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MA to BSN Advice, counsel, thoughts....

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by Lisa2.0 Lisa2.0 (New) New

267 Profile Views; 11 Posts

Hello all,

I just joined because I will be starting the fall cohort at Baldwin Wallace ABSN in Ohio. I have been a Medical Assistant in pediatrics for 28 years and I will have a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Kent this coming spring. (2 classes left).

So, my education and work experience has always been in healthcare....and I've always intended to get my RN, life just never lent itself to this until now. (recently divorced and my kids are all grown and on their own)

For the past few months I've been agonizing over whether to do a masters program of some sorts, or to get my RN. I narrowed it down to either PA school or taking a path to get CNP. I decided to go the later route because my heart is and always has been in nursing. I just don't feel the same respect and draw for the PA field.

One of my professors also had a lot to do with my final decision. Since I've worked in a public health related field for so many years (private practice and then school health), and I enjoy the public health education field, if I get my RN and decided to stop, I can continue on as a public health nurse at a higher level.

IDK why, but I am incredibly nervous about this. I'm overwhelmed at the idea of clinicals mostly because I know I do not want to work bedside. If I work public health it is in more of an educational, advisory role. If I go on to CNP it is in more of a health provider role. Diagnosing and treating outside of the hospital/care setting.

Don't get me wrong, I think bedside, long term care, ER, ICU etc nurses are phenominal....it is just not for me. I don't think I personally have what it takes to be a hands on nurse. I don't want that level of responsibility. If need be, I could handle peds because it is what I am familiar with. I currently do basic physical care such as G-tube, caths, seizure control, diabetes management, etc. Nothing incredibly involved. And I'm ok with that. As an RN I would be ok expanding bedside nursing skills because children do not intimidate me. Adults, thats another story.

Even just typing this I feel like a failure. But that is my reality. I want to work in an RN capacity, just not at bedside. Please don't slay me for this. Help me to be the best nurse I can be outside of that scope of practice.

Any advice, counsel, thoughts you have on the topic would be greatly appreciated.

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 45,039 Profile Views

I understand your viewpoint, but I believe you are misinformed about levels of responsibility that are associated with administrative positions. Bedside nurses are responsible for their own actions only. Supervisors actually have MORE responsibility than their subordinates, because they are accountable for ensuring the competence of their staff as well as the appropriateness of assignments/delegation. So.. more responsibility & accountability with less control = much higher stress. In addition, supervisory staff are in a perpetual squeeze play - between executives & patient care providers.

Children should "intimidate" you much more than adults. Adults can articulate their complaints - not so much with the little ones. Pedi nurses have to have absolutely top-notch assessment skills in addition to expertise in development so they know how to communicate with and explain to their little patients. .... and of course, there are the parents to deal with. Caring for adults is waaay less complicated.

Those plush, non-bedside jobs are generally only offered to nurses who are fully competent in their chosen field. It's not possible to supervise or advise or consult on something unless you have in-depth understanding of it.

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11 Posts; 267 Profile Views

Oh, I by no means meant administration as in hospital/LTC settings over other nurses. I meant in Public Health...policy, programming etc. which is what I do now. And as for the peds/adult issue, I have no fear of my abilities in dealing with the health needs of children. I am absolutely 100% confident in working peds. I am definitely not looking for any sort of "plush" job.

Edited by Lisa2.0

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1,035 Posts; 6,847 Profile Views

You'll still need to demonstrate competence in the field before you can dream of getting into any sort of supervisory responsibility or policy-making job. That means you'll have to work as a PHN for some period of time, and to do that, you'll have to have some sort of good bedside experience to learn the assessment and hands-on skills a PHN out in the world needs to be able to apply. Make it peds if you want-- there are people who specialize in peds in PHN-- but you'll still need peds experience AS AN RN to be credible. And further, while we see a lot of students who say, "I can do anything a nurse can do except shots and IVs, I just need the credential," (like your "I can do Gtubes etc., etc., etc...") you cannot have any idea what being a nurse is. It's way, waaaay more than performing tasks. As you already know, we can teach mere tasks to anyone.

I'm not stomping on your dream, I think it's great... but it will take awhile. Do it anyway, because the years will go by anyway, and you do not want to be 50 and think, "I coulda, shoulda, woulda."

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