From Social Worker To Nurse - page 2
by leatrez 26,924 Views | 14 Comments
I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Janine I am a social worker (BSW) who would like to become a nurse. I just registered for my prerequisites this week and I'm feeling a little nervous about my decision to enter the... Read More
- 0Aug 2, '04 by Ross1By the way, I don't want it to seem as if I am solely pursuing nursing because of lack of social work job opportunities. I realize that my above posting may give that impression. Actually, when I was an undergraduate student in the late 1980s, I was debating between nursing and social work. I ended up pursuing social work due to my fear of science classes and my fear of "blood." I felt I was better suited for social sciences and talk therapy rather then hard sciences and hands on care. When I made the decision to pursue social work, I had no idea that I would eventually find myself employed in health care. My years of working in health care settings helped to alleviate some of my fears and prove them unfounded. While I have never been able to provide hands on care as a social worker, I've made joint home visits with nurses, have been in the hospital room with RNs and have witnessed just about everything...wound care, "code browns", etc. I think I'll be able to handle it...and nursing school will certainly be the test. I also took a few science classes as a non-matriculated student last year just to test my ability and was proud to get an A in each one. So, nursing school here I come!
- 0Aug 2, '04 by Lacaza3Quote from Ross1I would love to talk to your more about your social work experences since I have be debating back and forth on this nursing or social work. Maybe we could talk Are you familiur with the pm on the site?Janine (and others): Thank you so much for introducing yourself and this topic. I'd like to share some insights with you. First off, social work is a very rewarding career, however, it has some significant limitations. It is great that you have your B.S.W. and I assure you that if you do pursue nursing, your BSW training and skills will make you an even better nurse. I have my M.S.W. and worked as a social worker in health care for 12 years. Social work training, especially our emphasis on the person-in-situation relationship (or psycho-social status) is so beneficial in helping patients. While nurses too have a holistic philosophy, their training in this area is not as extensive as ours.
I have had some pretty interesting jobs in health care from nursing home social worker, hospital social worker-case manager, home health care, hospice, and even health insurance company case manager. And now after 12 years, I am pursuing a nursing degree. People often ask why and the simple answer is that there just aren't enough social work jobs. In order to make a decent living in social work, the MSW degree is a minimum. In fact, it is the minimum degree allowed for professional social work licensure. That said, even with an M.S.W. and license, you may still likely find yourself in a job earning non-professional wages (far lower then an Associate Degree RN). Example: my first job out of social work school, my M.S.W. salary was identical to that of an L.P.N.
When I earned my M.S.W. in 1992, the "higher paying" jobs were in health care but now.....so many of the jobs have been eliminated and/or taken over by RNs with the title "case manager". The reality is that if you want a career in health care, an RN license gives you much more job options and earning potential then the M.S.W. degree.
I do think that a potential RN, BSW combination (for you) or RN, MSW combination (for me) is a very marketable combo. What do others think?
Now.....I don't want to fully discourage you from social work. I just don't think that the field of "Medical Social Work" has the growth options it once did. You expressed a desire to work in the psych area. Well, as you may know, social work represents the largest professional group in the USA of mental health providers. Job in clinical social work (sometimes still referred to as psychiatric social work) are available and at times salaries can be fairly high, especially in a hospital based outpatient mental health clinic. Also, some clinical social workers set up their own private practices. If you are interested in becoming a psychotherapist, whether a nurse or a social worker, you must have your Master's degree.
- 1Jul 31, '12 by Catie LynnI realize that this topic is dated from 2004 but now in 2012 I find myself in the same situation: confused as to whether I should continue my Masters in Social Work to eventually become a counselor of some kind or to switch altogether into the nursing field. When it comes to counseling I am leaning toward counseling in nutrition/health & wellness arena which has drawn me to the nursing field where I would learn much more about nutrition and the human body. Fellow social workers seem to not have an opinion where nurses tell me "GO NURSING"! Is anyone currently in my situation or have advice for someone like me? Sincerely, Catie Lynn.
- 1Aug 14, '12 by needfuel16Hi!
I am actually in the process of making the same decision..Social work (specifically animal assisted social work,which would require an MSW) or RN school..I would have to start from the very beginning with both since it's been so long since I've taken pre reqs, I fear I'll have to do them over..I currently work as an admin assistant for a non profit and am also an LMT. I have an appointment with an advisor at my local college, I'm hoping she can shed some light..