Nursing or Speech Pathology

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    Hi there! I am trying to make a decision between Nursing and Speech Pathology. I already have an MBA as you can tell from my user id, and 10 years of sales experience, including 5 in pharma. I don't want to do sales anymore as it is unpredictable...I want a real career.

    I feel that a Bachelor's in Nursing will be a good fit with my MBA, but I don't like the idea of working crazy shifts, being on your feet all day, and the relatively low pay. With the Nursing degree I don't really have to be a nurse....I could go into medical sales or something else. But again, that's sales. Overall though the nursing degree is broader than speech pathology and could be applicable to many areas. The Bachelor's degree is a 16 month program and costs $16,000. I could eventually get a Master's but the thought of another 2 years is exhausting!

    A Master's in Speech Pathology will pay better, and I would still be helping people. However I want to work with adults, stroke victims, etc, so the idea of working with kids, playing with dolls, to get them to pronounce words etc is dreadful to me! That eliminates half of the patient population! I also would not work in the school as the pay is totally ridiculous/low. So I would want to work in a Nursing Home, Home Care, or Hospital, (although I hear it's hard to get on with a hospital). They pay is btter as an SLP, starting at $60k in a medical setting. With my MBA, I think I could get a management position overseeing the therapists in the nursing homes, etc. This program is 24 months long and costs $40,000.

    The final piece is that I would be starting a program next year, when I turn 35. Time is important to me now as I am still single and would like to get married, have a family, etc. I want to start a new career as soon as possible.

    If anyone has suggestions for another route, please let me know! People tell me that I should be able to get a job with my MBA, but all I have ever done and am qualified for is sales. I don't even know what else there is! I am at a crossroads in my life and appreciate any advice you have to offer! I'm afraid to make a wrong decision!
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    In my opinion, nursing is a more stable (yet flexible) field than speech pathology. For one thing, there are many more nursing jobs than speech pathologists jobs, especially if you have a narrow field of interest. Don't be too sure about the pay differences, either: I started out a few years ago as a new grad RN (with an Associate's Degree) making $52,000 a year in a mid-sized city!
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    MBAnursearizona, I can relate to what you are going through! Long story short, I went to a four yr university and major in Speech-Language Pathology. I've always had the desire to be a RN. During my junior year, I was a Speech Pathology Intern @ a very large magnet hospital. It was a great experience and I had the opportunity to learn alot. However, I still had that itch to see RN behind my name. I then decided to finish my SLP degree and pursue nursing. After graduating with my B.S. in SLP, I applied to an accelerated BSN program and got accepted. The program was 18 months for a BSN. You had to have a NON-NURSING bachelor's degree in anything. I graduated from nursing school in May 2009 and began working as a nurse in Jan 2010. It is sooooooo much work!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I enjoy my job, however, if I had to chose b/t the two, I would lean a little closer to Speech Pathology. I do NOT regret going to nursing school by any means, however, nursing is serious labor. You work HARD for $23.00/hr. Some days are not as bad, then some days, you want to go home and cry. Each and every person that I tell that I switched from SLP to nursing, their response is, "WHY?!?" I wish you the very BEST in your decision making!
    Fiona59 and josinda421 like this.
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    Congrats on your MBA! However, the medical field is different when comes to degrees. I'm not sure how far your MBA would get you when it comes to management positions in nursing. Most employers want you to have degrees in nursing(i.e. BSN, or MSN) I'm not exactly sure how it works with Speech Pathologists but its probably the same(unless you are trying to work in finance or the business aspect of health care). Direct patient care is different from sales, budgets,etc. The positions in upper management usually require experience as they should. The salaries for RNs and speech pathologist are not that different. Nursing does have more variety soo you have a better chance of finding a position that you love. However, if your heart is not into health care I don't think you will be happy either. If your heart is in it and you really want to help people then you are making the right decision! I think you are the only one who can decide which route you should take you really have to look at the pros and cons! Hope this helps a little
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    I say go into SLP and if your still itching for nursing....then do it. But I bet you you would want to do SLP after experiencing what the nurses go through. good luck
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    Thanks everybody!~ Yes, I do want to help people so I know I am going in the right direction. My mom and sister are nurses and they say it's hard. I guess I was just thinking if I were tired of being a nurse, I could easily go into the business world, maybe work for a pharma company again or even an insurance company. If I get bored being an SLP then I may not have as many other options for employment, although I think it would be less stressful than nursing, and an SLP who has been doing it for almost 30 years said I could make up to $47 an hour!! Decisions, decisions! Thanks so much again for your thoughts!
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    I'm pretty much in the same boat. I'm in my undergrad (already have a bs in healthcare management) working toward being a SLP and I've just about decided to apply to nursing school. Nursing is so limitless and doesn't seem it could ever get boring. I do not want to work with children and that really limits the jobs, settings I can be in as a SLP.
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    Hi,
    I know you have long made your decision by now, but as a SLP I can give you some information. Pay varies by state, but you can be well compensated as a beginning SLP. My first job out of grad school I made 52/hr working in a school setting and haven't made less than 50/hr in about 5 or so years of working. I won't lie, working in the school setting is dreadful. However, as an SLP you can pretty much move to any area of the country and land a job within a week, especially in a school setting. Federal law mandates that school districts provide all students with communication disorders speech services at no cost to the parent. This creates insane demand for SLPs.

    I also won't lie about working in the nursing homes. It's even more dreadful than working in the school setting, although that is the highest paying setting. Outpatient is the only setting I've truly enjoyed, though I did like inpatient as well. In patient gets a little dicey when nurses don't even attempt oral care on comatose patients. So when you do a bedside swallow eval on the person who has just woken up after being in a coma for 2 weeks, try not to heave when you have to observe velar function and the smell of death waffs into your face and you try to dodge the dried saliva that had collected in the patients mouth and has turned brown.

    The Masters programs are competitive, at least in CA. The program I went to accepted 15 out of 250+ applicants per semester. If you don't have an undergrad degree in SLP, then it would take 4 years to complete the program as you would have to complete all of the undergrad courses,and you would in most likely have to apply again to get into the graduate program again after you complete your post bacc. Perequisites. The grad program is intense. I didn't find the actual concepts and info difficult to grasp, but the sheer volume of info and the amount of work that is put on your plate as a master clinician is tremendous. My jobs have been cake compared to grad school. I did enjoy the aspect of being around a group of highly intelligent people for every waking hour for those two years. Working in the school setting has been a major letdown in that regard. The medical setting definately has a lot of smart people and is much more intellectually stimulating, which is sad since the school setting supposedly is all about education.
    You really wouldn't believe how many incompetent people work in the schools that our nation's children are sent to. Not just teachers (there are some really smart and exceptional teachers) but especially administrators and department heads.
    If you do enter in to the school setting, be prepared for no one knowing what it is that you actually do, even though these services have been provided in the schools for at least the last 40 years, and be prepared to be referred to as "speech teacher" or "speech person" or even "hey speech girl/guy."
    Quote from MBAnursearizona
    Hi there! I am trying to make a decision between Nursing and Speech Pathology. I already have an MBA as you can tell from my user id, and 10 years of sales experience, including 5 in pharma. I don't want to do sales anymore as it is unpredictable...I want a real career.

    I feel that a Bachelor's in Nursing will be a good fit with my MBA, but I don't like the idea of working crazy shifts, being on your feet all day, and the relatively low pay. With the Nursing degree I don't really have to be a nurse....I could go into medical sales or something else. But again, that's sales. Overall though the nursing degree is broader than speech pathology and could be applicable to many areas. The Bachelor's degree is a 16 month program and costs $16,000. I could eventually get a Master's but the thought of another 2 years is exhausting!

    A Master's in Speech Pathology will pay better, and I would still be helping people. However I want to work with adults, stroke victims, etc, so the idea of working with kids, playing with dolls, to get them to pronounce words etc is dreadful to me! That eliminates half of the patient population! I also would not work in the school as the pay is totally ridiculous/low. So I would want to work in a Nursing Home, Home Care, or Hospital, (although I hear it's hard to get on with a hospital). They pay is btter as an SLP, starting at $60k in a medical setting. With my MBA, I think I could get a management position overseeing the therapists in the nursing homes, etc. This program is 24 months long and costs $40,000.

    The final piece is that I would be starting a program next year, when I turn 35. Time is important to me now as I am still single and would like to get married, have a family, etc. I want to start a new career as soon as possible.

    If anyone has suggestions for another route, please let me know! People tell me that I should be able to get a job with my MBA, but all I have ever done and am qualified for is sales. I don't even know what else there is! I am at a crossroads in my life and appreciate any advice you have to offer! I'm afraid to make a wrong decision!
  11. 0
    Hi it's me MBAnurseArizona. It's been a few years and I couldn't recall my account info, so I created a new profile. As you can see by my username, I took the SLP route. It has been a good choice for me! I was accepted into a very competitive program and received about 60% of my tuition covered in scholarships. I've been working now for 2 years in a SNF and I actually love it. (I knew all along that there was no way I would work with kids.) The building I work in has 250 beds and is kind-of upscale and has several levels including skilled rehab, ALU, ILU, and long term care, so there are always people with different levels of needs. I am also paid well at $40 an hour and I usually work 37-40 hours per week, year round. When I'm off work, I'm usually not thinking about it and can enjoy my personal life. Regarding higher salaries in schools, this is true if you use the contract companies instead of going through the district, but you don't get the great benefits/pension, etc. You also don't work in the summer or Christmas/Spring break and you only paid for what you work, which comes out to about $65kish per year. I usually tell people that school and nursing homes are alike in that there are some good ones and some bad ones...you just have to be careful. :-) I still feel that nursing looks better to medical device or pharmaceutical companies if you want to go that route, so I usually use "Clinical Specialist" as my title on my business resume. I think if I put SLP I would have to explain what I do for a living, and that would get old! Anyhow, just wanted to leave my update. I've very happy with my choice!
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    Also ask yourself how much time you want to spend with a patient(s) in a given day, and what tasks you're performing in that given time. Where a nurse performs a variety of tasks for a small group of people for a whole 12 hours, SLPs perform a more specific variety of tasks for maybe a larger group of people over a shorter duration for each visit. Imagine you have a difficult group as a nurse VS a difficult patient as a SLP.


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