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Can an RN with a BSN, and a dual master’s in business and management, obtain a doctorate without getting an MSN first?


Dear Donna,

I’m a RN with a BSN, with dual master’s degree in business and management. This is a second career for me. Accounting was first, followed by a bachelor’s degree in accounting. I want to go back to school, but I don’t want another master’s degree. I would like to obtain a doctorate degree. Is there any way to get a doctorate, with a focus on nursing, without my having a MSN? I also am an adjunct clinical instructor as well as work at the bedside a couple of shifts each week.

Wants One More Degree

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants One More Degree,

Going directly for a doctoral degree makes sense in your case, it is possible to go directly into a doctoral program in nursing with a BSN. In fact, you have both online and live classroom options. You also have PhD in nursing and DNP options to consider.

Do an internet search for “BSN to doctorate programs” or “BSN-DNP” or “BSN-PhD.” You will come up with quite a few schools. Start to systematically research each program to see what is required in terms of courses and credits and what credits are accepted, if any, from your master’s program. You also will be able to determine the cost associated with each program and the financial aid available.
When you’ve narrowed it down a bit, speak to an admissions counselor to get additional questions answered. Use social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) to find others who have gone through the same course at the schools you are considering for feedback about their experiences.

Best wishes,


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

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