impossible to apply for a post-masters certificate. I have an MSN in Nursing Informatics but have been accepted into two post-masters PMHNP programs so far. While I will have to take the 3Ps during the program, it was still worth it to have my employer pay for my first MSN so that I do not have to pay for the other core classes such as theory, research, etc. 

I would have gone for PMHNP from the start, however, my employer would not pay for that concentration. 

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55 Posts; 1,588 Profile Views

Jenfkb—-

What schools are you accepted to?  I am also starting in the fall!

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JENFKB is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Informatics, Home Health, Telehealth.

34 Posts; 565 Profile Views

University of Southern Indiana and University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Still trying to decide between the two... What about you?

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55 Posts; 1,588 Profile Views

Washburn University, very excited/nervous!

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babatee has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Geriatric, Acute, Rehab, Psychiatry.

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On 4/23/2019 at 9:21 AM, umbdude said:

I would be pretty careful getting a MSN in areas such as Leadership & Admin. These programs don't normally have the 3 P's and the courses might not qualify you to apply for a Post-Master PMHNP cert program.

As far as I know, post-master NP cert. usually are for those who are already NPs and who want to add another specialty (for example, a FNP who wants to expand her scope to practice in psych getting her PMHNP post-master cert). These NPs already have all the NP core courses so they can just take the psych specialty courses and clinical.

With a MSN in admin, technology, or education, you might not have the clinical core to apply to post-master certs.

Post-masters is designed for any nurse that already has a MSN , be it admin, education or NP. I graduated from WGU with a msn- leadership & admin and is currently enrolled in a post-masters cert program with UTA

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umbdude has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych/Mental Health.

2 Followers; 949 Posts; 14,316 Profile Views

My school doesn't accept non-NP for post-masters, but I understand that many do. I still wouldn't get a master in admin/education/IT just because it's free. The PMHNP market is still robust right now and there's no reason to delay getting one given the ROI. With a large number of FNPs jumping into psych due to saturation of FNPs, I would get it sooner rather than later.

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