MSW to ARNP

  1. hello all. I'm finishing up my MSW degree in clinical mental health this month. On the advice of an ARNP I work with, I am considering pursuing a nursing degree. She stated that there may be some common courses so I can potentially finish in under 2 years. Meanwhile, I am pursuing a career in medical social wor, with the intent ttoset myself up to go into health care administration and or policy advocacy.

    So my question is knowing these factors, and the fact that I am most certainly *not* looking to settle into a career in therapy, is pursuing a nursing degree and ARNP designation) a wise choice?

    Thanks in advance.

    -AJ
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   RegularNurse
    A nurse practitioner is a clinical degree. Healthcare administrators typically have advanced degrees in business or healthcare administration, in addition to years of clinical experience. If you are not already a nurse, you will need to do a BSN then get your MSN, and pass the NP boards. Then you may need to have experience as a nurse prior to getting administrative responsibilities.

    If you stay in your current specialty. You could work up the SW ladder. Otherwise, the typical career path in healthcare administration is having a BSN and working as a staff nurse, then working as a charge nurse, then getting a grad degree (MSN, MBA, MHA) and becoming a nurse manager. From nurse manager things open depending on the position you are seeking. There are DONs and VPs. At large academic institutions, its not uncommon for senior nursing leadership to have DNP degrees. Depending on what state you live in, an NP may be able to manage a clinic or multiple clinics. This is also an option.

    I don't know much about policy advocacy. It sounds like public health, which sometimes requires doctoral level training to implement large scale projects. For example, many research grants etc. require a PhD for primary investigator.

    You have options, options are a good thing. Best of luck!
  4. by   ajfeit_MSW
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Options are indeed a good thing. I recently read that working my way up to social services director at a hospital may also be a viable path.
  5. by   GeminiNurse29
    If you pursue an Np, just my two cents is to get your RN and work experience first. You may decide you don't care for the advanced practice nursing side of things. And if you've never seen the effects of certain psych meds, not sure how effective of a provider you'd be. I've been in psych nursing for a year now and learned things I would've never known unless I worked on the floor.

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