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RN-BSN or RN-MSN???? Please help!


Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 22 years experience.

I currently have an Associate's Degree and my ultimate goal is NP, possibly also teaching. I plan to utilize WGU to reach my goal, but my question is, should I do the RN-BSN, then go for my MSN/NP or do the RN-MSN, then do a post master's NP program? I have been researching quite a bit and I know much depends on my program of choice, etc, but would just like some feedback. Thanks in advance!!

Edited by nursejoy1

A person in the exact same boat you are in and exact same goals! I am currently set to start the RN-BSN but really thinking about switching to the MSN. I think going MSN at WGU may save some classes in the long run & cant beat the cost.

Hello, I am currently like halfway (maybe more) on the RN -MSN Education track at WGU. I, too, had been thinking about NP, but am glad I am on track for the MSN Education.

Originally, I was applying to WGU for RN - BSN, but WGU admissions asked me "Are you at all thinking about a Master's? - then you might think about doing RN-MSN because it will save you 8 units along the way (if you get the BSN and then go back for the Master's later.) I already have a Bachelor of Arts. Recently I spoke to a NP, and after hearing about NP workload, I'm sort of thinking it's not for me right now. With my Master's, I'm thinking about going into teaching and then perhaps research or work for a medical device manufacturer doing sales or education.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

When I was making this decision, I looked at some post-master's programs and discovered that going that route would involve quite a few more credit hours than going straight from BSN to NP, and would be more expensive unless I made it through WGU very quickly (which I didn't). Plus the available MSN options weren't anything that seemed at all in line with my career desires.

My understanding is that financial aid options for post-master's certificates are much more limited than for doing MSN directly, so that might be a consideration as well.

Also, some post-master's programs are only for people with a clinical MSN who are changing emphasis (Frontier's post-master's cert is like this, for example). Same applies to MSN to DNP programs. There are plenty of programs where this is not true, but if you have a specific program in mind, just be sure of their requirements.

This is not to say it's a bad option. Ironically, I'm now considering a non-clinical MSN of some sort, and possibly through WGU, because I'm at a really good point for doing more school but not ready to commit to NP. Just things to consider.

I just wanted to add - in the last year, I have run into 3 nurses who earned their BSN's through WGU. They all told me they had wished they had gone RN-MSN because it would have forced them to stay in school, go beyond the BSN.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I chose RN to MSN based on the logic that the fewer times I have to "pull the trigger" on going back to school the better. I have seven courses left to get my MSN. I got my BSN a little over a year ago and should be done by September.

nursejoy1, ASN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 22 years experience.

Thank you all for the replies. Definitely all food for thought.


Specializes in Perianesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

RN to MSN all the way!

That plan worked like a charm for me. I fast forwarded my career trajectory and have SO many more options available to me than if I would have been sitting here with a BSN and still needing my MSN.

PMC is a less onerous task than if you were to add a MSN on top of that.