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advice about goals for new student

I need some input from you guys.

I am in a nursing program leading up to Associate degree and RN. I have scholarship for 120 credit hours. Considering BSN as well.

I have narrowed down my long term career interests to 4 areas: Psychiatric, Developmental Disabilities, Palliative, and Forensics.

I have knowledge/experience in theses areas already, though not much clinical experience except DD.

I did mortuary in the military during Desert Storm. I have been DD aide since 1996 as well as working as a caseworker and QMRP. I have done peer counseling since 1992 for drug and alcohol related as well as working with male rape victims. My aunt (who just passed) was a pioneer in my area, getting hospice care in my area, and shared some knowledge with me.

I live in the boonies and due to family (take care of mother) will be staying here for several more years. Should I enter psychiatric at local hospital, go back to DD, or just do short treks in several areas to find a niche?

Should I do the BSN, or do post RN certification in above areas to use later when I have more freedom to travel to metropolitan areas to work?

I know it sounds complicated, but just wondering how much local experience and education will cross-over into other clinical areas...

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

Have you discussed this with your nursing instructors? What do they have to say?

The areas of nursing that you are interested in may have nursing organizations for nurses working in those areas. A medical librarian could help you find any publications by them.

:twocents: If you have a scholarship I would use every bit of it. 120 units should be just enough for a BSN. If that takes you up to a BSN go for it. Since your plan it to be caring for a relative and getting your AA in Nursing you might as well finish up your BSN while you're at it if you can. More education will never hinder you. Besides, once you find yourself working a full time nursing job, it becomes much more difficult to go back to being a full-time student again.

I've talked to only my advisor (an old friend :p ). She doesn't really have much advice for me yet. The instructors won't talk to me until I begin classes. I will have enough of my 120 hours to begin masters!!!

Problem for me is the location - very rural - with few large hospitals, psych units, etc. and no forensic opportunity here. Is why I am wondering about the education: keep it general or go more focused in hopes for the future???

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

I've talked to only my advisor (an old friend :p ). She doesn't really have much advice for me yet. The instructors won't talk to me until I begin classes. I will have enough of my 120 hours to begin masters!!!

Problem for me is the location - very rural - with few large hospitals, psych units, etc. and no forensic opportunity here. Is why I am wondering about the education: keep it general or go more focused in hopes for the future???

It looks as if you are truly interested in a highly specialized area of nursing. Considering that, I would seek the BSN. You will never go wrong with that in the long run.

Yes, you can get certified in many if not all of the areas you mentioned. And, you even edged on the possibility of MSN. That is a good idea as well.

I realize you have limited opportunities for experience in some of these areas, but, securing the BSN will take some time. You can gather experience as an RN in areas that could prepare you for forensic nursing; ER is a prime example. Trauma unit, although the ED is a much better learning environment for this area of specialization.

So, yes, you can foresee a future in forensics by working in your local ED after getting your RN.

Good luck to you!!!!!!!!!!!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

I am wondering about the education: keep it general or go more focused in hopes for the future???

ADN and BSN programs have a set curriculum. You specilize when you go on the job or go on to get a Master's degree.

Thanks for the help guys!!!

Perhaps a dual Bachelor's in Psych?

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