advanced practice nursing

  1. As a nursing student finishing a B.S., what would be more beneficial, getting a masters degree as a clinical nurse specialist, a nurse practioner, or becoming a p.a.?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   meandragonbrett
    Off,
    First off welcome to the board! As to what area to focus your masters in, it's all in what YOU want to do. You can be a clinical nurse specialist, a nurse practioner, or a nurse anesthetist. Others here will be able to help you better than I can.
    Welcome to the board!
    Brett
  4. by   SharonH, RN
    I would not recommend a p.a., they cannot practice independently anywhere but APRN's in many states do have independent practice authority although I don't think NY is one of those states. If you want to practice primary care, choose NP. If you want to improve nursing care through education of patients and staff, research, or consulting choose CNS.
  5. by   Q.
    I guess it depends on what you think is beneficial or not.

    Clinical Nurse Specialists and NPs can overlap at times, but sometimes their jobs are quite different. It may all depend on your state. Some CNSs function in an NP role - and may not like it. Here, in my state, CNSs function in the hospital setting to improve nursing care by being a clinical expert, researcher and patient advocate. Some NPs function in clinic settings, seeing patients and practicing primary patient care. Others, depending on the type of NP - work on the hospital floors as a "hospitalist," so to speak, such as the Neonatal NPs that I work with.

    What would YOU like to do?
  6. by   llg
    I think the people posting above have given some good answers. A lot of nursing students pick a role or career goal based on very little information. My suggestion for someone just entering the nursing workforce is to first, graduate with that basic degree, pass boards, and get your feet on the ground as an entry-level practitioner.

    As you are doing that, you can keep your eyes open for journal articles, discussion groups, etc. that can teach you a little about the many long-term career options out there. Go to conferences, talk to people, etc. just as you are doing now to learn as much as you can. Also, I would suggest participating in projects, committees, etc. at work to discover more about yourself -- what types of professional things you like doing and what types of natural talents you seem to have. Gradually, a picture should emerge as to which of the many advanced practice roles might be best for you. Who knows, you might prefer management? or case management? or patient education? or infection control? or who knows what other role you haven't even thought of.

    Another suggestion that might help is to get some books on the topic. One that I have just found is: "Where Do I Go From Here? Exploring Your Career Alternatives Within and Beyond Clinical Nursing" by Betty Hafner and published by Lippincott. I just got is the other day, so I haven't explored it in detail yet.

    Good luck with your career,
    llg
  7. by   offthechain09
    Thank you for your responces. I have been a practicing R.N. for the past eifhteen years. The past five have been in medical and radiation oncology. I am leaning towards a masters in counseling, hoping to use this in the oncology setting as a grief counseler.
  8. by   offthechain09
    Thank you for your responces. I have been a practicing R.N. for the past eighteen years working in oncology. After completing my BSN. I believe I am leaning towards a M.S. in counseling. I am hoping to use this in the oncology setting as a grief counseler.

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