Degree Requirements for MSN

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    Common Degree Requirements

    • To achieve an MSN, you need to complete a series of courses starting with prerequisites. These include math and anatomy, which represent the basic skills you will need to complete your studies. You will then have to undertake core courses, common for all students, as well as specialize in one of the concentration courses, such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator and nurse administrator.

    RN to MSN

    • If you are a registered nurse with an associate degree in nursing, you can apply for an MSN, but you will first have to complete an accelerated undergraduate course. On average, you must complete 75 semester-hour credits in both nursing and non-nursing courses -- the exact requirements vary between universities -- before you can start with the graduate courses.

    RN with a Bachelor's Degree

    • If you are an RN with a bachelor's degree other than a BSN, you too will have to take additional courses, ranging from English to philosophy and fine arts to statistics, before moving to the main graduate program. Some are mandatory, but you can choose your favorite subjects for the rest. Upon completion you can start with the prerequisite courses of the MSN.

    Direct-entry MSN

    • This is the route towards an MSN for non-nurses, who have completed a bachelor's degree in another subject. The studies last a minimum of three years. Students will have to take undergraduate nurse courses and, in the last two years, combine advanced training in a specialty area (concentration course) and preparation for RN licensure.

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