Dear Nurse Beth,
Trying to decide if I should go back to school to earn my bachelors or Masters. I am 50 years old and I have been an RN for 10 years. Previous to that I was a social worker for 15 years and I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. I am curious about my future job prospects in nursing and how difficult it might be to get a job without a BSN as I age. Frankly going back to school seems daunting to me at this point, but since I know I will have to work 15 more years or so, I am trying to realistic. Will I someday be an un-hireable 58 year-old associate's degree nurse?
You are right to be concerned and realistic. If you want to qualify for a non-bedside role
down the road, you will need a Bachelor's in Nursing.
You may be able to find an accelerated Bachelor's program because you already have a degree, or consider an ADN-to-MSN program (which would take longer).
There’s a good forum here on allnurses that talks about different programs
I would really shop around and discover all the options, but move forward in your education.
Obtaining the BSN is a long time recommendation by the NLN. When I started out in 1978 the NLN 1985 proposal was in place..... If you did not have a BSN in 1985 the thought was you no longer would be considered a Professional Nurse. We all know how that went the proposed changes were delayed again and again. Now the current NLN trend is by the year 2020, 80 % will have a BSN or MSN. The ADN and Diploma programs will essentially be eliminated.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 will influence greater education needs for the RN. Making the BSN even more necessary as responsibilities are increasing for the RN.
Some states, New York and New Jersey, are working on legislation that will require a BSN in 10. The ten years is from the date of licensure will require a BSN.
It is interesting to see the the major comment concerns of going back to school at 50 is more about cost, than the value added education brings to the Profession of Nursing.
The hospital in our area currently will not offer a position without a BSN or some indication of enrollment in a BSN program.
Most hospitals offer tuition assistance to return to school. My actual amount of cash out for my BSN was not that great and on completion allowed Career Ladder step pay increases of 5 to 10% .
I started back to school at age 50 finished my BSN at 53 continued school finishing my MSN at age 56. I graduated with my MSN 30 years after starting as a Diploma RN. The added education did require effort to finish.... The accomplishment of the MSN gave me a great deal of satisfaction, also makes the available positions for a Registered Nurse much greater.
My recommendation is to go back to school finish the BSN on to MSN. You will find the DNP or PhD will soon be the next goal on your mind.
Never too late to go back to school.
Last edit by riggy3 on May 26
My humble diploma program, plus next month 45 years in nursing, because of my experience....have been afforded many non bedside jobs as DON in various LTC?.....& I could return to our local community hospital ER tomorrow.......if I wanted to.......but at 68yr/age
... I see no reason ---- if I were younger I would definitely pursue higher degrees......but I enjoy what Ido in an integrated doctor office position...love my time off major holidays etc.........these old bones are relaxing wher I an.....but this situation is very geographic....
I know "I'm a dieing breed", but my diploma program served me well......definite earned my crusty ole Bat title...best wishes
Last edit by sallyrnrrt on May 27
: Reason: Sp