RN to MSN Programs
RN to MSN programs directly bridge rns with diplomas and associate degrees to the master’s degree level (master of science in nursing degree). These type programs require licensure as a registered nurse, a certain amount of bedside work experience (usually 1 or 2 years), gre or mat (with minimum specified score, completed either before entry or at halfway point of program), and a gpa of 2.5 to 3.0 or higher.
As in RN-BSN programs, certain prerequisite courses must be completed before being admitted into RN-MSN programs. Specific requirements vary by institution and the student’s previous course work.
According to the AACN, there are currently 160 RN-MSN programs available nationwide. The number of RN to MSN programs has more than doubled over the past 15 years, from 70 programs in 1994 to the 160 programs today.
These programs facilitate the transition to the graduate nursing degree level with minimal repetition of courses and maximal flexibility for learners. Some RN to MSN programs are offered in an entirely online format; others are a blend of traditional classroom and online courses.
There are clinical requirements (clinical practicum, etc.) that often may be completed in the student’s local community.
RN to MSN programs generally require about 3 years to complete for the fulltime student. These programs combine 1 year of an RN-BSN program with 2 years of graduate study. Baccalaureate content is built into the beginning of the program and graduate specialty course work in the latter part of the program.
Duplicate courses (such as nursing issues) that appear in both BSN and MSN programs (around 6 to 9 semester hours) are deleted from the curriculum. Upon completion, some programs award both the baccalaureate and master’s degree, but some only award a master’s degree.
Several years ago, one of my good friends completed an ADN to MSN program and is a successful family nurse practitioner today. She worked night shift and during slow shifts would work on her course requirements. It took her about 4 or 5 years to finish, as she was a part-time student.
Last edit by Joe V on Jan 12, ’15
The only thing that I don’t like about the RN to MSN programs is that many of them require the GRE to be taken mid-way through the program. and if you don’t get the minimum score, you cannot proceed in the program.
To me, that is too much of a gamble. and I have yet to see a program that didn’t require it.
If someone has found one (not a private online, for-profit school. they are too expensive). please shoot me a PM.
This RN-MSN program gives the option of either the MAT or GRE upon admission.
I’m looking at a program at USA in Mobile, AL. clinical nurse leader. I have my associate and most all prereq’s for my BSN. It does award a BSN. My only thing is the CNL is new and I am 51 yrs old! How is the job market for CNL especially for an older(but young at heart) nurse? I don’t want to waste my time, but would really like to advance my degree, my knowledge base, and my career.
From what I have personally observed, the job market for the CNL is not good – it is a dud. Going for a more established Master’s specialty, such as the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is a better move, in my opinion. The latter is also an advanced practice nursing specialty, whereas the CNL is not.