I am a child psych CS (MSN from a prestigious university and national certification), and the nursing faculty position I have held and my current job as a mental health consultant for the state both pay quite a bit less than I could make working as a staff nurse in a hospital. However, there are other advantages to the jobs that balance that out and make them worthwhile to me. At the highest paying jobs I have held as a CS, I'm sure there were staff nurses (with lots of seniority and high-demand specialization) at the same hospital that were making significantly more money than me.
It's not as simple as "more education = more money." It's about supply and demand; demand for staff nurses in hospitals is so high that hospitals have to pay more to fill those positions.
Nursing education is notoriously "underpaid." Every faculty member in every nursing program is making less money than s/he could make working in a clinical position. You do it because you want
I would not recommend that anyone
go to grad school just because s/he wants to make more money. There are much quicker and easier ways to boost your earning power in nursing! Go to grad school because it's something that's personally important to you, and because you want to pursue the additional professional opportunities and flexibility that come with an advanced degree. I believe that the most important factor, though, is that you enjoy what you're doing all day everyday -- work is too a big piece of our lives to hate your job!
I learned recently that not all states require a masters for nurse practioner. I am sorry but I do not recall which state(s).
There was a recent thread about this that you could look up. If I recall correctly, it said that CA still has at least one (maybe more) certificate program which prepares you to be an NP in CA
, but you would not
be eligible for national certification as an NP, and probably would not be employable as an NP outside CA (there may well be facilities within CA that wouldn't hire you -- the national standard is an MSN degree).