Guide to Getting an MSN Degree to Advance Your Nursing Career.

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Exploring an ADN to MSN Bridge Program

Associate nursing or ADN is a two-year degree program that encompasses the essential knowledge and skills of a nurse, preparing nurses to sit for the licensure examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN). Some good nurses take on the challenge to a more practical degree by proceeding to higher educational degrees such as an MSN program (master of science in nursing). How can associate nurses become MSN degree holders?

What is an ADN to MSN Degree Program?

An ADN to MSN degree program is an accelerated continuing education curriculum that enables associate nurses to attain a post-graduate MSN degree in a shorter period of time. This essentially works by using the units earned by the previous ADN program and then transferring the credits to the MSN program, thereby shortening the time for completion. However, it is important to note that there is no direct path from and ADN to an MSN degree. One must take an ADN to BSN program (or alternatively and RN to BSN program) before proceeding to the mainstream BSN to MSN degree program.

ADN to MSN Program Requirements

The crucial requirement for an ADN to MSN program is a bachelor of science degree in nursing; hence, it is important to take the initial step of taking an ADN to BSN degree program. Post-graduate programs usually require a bachelor’s degree to qualify for admission. Nurses will need to present their diploma and transcript of records for such requisite. Academic requirements may also apply, such as a GPA of at least 2.0 from a scale of 4.0. Note that different schools may have different sets of requirements. However, the aforementioned are the essential ones.

ADN to MSN Program Cost

Since the degree program requires two steps, the first one (ADN to BSN) usually entails about $20,000 for the whole duration of the two-year program. For the second step (BSN to MSN), it entails about $35,000 to $55,000 for the annual school fees (including the tuition fees, textbooks, internships fees, and others).

ADN to MSN Program Length

The ADN to MSN program takes about 4 to 5 years of full-time or part-time study to complete (1 to 2 years for the first step, another 2 to 3 years for the second step). Note that the detrimental factor for the length of completion is the number of credit units transferred to the bridge program.

Online ADN to MSN Programs

The ADN to MSN degree program can also be taken part-time through modern means. The online program uses the Internet as a substitute virtual classroom for the didactic or theoretical portion of the degree program. This is a perfect option for students who have previous time engagements, such as employment or other personal reasons. However, the main limitation for this program is that not everything can be done online, more importantly the internship portion of the program that should be done in an actual medical setting.

An ADN to MSN program also gives the option for nurses to specialize in a certain field in nursing. Attainment of a master’s degree and specialization units can help boost one’s chances for bigger job opportunities and higher salary.