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Bedside with an MSN?

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by Sophia P Sophia P (New) New Student

Specializes in PCT on a telemetry unit and CNA at a nursing home.

Hi! I'm currently halfway through my nursing schooling and also working as a PCT at a cardiac unit at a local hospital. As I'm getting closer to finishing my degree I'm contemplating advanced practice programs. I want to have a MSN, potentially in nursing education, soon after graduating with my BSN but I don't want to leave the bedside immediately. Are there bedside roles for a RN with a MSN that especially involve teaching? Thanks!

RNNPICU, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU. Has 13 years experience.

You can work as a bedside nurse with an MSN.

Ways to use education - think of ways to update discharge education on your unit, get involved with councils that focus on nurse professional development, skills training.

Easy to stay at the bedside. Also, really hone in on your discharge teaching of your patients

Skips, MSN, RN

Specializes in L&D.

I have a MSN and I work bedside. It’s possible!

@Skips Hi could you help me clarify a few things in regard to nursing. I have a non-nursing bachelor's degree and I looking to transition into nursing. I have been accepted to ABSN programs and I am waiting on a decision from a direct entry MSN/CNL program. My end goal is become a FNP. I am beyond stressed about making the right decision financially! I receive a lot of advice that I should do ADN - BSN - MSN route. What do you think is best? Timing is a big deal for me, I would like to get to my end goal as soon as possible. Also, is the starting salary for RNs truly the same despite the level of eduction (ADN vs. BSN vs. MSN). Lastly, are new grad CNLs able to start working in that role, or do employers want them to work beside first before transitioning into their CNL role? 

Skips, MSN, RN

Specializes in L&D.

15 hours ago, Jasmine0 said:

@Skips Hi could you help me clarify a few things in regard to nursing. I have a non-nursing bachelor's degree and I looking to transition into nursing. I have been accepted to ABSN programs and I am waiting on a decision from a direct entry MSN/CNL program. My end goal is become a FNP. I am beyond stressed about making the right decision financially! I receive a lot of advice that I should do ADN - BSN - MSN route. What do you think is best? Timing is a big deal for me, I would like to get to my end goal as soon as possible. Also, is the starting salary for RNs truly the same despite the level of eduction (ADN vs. BSN vs. MSN). Lastly, are new grad CNLs able to start working in that role, or do employers want them to work beside first before transitioning into their CNL role? 

Hello! I will try to help.

I think you should keep in mind which program is cheaper. ABSN and the MSN with clinical nurse leader will put you at the same place post graduation. You will need some clinical experience after graduation as a nurse before you can apply to FNP schools. Now, if you were to get your MSN right now, you could always go back for a post graduate certificate FNP program. That is what I am doing. Otherwise, you can do the ABSN and apply to Master's programs after getting some years of experience as a RN. It is up to you to decide cost of each program you are thinking about and how you want your career to look. Some areas utilize CNL much more than others. In the states I've practiced nursing, they do not utilize CNL. I know that Illinois does utilize it. Keep that in mind. It may not be much use to you in your career.

Starting salary is based upon years of experience. I have not made more due to having a Master's degree when working as a floor RN. I didn't even make more by having a BSN. It is based upon experience.

I am not familiar with the CNL role, as the states I have practiced nursing in do not utilize this role. I would do a search on this website regarding that. 

Thank you for asking me these questions. I hope this helped!

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

15 hours ago, Jasmine0 said:

@Skips Hi could you help me clarify a few things in regard to nursing. I have a non-nursing bachelor's degree and I looking to transition into nursing. I have been accepted to ABSN programs and I am waiting on a decision from a direct entry MSN/CNL program. My end goal is become a FNP. I am beyond stressed about making the right decision financially! I receive a lot of advice that I should do ADN - BSN - MSN route. What do you think is best? Timing is a big deal for me, I would like to get to my end goal as soon as possible. Also, is the starting salary for RNs truly the same despite the level of eduction (ADN vs. BSN vs. MSN). Lastly, are new grad CNLs able to start working in that role, or do employers want them to work beside first before transitioning into their CNL role? 

Direct entry Clinical Nurse Leader, I assume you're referring to? I wouldn't have too much confidence in a clinical leader who is a brand new graduate nurse with no experience. Also, how do you know you want to be a leader if you're not yet a nurse? If you're a nose-to-the-grindstone type of student I'd say the ABSN is the route to go. The MSN/CNL would be sort of a detour if you want to be a FNP.

Also, if you're already planning to zoom past nursing to advanced practice, why not consider PA school?

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

I am a bedside nurse with an MSN in Informatics. I still like bedside more than anything right now. I do a lot of staff teaching and troubleshooting. I don't get paid for it, but it has been a component of climbing the clinical ladder. I also have a masters in teaching (not nursing education) and If I wanted, I could probably do clinical instructor or teach in Sim lab at nursing school (I am a teaching hospital with a nsg and med school). 

I also do a lot of diabetes education. I have 2 type 1 kids and am forever teaching everyone about it, including pumps and CGMs

 

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

20 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Also, if you're already planning to zoom past nursing to advanced practice, why not consider PA school?

Sounds like she is not interested in advanced practice. Or I am confused. How does becoming a CNL or MSN in education or admin help getting to NP? 

I would be VERY wary of someone who has zero nursing experience. I have been on the interview team for new managers and we would not be too keen on someone with no experience. 

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

CNL is not an advanced practice role- and is not utilized in many places outside federal facilities like the VA. 

I worked bedside with an MSN ED for years. Nothing says you cannot. 

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

What is the role?  It is a new phrase to me. Nurse manager? Higher up leadership?  

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

21 minutes ago, mmc51264 said:

Sounds like she is not interested in advanced practice. Or I am confused. How does becoming a CNL or MSN in education or admin help getting to NP? 

I would be VERY wary of someone who has zero nursing experience. I have been on the interview team for new managers and we would not be too keen on someone with no experience. 

The post I responded to said that the end goal was to become a FNP.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

7 minutes ago, mmc51264 said:

What is the role?  It is a new phrase to me. Nurse manager? Higher up leadership?  

It's a role the VA kind of invented. Supposed to be a skilled bedside practitioner who is a leader. NOT a managerial role from what I can see. NOT an advanced practice role either. I have NEVER seen a job posting for one either- outside the VA system. 

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

Leave it to the govt to come up with a non-role  LOL. My husband works for the govt and it is frustrating to him. What are the usual qualifications?  I guess if that is what you want-I couldn't imagine getting an education for such a specific role, one that doesn't translate (or does it?). What licensing is earned after a program like that??  It is very curious to me now. 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

34 minutes ago, meanmaryjean said:

It's a role the VA kind of invented. Supposed to be a skilled bedside practitioner who is a leader. NOT a managerial role from what I can see. NOT an advanced practice role either. I have NEVER seen a job posting for one either- outside the VA system. 

Back in the late 80's I saw some big teaching hospitals in the Boston area advertise for this position. This was about the same time that "primary nursing" was taking front stage as the latest-and-greatest thing since honey-dipped donuts. There was one college in the area that offered a CNL Master's track, but I don't know if that's still a thing...

Hi everyone thank you so much for the responses. As a non-nurse I am surprised that the CNL role isn’t as well known as various programs perceive it to be. As a non-nurse with a BS I thought that I should shoot for the higher degree. But I am now rethinking that. I know eventually I want to become an APRN. However, I do not think it’s wise to completely to lock in exactly what I think I want to do considering I have no experience as a nurse under my belt. I am am ready to get to my end goal but I could have better stated that. I am more so ready to get through whichever program I choose and begin working!! I graduated college 2 years ago and since then I’ve worked as a EMT and a high school teacher. I absolutely loved both experiences but I’m ready to start my dream career. I think overall my biggest problem is that I want an accelerated program and I would love something affordable and those 2 things are hard to find. Again, thanks to everyone for their responses and expertise. I have a lot of thinking to do!  

Mrs.D., BSN

Specializes in Medical cardiology. Has 3 years experience.

19 hours ago, mmc51264 said:

What is the role?  It is a new phrase to me. Nurse manager? Higher up leadership?  

We utilize this on our medical cardiology floor. It’s a floor RN with a passion for knowledge and teaching who’s willing to take on more responsibility [and has energy... because it’s on top of our usual duties]. Anyone can volunteer to the director who then chooses whether to accept or not. They receive a couple of dollars bump in pay. They are the go-to person with clinical questions who is most up to date with policy and procedures. They tell us when P&P has changed. They do check offs for required skills. They give cardiac education to new grads and new-to-us RNs in the form of 4-hour paid lectures outside of work hours. Probably other stuff. They work closely with the director and charge nurse. Basically our RN cardiac/medsurg specialist. We have one on every shift. We’re not VA, but we are unionized. We’ve found this RN very useful.

We just lost ours to maternity leave who’s not coming back to work, and I’ve considered offering, but I’m too chicken sh*t. I hope to have the confidence next year, if there’s a spot. I’m nearly at 2 years experience and have a passion for policy and teaching skills and concepts. But maybe not the energy or experience... We will see. 

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

I think it's good to keep an open mind. The university where I got my BSN has an accelerated CNL program, and the people who graduate from it have a hard time getting jobs, because they have no nursing experience but were told in the program that they are nurse leaders and should apply for charge nurse/management roles. The program was great for BSN, but I think they are falsely advertising to these people that they can skip all the bedside experience and leading quality improvement projects. Plus learning all the basic nursing stuff plus the more advanced epidemiology/research/quality improvement stuff in 2 years looks stressful.

I agree you should see what you like during your training. See which specialties and environments you like. I was sure I wanted to be an L&D nurse, then during clinical found I was terrified of participating in the births. I can start a cardiac drip as a patient decompensates in front of me, but watching a baby's heart rate drop makes my own heart go into SVT! All this to say, only trying something hands on will tell you what you like. Do research into the job market for RNs (ADN, BSN, MSN), CNL, FNP, etc. Good luck and I hope you enjoy nursing!

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

12 hours ago, Mrs.D. said:

We utilize this on our medical cardiology floor. It’s a floor RN with a passion for knowledge and teaching who’s willing to take on more responsibility [and has energy... because it’s on top of our usual duties]. Anyone can volunteer to the director who then chooses whether to accept or not. They receive a couple of dollars bump in pay. They are the go-to person with clinical questions who is most up to date with policy and procedures. They tell us when P&P has changed. They do check offs for required skills. They give cardiac education to new grads and new-to-us RNs in the form of 4-hour paid lectures outside of work hours. Probably other stuff. They work closely with the director and charge nurse. Basically our RN cardiac/medsurg specialist. We have one on every shift. We’re not VA, but we are unionized. We’ve found this RN very useful.

We just lost ours to maternity leave who’s not coming back to work, and I’ve considered offering, but I’m too chicken sh*t. I hope to have the confidence next year, if there’s a spot. I’m nearly at 2 years experience and have a passion for policy and teaching skills and concepts. But maybe not the energy or experience... We will see. 

This sounds very much what our resource nurse and nurses that are on the highest level of our clinical ladder. 

Our resource nurse helps with patient flow as we have very high turnover of patients (ortho floor). This person coordinates with case mangers for DME, pharmacy, helps the floor nurses with discharges and admissions. We don't have a dedicated person to do this, there are 4 nurses that have been cross trained (including out clinical team leads which also do a lot of what you describe, but half their position is admin). 

I am getting ready to complete my CNIV and I already help with onboarding new staff, checking off many skills, I am the unit diabetes expert and I am the EPIC resource. 

Thank for explaining further 🙂