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Best Next Steps After Earning Your BSN

Explore how you can further your nursing education and career after earning your bachelor’s degree.

Earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is a tremendous achievement, and for many nurses, it is one of the first stops on their educational journey. So, what comes next? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including your professional goals and interests. But if you’re looking to continue your nursing education beyond your undergraduate degree, you have plenty of options to choose from.

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Master of Science in Nursing

Earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is a logical next step for BSN holders who want to develop more advanced skills and/or specialize their nursing practice. It can also position you for new job opportunities.

At Walden, you can choose from nine specializations to align your MSN program with your career objectives. If you’re looking to provide direct patient care, choosing a nurse practitioner specialization—such as Adult-Gerontology Acute Care or Psychiatric-Mental Health—is a great choice. If you prefer to serve in a leadership role or as an educator, a specialty practice specialization—such as Nursing Education, Nurse Executive, or Nursing Informatics—may be right for you.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Some doctoral-level programs offer a BSN entry point for practitioners who want to achieve the highest degree in the field. For those who wish to further their career in clinical practice nursing, Walden’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a great option. In this program, you can choose the BSN to DNP pathway in many of the specializations to earn your terminal degree while meeting nurse practitioner educational and clinical requirements. The BSN-DNP pathway also allows you to take fewer courses than if you had first obtained your MSN before moving on to your DNP. It’s one of the shortest paths to being academically prepared to become an advanced practice nurse and to graduating with your doctorate in nursing, with the potential to save you time and money.

PhD in Nursing

Bachelor of Science in Nursing recipients who want to further their education and prepare to fill top roles in nursing education, research, or administration, should consider enrolling in a PhD in Nursing program. Like Walden’s DNP program, the PhD in Nursing program also offers a BSN entry point that enables you to earn your doctorate by taking fewer courses than if you completed your MSN before beginning your PhD. The BSN–PhD pathway features high-quality foundational and doctoral courses, as well as five specialization options to choose from: Healthcare Administration, Interdisciplinary Health, Leadership, Nursing Education, and Population Health. It’s important to find the path that works best for you—one that aligns with your passions and goals. Whether you want to pursue your MSN, DNP, or PhD in Nursing once you complete your BSN program, Walden can give you the support you need to succeed.

Become a Lifelong Learner at Walden University

Walden offers a suite of nursing programs online, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD in Nursing. With access to innovative virtual learning tools and interactive assignments that allow you to exchange valuable insights with other students and nurses, you can expand your clinical and leadership skills. And at Walden, an accredited university, you can complete your nursing degree online while you continue to work full time. That means you don’t have to put your life on hold while you work toward advancing your career. With online education, you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you as you earn your advanced nursing degree.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a suite of online nursing programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD in Nursing. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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