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Master's Degree



I have been a nurse with a BSN for about 8 months now. I've always know that one day I wanted to go back to school to get my Master's Degree, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I want to hopefully start in Fall 2021 or maybe 2022. I am looking for any and all information I can get about it. I know I either want to do family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, or adult gero acute care. Other than that I am just in the beginning stages of researching and any info would be much appreciated.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Look carefully before committing to a family nurse practitioner program. Many areas of the country are now oversaturated in FNPs, driving down wages and making jobs hard to find.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Figure out what your goal for the additional education is - don't think degree so much as career and/or lifestyle and then figure out which degree track supports that goal. There a number of posts around these forms of people who didn't realize the limitations of a particular graduate path or the job market in their area when going to school.

Carefully look at how well prospective programs match with / support your career goals, overall program quality (and local and/or national reputation if considering relocating after school), clinical placement quality and assistance, cost (and financial aid options), geographic area (can you move/not move), job market (in your area/school are/prospective employment area if difference), and consider options of online vs hybrid vs in-person as well as part-time vs full-time in terms of what you are looking for in a program. Chances are you will not find a program that meets ALL criteria but you want one that meets most of what you are looking for and which will prepare you to be a competent new grad in which ever direction you head.

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

Prepare for job field saturation and lackluster salaries. The NP gold fields dried up years ago after the admission standards became next to nothing. Everyone and their mother wants to be a NP...

Stay at the bedside if you don't mind it and suck up the OT!

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 9 years experience.

Do what makes you happiest after all you have a lifetime to work. My suggestion is make a list listing pros and cons. And what you have to do to get there. Remember there’s nurse educator, nursing informatics , leadership too. I feel that FNP is the most flexible of all the NP degrees.

LovingPeds, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Clinical Pediatrics; Maternal-Child Educator. Has 11 years experience.

I agree with previous posters.

Rather than picking your degree, think about the field you want to go into. When you commit to an advanced practice field, you're putting a lot of time, work, and money into it. Be sure it's what you want to do before doing it.

FNP is the most flexible. For instance, my state allows FNPs to work acute care and primary care and across specialties. I sometimes envy my peers for the action they get to see in the general ED as I love variety and challenge, but I worked pediatrics and knew I didn't want to do anything with adult patients so I specialized. Most of my peers in this area are all FNPs and while most of them are not struggling to find employment (we're pretty rural), there is an abundance of them to choose from for each position. I am the only PNP in my area. Even before graduation, there were pediatric offices in some areas of the state reaching out to my school looking for candidates interested in working with them. After graduation, I actually had a call for an interview one hour after turning in the only application I submitted anywhere. I had the interview one hour after that. My references notified me they were called that afternoon/evening. I had the job offer the next day. I was fortunate to combine what I wanted/love to do with a specialty degree that makes me stand out. FNP would be great if you haven't decided your career path or like the option of change. If you know what you want and there is a specialty for it with a reputable program, then my suggestion is to consider it first.

Edited by LovingPeds