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

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Understanding The RN-MSN Transition

A bachelor of science degree in nursing is the traditional academic pathway to become a nurse. It offers a myriad of advantages among other nurses due to its high educational status. However, many nurses are opting for higher degree of studies in order to move forward to greater heights in the nursing profession or for personal fulfilment. Nurses who wish to specialize in a certain field in nursing can opt to take an MSN degree program for such purpose.

What is a BSN to MSN Program?

A BSN to MSN degree program is an accelerated program designed for BSN holders who wish to take up a post-graduate degree in nursing. It is otherwise termed as a bridge program, which works by transferring credits earned from one’s BSN program to the MSN degree to shorten the time for completion. The degree program focuses on more advanced knowledge pertaining to nursing and may be taken with a thesis or nonthesis program.

BSN to MSN Program Requirements

The admission requirements for a BSN to MSN program varies from one school to another. However, the usual requirements include the following:

  • BSN degree & other preceding nursing degrees. This serves as a proof of your completion for the BSN degree. BSN degree units are the most crucial requisites for an MSN degree. For nurses who have also undergone other nursing degrees prior to a BSN course (that is, associate’s degree in nursing, practical nursing, and such), it may also be helpful to present pertinent documents too.
  • Transcripts of record. The transcripts serve as a basis for the number of credit units to be transferred to your MSN degree program. This also serves as a gauge for your academic performance. Most schools require an overall GPA of 2.0 and individual grades from subjects not lower than the said standard.

Other requirements for the degree include a letter of intent, letter(s) of recommendation, application form, and an entrance examination.

BSN to MSN Program Cost

The usual range for a BSN to MSN program is about $30,000 to $50,000 per year. This already includes the textbooks and other such miscellaneous fees. However, other intervening factor that may affect the cost is one’s residency and the number of units transferred. Note that financial aids are readily available in almost all schools, such as scholarships and student loans.

BSN to MSN Program Length

The degree program may be completed within one to two years for a full-time study. However, part-time coursework is also available, but may entail additional semesters to complete. The more units transferred, the lesser the time for completion of a BSN to MSN degree. Hence, it is important to choose a coursework that entitles more transfer of credits.

Online BSN to MSN Programs

An online BSN to MSN program is a part-time degree that enables nurses to study the coursework without having to have attendance to an actual classroom. It utilizes the Internet as a makeshift virtual class, using e-mails, videos, and other e-devices for purposes of education.

MSN programs can also be a stepping stone to a doctorate degree in nursing. Such programs give more career opportunities, promotions, and higher salary for nurses, hence making it a good choice among many.