Academic/Career Path Advice...Help!

  1. Hi there! I would like to get some career/academic advice....

    I am currently a sophomore and biological sciences major at UC Irvine. I want to be an RN and later pursue a more administrative role such as a director of nursing. But I am unsure of the academic path I should take...The counselor at school told me that in order to become an RN, I would have to go to an additional 2 years of school in a nursing program to become an RN because I am not in a specific nursing program. I asked her what the difference was between already having a B.S. while in a nursing program versus directly entering a nursing program...and she told me that it will give me a "step up." Is this true and how so? Because I heard that it wasn't true and I'm somewhat frustrated that I am not in a nursing program now. Am I wasting my time and money because I am not in a nursing program? Is there a difference between entering program with a B.S.? Will it be easier for me to get a masters? Should I transfer to a state school (i.e. CSU Fullerton) where they have a nursing program that will give me a B.S.N. sooner than if I stayed at UCI?

    Also...what are the requirements to become a director of nursing? Is a masters required? What minor should I take in college?

    Any additional advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!!!
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    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 1


  3. by   llg
    While some small facilities are still hiring Directors of Nursing with only a BSN, most of the bigger (and/or more prestigious) places require at least a Master's Degree. The current standard for the Magnet Program (which honors hospitals with outstanding nursing departments) is for the DON to have a BSN with a Master's Degree either in Nursing or in some other relevant field.

    As for which program would be best for you as an entry into the nursing profession, I can't say. There are several paths you can take, all of which are acceptable. It's just a matter of which suits YOUR needs at the moment in terms of availabililty, cost, etc. Talk with people from the various programs you are considering and find out the details of their particular programs.

    Also, you should consider that quality of the programs you are looking at. There are some terrific nursing schools out there and some terrible ones. I would recommend choosing a high quality program even if it is a little more expensive and takes a little longer. A poor quality program might get your career off to a bad start that will, in the end, be difficult from which to recover.

    Finally, be careful about completing a BS in another field. Sometimes, that's a good thing to do and sometimes it isn't. Having a BS in another field does make you eligible for certain programs that cater to that type of student. However, it also makes you ineligible for certain types of financial aid. So, look into that carefully before actually graduating with a degree in something else. If the degree is not required to enter the nursing program of your choice, you might want to delay taking those last couple of courses to keep your financial aid availability at its maximum while you go to nursing school. You can always complete that other degree later if you want to.