How difficult is it to find a job as a MSN-CNS?

Specialties CNS



I am unemployed petroleum engineer with MS degree. When I graduated with BS in Aerospace engineering, Obama cut NASA's budget, and all aerospace engineers had difficulties finding jobs. So I went back to school and got MS in Petroleum Engineering. Now the price of oil is down, and all petroleum engineers are out of work. In addition, I have to deal with sexism - they always hire guys with less qualifications than me. I am female. I am constantly being hit on and sexually harassed. So I decided - screw engineering and switch to nursing, because it's more stable and gender appropriate profession. UT Austin has alternative MS in MSN-CNS degree. My question, how difficult is it to find a job with this degree upon graduation? I looked at job postings, and they all require 5 years of experience. I have the same problem in engineering. So I do not want to be stuck with second masters degree, no job experience and no job.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

As a brand new graduate nurse, you'll probably have to work as an entry-level staff nurse for a year or two before being considered for any advanced position. But at least you will be employed while you get that necessary experience. Then you will be eligible to start moving up the career ladder. The good thing about a CNS degree is that it is general enough to be flexible. There are lots of roles you can do with that degree in addition to the standard CNS role. Once you get some experience, you will have several possible types of jobs to pursue.


232 Posts

There are plenty of CNS jobs. The real question is whether you can go from fields that require significant abstract thinking to a task oriented staff nursing job while you get an MSN and bedside experience.

I think nursing is great but expect to clean up incontinent patients ect. If you are comfortable with that go forward. I just don't want you to have a miserable few years before you can get a leadership job. Also, don't forget there are nurses with 10+ years of experience applying to those jobs. You should volunteer or shadow a nurse first.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

CNS stands for Clinical Nurse SPECIALIST... which means that these folks are prepared with the skills and knowledge required to function in that role in a specialized clinical area. I have never heard of a CNS functioning in a generalist role, but that is the realm of new grads. So I would be interested in exactly how they envisioned this role. Inexperienced new grads (no matter what the degree) have to achieve clinical competency before attempting to 'lead' anything... in most cases, this requires at least a year of full-time work experience.

I can totally understand the disenchantment of dealing with a uber-male workplace environment, particularly if there is no employer support to rectify the situation. But moving to the polar-opposite environment of nursing comes with an entirely different set of challenges and dissatisfiers. Heck, if it was all fun and games, we couldn't call it "work", right? :sarcastic:

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