RN to BSN, OR RN to MSN?

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I was wondering if I could get some opinions from people who have gone back to school after getting their ADN, or who are about you. I can do an online program for 18 months to get my BSN. I am also 21 years old. I have recently been contemplating just going the whole 9 yards and going BSN to MSN. I would like to eventually get my masters, and why not do it while I am young and able to? The only thing nagging at me about getting my masters is the fact that I don't know what I want to specialize or do yet. I just graduated, and passed my boards July 21. without a job prospect... so im not really sure what i would 100% want to do. The other thing I'm worried about is that I am too young without enough experience to get my masters. I had teachers tell me in the past to just get my BSN and stop and wait to get my masters, but does it matter??? I just want to get it over with!! I also don't know what getting a masters in nursing entails.. im going to look that up now, but...

Help!

elkpark

14,633 Posts

I would strongly encourage you to spend some time practicing nursing at a generalist level and familiarizing yourself with the overall world of nursing and your specific career interests before you pursue a graduate degree. As a generalist RN, you have a great degree of flexibility in terms of moving from one specialty area to another, but, in most cases, a graduate degree in nursing pretty much locks you into a particular role/career path. I would encourage you to spend as much time as necessary to be sure you know where you want to go with your career before you get into a graduate program. IMHO, far too many people in nursing rush to get a degree and then try to figure out what they can do with it ... I have known a number of different people who rushed into a nursing graduate program simply because they wanted to get a Master's as soon as possible, and only figured out later that they didn't enjoy doing what their degree had prepared them to do; they're "stuck" now with a graduate degree and career path that they don't want, and they're looking at spending a lot more money and time to move in another direction.

You are going to invest a v. large amount of time, effort, and $$$ into getting any graduate degree in nursing -- you might as well put in the time and effort up front to make sure it's a degree you really want. I would strongly encourage you to take as much time as necessary to really figure out where you want your nursing career to go, and then figure out what degree you need to get you there.

Best wishes for your new career! :balloons:

KaiTT21

30 Posts

thank you! that was extremely helpful!!

sh1901

283 Posts

KaiTT21,

Although I'm a bit older than you, I'm in a similar boat. I'm working on my ADN and I want to progress further. I know my path though. I want to be a Nurse Practitioner, I'm just not certain which field I want to specialize in. So, my plan is this: finish my ADN, spend a year or two working and get a feel for which specialty I want to go into. Then I'll start my RN to MSN program. This is what makes sense for me, but you'll need to figure out what makes sense for you.

Good luck!

SH

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

I've been out of school for one year. What I did was as soon as I came of off orientation at my first RN job, I applied for an RN-BSN program that was all on-line. As I built up my experience, I worked on continuing my education. I now have one year's experience as an RN, and am a couple weeks away from having a BSN. I personaly think this worked best for me, as it allowed me to build experience, and to better decide what I want to do with my future. As a new grad that hasn't worked "in the trenches" you have no idea what all opportunities are out there, and what direction you may want your career to go later on.

allnurses Guide

JBudd, MSN

3,836 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

I agree with elkpark, actually work at nursing for a while before deciding what else you want to do.

But don't go into a program with "I just want to get it over with", because you are making a burden and a chore out of the studies. Find what you are interested in, and then enjoy the trip while getting there. An MSN doesn't need to be rushed into, I was out of school for over 20 years before deciding to do a grad degree, took my time and learned a lot of interesting things that go in nursing I had been oblivious to.

Good luck in your decisions!

KaiTT21

30 Posts

thanks so much everybody!!! you really helped in guiding me towards my decision that i am going to work on my BSN and get experience, then see where it takes me! thanks a million!!!:specs:

I've been out of school for one year. What I did was as soon as I came of off orientation at my first RN job, I applied for an RN-BSN program that was all on-line. As I built up my experience, I worked on continuing my education. I now have one year's experience as an RN, and am a couple weeks away from having a BSN. I personaly think this worked best for me, as it allowed me to build experience, and to better decide what I want to do with my future. As a new grad that hasn't worked "in the trenches" you have no idea what all opportunities are out there, and what direction you may want your career to go later on.

What online program did you choose??

intuition

171 Posts

Specializes in E.R..

Christine N, I am about to graduate next week with my ADN. I was wondering what on-line program you went through and how long was it?

MotivatedOne

366 Posts

Specializes in GYN/GON/Med-Surg/Oncology/Tele.

I think most MSN programs require you have at least 1 year of nursing experience before you're eligible to apply for admission.

You're definitely not too young to pursue getting a Master's degree. Some people have graduated from a 4 yr school with a BS in something and went straight to Graduate school before their 22nd birthday. Then you have some medical students who are only 21.

Good luck with whatever you decided to do!

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