If you are interested in becoming a nurse, but your bachelor's degree is in another field, a direct entry MSN program may be just for you. South Carolina has some excellent accredited MSN programs, which you can find listed on our site. There is a nursing shortage in nearly every state, so earning a graduate degree now in nursing may provide you with job security and may increase your earning potential as well.
The bachelor's degree portion of any direct entry MSN program tends to focus on knowledge, skills and values that are considered important for nurses to function in today's changing healthcare system. You will be trained to work in a wide range of settings, which includes various hospital settings to community settings. The master's program will give you the ability to integrate advanced knowledge from nursing into specialized areas of your choice.
When you complete the bachelor of nursing classes, then you will be ready to sit for your nursing license exam (NCLEX–RN), while continuing your education in the graduate program. There are numerous nursing specialty areas available to students, such as nurse practitioners or administrators.
Most universities have similar admission criteria for accelerated MSN programs, which includes:
- Official transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended
- GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Undergraduate level statistics course
- Three references of recommendation (preferably from academic or supervisory source)
- Resume or CV (should include your specific work experience)
- Essay that states your reasons for entering this program and with your future goals
- GRE exam is required for some programs
- TOEFL/IELTS exam is required for foreign students when English is not your primary language
Some of the courses required for your bachelor nursing degree may be courses you have taken already. The typical required courses include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Technical or Scientific Writing
- Issues in Professional Nursing
- Cross Cultural Awareness Requirement
- Nutrition for Nursing Professional
- Research in Nursing
- Leadership Management and Nurse Care Practitioner
- Community Health Nursing
- Leadership in Management in nursing
- Community Health Nursing
- Health Assessment for RNs
You will need approximately 31-34 credit hours to earn your BSN and take your nursing license examination. You must have your RN license before beginning the clinical portion of the master's program. The graduate portion of Direct Entry MSN nursing programs tend to take 45 to 48 credit hours to complete, and the number of clinical hours is commonly about 500.
As an example of the master's curriculum, the Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner courses include:
- Theoretical and Conceptual Foundation for Nursing
- Advanced Pathophysiology for Nurses
- Introduction to Biostatistics or Application of Basic Statistics for Nursing and Nursing Service Management
- Pharmacologic Management of Pediatric, Adult and Gerund tautological Patients Across the Healthcare Delivery Continuum
- Conceptual Basis for Family and Community Health Nursing
- Basic Concepts and Method of Epidemiology
- Advance Health Assessment
- Diagnostic Interpretation and Therapeutic Modalities
- Acute Problems of Adults/Gerontology and Women's Health in Primary Care
- Clinical Applications of Popular Analysis
- Research Methods for Nursing
- Primary Care Nursing of Children
- Advance Practice Nursing Management of Chronic Diseases in Pediatrics, Adult and Gerund tautological Patients Across the Health Care Continuum
- Seminar in Clinical Nursing Research (Non-Thesis)
- Advanced Practice Practicum: Primary Care (FNP)
You can probably expect to spend roughly 12 hours online and off-line for study each week for each three credit hour course over a regular 15 week semester. You will be assigned to a preceptor for your clinical hours for the various for clinical hours.
Once you have earned your graduate nursing degree you may take the credential examination that the American Nurses Credentialing Center offers and be rewarded the FNP-BC, if this is the specialty you choose to pursue. This competency-based examination proves the validity and reliability of your education as a Family Nurse Practitioner. If you are an American Nurses Association member the cost is $270, but the cost for nonmembers is $395. There is an American Association of Nurse Practitioners, which also offers a certification program.
In South Carolina the Bureau of Labor Statistics states the mean annual income for nurse practitioners in 2013, was $95,070.
If you are seeking financial aid, then the first step is to complete the FAFSA application, which is a federal grant program based on your income. There also federal loan and federal work study programs available. The University of South Carolina offers financial aid through loans, grants and scholarships.
The U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration programs is Nurse Corps, which asks you to work in one of their facilities, while paying off 60 percent of your unpaid student loans in two years. An additional 25 percent of the original balance will be paid if you decide to work a third year.
Getting your accelerated master's degree in nursing assures you that you are providing high-quality patient centered care, and this may give you a great sense of satisfaction and the respect of your peers. Contact the schools you see that offer Direct Entry MSN programs in South Carolina to get started.