This article talks about the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program and its education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is available at a few schools. The program aims at holders of a valid RN license and a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The focus of this program is typically on the training of nurses aspiring to become nurse educators. Schools more commonly offer programs that only require incoming students to have obtained a nursing license and that award both a BSN and MSN at the program culmination.
Graduate studies start in the final year of the bachelor’s program, and the credits are for both degrees. Students who choose this option can usually take two or more years less than if they chose to earn the degrees separately. Schools commonly offer online options and several specialization tracks in advanced nursing.
Admission criteria for both types of programs require incoming students to hold an RN license and have prior work experience in the nursing field. Schools may require the completion of some specific undergraduate coursework along with current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Submission to health screenings and background checks before students participate in clinical work is necessary. A statement of purpose detailing personal and professional goals and letters of recommendation may also have to be submitted by applicants for admission.
Program coursework combines classroom lectures and clinical courses. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Health and physical assessment
•Health care systems
•Medical education methods
Varying by program focus, program graduates from a master’s degree program can seek jobs as advanced practice nurses or careers in teaching and administrative positions. They may choose from possible job positions such as:
•Advanced practice nurse
•Clinical nurse specialist
Job and Wage Outlook
Nurse practitioners are expected to see a faster-than-average 31% job growth over the 2016-2026 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2016, nurse practitioners brought in an average annual wage of $107,460.
Continuing Education Options
Program graduates can pursue continuing education by earning a doctoral degree. Schools also offer graduate certificate programs for general nurse practitioners who seek a specialty. These programs include the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate, Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate, or Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate.