Should I get a RN to BSN, or RN to MSN?

Go straight to the masters degree or just the bachelor's degree?

Posted in Schools & Programs

With a BSN, you are able to have more responsibility in your line of work, as well as gain more knowledge in both your clinical and theoretical areas. Many times, nurses decide to go after a BSN degree because he or she is interested in getting a better career as a nurse manager. For some, it is a matter of financial reasons. Many healthcare places offer a higher salary to those who have a BSN. And for others, the reasoning is to gain more knowledge in their field, and gain the recognition that a BSN will entail.

When you complete your schooling for a BSN, you will then be able to work within many clinical settings. However, this degree does not allow you to work as a nurse practitioner, a clinical educator, or a nurse midwife. For those hoping to become a nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, nurse executive or health policy consultant, going to school for the RN to MSN program is definitely the choice you should make. These programs may appear to actually bypass the BSN degree, but it is a part of the program, usually at the very beginning. There are also many programs that confer the BSN and MSN degree together at the time of graduation.

There are always many factors to consider when you are thinking about attending school. Consider whether or not you have any other responsibilities and commitments, such as work, family, sports and more. Knowing how much time you can devote to your schooling from the start is the first step. Typically, the RN-to-BSN program courses can be finished in two years or less. The RN-to-MSN programs generally last three years. If you are able to devote yourself fully for three years, the RN-to-MSN course will save you both time and money in the end. But for those who have family obligations and/or a job that they cannot quit, the RN-to-BSN program will help you get your degree faster, and have you making more money as quick as possible.

Since there are over 150 RN-to-MSN studies nationwide, as well as 600 and more RN-to-BSN programs, it is necessary to choose your program carefully. You may find one that you can even do at least some of your studies online. Check on prerequisites, length of study and the area of emphasis in the course. Select your program carefully, after consideration. Most of all, good luck!