This is kinda long, hang in here with me.
I am on track to graduate my RN to BSN in June. I have been a nurse for 4.5 years now. 2 years on a Cardiac Tele floor, the rest in the ED. I have seven years experience as a surgical tech prior to graduating nursing school. Have worked at my hospital for over 11 years now. Would like to continue into a Masters program while I have the momentum and will to do it.
When first starting my BSN program, I put a lot of thought into an MPH degree with a focus in epidemiology. Seemed interesting to me and something i could picture myself doing. As I went along though, I got the idea (and feel free to correct me if Im wrong) that the MSN would however, be more marketable when finding another job. I would be able to get into education later down the road if I wanted with an MSN and would be able to apply for upper nursing management as well (not what I really want to do though). After thinking this through, I then talked myself into considering an FNP program; I genuinely enjoy my job now and our ED employs a few NPs. I did all my research and picked the programs that I thought would be the best fit (Have not applied, but have a list ready). It was a short while later that I realized that I don't want a clinical masters degree. Nurse practitioner is not something I can see myself doing, I'm not sure why. So, I feel like I'm back at square one.
I'm currently finishing my statistics class. Boy, did I struggle. I'm hanging onto a low A and hoping I can pass the final with enough oopmh to keep it. Struggling as badly as I have makes me think that maybe an MPH degree is not the road for me...having to take biostatistics and all may just be too much. But Id still be willing to give it a go if I thought that I would be ok with finding a acceptable job with an MPH (moving is not out of the realm of ideas if necessary to find a good job.) I've found some MSN/MPH degrees but dont know if a dual degree program is doable with my schedule, also still really worried about difficult the mathematical portion will be. Also, the ones I seem to find are lacking in CEPH accreditation for their MPH portion. (Looking for an online option as well.)
With some further searching, I found an MSN with a focus in Clinical Research. Now, I've never done clinical research, but looking through the curriculum, I find myself genuinely drawn in. Thinking, I may be able to complete an MSN in clinical research and get a post masters certificate in epidemiology and possibly still be able to do some sort of infection control, disease tracking job etc. The research program has math involved of course, but it doesn't seem to be as severe as the MPH degrees I find. The idea of biostatistics just really scares the crap out of me.
As you see, I'm kinda turning myself in circles here. The traditional MSNs that I seem to find in plenty in education or leadership do not interest me at this point but who knows. Maybe the right program can spark my interest. Also going to throw in that I'm looking for an online program.
Anyone have ideas, thoughts, or anything they want to share? I know you cant make my decision for me, but having some other viewpoints would be helpful. If you've stuck through all my musings here, thanks. My mind is overflowing.