While RNs might know the value of getting a higher degree, school can be expensive, and take valuable time outside of their hectic work schedule. A Master of Science in Nursing degree can open opportunities for advanced practice, specialization, leadership, instruction and research positions – and opportunities for highly educated nurses are growing fast. Time and money may be a concern, but students can use an RN-MSN program to save both.1
Registered Nurses who want to enter an MSN-level position have the option of multiple degree programs. They can do an RN to BSN degree followed by a BSN to MSN degree, but they can also choose to do a direct RN to MSN degree, like the one offered at Sacred Heart University. Both options have advantages, but an RN to MSN degree will likely save you time and money.
The RN to MSN degree combines the RN to BSN and BSN to MSN degrees. It’s an accelerated program that allows RN students to get an MSN with eight or nine courses instead of 12. Students in this program don’t need a bachelor’s degree to apply, but do need professional experience and certain course prerequisites.2
The first courses of the RN to MSN degree are considered “bridgework,” courses they would have taken in an RN to BSN program which prepare them for the graduate level coursework.2
Graduates of the RN to MSN program also receive their BSN when they complete the program. Taken separately, the RN to BSN degree requires 120 credit hours, and the BSN to MSN requires 36-39. Combined, students can get their degree with 120 credit hours instead of 159.
This streamlining saves students money and time. With tuition ranging from $560 per credit hour for BSN credits to $670 per credit hour for MSN courses, consolidating the education saves 36 or more credit hours.3 This can save students thousands of dollars.
The other financial consideration of nursing education is the increased salary potential with higher degrees. Nurses with a BSN earn between $42,343 and $81,768. Nurses with an MSN earn from $62,281-198,743, on average.4
Consolidating this education can save a year of school and help nurses earn a significantly higher degree at least a year earlier. When combined with the decreased tuition costs of the bridge program, this means that an RN to MSN degree can be a much better financial option for nurses who know they want an advanced nursing degree.5
Sacred Heart offers an online RN to MSN program, with specializations in Clinical Nurse Leadership, Nursing Management and Executive Leadership and Nursing Education. Learn more about our school, faculty and degree options at our website.