Anyone considering doing their Masters.. and in what/why?

  1. Hey boys..

    I'm an RN from Ontario, Canada.

    I feel in a few years (2) that i'd like to obtain my masters degree. I'm unsure which avenue to take, but i'm thinking of my masters in health and adminstration. Although i'd like the opportunity to improve my career as a Nurse and feel this Master's degree would be excellent, I also am thinking of teaching... or would like to start a business or some sort!

    I feel like I have so many options at my finger tips and I dont want to make any mistakes. That's why i'm planning now.

    Any of you take your masters, or thinking about it?

    What is your area of study? Where do you plan to work and why? How's the pay? (that's another reason i'm debating on taking it.. I'm hoping to get ahead.. salary wise as well... but would like to know which options are out there).

    Recommendations on schools to obtain my masters? As i've stated, i'm from Canada, so it would have to be an online U.S school that I'd be seeking. I was told University of Pheonix is a great school. I'd like to hear other feedback as well.

    Thanks guys!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    I'm in Australia, just been accepted in my Masters of Nursing Practice for next year (2007). I've already completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Nursing (Critical Care), which covers the coursework for the masters, so I just have to do a thesis. I'm planning to do my research in infection control for ventricular assist device recipients. Not sure of the exact question yet.

    I'm doing my masters online through Deakin University in Australia, so I can't help with a recommendation on schools!
  4. by   juan de la cruz
    Howdy X-treme. Where in ON are you at? I live in Metro Detroit (we're neighbors with Windsor, ON as you must know). So you're interested in a Master's degree. Where do you plan to practice once you finish this advanced degree? Will it be in Canada or in the US? I guess these are the questions that will help with your decision.

    You see, I have an MSN here in the US with an acute care nurse practitioner specialization (Wayne State University in Detroit, MI). I am certified by the ANCC (the board that grants national certification to acute care NP's in the US). As an NP, I enjoy the autonomy and skill set I learn that I don't get as an RN. And I do earn more as an NP than when I was an RN. However, NP training and certification is different in the US than in Canada. I am not sure if NP certification is transferrable in both countries given that Canadian NP programs are not at the graduate school level.

    You mentioned that a higher pay is one of your goals. In the US, and especially in Michigan, nurse anesthetists (CRNA) are paid very well. They are also in fairly good demand (I know that for a fact in Michigan). That field also requires a Master's but I'm pretty sure there are none that are available on-line. However, it's worth attending classroom courses for the salary especially if that's a field you think you'll enjoy (they can earn from $150K a year from what I hear).

    You also mentioned teaching. There are a few Master's degree programs here in Michigan that have a nursing education focus. I believe some are actually available on-line. You have to remember though that universities in the US require a PhD or DNSc for tenured positions even at an assistant professor level. An MS degree will allow you to teach as a clinical instructor or a lecturer. Again, I don't know how it is in Canada.

    MS in healthcare management is also a good option. I know of a lot that are on-line including University of Phoenix, as you mentioned. However, I don't know how well their graduates do after finishing the program. Maybe someone else who finished this career path can give you more input.

    Good luck!
  5. by   RN BSN 2009
    yes.. michigan is a wonderful place to do your degree especially if you are close!
  6. by   Pachinko
    I came out of nursing school considering becoming an NP, but I've pretty much nixed the idea. I will work more than an NP after a few years of practice, and most of the NPs I know are burned out and tired of doing a doctor's job without a doctor's pay.

    Which is disappointing, since I'd really wanted to go on for a Masters. I guess I'll see what happens....
  7. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from Pachinko
    I came out of nursing school considering becoming an NP, but I've pretty much nixed the idea. I will work more than an NP after a few years of practice, and most of the NPs I know are burned out and tired of doing a doctor's job without a doctor's pay.

    Which is disappointing, since I'd really wanted to go on for a Masters. I guess I'll see what happens....
    To me, that's the reason why one should research the field first and see if it's going to be a good match with one's career and lifestyle goals. I also thought that that was the OP's reason for posting -- to solicit advice on career options since he is considering a graduate school degree.

    Personally, I doubt if a lot of NP's have expectations or even aspirations to make the same pay as physicians despite the amount of work that we do. I think that will defeat the purpose of the NP being a cost-effective alternative especially in primary care settings.

    I also tried to make it clear in my post that there are many career options for someone who wants to earn a Master's degree, the NP route is just one of them.
  8. by   piper_for_hire
    I'm doing Anesthesia.
  9. by   SteveNNP
    I'm planning on starting on my Neonatal NP/CNS next fall, also specializing in pediatric acute care. I really don't want to leave the pt's "bedside", so my goal is to eventually do neonatal/peds air/ground transport. As a NeoNP, I won't be stuck so much writing orders as I will be attending high risk deliveries, transports, placing chest tubes, umbilical/PICC lines, etc.. Basically my dream job. However, I really just want the knowledge base to back up my practice... I have this nightmare of becoming a mindless drone who makes it through yet another 12hr shift, without the time to examine what is REALLY going on with the pt. So we'll see. I'll be moving from SC back to my 'ol stomping grounds in NYC to attend Columbia University........
  10. by   ryanfocker
    its funny how having so many options "at your fingertips" doesn't always make you happy, but makes you nervous you might not make the right choice.

    i feel the same stress as the OP. thought the options would would it easier, but now i feel confused as to where to go next.

    started taking the masters "core classes"...will either go crit care NP or anesthesia (if i can get in)
  11. by   KEVO05
    I either want my NNP or PNP, and eventually MAYBE my CRNA, depends on if I like what I'm doing.
  12. by   Scrubz
    I've got my sights set on CRNA. I'm only in my second semester of nursing school and I have 5 semesters left, including this one, plus a couple summer classes, before I have my BSN. So I've got plenty of time to think about it, but CRNA just seems like something I'd want to do.
  13. by   Tweety
    As I age and eventually move away from the bedside, I know I don't want a management, or desk job. I am seriously thinking of getting my MSN in Education because I love precepting students and new grads and seem do be a natural teacher one on one, so perhaps expanding that I can learn to teach a class.
  14. by   caloy
    Quote from ryanfocker
    its funny how having so many options "at your fingertips" doesn't always make you happy, but makes you nervous you might not make the right choice.

    i feel the same stress as the OP. thought the options would would it easier, but now i feel confused as to where to go next.

    started taking the masters "core classes"...will either go crit care NP or anesthesia (if i can get in)
    I completely agree. I feel that I should pursue further studies while i'm young and don't have a family yet. But have no idea what to choose. Almost everything looks interesting (from nurse informatics to genetics nurse to nurse educator).

    I'm a relatively new nurse with almost 2 years experience in oncology. I'm relatively satisfied with my job; but don't know if being an oncology nurse is the right thing for me.

    I guess the question is how do you know if a certain field of work is the right place for you? It wouldn't be a good thing if you pursued further learning, then realizing after that you prefer to do something else.

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