Is it best to go ahead and pursue my MSN to be a NNp right after I finish my BSN? I was wondering, because I know that I don't want to be a NNP right away; but in the future it would be nice to already have it under my belt. I also figured having my MSN would help me find positions in the NICU easier, and that it would add to my salary a bit. If anyone has any information or advise I would appreciate it greatly!Thanks.
Jul 8, '04
To be an NNP you have to log in so many hours of experience. As for having an MSN...some places may pay you more, but a lot really don't care what type of degree you have. The starting pay is the same. If you have the resources, go for it.
You also can't move into the NNP track without the hours I believe...you need to check with the college you want to go to.
Jul 8, '04
I have been in NICU nursing staff development for many years. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
Your first priority as a new grad nurse is to get comfortable with the staff nurse role. I advise not to start graduate school until they have at least 6 months of experience. Trying to adjust to the staff nurse role is tough enough without also going to graduate school.
Also, you might want to actually spend some time as a nurse in a NICU before you committ yourself to a particular specialization. I have seen a lot of NICU orientees change their minds either about NICU or about a particular advanced role after actually being a staff nurse. Even those who have worked in NICU's as a student are sometimes surprised to find that things aren't exactly as they thought it would be -- and they either enjoy it more, or enjoy it less than they thought they would.
Another suggestion is to start your graduate studies by taking some of the "general" courses first -- such as theory, stats, research, etc. -- to give yourself more clinical time before you take the more clinically-focused courses. That would also give you a little more time to possibly to change your mind about your specialty. You may end up exactly where you currently envision yourself -- but give yourself a chance to actually experience the field before you invest that much time and money.
Jul 9, '04
llg makes a number of good points, and I agree with them all. Another point to consider is that many employers offer tuition reimbursement as a job benefit -- if you're working as an NICU staff nurse at a hospital and then go back to school, you may be able to get some or all of your tuition costs paid for by the hospital as long as you're still working for them. Not a bad thing ...
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