Entry level MSN & becoming NP

  1. I have a non-nursing bachelor's degree, so I am really interested in pursuing an entry level MSN degree, and becoming a nurse practitioner. I know that being a NP requires a master's degree, so would the entry level MSN fulfill the requirements to become a nurse practitioner? Or does it require additional post-grad certification after completing the entry level MSN?
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    About britney32

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 6

    12 Comments

  3. by   terfernay
    Either do the entry level MSN to become an RN then enroll in an NP program or do a direct entry program where you get an RN along the way then end up with an NP. The entry level MSN will not make you an NP but an RN. Or you can get your BSN and then enroll in an NP program.
  4. by   britney32
    Thank you for your response. I figured that the MSN degree would only allow me to become a RN instead of an NP. So, to become a nurse practitioner, I would have to get a master's degree that is specifically designed to become a nurse practitioner? I would be interested in doing an entry level NP program that would allow me to become a RN on the way. There actually are programs for this? I haven't had much luck with finding any, I've only really found entry level MSN programs. I am currently looking at an entry level MSN program, and it says that it would make me eligible to apply to become a nurse practitioner, so this means it would make me eligible to APPLY to a NP program?

    I'm also reading an article on how to become a NP from a non-nursing bachelor's degree, and it says you can get an MSN and then go on to get a certification to become a NP? So do you have to get a master's degree that is specifically for becoming a NP, or is it just a post-master's degree certification?
    Last edit by britney32 on Jul 7
  5. by   Ohm268
    I think I understand your confusion. Let me see if I can help to clarify since I just finished the process myself but there are many schools that offer Master Entry Programs but they might be called by different names. Just same examples are MEPN, MECN, GEPN, ELMSN etc. My suggestion is to take a deep dive into the schools and their websites that you are interested in to find out more information.

    The degree and the specialty are two different things. There are people who have a MSN but who are not NPs but a NP will always have a MSN and be certified to specialize within a specific area or population group. In the United States, we recognize 4 types of Advance Practice Nurses (NP, CNS, CRNA, and CNM).

    Overall, there are two types of Master's Entry Programs. There are programs like UCLA where you attend a Master Entry Program and come out with a RN license and a general MSN which qualifies you as a Certified Nurse Leader (CNL) which as you can see from the list is not considered an APRN role. Once you are done, you will still need to take Post Masters courses to obtain a specialty to be considered a NP and a APRN but this program is considerably shorter which is the pro for this type of program.

    Then there are Master Entry Programs like the one at UCSF which is 3 years long. This program will prepare you to take the NCLEX and pass to become a RN during/after your first year. Then the following two years of the program are where you take your specialty course of study. NP is a very broad umbrella as it encompasses many types of NPs. If you wish to become a NP you will need to decide which specialty you are interested and which population groups you would like to work with. Are you interested in working only with adults? Adults and children? Women only? Neonates? Do you want to work in the hospital or primary care? Do you want to work in acute care? Certain specialties especially in the acute space will require that you have at least 1 to 2 years of RN experience before you can apply but this varies between the different schools. With this program once you are finished with 3 years of schooling you will need to sit your boards to be certified in the area that you wish to specialize in. These types of programs are significantly longer then the first type of Masters Entry programs.

    Hope this helps to clarify and yes it is very confusing since there are many different types of programs out there right now that have different pathways to different goals. You will need to read carefully what each type of program offers to see if that is the type of program that you wish to join to reach your ultimate goal of becoming a NP.

    One extra bit of advice, if you wish to become a NP and attend NP school choose a good, reputable program that is accredited and one where they find your preceptors for you. I would highly recommend that you don't choose for profit schools or schools that ask that you find your own preceptors. Additionally, make sure you also take a look at their NCLEX pass rates and attrition rates. If they aren't posted on their website, ask their admissions officers for the information. If they don't want to give it out or if they are reluctant to do so, that should raise a red flag in your mind. You can also search for the school in your state's Board of Nursing website to find out more information.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edit by Ohm268 on Jul 7
  6. by   britney32
    I just wrote out a super long reply, and it looks like it never posted.. so I'm not sure what happened.

    But anyway, your response has been very helpful so thank you! I am interested in being a family nurse practitioner, or possibly a psychiatric NP. So I would need 1-2 years of working as an RN to pursue this? I am interested in working in primary care. Would I be able to gain the work experience working in primary care as an RN? It seems like mostly doctors, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants and medical assistance work in primary care, so I wasn't sure if it's very common for a typical RN to be employed in a primary care setting? I would rather not work in a hospital, but I would if necessary.

    I have been extensively researching entry level MSN programs, and I was already planning to avoid for profit schools since I don't think they're very good in general for various reasons.

    I still need to complete some of the pre-req courses. I've already taken Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2. It seems that most of the schools in California require just A & P, statistics, and microbiology. So I was wondering, what type of statistics course would be sufficient? Would elementary statistics fulfill the requirements? Also, I would like to have the option to apply to out of state schools, which seem to have different requirements, so can anyone recommend what courses I should definitely take to meet the requirements of most schools?

    Also, what qualities would make me a competent applicant? I am not exactly sure what my undergrad GPA was after completing my last semester of college, but it should definitely be a 3.5 or higher. I've never gotten anything below an A or B. I got A's in Anatomy & Physiology, which I know is important to have a high gpa in the science pre-req's. I also studied abroad in Spain and Argentina, where I learned Spanish, so I was wondering if this would help my application as well? I also have volunteered in the maternity ward of a hospital, but I didn't complete a lot of hours doing this, so I was thinking of volunteering again.
  7. by   Ohm268
    Quote from britney32
    I just wrote out a super long reply, and it looks like it never posted.. so I'm not sure what happened.

    But anyway, your response has been very helpful so thank you! I am interested in being a family nurse practitioner, or possibly a psychiatric NP. So I would need 1-2 years of working as an RN to pursue this? I am interested in working in primary care. Would I be able to gain the work experience working in primary care as an RN? It seems like mostly doctors, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants and medical assistance work in primary care, so I wasn't sure if it's very common for a typical RN to be employed in a primary care setting? I would rather not work in a hospital, but I would if necessary.

    I have been extensively researching entry level MSN programs, and I was already planning to avoid for profit schools since I don't think they're very good in general for various reasons.

    I still need to complete some of the pre-req courses. I've already taken Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2. It seems that most of the schools in California require just A & P, statistics, and microbiology. So I was wondering, what type of statistics course would be sufficient? Would elementary statistics fulfill the requirements? Also, I would like to have the option to apply to out of state schools, which seem to have different requirements, so can anyone recommend what courses I should definitely take to meet the requirements of most schools?

    Also, what qualities would make me a competent applicant? I am not exactly sure what my undergrad GPA was after completing my last semester of college, but it should definitely be a 3.5 or higher. I've never gotten anything below an A or B. I got A's in Anatomy & Physiology, which I know is important to have a high gpa in the science pre-req's. I also studied abroad in Spain and Argentina, where I learned Spanish, so I was wondering if this would help my application as well? I also have volunteered in the maternity ward of a hospital, but I didn't complete a lot of hours doing this, so I was thinking of volunteering again.
    You are very welcome, all I ask is that one day you will pay it forward whether here on AN or when you are in school if someone is confused or doesn't know how to navigate nursing or the application process. Please see my responses below:

    1) For FNP and PMHNP, you will generally not need 2 years of RN experience to select these specialties in a Masters Entry Program. These specialties are not considered acute care but generally considered primary care specialties. Acute care specialties are areas like ACNP, NNP, PACNP etc. But there is debate whether having RN experience prior to going into advance practice whether acute or primary care should be required and whether this is hurting NP education as a whole and the quality of the provider that is produced. Again, you can search through the AN threads and read the discussions to decide for yourself.

    2) MD, PA, NPs etc work in all areas whether it is primary care, urgent care, or acute care. As long as you are trained and your degree is in that specialization area you will find providers in those areas. There has been long discussions on AN about FNPs in acute care hospital settings. Do a search if you want to read more about this discussion.

    3) No, you don't have to work in a hospital setting. FNP is a primary care specialty and with this degree you will spend the majority of your time at clinic outside of the hospital. But know that there are some FNPs that do work in the hospital setting (please see point 2 above). PMHNP I am less familiar with since that is not the specialty that I am going into but from what I understand PMHNP do work in hospitals and outpatient facilities as well as at the VA or private facilities. Again, this will depend on your level of interest and where your training takes you. Perhaps a PMHNP can jump in and provide more color with regards to this specialty.

    4) A college entry level stats course is sufficient for the Master Entry Level programs that I have seen. My statistics class was just called Introduction to Probability and Statistics. But make sure you review the requirements from the schools that you apply to. Some require that you cover inferential vs descriptive statistics and vice versa. Make sure that what ever you take satisfies the requirement for the school you are interested in applying to. I personally loved statistics and the equations because the formulas are put together in such a way to answer a tangible question with a outcome that you can answer from the statistic produced. My mind works in such a way that it was fun for me to take my statistics class.

    Addendum - make sure that your science and stats courses are within the time limit for validity for the school that you applied to. Some schools require that your stats be taken in the last 3 years and the science courses be taken within the last 5 to 10 years. It varies across the different schools. If one of your courses is outside of that range you might have to retake the pre-req.

    5) I would suggest that you create an excel spreadsheet and put together a list of schools that you are interested in along with their pre-req requirements. There are some schools that will require a pre-req or more pre-reqs or less pre-reqs that none of the others require so you will have to decide whether it is worth the time and effort to apply to that school. If it is then you will need to take the pre-req before you apply. There is no standardization in pre-reqs requirements and that caused no end to my frustration when I started applying because I would be interested in a NP program and for some reason a program would require that I have an anthropology course so that school had to drop off my list. I had not taken an anthropology course to satisfy the requirement and wasn't going to go back and take one more class to be able to apply to that single school. PA school is better from my understanding in that their requirements are pretty uniform across the board since they use a centralized application system when prospective candidates submit their applications. In general, besides the pre-reqs you have listed above I would definitely take a least one nutrition class and one psychology class whether it is Intro to Psych or Lifespan Psych these two are the most common courses requested besides the ones you listed above but again check with the schools that you are interested in to make sure that they satisfy your pre-req requirement. Make sure that you get at least a B in all pre-reqs because some schools will not accept a pre-req lower then a B-.

    6) Good for you for not selecting for profit schools. They are for the most part not worth the effort and issues that might come up when it is time to find a job. They are also normally more expensive and might not give you the training that you need. You can search for various threads on AN that talk about this topic.

    7) Yes, language skills are always an asset in nursing. I speak a few languages myself and you should definitely put this in your application that you have international travel experience, have explored other cultures, and that you speak another language especially if it is Spanish. If your GPA is above a 3.5 then you should be fine.

    8) Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer and when you volunteer talk with speak with, ask questions of the people that are in the specialty that you want to go into. It will be even better if you volunteer in the area of specialty that you are interested in. Psych ward if you are interested in PMHNP etc. I had 3 years of volunteer experience before I applied to my program and specialty. Being in that environment is invaluable in helping you decide whether you want to work in the specialty and by talking to other people you might find yourself interested in a different specialty. Explore your options and decide and be sure of your specialty BEFORE you apply so that you are sure about what you want to do because for the most part once you are accepted into a program and specialty it is hard to change since they have already allocated and sourced enough preceptors and clinical sites to satisfy the needs of that particular cohort. Additionally, if you have a genuine interest in that specialty, that will shine through during interviews. Schools like to see that you made an effort to 1) give back to your community through volunteering 2) that you took the time to think about and reflect on your chosen specialty before making the decision to apply.

    I can add pages more of information but hopefully this will help you get started. Some information you will need to discover for yourself and some you will discover as you dig deeper into the specialty that you are interested in but I wish you the best of luck on your journey to NP school.
    Last edit by Ohm268 on Jul 8
  8. by   britney32
    Quote from Ohm268
    You are very welcome, all I ask is that one day you will pay it forward whether here on AN or when you are in school if someone is confused or doesn't know how to navigate nursing or the application process. Please see my responses below:

    1) For FNP and PMHNP, you will generally not need 2 years of RN experience to select these specialties in a Masters Entry Program. These specialties are not considered acute care but generally considered primary care specialties. Acute care specialties are areas like ACNP, NNP, PACNP etc. But there is debate whether having RN experience prior to going into advance practice whether acute or primary care should be required and whether this is hurting NP education as a whole and the quality of the provider that is produced. Again, you can search through the AN threads and read the discussions to decide for yourself.

    2) MD, PA, NPs etc work in all areas whether it is primary care, urgent care, or acute care. As long as you are trained and your degree is in that specialization area you will find providers in those areas. There has been long discussions on AN about FNPs in acute care hospital settings. Do a search if you want to read more about this discussion.

    3) No, you don't have to work in a hospital setting. FNP is a primary care specialty and with this degree you will spend the majority of your time at clinic outside of the hospital. But know that there are some FNPs that do work in the hospital setting (please see point 2 above). PMHNP I am less familiar with since that is not the specialty that I am going into but from what I understand PMHNP do work in hospitals and outpatient facilities as well as at the VA or private facilities. Again, this will depend on your level of interest and where your training takes you. Perhaps a PMHNP can jump in and provide more color with regards to this specialty.

    4) A college entry level stats course is sufficient for the Master Entry Level programs that I have seen. My statistics class was just called Introduction to Probability and Statistics. But make sure you review the requirements from the schools that you apply to. Some require that you cover inferential vs descriptive statistics and vice versa. Make sure that what ever you take satisfies the requirement for the school you are interested in applying to. I personally loved statistics and the equations because the formulas are put together in such a way to answer a tangible question with a outcome that you can answer from the statistic produced. My mind works in such a way that it was fun for me to take my statistics class.

    Addendum - make sure that your science and stats courses are within the time limit for validity for the school that you applied to. Some schools require that your stats be taken in the last 3 years and the science courses be taken within the last 5 to 10 years. It varies across the different schools. If one of your courses is outside of that range you might have to retake the pre-req.

    5) I would suggest that you create an excel spreadsheet and put together a list of schools that you are interested in along with their pre-req requirements. There are some schools that will require a pre-req or more pre-reqs or less pre-reqs that none of the others require so you will have to decide whether it is worth the time and effort to apply to that school. If it is then you will need to take the pre-req before you apply. There is no standardization in pre-reqs requirements and that caused no end to my frustration when I started applying because I would be interested in a NP program and for some reason a program would require that I have an anthropology course so that school had to drop off my list. I had not taken an anthropology course to satisfy the requirement and wasn't going to go back and take one more class to be able to apply to that single school. PA school is better from my understanding in that their requirements are pretty uniform across the board since they use a centralized application system when prospective candidates submit their applications. In general, besides the pre-reqs you have listed above I would definitely take a least one nutrition class and one psychology class whether it is Intro to Psych or Lifespan Psych these two are the most common courses requested besides the ones you listed above but again check with the schools that you are interested in to make sure that they satisfy your pre-req requirement. Make sure that you get at least a B in all pre-reqs because some schools will not accept a pre-req lower then a B-.

    6) Good for you for not selecting for profit schools. They are for the most part not worth the effort and issues that might come up when it is time to find a job. They are also normally more expensive and might not give you the training that you need. You can search for various threads on AN that talk about this topic.

    7) Yes, language skills are always an asset in nursing. I speak a few languages myself and you should definitely put this in your application that you have international travel experience, have explored other cultures, and that you speak another language especially if it is Spanish. If your GPA is above a 3.5 then you should be fine.

    8) Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer and when you volunteer talk with speak with, ask questions of the people that are in the specialty that you want to go into. It will be even better if you volunteer in the area of specialty that you are interested in. Psych ward if you are interested in PMHNP etc. I had 3 years of volunteer experience before I applied to my program and specialty. Being in that environment is invaluable in helping you decide whether you want to work in the specialty and by talking to other people you might find yourself interested in a different specialty. Explore your options and decide and be sure of your specialty BEFORE you apply so that you are sure about what you want to do because for the most part once you are accepted into a program and specialty it is hard to change since they have already allocated and sourced enough preceptors and clinical sites to satisfy the needs of that particular cohort. Additionally, if you have a genuine interest in that specialty, that will shine through during interviews. Schools like to see that you made an effort to 1) give back to your community through volunteering 2) that you took the time to think about and reflect on your chosen specialty before making the decision to apply.

    I can add pages more of information but hopefully this will help you get started. Some information you will need to discover for yourself and some you will discover as you dig deeper into the specialty that you are interested in but I wish you the best of luck on your journey to NP school.
    Thank you again for taking the time to write this thorough response, it is much appreciated! I started to put the pre-requisite courses from various schools together in a document to compare them, and what is becoming frustrating is that ALL of the potential schools have slightly different pre-requisites requirements. Each school has about 1-2 additional courses that the other schools do not require, so this makes it more difficult to apply to several different schools, since I would have to take quite a few extra courses overall, to meet the requirements of all of them.


    Also, how much does an MSN degree costs on average? The entry level MSN degree is only offered at private schools here in CA, and so it seems to be extremely expensive. The degrees that are on the "cheaper" side still seem to be $80,000 - $100,000, and other schools seem to be more. I was wondering if this degree is cheaper elsewhere? Or is this the typical cost of this type of degree? But even if it's cheaper elsewhere, I don't know if it would even be possible to complete this degree out of state, since as far as I am aware, you can not work while completing this degree. So I would have to live with family while completing it, so I believe that moving elsewhere to complete the degree wouldn't be an option.
  9. by   Ohm268
    Quote from britney32
    Thank you again for taking the time to write this thorough response, it is much appreciated! I started to put the pre-requisite courses from various schools together in a document to compare them, and what is becoming frustrating is that ALL of the potential schools have slightly different pre-requisites requirements. Each school has about 1-2 additional courses that the other schools do not require, so this makes it more difficult to apply to several different schools, since I would have to take quite a few extra courses overall, to meet the requirements of all of them.


    Also, how much does an MSN degree costs on average? The entry level MSN degree is only offered at private schools here in CA, and so it seems to be extremely expensive. The degrees that are on the "cheaper" side still seem to be $80,000 - $100,000, and other schools seem to be more. I was wondering if this degree is cheaper elsewhere? Or is this the typical cost of this type of degree? But even if it's cheaper elsewhere, I don't know if it would even be possible to complete this degree out of state, since as far as I am aware, you can not work while completing this degree. So I would have to live with family while completing it, so I believe that moving elsewhere to complete the degree wouldn't be an option.
    Yes, like I mentioned previously there is no pre-req standardization with NP programs when it comes to the various schools. You will have to narrow down your choices otherwise you will be taking pre-reqs for the foreseeable future if you want to meet every single school's pre-req requirements. My suggestion is to narrow down your choices by choosing schools that have strong FNP and PMHNP programs since those are the two areas you want to practice in if you want to go to that type of Masters program. You should also take the pre-reqs that overlap the most between the schools that you are interested in, otherwise, like I said before you will be taking pre-reqs for a very long time if you want to all apply to every single school. You will need to prioritize which schools to apply to using your own personal criteria.

    I think you need to re-read what I have written previously and do some more research and Google searches into the programs you are interested in and the Masters Entry programs in general. There are many Master Entry Programs at public universities. Since it looks like you are in CA, I named a few of them in my previous posts; UCLA and UCSF being some of them which are both public universities in the University of CA system. I would also add UC Davis to that list as well. Then there are all the state schools like Cal State Fullerton and SF State that also offer some form of the accelerated program which is again a public university in the CA State University system. For privates you have Samuel Merritt and USF etc.

    Yes, you most likely will not be able to work at least during the first year of the program since Master Entry programs are so accelerated. Yes, you can go out of state and many people do select universities not in their home state. Most people will pay for school through some combination of loans, scholarships, grants, personal savings, or having a significant other support them while they are in school. There are also private loans that you can take out as well. You will need to explore the mix of financing options that are available to you as each person's situation is different. Public schools will always be cheaper than private.
    Last edit by Ohm268 on Jul 10
  10. by   britney32
    Quote from Ohm268
    Yes, like I mentioned previously there is no pre-req standardization with NP programs when it comes to the various schools. You will have to narrow down your choices otherwise you will be taking pre-reqs for the foreseeable future if you want to meet every single school's pre-req requirements. My suggestion is to narrow down your choices by choosing schools that have strong FNP and PMHNP programs since those are the two areas you want to practice in if you want to go to that type of Masters program. You should also take the pre-reqs that overlap the most between the schools that you are interested in, otherwise, like I said before you will be taking pre-reqs for a very long time if you want to all apply to every single school. You will need to prioritize which schools to apply to using your own personal criteria.

    I think you need to re-read what I have written previously and do some more research and Google searches into the programs you are interested in and the Masters Entry programs in general. There are many Master Entry Programs at public universities. Since it looks like you are in CA, I named a few of them in my previous posts; UCLA and UCSF being some of them which are both public universities in the University of CA system. I would also add UC Davis to that list as well. Then there are all the state schools like Cal State Fullerton and SF State that also offer some form of the accelerated program which is again a public university in the CA State University system. For privates you have Samuel Merritt and USF etc.

    Yes, you most likely will not be able to work at least during the first year of the program since Master Entry programs are so accelerated. Yes, you can go out of state and many people do select universities not in their home state. Most people will pay for school through some combination of loans, scholarships, grants, personal savings, or having a significant other support them while they are in school. There are also private loans that you can take out as well. You will need to explore the mix of financing options that are available to you as each person's situation is different. Public schools will always be cheaper than private.
    I have already researched all of the entry level MSN programs in California. What I meant earlier was, this program is not available at any CAL STATE schools in California, which would be the most affordable option. The UC schools are still very expensive, and some of them like the University of San Diego are even more expensive than some private schools, like Azusa. A lot of the programs in California would not work for me since they're not in my area. I live in southern CA, but even UCLA would be too far for me. There is an accelerated bachelor's of nursing degree available in my city, but I am not really interested in doing that, since it would be a very long process to do a 2 year "accelerated" bachelor's program, and then another 2-3 years to become a NP, so I would rather just go directly into a master's degree and be able to finish my education in about 3 years. But that would be great to not have to commute, so I am still considering it. Thanks again for all of your help!
  11. by   Ohm268
    Quote from britney32
    I have already researched all of the entry level MSN programs in California. What I meant earlier was, this program is not available at any CAL STATE schools in California, which would be the most affordable option. The UC schools are still very expensive, and some of them like the University of San Diego are even more expensive than some private schools, like Azusa. A lot of the programs in California would not work for me since they're not in my area. I live in southern CA, but even UCLA would be too far for me. There is an accelerated bachelor's of nursing degree available in my city, but I am not really interested in doing that, since it would be a very long process to do a 2 year "accelerated" bachelor's program, and then another 2-3 years to become a NP, so I would rather just go directly into a master's degree and be able to finish my education in about 3 years. But that would be great to not have to commute, so I am still considering it. Thanks again for all of your help!
    So it looks like you have narrowed down the Master's Entry programs that you are interested in to the ones that will allow you to become a RN and a NP after three years of study. I am glad that you have found a program that will work for your circumstances but in the interest of clarity and to make sure that correct information is disseminated to other people who are reading this thread the following needs to be clarified:

    1) Yes I agree that as far as I am aware there are no Masters Entry Level programs that will give you a RN and a NP in 3 years at the Cal State level in California. The only ones I know of are in the UC system. The state school Masters Entry Level program will only give you a MSN where you become a CNL not a NP after graduation.

    2) The University of San Diego is a private Roman Catholic research institution which is why its tuition is comparable to Azusa. It is not a public university.

    3) What I have said previously about public universities tuition rates (both UC and state in CA) being cheaper then private continues to be true. If there are people on this thread looking into it, remember to take into consideration the length of the program. Even though programs like UCSF MEPN have first year tuition rates that are high because of the accelerated first year and because the state of CA doesn't provide as much funding for the pre-specialty year to offset the cost, the second and third year tuition rates drop considerably for the masters portion because as a state public school they do receive funding from the state that private schools do not. If you take an equivalent private program and compare it to a public university program, the public university will always be cheaper then a private university without factoring in things like scholarships, grants, and cost of living.

    4) I wish you luck in your search but based on your criteria and what you have stated above, the program you are looking for is like a unicorn, it doesn't exist. As a non-nurse with a non-nursing bachelors going into the nursing field with no previous medical experience with the aim of being admitted into a NP Masters Entry Program, you will with almost 100% certainty have to attend a B&M institution. At the very least, you will have to have didactics on campus your very first year. But since you have stated that you want to continue to live in SoCal and that even going to UCLA is too far for you and you don't want to commute or move for school, I am not sure there is a program that exists that will meet your criteria. Perhaps there will be one that will be created in the future or one that I am not aware of now that will meet your criteria but for the other future students that read this thread, most students will normally move to attend a Master Entry program but in time they will move back to the part of the country they wish to settle down and practice in. Also remember that beside applying to a program, you also have to be admitted into one. There is no guarantee that you will be admitted into a program near where you live. That was what happened to me, the program closest to me was the program that didn't offer me admission into their program. If a program that admits you is far away, then you will have to be willing to move (albeit for a few years) to be able to attend if you want to break into this field.

    Good luck to you!
  12. by   britney32
    Quote from Ohm268
    So it looks like you have narrowed down the Master's Entry programs that you are interested in to the ones that will allow you to become a RN and a NP after three years of study. I am glad that you have found a program that will work for your circumstances but in the interest of clarity and to make sure that correct information is disseminated to other people who are reading this thread the following needs to be clarified:

    1) Yes I agree that as far as I am aware there are no Masters Entry Level programs that will give you a RN and a NP in 3 years at the Cal State level in California. The only ones I know of are in the UC system. The state school Masters Entry Level program will only give you a MSN where you become a CNL not a NP after graduation.

    2) The University of San Diego is a private Roman Catholic research institution which is why its tuition is comparable to Azusa. It is not a public university.

    3) What I have said previously about public universities tuition rates (both UC and state in CA) being cheaper then private continues to be true. If there are people on this thread looking into it, remember to take into consideration the length of the program. Even though programs like UCSF MEPN have first year tuition rates that are high because of the accelerated first year and because the state of CA doesn't provide as much funding for the pre-specialty year to offset the cost, the second and third year tuition rates drop considerably for the masters portion because as a state public school they do receive funding from the state that private schools do not. If you take an equivalent private program and compare it to a public university program, the public university will always be cheaper then a private university without factoring in things like scholarships, grants, and cost of living.

    4) I wish you luck in your search but based on your criteria and what you have stated above, the program you are looking for is like a unicorn, it doesn't exist. As a non-nurse with a non-nursing bachelors going into the nursing field with no previous medical experience with the aim of being admitted into a NP Masters Entry Program, you will with almost 100% certainty have to attend a B&M institution. At the very least, you will have to have didactics on campus your very first year. But since you have stated that you want to continue to live in SoCal and that even going to UCLA is too far for you and you don't want to commute or move for school, I am not sure there is a program that exists that will meet your criteria. Perhaps there will be one that will be created in the future or one that I am not aware of now that will meet your criteria but for the other future students that read this thread, most students will normally move to attend a Master Entry program but in time they will move back to the part of the country they wish to settle down and practice in. Also remember that beside applying to a program, you also have to be admitted into one. There is no guarantee that you will be admitted into a program near where you live. That was what happened to me, the program closest to me was the program that didn't offer me admission into their program. If a program that admits you is far away, then you will have to be willing to move (albeit for a few years) to be able to attend if you want to break into this field.

    Good luck to you!
    Sorry, I suppose I was not very clear so I think you may have misunderstood what my intentions are regarding pursuing education to become a NP, but thank you for making those clarifications for others.

    If I do pursue an ELM program, I was already planning to commute, so that I can avoid accumulating more student loans for rent/living expenses. I was trying to say that LA is not an option for me to commute to; I was not saying that I am not willing to commute in general. It's not possible to commute to LA as it would take 4 hours to drive and 4 hours to drive back during the weekdays with traffic, so commuting there is not realistic. But there are a few options of schools I can go to that I would realistically be able to commute to.

    And yes, I am aware that I may not be accepted to the programs that are near me, so in that case I would change my plans and look into re-locating. As of now, I think it would be best to avoid re-locating if possible. As I previously mentioned, I would like to limit the amount of debt I will accumulate as these programs are already so expensive as it is.

    I am not looking for a program that does not exist, I am aware that I will have to commute or re-locate, and that the ELM programs in CA are quite pricey. I am just hesitant to take on that amount of debt which is why I may not even pursue this option at all, and instead pursue a different degree that is more affordable. I was just looking into all of my options, and seeing what option would be best for me if I do pursue this.

    I am still not completely sold on becoming a nurse/NP, it is just one of the careers I am looking into pursuing right now, so I was just looking into the steps I would have to take to pursue this profession. There are other careers I'm interested in as well, so I am just looking into all of my options right now.

    After contemplating this further, if I do decide to pursue this I think I may just do the accelerated bachelor's program, and then go on to do a traditional MSN with the nurse practitioner specialty, even though that would take longer to complete, but it would be more affordable as I can do this through a Cal State school, and they offer a cohort for the accelerated bachelor's program in my city, and the MSN program is still pretty close to my location. It was where I got my undergrad degree.

    You have been very helpful and you have given me a lot of clarity on how to pursue being a NP having a non-nursing bachelor's degree, so thank you again.
  13. by   Ohm268
    That makes more sense and explains my own confusion since you are still in the middle of trying to decide on the path that is right for you. Whatever path you choose good luck to you and hopefully you will find a occupation that works best with with your career goals. I am glad that some of the information that I have provided has been helpful and hopefully to others that are reading this thread.
  14. by   tinsleyjf
    This is one of the most carefully written and thought out responses I've seen addressing this question... one I've asked a couple times myself. Thank you for taking the time.

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