Hello everyone! I would really appreciate any suggestions for my situation. First sorry for any typos/grammatical errors but I have very young kids and I am sleepy...
I have several issues to decide on. I am transitioning into nursing as a second career bcse my previous career was not family friendly and I truly cannot imagine doing work that I am not excited about. I have graduate level education. So I want to pursue nursing to eventually become a pediatric or family nurse practioner in a primary care setting. That is specific, I really don't want to work in a hospital, unless it's an urgent care clinic or a hospital affiliated clinic. However, I really am more focused on preventative care which is why I would like the primary care setting.
First, should I pursue a CNA or CMA. The CNA will allow me to get "bedside" experience and possibly tuition reimbursement from the hospital--if I am hired. It takes about 3 weeks of training and is about $700 or free if I"m one of the lucky chosen few from the nursing homes. The CMA (medical assistant) will allow me to work in a doctor's office and gain primary care skills. It takes 15 weeks for courses & clinicals and is $2500. Personally, I am leaning towards CMA bcse I want to enjoy going to work. I don't want to dread going to work. I think I can handle CNA duties as rough as they are, but probably won't be chipper going in everyday. (LPN is full-time 1 year so not an option, I want to start working and make sure this is the career path for me).
Second, and the biggie is which way for school:
Option 1: Local community college, 2 years, only $6,000 but it will be paid through a local grant. Begins Fall 2010, but am not sure if I will be accepted this year. They have a blind acceptance policy, strictly highest combination of scores, and since I don't have all the sciences yet (they are NOT pre-reqs, but they help boost your overall score) I'm not sure if I will get in. Based on their last class, I would have made it in probably by a hair, so I guess 50% chance of getting in this year. Otherwise, I could wait for the Fall 2011 class and would have the sciences under my belt by then. It's 1 day of classes, 2 days of clinicals, so very easy schedule for me, possibly can work part-time. Afterwards I would probably do an online FNP program (RN to MSN so I do NOT need a BSN)--about $16,000, but I need 1 year experience before applying.
Option 2: Big name research university that I previously attended. They have a direct entry MSN program. 16 months for the BSN, 2 years for FNP. Expensive, but most likely (I'm pretty sure) all would be covered under a grant. If not, then I would pay about $15,000 for the BSN. THe MSN would be covered by local hospital for employment--they may consider it for the BSN too. I can do a pediatrics DNP completion with the university afterwards if I want. Problem: I would have to move my family to another state, hubby will have to get a job there. But we absolutely loved living there before and have close friends there, we'd go back in a flash. I would start Fall 2011. I have a very good chance of being accepted for that class. BSN is an accelerated program so it will be intense. I can start MSN coursework while working as aRN to gain experience before FNP clinicals.
So what is your advice on both issues? ALso, what is the best job for me once I get the RN to prepare for primary care? What does a RN do in primary care--I only ever see NPs, LPNs, and CMAs there. I really appreciate any help, thanks