Contemplating a career in nursing

  1. I have a Master's degree in exercise physiology, but am contemplating a career change. I have been thinking about nursing, but was wondering what the difference was between all the different programs!! What are the differences between RN, BSN, LPN, FNP, etc... There are so many programs I wouldn't know where to begin my search!!
    Thank you in advance for your help.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Enright
    Hi AJW, I am a career changer (BSN) myself. There are a whole buch of ways to end up with an RN license...3 year diploma program, 2 year associate degree program, 4 year BSN program (there are some that speed this up for people with degrees). All of these educations vary but the license is the same. An LPN or licensed practical nurse is a different license,practice constraints vary state to state. Pay is definitely less.

    There are some ways to enter nursing without stopping at the license entry level. Some programs have a direct masters where you get your MSN and without a BSN/ADN/diploma. A FNP or family nurse practitioner is someone with an advanced practice degree (although some without are grandfathered in). Contrary to what you might think, nurse practitioners do not necessarily make more money than regular licensed RNs. Many make a lot less.

    I'd recommend that you get some of the publications put out by the NLN (national league for nursing). They explain the different programs very well. Nursing education is a real varied lot and can sometimes seem very rigid. If you find a program you are interested in, seek out the person who runs admissions and ask about ways to streamline your education. Good luck!
  4. by   babs_rn
    Originally posted by ajw:
    I have a Master's degree in exercise physiology, but am contemplating a career change. I have been thinking about nursing, but was wondering what the difference was between all the different programs!! What are the differences between RN, BSN, LPN, FNP, etc... There are so many programs I wouldn't know where to begin my search!!
    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Just curious to know why you would want out of Exercise Physiology to go into Nursing, of all things? I'm actively in the process of gaining the education I need to leave nursing and Sports Med was one of the options I had looked at. (Just too many Sports Med majors around here already and I'm not particularly relocatable). Your reasons would be helpful in giving any advice regarding the possibility of a nursing career. I would suggest you read the posts here and in the "nurses in transition" discussion group here on this website.

    Best,
    Babs

  5. by   ajw
    Babs_RN:

    I decided I wanted to do more in the medical field. I actually am debating on becoming a nurse or a PA. I also found that there weren't too many jobs in the exercise field in Boston (other than working in a health club). The other thing that bothered me about the field of exercise physiology, is that so many people call themselves "exercise physiologists" just because they have taken a weekend course on personal training. It is frustrating to see people hired for jobs who are not properly trained in the field.
    I hope that helps you. I don't mean to sound discouraging, but that has been my experience.
    Any information you can give me on nursing (i.e. why you are leaving the field) would be most helpful.
    Thanks.
    AJW
  6. by   monnelise
    [font=Comic Sans MS]i would have to agree with the previous entry.
    I got a bachelors in Exercise Phys and pretty much cant do anything with it besides work in a health club (where you are really a salesperson), or go work for a PT as an aid and make minimum wage. With a masters degree you could do research which might be fun for some, or go into cardiac rehab and do stresstesting all day long. And i have learned that many hospital/clinics dont even hire Ex Phys's anymore - they just have the nurses do everything. ( is this true in others experiences?)
    I loved what I learned in school and found it to be a great foundational degree to lead you into a lot of other areas other than exercise physiology.
    But i understand that in other countries- like Australia- the exercise physiologist has much more opportunity. The USA is a little bit behind trend.
    HMMM, australia has really pretty beaches!!

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