master's degree in another field...will this help salary?

  1. I have a master's degree and I am currently a licensed creative arts therapist (in NY state a licensed mental health professional). I work in NYC and I am interested in an RN career. If I obtain my BSN, will my master's degree in art therapy help in salary determination? I have been told that I may be able to also get "credit" for my work experience?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   maggijo
    great question! I hope people respond. I also have my master's (K-12 Spanish teaching) and 6 years of teaching experience. I was wondering if this would weigh in at all when it comes time to look for a nursing job. life experience, work experience... do they help when it comes time to negotiate salary?
  4. by   mvanz9999
    In a word: "No".

    It may depend on the hospital and/or state. I can only speak for sure about Illinois. ALL new graduates, regardless of age, work experience, or education, are paid the same NEW GRAD rate as any other nurse. That is simply the way it is.

    I know a nurse that works in one of our larger hospitals, she has two bachelors degrees and many years of work experience. In her interview, she lobbied for a higher pay and was told simply that there is no negotiation. She is considered a new grad, and therefore would start at the same rate as any other new grad.
  5. by   NurseRachy
    Unfortunately not in Australia either....
    I'm in the same boat. I have qualifications in Public Health and Health Promotion...... The powers that be are struggling to see the connection to nursing practice and how my knowledge is of assistance to our patients.... very disheartening really!
  6. by   Lacie
    No, it wont make any difference in relation to salary. I have had new grads I hired with degrees in other fields and yes some with a masters. They still started out at the same hourly rate as a new grad and worked thier way through the ranks just as the rest of the other RNs. Note we didnt pay but a 0.15/hr difference for a BSN over the wage of an ADN and no difference for specialty certifications either (such as CCRN). Some hospitals dont pay any difference between the 2 degrees either. New grads are new grads no matter what your education level in most places.
  7. by   Selke
    Sadly, degrees in fields other than nursing have no impact on pay scales in nursing. Only nursing degrees -- BSN, MSN, maybe PhD -- impact pay scales. Nursing pay is determined by years experience in nursing, and some hospitals pay BSNs more than ADNs. I've worked a couple of hospitals which did pay MSN prepared nurses who worked in staff nurse roles a bit more than BSN nurses. Now, your degrees could help you in other ways to get positions outside of staff nursing, if the experience and training you had is relevant to the work. For example, if you wanted to, say, go into staff development or education, or teaching nursing students, the teaching experience and degree may have some impact there. The poster with the Spanish background could probably use that if she wanted to help start Spanish classes for the hospital staff, write Spanish patient education materials, &c. Your art therapy degree could be very useful if you want to go into a field where art therapy is used, such as psych, child psych, pediatrics, oncology (using art therapy as a therapeutic modality) or rehab, particularly if in the long run you wanted to do research on nursing and art therapy. These degrees and experiences I think would make you a more attractive hire, especially if you can convince the manager that your unique experiences would benefit the unit eventually (staff inservices, patient education, various projects you'd like to do using your experience that would benefit the unit, &c), but they can't affect pay scale.
  8. by   Tweety
    At the bedside, no it won't. If you use your nursing degree and your other degree in a particular job description then it might give you an edge later on down the line as you gain nursing experience.

    Good luck.
  9. by   graceland
    thanks to everyone who responded! this is very helpful in my research!!!

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