1. Hi every1! I'm in need of advice. I'm currently an RN, ADN and have been for a year. I know that I want to be a social worker, underpaid or not, I've always wanted to, so that's not the issue. The issue is whether I should get my bsn then msw, or my bsw then msw? The goal was after I got my bsw that I could do some kind of social work job and/or rn prn while going for my msw :/ Anyone know the time frame for either? costs?

    I've been debating going back to school, but it's now or never! I'm 26 with no children so I feel it's the perfect opportunity. Thanks in advance!
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    About diva216

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 3; Likes: 5


  3. by   HouTx
    My hat's off to you for moving into such a well respected field. But you do realize - right?- that you will be seeking a degree that is consistently rated the lowest-earning 4 year degree? The pay is even lower than elementary education. The burn-out rate is huge!

    I would encourage you to look at specializing in medical SW, but I think that this will require an MSW. They are sorely needed, and with your RN background you would be a natural. Hopefully, the job conditions and salary would be better than generalist SWs. If your true goal is to get an MSW, I'd say just go for it- I don't see a point in getting your BSN first.

    Good Luck & God Bless
  4. by   lorazepam
    Do this:!!!!

    I learned about it at a Graduate Program fair when I was going to Cal State L.A. It sounds like something I'd like to do someday also...but I wanna try and do everything

    Edit: Or...have you tried getting into Case Management? I think they're similar duties... Not too sure. I worked at an inpatient hospice and out Social Workers there did Psych/Social AND had to call Skilled Nursing Facilities/Verify Insurances to discharge patients, etc. Sounds like something the RN Case Managers do now in the acute hospital.
  5. by   roser13
    My question is...if your deepest desire is to be a Social Worker, why are you pursuing your goal in such a roundabout way? Why not simply aim for your MSW?

    Why is Nursing involved at all? And why are you considering furthering your N\nursing education before pursuing the degree that you want so badly?
  6. by   diva216
    Quote from roser13
    My question is...if your deepest desire is to be a Social Worker, why are you pursuing your goal in such a roundabout way? Why not simply aim for your MSW?

    Why is Nursing involved at all? And why are you considering furthering your N\nursing education before pursuing the degree that you want so badly?
    That's a good question. But I have to have my bachelors before I get my masters correct? So I was thinking since I already have my associates in nursing if it would be quicker to get my bsn then msw or get my bsw then my msw? Maybe I'm missing something here thinking I have to do it one step at a time. I don't think there's a program I could enter with my ADN and go straight through for my there?!?
  7. by   roser13
    Well, there may be a way to go from your ADN directly to a Master's. Certainly, if you are staying within the field of nursing, you can bridge to MSN. It's definitely worth checking out.

    I guess my point to you is this: with nursing degrees there is so much involved outside of the academic work...clinicals, required practicum experience. I don't understand how undergoing all that's required to obtain a nursing Master's Degree will expedite a MSW.
  8. by   want2banurse35
    In order to get into a MSW program you will have to have a bachelor's degree. It is required for the program. My cousin is a Clinical Medical Social Worker and he get's paid pretty good. But in order to get in that program he had to have his bachelors.
  9. by   elkpark
    If you know that you want to go into social work, I don't see the point or advantage to completing another nursing degree. If I were in your position, I would look into completing a BSW degree. If you complete a BSN, I'm sure you would have to complete some additional coursework in order to be accepted into an MSW program with no social work background.

    Best wishes!
  10. by   jcmoore07
    Just wondering, what makes you want to be a social worker instead of a nurse? I have considered one or the other for some time as well. From what I can see, many registered nurses have and use many of the same skill sets as social workers. Such as in psych, gerontology, hospice, pediatrics, etc...a lot of these nurses get to address psycho-social needs of patients. While nurses generally don't do therapy, they do have therapeutic relationships with their patients, especially those who work in long term care. I am not bashing social work, because I think it is a good field as well.
  11. by   ok2bme
    Hi, I was just wondering if you have made any progress towards getting a MSW? As this is my goal as well. Nursing is okay, but I am way more interested in the psycho-social aspects of nursing than the medical and skill components. I want to further my education, and SW seems like a better fit than an MSN. Is anyone else interested in SW? Does anyone have any advice on this as a career path? Thanks.
  12. by   jcmoore07
    hey there, I started my MSW program this fall. The school I'm going to has a part time program, which is nice because I also work full time. I'm sure you can manage school since you are a nurse. I think that if you are interested in it, go for it. If you don't like it, you always have the education and can stay in nursing. Good luck
  13. by   winsomehill
    This is a late post in response to the discussion....
    I have been having a similar debate in my head. I am currently an LPN at a prison, and it has many social work aspects to it I love. I am an advocate for a disadvantage population, and I make a difference in their lives. I'm considering pursuing my R.N. next year or going into a msw program. I will have completed my bachelors in Psych in June 2011. I am concerned about the responsibility connected with being an R.N. The field is so tight there are cuts being made all over the place, and being responsible for more and more patient care increases the possibility of something horrible happening...that I would never forgive myself for. I do want to put in a plug here for prison nursing, is a place a born social worker who happens to have a nursing license can find a happy home.
  14. by   Jennybird
    I realize this post is quite old, but wanted to respond with my thoughts for those of you who may be having a similar RN vs SW concerns.
    I received my MSW in 2007 and have been working for as a gerontological social worker/case manager in a residential setting since. I am a strong advocate for my residents and have had the opportunity to develop strong relationships with them and I truly feel I am helping to provide a better q uality of life for them, empowering, educating them, etc. In other words, I am fulfulled as a social worker in this role. However! Along the way I have had many encounters with other disciplines wherein I feel like I'm essentially viewed as a non-professional, which has caused me to feel like even though I am making an impact on clients, I feel as if I am an authority on nothing. I'm just a "helper." Even though I have extensive education and knowledge--but it's not recognized as readily as other professions. The field of social work unfortunately is (in my experience) under-valued and under-appreciated by other professions and by society. Hence the extremely low pay. You hear teachers complain ab their low pay--I'd like for them to see my paycheck!! Anyhow, of course I didn't go into SW for the $. So please, do not think this post is all ab pay inequity. It's just that it's a low professional blow to feel under respected no matter how hard you work and how much of a difference you make.
    The world needs social workers--this is why I got into the profession, but I simply have a hard time feeling continually under- respected, under-valued and under paid. If social work is your passion, go for it! You will make a difference in the lives of many! But if you are more sensitive to the inequities that I feel are inherent in the profession, you may want to reconsider your choice.