Anyone able to use a nursing degree and another degree? - page 2

Hi all! I graduated in May, and work at a small hospital. I work night shift. I was thinking about going back part time to the same university that I graduated from. I wanted to take some classes... Read More

  1. by   rach_nc_03
    My first degree was in music/journalism (double major), but after I left performing, I worked in the technology field doing marketing, international corporate strategy, and research. I enjoyed the work (especially analyzing current data to come up with new strategies) and the pay (was making six figures before I was 30), but we all know what happened in that market....

    After I left bedside care due to medical problems, I did clinical research- I got a job without having much bedside experience because (a) I was ACLS certified, and (b) I'd worked in research in a different field, so I understood the process. I loved it, but had to move this past summer for my husband's new job.

    My current job is an excellent combination for me- I work for a nonprofit insurance cooperative as a nurse consultant/advisor. I review the current literature and primary studies for a multitude of things- disease-specific patient education, treatment methods, medications, preventive screenings- and coordinate/design clinical benefits and programs offered to members. My next project will involve working with our physician advisory board to write our next policy manual, and to discuss approval of new drugs/surgeries, etc. I spend most of my time looking for sources, reading, pondering, and writing.

    For instance, I had a project that involved doing utilization review for a class of medications vs. the number of times a certain diagnosis was reported for pts in a certain group- the goal was to find out how frequently certain drugs were being prescribed off-label, and when those trends started. As part of this project, I had to do a lot of research on the pharmacology of all drugs in that class, and had to write up the whole thing in a presentation format for someone to present at a conference.

    Eventually, I might get my MSN in Nursing Informatics (my employer will pay all costs); there are NI programs at excellent universities that can be done entirely online, so distance isn't a factor. I'm also considering a graduate degree in research nursing.

    My views on happiness and work/life balance have really evolved over the last 5 years; I think it's easy to get tunnel-vision about work and career, especially for those of us in professions that are inherently altruistic, like nursing. But being happy and fulfilled in your own life has to come before everything else, IMHO. We talk about not being able to care for others if we don't care for ourselves- but I'd take it a step further, and say we need to strive for happiness and self-fulfillment in order to fulfill the needs of others.

    So- I'd say you should go for it!! Investigate your options, and if you're interested in taking a few classes to explore this interest, absolutely do it. Even if you can't find something that directly combines the two degrees, remember that many, many people have several careers over their lives. Heck, I'm on career #3 already!
  2. by   lab211
    I am a senior nursing student in a nontraditional accelerated program.
    The average age is probaly in the mid thirties. Some of us have had or working in a career while we are in nursing school.
    Unlike your situation, I am working in another medical profession as I attend nursing school. I also have a graduate degree in Human Resources. It remains to be seen if I can incorporate these other two fields together with nursing. I plan to still practice my other medical profession after I finish nursing even on a part time basis because I want to keep up my skills.
    So my advise to you is to be true to yourself and go with what makes you fullfilled and happy.
  3. by   wildmountainchild

    My husband is a ranger is Yosemite National Park, which sees about 4.5 million visitors a year and has everything from bee stings to major trauma and medical events. There is a small clinic there and it seems as if they are always looking for a few good nurses. Usually work is during the summer and you get a place to live (a room in a house) and you usually work three 12's a week. Plently of time to play in the great outdoors. It doesn't pay as well as nursing jobs in the city but you get paid w/ time off and a place to live in Yosemite.

    If you put enough time in it's possible you could get a full time (year round) job there. I believe you get your own housing at that point. The clinic there is run by Tenet Healthcare, not the government. A good place to look for jobs is USAJOBS - The Federal Government's Official Jobs Site. You can find out if any govt jobs are being flown for medical positions in the parks (forest service, BLM, and NPS).

    Opportunities to live your dreams are out there. Good luck.
  4. by   David's Harp
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    Heck, I'm on career #3 already!
    Excellent post! As a nursing student (pre-career #2) with a music career temporarily on hold (that'd be the first one...), some days I think that doing this is insane/impractical/insurmountable/what-have-you, so I'm emboldened by your words!

    Plus, my patients have been some of my best cheerleaders in this!


  5. by   wannabemw
    I have my health ed degree (BS) in addition to my BSN. I have found they truly go "hand in hand."
    Go for it! After all, Disneyworld, ect all have nurses that work there too!
  6. by   BJZMom
    I have a BS in Public Health and a BSN. I recently secured a Community Health RN position in my local health dept. After working in the ICU and hemodialysis, I realized I needed a position that would allow me to use both of my degrees. I've never been happier! :roll
  7. by   Wellness RN
    I know this post is old, but I just wanted to share my story. I was in Marketing/Advertising for years. Went back to school in my late 30's for my RN degree. I did floor nursing for a very short time and I am now a Nurse Liaison. Like BJZMom, I have never been happier. It's such a great feeling to be able to really use all of your education and life experience.