"Generic" MSN program??

Specialties NP


I am getting ready to graduate with my ASN, and I'm getting ready to immediately start a 1 yr. ASN to BSN program, then after that thinking about getting my MSN...maybe...

My question is...if I would like to get an MSN, but I'm not sure if i want to be an NP or CNS or what I want to do...is there a way to get only a 'generic' MSN? With a lot of programs, I see them advertising programs to further an MSN to a NP. But where does one get just a basic MSN, or is there such a thing?? I have done quite a bit of research and haven't been able to find just a plain old MSN program yet...starting to think there may be no such thing...

I live in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I would either do the program locally or would consider doing it on the internet. Any info. anyone could give me would really be appreciated. Thanks!!!


262 Posts

Specializes in Burn/Trauma PCU.

I've been doing my MSN program homework, and while I've never seen a "generic MSN" program, I've seen lots of other posters with FNP degrees go to a gazillion different specialties: acute, OB, Peds, ICU, cardio. That might be your best route if you want flexibility in your setting choice.

Good luck to you! :)


61 Posts

Take a better look at the information from the schools your looking at and also make some calls. Typically, the graduate schools (at least in Michigan or Illinois) offer a MSN designed to prepare advanced practice nurses (MSNs) to assume a role as either an administrator, nurse practitionier, or clinical nurse specialist. For each focus there are more specific tracks (i.e. NP=adult/peds/family) For most of the schools that I have seen, the generic MSN title (those not wanting to be an NP or CNS) are more towards management/administration. In fact, schools often offer a MSN/MBS (master in business) to have you playing with all the cards once out in the real world. Good Luck!


14,633 Posts

You have to "major" in something in an MSN program, just as you "major" in nursing in an undergraduate program. There are quite a few options (multiple NP specialties, multiple CNS specialties, CRNA, CNM, adminstration, informatics, education, etc.), but you'll have to pick one ... The point of getting the graduate degree is specialization.

I am going to be starting a generic MSN program this fall at Depaul university in Chicago. In order to be accepted, you have a have a bachelors in anything. They also look for chemistry and A&P. After the MSN program you are eligible to get your NP which would take about 1 year. It is a shorter route to the NP than most programs. Something you may want to consider.


128 Posts

Helper-- you bring up Chem... I'm getting my prereqs for a BSN program at a jr college in TX. I'm mad as H*** because I have to take two semesters of bonified Chem (NOT just intro) for my second choice school. If I want to go on to MSN, which I do, should I just bite the bullet and do it. I guess I'm asking, are you talking about undergrad chem and a and p??


That is interesting. Normally for a nursing program, all they want is 1 semester of gen chem and 1 semester of org chem for a BSN program anyway. If that is the school you really want to attend then I would just do it but if you have other options I would look into those.

And yes, I was referring to undergrad chem and a&p. Where I got in at DePaul, they require a&p and 1 sem of gen chem and 1 sem of o chem. And that's it.

Best wishes to you.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I'm doing an MSN in management and leadership because in Illinois (IMHO) the AMA is so strong that NPs and CNS's have little to no autonomy and that is not likely to change in the near future.

I really think it depends on where you work in IL as an NP. I work with an NP in a large peds office and she has alot of autonomy. To me she's got a great job. She sets her own schedule and does everything that the docs do and she's NEVER on call and she gets paid well. Hey you can't beat that! I also know of another NP in IL that runs a homeless clinic, has a collaborative agreement with a dr but never sees him.

We can't just go by one scenario or one person. There's autonomy as an NP. We just have to be the ones to find it wherever we work.


413 Posts

FYI- to be certified by the ANCC or AANP as an NP you must prove you have graduated from a specific MSN with NP program. Certification is required by most states to practice and most insurance companies to be reimbursed. Generic MSN's will not qualify you to write certification exams.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Helper - I do apologize. My specific comment was geared to ER nursing which is really the only place I would want to work as a NP. I didn't say this in my post and certainly understand where you are coming from. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Oh, that's ok traumaRUS. I understand. Yea I would imagine ER is very competitive, even among the docs too. I knew of one dr who was trying to get an ER job out of state. It took them months to finally offer him the position and he is a very good dr too.

I would love to work in an ER myself, but at this point I'm only going to worry about finishing my nursing education and going from there.

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