How do RN's become massage therapists?

  1. 0
    I am interested in doing massage therapy and I am a RN. I lack 3 classes before completing my BSN also, but just am not satisfied with doing nursing any longer. I have been doing case management for the last few years and it is extremely boring. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. 29 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Uh...they go to massage school...
    NativePapillon and elkpark like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from zenman
    Uh...they go to massage school...
    Wow, you are so smart. Thanks for the info.
    Real Nurse Jackie likes this.
  6. 1
    It depends on your state. I live in MN..and here you can be certified in as little as 6 weeks..or you can actually get a degree for it. Either one can practice. Look into what your state requires.
    lyv33 likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from lyv33
    Wow, you are so smart. Thanks for the info.
    Zenman's response was my first thought, too. Is there something else that you're asking? (Did we not understand the question?)
  8. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    Zenman's response was my first thought, too. Is there something else that you're asking? (Did we not understand the question?)
    What I was asking is if the schools are certificate programs or degree programs, how long does it take, etc. If it is a certificate program, how do you market yourself as a nurse massage therapist or just a massage therapist? I am interested in this field, but it is a little confusing to me.
  9. 1
    Quote from lyv33
    What I was asking is if the schools are certificate programs or degree programs, how long does it take, etc. If it is a certificate program, how do you market yourself as a nurse massage therapist or just a massage therapist? I am interested in this field, but it is a little confusing to me.
    Now this would have been a better first post. I would hit the web and just check out schools. Do you have to go to a local one or do you have the option to go to another state? Do you have any idea about what style you'd like to do? Do you just want one that relaxes you (nothing wrong with that) or do you want one with more of a medical or body/mind focus? What kind of setting do you want to work in...spa or your own practice? Lot's of things to consider. I would not like to just be a massage therapist as I like variety and have three professions. Marketing yourself as a nurse who does massage therapy might be a good route, especially if you hit up the health professions.

    I have experienced about 30 types of massage in many countries and I still prefer the one I was taught and have taught, Zen Shiatsu. You can do it on a table or mat and clients remain clothed...although it doesn't matter to me if some clients like to just wear their panties...or nothing as some cultures are comfortable nude.

    But check with your state massage board as they all require a certain number of hours.
    lyv33 likes this.
  10. 1
    I do not know which state you are in so I'll give general info on how to get started. I am a massage therapist with over 2000 hours of massage classes/related classes. I also just finished my BS in nursing, so I am studying for my NCLEX. I have been doing massage for a long time even during the time I was going to nursing school. I do have knowledge and experience to tell you info about massage.

    So first, massage therapy programs offers variety of ways you get hours of massage. There are certificate programs/proficiency program (usually about 100-500) hours of massage classes. This will take you about 6-9 months of training to get the certificate. Let me explain what is considered hours. A swedish massage(aka relaxing massage) usually is equivalent to 100 hours (in definining educ. hr, 1 hr is about 50 minutes of class time. Here you learn about different techniques and how to use them - gliding, petrissage, compression.... Now since you are already an RN, you are way ahead of the game. In a 2 year associate degree program, yes they actually offer an associate science degree in massage therapy,...a part of the hours are going to be in natural science classes such as anatomoy and physiology, and these classes counts as hours toward your massage degree. In a massage degree, the hours required are usually 1000 hrs or over. So for example , I said you are already ahead of the game, because you have fulfilled your hours of say anatomy(125 hours or more). Plus there are lot of nursing classes that can fulfill those hours required to get the certificate or the degree in massage therapy. Plus you have taken ethics classes and soap notes, communication classes, so this becomes like a breeze to you. As a nurse going in the field of massage is going to be really easy for you because I think you may know more about human body, science and diseases. This helps you assess client better. From experience, I know a lot of massage therapist who finish 100 hours of massage, and they may have a good touch but they do not have a squat of knowledge on muscle groups or body part location. For example, a young female with 100 hours worked for a spa, a male client asked her if he can touch her labia. She did not know what it is. So that is what I mean that as a nurse coming into the field you have the science knowledge and experience to do very well in the field.


    There are different kind of massage (swedish, shiatsu, reflexology, reiki(energy work, deep tissue, lomilomi....). Every state has different license requirement or no regulation at all like California. So licensing is not uniform and other cities in the US consider massage as a sex entertainment industry so beware that it some places, massage can be seen as unprofessional field.
    lyv33 likes this.
  11. 2
    american massage therapy association
    http://www.amtamassage.org/

    you might want to go to this website. check the massage school providers in your state and also your state requirements if any...
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    national certification board for therapeutic massage and bodywork (ncbtmb). national certification board for therapeutic massage and bodywork (ncbtmb). this board certify you but you need at least 500 hours of massage to sit in for the test
    www.ncbtmb.com

    this board certify you but you need at least 500 hours of massage to sit in for the test, but you also after you pass, you need to be doing continuing ed.
    ******************
    ow do you market yourself as a nurse massage therapist or just a massage therapist.

    start applying at a spa where you can work on people to gain experience. start few hours a week. once you build up your confidence and some experience, get a business card, pass it on to people. work on your friends, acquaintances, etc. in this
    massage field, it comes down to your touch and how people feel about getting massage from you. they pay and they will come back if they like your massage. it becomes a word of mouth. think of it that it is like sales, you are selling a service, the client is your customer.
    RoyalNurse and lyv33 like this.
  12. 3
    Like everyone else has already stated, there are different laws from state to state. If you pick up a copy of massage magazine or massage and bodywork they usually have state by state regulations in the back of the magazine. I believe most states require approximately 500 hours of education. This is divided between A&P, pathology, kinesiology (may be very different than other kinesiology courses at a university), business, ethics, awareness, communication, and bodywork classes (these will vary from school to school). I would advise you to find a school that is COMPTA accredited. I teach at a school in WV. We have programs offering 700+ hours as well as an associates degree after taking a couple of semesters of classes at Marshall University.

    http://www.mtnstmassage.com/

    There are a couple of states requiring as much as 1,000 hours. So make sure the program you choose meets the requirements for practicing in your state.

    Some programs may accept your A&P classes from your BSN program, but I would advise you to take the A&P offered in massage school as well. It tends to be a little different than A&P for nursing. The focus is more heavily placed on the muskuloskeletal and fascial systems of the body. These aren't given as much attention in nursing A&P classes. If you opt out of them, then I would recommend reading A Trail Guide to the Body and Anatomy Trains. They would probably make up for any discrepencies between the classes.

    Check out these organizations: Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, American Massage Therapy Association, and NCBTMB. The last is the organization which offers the "national" exam.

    Read up on the different types of massage, and recieve as many of them as possible before you decide which school you would like to go to. Find a school which focuses on the modality you are most interested in. Some modalities may not be covered in a basic massage program. Most programs cover Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, and then have classes meant to expose you to other modalities. It may take more extensive study to become a practitioner in these other modalities though. ex. Shiatsu, Thai Yoga Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Polarity Therapy, Hot Stone Massage, etc...

    There are many different types of massage out there, and I am yet to find one I don't enjoy. Check out massagetherapy.com

    Good luck to ya!
    RoyalNurse, NativePapillon, and lyv33 like this.


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