Social Work to Nursing or vice versa - page 2

Are there any social workers who have left social work for nursing? If so, can you tell me why? How about anyone doing both? or anyone have gone from nursing to social work? I am really... Read More

  1. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Unlicensed bachelor's degreed persons often do not do all that well monitarily in social services settings. These are usually government type jobs--food stamp workers, child welfare workers, etc. Overworked and underpaid is the order of the day. Lots of job turnover and burnout.

    The term "social worker" is often used generically by state agencies, which is annoying to the licensed social workers, who might work in hospitals and some other settings. For the latter, you must have a degree in social work now. For the former, especially if they are having trouble filling slots in remote areas or inner city offices, they will take anybody who even remotely has a degree in a "related" field.

    Part of the issue of being a "real" social worker is that social workers figured out really early (like about 100 years ago) that if you want to protect your profession, you have to organize, and they have done a fantastic job of it. They really do not like For example, you can have a masters and be a licensed therapist, but not be able to be reimbursed by Medicare because you are not a "social worker." However, in many instances, you can be fresh out of school, have had no training in counseling or psychotherapy, much less be licensed, and you can get a job in a federal setting for good money and very good benefits, doing counseling.

    Some things in life don't make sense and don't seem fair. But the good thing is that if you know this at the beginning, you don't go through your education thinking you can do something that will be near impossible.

    If I were to do the psychotherapy thing again, I'd get my degree in social work--you can learn to do good psychotherapy in any number of places, but the political clout and opportunity that comes from being a LSW is not equalled, unless you get a PhD and sometimes not even then.

    It is a small part of the reason why I am getting my degree in nursing. Nurses can in fact be reimbursed by Medicare.... As a student, this may not make sense, but being reimbursed is how you can stay in business, pay your bills, and continue to feel good about what you do (after a while, knowing you are "doing good" isn't quite enough--some money helps a lot).

    It makes a great combo if you can do both. Otherwise, keep in mind that some MSW's are not as happy with their work as some nurses are not paid as well as some other-kind-of-professionals, etc., etc. Go where your heart tells you, just research your opportunities first. Google the degree, the job title, the state-authorized credential related to your potential career, and then find a human who actually does what you want to do. Take him or her to lunch and learn how they got to where they are, and what has changed legislatively, etc.

    Sounds like a lot of work, but it will off in a big way.

    Wish somebody had told me this stuff anytime in the first 40 years of my life.....