Following Your Path, Finding My Own, RN to NP

  1. 1
    Dear Nurses,

    I want to learn from your experience. Those of you who have your NP or CNS, as well as those who have their sites set on a masters degree, your input is especially appreciated. I am most interested in your success and regrets.

    I find myself on the brink of entering the woods and am choosing a path. I can take the long straight path, though all uphill, that will take me directly toward my ultimate goal of becoming an NP, or, I have the option to power through to a BSN, hopefully find an "in" in this very limited CA bay area job market, and follow through with a masters later.

    My considerations can be broken down into two main concerns:

    The first is the job market and how my chances for getting into a position as a RN with no degree (ELMSN) will affect my ability to work. I have heard from a few friends and family going through programs that they have had no luck getting interviews much less jobs without their BSN, putting them in the precarious position of going through with their masters with no experience hence, lacking the experience for the job market. I also hear that the climate is such that is does not matter much to have a BSN, as around here there is no market for new grads, so why not stay in school and hope things are better in a few years. I know none of you can predict the future, but I would love to hear your thoughts of the current new grad climate as it pertains to BSN vs MSN seeking RNs.

    The second is about how difficult it may be to go back to school if I take the accelerated BSN route and start getting that desirable paycheck, the regular schedule and time off for the kids. I know there are those of you out there who understand the pull between raising young children and making a change to provide for their futures. How did you manage your own balancing act of parent/student/nurse? This is where I am perhaps in the most conflict. I don't want to stop short of my goal, at the same time, I need to find a way to still be mom, and a sane one at that.

    Thank you
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 15, '12
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    First is your current job market issue. Are you in a position to relocate if necessary to obtain a job as a RN? If not, I think advancing your nursing education without actually clinical experience is a moot point.

    Second, the nurse/mom balancing act is best achieved with a support system. The BSN can be done completely online these days. I would never encourage any nurse to till directly from a BSN to a MSN without ample clinical experience. The issue is the lack of necessary critical thinking skills that must first be achieved with hands-on bedside time. I was able to do my MSN in a hybrid program that was mostly online except for a couple of campus visits and my practicums were all local to me.

    If your ultimate goal is to be a NP then I would encourage you to find a job that you like and will afford you the precious experience you will need and start looking at online programs. The caveat to online programs is that you have to be a very self-disciplined student.

    Good luck,

    Penni
  5. 1
    I cannot contribute too much to the first one except to say... in our neck of the woods, New England... getting that first job experience may be tough but once you have some kind of experience there should be options available to you...

    The second... kids/work/back to school for Masters degree is where I feel I can speak although it has been almost 20 years (hard to believe) that I went through that! I had 2 babies --- no, one baby and 8 months pregnant with my second when my boss gave me some sage career counseling /advice and encouraged me to go back for my masters. My underemployed ex-husband was of little help so I took a stab at it... taking one course at a time initially never really believing I could get through it... I remember sitting in my fenced in backyard letting the kids as toddlers play while I was on the back porch studying. I cut my work schedule down to 32 hours a week and was very stingy with my time outside of family time and kids. My family lived 2 hours away... I managed to do it with daycare, opposite work schedules with my husband... Final 1-2 semesters I stepped up the pace to complete it... I think it was well worth it. During their school age years I had the benefit of being able to work flexible hours including a couple of years on nights.. I was able to do what I want financially with my 2 daughters who are now both in college and I would encourage anyone to go for it! One of my daughters is studying Nursing so I'm hoping that she benefits from the flexibility and security that this career has given me.

    Quote from incommunity
    Dear Nurses,

    I want to learn from your experience. Those of you who have your NP or CNS, as well as those who have their sites set on a masters degree, your input is especially appreciated. I am most interested in your success and regrets.

    I find myself on the brink of entering the woods and am choosing a path. I can take the long straight path, though all uphill, that will take me directly toward my ultimate goal of becoming an NP, or, I have the option to power through to a BSN, hopefully find an "in" in this very limited CA bay area job market, and follow through with a masters later.

    My considerations can be broken down into two main concerns:

    The first is the job market and how my chances for getting into a position as a RN with no degree (ELMSN) will affect my ability to work. I have heard from a few friends and family going through programs that they have had no luck getting interviews much less jobs without their BSN, putting them in the precarious position of going through with their masters with no experience hence, lacking the experience for the job market. I also hear that the climate is such that is does not matter much to have a BSN, as around here there is no market for new grads, so why not stay in school and hope things are better in a few years. I know none of you can predict the future, but I would love to hear your thoughts of the current new grad climate as it pertains to BSN vs MSN seeking RNs.

    The second is about how difficult it may be to go back to school if I take the accelerated BSN route and start getting that desirable paycheck, the regular schedule and time off for the kids. I know there are those of you out there who understand the pull between raising young children and making a change to provide for their futures. How did you manage your own balancing act of parent/student/nurse? This is where I am perhaps in the most conflict. I don't want to stop short of my goal, at the same time, I need to find a way to still be mom, and a sane one at that.

    Thank you
    mama2 likes this.
  6. 1
    Hi,

    My experience is a little different from those who have already posted here. Nursing is a second career for me. I completed a direct entry program in 2009 for FNP. My program did not grant a BSN-MSN. I have an RN-MSN. I originally planned to work part time or per-diem as an RN while completing my MSN, but there were no jobs to be had in my area. I don't think it had anything to do with my lack of a BSN-even the BSN new grads had tremendous difficulty finding jobs. I finished my FNP and had absolutely no trouble finding a job. Most employers were more concerned about my lack of NP experience, not my lack of RN experience. I had a lot of life experience and other job experience where I developed critical thinking skills, and that has helped me be successful as an NP.

    I did my program full time at a bricks and mortar school. My kids were middle school and high school age at the time. School pretty much consumed my life. I did miss out on some of the kids' activities, but I have no regrets. I'd go to their games with my books and get some work done. We'd all sit together at night and do our homework together. Both kids learned how to cook and do their own laundry. It was challenging, sometimes frustrating, but it was for a finite period of time and we all survived. My family was very proud of me and I showed my children that you can accomplish much with hard work and a little sacrifice.

    I don't know what the right answer is for you. I know that it can be done, and in many different ways. I wish you the best of luck!
    myelin likes this.


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