To List a Master's or Not To List? That Is The Question - page 2

by RNtobeinSoCal 2,943 Views | 16 Comments

Hi, I have a BA & MA in Liberal Arts (not remotely science related), just earned an AAS Nursing Dec 2011, hoping to take NCLEX in Feb/March 2012. Obviously, this is a second (third?) career. Question: Do I list the MA on my... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from nursemarion

    I will add that for some reason everyone assumes that because I have a graduate degree I want to teach. They are always telling me about teaching opportunities or even offering me opportunities to teach things. If I wanted to be a teacher I would have become one or at least went on for an MSN. I taught in the past and that is not my goal anymore. I have a hard time explaining that to people sometimes. Nurses seem to assume that a graduate degree means you want to teach, but that is not what an MBA is about. You may have similar experiences with your degree.
    I have my MBA, working on my BSN. The university I go to has asked me several times to teach classes, which I have done a few. It is kind of funny though.
  2. 0
    I have a PhD in Literature and not wanting to be a professor after all, went to a two year nursing school. I have it on my resume, because I feel it is misleading not to mention it. It's not stressed on my resume, however, and it's listed last (under "Pre-Nursing Career History" or something like that). I summarized my teaching and university experience in two lines, whereas if I were going for a teaching job I would have stretched that out into many lines. It never made a difference ever, until I went for a promotion to Nurse Administrator. Then it finally impressed someone! I rarely mentioned it and I didn't refer to it unless asked, so no one would feel I was trying to flaunt my background or act like I'm better than they are. The few times it 'got out' and people seemed intimidated, I would remind them that literature is not nursing and I have a lot to learn from everyone. The hardest part of having the degree is putting up with the bad writing and spelling I see everywhere LOL.
  3. 0
    WOW- thanks to all for you for such incredible feedback. RiverOtter PhD, I hear you on the spelling/grammar! I was forever flinching at all the mistakes at hospitals & the professors' presentations. But yes, nursing is different. When applying for your first nursing job, did you put student clinicals on your CV? I have zero medical experience without that - I also had some interesting shifts in the Pediatric ER, SICU, CCICU, OR, etc. Those aren't standard student clinicals, are they? People from my school are not putting clinicals on their CVs, but people on allnurses seem to say yes. Thoughts? BTW, I got the ATT finally - hoping the gods are smiling on me in mid-March!
  4. 0
    I have a PhD in a non-nursing field (Chemistry) and you bet it's on my resume -- I worked my butt off for that degree and I'm darned proud of it. I've gotten more than one interview from people who were curious why someone with a PhD in another field would go into nursing. I explain that it's because I wanted to work directly with people, and wasn't doing that in my previous career. This seems to be a satisfactory answer.

    On the other hand, I don't generally mention it to co-workers, unless it somehow naturally comes up in a conversation. I do put PhD as my highest degree level when asked on job websites, and it does get me some inappropriate solicitations to apply for jobs where they clearly want someone with a PhD in nursing and lots more years of experience than I have but so what -- I just don't respond to those solicitations.

    To answer another question you posed -- I did list my student clinicals on my resume as a new grad. I have no idea if this helped me get my first job or not, but I figured it couldn't hurt. One thing that I did that I know helped get me my first job is that I listed my volunteer experience at the hospital where I was eventually hired under the "previous experience" section of the online job application -- their instructions explicitly said that it was okay to list volunteer experience -- I listed it as my "most recent" experience too, because that was pretty much true -- it was the last "experience" I had before entering nursing school (I listed my clinicals under "education"). When I was called for an interview by the nurse manager who eventually hired me, she specifically mentioned that she had noticed my volunteer experience with the same hospital. She didn't specifically say that's why she called me, but clearly she noticed, and she chose to call me out of bazillions of applicants.

    Good luck with finishing your degree, and with your job search!
  5. 0
    I would list it. But I would be prepared to explain in interviews or at other times when asked. However, I must state that my non nursing degree has caused me more grief than it is worth, since I have been in nursing. I have actually encountered overt discriminatory remarks and treatment because of it. Most of this discriminatory behavior has taken place in the employment seeking arena. If I thought I could do so without problems, I would not list it.
  6. 0
    What kind of discriminatory behavior/comments have you been subjected to? Was it that you studied something other than nursing first, or was it the actual subject that you studied before nursing?
  7. 0
    I definitely would list my clinicals in my resume, I did that as well. @ noahsmama: I have had the same experience listing my highest degree as PhD but not all that often. When I'm comfortable at a job someitmes my colleagues refer to me as "Doctor." It's just for a laugh.


Top