Degree Advice

  1. I am currently a store manager for a grocery retail chain but August 2006 I'm returning to school to try for a degree with the plan to get into nursing, specifically phyciatric nursing. I need some advice about the best way to get my RN license. Is it better to split my schooling up and get an associates for LPN then work part time at that while getting my RN or is it better to just go the whole nine yards and get the batchelors first as an RN. I'm worried that as an RN, I'll have no medical work experience and may be at a disadvantage finding a job. I have seven years of retail experience with two years in management. Since everyone here is in the nursing profession any advice is welcome. I really value your experience and expertise.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Thunderwolf
    Well, let me say, don't knock your retail experience. You deal with the public, point one. Point two, your organizational and management skills will be your friend as a nurse. I congratulate you on your decision. Nursing is an excellent field. Now with regards to going back to school and which would be the best approach, you will possibly read different views on the matter. The key thing is your ability to swing either a 2 year degree or 4 year initially. The second is your time frame that you have. I will not kid you, the programs are rigorous, but they are for a reason. Many will advocate going for your LPN, then go on for your RN (associate or bachelors). Many will advocate going for your Associate (ASN) RN first, then go on towards your bachelors in nursing (BSN) when you can. And then others will recommend going for broke and get the BSN since you are going back to school any way and just get it done and over. However, it really depends upon YOUR needs and your current ability. What ever you decide, I wish you the very best. Many future and new nursing students are like yourself...second career changers...with many returning to school in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. My friend, you are in good company.

    Best wishes
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Dec 27, '05
  4. by   2002MissRN
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    Many will advocate going for your Associate (ASN) RN first, then go on towards your bachelors in nursing (BSN) when you can. And then others will recommend going for broke and get the BSN since you are going back to school any way and just get it done and over. However, it really depends upon YOUR needs and your current ability.
    You didn't state if you hold a previous degree or have some college behind you. In my case, I worked in bookkeeping/accounting...bit the bullet and went back and got my BSBA. After several years decided to return to nursing school. I weighed my options ASN vs BSN...however with my previous degree I found it to be more economical for me to pursue the BSN, it was only 2 more semesters and lot of my classes from the BSBA degree transferred over to the BSN program. Check out your college and see if any previous classes (if any) will apply towards your nursing degree.

    I also agree with a previous post about not knocking your retail experience. You have experience in dealing with the public and your background will enhance the detail work in nursing (esp. med calculations...we had to do all ours on paper... calculators allowed!!!

    Anyway good luck with your endeavors and keep us updated!!!
  5. by   Jessy_RN
    I think your retail experience will be a plus! Especially if you ever plan in going into nursing mgmt.

    Best wishes to you~
  6. by   pixie0413
    I appreciate the advice so far. No, I don't currently hold any type of degree. I graduated high school and spent all of my time working my way up the "food chain" until I cleared a spot in management. The only problem was while I love the pay, I really don't like the position. Ever since I took the job I've had to work 50-65 hours a week. A short day for me is 10 hours. It has also caused some other problems in my life.

    When I decided to go back to school I knew I wanted to help people that suffured from metal illness. I lived with a girl, my best friend, for four years before I finally couldn't take care of her anymore. (Due to work) She suffered from schophrinia and manic depression, at least that was her diagnosis. I tried as hard as I could to take care of her but one day she disappered. Six months later her parents and I located her in Virgina, she was in a hospital and very sick. She suffered from malnutition and had tried to kill herself in a shopping mall bathroom. She had spent the last six months basically as a bum. She normally had to watch her diet, she has celiac sprue, and by living like she did she didn't get the proper nutrient intakes nor her medication to help with her psych problems.

    I really think I will love this new direction. I've just got so much to learn about medicine and the lingo. (It's a bit different.) I'm used to CAO, ISO, SIR, CA, and a bunch of other retail lingo. So that's my current take. I'm leaning toward breaking up my degree into the ASN then BSN just so I can get my feet wet.
    Any other advice is still welcome.
    Thanks.
  7. by   Thunderwolf
    My friend, your compassion and perseverence, thus demonstrated, speaks volumes about yourself. I think you will be very happy in our field. You are indeed a good man. Glad to have you as a member. Enjoy our forums. Congrats on your career decision.
  8. by   mona b RN
    It sounds like you are well on your way to figuring out what is best for you.

    Good luck to you and enjoy the ride.

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