I completed my MSN (Ed) last year, and am working as a staff nurse. (I would love to be in staff development, but there are no suitable positions right now in the downsizing department. Alas.) Simultaneously, I am conducting research (principal investigator) AND working part-time as an adjunct for an online BSN program. My end goal is NOT academia, I much prefer staff development as an area of interest.
I want to do further research and develop a marketable program for hospitals having to do with my research focus (it is non-clinical research). I am considering a DNP program at the University of Southern Indiana. It accepts both clinical and non-clinical MSN grads, and the capstone is tailored to the specific student's expertise. I feel that this would be a great program to give me the credentials as an expert in my research field, and pave the way for me to develop the program I'm dreaming of.
I would likely receive a fair amount of financial aid from my employer, and would be able to fund this degree without incurring debt. Here's the problem (maybe). I still work as a staff nurse. Do not misunderstand- I LOVE bedside care, and the PICU I work in is the best place I've EVER worked. I'm 58 years old, and know that I will not remain a bedside nurse into my 70s. I could, however, develop this program and WORK into my 70s or beyond, as I'm in good health and have no desire to retire.
I enjoy school, and earning my MSN last year really awakened in me a desire to continue my education.
What say you? Should a 58 year old, MSN-prepared staff nurse even consider a DNP?