Advice? RN-BSN or MSN?

  1. I am not sure if this is the right place to put this question but I am looking for some advice on what to pursue next.
    I am a second career nurse (fairly new). I have a Bachelor's in Psychology and an MS Ed. I have a 2 year RN degree also. It is becoming more and more apparent that at the very least I need to get a BSN. I am wondering though if perhaps I should look into a bridge program for an MSN instead since I already have one Bachelor's degree.
    Any advice?
    I am not even sure how to find out what I would need for each degree. I suppose the schools can tell me?
    Also, if anyone knows of any online programs to look into, that would be great too!
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit coopman712 profile page

    About coopman712

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 152; Likes: 15
    from US
    Specialty: 2+ year(s) of experience


  3. by   Inori
    dear coopher12, these days its more important to get the experience as working nurse than collecting degrees. So first try to get work exp then continue on degrees because to hold an MSN but never have worked as nurse wouldn't do. you'll have to look into your state's schools online and off see what thier prereqs are. also consider relocating for work if needed. This is where online classes offer most flexibility. Good luck!
  4. by   coopman712
    Thanks! I do agree, experience is paramount, but sadly I need more than just an RN where I live. Thankfully I have a job but my hospital is no longer hiring RNs w/o BSN or higher. I was the last wave apparently and I am only per diem 1-2days/week. Also, this job was one of 3 to call me after moving here, when I applied for over 50 different ones. Everyone seems to require a BSN. I have been an RN for 2 years but still consider myself new with a lot of hands on learning to do. We just relocated for my husband's job so I wouldn't even consider relocating again any time soon. Lol!
    I am thinking about returning to school next year.
    Thanks again!
  5. by   DNPpat
    You have a *great* education for advancement in nursing! The RN - MSN programs seem like a good fit for your circumstances. Here are some basic factoids:

    American Association of Colleges of Nursing | Degree Completion Programs for Registered Nurses: RN to Master's Degree and RN to Baccalaureate Programs

    and here is an example of a program which is largely on-line:

    You did not mention a career goal - are you interested in teaching? Your degrees in psych and education would provide a wonderful framework, and we need high quality nurse educators!
  6. by   coopman712
    Thanks so much DNPpat!
    I find so many parallels b/w teaching and nursing. I work in acute medical rehab so I feel as though my teaching background comes into play very often. B/c I am still so fresh into nursing, I haven't exactly carved out my goals entirely yet. Clinical nurse education does sound interesting to me though. I feel it my due diligence though to first get some good hands on clinical experience before I go out and educate about nursing.
    Thanks so much again!
  7. by   db2xs
    Hi coopher. As a second-degree BSN student, I will present these questions to you that I have gleaned from my experience (which you don't have to answer here, but answer them to yourself):

    - How old are you?
    - What is it you ultimately want to do?

    I feel like I've just wasted my time at a two-year BSN program, when ultimately in my heart of hearts I wanted to get an MSN (and had gotten into several direct-entry programs) and I should have listened to myself from the get-go. I know many people who did the direct entry and are now working as advanced practice nurses.

    In my opinion from what I've observed, it is easier to get a job as an advanced practice nurse than as a new grad BSN.
  8. by   coopman712
    I am almost 41...
    I don't know ultimately what I want to do going forward. Right now I am happy with my new job and feel like I need solid experience at it. BUT......I do need more than an RN for this or any job. I just feel like the MSN may not be all that much more course work considering my previous degrees. I still have to research though.
  9. by   network.rn
    If your still considering RN to MSN check out Vanderbilt.
    The programs is only 5 semesters. This program ensures you a place in the
    Good luck......
  10. by   sbostonRN
    I am in a very similar situation and gave this one a lot of thought. I have a BS in Biology and have been an RN for just under 2 years. I ultimately decided to get my BSN and I start classes in the fall. My main reason was that I don't have any desire to be an advance practice nurse in the future. I have no idea if nursing admin or nursing education is in my future because I'm too new to the field to make that sort of commitment. To get a MSN you must decide what you want to specialize in and I couldn't make that decision. They do have generalist MSN degrees (Clinical nurse leader) but that didn't see right for me either. I figure in the future, if I want to be a CNS or NP, or work in administration, I can get my masters then. Maybe in 10 or 20 years.

    Another reason is that I didn't want to be passed over for staff nurse positions because I don't have a BSN. Even with a Master's, I think you could still fall through the cracks in the hiring process.

    And while this wasn't a huge factor in my decision, graduate classes are more expensive than undergraduate classes.

    I do think age plays a factor. I am only 29 so it doesn't worry me to get my BSN now and go back in awhile to get my MSN.

    Good luck with whatever you choose. It took me over a year to make this decision and it's definitely not as easy as it seems at first!