Going From RN To MSN Programs

You may have heard that it is possible to get an RN to MSN qualification but you may be wondering what this is exactly and what a program like this entails. This article is here to make these things clearer for you.

What Is RN To MSN?

The first question to consider is what exactly is a RN MSN program? Well, this is a program that allows a nurse that holds an associate’s degree or a nursing diploma to improve their standing in the nursing community by getting the ever coveted MSN degree. With an MSN degree, or a Masters Degree in Nursing Science, you will be in great demand. Usually it will take about three years to complete an RN MSN program, but at the end of it you will not be wanting for work. In some cases you will be awarded both the BSN as well as the MSN degree when you complete this program while other programs provide only the MSN. This is the best way for a nurse to open new doors.

Choosing An RN To MSN Program

There are a number of RN to MSN programs out there so it is very important that you make the best decision possible when looking into which program you would like to enrol in. There are a number of very important aspects that you need to consider if you want to successfully become an RN nurse with a BSN degree. Not all schools offer programs of good quality, and some schools are not even genuine and may be scams. On top of that you want to choose a school that fits in with your goals and your personality. Below are some of the more important aspects to consider in this regard.

Accreditation – If the school that you choose to do your RN to MSN program though is not accredited you will be effectively wasting your time with the program as there is no way that you will be taken seriously. In order for your qualification to be genuine the program you enrol in has t be accredited by the appropriate bodies. If it is not, you will have wasted your time and money. To avoid this wastage you should enquire about accreditation right from the outset. There are plenty of resources that you can use in order to find out where the nearest accredited RN to MSN program is in your area.

Specialization – The exact area of nursing that you want to eventually get involved in will also affect which program you choose to enrol in. There are a number of different roles that you can play as a registered nurse. For example you could continue working in a practical capacity dealing directly with patient care. Or you could change your tactic and start looking into perhaps becoming more of an administrative nurse or a research assistant. With an MSN degree you will have a number of different options, so make sure that you know from the beginning where you want to end up in your nursing career as this will help you make your choice about which of the many RN MSN programs out there you would like to enrol in.

Cost – The cost of the various programs out there can differ substantially depending on a number of different factors. You need to evaluate your financial position and decide how much money you have available that can be devoted to your studies. Once you have a clear idea of how much you will be able to get together to pay for your RN to MSN course you will then find it is easier to make a decision about which course to enrol in based on this information. Remember though that the best programs are not always the most expensive, and the cheapest programs are not always the worst. If it is at all possible try not to base your entire decision on this one factor.

Credit – If you are enrolling in an RN to MSN program that means that you have most likely already been working as an RN for some time. In this case you may want to ask at each of the schools that you are considering enrolling about what structures they have in place in order to give you credit for previous work experience. There are a number of schools that will take the experience you have had into account thereby allowing you to finish your RN MSN program a whole lot more quickly than you would otherwise have been able to do. For this reason it is very important that you at least ask about credit for previous work experience.

Financial Aid – If you are concerned about how you are going to pay for your studies please note that there are a number of financial aid options available for students who want to study further and improve their nursing qualifications. This is because there is a shortage in nurses at the moment and the government as well as schools and hospitals are doing everything in their power to increase the number of professional nurses out there. If you know where to ask you may be able to find the financial aid you need to get your MSN in nursing. Even your employer may be happy to help you achieve your educational aims if you already work in a health care setting.

Admission Requirements

There are a number of requirements that you will have to fulfill for admission to an RN to MSN program. This should not surprise you as any academic program that you wish to become involved in requires you to first meet certain criteria. The criteria for an RN MSN program are quite stringent. For example you will need to be in possession of a valid RN license before you can be allowed to enter a nursing program to get your MSN qualification. You will also need to have graduated from an accredited associate degree or diploma program in order to be eligible. You will also have to have completed of all general education requirements for the BSN. IN other words you must have achieved 55 to 58 credits. Another requirement for admission to a program like this is having an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in general education requirements and also in basic nursing courses, and you will also need to produce three reference letters before your admission will be considered. You will also most likely have to write an essay comprising of your personal goal statement and you will need to be in possession of a BLS Certification. AN important requirement for admission is that you produce an official transcript for all schools attended. There are a number of non-academic admission considerations that may be taken into account, such as extracurricular activities and work experience. If you have a diversity of experience to your name, such as study abroad, knowledge of other cultures, proficiency in other languages, this will also increase your chances of admission to an RN to MSN program. It is not possible for every nurse who ever got their basic nursing diploma to go on to complete an RN to MSN qualification, but there are still a number of opportunities out there for those that meet all of the necessary requirements and that stand out from the crowd. It is well worth applying for an RN to MSN program if you are eligible as there are so many advantages open to nurses with a qualification such as this. You can really take your career to the next level.

All About Accreditation

You school must be accredited by one of the following:

  • Distance Education and Training Council
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
  • Council on Occupational Education

It must also be accredited by one of the following two bodies:

  • National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Remember that there are legitimate schools out there that don’t state their accreditation on their website. There are also schools that will state that they are not accredited (in which case you should steer clear of them) and schools that claim that they accredited when they are not. Be careful!

Advancing Your Career With An RN To MSN Program

If you become a nurse that holds an MSN degree through an RN MSN program you will be able to go on to fulfill much more advanced roles in the medical setting. For example you could become a Clinical Nurse Specialist, a Certified Nurse-Midwife, a Nurse-Anaesthesiologist, a Nurse Practitioner, a Nurse Researcher, a Nurse Educator, a Nurse Executive, or a Nurse Administrator. All of these job roles come with huge bumps in pay, more prestige, and higher self-esteem. The main reason that people choose to do RN MSN qualifications is that they are hoping to improve their standing in the nursing community and benefit from the perks and benefits that come with this advancement.

Cost Of An RN To MSN Program

Tuition fees for RN to MSN programs can differ quite vastly, ranging from about $12000 to about $60000 and everything in between. There are obviously a number of factors that affect how much you pay, so you need to keep these in mind when deciding whether or not you want to do an RN MSN program. You have two options, state schools or private schools. State schools are cheaper but you will have to pay more if you want to study at a state school in a state that you do not in fact live in. Private schools are much more expensive but offer a wider range of options. You should also look into financial aid options to see what help you are eligible for.


Like mentioned previously in this article there are a number of specializations you could choose to focus on in your RN to MSN studies. To recap, these specializations include:

  • Nurse-Anaesthesiologist
  • Nurse Executive
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Researcher
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Educator

Basically there is something for everyone when it comes to RN to MSN programs and the chances are very high that you will find a program that suits your goals and ambitions in your nursing career and that will allow you to attain the position that you have always wanted in the nursing field. If you take the time to look, you will soon realize that there are many options available.

Different Types Of Programs

There are many different RN to MSN programs out there, some which allow you to skip BSN altogether, some which include it, some which are shorter than others, and some which take previous credits into account. There are also a number of different settings in which RN to MSN training takes place. It is important that the program you attend is accredited and recognized by the appropriate bodies. If you are interested in looking through a comprehensive list of your options of programs that are out there, please take the time to visit this website. All information contained here was true as of the year 2010.

Online RN To MSN

If you are strapped for time but would still like to do your RN MSN qualification there are some schools claiming to offer this online. This is very convenient and may well be the answer to your problem, but you need to remember that online schools are often not properly accredited. They may also not fully prepare you for what you will get in the exam as well as in your actual job as an RN holding an MSN degree. You also won’t get any hands-on training or exposure to clinical facilities if you do your program online, which means that you will not b getting as comprehensive a training schedule as would be ideal in a perfect world.

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