I'm 37 years old and have been in the military for 19 years as a medical corpsman, and plan to do 30 years. I'm currently enrolled in a MHA/MBA dual degree program. My passion is patient care and management. I had a meeting with a recruiter from a local nursing program and she said that after reviewing my transcripts that I have already completed 40/60 pre-reqs plus my bachelors degree required for the accelerated BSN program. I would like to apply to this program before I retire, and once I have been a nurse for couple of years, I would like to pursue a healthcare mangement job. Some people have said I should apply for a top healthcare mangement job and avoid nursing because they said my advanced degree is too high for this position. When I'm retired I can devote full time to an accelerated BSN program. Should I pursue my BSN?
The key word in your post is the word, "should." Nobody can answer that but you. Do you really want to be a nurse? Does nursing itself interest you? If you decide that you really DO want to be a nurse, you'll have to deal with the fact that you will need to spend some time working in an entry-level nursing position before getting a nursing leadership position. That will mean some less attractive aspects of your job, such as pay, hours, "rank" within the health care system, etc. How would you feel about spending time at the bottom of the nursing career ladder before you moved up it? Now ... if you go to nursing school while still IN the military and practice as a nurse while in the military, you could get that experience out of the way as a military officer and then enter the civilian job market as a nurse with experience.
If you go from non-nursing management ... into another non-nursing management job, you won't have to "drop back" to the lower rungs on a career ladder. You'll probably be able to able to get a management position right away -- with better hours, higher salary, more power, etc. You would be entering the civilian job market as experienced health care administrator and be eligible for higher level health care administration jobs.
Another option is to look into a MSN-entry program. That way, you would get an advanced nursing degree to begin your nursing career and help you move up the nursing ladder more quickly. You would still need to spend some time in an entry-level role, but the MSN would open up more opportunities more quickly than a BSN would.
As I said, it all comes down to:
1. Do you really want to be a nurse because nursing itself interests you? ... or ...
2. Do you really want the fastest route to a high-level health care administration positions?
I can't see the advantage of becoming a nurse unless you really want to be a nurse.
llg, PhD RN (a woman, BTW)
Last edit by llg on May 17, '08