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Can I Get a MSN if I am Not a Nurse?

Posted by:
April 29, 2022

Some people recognize their passion for a particular field or profession early on in life, but many need more time and experiences to pinpoint their dream career.

Nurses are no different. Some nurses have been working towards a career in the field since they began considering their professional interests, while many nurses pursued other fields of study before choosing to secure a career in nursing.

If you hold a bachelor’s degree that is unrelated to the field of nursing, you can still go on to achieve a Master of Science in Nursing — a respected and practical graduate degree that will prepare you to land the nursing career you want.

What is an MSN degree?

A master’s of science in nursing is a graduate degree program that offers students courses in evidence-based practice generally, leadership in a nursing setting, courses in the chosen area of specialty, and clinical experience in the chosen area of specialty. 

Despite not having a background in nursing, as part of the completion of the master’s program, students become eligible to pass state-based exams and certifications so they can practice as nurse practitioners, clinical leaders, and more.

There are many different types of MSN programs available, including RN to MSN, BSN to MSN, and entry-level MSN program options. Most MSN programs can be completed in 2-3 years and offer graduates an immediate return on investment if they are able to fulfill their state-specific requirements for licensing and certification upon completion of the program.

Is nursing school worth it?

Nursing school is worth investing in for a variety of reasons, but the most important reason has to do with career advancement opportunities. Nurses with an advanced degree — like an MSN — are eligible for certification in a wide range of leadership and specialized nursing roles like clinical nurse leader or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP). 

An MSN degree also allows nurses to move out of generalized nursing care and into jobs with more ownership and focus. In fact, research indicates that 76% of graduates from entry-level MSN programs have been offered a job by graduation. Four to six months out from graduation, 95% of graduates have been offered jobs.


Take a look at PLU’s MSN degree:

Ranked as one of the top 150 graduate nursing programs in the US by US News and World Report, Pacific Lutheran University’s Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to equip nurses with the knowledge and skills to lead change, promote health, and elevate care in various roles and settings.

At the MSN level, we offer an entry-level MSN track for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. We are the only school in Washington state that offers an entry-level MSN program. 

Attend Info Session

Sign up for an info session to see if the MSN program is right for you.

We also offer students the opportunity to specialize as Advanced Generalists or as Clinical Nurse Leaders: 

Advanced Generalist: As frontline caregivers, the generalist nurse plans and provides direct care to patients, interacts with families, coordinates patient care that requires regular interface with other members of the health care team (nurses, physicians, and others), and participates in organizational activities that promote safe, quality and efficient patient care.

Clinical Nurse Leader: The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is a nursing role developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in collaboration with an array of leaders from the practice environment. The CNL is an advanced generalist clinician with education at the master’s degree level.

Connect with PLU’s nursing professionals!

Now is the time to immerse yourself in an experiential, top-ranked graduate nursing program that will give you the skills you need to thrive in the nursing profession long-term. An advanced degree in nursing will allow you to take the next step in your nursing career and prepare you to provide high-quality care to those who need it most.

We invite you to get in touch with us today or schedule an appointment with one of our nursing professionals!