Need advice on Nursing Programs

  1. Hello, I found this board just surfing around trying to find out any info. on the nursing profession. I have read so many things but would like to hear from any of you out there that have any words of wisdom.
    Alittle about me: I am 30 yrs.old and have worked as an athletic trainer in a clinical setting for the last few years (for those of you who donot know what an ATC is it is a B.S. degree and is basically sports medicine for the athlete. Some of us work in H.S., professional sports teams or clinics.)
    I have decided to further my education and would like to stay in the healthcare industry. I have thought of P.T. school (very difficult to get in to,) friends suggested P.A. school (doesn't sound like something I would like to do ,) I have known several nurses and feel like this could be the right area.I am trying to research the best way to go as far as education. I know the University here in Tulsa offers a B.S. program and OU offers an M.S. program for non-nursing B.S. degrees.
    Question #1 B.S. program or M.S. program ??
    Q #2 Which will help me to get a better job?
    Q #3 After receiving your initial degree do you have to get certifications in certain areas to find a job? Or is it more like on the job training?
    Q #3 Is there much flexibility in scheduling? Is it a field that can be conducive to someone with a family ?
    Q #4 What can I expect as far as pay ? I have looked on salary web sites but have heard such a variance on this web site.
    Q #5 Are other professionals taking RNs jobs, does it do you any good to have a degree or is it just the same to have an LPN, CNA (Associates degree?)I sure hope not. One of the reasons I want to further my education. In the clinical settings I have worked in someone like myself with a B.S. gets paid the same as a person with maybe an associates degree or less. INSULTING!! It seems like alot of professions are getting less recognition so these big corporations can pay the less qualified person less money and they can put more in their pocket.Would like to hear from anyone that might have some insight for me before I take another 2 year plunge into the life of a poor student again. Hopefully there will be some light at the end of the tunnel!! I really don't want to make another mistake. If I had known what the job market had been when I first went to college I definitely would not have chosen A.T. HELP!!!!!!!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   mustangsheba
    Patrish: With your background - at least in the area where I live - I would go into physical therapy. There are always jobs advertised, the pay is better, the hours are better, you already have great training and have a degree. PT's can work in home health, in a hospital setting, or in free standing offices. There is great demand for victims of stroke or trauma. Patients ages range from the very young to the very old. Even though the schools are hard to get into, with your background I would think your chances are excellent. Didn't mean to ignore your questions, but I always lean towards building a lot on what you already have.
  4. by   Patrish
    Originally posted by mustangsheba:
    Patrish: With your background - at least in the area where I live - I would go into physical therapy. There are always jobs advertised, the pay is better, the hours are better, you already have great training and have a degree. PT's can work in home health, in a hospital setting, or in free standing offices. There is great demand for victims of stroke or trauma. Patients ages range from the very young to the very old. Even though the schools are hard to get into, with your background I would think your chances are excellent. Didn't mean to ignore your questions, but I always lean towards building a lot on what you already have.
  5. by   prmenrs
    From what you've said, you may be happier w/ P.T. or Recreational Therapy.
    FYI: CNA's take a short course (< 1yr); LV/PNs take about a year in a community college; RN's can be educated at a community college (ADN, 2yrs often after their pre-req sciences), or 4-yr college (BSN); there even a few of us that went to a Hospital School and have a "diploma" after 3 years.
    At first, RNs start out at the same salary levels (someplaces will give a differential for a BSN), but the difference comes later in your career--more pathways are open to a BSN--with more education (MS, PhD) they can go into administration, education, research. If the part about same starting pay bothers you, don't go there!!
    You may be able to find a University that will let you use a lot of your undergraduate credits, start taking the basic nursing stuff, and eventually wind up w/an MS. I know a nurse who started out w/a double major in music and Spanish. She didn't want to teach, but couldn't find a job. She went to a community college, got an ADN, went to work for a few years, eventually went back, made up the theory portion of a BSN, and then took a Masters as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner! Fortunately, she was young when she started!
    If you do decide on nursing, you can pretty much guarantee (sp?) employment!! Good Luck!

    [This message has been edited by prmenrs (edited January 12, 2001).]
  6. by   Patrish
    Thanks for the advice. I have definitely ruled out PT. My reasons are the amount of time it would take just to get the pre-reqs completed are at leats 1-2 years(p/t) and then there is no real guarantee I could even get in. When I graduated college my GPA was a 3.4. I have had friends apply with a 3.6- 3.8 and still not get in. I have heard it is more difficult to get into Pt then in to med or chiropractic school. At this point I am not willing to make that gamble with my time.I also donot live near a school that offers this. My husband and I just moved to Tulsa for his job and we will be here for some time. I think that nursing would be a good option with the skills that I have and it could offer me the flexiblity that I would like. My husband is a professional hockey coach so I would also like a career that is somewhat more mobile and in demand.
    If anyone could be of help please reply!!!
  7. by   fergus51
    Hey Patrish,
    I would NOT recommend a Masters in nursing for non-nurses. They cram all the nursing stuff in and then let you take your sweet time with research so if you want to go to the bedside after you graduate I would say take an ADN or BSN program. I have worked with 4 Mastersnurses who weren't nurses before and their skills were not up to par. You will have NO problem getting a job with an ADN or BSN, believe me.

    Here you need extra certification for almost every specialty, the courses can take from 2-6 months. However some hospitals are providing on the job training, it just depends on if you're lucky enough to get in the area you want at hospital that does this.

    Scheduling is flexible where I work because otherwise they wouldn't be able to keep nurses.

    AS far as pay...the national average is around 30-40 thou, but it varies SOOOOO much. LPNs/CNAs don't get paid as much as RNs because they do a different job, but ADN or BSN nurses get about the same pay for the same job. Don't even open a discussion on why you think you should get more for a BSN or the claws will come out It's already been questionned on this board before. I think the BSN is the way to go if you want to further your nursing education later, if not an ADN is just fine for getting work.

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