social worker who wants to be an rn...why?

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    I am in a weird spot Here I am 45 and I am an lsw with a masters. In Ohio in order to do what I want to do I need to go back to school. To be honest lsws make little money for what we do. I love helping people, and I long to have a more physical position, more hands on, and one that people actually listen to. Right niw I get, "oh, thats the social worker."I know more clinically than the lpns I work with, but I am not a nurse, and therefor I am often not heard.

    I want to go back to school to get my rn. I dont care about the bsn, I have an lsw and a masters in counseling, but I need some solid reason why its a wise investment in my families future for me to spend 25k to go back to school for two years. My gut says this is the right thing to do, it will pay for itself, and I can make a difference, but I feel like I am missing some reasons. Obviously I want to help people, obviously I am a people person, but I am feeling pressured to give more of a reason. I would appreciate advice, input, wisdom from all the nurses who have been there, done that. thank you.
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 5
    Well, for starters I wouldn't say that you "know more clinically than the LPNs you work with." how disrespectful. You are not a nurse so therefore you cannot say that. I wouldn't say that nurses are really "heard"...i'm not sure what you mean by that...we are "just the nurse" to patients as well.
    TheCommuter, amoLucia, roser13, and 2 others like this.
  5. 1
    What PP said. You will not spend much time with the patient and good luck finding a job in nursing with this economy. So, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to play Russian Roulette with the job market. You may make more and find a job or you maybe 25,000 in the hole and still work as a LSW and have debt on top of your low pay. It is a gamble. You have to really think about if you want to be a nurse, if the economy gets better, would you still want nursing? Only you can make that call.

    And you will need to get your BSN. You may not care, but employers do! BSN is becoming the thing, some people will hire ADNs but they have to agree to get their BSN within a certain time frame.
    Last edit by wish_me_luck on Jul 4, '13
    Marisette likes this.
  6. 0
    in idts, i ask what is going on with the patient, i should have said , i am more aware of what is going on with the patient.
  7. 2
    You may find going back to school for your RN and a 2 year degree not getting you any place fast. I would see about getting a second masters in nursing--perhaps as a psych nurse practioner.

    Nursing and social work are apples to oranges. One should never assume that they know more or less of what is "going on" with a patient than the next person. As I am sure you are well aware, there are patients that "play" both the social worker and the nurse. Their reality is somewhere else entirely. But they sure enjoy splitting. Interestingly, at the end of the day, the MD has an entirely different take on the matter, and 9 times out of 10, the patient complains that neither the nurse nor the social worker have "any clue".

    LPN's have clincal bedside strengths. In order to do what we do, there needs to be a sense of what is going on with a patient. But what we look for and act on is different than a social worker's take (and at a alternate level than an RN's take).

    Sounds as if you would be most comfortable in a provider role. That can be accomplished by a nurse practioner route. I am getting from your post you are not feeling heard by the other members of your team at your job, and perhaps not your family at home. If you have to come up with that much valid information to go back to school, I would say there are no certainties. So I would be hesitant to go back to school and get into debt if your family life is going to get tense. Nor if ADN's are not hired in your area. You need to research who is hiring what and where. See if it fits into your life at this point. However, if the reason you are seeking to do this is because you feel your level of intelligence is such that you need to prove that more, or you feel as an RN you wil be heard better, I would most certainly rethink things.

    Cover your bases. Speak with the nurse educator at your work. Speak with the local guidance counselor at the college you would like to attend about options. Is it feasible to go from a LICSW to an RN, NP whatever you choose to do.
    TheCommuter and prnqday like this.
  8. 0
    I really admire the SWs I know, my aunt has been one for 40+ years. I always say that a nurse's job is to do anything and everything that anybody and everybody else either cannot or will not do. . . and there are some things a nurse will not di, then you call the social worker! Example I always give is the 14yr old NICU baby mama that is seen performing "acts" on her new boyfriend in the waiting room, yea, that one's for the social worker to handle.

    Seriously though, speak with the people in the job you would like to have and find out if they are hiring ADNs at this time. Sometimes having a graduate degree in another field is good enough but nowadays many employers are kind of insisting on BSNs for new nurses. Many of your current nurse coworkers may be ADNs, but they may have been hired in different times and now they are experienced which is a whole 'nother thing.

    I'm thinking any decent hospital should love to have you as a case manager but I'm relatively certain that job would require a BSN though you would be highly suited to that kind of work.
  9. 0
    Over the years, I've known a bunch of MSW who ended up becoming nurses.

    Would you get any tuition reimbursement from your employer?


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