Im applying for my masters degree and I'm having trouble deciding which route to take. I'm looking for advice and the pros and cons of each route.
Apr 22, '13
The only pros and cons that really matter are the ones that only you can know. Which type of work do you want to do? What is the job market in your area for both types of positions?
Both paths offer career options that can be considered appealing or dreadful, depending on what your personal preferences are. And both paths can be problematic if you live in an area where there are too many qualified people and not enough jobs.
Why don't you tell us a little more about yourself -- strengths/weakness, likes/dislikes, etc. and we can comment based on some knowledge of yourself, your background, and your career interests. Why do these 2 options appeal to you and not other options? etc.
Apr 22, '13
Yeah we really need more information. Educator is where my emphasis is, but teaching is where my passion is. My friend is an NP and works in an endocrinology group. To me it is the difference between apples and oranges. Both involve nursing but one is more academic while the other is more clinical. At least to me.
Apr 22, '13
Agreed, we need more info. How long have you been a nurse? If the answer is 'not that long', I'd wait a bit, and really see what you like. Don't go the NP route because that's what everyone else is doing.
As mentioned by the others, you need to see what the job market is like in your area, and what NPs, educators, and admins end up doing (and if that is something you want to do).
Apr 23, '13
So a little more about myself..... I've been a nurse for 2.5 years and work on tele. I occasionally float to the ICU or Med-Surge. I really enjoy the clinical setting. I don't have much experience teaching but when I get the opportunity to I love it as well. I'm hoping begin precepting students this summer and start teaching clinical by this winter. I am certain that I don't want to teach theory. I guess my main concern is that the Nurse Ed track will limit me. On the other hand I don't know if I can handle the responsibility of being a NP. If I had my choice I would do both.
Apr 23, '13
It sounds to me as if you are not yet ready to go to graduate school. Get a little more experience with teaching to see how you like it before you either choose or reject that route. It sounds like you have some good experience "lined up" for this winter to help you make a decision about that.
Another aspect of the Nurse Educator tract ... Have you considered staff development? Teaching new orientees and other staff members in another branch of nursing education. It is not usually incorporated into the Nurse Educator MSN tracks (because college faculty don't usually know much about it, I think) ... but you can often supplement and MSN Nurse Educator program with some online courses or CE programs in Nursing Professional Development (NPD). Some MSN programs will even let you do your practicum in NPD. NPD is a good field for people who want to stay in the inpatient environment ... but who don't want to go into administration. If you plan your MSN well, you could end up qualified to do NPD as well as teach for a school of nursing. That would give you more options.
As for Nurse Practitioner programs, keep in mind that most (but certainly not all) Nurse Practitioners work in outpatient settings. Is that what you want? There is nothing wrong with that, but be sure your expectations match the types of NP jobs available in your area.
Have you considered CNL roles? That's another option that might be good for someone who is still new to nursing and unsure of his/her long-term career path. It gives a solid foundation at the MSN level that could be augmented with a few extra courses to go in just about any direction, once you get more experience and decide on a long term career path.
Jul 23, '13
After reading these posts and giving it a lot of thought, I realized that I enjoy bedside nursing a lot and that I am no where ready to be an NP. I did however apply and was accepted into a nurse educator program and in retrospect feel it is the right decision for me and meets my needs for right now. I realized that I still have options should I choose the NP/CNS route later. I know if I stop now I may never finish and reach my personal goal of earning a masters degree. Plus I have the desire now so why not pursue something greater for myself? Thank you all for your input. I did take it to heart and believe it helped me make the best decision I could make.
Jul 23, '13
Good luck to you! Thanks for updating us. It sounds like you have given it some more thought and are "going in with your eyes open." That's all any of us can do.
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