Is Higher Education Worth It?

  1. Hello All!

    I am considering pursuing my BSN or even maybe doing an RN to MSN degree.

    I have looked at many options, and that is not really what I need help with. I would like to know opinions about obtaining a degree after ADN RN. Is it worth the time and money? How difficult was it to do? How long did it REALLY take? (I know what the schools tell me, but reality maight be different.)

    I am 49 and can't decide if I really want to do this at my age or not. (Not that 49 is really that old...just don't want to burn-out, ya know.)

    Hubby is against it, as I work 3 days a week, 12 hr shifts. He says school will be tough and do I really want to tie myself down to it, and lose my free time again. I like my current job and the money is good, so it isn't really that. My mom says I have "Degree-Envy"!!!

    But I really think I'd like to try for a degree in Health Admin.

    Any help out there???
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    I personally hold the opinion that education is never wasted.

    Some facts to consider:
    1. Certain positions in nursing require a BSN (school nursing, research, public health)

    2. Talks have always been about making the BSN the minimum entry into professional practice. While it's not yet a reality, and has been shot-down before, it very well may BE reality. Why get caught in that?

    3. While you may think you may be happy being a staff nurse, you never know when life situations may change or your interests may change. You may want to teach, you may want to stop being a staff nurse for health reasons and do something less physically demanding, or, you may want different hours. Sometimes a BSN allows you to move within the profession much easier. Sure, some nurses have obtained those positions *without* the BSN, but I wouldn't be terribly confident that that will always happen.

    And again, as I stated earlier, education is NEVER wasted. Even if you never do anything that you can actually attribute to your degree, are you really that worse off having it?
  4. by   Stargazer
    What Susy said. (Susy, isn't it MY turn to use the brain yet? You've had it for DAYS.) :chuckle
  5. by   shygirl
    YES
  6. by   Anaclaire
    I agree with the others for all the same reasons.

    You can take one or two classes per semester/quarter to get all your prerequisites out of the way and then dive into the actual nursing courses if you want to do it slowly.

    Besides that, you can see if you will enjoy school again and how it affects your home-time...

    My former Mother-In-Law received her LPN in 1970, her ADN in 1975, and her BSN in 1981 at the ripe age of 53. She never regretted it once. My Father-In-Law always called it her "insurance policy" and strongly encouraged me to get my BSN too! He was so very proud of her!

    Go for it! You'll never know if you don't try. Besides that, sometimes a little voice is speaking to us (like in your case-- deep interest in obtaining your BSN) for an important reason that we will not understand until years down the road.

    No knowledge is ever put to waste!

    Good luck with your decision!
    Last edit by Anaclaire on Aug 31, '02
  7. by   live4today
    At 50 years of age....I can concur with what Susie is saying to you, regnursein99. First, determine what it is you hope to do with your extra degrees before you pursue them. Why rock the homefront if you don't need to?

    If I return to college, it won't be nursing. I'm going back into Psychology...my first major.

    You may have something else in mind besides staff nursing. Determine that.....check to see what educational level and/or certification is required in order for you to move into the position you one day hope to obtain, and go from there.

    Whether or not a nurse furthers her/his education is totally personal. It really is up to what you hope to accomplish after you graduate with the degrees. If you need them, get them.....if you don't....wait. Whatever you decide, it's best to make it a family effort as it's very hard to go through college without family support behind you. It's not impossible....but sure helps to lighten one's heart of stress while doing so if you know your family is 100% behind you. I wish you well no matter what you decide to do. :kiss
  8. by   KarafromPhilly
    Suppose it takes 6 years for the whole process--decide to go back, pick a program, do pre-reqs, start the program, finish the program. You'll be 55 at the end of all that, AND you'll have a shiny new degree! :hatparty: If not, in 6 years, you'll just plain turn 55. :stone

    Your family doesn't sound too supportive, so I would advise you to continue your decision-making process by tracking down concrete info on degree programs. If it is simply not feasible, or if earning the degree you want will require more sacrifice than you are willing to make, at least you have the facts and you know that you made your own decision. After all, without the facts, how can you make a real decision? Best of luck to you!
  9. by   adrienurse
    Yes, god yes. Never stop learning. Never stop challenging yourself. Learning is never a mistake.
  10. by   James Huffman
    My stock answer is that education will almost never hurt you. But I think you have to ask yourself: Why am I wanting to do this? What do I want to do with the degree? Why is it important to me? Answering those questions may help you sort out the issue a bit more.

    You mentioned getting a degree in health care administration. There's nothing wrong with that, but such a degree will probably not help much in clinical nursing. I have nothing against nurses getting non-nursing degrees, but I think that some schools do a disservice by pretending that any bachelors (or masters) degree is equal to a BSN or MSN. They are not. If you are wanting to -- for example -- teach nursing, or be a clinical specialist, make SURE that the degree(s) you are getting will take you along the path you want to go.

    Jim Huffman, RN

    www.NetworkforNurses.com
  11. by   renerian
    I got my BS after being out of school for 14 years. I am halfway done with my MS. My major is nutrition. I love it. Was worth it to me. I am using distance education which is alot harder........

    renerian
  12. by   beckymcrn
    I agree with what everyone else has said. I am in the process of getting my BSN or RN to MSN now, I am actually doing the prereqs now. Hopefully I will actually be in the program by next fall. My decision now is Nurse practioner or not? In any case I think you can never have enough education.
  13. by   fit4lifenurse
    Happy weekend everyone :-)

    My aunt returned to school just last year to pursue her lifelong dream of getting a Bachelors at 56. After losing her husband for 37 years, she said that she wants do something that she always wanted-a dregree. She regret not going to college when she was younger, not having a career, and being dependent from her husband all those years. Despite of her age she is very positive, unstoppable in getting straight As and on the Dean's list. She wants to become a professor and I believe she can, she will...

    Regnursein99-Do what your heart desires. Do what you are. The woman whom I mentioned earlier, is one of the best people I know who made me realize that life is too short to take things we want to do for granted.

    I finished BSN when I at a young age, however I went to the pharmaceutical industry instead of practicing. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to practice back then. My parents were very unhappy when I didn't work as a nurse. But through all those years out of nursing, a voice inside me kept saying that I want to be a nurse and not a salesperson. So now I'm reviewing for NCLEX and there's no more turning back. I want to be an RN and be a practioner or take MSN in the future. Sure my parents are happy but I'm doing this because I want to and not just to fulfill my parents dreams. My sister and brother are currently taking BSN too!

    Learn to live in the present moment... :kiss
    Last edit by fit4lifenurse on Aug 31, '02
  14. by   Scavenger'sWife
    Thank you to everyone who took the time to give such good and supportive advice. Karafromphilly...you are so right.

    Well, I have looked at a college 45 miles away that is coming to my town once a week for classes, so I will not have a drive. It is a very well respected college with a wonderful nursing program that seems very supportive of the adult learner. As I said, cost is not a problem. Family actually IS supportive...they just don't want me to get in over my head, as I do have some health problems. When I went to school, Hubby was WONDERFUL about it.

    Sooooooo....I think I will take the dive into the waters of higher education. I am going to call the admissions office this week and look at what I need to do to get started. Wish me luck! I will let you know what happens.

    Thank you, all my new friends! You are the best! :kiss

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