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Considering MSN in Education

Educators   (1,854 Views | 6 Replies)

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I'm a late bloomer! I got my ADN RN at 42. A few years later I got my BSN so I could have more options, which has done nothing for me except for added a few more letters after my name and a great big bunch of dept. I've been working on a Med/Surg/Tele/Post-op Gyn/psych hold floor for over six years now. I'll be fifty soon; I'm so tired and often have back, knee, hip pain after my shifts. I lost my son to PTSD (post Iraq) when he committed suicide two years ago. I have really changed, including my stress tolerance. We are always short staffed and for physical and emotional reasons, I simply can only do so much anymore. I'm currently going through a divorce after 23 years of marriage, so financially I'm on my own. I only work 2 days per week because I just can't do more. I wanted to continue to my MSN in education after my BSN but heard the pay is lowsy and it's difficult to find work. But, I've now been employed at the same hospital since 2003 so I'm hoping that I could get a job as an educator there, which would actually be a pay increase. I'm also thinking that if I didn't have an insane job, I'd be able to work full time again and even if I make less per hour, I'd still net more money. I love my patients, I also love my students. I always take students doing their clinicals and work hard to give them a good experience, lots of teaching but keeping them feeling safe and confident. They often try to get me back, tell me it was their best clinical day ever and usually hug me! I'm curious what those of you in the field think; I don't want to regret getting this degree. Though I must say I'd be very happy to have a Master's just to have it. Thoughts/opinions? Thank you.

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

2 Followers; 5,738 Posts; 47,710 Profile Views

Am offering you some (((hugs)))) for all the personal issues that you've been dealing with. Sounds like you might do well with a position in education/training. Or some other kind of change.

But a word of advice - be verrrrry careful about your hope/expectation to be hired on for such a position where you've been employed. Sounds like you've been dead-ended there. With any change (even a small one from where you might least expect it) in corporate ownership, administration, restructuring, etc, you could be in for just another setback.

I'm a little saddened how you commented about 'the few more letters' ie BSN, in terms of job advancement (?) and more debt. You kind of sound defeated like you were expecting some great big golden opportunity to have opened up for you. Things like that just don't happen. An MSN might just be another disappointment. Graduate education will cost money but the degree is necessary for the direction you want to head. But there is no guarantee that a desirable position (money, responsibilities, location, etc) will be available post-graduation. You're correct to recognize that many NEWLY advance degreed nurses are facing some rude awakenings in their prospective/current career positions.

I think you might be looking too far ahead at situations that might not be feasible or realistic, that is, you've a lot of very big "IFs" in your post.

Think about it - WITH the advanced degree, you would be able to pursue things that you just COULD NOT WITHOUT IT. That can open doors for you that are NOT open now. But then again, those doors might not open quickly enough if at all. At this time, you're not a techno dinosaur but things do change rapidly. Also postponing school will only cost more money later on - am not sure how you would plan on financing school. Can your health hold out for any extended time?

FWIW, and I say this VERY CAUTIOUSLY, consider part-time school, but leave some room in your future for yourself. Without being too personal or intrusive, please take care of yourself - you're dealing with an awful lot. Take advantage of your EAP at work if poss. Maybe consider something out of your 'ole reliable' comfort zone hospital position. Whatever you do, do it as a thoughtful realistic plan and not one out of disappointment.

Wishing you all the best.

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28 Posts; 1,262 Profile Views

I got the darn BSN so I'd have more options. I've really been disappointed because I've been trying to get off the floor for a while but every position I've applied for I've been passed over for someone with experience in that field, i.e. physician office, endoscopy, interventional radiology. I could get hired in our ER, I worked there as a tech for 6 years. I think ER experience would position me better for a lot of jobs. But, I just feel like it would be too stressful. Im totally fine and on point at work and then after I finish my last shift, I fall to pieces, I think because I have to push everything out of my mind, then it comes back like a sledge hammer. It's better; I used to not even make out of the parking garage before just breaking down and sobbing in my car for awhile before I could drive. So I don't think a higher stress position would be a realistic or smart move. I think I might just totally lose it. I'm afraid that I won't be safe for my patients because my cognition will be compromised by trying so hard to keep things together. Other jobs I've looked at, such as case management, utilization review etc require experience in those fields. I feel totally boxed in and am pretty frustrated that the BSN hasn't been of any realistic use. Unless of course, I continue my education. I really think that a nurse practitioner of any type would be too stressful; I just don't want that massive responsibility. In all honesty, I'm just at a loss. I want to try to rebuild my life. I worked so hard to get my degrees; it took me 7 years for the Associates with prerequisites, working full time, kids at home. Since 2008 both my parents and all my (4) sisters died. Jeepers, the night before my first shift as an RN, my house burned down. But I stayed working hard, pushed through, was at clinicals the day after my mother died. And I worked hard on my BSN, I was able to join Sigma Theta Tau, got on the Dean's list and graduated with honors. I'm just confounded that I can't seem to make anything work. I'm sort of just subsiting because I don't work enough. It makes me so sad to think all that was for nothing now if I can't do anything but work at a job that's getting hard to stomach. I feel like my son killed me too sometimes. I guess, I feel sort of ruined and am trying to remake myself despite this quagmire of endless loss. Yes, I'm in counseling and on medication. Sorry this is so long. It's just kind of a complex situation. There's actually more stuff that's happened but I'm trying not to write a book; I'm just trying to explain where my head is at and get some light shed on how to proceed. Thanks.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 106,338 Profile Views

I'm so sorry for your losses. That is an awful lot of loss to be dealing with all at once. You mentioned counseling and medication, but I hope you are taking advantage of some of the services available specifically for family survivors of suicide. I know that the VA offers support services for families of veterans who have suicided, and here are a few other resources:

Families of Veteran Suicide | Love Your Veterans

Home Page – The Compassionate Friends (a group that offers groups and other services for anyone who has lost a child of any age for any reason)

Page not found | Suicide Grief: News & Comment (scroll down the page a ways and there is a section of resources specifically for military, veterans, and their families

Additionally, many of the state NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness, a community/consumer based support group) chapters offer special resources for veterans and their families.

I know that, as nurses, we pride ourselves on being strong and capable, and are typically more focused on taking care of others than we are on taking care of ourselves. But you are going to need all the help you can get for a while. Only you know best what you are capable of at this time, but most grief professionals advise not undertaking any new, big projects (like starting another degree) or making any big, important decisions while you're dealing with acute grief. As you note, your cognition and decision-making abilities are not at their best right now. All my best wishes --

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

7 Followers; 13,374 Posts; 60,763 Profile Views

I agree with the other posters. An MSN is not a "cure" for your personal issues. It would be another burden -- hard work, expensive, etc. -- with no guarantee of a better job at graduation. You need to focus on taking care of YOURSELF before you will be in a position to give a lot to a new career and to your students. Being a faculty member can be draining and it doesn't sound like you have a lot of inner resources left to give right now.

Have you talked to your counselor about the possibility of taking on this additional challenge at this time?

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28 Posts; 1,262 Profile Views

Thank you everyone for your kindness and candor, as well as the resources. My insurance changed and I lost my counselor in June. I will call my EAP today, just saying it here so I feel accountable and will follow through. Having such strong responses all saying the same thing, I'm going to put my MSN on hold until I feel more confidant. I'm a perfectionist who stressed about every test and am upset it I get a 98%, cause I might need those points down the road. So you guys are right, I'm not ready. Thank you so very much.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 106,338 Profile Views

Thank you everyone for your kindness and candor, as well as the resources. My insurance changed and I lost my counselor in June. I will call my EAP today, just saying it here so I feel accountable and will follow through. Having such strong responses all saying the same thing, I'm going to put my MSN on hold until I feel more confidant. I'm a perfectionist who stressed about every test and am upset it I get a 98%, cause I might need those points down the road. So you guys are right, I'm not ready. Thank you so very much.

{{Hugs}}

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