Need advice re MSN strategy

  1. Any suggestions, input, or advice will be greatly appreciated.
    I graduated in 1990 from an ADN program at the age of 29. I am now 41 years old and have been working in psychiatry for all but the 1st 6 months of my career. I find I am in a bit of a personal career dilemma. My goal is to become a psych NP. I have finally mustered up the determination to pursue that goal, but tend to let myself keep putting things off due to the confusion on how to go about it. I cannot allow myself to continue to be overwhelmed by how to get started - so I have decided I have to start one step at a time.
    I have done enough investigating to find that my educational options in this state are going to be limited (to say the least), but NOT impossible. One school I contacted offers no Psych NP program, only the career path of clinical nurse specialist. The advantage there was that even with an AD, if I met certain criteria, I may be able to go straight into a master's program.
    Another school is in the process of 'developing' a Psych NP program, but I didn't think to ask if going straight into the master's program would be an option (maybe I just assumed it would be based on what the other school said). I have had my transcript looked at by both schools to get some feedback, and get me pointed in the right direction. I know there are certain electives I need still, and can go ahead and start on at the local community college, but when I went there Friday to talk to the guy in student services about my goals - and how I planned to pursue them - his first response was "oh you can't do it that way". Well, once again I allowed myself to momentarily feel defeated.
    I have to start working on this. I'm NOT getting any younger. I feel I have reached a plateau in my professional life. And my personal life would be most conducive at this point to get down to business. I have the most wonderfully supportive husband, who has even suggested I quit work to pursue it full time, if I felt a need to do it that way (although I can't imagine not working at least part time). We are not financially "well off" by any means, but are both willing to make certain sacrifices for the greater good of the goal.
    Sometimes I just feel I need for someone who "knows" to just sit down a few minutes with me and say, "OK Mary - here's the first thing you need to do". I am not one to ask for such help very often, tending to have become (as I have aged) more of an independent woman, as well as one who does not like to burden others with my problems. But then I thought - what better place to go than right here to get some suggestions from some wonderful people who probably wouldn't even consider it a bother at all to be asked for their input. Thanks yall. (yeah, I'm from the South)
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    About Mary Dover

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 366; Likes: 34
    RN in cold but beautiful place
    Specialty: Psych, hospice, family practice


  3. by   norweaver
    Hi Mary,

    I'm a 49 year old nurse in an RN to BSN program now, and looking into grad school myself, so I have some empathy for your dilemma. Have you searched the web for grad schools of nursing? There are many out there now which either work online, combination of online and monthly classroom, or weekend classroom settings. I registered with a service online for grad school search and occasionally the schools try to recruit me!

    I don't know where you live, but Vanderbilt in Nashville has an RN to MSN program, I don't know about psych NP though. My husband is so supportive that he is willing to fly me to class monthly if I can find a program that suits my needs on monthly weekends(that's provided I keep working full-time, so we can afford it.)

    Try doing a search on master's in nursing programs and some will come up. Email them and ask more questions, they are very willing to help for the most part and are prompt in their responses.

    Hope you find what you are looking for.