A BSN to MSN program is a natural educational progression for those nurses who already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This is the most common type of MSN program as all schools that offer a Master of Science in Nursing will offer this pathway to the degree. However, the programs themselves can differ greatly between the different colleges and universities offering them.
Choosing a BSN to MSN
There are many things that should be considered when selecting a program. As mentioned previously, each school’s offerings are different. It is these differences that you will want to consider when selecting your program.
First and foremost, nurses pursuing an MSN degree will want to consider “what they want to be when they grow up.” Stated another way, you will want to consider your long term career goals so that you know what specialization to pursue. And the specializations offered at different schools are one of the things that vary the most between programs.
Another thing to consider is how much time you have to devote to school. Many people have already busy lifestyles with work and family, so it is best to be realistic when evaluating programs.
Some programs offer students flexibility on when they attend classes by offering courses in the evening, on the weekends, or online. Some programs are offered on both a part-time and full-time basis while other programs such as those leading to a specialization as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist might require that you attend full-time.
Most BSN to MSN programs can be completed in about two years if you remain enrolled on a full-time basis from start to completion. However, if you can only attend part-time then most programs will allow you to stretch that out so long as you complete the program within a certain number of years. Many institutions allow students to take as many as five years to complete their program.