Direct entry or accelerated MSN programs as they are often called are designed for those individuals who hold a non-nursing Bachelor’s degree who have a desire to enter the field of nursing. If you are already a Registered Nurse then this is NOT the program for which you are searching.
If you are an RN holding a BSN degree then you are likely seeking a BSN to MSN program. If you are an RN holding either a nursing diploma, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, or a non-nursing Bachelor’s degree then you are likely seeking a RN to MSN program. If you are still reading then you must have a non-nursing Bachelor’s and are not currently a Registered Nurse.
Choosing a Direct Entry Program
The time commitment and curriculum required for accelerated MSN programs vary depending on the MSN specialization that you choose. Clinical rotations are a time consuming part of most all MSN programs. This is especially true for Advanced Practice Nursing specialty programs.
Because students entering direct entry MSN programs have no experience as an RN, certain MSN specializations might not be available to them. For example, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist specialization will typically require at least 1-2 years of experience as a critical care nurse.
Depending on the college or university offering the direct entry program, students may be allowed to first complete their BSN as part of the program thus enabling them to qualify for more specializations. However, this is not the norm. Most programs will not award any nursing degree until you have completed the MSN program.
A Typical Accelerated MSN Program
The first year or so of a typical direct entry program will include Bachelor’s level nursing courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, Life Sciences, Nutrition, Pharmacology, etc. Some programs may actually require that you take some portion of those classes before being admitted to the program.
Once you have taken the Bachelor’s level courses you will begin taking actual graduate level courses. There will be a core set of MSN courses that are required which typically include courses in Leadership, Ethics, Health Informatics, Nursing Theory, etc. You will also take graduate level electives pertinent to your area of specialization.
California Direct Entry MSN Programs
- Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA
- California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA
- California State University, Fresno in Fresno, CA
- California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, CA
- California State University, Long Beach in Long Beach, CA
- California State University, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
- Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, CA
- Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA
- San Francisco State University in San Francisco, CA
- University of California, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
- University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, CA
- University of San Diego in San Diego, CA
- University of San Francisco in San Francisco, CA
- Western University of Health Sciences in Poloma, CA