The next advancement option available for a RN is to become an advanced practice nurse, which requires at least a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in most states. A BSN to MSN program allows nurses who already have a bachelor’s be able to obtain a master’s degree. Before joining any MSN degree program, a RN must choose an area of specialty. There are four types of advanced practice nursing programs: Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).

Overview of a BSN to MSN Program

  • Students choose a specialization that allows them to obtain the career route they desire upon graduation.
  • Students prepare to lead medical teams in hospitals and other health care organizations, depending on their specialization.
  • Courses allow students to study in an advanced program, cutting out most of the general courses that are required of all majors, since the student already has a bachelor’s degree.
  • The curriculum in most BSN to MSN program includes classroom work integrated with clinical rotations.
  • Prerequisites for this program is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a satisfactory GPA and GRE scores, a RN license, and clinical experience.

Steps to Obtain a BSN to MSN

  1. Earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
  2. Receive a Registered Nurse Certification.
  3. Enroll and complete a MSN Nurse Practitioner program from an accredited school like Capella University, Georgetown University, Purdue University, South University, or University of Cincinnati.
  4. Obtain NP certification and proper licensure, which varies by state.

Salary and Career Information

The job setting will vary depending on what specific job you get. Possible options include private practices, outpatient care centers, nursing homes, hospitals (intensive care unit), neonatal unit, internal medicine clinics, ambulatory care, and family practice offices. While it is generally not a prerequisite to find a job, membership with the American Nurses Association (ANA) can increase your employability. Other membership benefits include access to the continuing education library, annual conferences, news updates relevant to the field, savings on ANA books, professional liability insurance, and a vast network to connect with.

The average salary of advanced practice nurses varies by location, experience, and the type of employer you have. For more information on your earning potential, please refer to our nursing job outlook page.

Online BSN to MSN Degrees

Featured Nurse Practitioner Programs

Purdue University

Accreditation: HLC, NCA


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