RN to MSW or Psychologist

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    I have been a nurse for 16 years. 4 years spent in an acute rehab setting and the last 12 in med/surg, which i love. However, I have reached a point where it is time to make a change. I have played with the idea of obtaining my NP or even in medical management. But i always come back to what I had started in college - social work. My plans were to get my masters, become a counselor. I know I have no experience in psych nursing, but when I let my mind stop and really think about what I want to do counseling is what always keeps coming back into my mind. Honestly, I don't have any desire to work on a psych ward as a nurse, i really want that one to one interaction. Now that I have seriously started to play with the idea of going back to school in my head -- I am stuck between a masters in social work or going back to become a psychologist. Does any one have any insight on this?
  2. 2 Comments so far...

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    Obviously, you have enough experience and insight to understand where you want to go in your career. But I would caution you on the MSW-front. They have an extremely high burn-out vulnerability due to the nature of the job and lack of career advancement (and salary increase) opportunities - especially medical social workers. I would imagine that this is different for those who are more involved in counseling, where there is more opportunity for autonomy. Counseling is more episodic, working with people who have encountered a "bad patch" in their lives as opposed to psych(ology or iatry) which tends to be focused on chronic treatment & dealing with mental illness.

    I have three acquaintances who are counselors in different fields (substance abuse, marriage/couples, and CSAT). They seem very happy with their careers, and the CSAT counselor tells me that he has to turn away clients - the demand is outstripping available resources. Hmm - don't know what that says about society these days.

    Best of luck to you!
    jjacobson307 likes this.
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    I went to my ADN program with a woman who had a masters in counseling and practiced with it. She said that new grad RNs made more than she did. However, that is probably different in other parts of the country. Best of luck!

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~


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