How to be an APN in ten easy steps....or how to spend oodles of $$ on your education - page 5
How to become an advanced practice nurse in ten easy steps! My very different educational path has probably furnished some professor with a new BMW or Lexus. I am not endorsing this route but... Read More
Dec 28, '09Wow.....That's a toughie to answer.
First of all, what kind of MSN do you want? If it's an NP type of job, then all your sciences must be no less than 5 years old for MOST MSN programs. I've also found out that for MOST BA/RN's(or whatever LMNOP's you may have after your name), your best bet is not to try to get your Master's on line. Your education- and mine- do not compute at all for online programs. Just recently I was on website for nurse education, filled out the forms and they came up with not a single program that matched my education. I kept being shunted to the BSN programs. There was a handy little 800 number I called, spoke with the very nice woman who was absolutely STUMPED by my description of my education and by what I wanted to achieve, despite searching and searching her database. Very reluctantly, she concluded that my best bet to get an MSN of any sort was to do do it---TADA----on campus.
Now, because an NP would require me to go back to school for a year of science courses before even attempting the RN/MSN route- which also comes with several required courses as a "bridge" from RN to MSN, I decided that perhaps looking at an MSN in education would be interesting. Again, I'd have to take the "bridge courses", but I could then do my MSN in two years full time.
Then I looked at what Faculty MSN Educators make and I blanched. I'd START at around 35K a year. As a nurse with 25 years of experience, that would cut my pay by over 50%. I'm not married, I have a car payment, a mortgage and two kids who, while adult, do like to be able to call and get help every now and again as well as I'd like to get them nice adult presents on occasion.........I can do that as a staff nurse making my current $$$$. 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.
Jan 7, '11I don't know if you will see this, as the original post is so old, but... why, after a few years of working in the ER with your ADN, did you realize that going back to school was necessary? I am a teacher who is considering becoming a nurse, and the Associate's degree programs are tempting, as they look quicker and less expensive. I was hoping after I am an RN I might work at a place that would offer tuition reimbursement toward completing my Bachelor's degree. Should I just go for the BSN right out of the gate?
Jul 5, '12You make me feel hopeful!
I graduated in 2002 from HS - started pre reqs for nursing right away... decided to defy family and choose my own path - TEN YEARS, 3 different majors, a ton of unnecessary credits, married to a Marine, two babies, traveling around the world later, I realized nursing was, in fact, what I wanted ALL along - I just felt the need to be defiant at 18. So here I am, 28, mother of two toddlers, married to a Marine desperately trying to finish all of my pre reqs - you know, the ones I started ten years ago - and get into a BSN program && FINISH - all before we get re stationed. Ultimately, I'd love to get my MSN and be a Family Nurse Practitioner. I'd love any advice you have but most of all, I'd like to say thank you for sharing your story. I feel like I've wasted so much time and money - I just keep pushing forward, hoping & praying that it will all be worth it in the end!
Jul 5, '12Thanks for sharing! I guess there are always regrets but your path seems great, good job! I feel like I SHOULD have gone to school years ago. I've just been working or taking care of my kids. I've been accepted to MSN programs multiple times but am afraid of the loans because I have credit card debt I'm paying off, plus kids. I've been home with them, working part time or per diem, and feeling like I should have done more for my education/career in my 20s. Now I'm debating on school again. I also am undecided on what exact path... we'll see! Anyway, thanks, I am glad I am not the only one who analyzes my past career decisions.
Aug 23, '12I just happen to discover this posting. I must say, TraumaRU , you are very encouraging to us all. Though I have always known that I wanted to be a nurse since coming out HS, being on this road to completing my FNP is challenging. I almost over-thought myself out of school for my MSN. Not only was your blog funny but so realistic of what so many people are going through. Though I will have TONS of student loans, I believe everything that we go through in life, shape us for practitioners needed to serve our patients.
Thanks TraumaRU for sharing your experience with us
Dec 30, '12I am fast following in your footsteps! Luckily I haven't spent oodles (yet) because I had tuition reimbursement for my BSN, the Army is paying much of the MSN (all but $2K), and I'll have the GI bill should I do a post-MSN NP program (maybe DNP, not sure, still eyeballing programs/thinking). Sigh. Feeding my education addiction! Maybe I'll finish by 45-ish??? Hahahahaha!
Dec 30, '12Quote from NerdyNikkiI have thought myself out of APN/MSN too for the moment NerdyNikki!!I just happen to discover this posting. I must say, TraumaRU , you are very encouraging to us all. Though I have always known that I wanted to be a nurse since coming out HS, being on this road to completing my FNP is challenging. I almost over-thought myself out of school for my MSN. Not only was your blog funny but so realistic of what so many people are going through. Though I will have TONS of student loans, I believe everything that we go through in life, shape us for practitioners needed to serve our patients.
Thanks TraumaRU for sharing your experience with us
I FINALLY graduated with my BSN after 12 YEARS of schooling...did not well in Nursing School at 19, tried to get my GPA up to get in a university for my BSN, blackballed, LPN school...best choice ever-open the flood gates to get back into a BSN program! Oh no!! Dark path of life, TWO car accidents in one year, next year a near-death experience. Survived, got back into school, one that took my LPN as a credit, rolled on for 2.5 years until this May, licensed in June, stayed at my job as a RN at my old salary-no jobs were even looking my way!!! Waited, waited for my salary increase, none, until the beginning of this month:-/...but a light at the end if the tunnel... Will be starting a job as a PICU RN in Feb, a little over five years from my near death experience... I have come full circle with my goals...Now, I do desire to be a FP nurse practitioner, for special needs children and special populations with a side of urgent and it critical care...but I'll be 32 and STILL have miles on me!!!! TraumaNurseRUS....and fellow nurses-my HEROES!!! What lives we lead :0) wouldn't change it for the world!!!
Dec 30, '12Yes indeed - a wild ride. However, our past makes us what we are going to be in the future.....