I'm in a pickle and need some advice pleassse!!

  1. Background: I'm 27 years old w/ a 3 year old son. I have a BA in Pysch (2000) and just this fall I started the Masters in Social Work program part-time. The program is 3 &1/2 years so I still have a longs ways to go, and after my first semester I'm already having reservations. It really really bothers me that social workers historically are underpaid and have a high burn out rate (I guess some feel the same is true for nurses). In addition, I am not interested in certain populations that social workers can work in such as Adoption, Probation, Mental Health, Social Services, Welfare.....actually the main reason I wanted to get my MSW was to have a masters level education and to work as a school social worker. If I cannot get a job as a school social worker then I would like to work as a therapist, but that is pretty much it. I've considered working in the hospital as a social worker, but I feel that hospital social workers stick w/ discharge planning mainly and I don't know if that is what I want to do!!!

    As you can see I'm really undecided. I am STRONGLY considering switching into Nursing as an end result b/c it would be similar but perhaps more rewarding. I like the idea of helping people in need, which is why I am in the MSW program. I think I would prefer the hands-on approach and I like the idea of being in a clinical profession. Actually, I wish that my MSW program was clinical, such as the CSW, but it is not.

    I plan to take the pre reqs for nursing this summer & fall and apply for the acclerated BSN that starts in May 06. I'm worried that taking these pre reqs in addition to my part-time MSW courses may be too taxing on me, which brings me to my main question:

    Would it behoove me to continue w/ my MSW program while I am taking pre-nursing classes??? I guess I'm just afraid to drop the MSW program to take pre-nursing classes incase it doesn't pan out. However, I'm in a pickle b/c if I drop the MSW now I can totally concentrate on my pre reqs and possibly do better in the classes w/ a lighter class load.

    Lastly, if all works out as planned and I earn my RN would it be smart of me to go back to school part-time to finish up my MSW (working as RN)? Can an RN w/ a background & education in psychology & social work have more job opportunites then just a regular RN?

    I look forward to hearing your responses, and thank you for reading this

    Shannon
    Last edit by cancergirl on Feb 28, '05
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   DutchgirlRN
    I can see you are very conflicted. I had to read your post several times because I got lost in the confusion myself. I think you need to make up your mind what you really want. Hands on, RN or social worker. I don't know how you'll make that decision maybe you can shadow a nurse and a social worker. I wouldn't recommend trying to get educated for two professions at the same time. That seems too taxing on your life and your finances. At your age you could work in one profession and if it didn't work out you'd have time to change directions and choose another profession. My recomendation would be to try to shadow both an RN and social worker to help you make up your mind and then stick with working towards just that one career. Life is always subject to change later if needed or desired. Good Luck
  4. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from cancergirl
    It really really bothers me that social workers historically are underpaid and have a high burn out rate (I guess some feel the same is true for nurses).
    At one point, I though of switching to SW, but that was a HUGE factor (going back to school for a lesser paying job was not too appealing to me).

    I've considered working in the hospital as a social worker, but I feel that hospital social workers stick w/ discharge planning mainly and I don't know if that is what I want to do!!!
    It actually depends on the type of patients, in my experience. In peds onc, they do much more that that (that is included in it, however).

    I plan to take the pre reqs for nursing this summer & fall and apply for the acclerated BSN that starts in May 06. I'm worried that taking these pre reqs in addition to my part-time MSW courses may be too taxing on me, which brings me to my main question:

    Would it behoove me to continue w/ my MSW program while I am taking pre-nursing classes??? I guess I'm just afraid to drop the MSW program to take pre-nursing classes incase it doesn't pan out. However, I'm in a pickle b/c if I drop the MSW now I can totally concentrate on my pre reqs and possibly do better in the classes w/ a lighter class load.
    That sounds like quite a bit of schoolwork!! Have you done (or do you have to do) 'clinicals' in SW? I would think that doing that on top of nursing would be very time consuming. How much (credit wise) have you invested in SW? Maybe you can put the SW on hold. With you other BA (or BS), you would probably get through nursing fairly quickly.

    Lastly, if all works out as planned and I earn my RN would it be smart of me to go back to school part-time to finish up my MSW (working as RN)? Can an RN w/ a background & education in psychology & social work have more job opportunites then just a regular RN?
    . That sounds like a good idea. You are quite the motivated one. You could probably combine all your talents and be one heck of a therapist, maybe a Psych NP (instead of the MSW)???

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