How to be an APN in ten easy steps....or how to spend oodles of $$ on your education - page 4

by traumaRUs Admin | 16,323 Views | 48 Comments

How to become an advanced practice nurse in ten easy steps! My very different educational path has probably furnished some professor with a new BMW or Lexus. I am not endorsing this route but rather explaining why you should... Read More


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    Quote from Heogog53
    When I was in nursing school in 1979-82, I simply couldn't imagine what difference a BSN or and MSN would make if you were a nurse. NOW if you don't have a BSN, the many road blocks to many areas are right there.
    Nurisng has gone generalists to specialists, complete with degrees. In the old days, if you were "just" a nurse, you could migrate into infection control, or wound care, or this or that. Now that more and more are pushing for a BSN as a basic degree(and with my diploma, BA and 1/2 an MA, I think I have better and more education that any BSN), to "just" migrate requires Initials, Degrees and Certifications.
    How does one break into Case Management? I dunno. All the positions I've looked for require EXPERIENCE. Ditto phone nursing, ditto certain other areas. Do I take a course in Case Management and trot back to those who demand EXPERIENCE and say, "Look at my shiny new set of initials!!!!! Can I play now, coach?" and see what happens.

    I wanted to take a SANE course. Irt was recommended for nurses in the ER, critical care and the OR. I was turned down flat by my department, as it wasn't required for the job.


    Right now, my ability to concentrate on much of anything is awful and I can't see trying to take an online course only to waste the bucks.

    The local tech college is hiring part time folks based on experience and they want Master's prepared folks to teach WHATEVER. Even medical technology? Hard for me to accept, but there you have it.

    If I end up on Disability, after the crying stops, I'll be busy looking at school. Probably qualify for scholarships and grants as disabled....If I get an MSN, what do I take that will allow my back the easiest of effort? I dunno.

    So, I'm still looking. I may have to get my lawyers to fight for enough money to let me be "vocationally rehabbed" since the state won't help you once you have a degree. So if I just had had a diploma, I might have been able to get the state to treat me to an MSN, those years ago, when I was on SSDI for something completely separate.

    T'any rate, I just worry about what the next month will bring.



    Thank you ! You expressed the same kind of confusion that I have when I hear about these things. I think nursing has gone ballistics about titles ! Also noted about the nursing masters required to do a job that does not really equate w/ the training. When I interview , I silently observe the employer as to how he handles degrees vs, experience. The employers who know their stuff , would take a candidate that do not have the degrees and substitute it equally w/ the years of experience ----this makes sense to me. Somehow there is a movement out there to get certifications such as case manager ( I tell you that you can learn this on hands in the hospital) and you know how much it is to sit and take the test ? $$400.00 ...and this was 4-5 years ago. This is all money making. If I am the employer , I will hire the one w/ experience vs. the mastered degree nurse w/ little experience.
    I am not againts higher education----- the theoretical must be useful w/ the clinical , and can be applied to the clinical ....otherwise the degree just becomes a useless paper.
    It is not all about titles ....................if you do have one be prepared to use and apply it.
  2. 0
    Have you looked at the advertisements from the Fed? Most of their nursing ads are confusing if htey are posting for a number of different types of nurses in an area. However, the basic requirement is graduation from an accredited nursing school- dip, adn, bsn. Or they'd like you to be a nurse with a four year degree and an rn, or an rn with commiserate experience, or this or that........The Feds are a lot more interested infinding someone to fill the job than to look for fancy degrees. That being said, there are various civil service rankings you can get to and go no further when you have a diploma, BA and x amount of years, vs BSN, MSN and less experience. They do have a certain logic to their needs, but reading the ads and trying to make sense of them is a bit trying.
    A vocational rehab counselor told me that the ads for nurse able to do x, y and z along with LMNOP initials is what the employer is hoping for, but not what the employer might "settle on" instead.
    It's so confusing.

    T'any rate, I find myself interested in epidemiology, which means an MS degree and a lot of catching up to do- my GRE is so old is has bats hangng from it! Plus there are classes such as demographics and the like that I'd probably need to take before being accepted. Or is it a MPH that I should look at? ARGH. I feel like Charlie Brown believing that Lucy won't pull that football away as he takes his kicks! LOL
  3. 0
    Quote from Heogog53
    Have you looked at the advertisements from the Fed? Most of their nursing ads are confusing if htey are posting for a number of different types of nurses in an area. However, the basic requirement is graduation from an accredited nursing school- dip, adn, bsn. Or they'd like you to be a nurse with a four year degree and an rn, or an rn with commiserate experience, or this or that........The Feds are a lot more interested infinding someone to fill the job than to look for fancy degrees. That being said, there are various civil service rankings you can get to and go no further when you have a diploma, BA and x amount of years, vs BSN, MSN and less experience. They do have a certain logic to their needs, but reading the ads and trying to make sense of them is a bit trying.
    A vocational rehab counselor told me that the ads for nurse able to do x, y and z along with LMNOP initials is what the employer is hoping for, but not what the employer might "settle on" instead.
    It's so confusing.

    T'any rate, I find myself interested in epidemiology, which means an MS degree and a lot of catching up to do- my GRE is so old is has bats hangng from it! Plus there are classes such as demographics and the like that I'd probably need to take before being accepted. Or is it a MPH that I should look at? ARGH. I feel like Charlie Brown believing that Lucy won't pull that football away as he takes his kicks! LOL

    Oh that sounds very interesting ....now this is where you need your masters in sciences. Yu could get a job or position in CDC ! That will be exciting----definitely not a boring job! So I noted that a lot of nurses are talking about going to masters , maybe even phd ---- my question is how are you financing yourself---- student loans or are you just independently rich ? I would like to know because I am in the process, but to a very specific area, and would like to work in this population, but I definitely do not want a purely managerial work.....I am looking at gerontology.Can anyone give me some advice? :wink2:
  4. 0
    I financed my first MSN via student loans which I'll be paying off long after I'm in a nursing home - lol.

    My first and now second post-MSN certificates I'm paying for myself.
  5. 0
    I was looking at the Duke Master's in Nursing program. They state that 80% of their students get some kind of financial aid. There are many suggestions for funding, outside of the usual(Pell grants, Stafford loans, etc) such as looking into scholarships from large and small sources. Johnson and Johnson, for example, fund a great many scholarships. Then you can look into nursing scholarship sources, which are sometimes very specific and funny, i.e., nursing students from two counties outside of Detroit Michigan or full coverage for people from a certain town whose lasts names are XXXXX. It takes a lot of time to winnow out the large chaff. As a Jewish person, I've looked at possible Jewish scholarships for nurses. Sometimes, looking at places like the drug companies, Coke a cola or Pepsi- it's worth writing essays for 250.00 or whatever.
    Right now, I'm still trying to get proper treatment for my back injury, however I have to do it. Until my life normalizes, I simply don't have the concentration required for school, sorry to say.
    I've also started thinking about trying to finish that MA in anthropology, because after all these years, I'm still in love with it.

    Good luck to everyone....
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    Wow your story has really really inspired me...I started off as a child wanting to be a nurse I dropped out of a Vocational program in nursing in High School, went to college at 18 majored in nursing, dropped out wanted a job and make money, went back majored in nursing again to only change my major to english...Got a degree in english to only come back to nursing.....I guess when a calling is on your life theres no running or hiding from it...It will follow you where ever you go in life!
    MaritesaRN likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from Heogog53
    I was looking at the Duke Master's in Nursing program. They state that 80% of their students get some kind of financial aid. There are many suggestions for funding, outside of the usual(Pell grants, Stafford loans, etc) such as looking into scholarships from large and small sources. Johnson and Johnson, for example, fund a great many scholarships. Then you can look into nursing scholarship sources, which are sometimes very specific and funny, i.e., nursing students from two counties outside of Detroit Michigan or full coverage for people from a certain town whose lasts names are XXXXX. It takes a lot of time to winnow out the large chaff. As a Jewish person, I've looked at possible Jewish scholarships for nurses. Sometimes, looking at places like the drug companies, Coke a cola or Pepsi- it's worth writing essays for 250.00 or whatever.
    Right now, I'm still trying to get proper treatment for my back injury, however I have to do it. Until my life normalizes, I simply don't have the concentration required for school, sorry to say.
    I've also started thinking about trying to finish that MA in anthropology, because after all these years, I'm still in love with it.

    Good luck to everyone....


    Thank you for the above information. I believe that they have a manual of some sort to tell you the different companies offering grants or scholarships. Hope you find the right treatment for your back .
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    Thank you Trauma. Your post serves as an inspiration to me that you just don't know. I am a 34 year old pre-req student. These posts are clearing up a lot for me. A shame "Kudos" is all I can give. Two thumbs up, kudos and a HELL YEAH to you!!
    NaKcl and traumaRUs like this.
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    I've had a rather convoluted route to nursing too, and am also middle aged. I came into nursing through education and psychology and raising children! You've given me some encouragement though. I am interested in emergency medicine, but thought I was probably too old! You've also given me a good pointer about going straight to an RN to MSN program rather than BSN, the Master's. There's one local, so I should look into it?
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    Wow.....That's a toughie to answer.
    First of all, what kind of MSN do you want? If it's an NP type of job, then all your sciences must be no less than 5 years old for MOST MSN programs. I've also found out that for MOST BA/RN's(or whatever LMNOP's you may have after your name), your best bet is not to try to get your Master's on line. Your education- and mine- do not compute at all for online programs. Just recently I was on website for nurse education, filled out the forms and they came up with not a single program that matched my education. I kept being shunted to the BSN programs. There was a handy little 800 number I called, spoke with the very nice woman who was absolutely STUMPED by my description of my education and by what I wanted to achieve, despite searching and searching her database. Very reluctantly, she concluded that my best bet to get an MSN of any sort was to do do it---TADA----on campus.

    Now, because an NP would require me to go back to school for a year of science courses before even attempting the RN/MSN route- which also comes with several required courses as a "bridge" from RN to MSN, I decided that perhaps looking at an MSN in education would be interesting. Again, I'd have to take the "bridge courses", but I could then do my MSN in two years full time.

    Then I looked at what Faculty MSN Educators make and I blanched. I'd START at around 35K a year. As a nurse with 25 years of experience, that would cut my pay by over 50%. I'm not married, I have a car payment, a mortgage and two kids who, while adult, do like to be able to call and get help every now and again as well as I'd like to get them nice adult presents on occasion.........I can do that as a staff nurse making my current $$$$. At 35K???? Out of the question, and I'd have to go out and buy my professional clothing at Goodwill!

    So- bottom line- what kind of advanced degree do you want? Do you want to do anesthesia? You need a BSN, period. Then you can go apply for a CRNA school after you have at least one and sometimes two years of critical care experience, probably your CCRN, too.
    NP? See sciences reference. Nursing experience required, I'd think.
    IT? or Nursing Informatics? Computer skills
    Admin? I think you're safe, there....LOL....

    All in all, to think about being 57, going back to school, getting into debt of any sort, graduating when I am aorund 61 and starting over as whatever-----the payback for me is looking smaller and smaller.

    Now, that having been said, if one truly wants to go back to school at my age and get a degree, because of the love of learning- more power to you and go for it!!!! Since I have several things wrong with me, medically, my ability to work full time is in question anyway, so I have no idea if I could afford to go back to school, if I could manage it. Sigh. I keep thinking about something one CRNA I know once said," Dammit! If you want to get somewhere, then by God, suck it up, go into debt and just do it!"
    She is much younger than I but she worked her way up from, as she put it, "NOTHING" to a CRNA.


    They, by the way, make between 115-135k/yr as a starting salary these days. If I'd listened to my heart, I would have gone to CRNA school lo these many moons ago and become one by the end of the 80's, most certainly........ah well.....opportunities lost.

    I wish you the best of luck looking at RN/MSN.


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