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RN to BSN to MSN
At a Glance
If you’re currently an RN with an associate’s degree, there are a number of education paths open to you to advance in your field. One of the quickest ways to become an advanced practice nurse (i.e., to get your master’s degree) is to join an RN to BSN to MSN program. This type of program is a fast way to get your master’s degree without sacrificing quality, and along the way you’ll get your bachelor’s degree (BSN), which can help you apply for better jobs or get promotions even before you’re done with school.
RN to MSN programs vary in length and content. Some require that you’re an RN with a bachelor’s degree before you join, while others skip over the BSN and just head you straight for an MSN. Yes, it is possible to be awarded a master’s degree but never actually get your bachelor’s degree! An RN to BSN to MSN program, however, is often the best choice for nurses. While you’re going to school, you can work in the nursing field, and as soon as you qualify educationally, you can add “BSN” to your resume. As you then move on to get your MSN, you’ll have a strong educational background with a specialization in one of numerous subjects, including patient care services or psychiatric nursing, just to name a couple; and you can often find better jobs while you go to school.
RN to BSN to MSN programs all focus on building upon the education you already have. As an RN with your associate’s degree, you shouldn’t have to start from scratch if you want to get your BSN. These programs are also typically accelerated, with fewer breaks between semesters. If you work online, you may be able to get your MSN rather quickly, even if you only go to school part time.
Once you have an MSN, you’ll have a number of career options in the nursing world. You can even open your own practice or consulting business, or you can choose to go on to get a doctorate degree in nursing.