Staff nurse with MSN

  1. Hi all,

    I have been an RN for less than a year, and I have been thinking about going back to school for my MSN since I graduated. I want to choose a program option that is not for people who want to become an NP or CNS (ie, I would like to pursue a general master's degree in nursing). While in school I became quite interested in nursing theory/ philosophy (I know I sound weird ), and I would love to study further this.

    But the thing is I have no desire for climbing a career ladder with that degree (or it might be because it seems too early for me to think about that, as I am still in transition between a student and a nurse??). Anyway, I love my job (specialty), my coworkers, my managers, the unit's educators, and just love what I am doing right now. I feel like I am blessed to work here, (and in fact, this place has a very very low turnover rate).

    So, even though I would love to pursue an MSN, I am not interested in management, education, or advanced clinical practice... I want to do what I am doing right now; my concern is, how do you think about a staff nurse who has a master's degree?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edit by NextSummer on Jan 12, '07
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   RN4NICU
    Staff nurses with MSNs are not unheard of. If that's what you want, I say GO FOR IT!! If you do decide, down the road, that advanced practice is something you would like to do, post-masters certificate programs are available for most specialties. Or, if you decide to remain a staff nurse for the length of your career, that's cool too.
  4. by   Lacie
    Consider program directed towards a Clinical Specialist in the area of which you find your most suited for or most interested in. Ie: Critical Care Clinical Specialist, Pediatric Clinical Specialist, etc. These positions are generally hospital based but usually do involve progressing to management if desired but not an absolute.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Do what will make YOU happy and quench that thirst for knowledge.
    One of our home care nurses is a lawyer...she's found it more satisfying over practicing law.

    Best wishes.
  6. by   GardenDove
    Why not? Going to school can be very rewarding and it should help you in your practise.
  7. by   UKRNinUSA
    As a clinical nurse with a Masters degree I can tell you that sometimes I wonder -why I am transporting this patient/emptying this urinal/performing this menial task -when I am an educated person? And before I get jumped on I would like to say that no I do not think I am too good to do it, I just think that it is an inefficient use of resources, but I'm getting off topic.
    I have a friend that is an ER nurse that is studying for a Master's in Philosophy. He believes that the study of philosophy helps him to be a better nurse and that the practice of nursing helps keep him grounded. I think it's a good combo. You could always use your philosophy background to get involved in your Ethics Committee too - personally I do not think enough bedside nurses are represented in that area.
    BTW, you are not weird -some people might think you are but just ignore them, they are unable to "think outside the box". Do what you want to do, not what people think you should do -it's your life -right?
    Last edit by UKRNinUSA on Jan 12, '07
  8. by   GardenDove
    Sometimes the most efficient use of resources is for whoever is in the room to empty the urinal. It's often more steps and effort to find a less educated person to do it, and it's part of pt care.
  9. by   UKRNinUSA
    Altho I did try to avoid the backlash, here it comes. I do agree with you GardenDove, and I do try my best to be a teamplayer at all times. I believe I owe it too my colleagues and my patients. However I can't help feeling resentful when, as happened to me the other day, a patient's wife would ring the callbell every time her husband peed and take me away from a caring for a sicker patient, just to empty the urinal. There I was, trying to stabilize a sick patient, simultaneously triaging ambulance runs and the damn call-light would be going off every 5 mins so I could perform janitorial duties. God forbid I messed up our units Press Gainey scores, while trying to save another patient's life. Surely you can see my frustration?
  10. by   GardenDove
    Every nurse has the same frustration. Even if you have a nurses aide around, you can't predict why someone is ringing their calllight. I wasn't giving you backlash, but pointing out that it's inefficient to avoid menial tasks at times. If you have trouble prioritizing and communicating with your pt that you have an emergency in another room, that's probably a skill that isn't taught in school. You need to practise some lines to use.
  11. by   UKRNinUSA
    I did that and the SO got the point. I was just trying to point out to the OP that there is a downside to advancing your education and staying in the clinical area. And it is nice to be able to voice my frustrations on allnurses.com. Thanks for your reply to my post.
    BTW we don't have CNA's -the RN's are it. But we do have ratios. I guess you can't have it all (but wouldn't it be nice)
    Last edit by UKRNinUSA on Jan 12, '07
  12. by   ICRN2008
    I once shadowed a PICU stafff nurse who had a MSN (as a PNP). She was probably the best preceptor I had during nursing school, because she had a broad knowledge base and liked to share what she knew with students.

    I say go for it, because you can always complete a post-master's NP or CNS program down the road if that's what you decide to do. When I lament that I spend four years earning a Clinical Laboratory Science degree that I will never use, my mom reminds me that no education is ever wasted. It will improve you as a person and give you a broader perspective on the world, and that should not be negated.

    Good luck with your studies.
  13. by   subee
    Quote from NextSummer
    Hi all,

    I have been an RN for less than a year, and I have been thinking about going back to school for my MSN since I graduated. I want to choose a program option that is not for people who want to become an NP or CNS (ie, I would like to pursue a general master's degree in nursing). While in school I became quite interested in nursing theory/ philosophy (I know I sound weird ), and I would love to study further this.

    But the thing is I have no desire for climbing a career ladder with that degree (or it might be because it seems too early for me to think about that, as I am still in transition between a student and a nurse??). Anyway, I love my job (specialty), my coworkers, my managers, the unit's educators, and just love what I am doing right now. I feel like I am blessed to work here, (and in fact, this place has a very very low turnover rate).

    So, even though I would love to pursue an MSN, I am not interested in management, education, or advanced clinical practice... I want to do what I am doing right now; my concern is, how do you think about a staff nurse who has a master's degree?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Offhand, I don't know any nursing master's program for folks who are adverse to managements, education and advanced clinical practice. The purpose of graduate schools of nursing is to equip people to do, precisely, one of the three aforementioned careers. You can certainly take a master's in philosophy, but don't expect your employer to pay for the degree or reward you financially for having the degree. Most nursing grad. schools require one course in nursing theory, but we all felt resentful having to actually pay for that melarkey BUT someone has to write the books and force the grad. students to take the course and get to charge for three credits so that they can put out graduates who will write more nursing theory books.
  14. by   NextSummer
    Quote from subee
    Offhand, I don't know any nursing master's program for folks who are adverse to managements, education and advanced clinical practice. The purpose of graduate schools of nursing is to equip people to do, precisely, one of the three aforementioned careers. ....

    Yeah, that's why I was wondering if I could get into a master's program with my purpose statement that is not really related to these things... Actually I am considering a program that is more heavily focused on nursing theory/ philosophy than other nursing programs in my area. But still, without a clear career goal in those three areas, I have to doubt it's worth even applying for the master's program that I am considering.

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