Need some guidance about my future

  1. I will be graduating soon from a BSN program. I am trying to start thinking about my future NOW. I know that I am capable of going on to further education, and I think this is something I want. I don't want to get out, work a few years, and then go back. Because of my age I think I'll be better off working and going straight into some kind of advanced practice program. I guess I want some advice from people who have done it-what has been successful and what hasn't been? Is it possible to work and go to graduate school? What is the best (in your opinion) degree to get for the money, job availability and job satisfaction? I know this is a very personal decision and I really appreciate any input. Thanks
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   anne74
    The best job to get is the one that focuses on what you like. And honestly, you won't know where your interests and talents lie until you work a while. Your first year as a nurse is a whole new education in itself. You will realize how little nursing school has taught you, in terms of practical experience. I just finished my first year in nursing, and I was shocked at how underprepared I was. I would never go to school while I was also trying to learn how to be a "real" nurse! You'll be learning way more than you did in nursing school, so your brain will not have a lot of room left over for more classes.

    Really, what's the rush in getting an advanced degree? You're not even done with your bachelors yet. Just get through your first few years of nursing until you can become competent, and then go on from there. There's nothing wrong with investigating options and different paths, but I wouldn't move on anything until you've got the basics down. And, I started nursing in my 30's, but I still don't plan on pursuing an advanced degree for probably 5 years or so. I personally wouldn't feel qualified, or like I've seen enough to call myself an advanced nurse. I want to be one of those advance degree nurses who can develop policies, but also jump in there and start a tough IV, or use experience to troubleshoot a pt's unusual symptoms. Those are the types of nurses I admire!
    Last edit by anne74 on Apr 16, '07
  4. by   ChristyMNOP
    Thanks for your advice. I see a lot of merit in doing that, but I have some other factors that make a difference too. I get money for school from the government that will run out in a certain amount of time. That's one of the reasons why it makes more sense for me to pursue what I can now while I still have that assistance. It won't cover all of the costs but it will cover about 9000 a year if I am going full time.
    Anyone else have advice? Thanks for reading so far.
  5. by   ukstudent
    I second what Anne74 said. It's nice to have that money from the government but it is NOT needed. Get a job, and find out what interests you about nursing. Find your area, from there you can go on,after you get some experience under your belt. Most hospitals will pay you to get an advance degree. My hospital pays up to $9,900 a year to increase your education. There are other options than to just go straight into an advanced degree in which you have to ask others about which one to do. Get some work experience and you won't have to ask, you will know.
  6. by   VivaRN
    I can only speak from my own experience. What works for some people is not for others, and no one can tell you what kind of advanced degree you should get. That is something you should think about, and maybe you do need some experience to show you where your interest is. Or if you even want to pursue it! Perhaps you will start working at the bedside and find that is what you most enjoy.

    I worked full-time for 7 months before going part-time and entering an FNP, MPH program. I knew in nursing school that I wanted to do primary care. There does not appear to be a big difference between my skill level and that of my more experienced colleagues. It's all about if you can learn quickly and apply your learning clinically. While the experience I am building in critical care is helpful, there is still a lot to learn with peds, women's health and primary care situations. No one comes in knowing it all. Any experience is nice, but not essential. I imagine experience plays a larger role for some of the other advanced degrees - I for one would not want to be a CNM without L&D experience, though people do it!

    The job market here is highly amenable to FNP's and new FNP grads - many of us have already been offered jobs. Working during school is not easy, but it can be done, and I recommend it - it is good to have some practical sense of when/how to consult, educate families, be responsible, etc. Though, once again, my direct-entry classmates seem to be fine regardless. I guess it just depends!

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

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