Need some insight into career direction

  1. Hello-

    Just a brief background on myself, I will (with all going according to plan) be graduating with an ADN this summer and plan to follow immediately with earning a BSN. Have good grades, motivated and considering a few directions for my focus (specialty) in nursing.

    My choices I'm debating as far as "what to go for" are 1. CRNA 2. DNP Executive Administrator 3. CNP/Psychiatric

    I'm wondering things like, how competitive are these areas, including graduate schools and then even undergraduate work. For instance I know that if I wanted to pursue earning a CRNA license I would have to have min. 1.5 years of critical care experience to even be a candidate for a graduate program. I am more confused about the outlook and process of the other two (Administrator vs. Psychiatric) and can't really find much information in the steps to take, or how many enter these areas of specialty.

    Basically, I'm sure this is a very broad topic and some one may have some insight into one of the areas mentioned but not all- any help, insight or resources you may have would be SOOOO APPRECIATED! Thanks, Rachelle SN-MTC.
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   llg
    With either of those areas, you are going to need at least a couple of years of practical experience before being ready for graduate school. By the time you get that experience, the world may be a very different place than it is today. So, I wouldn't waste a lot of resources focusing on the "end game" at the moment. Focus on getting a job after graduation that will get you some concrete experience as an RN in the general area of your choice. Once you get established in your RN practice, then you can start investigating the specifics of your next step.

    One thing you might want to think about now though ... CRNA and psych are miles apart in the types of skills used on a daily basis. One is very physiological/technical and the other is primarily psycho-social. You might want to figure out which domain fits best with your personal strengths and preferences so that you can make a good choice regarding your first job and your general direction.
  4. by   FutureCRNA?
    On the contrary, if you have goals and aspirations in life, by all means start planning NOW to meet those goals! That doesn't mean that your goals won't change, or some of them may even go away completely in the process, but it does mean that you have a plan for your life. And a plan means that you have a way to get where you want to be.

    Personally, I think planning two years in advance is nothing, I currently have an 8 year plan which includes graduating with my BSN next year, maybe having a (probably our last) baby, getting a couple of years of critical care experience in and going into a doctorate CRNA program.

    I am doing what is necessary now to meet those goals (such as keeping a high GPA due to competitive programs, paying off bills now in preparing for not working for three years). I'm also doing my honors projects on anesthesia and when I do my internship, it will be in an ICU. I do research on CRNA at least on a weekly basis (including here at AN, online & print books). I'm soaking up all I can because I find it fascinating, at least in between NS & family

    A plan is a great thing to have, but IMO, it should also be dynamic and flowing depending on your current needs.

    Of course, I'm a little older than most (32) and I'm driven, ready for success and have a family to consider in everything I do We'll see how it plays out in reality though, my plan may very well change.
  5. by   MandaRN94
    I understand the drive for advance practice as a nursing student but nothing beats experience in nursing. I agree with llg -get a job, explore different specialities then you can decide your long term goal. Good luck!
  6. by   zmansc
    This may not be the advice you want to hear, but I would suggest you figure out which one is of most interest and go for that. Do you want psych, or admin, or anesthesia? Even if one is easier to get into, makes more bank, and is in every other way superior to the others, if you don't want to go to work and excel at it every day, then ultimately you will not be happy, and that's the most important thing.
  7. by   amygarside
    What field interest you the most? They are all interesting but in the end, it is what you think that counts.
  8. by   elkpark
    I'm with llg (as usual ). Many, many people start (or finish) nursing school with a clear idea of what they want to specialize in as a career, only to find, after they've actually been in Nursing World for a little while, that they're much more interested in something entirely different. Most people don't have any idea of the vast range of professional roles and opportunities available in nursing until they've gotten some experience. I would encourage you to get some general nursing experience before making any big decisions about commiting to a particular path. I've known a number of people who went into nursing via a direct-entry program, or rushed into grad school as soon as they finished nursing school, only to find after they had completed an expensive graduate degree that they didn't like doing what the graduate degree had prepared them to do. Then they found themselves with a graduate degree and career they didn't want (and the student loans to pay for it), and trying to figure out what they did want to do and what sort of degree/certification/etc. they would need to do that. Not a happy place to be -- and I'm pretty sure that the few people I've known personally aren't the only people in that situation ... Graduate programs in nursing pretty much lock you into a specific career role/path, and any graduate degree in nursing is going to cost you a lot of time, effort, and $$$ -- you might as well put in the time and effort up front to make sure you're getting a degree (and career path) you're going to want to have.
  9. by   missnurse01

    "Sometimes the need to mess with their heads outweighs the millstone of humiliation." (Fox Mulder)

    I have been a fan of yours for years and years...and see, now I know why lol
  10. by   MandaRN94
    Still Love X-Files!
  11. by   vballtrumpeter
    Thanks for the responses, y'all. The insight is much appreciated!
  12. by   studentnurserachel
    Agree with above posters, when I was in ADN school I just knew I was going to be a CRNA, until I slogged out my year in ICU and actually saw the work CRNAs did (no offense, just doesn't interest me, even for all the money), then I was in labor and delivery and just knew I was going to be a midwife until my practical nature got in the way and I switched directions and became a family nurse practitioner. Just saying, as others have said above, focus most of your energy on getting to your 1-2 year goals, all your possible goals require you to have good grades and get that first job, which depending on where you live, might not be the easiest of obstacles. Above poster was right saying there is nothing wrong with long-range planning, but I think in your first few years of nursing, those goals need to be a little flexible.
  13. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Yes, also agree with llg. I too knew just exactly what I wanted to do when I was a nursing student, and then I got the "dream job" and hated it because it turned out to be nothing like I expected. Life's a funny old dog. Some people, like the other pre-CRNA student, really do know exactly what they want to do and move forward in life with singular purpose. I find those people to be exceptionally rare, actually. Your interests are pretty diverse, and IIWY I'd spend some time in practice before moving forward. It isn't a race, it's a journey. Savor it. Good luck.
  14. by   MrsRachelle_NSMTC
    Great advice! I enjoyed reading all the opinions lol.I agree thy staying flexible and getting the experience is much more important than setting firm ideas about where I want my career to go. It's almost like patients with hard work will lead to the inevitable career choice. Thanks again!!