I've had to make some serious decisions this last week as I lost *both* my part-time jobs due to cutbacks. I live in a very expensive county in California and can't afford not working a decent paying job much longer. Our debt just sits there, as we can only make minimum payments along with two car payments. In short, I'm stretched too thin.
My question really has to do with my education options. I am about to graduate with a liberal studies AA in December. My original plan was to become an RN, get some experience and then move on to an MSN. However, every ASN or BSN program near me is impacted. I've been toying with the idea of attending Univ of Phoenix online for a BS in Healthcare Administration and then attending a direct entry MSN program. My other alternative is a BA in Liberal Studies and then an MSN program.
I would have liked to get some experience prior to an MSN program, but by the time I finish a BA/BS, I would not be able to afford an accelerated BSN program, only an MSN since I could get graduate loans, etc.
The U of P idea is tempting because it would allow me to get back into the workforce and also pay of our debt before entering grad school. Would a BS in HCA be a wise decision, or would a liberal studies degree be just as good in nursing and also in getting into an MSN program?
(note: a liberal studies BA is a little more difficult because of the traditional campus setting, but not impossible for me to continue working through.)
Last edit by Nurse Jeni on Jul 30, '04
: Reason: clarity :)
Aug 1, '04
You said your original goal was to get a MSN. My question is- what do you see yourself doing with the MSN? Teaching? Management? If you are planning to become a nurse manager in a healthcare setting, it really helps to have clinical experience under your belt. I know finances are a concern, but you might investigate and see what local hospitals offer by way of tuition reimbursement for advancing your education. It might be possible to get the BSN while you work as an ADN RN (fast track)- if your employer pays some of it. There are hospitals that advertise loan forgiveness, too. Some of the online universities are VERY expensive, so be forwarned.
Have you looked into any of the local univerisites where you live? It's not too early to research MSN programs, if that's what you want to go for. I think most of them prefer you have your RN license and at least a year or more of clinical work experience before you apply. I guess I was confused as to why you are going the liberal studies route if you want to work in nursing with an advanced degree. Another idea is to arrange informational interviews with someone who has the type of job/career you are interested in.
Aug 1, '04
As to whether a BS in HCA is a good thing or not - I'm not sure of the job market. I think I would check that out before I started another degree though. Can you consider an RN - either ADN or diploma program that might be available in your area? Good luck.