RN BSN with non-nursing master degree


  1. Do you have a BSN and hold a non-nursing master degree?

    • YES
    • working on it now
    • No
    • want a masters outside of nursing
    • would only consider a MSN

17 members have participated

I am a RN, BSN and a master degree in health administration (MS). I was very upset to find that so many colleges and universities require that I obtain a nursing administration (MSN) in order to enter into the DNP. Could someone help me understand how a non nursing masters degree (MBA, MHA, MS) could not be credible enough to enter an executive leadership/administrative DNP track? I am also discouraged that the profession will not allow me to teach leadership in nursing at the bachelors level since my masters is not a MSN. I am a board certified nurse executive with over 15 years experience. Anyone else have these issues?

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Question - what is the source of your "board certification"? Are you interested in moving into nursing administration or an NP role? If nursing administration is your goal, you will be unable to escape the MSN requirement. Other graduate programs do not include content that is specific to the discipline of nursing. Many of the nurse execs in my organization have had to go back and go back for their MSNs because their MBAs and MHAs aren't enough these days.


16 Posts

Hello, I am certified through ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center - ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center - ANCC . I would like to stay in administration and would like the DNP. I have found a handful of accredited DNP programs that will honor a non-nursing master degree (and Im thrilled and happy to share what I found if you'd like), however, it is just disturbing that only a few do honor it. I'm also happy to say that I did find an online MSN program (CCNE accredited) that will take 18 of my previous MS credits and allow for portfolio credit, so I am 3/4 into a MSN program already!!!! But, it just amazes me the loops and bumps you have to jump through in order to further your education in nursing...especially with the IOM / Future of Nursing Campaign. Isn't the goal to double the number of DNP's? Currently fewer than 1% of nurses have a doctoral degree. I see a plethora of RN-BSN and RN-MSN programs, but where is the bridge to DNP? Many RNs with a non-nursing bachelors degree take one or two "bridge" courses and they can transition into the MSN. I would like to bring attention to nursing academia that there is a large proportion of RNs with MBA, MHA, etc. who are very credible and worthy of entering a DNP. Where is our bridge? I haven't enrolled in the DNP's that will honor a non-nursing masters since I first found this MSN program. I feel I should just complete this since I started it :) Any thoughts?


1 Post

What programs have you found online for the MSN and the DNP(that will take MS credits)? I would love to take a look at them as I am in this same position.


16 Posts


American Sentinel University (online) and UMDNJ in New Jersey (both CCNE accredited) accept non nursing masters degrees.

Specializes in Geriatrics, Wound Care, Hospice. Has 5 years experience.

I just found this after many years of struggling with the same frustrations as the original poster. I have a non-nursing master's as an Acupuncturist. It's a master's of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is really upsetting that FNP programs won't even touch it, but yet want to incorporate Acupuncture in most FNP programs. I've been told my master's in Acupuncture isn't a real master's degree by the nursing graduate programs I've contacted. I've spent a lot of money and time trying to incorporate my nursing education with my Acupuncture. I'm very frustrated, that my dream has taken me to this chaotic level.