Individuals enrolled in a RN to MSN nursing program may find that they are capable for earning both a bachelor’s as well as a master’s degree attending one program. This can all be accomplished without repeating any classes that were already taken either earning an RN diploma or associate’s agree. However, it is important to realize that not all schools are going to be equal. Therefore, it is very important for any individual seeking to advance a nursing career through additional education that whatever school is selected as proper accreditation. Otherwise, obtaining licensing may be suspect. Therefore, it’s quite important for individuals seeking an RN to MSN program to learn everything there is easy to know in order to make sure that your investment of effort, time and money is well spent.
Why Is Accreditation Important?
Once the nation was populated by ever-growing numbers of higher education institutions, the realization soon materialize that one school could differ quite vastly from another one in many different areas that need to be considered one seeking to gain an education. Although it’s not a problem, but every student does learn differently. So, accreditation offers individuals seeking an education to understand that a specific school offers programs and courses of study that are guaranteed to help that individual reach their specific academic and career goals. There are different schools that operate using different types of teaching methods, use different types of learning assistance equipment and technology as well as offering a vast difference in extracurricular options. However, learning institutions that cover all the different types of material needed to graduate and be successful either obtaining or dancing a nursing career can be easily spotted through checking its accreditation with a suitable governing body.
Where Does This Accreditation Originate?
There are no government entities that actually accredit institutions of higher learning. However, education seekers can look to the government to find a list of authorized accrediting entities. When looking at specific nursing schools, potential applicants should at least check out two sources of accreditation. The institution should be accredited by either a regional or nationally recognized accreditation Authority. In United States there are five nationally recognized accrediting agencies that include:
- The Distance Education and Training Council
- The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
- The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
- The Council on Occupational Education
Regional accrediting organizations also exist tasked with accrediting certain types of schools in specific areas of the nation. Secondly, nursing program selected also need to be accredited through either the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Better yet, if a specific school being examined is accredited by both, this adds additional weight toward making a favorable selection. If applicants are seeking to obtain an MSN in a specific area of expertise, such as nurse anesthetist, the program must be accredited by The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. If an applicant’s goal is to be a nurse midwife, the program needs to be accredited by The American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation. Without such accreditation, a program intended me not be recognized by an applicant specific state nurse licensing authority.
What About Online Education?
MSN nursing programs that are found online exist because institutions of higher learning realized that offering a flexible scheduling option may be the best method for busy, already employed individuals to earn her degree studying through an RN to MSN program. In fact, due to the flexibility of such online programs, they are becoming more popular every day. In fact, schools offering education programs online can be just as qualified as traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Make sure that when examining any online program it does offer a partnership with a local medical institution in order for any student enrolled to obtain the necessary clinical hours needed to obtain an MSN. Many online colleges are accredited, but it is important to be careful when examining such programs because there are many that are not.
Watch Out For The Scams
Finding accredited MSN program, either traditional or online, is a surefire way to avoid getting scammed by many unscrupulous people seeking to capitalize on the popularity of nursing programs. These unscrupulous programs are less common than they used to be, but at one point there were many diploma mills in both traditional and online that took advantage of individuals looking for an easy, or less painful, method toward obtaining fundamental arguments nursing education. Look out for diploma mills. These are schools that issue a diploma in exchange for money. Often, students are not required to attend classes or may find the classes that they do attend our quite easy to experience, or talk by instructors who are not registered nurses and the institution is not on par with any real education experience that an accredited institution. Always double check any accreditation claims that he learning institution makes. Spare easy to make such statements especially on a website and often, once registration fees are paid, the scammers disappear. Make sure to always check with the accrediting agency that the learning institution states has authorized their program. Also, realize that not every non-accredited program is a scam. Often, programs do not have accreditation because the process is too difficult to obtain for non-traditional institutions or the program is brand-new and has not gone through the process as of yet. Many times, not accredited programs are helpful for individuals seeking Continuing Education Credits, or CEUs, or are interested experiencing what advanced nursing courses offer.
Obtaining Advanced Nursing License
By enrolling in participating in an accredited nursing program, students are fairly guaranteed that they will receive the necessary education leading to obtain an advanced nursing license. After completing and graduating from an RN to MSN program, students should check with the local State Board of Nursing for making sure all necessary requirements have been met. These will differ from state to state but usually include obtaining a certain amount of necessary clinical hours (real-life experience) as well as obtaining a passing score on the state nursing exam specifically set for advanced practice nurses. These special nurses include:
- Nurse anesthetists (in the United States, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists or CRNAs)
- Nurse midwives (in the United States, Certified Nurse Midwives or CNMs)
- Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs)
- Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
Why Choose an MSN Program?
Any nurse seeking for career advancement accompanied by higher salaries should consider looking into obtaining a Master of Science In Nursing (MSN) degree. Once individuals complete an RN to MSN degree program, career opportunities open up to become a clinical nurse specialist or, perhaps, a nurse practitioner. There are many different types of MSN programs catering to individuals who have received an RN without a bachelor’s degree or for individuals who have received a bachelor’s degree, but not in nursing. When looking at specific nursing programs in schools, always consider setting up a counseling appointment with registration officials in order to determine how to best suit your specific individual needs.