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

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Overview of an RN to MSN Degree Program

In the United States, a registered nurse license is one of the most essential requirements in order to land a decent job in the health care field. One of the ways to maintain one’s license is to have continuing education units. Many careful nurses take up degree programs to comply with such requirement; many go for higher degrees such as an MSN program, which can be a very good starting point for a post-graduate course, as well as offering new vistas for career and personal growth.

What is an RN to MSN Program?

An RN to MSN degree program is a post-graduate bridge course that enables registered nurses (RNs) to earn a master of science degree in a shorter time than the usual. The bridge program essentially works by using the credits earned from the previous degree to the MSN program; hence, resulting to the ultimate aim of cutting short the length for completion. The program encompasses in-depth and advanced studies on nursing. One may also have the option to focus on specific fields in nursing through an MSN program, such as being a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, nurse administrator, nurse researcher, nurse-midwife, and more.

RN to MSN Program Requirements

The most basic requirement for admission to an RN to MSN bridge program is a bachelor’s degree in nursing. For this, it is prudent to present your BSN diploma with corresponding transcript of records. The transcripts serve as a gauge for looking into how many credits can be transferred to the MSN degree. Other requirements include your current and active RN license, employment certificates (if applicable), letter of intent, recommendations/character references, and application form.

RN to MSN Program Cost

Medical-allied courses do not come cheap. A rough estimate for the tuition fee of an RN to MSN program is around $30,000 to $50,000 annually. This may include the expenses for textbooks, uniforms, affiliation fees for internship, and more. Other contributing factors that can affect the cost of the program is one’s residency (out-of-state and foreign students have separate and more expensive fees) and the number of units credited (the more unit transferred, the cheaper).

RN to MSN Program Length

The RN to MSN program can be taken part-time or full-time. The program usually takes about two to three years to complete, depending on the coursework of the individual school. Additional semesters may also be taken for MSN specialization programs such as the aforementioned.

Online RN to MSN Programs

Online education is now being offered in many schools nowadays. The distance learning RN to MSN program utilizes the Internet as a virtual classroom where the main interaction of the student and instructor takes place. Lessons are communicated through e-mails and other such electronic devices. However, the internship and practical portion of the program need to be done in person - one of the delimitations of an online RN to MSN program.

An RN to MSN degree program is tailored for nurses seeking professional advancement. It is also a gateway for a doctorate degree in nursing and higher employment positions.