Hi, I'm interested in learning what some people's reasons are for going back to school as an RN and what program you're entering. Trying to decide if that's the next step for me
Mar 26, '12
I already went back to school but to give you a working APN's perspective:
I was an RN for 14 years when I completed my APN training. I however, did it very piecemeal and wish that I had done it differently:
Our hospital went Magnet status in 2002 so I knew I needed to complete my BSN. I did that easily enough via University of Phoenix. When I finished that in 2004 I went straight into the MSN program at UofP. At the time, UofP did not have any APN tracks so I did management and leadership. I went back to my hospital's college of nursing in 2005 and did my first post-MSN adult health CNS. Then in 2006, I started working as an APN.
In 2009 I decided that I had better complete my peds CNS so that I would have more opportunities. So I completed it in 2010.
Then in 2011, two big things happened: the ANCC announced they were going to "retire" the adult health CNS certificate and my practice stopped seeing pediatric patients.
So, in the end, I'm scrounging to see if I can make the 1000 hour work committment to continue to re-certify my peds CNS (looks like I'm just going to have to retest) and I must always, always keep the adult CNS up to date because if that certification lapses, I can't retest (as the test no longer exists).
In the end, I'm telling my story (and admitting to my educational errors) in hopes you don't repeat them.
Mar 27, '12
TraumaRus, I know you feel you made some less-than-ideal choices about your grad education, but nobody can know the future, of the economy or of decisions by the ANCC or the AACN. There will always be value in a MSN degree, or a doctorate degree. I am learning here that flexibility is key and that continuing education is more important than ever.
Why am I going back to school? I always wanted to, and there were always barriers. Then I decided I wanted to take an advanced patho or pharm class. So I called around, and the colleges were like, you can't just do that...but we'd be happy to take your grad school application. I needed stats, and the community college had it at a time that I could totally take it, starting in a month. I realized that getting letters of reference wasn't such a big deal. And then I realized that all the "barriers" had just been inside me that whole time.
I'm doing Adult-geriatric CNS at Marquette University.
Mar 27, '12
I always wanted a MSN ever since I was in school for my BSN. I did not know what for at that time. I always presumed NP. Graduate school costs a lot of money so before I took the leap I wanted to be certain. I felt this is the right time to do it. I am happy in my job I have now. I felt mentally ready to go back to school and my personal life supports it.
I am going back to school for CNS not NP. After a few years of working in the hospital I had come to the conclusion that I have no desire to have that level of responsibility. I wanted to advance in the role of nursing, learn a new set of skills, and support other nurses. The best choice for a MSN that supports these three criteria is the CNS. I looked into the CNS role and read about the spheres of influence and that was it. I knew where I belonged.
I am truly happy and grateful to be going to graduate school. It is a real blessing. My advice to you is not to rush going to graduate school. Make sure you know what you want. I could have made a mistake several years ago jumping into grad school. Especially during the times when I was tired of my job and felt like I wanted to get away but I am glad I didn't.
Mar 28, '12
I knew I was ready to go back to school when I wanted to do more and have more control over my practice. I had planned on becoming a CRNA when I started in the ICU as a new grad but as I developed as a critical care RN, the more I fell in love with critical care. I like solving the puzzle. So I applied to several ACNP programs and here I am, finishing the 2nd semester of an ACNP program.
*BTW*, hey suz, I don't think it is acceptable that advanced practice RNs are expected to be "flexible" and amenable to what ever the AACN or ANCC decides on a whim. We're always comparing ourselves to other professionals, but guess what? A lawyer will always be a lawyer & a physician will always be a physician. Their certification and education requirements do not change like the wind, especially without giving their professionals a clear cut way to meet the new requirements.
Apr 1, '12
Thank you everybody for your comments. I really appreciate and have become a valuable tool in my decision making. Thank you again.
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