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Transitioning from a BSN to a MSN

What to Expect When Transitioning from BSN to MSN

There is no better or faster way to boost your career than to study towards your master’s degree in nursing. Keep in mind that while it will significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job and aid you in earning a higher salary than a BSN-educated registered nurse, transitioning from a BSN to a MSN degree requires plenty of dedication, focus, and passion. If you feel that you are ready to take the next steps, here is what to expect.

Why study an MSN?

There are many benefits associated with studying a Master of Science degree in nursing. As mentioned above, one of those benefits will be increased earning potential. You will also likely discover that it is much easier to find a wonderful job, often at the clinic or hospital at which you had always hoped to work.

Another notable benefit of studying an MSN is that you will have the opportunity to specialize in a specific area of nursing based on your strengths and what you enjoy the most. Popular areas of specialization for nurses making this transition include:

  • Becoming a clinical nurse educator: this is an excellent specialization for nurses who love inspiring, teaching, and working with other nurses.
  • Taking a lead role in nursing administration: this is a good option for those who have a natural knack for organization and time management.
  • Becoming a clinical nurse leader: this the perfect opportunity for strong, efficient leaders to take center stage.
  • Becoming a family nurse practitioner: this is the only way to go for nurses who love making a difference in the lives and health of families and communities.

A further benefit is the chance to provide more evidence-informed care to families and patients. When studying towards a Master of Science in nursing, you will be exposed to plenty of theoretical science-based knowledge that you will then need to translate into offering your patients advanced nursing care.

Choosing the right college

Once you are aware of all of the benefits of studying towards an MSN, the next step will be to find the right college to make it all happen. So, what aspects should you be taking into consideration?

Ultimately, the most vital aspect of the college at which you choose to study your MSN is that it makes it possible for you to conduct the vast majority of the theory portion of your course online. Few nurses are in the financial position to be able to make the decision to take a couple of years off work to complete their master’s degree. In short, they will need to continue nursing in conjunction with their studies.

Marymount University is a great example of the type of online nursing college that you should be looking for. Along with offering a world-class online curriculum, the university and its BSN to MSN-FNP course is CCNE Accredited. It also boasts a 100% pass rate. 100% of Marymount’s 2019 graduates managed to pass their FNP certification exam on their first try.

To sum up, you should look for a university that:

  • Allows you to complete most of your coursework online
  • Promises a diverse and CCNE Accredited curriculum
  • Provides you with an extremely high chance of passing your course as quickly and hassle-free as possible

What are the Admission Requirements for an MSN?

It is important to note that admission requirements for studying a Master of Science in nursing will vary significantly from college to college. Having said that, the bare minimum requirement will always be that you have already obtained your Bachelor of Science in nursing with a decent GPA — usually around 3.0.

So, if you are still working towards completing your BSN, this is what you should be aiming for. It is essential that you improve your grades as much as you can if it is your dream to continue your studies thereafter. The higher your GPA, the greater your chances of being accepted into a reputable university.

Other possible requirements to keep in mind include an unencumbered RN license and letters of recommendation. The latter should come from respected professionals currently operating within the healthcare industry who can vouch for your passion and dedication to your career, as well as your desire for professional growth.

Some colleges will require that you submit a professional essay with your application, so remember to afford yourself plenty of time to write this ahead of the submission due date.

Finally, you might also have to prove that you have a few years of work experience under your belt before you will be allowed to undertake your clinical practicum courses.

What will I study when working towards an MSN?

Once again, the curriculum usually varies quite dramatically from college to college, so ensure that you are aware of this when looking into your options. Generally, however, most Master of Science in nursing curriculums will cover the following subject matter:

  • Family management: Considering that most nursing professionals work directly with families, it is crucial to learn how to properly manage and care for them. You will discover how to apply evidence-informed concepts to the daily care of individuals and how best to see to both their physical and emotional needs and well-being.
  • Population health: Every nurse needs to be aware of both national and global health and what determines its levels. As such, you will learn about the various health disparities, as well as population-oriented disease prevention.
  • Leadership: When you are qualified to the extent of holding an MSN degree, it is understandable that a number of leadership responsibilities will likely follow. This is why you will learn how to embrace and improve upon your leadership skills.
  • Healthcare ethics: Ethical values are what mold good quality healthcare systems. Therefore, there is usually a strong emphasis on how to maintain and uphold them in your nursing practice.
  • Care delivery models: Here, you will learn all about the various care delivery models and how to apply them. There will also be a focus on quality management and business process improvement strategies.

How much does it cost?

It is estimated that you will pay around $1,050 per credit hour. There will also usually be extra costs associated with labs and clinicals. Fees, however, will vary from college to college.

How does clinical placement work?

You will be required to complete a certain number of credit hours along with a certain number of clinical hours. Your clinical hours will need to be completed within a healthcare facility. Some colleges assist with clinical placements while others do not. It is always best to select a college that provides you with some guidance and assistance in this regard.

A good quality college will usually put you in touch with an experienced Placement Coordinator who will take your requests into consideration when finding the right healthcare setting for you. Keep in mind that you might need to undergo specific clearance processes before you can start your clinical hours on site. These processes often comprise of drug screenings, physical examinations, background checks, and ensuring that you are up to date with all your vaccinations.

Is the nursing profession a good choice for me?

If you love helping people and you are in search of a rewarding profession, you cannot go wrong with nursing. While it takes four years to complete your Bachelor of Science in nursing, and a further two years to obtain your Master of Science in nursing, you are practically guaranteed a fruitful and satisfying career thereafter.

Just keep in mind that a successful nursing practitioner needs to possess a variety of skills. For example, you will need to be incredibly hard-working and focused. You will also need to have above-average communication and time management skills and prove that you can work effectively in high pressure environments. Finally, you will need to be compassionate, yet still master the art of forming a barrier between what happens when dealing with patients at work, and your personal life.

The great news is that there is a growing demand for healthcare professionals across the globe. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected 28% projected job growth set to occur between the years of 2018 to 2028. In light of COVID-19 and the value of healthcare workers in fighting the virus, it is almost certain that the job growth will look even more promising going forward.

The salaries of nursing practitioners in possession of MSN degrees are also extremely attractive. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average salary earned by nursing practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives is $115,800 per year.

You are now aware of what the next few years will look like for you should you decide to proceed with this new adventure of obtaining your Master of Science degree in nursing. If you are feeling inspired to proceed and give your career a hearty boost, now is the time to make it all happen! Wishing you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

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