Help! I've Been A Nurse for 5 years, but feel like a new grad?

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    so i started out as a new grad working in same day surgery. Usually i was the circulating nurse, but i did work a very small amount of pre-op admission testing (mostly GI) and some post-op patient teaching. I also have worked SDS in dermatology clinic and a short stint in research nursing. I've never worked at the bedside and hate working in hospitals, I don't even think I'd do SDS again. I went back to school about 2 years ago and got my masters in nursing education. I felt that having a masters would be a good thing to have in case I may ever need it down the line.

    I plan on taking a break while I raise my kids (no kids yet) and working maybe per-diem at my research job which is in a clinic, until they get older then re-enter the job market?

    I was speaking to my a friend of mine who has been a nurse much, much longer and is now a hiring manager. She told me that despite having a masters degree most employers prefer to see some bedside experience to back it up and that having a masters degree on it's own isn't worth much, especially if I hold it for multiple years without using it.

    Besides that she told me that I should consider the fact that I have no hard and fast clinical experience besides assisting with minor surgery and procedures and some post-op patient teaching. And if that's all the experience I have to show for a 10 year nursing career (seeing that I hope to re-enter nursing full time when my future children are old enough) it just won't look good to prospective employers especially in a demanding nursing field where nurses are becoming more highly trained and skilled every year.

    I've always tried to play up certain aspects of each job I've held. For instance in my research job I was the charge nurse but honestly I had no charge nurse duties. I was only responsible for making the daily assignments and monthly patient census, my manager did everything else. I feel silly putting that on my resume. I'm sure most charge nurses do much more.

    I'm at the point where I maybe regret not having more bedside clinical experience, but I just can't get with working in a hospital. I feel odd when nurses who have been nurses less time than me have a ton of knowledge and certifications and even advanced degrees. What are my prospects for my nursing future? and is it still possible to jump back into nursing at an advanced level when I've never used my master's degree?
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  4. 3 Comments so far...

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    Congrats for getting your MSN! It all depends on what your goals are. If you want to do bedside then yes, you may want to start looking into applying.
    I don't know anything about teaching, so far as if you need bedside experience or not to teach. Nursing is not one size fit all. I'm sure you will not have an issue finding work. You have experience and a masters, more than most people have. Good luck!
  6. 0
    You will need clinical experience to be considered for a (non academic) nursing education position. Most clinical education positions also require some teaching experience, but if your program included a residency or practicum, that may sufficient. FYI- our clinical educator positions require MSN or BSN with MEd. Unit-based educators require BSN.

    So, in answer to your question... an MSN alone is necessary, but not sufficient to get an 'advanced level' job.
  7. 0
    What type of job are you looking for if you could have any job you wanted? I am not sure what nursing at an advanced level means.

    GI and SDS clinics are a growing business. You could work part time as a clinical nurse then move into management?


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