Please Help: SLP vs RN?

  1. Hello everyone, I am currently in my freshman year of college. I went away to school with the intentions of per suing a BSN. I was already accepted into my schools program and I am currently taking my first nursing class. The class is more of an introduction to nursing so we have a lot of presenters. Every time someone gets up in front of the room and talks about what its like for them to be a nurse, I find myself second guessing my decision. I am not sure if it is really the right career for me. I know most people are going to tell me to do whats best for me, and essentially I am going to, I am just looking for some outside opinions. I have done a decent amount of research on the two careers and have even read some of the other posts on this website. Which in the end is what drove me to post this.

    If anyone has experience working as an SLP or RN, please give me some input. Any information of job availability or round about salaries would be great. I live on Long Island, NY if that helps.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit kbaker93 profile page

    About kbaker93

    Joined: Nov '11; Posts: 5; Likes: 2


  3. by   mindlor
    Pardon my ignorance but what the heck is an SLP?
  4. by   kbaker93
    SLP: speech and language pathologist
  5. by   mindlor
    Hmmm people always come here and ask what they should do with their lives....I think that decision can only come from within yourself. I would say that if you are having doubts about your choice then maybe that is a good indicator that you may wish to investigate other options....
  6. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Both have a variety of work settings. Does your school have an SLP program? SLPs can work in schools, rehab, stroke centers, hospitals, outpatient, consultant (assistive communication devices), swallowing studies... I believe SLP's now require a master's or doctorate for full CCC/license now. Bachelor's can work as SLP assistants, but cannot assess. I have one sister who is a BSN/MSN/PNP who is now in heaven teaching at the BSN level specializing in pediatrics (with some side work as she wants it (pedi er, etc) and working on her CNE & doctorate. I have another sister who was a MAT (master's level teacher) with dual certification in special ed & K-12. She was able to secure an emergency certificate as a school SLP and doubled her teacher's salary (after taking specific SLP coursework) and is now a full time SLP student in a prestigious program on the west coast. She plans on also working in pediatrics specializing in communication disorders and autism and medically fragile children. Nurse is east coast with nearly 15y experience. SLP student is west coast in her 2nd year (but over 10yrs experience as a dual certified teacher). Their salaries were similar, adjusted for cost of living, because of the specific demand for their specialization and qualifications. Two very different careers with minimal overlap. Both of my sisters are very happy with their career choices.
  7. by   kbaker93
    Yes, I know. I am just curious more or less if people enjoy careers as speech and language pathologists. The only way I realized that maybe nursing wasn't for me was through hearing other peoples stories about working in the field. So I was hoping that maybe I could hear from a few SLP's and see what they have to say as well. Thank you.
  8. by   mindlor
    How are you with dealing with vomit? Blood? Feces? Strong Odors? There is a very non-glamorous side to nursing that perhaps many do not for profit environments, nurses are overworked and weigh the pros and cons
  9. by   JustBeachyNurse
    I seriously doubt you will find many if any SLP's on a nursing message board. Have you tried contacting the SLP program at your school? See if you can shadow a student or a professional? Have you googled to see if you could find a message board for SLP's or perhaps try the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: The student section even has an area regarding demand and market trends. If you think nursing may not be for you, it probably isn't.
  10. by   Quickbeam
    All my friends who are SLPs are master's prepared. They all (every single one) work part time and have wealthy husbands . I think the field has high satisfaction but not a lot of openings. I work in rehab and the SLP role is very important. They do swallow studies a lot where I work. Definitely day shift, M-F work.

    As a compare contrast issue: my recent rehab unit had a total of 15 RN slots and one part time SLP slot. You'll need to look at both and determine what draws you in the most.
  11. by   klone
    Quote from kbaker93
    Yes, I know. I am just curious more or less if people enjoy careers as speech and language pathologists..
    I think for the answer to that, you would need to go to This is, so most of us are not qualified to answer that question.
  12. by   Been there,done that
    I would talk to a counselor @ school. I have not seen SLP's on this site. I'm sure you could find somewhere to communicate with them.
    Seems like you have figured out that nursing will not work for you. I wish I had!!!
  13. by   Lovely_RN
    My sister is an SLP and works in a special ed school. She has a great deal of job security and does early intervention on the side for extra dollars. She brings about 100k a year. I don't know what state you live in but the minimum for entry to practice is the masters in NYC if you want to work for the board of ed. I know that SLPs are hired in the hospital and LTC/SNF but there are not a lot of openings. Many of the SLPs I know work part-time or do contracts. The SNF I worked at had one contracted SLP who would come in about 1 per week and do all the evals for the four hours he was contracted for that nursing home.

    As far as working conditions go being a SLP is far "cleaner" than being a nurse. You aren't expected to be end all and be all for the patients. Unlike a nurse an SLP is expected to do that one job function and that's it. When my sister does her EI the family never expects her to do a little laundry, clean, or run errands. They actually respect her as a professional. Once she was heading on her way out the door of a case and there was a nurse present. As she was walking out the door the child fell. Of course the nurse got pooped on for leaving the child unsupervised for 30 seconds but my sister just walked away from the incident and wasn't even sure how to fill out the incident form when the agency asked her to later. She had to call me! Ha! The nurse on the case was immediately let go and of course the parent is suing the agency. Something to think about.
  14. by   FlyingScot
    I'm kind of curious. What the heck are they saying that has you looking for other opportunities?