LMSW considering nursing school.

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    hello all.

    i am writing today to hopefully get some advice. i've spoken with many fellow social workers who all think i've gone insane (or either think i'm just a complete masochist) over this idea i have about going after a degree in nursing and would now like to hear the thoughts of some nurses.

    this is my logic. during my undergraduate internship (undergrad degree is also in social work) i entered a placement with a case manager in a local hospital. i fell in love with case management, loved the hospital environment, and really can't see myself being happy in any other environment at this point. with my supervisor being an lmsw and the requirement for his position needing such a license, i decided to pursue graduate school. in 20 days i will complete my masters of social work degree, recently passed my state's licensure exam, which means i'm almost an lmsw at this point. however, i've noticed a trend in hospitals that case management jobs are being filled these days by rn's, and that hospitals are only hiring lmsws or lsws prn (i will not settle for anything less than ft) to deal with instances of complicated discharge planning that usually involve some sort of social disparagement of the patient. as you could imagine, i'm a little disheartened that i've gone to school for 6 years (4 years for bsw, 2 years for msw) now in hopes to enter a field that now requires another discipline.

    it is for this reason and the desire to become a nurse that i am considering staying in school and persuing a nursing degree. (and for the sheer reason that it has been in the back of my mind since my freshman roommate finished his degree in two years, and has been working the last 4 years as nurse, while i've been slaving away in academia regretting that i didn't choose the route he did. ) this is where you guys (and gals) come in.

    my questions:

    your opinion: should i go to nursing school?

    with having a bsw degree and an lmsw degree should i just pursue an associate of nursing degree to obtain my rn license or should i go through an accelerated bsn program? (i heard at one point that seeing as i already have such advanced degrees that i likely would enter the same pay grade as a bsn with just an associates of nursing)

    would the combination of lmsw and rn licenses help me advance in the field in any way?
    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 14, '12 : Reason: removed bbcode
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    I think since you just got the MSW, you should work a little bit in that field and then reconsider.
    10 years ago, I was deciding between nursing and social work. I chose nursing work because I liked that it was more hands on, and (a little) less paperwork.
    Have you considered home care? I work with fabulous MSW's who although are not able to "case manage" under medicare regulations, do act in a very similar role at times. And there is definitely a demand. They do make less however. But they ultimately have less liability in the end.
    Since it is a lot of schooling, maybe you could shadow some nurses.
    I am thinking of how to switch fields. Nursing can be very task oriented which I dislike. I like the human side of nursing, the talking, the counseling, the hands on approach. In other words...the social work! haha.....thinking of how to combine the two! Maybe starting a business....
    Best of luck
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    This is my dilemma as well. I work in social service as a supervisor and decided to get my MSW so I can be a medical social worker (I got 12 grad credits but did not continue). Unfortunately many of the "social work/case management" jobs are for licensed RNs and the ones for LMSW, like you said, are per diem. I only want to work in a hospital/health setting as a LMSW. I am not going to rack up 60000 in debt to only work in an area of social work that not only would not interest me, but would pay not much more (or possibly less) than what I make now as a supervisor! I decided recently that it makes more sense to get a second BS in nursing (I am taking my first pre req now). My hopes are to enter an accelerated BS program. If and when I do become an RN, I can work on the floors for a few years then move on to case management or something similar (Or at least that's the plan). I have actually considered nursing in the past but this is the first time that I am taking the necessary steps to make it happen. I even still considered getting my MSW but I would have to see how both degrees and licenses would benefit me, not to mention my future employer would have to pay for my MSW degree! Since you will have your MSW, maybe you can look into MSN programs? Good luck with what you decide to do and please post what your plans are if any. It is nice to see someone with a situation similar to mine.
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    I have an MSW and never really enjoyed my field... I have always kind of felt a pull to pursue nursing. I finally applied and was accepted to a 2nd degree accelerated BSN program that begins this Summer. I feel like it was a great decision already : )

    I'm not interested in mental health nursing at all though...
  7. 0
    Quote from RosaleiMae
    I have an MSW and never really enjoyed my field... I have always kind of felt a pull to pursue nursing. I finally applied and was accepted to a 2nd degree accelerated BSN program that begins this Summer. I feel like it was a great decision already : )I'm not interested in mental health nursing at all though...
    I have my MSW too but became a teacher after 5 years of practicing. I couldn't find a job worth the pay when I moved to another city. Teaching fell into my lap and although I enjoy it, nursing is what I've always wanted to do. I start a BSN program in August. Good luck!


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