RN to BSN or RN to MSN?

  1. Please someone help me out. I have an Associate degree in Nursing and also have a Bachelors degree in a non-nursing field. I obtained my nursing licence 2 yrs ago, and since then, have been working in Long term Care, which sucks to say the least. All the hospitals I applied to wanted someone with a BSN. This fall I finally decided to go back to school and got accepted into 2 universities - one for RN to MSN; and the other RN to BSN(both are online programs). Here is my dilema: Should I go straight to the MSN program and save time and money; or Should I just start with the BSN which employers are asking for, and thereafter, pursue the MSN program? Additionally, the masters program costs a lot more, and apart from that, I do not feel that I have enough exposure/experience in Nursing to, adequately,embark on the masters program yet. Any suggestion will be highly appreciated.
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    About melodie04

    Joined: Mar '10; Posts: 12; Likes: 7


  3. by   AZMOMO2
    BSN because like you said you don't have enough experience to chose a specialty, unless of course you want the MSN to focus on NP, then you bypass the hospital floor nursing and you become a provider. Really it's all about where you want you career to go at this point.

    Are you looking to just get out of LTC and into a hospital or are you looking to get into management or NP?
  4. by   beeker
    I am hoping to go right from RN-MSN because I already have a BS in another science field. I can't see how another Bachelors will help me at all. You really need to know what your end goal is. Is your Bachelors science related? What will the MSN be in? Education, Leadership, or NP? I think for NP you need some acute care floor experience. For education, you would need a variety of experience in order to teach something. For leadership, again, no one wants a leader who does not know the day to day of the job. You have 2 years of LTC experience, you would probably be a great leader there. The thing is, you can get a job and work WHILE getting your Masters. Some places will hire you if you are enrolled in a BSN or MSN program. And you do have 2 years of nursing experience. It is LTC, but it is nursing experience. Do not sell yourself short! For me, I just want to bang it out and get it done. I don't want to go back to school, then have to go back again later for the MSN. I want to get it over with. I might not have the time,means, or motivation to do it later.
  5. by   melodie04
    Thanks Azmomo2. At this time I am looking at two options: one continue with LTC and build up a career in the area in leadership position because, at this point, thats really the only area I know. But then, I feel as if I am short-changing myself; and two, pursue a career as an NP which has always been my desire, but without a hospital experience/exposure in other areas, I feel ill equiped to even think about it. Yes, I do want to get into hospital to get clearer perspective of what i want.
  6. by   melodie04
    Thanks beeker, my Bachelors is in Arts, the MS is in leadership; and I am looking at the option of continuing with LTC in leadership position as you pointed out. However, I do feel that a hospital experience would put me in a better position to be more grounded as a nurse to make a better career decision.
  7. by   umbdude
    I'm starting an ADN program in a few months, but I have been thinking about this as well because I also have a BS in another field. The problem I see in RN-MSN program is that many of them (as far as I know) do not confer a BSN after you took all those BSN-level classes. If the MSN program takes 3-4 years to finish, doesn't that mean in the next 3-4 years you'll still be an ADN? Or do employers that require BSN take that into consideration? What if, for whatever reason, you cannot finish the MSN program or takes longer to do it? Or you just feel burned out during the process and decide not to go further?

    Personally, I think mostly likely I will go for a BSN just to ensure that I have it then take my time with MSN. If the RN-MSN program specifically say that they will confer a BSN after a number of courses, then I would just stick with it (assuming that I know for sure about which specialty I want to get into).
    Last edit by umbdude on Sep 29, '12 : Reason: addition
  8. by   melodie04
    The school offering the MSN also has RN-BSN-MSN, but they are offering me the MSN just to cut the time and money
  9. by   melodie04
    Additionally, the RN-BSN-MSN takes about 3 yrs; you get the BSN certificate on completion of that requirement, and then continue with the MSN, but the cost per credit is high. The straight RN-MSN would take two years. For the second school offering the RN-BSN, the cost per credit is less, and it would take approximately one and half yrs to complete.
  10. by   a016202
    Go for the MSN! Just finished my program in April. You can do it! ...And the career possibilities are endless.

    Good luck!
  11. by   billyboblewis
    MSN unless you are really intrerested in the torture of staff nursing in a hospital.
  12. by   sbostonRN
    I've had the same dilemma for the past year and a half since I became a nurse. Still trying to decide. My BS is in Biology and I know that I won't want to go back to school once I finish.

    One thing that helped me make the decision was thinking about my age and experience at the completion of the program. Remember that when you finish the BSN or MSN program (whichever you choose) you will then have four years of experience, which will make you even more marketable to employers.

    Personally, I will probably end up going with the MSN. I think getting another BS is redundant.
  13. by   RNMom2010
    As an ADN nurse, I noticed that all the companies that want BSN degrees are contacting me regarding the positions applied to because I am working towards my BSN. I am taking my 1st class right now, but every interview brings it up and its a positive thing.

    I debated on looking into MSN, however at this point I am not 100% sure what direction I want to go. That is a LOT of work and a LOT of money to not be truly dedicated to some specialty!
  14. by   melodie04
    Thanks everyone for the insight. I'll go straight for the MSN. Two more years of school would do it for me. Thanks again .