In graduate school for epidemiology, question about nursing degree later?

by mollypak mollypak (New) New

Hi, I am currently in a graduate epidemiology program, though when I see alot of postings for jobs in research, they are looking for a registered nurse. There is no way I am going back for a full Bachelors again, but I would be able to do part-time associates in nursing after I graduate from my current program.

I understand that most research jobs for RNs probably like at least a bachelors in nursing, but do you think if I did an associate nursing degree and became an RN with an epidemiology masters, that research positions would accept this combination?


14,633 Posts

IMO, that would be taking a big chance. While lots of organizations would be happy to hire someone with an ADN and a Master's in nursing, but not a BSN, for nursing positions, a Master's in another field wouldn't necessarily help you. I always find it helpful to reframe these questions. In epidemiology, if someone were looking to hire someone with a baccalaureate degree in epidemiology, would an Associate's degree in epidemiology (not that there necessarily even is such a thing, but for the sake of discussion ...) and a graduate degree in an entirely unrelated field be considered the equivalent? Would that person get hired?


SummerGarden, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 14 years experience. 3,371 Posts

OP: Also, RNs who work in research typically also worked on the floors for many years prior to a position in research. The reason being, many positions require a RN to perform some clinical skills (lab draws and IV starts) and/or those positions requires a RN to understand the medical model, which typically comes from work experience as a floor RN. The reason I bring this up is to point out that you are asking not only to bypass the education an employer typically wants to see, but you will also be without the work experience as well. If you have an ADN, work experience, and a BSN or Bachelor's degree in a related field, an employer may make an exception. However, related degrees in healthcare will be listed in the required education area. If you are only seeing BSN required, then those employers do not want a substitute.

By the way, I am one who already had a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree prior to nursing. I received first my ADN and later a BSN due to the fact that I knew I was going to remain a nurse and I did not want my future to be limited by an employer who wanted to see nursing degrees as oppose to other related degrees for my educational preparation.

Look at RN-BSN programs if you choose an ADN first (This is a less expensive route and one I choose to take while gaining work experience on the floors). Or look at direct-entry accelerated programs to assist with your education in nursing requirement. Good luck!

Edited by SummerGarden