My Educational Plans - Feedback from experienced nurses?

  1. I am in the last mini-semester (summer...8 wks long) of my LPN program at my local community college. Other than 1 Med Surg class in which I got a C due to family issues, I have maintained a B average throughout (mostly low 90s as our program considers a 93-86 a B). I have enjoyed it, but I realized how much I love being a student, and have decided to continue on.

    Here's my plan:


    • Graduate from LPN with a 3.0 or better - Aug 09
    • Start working (will work through remaining education)
    • 1 semester of pre-reqs for my RN (thats all that I still need) - fin Dec 09
    • Apply for the LPN to RN transition (hoping to get in the immediate next semester but not expecting to based on deadlines, there are possibly spots open but the devil is in the details here) - Starts Jan 2010 and Aug 2010
    • Work on pre-reqs for my BSN/MSN while waiting to get into the RN program (which means I kind of have to figure out what BSN program to apply for before signing up for January classes)
    • Apply for a BSN through an online college (thinking Eastern Carolina University which is about 5 hrs away but not 100% set on going there)
    • Complete my BSN and apply to a Masters program - either Nurse Educator or Nurse Midwife specialty
    • Graduate before I'm 40 (which would be October of 2016)

    But here is where it gets confusing. I KNOW I want to teach nursing students, I love it, and I'm good at it (I tutor and have taught class as a project as well as providing training on custom software to businesses in my former life) and I see a real need for it. I think I would like midwifery (sans the birth politics if thats possible). I've always been very passionate about birth, but am concerned that may be a hinderance to me as an RN due to having to bite my tongue in seeing unnecessary interventions, but I digress. I do have small children at home (who will obviously no longer be small by the time I finish all of this unfortunately). I know that the benefit of the Nurse Educator path (both the work hours and the actual MSN program) are more family friendly than being on call for birth and doing the clinical portion of the MSN. I've also thought of getting my Nurse Educators MSN and then going back and getting my Midwifery later, but I also kinda feel like I'm starting late in the game, having started nursing school at 32 yrs old, and don't want to be in school until I retire. (I have been a student pretty much all of my life in one fashion or another).

    My questions for those of you who've gone on to your BSN/MSN, is it better to go with a brick and mortar college that you walk into compared to taking online classes and local clinicals with a college a bit further away? Would you rather see an education major teaching Nursing or someone who had more hands on in a particular area of expertise? Neither of my instructors thus far have had any educational background and I really feel it shows, but at the same time, one of my teachers has way more clinical experience than the other, and that has shown as well.

    Tell me how your school experience has gone for you? Is there anything you would do differently? Anything you would suggest I do? pitfalls to avoid? ect?
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    About missjennmb

    Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 960; Likes: 841

    5 Comments

  3. by   Magsulfate
    First of all, congratulations for having such a wonderful plan!

    I am going back to school, trying to get an MSN , education track. It is completely online. This is common and there are many MSN schools to choose from online because it is mostly writing and research. You may even be able to have your master's degree paid for by your employer. Some of them will reimburse your education if you're working for them. That is an idea to look for when seeking employment as a nurse.

    Good luck!
  4. by   classicdame
    I am glad you have a plan, but be a little flexible. You will be learning more about nursing and more about yourself as time goes on. I say keep an open mind. There is no need to plan that far in advance. As for online schools, I think they are great but I do recommend a state or local school versus one that is entirely a virtual classroom. That way you have someone to hunt down if you need to do so. Also, probably cheaper. Get that BSN then worry about the rest later. Who knows? Doors may open and you want to be able to walk in!
  5. by   missjennmb
    Quote from classicdame
    I am glad you have a plan, but be a little flexible. You will be learning more about nursing and more about yourself as time goes on. I say keep an open mind. There is no need to plan that far in advance. As for online schools, I think they are great but I do recommend a state or local school versus one that is entirely a virtual classroom. That way you have someone to hunt down if you need to do so. Also, probably cheaper. Get that BSN then worry about the rest later. Who knows? Doors may open and you want to be able to walk in!
    Thank you for the advice.

    The only reason I am trying to plan ahead is because it looks like after my LPN program finishes in a couple of months, I will have 2-3 semesters before my RN program starts, and if I know which BSN/MSN program I want to try to get into, I can avoid wasting those semesters by working on my pre-requisites for those programs.

    I know there are those who started school in their 40s and have graduated way later than my intended completion date, but I just feel like time is slipping away and I feel like I should have been so much further in life than I am now (although I am very grateful for what I do have - a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children - it sidetracked me for a really long time from my goals of "finishing" school (although what is finished anyways? it changes for me...LPN, RN, BSN, MSN, Doctorate?)

    That Johnson and Johnson commercial about Nurse educators has been ringing in the back of my mind louder and louder lately (what do this person, this person and this person have in common? they all were helped by THIS person, who taught them yadda yadda)
  6. by   HouTx
    Wow girl, you really have it together!

    I am a nurse educator - have 'been there and done that' in both academia & workplace for a while now. What I found in academia was a FAR worse environment than hospitals - LOL. So I have stuck to the "service" side of nursing education for the last 10 years.

    If you are seriously considering moving into an education practice - & I really hope you do!!! -- I would advise you to make sure your MSN is granted by a "bricks and mortar" institution. Most of the larger nursing schools/universities provide a nice mix of traditional and online classes now, so you should be able to find a really nice fit in terms of being able to accomodate your own schedule. If you plan to teach at a non-commercial educational institution, you need to have a graduate degree that is associated with an traditional program.

    Hang on a sec before flaming -- The mission of traditional (non-commercial) educational institutions is focused on both education and research (adding to the existing body of nursing knowledge) and they want faculty who can contribute in both areas. Online-only programs are not capable of providing their graduates with exposure to and familiarization with a 'scholarly' environment - and this is an absolute must for preparation of faculty for a research-oriented institution. Basically, if you get your graduate credentials from an online-only or commercial school, you will be limited to employment at those same organizations.... nuff said

    OK - let the flames begin
  7. by   missjennmb
    I hadnt thought about it that way, rbezemek, thank you for the insight. So would you consider a school that has both online and brick and mortar classes, but which you can attend completely online as within that framework? I know that DeVry and ITT Tech and so forth are mostly online, but places like MUSC of Charleston which has a huge medical campus and hospital and Eastern Carolina University which also has its own campus for local residents, offer completely online versions of a lot of their nursing degrees (MUSC's Nurse Educator program is solely online if I remember correctly). I think if I went Educator I'd probably go through MUSC just because its a really well known and respected hospital/school to those living in my area and may grant me some credibility, even if I did only have to go down once a year for orientation.

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