Best Work Experience for MSN Ed?

  1. I have decided that I would like to get an MSN in Education (maybe a PhD too eventually) and someday teach in the classroom at a college or university and teach clinicals (as opposed to in a hospital in a Nurse Educator role.) I am a PICU nurse and have been for 3 years. My questions are 1) when it comes to being hired to teach, what would I teach? In my ASN schooling to get my RN, I don't remember a PICU class per se. I remember Peds and Intensive Care, but not PICU. Tell me if I am wrong. SO my question is, do I need to go back to general Peds ( did almost 2 years of that before PICU) to become competitive for educator positions? Please tell me if I am viewing this whole situation incorrectly. Also, question 2) how long do I need to be clinically working in my specialty to become competitve to teach? I feel like most teachers seem to have 20 plus years bedside before teaching. Is this expected? Are clinical educators (as opposed to the didactic educators) held to that same standard? Thank you for the help.
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    About Myprettykitty

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 25; Likes: 7
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience

    7 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Those are legitimate questions. My clinical experience is in NICU -- thus making it next to impossible for me to switch over to an academic setting to teach. They just don't teach NICU to undergraduates.

    While you might be able to get a job teaching peds with your PICU background -- you would be more competitive (and probably a better clinical instructor) if you had experience working on a general peds floor. As you well know, there are different skills involved between PICU and general care.

    Where I live, people with about 5 years of experience (+ MSN) are able to get clinical instructor jobs. However in many cases, they are just adjunct instructor jobs and not full time faculty jobs.
  4. by   Rose_Queen
    Having worked only in the OR, I realized the low likelihood of teaching in an academic setting but still set out to get my MSN ed to teach students. However, I also noticed that when I would complete assignments, I always gravitated towards the staff development route. I am now working in staff development for the OR. I'd say it depends on where you truly want to end up and what experience you're willing to get to make it realistic.
  5. by   llg
    I probably should have added to me previous post that I ended up in staff education, too -- and I am very happy that I did. I have better pay, better hours, etc. being a Nursing Professional Development Specialist than I would have as a mid-level faculty member. And I teach an occasional course for a local university as an adjunct to "scratch that academic teaching itch."
  6. by   Myprettykitty
    Quote from llg
    Those are legitimate questions. My clinical experience is in NICU -- thus making it next to impossible for me to switch over to an academic setting to teach. They just don't teach NICU to undergraduates.

    While you might be able to get a job teaching peds with your PICU background -- you would be more competitive (and probably a better clinical instructor) if you had experience working on a general peds floor. As you well know, there are different skills involved between PICU and general care.

    Where I live, people with about 5 years of experience (+ MSN) are able to get clinical instructor jobs. However in many cases, they are just adjunct instructor jobs and not full time faculty jobs.
    Thank you for the insight! I agree, gen peds and PICU are two different worlds and PICU is such a specialized world of its own- much like NICU- that the skills and knowledge don't all transfer to other subjects very easily. I think I can get behind the idea of going back into a general peds job to be more competitive in the teaching world. And, while at the moment I think I want to teach in academia, I am definitely keeping my mind open to be convinced otherwise. The pay is definitely better in the hospital so I can hope to decide I want to go that route. Thank you for your thoughts. Any opinions on my other post? Basically I need to decide between a good state school program which is 45k and is almost all online, or WGU for about 18k? The local hospitals pay very little as far as tuition. And just wondering about your many letters after your name, did you get your PhD after having the educator job you have now or did you find a PhD necessary to get the good Professional Development roles? Thanks much!
  7. by   Myprettykitty
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    Having worked only in the OR, I realized the low likelihood of teaching in an academic setting but still set out to get my MSN ed to teach students. However, I also noticed that when I would complete assignments, I always gravitated towards the staff development route. I am now working in staff development for the OR. I'd say it depends on where you truly want to end up and what experience you're willing to get to make it realistic.
    I guess this would be the ideal situation for me too- to end up wanting to work in a hospital specialised unit setting. The pay would be better and I might be a better fit for it because of the speciality I work in. Thanks for the insight. Thank you for your thoughts. Any opinions on my other post? Basically I need to decide between a good state school program which is 45k and is almost all online, or WGU for about 18k? The local hospitals pay very little as far as tuition. Thanks much!
  8. by   llg
    I worked as a NICU staff nurse ... then got my MSN majoring in Perinatal Nursing with a minor in Nursing Administration and taking extra coursework in Nursing Education (back in the day when MSN's required 48 graduate credit hours).

    Then I worked as a NICU CNS and Staff Development Educator for 10 years. Then I went back to school and got my PhD, focusing on nursing theory, philosophy, and research methods.

    The school choice is a tough one. WGU is more reputable than many of the other totally online schools. But its payment system trips people up sometimes. I've known people who thought they were going to be able to complete their program quickly and keep their costs down ... but then... life happened and they had to slow down their academic progression, which ended up being very expensive. Also, if you go through school more slowly, you will be able to work more -- which will earn money to pay for a slower route through your state school. Another advantage to the state school might be that you could drive to campus and actually meet with instructors if you have questions or run into any problems along the way.

    In the end, I recommend following your heart on the school question. If you choose WGU, be prepared for it to become more expensive than you think it will cost. Things might slow you down and add to your expense. If you choose the state route, consider slowing down your education to work more to pay for the extra cost. It can be done either way -- so follow your heart and be happy with your choice. Both are reasonable choices.
  9. by   Myprettykitty
    Quote from llg
    I worked as a NICU staff nurse ... then got my MSN majoring in Perinatal Nursing with a minor in Nursing Administration and taking extra coursework in Nursing Education (back in the day when MSN's required 48 graduate credit hours).

    Then I worked as a NICU CNS and Staff Development Educator for 10 years. Then I went back to school and got my PhD, focusing on nursing theory, philosophy, and research methods.

    The school choice is a tough one. WGU is more reputable than many of the other totally online schools. But its payment system trips people up sometimes. I've known people who thought they were going to be able to complete their program quickly and keep their costs down ... but then... life happened and they had to slow down their academic progression, which ended up being very expensive. Also, if you go through school more slowly, you will be able to work more -- which will earn money to pay for a slower route through your state school. Another advantage to the state school might be that you could drive to campus and actually meet with instructors if you have questions or run into any problems along the way.

    In the end, I recommend following your heart on the school question. If you choose WGU, be prepared for it to become more expensive than you think it will cost. Things might slow you down and add to your expense. If you choose the state route, consider slowing down your education to work more to pay for the extra cost. It can be done either way -- so follow your heart and be happy with your choice. Both are reasonable choices.
    Thank you for taking the time to explain your work history and path. That helps me get some perspective on a timeline. And I appreciate your thoughts on the BandM school vs online. It is just great to not hear, "WGU no way" as that gives me some options. The state school does appeal in name and in having real people I could potentially access. But I don't know if I can justify the cost. Even if I slow down and take longer than the average 1 year for BSN and 2 years for MSN, I would still be far under the cost of the state school. So that is rough. I have also researched the community colleges in the area and of the ones who have their faculty and their education posted, not a few of them have degrees from WGU. SO that is promising. I would actually love a more traditional program with a class that meets about once a week and getting to know other people in my program, but that doesn't appear to be an option in this area. Anyhow thank you for your thoughts and listening. Much appreciated.

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