So I just finished my summer internship in the Neuro ICU and it was quite an experience! My last year in the BSN program begins in August, I finish in May. I'm currently deciding whether I want to go back to school for my MSN/MPH the following year or if I should take a year off and do bedside nursing? I can't see myself as a bedside nurse forever but everytime I speak to someone about graduate school, "experience" comes up and I am utterly confused! Some say you shouldn't be allowed to be a NP without working as an RN for a year or 2, and others are saying it doesn't matter at all. I learned a lot this summer, but it also made me realize just how much I don't know & how much it seems I can only learn by WORKING as a RN. After awhile the Neuro ICU became boring & repetitive but I had share days in the NICU and Peds & I loved both!! I want to become a NP and work in underserved community hospitals/clinics in the US and abroad. I also have a strong interest in policy making and planning so that is why I wish to pursue the MPH. I just wonder if it is feasible to work part time as a RN while I pursue my MSN/MPH? or if I should take a year off to work as an RN for experience? Or do you feel the experience as an RN is unnecessary until after graduation from the Masters program? I am trying to weigh the options before I apply for schools in December/ January, I would hate to waste time!
Quote from MiszMo
I didn't even think about the importance of transitioning from a student to a professional! That would be vital. As well as the experience helping with my graduate studies and tuition. Suddenly that idea makes much more sense, Thanks for your great insight!!!
That "transition" process is criticial to your career success. If you spend a little time reading the posts here at allnurses, you will find that most new nurses struggle with it -- and some simply fail at it. Actually being a successful professional nurse and working in the "real world" of healthcare services is a lot different from being a student. Some people are great students, but fail at actually working as a nurse in the real world. (And of course, some people are not-so-great at being a student, but do fine in the world of actual practice.)
So ... I strongly recommend that you give that transition phase of your development your full attention for at least 6 months -- preferably for a full year. Research shows that it takes that long for a new grad nurse to make that transition and become competent as a practicing nurse. Think of that year as another vital step in your professional development -- not as "serving time." You'll be "moving to the next level" of the profession and learning skills and behavior that will help you throughout the rest of your career. That year of practice experience will be well spent. .... And you'll be earning money as you learn!
Good luck to you.
Last edit by llg on Aug 1, '10