Confused and Stressed - What should I do next?


  • Career Columnist / Author
    Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I have been in nursing for 25 years also. I have my BSN and have been contemplating what to do next for some time. Most recently I am working in psych and behavioral health. I also have worked in med/surg, labor and delivery,women's surgical, DC planning, visiting nurse and as a school nurse.

The problem is I live in a very rural area and to have more job options I would need to add an hour commute each way to work. Which I do not want to do. I considered psych. nurse practitioner but opted not to as I am not really sure I want to do this.

So I am currently in a MSN in education program. I would really like to teach and do clinicals at the college level. I am less than a year from graduation. Now I am worried because the local 4 year college requires a NP, DP, or PhD to teach. I do have 1 colleague that has a MSN and teaches but she does 1 day at 2 different colleges. I currently work full time, have the health insurance and make a good income. I love my home and have 3 kids so I have not considered relocation.

I am currently in an online program and the jobs I have seen for those also seem to want more that a MSN.

So my worries are-

1. Am i going to get a job?

2. How do I transition from full time to part time.

3. Should I pursue a NP in psych and if so what is the best way financially to do that?

4. Did I just spend time and money on a degree that is not going to better my future? 5.Would a certificate in psych. help with my MSN, to make me more desirable?

What do I do now?

Your thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated. I am feeling overwhelmed with all of this as I usually like to plan my next move in my career.

Thanks for all of your help,

So confused and stressed.

Dear Stressed,

Take a big breath. You are going to be very marketable with your MSN, but your physical location is limiting.

I'm puzzled....? Clinical instructors do not need typically need to have a doctorate, just a Bachelor's or Master's I can't imagine they could find enough NPs and doctorates to support all of the clinical rotations.

So you currently have a good job, happy home, 3 kids, 25 years of varied experience, and soon to have an advanced degree. This is all good.

Remember you cannot predict the future. You may very well find an online teaching position with a university with your MSN in Education.

The absolute worse that happens have a good, full time job. They may want to make you the unit manager.

Ambiguity is tough, but try to just take it one day at a time.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth


feelix, RN

351 Posts

An MSN in education is very marketable. Instructors usually start off part-time or adjunct. The trick is to teach one clinical while you are at your current job and apply for a full-time position when it occurs. I think you are getting your iformation from your friend. Bypass her and get it directly from HR. Very few colleges requre NP or PhD to teach. The proof is your friend employed with an MSN only. Maybe they don't have an opening at this time, but there will be one that opens.


7 Posts

It sounds like you have a local hospital nearby. Have you considered looking into Nurse educator positions there? A position where you keep bedside RNs current in their CE credits, and ACLS certification current, etc,