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MSW to RN

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Hello All, I am new to this site and just wanted to introduce myself. I am 29 years old and hold an MSW. I am considering changing careers because the social work profession is no longer fulfilling to me. I recently applied to an accelerated BSN program and am patiently awaiting my letter. If anyone can provide insight on the nursing profession that can assist with my transition will be greatly appreciated. I have longed to become an RN and just recently decided to pursue it. I am getting mixed reviews from my colleagues about my sudden decision. Some feel it is a great idea, while others feel that I am crazy and that there are more opportunities in Social Work (I don't see it). Prior to my decision to switch careers, I was working on obtaining my LCSW, but decided to switch gears. I really enjoy helping people and making a difference in the lives of others.

sandyfeet

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 5 years experience.

I am in the same boat as you! I have a BSW and I found it just didn't fit. And I live in CA, where social workers were some of the first jobs cut in the recent budget crisis. I am in my first semester now and I've found it a really easy transition career-wise because of the great foundation in counseling and interpersonal communications. You will definitely be using your social worker skills as a nurse! In my program we just did psychosocial assessments of geriatric patients, for example, and the biggest problem most of my classmates had was handling the (patient's) emotions that were stirred up from asking personal questions. I think it's a great crossover and I think you will do great. :)

Thank You Sandyfeet, Congratulations and I wish you much success. I hope I have an easy transition as well once I get into a program. I am still waiting to hear back. How is it going for you thus far. As for me I notices the SW was not a good fit a few years after graduation, but decided to stick with it a few more years hoping it will get better, but it hasn't and now it's time to more on. I was working toward my LCSW and decided, that I had enough dealing with people's social problems, which at times will weigh you down and burn you out very quickly. So with that being said, I patiently await the opportunity to embark on a new career. One thing I am noticing once you are taught and can grasp those SW skills, you can utilize them in any setting:).

heavenbound,

Please update how your nursing education is going. I will graduate with my MSW this May, and I know social work is not the career from me. I don't want to waste anymore time in the field. I majored in Psychology in undergrad, and enrolled in a MSW program..literally 2 weeks after I graduated. I dread going to my internships, and have heard horror stories of current licensed social workers with years of experience only finding part time work, crappy salaries, and having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. I'm not even excited about graduating in a few months :( What a big waste of money and time. However I believe in reacting to whatever life throws at you. Which is why I want to enter the nursing profession. I want to work for a few years after obtaining my RN or BSN..and eventually go back to school to become a psychiatric NP or CRNA. BTW, I'm 25 years old.

Hi Taja,

Congrats on your upcoming graduation. I completely understand how you feel at least you are realizing it now prior to graduation unlike I did and waited four years later to make the switch. I am just beginning the BSN nursing program this semester. It has only been one week thus far and I am enjoying it. I will most likely have more information to provide as time goes on. I still have many friends who are still working in the profession. Few like it, some want out, while others are complacent. After working in the field for some time I realized that the opportunities are very limited. As time went on a field that was one rewarding and fulfilling quickly turned tedious as I often found myself going through the motions. I can go on and on about my experiences, but don't want to sound like a complainer. I wish you all the best in whatever you decide. If you have any further questions PM me. Good Luck once again!!!

Since 'helping people' is important, ask yourself this... why go for nursing instead of teaching? If nursing PRIMARILY appeals to you because of the job security, keep in mind that during recessions like today, the job market is tough for everyone, including nurses! And in better economies, nursing's relative job security can become a kind of 'golden handcuff' if you find that you don't really like the kind of nursing work available to you. Yes, there are lots of different areas of nursing. But if you're looking for an "open-the-paper-and-see-a-bunch-of-job-listings-that-I'm-actually-qualifed-for" kind of job security, those jobs will be more of the generic bedside nursing type. You'll find many of the frustrations of social work in nursing (limited resources, hands tied to take common sense actions, taking the brunt of both patient and other service provider frustrations).

So I recommend going into nursing because either there's a certain role that you're aiming for that requires you to have a nursing license or if you truly think you'd be interested in bedside care. Otherwise, you can take your bachelor's or master's degree in social work and just see what kinds of interesting 'helping people' jobs you might be able to talk yourself into!

I've known quite a few social workers over the years who thought about going into nursing because, in my specialty, psych, they were tired of seeing nurses with ADN degrees (and nothing else) getting paid a whole lot more than they were for doing stuff that didn't look a whole lot different to them from what they were doing. But, when they looked into what is actually involved in nursing (beyond just psych nursing) and what they would have to go through to get through school and get licensed, every one of them changed their mind and decided to stick with social work.