Prerequisites for MSN Degree

Prerequisites for MSN DegreeNursing appeals to many people who enjoy caring for others. There are several different levels of nursing licenses that come with increasing responsibility and paychecks. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are the least trained, while Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) with MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) degrees are among the most trained.

Both associate’s degrees and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can lead to RN licensure. In many cases, however, they are referred to as RNs and BSNs to differentiate their levels of training. The latter is actually a degree, though, not a license type.

There are two basic types of MSN degrees. One is for nurses who already have some kind of nursing degree. The typical situation in another field would be a nurse with a BSN moving on to the MSN. However, nursing is unique in that there are a lot of ‘bridge’ programs where nurses can skip one or more steps and move directly from an RN to the MSN, for example. The prerequisites for MSN degree programs are completed during the program.

The other type of MSN degree is for people with a bachelor’s degree in another field who wish to begin a career in nursing. These programs typically take two to three years and provide all of the training required to become an RN and then an APN in a compressed format. They are called Entry-Level or Direct-Entry MSN programs.

What Are The Prerequisites for MSN Degree Programs?

Prerequisites for MSN degree programs usually include several math and science courses. Students with bachelor’s degrees in biology or health sciences may have already fulfilled them, but many students without a nursing degree will have to take several prerequisite science courses. Students with nursing degrees typically have an easier path, as they usually do not need anything beyond their degree and a minimum GPA.

All MSN programs graduate their students as ready-to-employ Advanced Practice Nurses. Some offer a BSN after completion of part of the program so that students can begin working while they complete the master’s degree. Others assume that students will finish the entire program at once.

California State University Fullerton has an Entry-Level MSN program. They do not accept applicants for the BSN as a second degree, so people with bachelor’s degrees who wish to begin a career as a nurse must use the EL-MSN program. It requires a bachelor’s degree in any field, but includes many science prerequisites such as chemistry, anatomy and physiology and statistics.

The University of Texas at El Paso offers several MSN programs. They offer an online MSN for both RNs and BSNs, as well as on-campus programs. The RN to MSN program bypasses the BSN degree altogether. Prerequisites depend on the program, but the RN to MSN program requires a current RN license and an associate’s degree with a 2.0 or better. The traditional MSN program requires a BSN with a 3.0.

The prerequisites for MSN degree at Seattle University depend on the program chosen. Seattle U offers both a direct-entry MSN and a professional nursing MSN. The former requires a core of science, psychology and math courses and a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. The latter requires either a BSN or an associate’s degree in nursing with a bachelor’s degree in another field.

Additional Resource: Prerequisites for Nursing Degrees