Saturday, January 8, 2022

Pros and Cons of MSN Programs

If you're looking for a way to increase earning potential, getting a degree can help with that. If you're considering a nursing degree, here are some things to consider.

At one point in your career as a nurse, you are most likely going to think about advancing your career. In the world of nursing, the advanced positions are reserved for professionals with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

Therefore, to bag this degree, you will need to enroll in an MSN program. Taking such a decision to enroll in such a program can be demanding in terms of the money, effort, and time that you will invest. Visit to read about 5 postgraduate money problems and how you can solve them. Hence, it is prudent that you have an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of this program to enable you to decide if this is what you want to and should do.

Therefore, in this article, we have compiled some important pros & cons of the Master of Science in Nursing program to enable you to decide if you want to and can do this now, later, or never.

But before, we look at that; let us examine the different MSN programs that a person can enroll for.

Types of Master of Science in Nursing Programs

Direct Entry

You can take this route if you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. What we are saying in other words is that if you haven’t been trained as a nurse, this is the best path to take. Individuals that follow this route will have to take nursing courses at an entry-level first before moving to advanced courses.


This is the traditional route that entails bagging a Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) degree first before enrolling for the MSN degree. If you want to do a full-time MSN program, it will take you about 2 years to complete. The coursework will train you to either be a general MSN, an advanced practice function, or a specialized nurse practitioner.


You can do this if you have a Diploma in Nursing (RN) or a two-year degree in nursing. Hence, if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can use this path.

The interesting thing about this is that you don’t need to get a bachelor’s degree first before getting your master’s. However, you need to consider the length of time for these programs as they are much longer and intensive since they are designed to cover more curriculums. Nevertheless, irrespective of the path you take, all reputable MSN programs deal with general topics such as pharmacology and anatomy. In addition, other topics that are reserved for various specializations dependent on the one you choose are covered.

In this path, you will need to fulfill stipulated clinical rotation hours. Hence, you need to put all these into consideration as you make your decision.


With similarities like the RN to BSN, this path requires that you must possess a two-year degree in nursing. In some cases, an associate’s nursing degree might be also required by some institutions, and RNs are not allowed.

Bridge RN to MSN

You can opt for this if you have RN with a two-year nursing degree and a four-year non-nursing bachelor’s degree.

Pros of Getting a Master of Science in Nursing Degree

1. Access to New Opportunities

So why should you go to a graduate nursing school in PA and get an MSN? For starters, most healthcare and hospitals offer candidates with MSNs a higher preference than those without. Hence, when looking for a place to practice, with this degree you stand a better chance of getting the job.

If you plan to specialize as a nurse practitioner, nursing informatics, or hospital manager, having a Master of Science in Nursing will help you attain your goals.

Below are some roles that need an MSN:
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthetist etc.
 2. Potential of Earning More

The roles that we mentioned above are advanced practice roles, therefore, along with the responsibilities they come with; they come with a higher salary. For instance, as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you could earn an average of $180,000 which is twice the salary of an RN nurse. Apart from the advantages discussed, other advantages include:

  • Several program options to choose from.
  • You will acquire more specialized knowledge.

Cons of Getting a Master of Science in Nursing Degree

1. Expensive Programs

As we said earlier, you will have to make huge investments for this program and chief among them is money. Raising $35,000 to $60,000 which is the estimated range for these programs can be challenging for most individuals. Click here to learn how to fund your Master’s program without running into debt.

2. Tough Programs

We know or might have heard how challenging Master’s programs can be right? Well, for nurses who are practicing while taking classes, it is more challenging. When you throw in the responsibilities of managing a family, then the challenge is increased.

Thankfully, it can still be done as many have proven over the years. However, it will require a lot of dedication and commitment on your part if you are going to pull it off.

Apart from the disadvantages discussed, other disadvantages include:
  • Time-consuming coursework as well as clinical hours.
  • Some programs might need prerequisites such as experience, etc.

Getting an MSN program comes with a lot of challenges and responsibilities; at the same time, it has its benefits. Therefore, the article above has revealed the pros and cons of MSN to enable you to decide if you want to go ahead and enroll in the program.

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