5 Best BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs for Non-Nursing Majors – 2024


Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA

Are you a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field but who wants to become a nurse? Are you struggling with the decision about which nursing degree is best to pursue or where to begin? As a nurse, I understand the struggle of choosing the right program or path. An excellent option for someone like you who has already earned a degree is BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors. These programs allow you to leverage your previous academic degree to earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in nursing.

If you are interested in pursuing dual BSN/MSN degree programs, you may wonder, “What are the best BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors?” In this article, I will answer that question as well as other frequently asked questions related to the programs. As you continue reading, you will learn about the 5 best BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors for 2024. You will learn about the pros and cons of these specialized dual degree programs, find information about the curriculum and cost, and discover ways to make your application stand out to admission faculty.



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WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF AN BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


The goal of the best BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors is to prepare bachelor’s prepared professionals with no previous nursing experience or degree to become registered nurses and earn both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The programs are designed to allow you to earn a BSN while simultaneously studying for, and seamlessly transitioning into a master’s nursing program.



7 MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ABILITIES YOU WILL GAIN IN AN BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors provide students with instruction and practice experiences needed to develop essential skills and abilities for practice. Some of the skills you developed in your previous bachelor's degree will be helpful, and you will build upon them while adding relevant nursing skills. In the BSN component, you will develop essential nursing skills and continue to build upon them as you transition to the advanced, MSN portion of the dual degree program.

1. You will develop the ability to use effective, therapeutic communication:

If there is any skill I can stress to you as the most important in nursing, it is the ability to communicate well with others. Effective communication on your part is one of the most crucial factors in promoting patient compliance and improving patient outcomes. When you learn to communicate effectively and therapeutically, patients and their loved ones experience reduced stress. It also helps to reduce the risk of errors, which could cause patient injury.

Your instructors in BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors will teach you how to approach communication with patients, their loved ones, and the interprofessional team to promote a collaborative approach to patient care and increase the chance of better outcomes. If I can encourage you to do anything while in nursing school, it will be to learn about communication and follow tips to improve communication in your nursing practice.

2. You will earn essential assessment skills:

Another one of the most important skills you will develop in a BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors is how to assess patients. You will learn to assess each body system and identify abnormalities. When you complete the BSN component of the dual degree program, you will use this skill to evaluate your patient’s status and determine responses to care, and work with the interdisciplinary team to develop appropriate care plans. When you transition to the MSN component, if you choose an APRN specialty, you will use your assessment skills to diagnose and treat patients.

3. You will learn to apply the principles of critical thinking to patient care:

As a nurse and former nursing and allied health educator, I believe critical thinking is one of the most essential skills you need to succeed in your role. As a nurse, you will use critical thinking to anticipate changes in your patient's condition, make important decisions about their care, contribute to the interdisciplinary team, and improve patient outcomes. Although you may have used critical thinking to an extent in your previous job or degree program, it takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to patient care. The faculty in BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors will teach you about critical thinking and give you insight into tips to build and improve your critical thinking skills for effective nursing practice.

4. You will learn to create effective nursing care plans:

Both BSN and MSN nurses create patient care plans. In BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors, you will learn to create care plans based on your patient’s individual needs and anticipated health outcomes. You will learn to evaluate your patient’s response to the plans you create and implement to determine their effectiveness or the need to modify the plans.

5. You will learn to use evidence-based practice:

Evidence-based practice is an approach to care that involves using current research to support care decisions and improve the health and safety of patients. You will learn to access and use evidence from research and combine critical thinking and decision-making to apply your findings to patient care decisions. There are many benefits to using evidence-based practice, including reduced healthcare costs, promoting patient involvement in their care, and improved patient outcomes. Additionally, nurses and healthcare organizations benefit from the use of EBP, which is why it is such an important skill to develop and use.

6. You will learn the importance of cultural competency and how to apply it to nursing care:

All professionals should learn and apply principles of cultural competence. For nurses, it is especially important, as cultural competence reflects our ability to respect the beliefs, attitudes, and values of others, regardless of cultural backgrounds. It is an essential part of providing competent nursing care.

7. You will develop strong leadership qualities and skills:

Both BSN and MSN nurses must demonstrate strong leadership skills. BSN nurses often work as charge nurses or floor supervisors, which means leading teams of nurses in patient care. When you complete the program with your dual degree, you can transition to even higher-level leadership roles. MSN nurses may work as a Director of Nursing, a Healthcare Administrator, or advanced practice registered nurses. Essential leadership qualities you will develop include ethics, professionalism, respect for patients and peers, mentorship, and accountability.



5 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors are excellent options for moving into a nursing career when you have had a non-nursing role. The programs offer several advantages. The following are five of the top advantages of pursuing your degrees through these programs.

1. You can become a registered nurse by seamlessly transitioning from a non-nursing degree to a graduate nursing degree:

One of the main advantages of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors is that you can utilize credits from your previous degree and transfer applicable credits toward your BSN. Once you complete the criteria for earning your BSN, you can seamlessly transition to the MSN component, earning a graduate degree in nursing.

2. You can gain experience as a registered nurse while working on your MSN:

In dual BSN/MSN programs, you will first complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. Once you pass the licensure exam, you can obtain work as a registered nurse while working toward your master’s degree in nursing. This allows you to earn an income while in school while gaining relevant clinical experience.

3. You can earn two nursing degrees in much less time:

Another benefit of pursuing your degrees through one of the available BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors is that the programs take less time than you would spend pursuing the degrees separately. Depending on the number of credits you transfer from your previous degree and the credits you share between the BSN and MSN components, you could save a significant amount of time earning the degrees concurrently.

4. You can choose from several MSN specialties:

When you begin the MSN component of the dual degree program, you can choose from several MSN specialties upon which to focus your graduate studies. There are many types of specialties for APRN and non-APRN registered nurses. You could choose an advanced practice specialty such as Certified Nurse Midwife, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or Family Nurse Practitioner. There are also other options for specialization, including Nurse Researcher, Public Health Nursing, Nursing Administration, or Nursing Informatics.

5. You can become a nursing instructor:

If you enjoy teaching and mentoring others, earning your degree through BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors will help you gain the credentials needed to teach nursing or other allied health programs.



3 MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


While BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors are a great option if you want to transition to a new career and become a nurse, there are some disadvantages to consider. Knowing the disadvantages early on can help you decide if this is truly the career path you wish to pursue.

1. The nature of the programs, combining undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees, makes them challenging:

You will begin your dual degree program with BSN program requirements, including taking core classes and lower-level nursing classes, as well as beginning your undergraduate clinical practicum. Depending on the program’s structure, you may begin to integrate master’s-level classes toward the end of the BSN program. While each student has strengths and weaknesses, it is common for all students to feel challenged in the programs, especially when it comes time to transition from the BSN to MSN components.

2. You may need to take time off between the BSN and MSN to get work experience:

Most MSN programs require candidates to have work experience as an RN. Although criteria vary from one school to the next, some BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors require students to obtain employment as a registered nurse after completing the BSN component and obtaining RN licensure. Some schools allow students to transition directly to the MSN program and work throughout the program. Others encourage students to take a break between the BSN and MSN components to gain the necessary experience.

3. Acceptance into the BSN component of the program does not guarantee acceptance to the MSN program:

Although you may apply for admission to BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors, most schools require candidates to be accepted to the BSN program and successfully complete it before having a firm offer of admission to the MSN component of the dual degree program.



WHO ACCREDITS BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


A crucial factor to consider when choosing among available BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors is accreditation. When a nursing program is accredited, you can feel assured that the education you receive meets high standards. As you research programs, look for those accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

S.NO.Accrediting Agency
1Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
2Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)



WHEN DO BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS START?


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors offer various start dates. Some schools offer one start date each year, usually in the fall or spring. Other schools offer multiple start dates throughout the academic year.

At the University of Pennsylvania, the BSN/MSN dual degree program begins the BSN portion in late August and ends in December of the following year. At that time, you have the option to matriculate into the MSN major, or you may take a break from the program to gain work experience and then return.

The BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors at New York University offers start dates in the fall and spring semesters of each academic year.

At the University of San Francisco, students begin the BSN portion of the BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors in the fall semester. Beginning in the second semester of your junior year or first semester of your senior year, you will begin to incorporate MSN coursework into your study plan.

The BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors at DeSales University begins each year during the third week of May.

Molloy University offers rolling admission for its BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors with approximately ten start dates throughout the year.



HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors may require between 70 and 120 credits. Your previous college experience and the number of credits you may transfer could help reduce your required program credits. Your academic advisor will review your previous transcripts with you and help determine an academic plan, advising you on the number of credits you need to earn the dual degrees.

The BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors at the University of Pennsylvania requires students to complete between 72 and 80 credits. The BSN portion of the dual degree program is a 60-credit pathway. After completing the BSN portion of the program, students transition to MSN studies and complete 12 to 20 additional credits, depending on their chosen MSN specialty.

At New York University, you may enter the BSN/MSN dual degree program with 44 advanced-standing liberal arts credits. You will then complete 64 credits to accomplish the BSN requirements. In the final semester of the BSN program, you may substitute up to six credits of the BSN curriculum for up to six graduate credits. The credits needed to achieve the MSN are determined by your chosen concentration. The MSN specialty credit requirements are as follows.

o Adult Gerontology Acute Care 51 credits
o Adult Gerontology Primary Care 51 credits
o Clinical Research Nursing 33 credits
o Family Nurse Practitioner 54 credits
o Nurse Midwifery 48 credits
o Nursing Administration 45 credits
o Nursing Education 48 credits
o Nursing Informatics 45 credits
o Pediatric Primary Care 39 credits
o Pediatric Dual Primary/Acute Care 50 credits
o Psychiatric Mental Health NP 51 credits


At the University of San Francisco, you will complete 44 credits of core curriculum classes and 67 credits of upper-division nursing units, for a total of 111 units of credit.

DeSales University requires 52 credits of BSN courses. MSN credits vary based on the type of specialty.

At Molloy University, dual degree BSN-MSN students complete a minimum of 120 credits.



HOW LONG ARE BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors can generally be completed in 3-5 years. Your decision to attend a part-time or full-time program, the number of credits you need, and whether you need remediation in any course can impact the total time it takes you to earn the degrees.

The dual degree nursing program at the University of Pennsylvania can be completed in as little as 27 months with full-time study. However, you may choose to study part-time after earning your BSN to gain clinical experience as a registered nurse. Typically, the BSN portion takes 15 months. The MSN portion can be completed in 12 to 18 months if you enroll full-time or two to three years if you choose part-time study. Regardless of the MSN specialty you choose, you must complete all of your coursework within 5 years of acceptance into the program.

At New York University, the dual BSN/MSN degree takes four years plus one semester. You will complete the BSN component of the dual degree in four years. After completing the BSN, you will complete the MSN in one accelerated summer semester.

At the University of San Francisco, you will begin master’s level courses in the junior year of the BSN component. The program is formatted to be completed in as few as five years.

At DeSales University, the BSN-MSN dual degree program also referred to as the Accelerated BSN Plus program, can be completed in 15 months.

The Molloy University BSN-MSN program features 16-, 19-, and 24-month program options.



HOW MUCH DO BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS COST?


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors can cost anywhere from $48,000 to more than $200,000. Your cost may vary based on whether you pay in-state or out-of-state tuition or if you have financial aid such as grants, scholarships, or student loans. Additionally, the number of credits you need or the time it takes to complete the program can impact your total cost.

At the University of Pennsylvania, tuition for undergraduate nursing, such as the BSN component, costs $56,212 per year. The BSN part of the program takes 15 months, making the average tuition for earning your BSN degree $70,265. The MSN program costs $81,081 per year and takes 12 to 18 months. Therefore, you could pay between $82,081 and $101,351.25 for your MSN. The cost for the dual program, therefore, ranges between $152,346 and $171,616.25.

New York University charges tuition for the BSN/MSN program based on whether you are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate classes. For example, the program requires students to complete 64 credits to meet the BSN program requirements. Undergraduate nursing courses cost $1,630 per credit. The MSN component requires between 39 and 54 credits at a rate of $2,062 per credit. Therefore, your tuition will cost between $184,738 and $215,668 based on your chosen MSN specialty.

Tuition at the University of San Francisco is calculated based on whether you are taking BSN (undergraduate) or MSN (graduate) classes. All BSN classes cost $2,055 per unit of credit. MSN courses cost $1,555 per credit. The curriculum features 44 BSN-level credits and 67 MSN-level credits. Therefore, the average cost of the program is $194,605.

At DeSales University, tuition is calculated at a rate of $12,200 per semester. The program is designed in a four-semester format, making the cost of tuition come to $48,800. You will also pay indirect costs for items such as books, supplies, transportation, and living expenses, which could total $20,000 or more.

Tuition at Molloy University is based on whether your courses are undergraduate or graduate. Undergraduate classes cost $1,200 per credit hour. Graduate tuition is $1,385 per credit. Your total cost will depend on the number of credits you transfer in and whether you take graduate courses while enrolled in the BSN component of the program.



WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors generally require at least a 3.0 GPA for admission. However, that number is not set in stone. Some programs require higher averages. Conversely, some programs offer conditional admission to students who meet other criteria but fall short of the recommended GPA requirement.

For example, the University of Pennsylvania and DeSales University require candidates to have a minimum 3.0 college GPA. New York University and the University of San Francisco require a 3.5 college grade point average. Molloy University accepts applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.



WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


Admission to BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors can be competitive. Schools review your previous academic history, references, work, and volunteer experiences and usually require you to participate in an admission interview. The following are examples of some of the admission requirements for the nation’s top five programs.

To apply to the dual BSN/MSN degree program for non-nursing majors at the University of Pennsylvania, you must first fill out an online application for the BSN-MSN dual degree program. You need to provide a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and a video interview. You must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, all candidates must complete prerequisite courses in biology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, microbiology, and chemistry before beginning nursing courses. Volunteer or work experience in a healthcare field is preferred.

Because the BSN/MSN dual degree program at New York University is only available to NYU students currently enrolled in the university’s BSN program, applicants must first apply to and gain admission to the BSN program. You must submit an admissions essay, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from previous colleges or universities you attended. Once admitted to the BSN program, you must earn a 3.5 GPA in the first and second BSN clinical sequence courses. Additionally, to be accepted into the MSN component, you must accomplish a cumulative 3.5 GPA for the BSN degree. After completing the BSN degree, you must pass the NCLEX exam and gain one year of clinical experience before matriculating into the MSN pathway. You must begin graduate courses within two years of graduating from the BSN program to remain eligible for the BSN/MSN dual degree option.

Admission consideration to the University of San Francisco requires holding a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and having a minimum 3.0 college GPA. You must complete an admission application and send transcripts from all colleges or universities you previously attended. You must provide a professional resume or curriculum vitae, a statement of intent, and three letters of professional recommendation, as well.

Admission to the dual BSN/MSN program at DeSales University is contingent upon meeting the following criteria. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing major from an accredited college or university and have a minimum 3.0 college GPA on a 4.0 scale. You may complete an admission application through NursingCAS or directly through DeSales University. You must provide official transcripts for any coursework you completed at any accredited college or university, two letters of professional recommendation, a personal essay, and a professional resume. Additionally, you must complete all prerequisites.

Molloy University’s admission criteria for its BSN/MSN dual degree program include having a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants must complete the TEAS test and demonstrate satisfactory reading and math proficiency. Some candidates may be required to participate in an admissions interview.



WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors offer in-depth curriculum plans. In these programs, you will study core nursing courses such as basic anatomy and physiology, general psychology, and pharmacology. As you progress through the program, you will take upper-level nursing classes and specialty-relevant classes based on your choice of MSN specialty.

The dual degree BSN/MSN program for non-nursing majors at the University of Pennsylvania includes courses such as Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology, Psychological & Social Diversity in Health & Wellness, Theoretical Foundations of Healthcare Ethics, Advanced Physical Assessment & Clinical Decision Making, and Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice. Curriculum plans vary depending on your chosen MSN specialty.

New York University’s dual BSN/MSN program features a curriculum with classes such as Nursing Issues & Trends in Health Care Delivery Systems, Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics Across the Lifespan, Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Nursing Informatics.

At the University of San Francisco, you will take courses, including Healthcare Systems: Nurse Leader, Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing, Applied Assessment & Nursing Fundamentals: Alterations in Health & Illness, Communication & Mental Health Nursing, Healthcare Systems: Management Control, and Complex Care.

The curriculum plan for the BSN/MSN dual degree program at DeSales University includes courses such as Health & Physical Assessment, Therapeutic Nursing Interventions, Health Informatics, Quality, & Safety, The Chronically Ill Adult, Nursing of the Childbearing Family, and Applied Research.

At Molloy University, you will take classes, including Humanistic Nursing Care of Adults: commonly Encountered Health Issues, Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Organic & Biological Chemistry, Advances in Pathopharmacology, Synthesis of Education & Nursing Practice, and Education Theory & Methods for Nursing Education.



WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


Like all nursing programs, BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors include a clinical component. The practical training involves simulation and lab experiences, as well as direct patient care through clinical practicums. The required hours for clinical training may vary from one school to the next. Most programs offering the dual degree option include an average of 600 to 800 clinical hours.

At the University of Pennsylvania, you will have the benefit of learning through simulation at the school’s Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning and Simulation. The simulation center offers high-tech simulation equipment which provides you with exposure to clinical skills in a safe, controlled environment. You will also participate in direct patient care at world-class medical facilities partnered with UPenn. You will complete clinical practicums in centers, including the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the Penn Medicine research complex, Philadelphia Veteran's Administration Medical Center, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The dual BSN/MSN program includes an average of 900 clinical hours.

Practical training for the dual degree program at New York University includes clinical experiences in the university’s Clinical Simulation Learning Center and at off-campus sites, including community-based healthcare agencies and acute care hospitals. As a student in this program, you will meet the clinical requirements for both BSN and MSN competencies. Upon completion of the dual degree program, you will have completed approximately 720 clinical hours.

At the University of San Francisco, you will complete 500 hours of clinical practicum to meet the BSN clinical requirements, as well as 400 additional hours of MSN clinicals during the last two semesters of the MSN component. BSN clinicals will provide you with experience caring for diverse patient populations in various specialties with the preparation of pre-licensure nursing skills. The MSN practicum requirements focus on systems management and assessment and implementation of a quality improvement project.

Clinical hour requirements for the BSN/MSN dual degree program at DeSales University include 60 laboratory hours, 630 clinical hours, and 180 internship hours.

At Molloy University, you will have access to a state-of-the-art simulation center and clinical lab where you will learn essential skills in a safe, controlled environment. You will also complete more than 700 clinical hours throughout the dual degree program. The university offers clinical placement assistance to help ensure adequate training with qualified preceptors.



WHAT ARE THE BEST BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS IN THE NATION?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 5 Best online and campus BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs for Non-Nursing Majors in the nation for the year 2024.)


1. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA


2. New York University - New York, NY


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Research Nursing, Pediatrics Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery, and Nursing Informatics


3. University of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA


4. DeSales University - Center Valley, PA


5. Molloy University - Rockville Centre, NY



VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY



3 MAJOR CHALLENGES STUDENTS FACE IN BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS AND HOW TO OVERCOME


There are challenges to every college degree program. You can view challenges one of two ways, as a reason to give up or a reason to test yourself, overcome, and succeed! The following are three major challenges faced by students in BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors.

CHALLENGE #1: Getting admitted to your chosen program.


About the Challenge:

Admission to nursing programs can be competitive, and admission to BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors are no exception. Most of these programs require candidates to first gain admission to the BSN component, then matriculate to the MSN component after earning the BSN and obtaining RN licensure. However, admission to the BSN component does not always mean guaranteed admission to the MSN program.

How to Overcome:

Some schools have admission criteria designed for the dual degree program, while others require applicants to meet the criteria for admission to each degree pathway. The best way is to ensure you get admitted to both components of the BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors. Compare the admission criteria for each program and ensure you meet all requirements before submitting your application. When you verify admission criteria and follow guidelines carefully, you reduce the risk of submitting an incomplete application or having your application rejected.


CHALLENGE #2: Choosing an MSN specialty.


About the Challenge:

One of the benefits of earning a Master of Science in Nursing is that you can choose an MSN specialty. There are several options for MSN nurses to specialize in. For prospective students with no nursing or healthcare experience, it can be difficult to know which MSN specialty is right for you.

How to Overcome:

The first step in choosing an MSN specialty is to consider what truly interests you. For example, if you enjoy working with children, you may like to pursue an APRN specialty as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. If mental health nursing interests you, you could become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. On the other hand, if you prefer a non-clinical role, you could specialize as Nurse Educator or in Public Health Nursing. As a nurse with more than 20 years of experience, the best advice I can give you about choosing an MSN specialty is to find something you are truly passionate about.


CHALLENGE #3: Learning that you cannot save every patient


About the Challenge:

One of the most rewarding things about being a nurse is caring for patients and seeing them recover from their illnesses and go on to live healthy lives. The more we learn as nurses, for instance, going from a BSN to an MSN, the more we feel we have to offer patients and hope that our efforts have positive outcomes. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. I have been a nurse for more than 20 years, and I must admit that one of the most challenging things for me was realizing that we cannot save every patient.

How to Overcome:

I would love to tell you that losing patients becomes easier, but the truth is, it does not. In fact, I always told my nursing students truly compassionate nurses feel some type of loss every time a patient succumbs to an illness or injury. However, although we feel compassion, empathy, or even sadness, we can learn to deal with the loss and remain objective. Being a strong nurse means admitting when we hurt and finding ways to deal with those feelings. Practice self-care, including getting plenty of rest, sending time doing things with friends and family, and allowing yourself to take a break when you need it.



WHERE DO GRADUATES OF BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS MOSTLY WORK?


BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors offer excellent opportunities for you to find jobs in a variety of healthcare settings. Graduates of the programs may work for private or public healthcare organizations, in schools, academic settings, or private practice. The following are three of the top settings where graduates work.

1. Long-Term Care Facilities:

Another top place for graduates of these dual degree programs to work is long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes or residential assisted living centers. In this setting, you may work as a Director of Nursing or Facility Administrator, managing nursing and ancillary staff or overseeing the day-to-day operations of your facility.

2. Hospitals:

Graduates of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors work in hospital settings. This setting is an excellent option for graduates because they give you a chance to develop and build upon skills since you are transitioning from a non-nursing career.

3. Private Practice:

With an MSN, you can specialize in an advanced practice specialty as a nurse practitioner. With a nurse practitioner specialty, you can work in a private practice independently or in partnership with other practitioners.



5 BEST JOBS FOR GRADUATES OF BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


Graduates of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors can choose from many job options. Your job choice will be determined by whether you want an APRN or non-APRN role. You might work in direct patient care, administrative offices, or even remote jobs. The best choice for you depends on whether you prefer a higher salary, flexibility, leadership, or patient care.

1. Director of Nursing:

As a Director of Nursing, you will oversee all nursing operations and staff in the healthcare facility where you work. You will evaluate and direct nursing personnel, establish goals for the nursing departments, and promote healthcare compliance within your facility.

2. Nurse Practitioner:

When you earn your degree from one of the best BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors, you can choose an APRN specialty and become a nurse practitioner. Whether you want to work with children, newborns, women, psychiatric patients, or adults/elderly clients, there are plenty of options to work in a nurse practitioner role.

3. Nursing Consultant:

As a nurse consultant, you can provide consultation services to healthcare providers, law enforcement, lawyers, or policymakers. You may work with nursing boards or policymakers to help advocate for changes and enhancement in patient care and the delivery of healthcare services.

4. Informatics Nurse:

When you specialize in nursing informatics, you will assess and analyze patient care data, promote best nursing practices and develop performance improvement projects to promote those practices. Informatics nurses create, process, and prepare reports related to electronic health records, coding records, and financial records and make recommendations for organizational and process changes to promote better patient care and organizational outcomes.

5. Nurse Researcher:

A nurse researcher helps to design and implement studies to improve healthcare service and patient outcomes. Your research could be instrumental in developing techniques designed to improve nursing practices or contribute to medical research to find ways of treating or improving treatment for different illnesses or diseases.



WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?


The starting salary for graduates of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors is approximately $78,270 per year. This pay equals $37.63 hourly, $1,505 weekly, and $6,520 monthly.

Hourly$37.63
Weekly$1,505
Monthly$6,520
Annual$78,270



WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS EXPECT?


After completing your BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors and getting a few years of experience, you can expect your average salary to increase to around $116,252 per year. This pay is equivalent to $55.89 hourly, $2,236 weekly, and $9,690 monthly.

Hourly$55.89
Weekly$2,236
Monthly$9,690
Annual$116,252



10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


Graduates of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors have an excellent job outlook. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job opportunities for graduates of these programs will increase by 45.68% between 2021 and 2031.

2021-31
+45.68%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



IS THE COST OF AN BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS WORTH THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)?


Before you decide to pursue your degrees through BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors, an important factor to consider is whether you will earn enough money to justify the expense of the program. By comparing program costs to possible income, you can calculate whether the return on your investment is worth the expense.

For example, dual degree BSN/MSN programs for non-nursing majors vary widely in cost, with programs costing as little as $48,000 to more than $215,000. With experience, the average income for program graduates is $116,252. By comparing these numbers, we can deduce that the less expensive the program you attend, the faster you will recoup your investment and begin to see a positive return. However, even if you choose a more expensive program, you can still experience a good return on your investment in time.

One of the things I like to encourage all students to do is apply for federal grants and loans as well as private scholarships and grants to help offset some of the expenses related to your program. Keep in mind that grants and scholarships are funds that do not have to be repaid, so utilizing them first is an excellent way to help pay for your degree and see a positive return on your investment in less time.

Despite the cost of even the most expensive programs, the earning potential for program graduates is excellent and does not cap at the average listed. Therefore, I believe the cost of BSN/MSN programs for non-nursing majors is worth the return on investment.



BONUS! 5 GENIUS WAYS TO MAKE YOUR APPLICATION FOR THE BEST BSN/MSN DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS STAND OUT


Getting into one of the top BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors can be competitive. To improve your chances of admission, there are a few things you can do to help your application stand out. The following are five steps that are sure to get the attention of the admissions faculty!

1. Be well organized.

One of the characteristics of successful nurses is the ability to be well organized. Depending on your job, you may care for several patients throughout your shift. You will work with a team of nurses, doctors, and non-licensed personnel to provide care. Being organized is essential to providing thorough care. You can demonstrate your ability to be organized by preparing a complete application with current documentation.

For example, organize all required supplemental material in a folder and bring it with you to your admissions interview. Make sure you have a professional resume and curriculum vitae, letters of recommendation that were recently written, unofficial transcripts, and copies of your nursing school application and financial aid application.

2. Complete all required prerequisites.

Taking the initiative to complete your prerequisites before applying is an excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to hard work and getting into the program. Additionally, completing prerequisites before applying puts you in a position where you are ready to begin core nursing courses.

3. Attend open house opportunities at the school.

Many colleges and universities offer open house opportunities, which are great ways to get to know the school and program faculty and gather information about the programs. If the BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors you are interested in offer these opportunities, take advantage of them! When you show up in person, you can introduce yourself to program faculty and admission advisors. Ask for business cards and any brochures or information about the programs. When you engage others in conversation about the programs they offer, they feel you are genuinely interested and will be more likely to remember you.

4. Get excellent letters of recommendation.

Letters of reference are an important part of every nursing school application. While anyone can write a letter of recommendation, not everyone should. Because you plan to transition from a non-nursing role to a nursing role, you need to prove your determination to succeed in school and work. Choose people such as former college instructors or your employer/supervisor to write recommendations. Letters of recommendation should speak to your character, professionalism, work ethic, and likelihood of success in the program. Be sure all letters include the writer’s proper name, title, and correct contact information.

5. Consider earning some healthcare-related certifications.

Another outstanding way to show your interest in and dedication to becoming a nurse is to become certified in something related to healthcare. For example, you could become a Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Medical Assistant, phlebotomist, or medical biller or coder. These certifications do not take long to acquire and are usually inexpensive. They look great on your college application and resume. Not to mention, you can use those certifications to get some healthcare experience before beginning your program!



MY FINAL THOUGHTS


If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and have been considering a career in nursing, there are many options to consider! Perhaps you like the idea of earning a graduate degree in nursing and becoming a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or nurse informaticist but want and need some nursing experience. You may have heard of dual degree programs and wondered, “What are the best BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors?”

In this article, I addressed that question and gave you information about the 5 best BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors for 2024. These programs offer amazing opportunities for bachelor's-prepared professionals like you to transition to a nursing career, earning two degrees along the way! Nursing is an amazing field with unlimited growth and income potential. If becoming a nurse is what you truly desire, I encourage you to start your journey today!



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. What Is The Best BSN/MSN Dual Degree Program For Non-Nursing Majors In The Nation?

The best BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors in the nation is the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa.

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA


2. Is It Easy To Get Admission Into BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

Admission to BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors can be competitive. However, if you work hard, achieve a good college GPA, and follow through with your application, you can improve your chances of getting into a good program.


3. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors generally require at least a 3.0 cumulative college GPA to be considered for admission. However, because each school determines criteria for its programs, it is wise to verify the GPA requirements for each school that interests you.


4. Can I Get Into BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs For Non-Nursing Majors With A Low GPA?

Some BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors accept students whose college GPA is less than the recommended average for admission. This is usually called conditional or probationary admission. If the school you want to attend offers this type of admission, you may have to meet other criteria to be considered.


5. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

The typical cost per credit for BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors averages between $600 and $1,500.


6. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?

It may be possible to work part-time while completing a BSN/MSN dual degree program for non-nursing majors.


7. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?

Although not impossible, it may be challenging to work full-time while pursuing BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors. If you feel you must continue to work full-time, it may be better to look for a part-time program. Whatever you decide, be sure to discuss options for scheduling with your academic advisor and employer.


8. What Are The Hardest Classes In BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

Some of the most difficult classes you will take in BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors include advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, and organic chemistry.


9. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?

New graduates of the best BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors earn approximately $78,270 per year.

$78,270


10. On Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?

New graduates of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors earn an average of $55.89 per hour.

$55.89


11. On Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?

The average monthly wage for graduates of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors is $9,690.

$9,690


12. On Average, How Much Can Graduates Of BSN/MSN Dual Degree Programs For Non-Nursing Majors Make Per Year?

The average annual salary for graduates of BSN/MSN dual degree programs for non-nursing majors is $116,252.

$116,252


Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).