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Getting My Graduate Degree: Is it Worth It?

Nurses Article   (1,654 Views 28 Replies 905 Words)

Brenda F. Johnson has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Gastrointestinal Nursing.

5 Followers; 73 Articles; 104,554 Profile Views; 251 Posts

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Life is built on the decisions that we make. Circumstance often limit our options, but how we respond is up to us. Other times, what we would like to do is delayed, such as going back to school. At times, our decisions are propelled by things lining up just right. That is what happened to me. You are reading page 2 of Getting My Graduate Degree: Is it Worth It?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Brenda F. Johnson has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Gastrointestinal Nursing.

73 Articles; 251 Posts; 104,554 Profile Views

On 7/2/2019 at 9:43 PM, zoidberg said:

The MSN, regardless of specialty, opens doors to positions (in my hospital at least) that aren’t options for BSN nurses. I think it depends on where you work and what you want to do with the degree. Keep your head up! If you find yourself losing interest in informatics, ask your mentor if you can switch to management! 

Thank you for the encouragement!  So much negative comments about going back to school. I'm not bored with Informatics, just wary of options upon graduation. 

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Brenda F. Johnson has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Gastrointestinal Nursing.

73 Articles; 251 Posts; 104,554 Profile Views

On 7/3/2019 at 7:45 AM, K+MgSO4 said:

Well done going back to study.  Whatever age you go back it is tough and like you said it is like the universe sees your plate is full and heaps a bit more on 😉 I did my MHA in 2 years and while I am still in the same job as I was when I started I have not been actively looking for new positions. It is something I will focus on soon however my heart is with my organisation as I have been there for 10 years in about 6 different roles.

I would suggest that you start reaching out to your network and see what opportunities you can available of.  It sounds like you really care for the team you manage but you need to care for your career advancement too.

Thank you for the kind words, you actually got what I was trying to say.  I have reached out to the informatic nurse at my hospital, and she has been great. I guess it's scary stepping out into something new, especially after going through all the schooling and paying for it.

 

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I agree that getting your MSN degree is the  way to go and can open a lot of doors for you. However, be careful about where you get your degree as not all schools are created equal.  I am the Director of Nursing at an ambulatory surgical center (I have worked at several throughout my career) with full HR functions.  I know that I, as well as several other my colleagues in the HR/management realm will often not honor a WGU degree or other online degrees due to them being online only programs with no clinical time. This goes for BSN and MSN degrees. I am always a proponent of continuing education for all my staff, you just have to be very careful what you are getting yourself into before you take time getting a degree that could possibly not be honored. 

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18 minutes ago, MIRIAMDON said:

I agree that getting your MSN degree is the  way to go and can open a lot of doors for you. However, be careful about where you get your degree as not all schools are created equal.  I am the Director of Nursing at an ambulatory surgical center (I have worked at several throughout my career) with full HR functions.  I know that I, as well as several other my colleagues in the HR/management realm will often not honor a WGU degree or other online degrees due to them being online only programs with no clinical time. This goes for BSN and MSN degrees. I am always a proponent of continuing education for all my staff, you just have to be very careful what you are getting yourself into before you take time getting a degree that could possibly not be honored. 

I believe that if a school is real and accredited then it should be accepted.  AND the BSN does require time away from the computer and so does the MSN.  The curriculum meets the standards.  I don't think your bias is justified.

 

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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1 hour ago, MIRIAMDON said:

...I know that I, as well as several other my colleagues in the HR/management realm will often not honor a WGU degree or other online degrees due to them being online only programs with no clinical time. This goes for BSN and MSN degrees. ...

So you would dismiss someone like myself who has been an RN with an ADN for years with oodles of real world honest to goodness clinical experience because I chose to go online to finish my BSN? Shrug. Your loss as an employer as I bring a lot to any position I have ever worked. Including the common sense to see a huge cost savings from Pretty Pricey Local University that just raised tuition to $975.00 a credit hour 😉

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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1 hour ago, MIRIAMDON said:

I agree that getting your MSN degree is the  way to go and can open a lot of doors for you. However, be careful about where you get your degree as not all schools are created equal.  I am the Director of Nursing at an ambulatory surgical center (I have worked at several throughout my career) with full HR functions.  I know that I, as well as several other my colleagues in the HR/management realm will often not honor a WGU degree or other online degrees due to them being online only programs with no clinical time. This goes for BSN and MSN degrees. I am always a proponent of continuing education for all my staff, you just have to be very careful what you are getting yourself into before you take time getting a degree that could possibly not be honored. 

some brick and mortar MSNs don't require clinical time outside of advanced assessment...and are CCNE accredited like WGU.  Quite a few state universities actually...I've never had a problem getting a job with my MSN from WGU and my BSN from IU. I do HR functions as well and while I look at the degree and its source (school) and allow it some weight, I do look at experience as well.  If not, you may pass up a perfectly good candidate because of perceived educational presentation.  Quite a few brick and mortars are mostly online as well, due to limited staff and classroom space.  Just some food for thought

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I will soon finish RN to BSN at WGU and plan to continue for MSN. I am 60 years old. WGU is an excellent school and very affordable.  To imply that on- line education is inferior is old fashioned thinking.

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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15 hours ago, nursebert said:

I will soon finish RN to BSN at WGU and plan to continue for MSN. I am 60 years old. WGU is an excellent school and very affordable.  To imply that on- line education is inferior is old fashioned thinking.

👏👍 Go get 'em  nursebert!!

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There are 5 nurses in my NICU right now who have their masters ......they all are staff nurses just like me. 

Sometimes we feel like we need to career-build to be happy when we had a fulfilling job the whole time. 

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On 7/13/2019 at 3:25 PM, MIRIAMDON said:

I know that I, as well as several other my colleagues in the HR/management realm will often not honor a WGU degree or other online degrees due to them being online only programs with no clinical time.

Well, that's a bit myopic. Why would an experienced nurse going back for his/her BSN need clinical time? 

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I did my MSN through WGU. Even if I never directly use it, my employer has a pay differential for it, so it already paid for itself. I’m enjoying bed side for now, but I know it’s not something I can probably do until retirement. It’ll be a nice selling point (I hope). 

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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I believe that "the key" to being hired after getting a Masters (NP or otherwise) is to be flexible and persistent.  That is to say you "may" have to move to a different state for a few years to build your experience base or perhaps work in a different type of institution.  If you "box yourself in" to one metro area (or even region) your options are much more limited. This is especially the case if you live in a rural area or are pursuing a highly specialized degree like informatics.  I also believe that if you can supplement your degree with some additional coding/computer courses that this is beneficial given that many informatics nurses that I've met are really not "technical" people. While the job that you do is more holistic, and "systems" oriented it does benefit from understanding the "nuts and bolts" of software, and computer systems to at least a moderate degree.  Such knowledge may for example help you to quickly understand that a problem experienced is due to "server processing capacity" or that the end user computers have insufficient processors (due to being outdated) or insufficient RAM to handle the "latest and greatest" upgrade or software system.  These sorts of insights that might be second nature to an experienced programmer, (but not necessarily so to someone who has spent most of their life as an RN) can save a company many millions and prevent catastrophic system crashes.  

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