From RN to BSN to MSN: The Story of a Nurse

BSNNurses are now, and will continue to be, in great demand. As the population of the world becomes larger and older there will be an almost unlimited need for qualified nursing care. There are several levels of education available for those interested in a career in nursing, each with its own potential.  If you are considering entering the field of nursing you should be aware of the different nursing degrees available and the opportunities presented by each. Let’s take a look at a hypothetical nursing story.

Imagine a nursing student just about to leave school as a registered nurse (RN). There are a great many job opportunities and she or he feels like they are on the top of the world. The money and benefits are fairly good and the work is rewarding. For many this is enough, they are happy with their status, however, for this particular nurse, they are left wondering if there isn’t a bit more.

So he or she considers acquiring a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN).  It only requires 1 or 2 more years of schooling and most people find they can do it while still working full time. Students will find that the classes they take in this program give them a better ability to understand their patients and how a person’s social, or cultural issues may affect their health. This degree opens more career doors and enables a nurse to offer a high quality of care to their patients. Our nurse likes the sound of that but still thinks there may be more out there for them.

So, perhaps this nurse decides to pursue a Masters in Nursing (MSN). Although this degree requires more time to complete, usually 3 years after becoming an RN, it provides the student with a much more thorough education. In addition to furthering their knowledge about patient care, students in a Masters in Nursing program also study the healthcare system itself and learn ways to improve it. They are also encouraged to devote themselves to a specialty like management or the care of a specific type of patient. This degree will prepare a nurse not only for high quality, specialized patient care but also for careers in administration, research or education.

So, if you are looking to begin a career in nursing or already have one but are considering furthering your education, be like the nurse in this story. Take the time to do some research about the careers each degree qualifies you for and do a bit of soul searching to determine what you truly want to do. Maybe, like our fictional nurse, you will decide that a Masters in Nursing is the right fit for you.