I am an LPN, to begin an LPN to BSN program in January.
One of the pre-reqs for the BSN was microbiology, which I am just finishing up. I LOVE IT. We just wrote our final paper on our unknown, and I got mine back tonight. The instructor spoke with me after class and told me she thinks I should go into research; I've actually heard this comment before, as I've done my share of college coursework (visualize me rolling my eyes here). I have a BA in German language and lit, so I've done more than my fair share of writing. I love doing research. I also love working with patients. I don't want to coordinate research -- I want to DO it.
Sooooooo, here is my question. What are my career options? Should I go ahead with the BSN, and then look into doing research? Or should I postpone my enrollment in the BSN program for 1-2 semesters, and take some micro and chemistry classes (I actually have a fair amount of biology coursework, from 12 years ago....but at the time I thought I might want to go premed, then decided on the oh so useful German degree). Or are there other degrees I should explore?
Does anyone out there know anyone who is doing research? I'm just wondering what path to take, and how to get there. Would a BSN with a specialization in infectious disease/microbiology be better, or should I just head for a micro degree? And, short of a PhD, what actual opportunities are there for someone with a micro degree?
Just kind of testing the waters here. ANY input and opinions would be very appreciated.
Dec 19, '05
Most research careers would require a doctorate if you are actually doing the research yourself. It seems to me unlikely that you would have both significant patient contact and extensive laboratory work at the same time.
I don't think a BS in biology or micro would lead to anything but a research assistant. You'd need to pursue the MS and PhD.
Another option is a Masters in Public Health-- might be able to move right into this if you have enough science; then you could go to a PhD.
If you stay with the BSN, it is unlikely that you could specialize as part of your coursework, although you could take a second minor if you can handle a heavy course load. You're still looking at a Masters and a Doctorate to do research. You might consider a MSN /MPublic Health degree combined. I think Johns Hopkins had one, probably others, too.
Personally, I'd say stick with the BSN. You will find so many aspects of it intellectually challenging. Then look for a flexible MSN that will allow you to pursue your research interests. You can do some research with a masters, and it is preparation for the PhD, in many cases.
Dec 19, '05
Just thought of this also. Have you looked into "fast tracks" programs to the BSN or MSN for students with a bachelors in another field? I think U of MD and WVU might have something that you could consider. You'd still be getting a BSN, but would spent less time on the undergraduate portion.
Dec 19, '05
Thanks for your input.
I've explored my options after speaking to the director of our local hospital lab and cruising the local university/med school website, and I think I am going to postpone the BSN for a semester or a year, whatever the school will let me do. Then I'll do a little more science coursework; if I like it, I'll stick with it and do a BS in Clinical Lab Science. if I don't like it, I'll go on to the BSN.
Thanks again for your help!
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