BSN vs. MSN: Which is Right for You?

Whether you’re just starting off on your nursing career, or have years of experience under your belt, Goodwin College is a great place for individuals who are passionate about healthcare. With an Associate Degree Program that culminates in the Registered Nurse certification exam, an RN-to-BSN Program, as well as a Master’s of Science in Nursing, no matter the stage you’ve currently reached, Goodwin’s nursing degree programs you will help you to develop your skills, and grow into your future. It’s up to you to decide how high you aim!

In all of Goodwin’s nursing degree programs, you’ll find both convenience, and flexibility. Getting to campus is easy, thanks to our central location within the Hartford, Connecticut area. However, save for our Associate Degree program, you might not even find it necessary to commute to campus at all: our RN-to-BSN and MSN coursework is all offered fully online! The advanced RN-to-BSN and MSN programs are designed for busy nursing professionals who intend to continue working, and to keep their family a top priority, while advancing their education. Therefore, you don’t have to drop your life for your career. Goodwin is committed to enabling you with the flexibility that you need to balance both.

Goodwin’s nursing degrees are offered sequentially, so in order to achieve admission into our MSN program, you must have both your RN licensure and a BSN degree. This is where our milestone RN-to-BSN program comes into play. For those who are looking to pursue an advanced nursing degree and coming from either a hospital diploma program or an Associate’s degree program, Goodwin College’s RN-to-BSN is the bridge from one phase in your education to the next.

Now that we’ve gotten through the basics about our varying nursing programs, we can answer your question: How do I decide which degree, BSN vs MSN, is right for me?

The most significant difference between the BSN and MSN degrees are their career outcomes. Though any nursing degree can open doors to jobs in healthcare, with more advanced training, nurses can become true professionals – and leaders – in their field. Nurses with a BSN, earned from a program like Goodwin’s RN-to-BSN program, are able to find nursing careers in settings like home health care, hospitals, care facilities, physician’s offices, and schools. Through Goodwin’s MSN program, however, nurses will learn core knowledge in Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Physical Assessment, and will also take graduate nursing courses in Leadership, Research, Population Health, and Policy, Politics, and Organization of Healthcare. These will prepare you for variety of advanced and high-paying nursing positions. For RN’s with the drive and capacity to dive more deeply into the theoretics of these topics, as well as the advanced practice of nursing, entering a Master’s program in Nursing could be a wise decision.

Considering the long- and short-term possibilities of each degree is another useful exercise in thinking about whether a BSN or MSN is the right path for you. With an MSN, one of the long-term outcomes will be your ability to move forward into further educational opportunities, like entering a doctoral program. If becoming a top professional in the healthcare field is something that you would like to see yourself accomplishing, you must begin that journey with a Master’s degree. There’s no time like the present to get started.

In the short-term, after completing an MSN nursing program, you’re looking at surefire job advancement options. MSN degree holders qualify to become clinical nurse leaders, nursing administrators, nurse practitioners, and nurse educators. With training in clinical, political or policy, public health, or educational practice, earning your Master’s in Nursing allows you to hone in on your interests and strengths, and gain valuable knowledge into the specification of your choice.

In thinking about both the long- and the short-term, we can look at the predicted future of nursing by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau reports that the field of nursing is expected to grow 15 percent between the present and 2026. This means that the demand for nursing professionals with higher educational training will follow suit. Institutions are and will continue to be in need of nurses who are qualified to take on increased responsibilities, both with patients and from a clinical perspective, as well as within healthcare organizations, from a management angle.

Salary is another factor which separates BSN from MSN holders. Nurses with their Bachelor’s may earn between approximately $42k and $81k. Meanwhile, Master’s degree holders, depending on their experience, employer, location, and specialization, may earn between approximately $62k and $195k! While a salary increase is surely not the only reason that nurses choose to move forward towards an MSN degree, is a significant factor to consider.

BSN vs. MSN Degree: Which Will You Choose?

Making the decision to go for a Master’s degree in Nursing requires substantial contemplations. However, simply put, if you want to ensure that your skills, talent, and passion are best respected and rewarded by the nursing field, earning a Master’s worth of nursing knowledge does open that door for you. Learn more about Goodwin College’s nursing school, including our Associate’s, the RN-to-BSN bridge program, and our MSN degree program, by calling 800-889-3282. We are here to help you make the best choice for you and your goals!