Jump to content

Scared/unsure about starting masters degree in january

Posted

Hi,

I am a recent graduate with a years experience in January 2010. Upon graduating, it took a while to find a job and I'm starting to get use to how things run. It has been extremely difficult transition..as im sure most other new graduates feel as well. Upon graduating, I had always planned to go back to school after a year. I recently applied to masters programs and got accepted into 2 of 3 so far that I applied too. I applied for a masters of nursing adminstration and was going to recieve my post masters certificate thereafter in education. I want to work in a university setting in running the nursing programs etc. I planned to get my phD as well down the road.

Instead of being very happy I am starting to get very nervous. I know I will have to decide which program to attend and all seem to have their positives and negatives. I find that alot of my co workers are not very supportive..saying I see things with that "new nurse attitude" thinking I can take on the world. They say I should get much more experience. Graduate school is very expensive and I am starting to worry if Ill find a job when Im done and maybe I may not be cut out for this. My initial thinking was I will be getting experience while I am getting my masters. It will most likely take me three -four years to get through these programs. I also thought this would be the best time to do things, as I am not married or have any children yet.

I find myself starting to second guess going back. I don't really like floor nursing. I would rather work in a different area of nursing helping to educate future graduates and working to help better how hospitals are run to make things better for the nurses. I find alot of the reason I dislike floor nursing stems from alot of things that could be changed through better staffing, education, and support from ancillary staff. I also see alot of nurses who have worked there 10-20 years say that these same practices have gone on through the years, causing much aggravation for the nursing staff.

Am I being overly ambitious? Should I wait to go back to school or follow my initial plans? Also, if you have attained your masters, did you find it rewarding and more challenging than an undergraduate degree? I have heard that attaining a masters is difficult but builds on your undergraduate knowledge and so is easier than attaining a BSN (since you have a core knowledge base already)

Thanks for your help :)

Oz2

Specializes in rehab, long-term care, ortho. Has 2 years experience.

Four years from now would you rather be a nurse with a masters degree or the floor nurse that you are now without the masters?

NeoNurseTX, RN

Specializes in NICU Level III.

I want to do the same thing yet I feel as if I don't have enough experience. I have 2 years. However, I do want to stay bedside nursing at least 1x every two weeks.

Otessa, BSN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

I don't believe you are over-ambitious.

Listen to what your co-workers say and know that change in nursing and healthcare is difficult. Finding what you love is so important. It would be helpful for you to teach something or be a preceptor if you truly want to teach in a university setting someday. I started teaching preceptors and assisting with in-services and then teaching preceptor classes and BLS and ACLS and critical care classes. I also joined Toastmasters to increase my ability to speak effectively in front of people. I found that I LOVED to teach!

If you want to work in a leadership role, be a charge nurse, be the lead on a quality improvement project for your unit, be instrumental in changing one thing your co-workers have complained about-this will give you much more credibility than just talking about it with your co-workers.

There are a lot of people that want to go into teaching because they "do not like floor nursing". Please, go into teaching because you have a heart to teach others what you know not to escape what you do not like.

otessa

Otessa, BSN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

I have 2 more classes to complete before I obtain my MSN with an education focus. Would NOT say it is easier-you are in a master's level program and they will have master's expectations. I had 15 years of experience before I began the program and also had many mentors to help guide me. The ability to draw from past experience is helpful and that made it easier than my undergraduate work but it is still quite challenging since I work full time, married, have 2 young children. This keeps me more motivated and focused, actually.

otessa

meluhn

Specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c. Has 16 years experience.

I don't think there is anything wrong with going for your masters right now. Like you said, by the time you actually finish, you will have 4-5 years of experience under your belt. Be aware that when people see you going for something they don't have they might think you are kind of "uppity", for lack of a better word. I dont know why but they do. Dont listen to them. If you want to teach it would serve you well to get a broad base of nursing experience and since your co workers dont seem very positive and supportive anyway, why not transfer to a different area and get some experience there.

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

I really like your suggestion to change one thing coworkers complain about. Things are finally changing for the better at my hospital. After years of resistance, a couple nurses finally suceeded in changing our report system to a written report. A great collaboration between an older, experienced RN and an enthusiastic newbie has lead to a streamlined, organized and complete reporting system that saves time as well.

There have been other improvements recently worth mentioning, a MRT team to intervene in a timely fashion and avoid codes, a stat nurse and now a new position to help with admissions and discharges.

These improvements will help morale and most importantly improve patient care and safety.

Otessa, you gave some great suggestions for someone interested in becoming an educator.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I don't believe you are over-ambitious.

Listen to what your co-workers say and know that change in nursing and healthcare is difficult. Finding what you love is so important. It would be helpful for you to teach something or be a preceptor if you truly want to teach in a university setting someday. I started teaching preceptors and assisting with in-services and then teaching preceptor classes and BLS and ACLS and critical care classes. I also joined Toastmasters to increase my ability to speak effectively in front of people. I found that I LOVED to teach!

If you want to work in a leadership role, be a charge nurse, be the lead on a quality improvement project for your unit, be instrumental in changing one thing your co-workers have complained about-this will give you much more credibility than just talking about it with your co-workers.

There are a lot of people that want to go into teaching because they "do not like floor nursing". Please, go into teaching because you have a heart to teach others what you know not to escape what you do not like.

otessa

I quoted all of otessa's post because I totally agree with it. She makes many good points in that post.

While I think it would be best for you to wait another year or two before going to grad school (as you have not yet completed your transition from basic nursing student to competent staff nurse) ... I think it could work out for you to go now IF you take it slowly. Only take one class at a time for the first year while you "check it out" and while you finish your transition from student to nurse.

Check out the other threads here on allnurses that deal with the same issues. You'll see that a lot of people develop new goals and perspectives as they get a little experience in nursing. They modify their career plans as they learn more about what it actually means to be a nurse and more thoroughly explore their likes/dislikes and natural talents in the real world setting.

Like you, I originally thought I wanted a career in Nursing Administration ... but decided after I got a little experience that administration was the LAST thing I would want -- or be good at. I started grad school after 2 years of clinical practice and still switched my major halfway through the program. I ended up in CNS roles and Staff Development and am now moving more towards research and evidence-based practice. Do you even know enough about these things to make a good decision about what would fit you the best? I see you talking about administration ... and teaching ...etc. Those are very different career paths and you don't seem very clear on that. It might be wise for you to do a little more exploration before you make such a big time and financial committment.

... but that doesn't mean you could start taking a course or two if you are so anxious to get back to school right away.

Finally, please pay attention to what otessa said about teaching. It would be a huge mistake for you personally as well as a disaster for your students (and for the nursing profession) for you to go into teaching if you don't like staff nursing at least a little and if you become a clinical instructor before you have achieved proficiency at being a staff nurses. Students need instructors who are more than just beginners themselves in patient care and who actually like it enough to impart a sense of joy/satisfaction in actually providing direct patient care.

llg , PhD, RN

blackpants22

Specializes in Rehab.

Wow, Im in the same boat as the OP. Only I have only graduated in May and am going to start a BSN-MS program in January and continue to work part time. I have not been happy with floor nursing but I blame it on the fact I work in ltc on an acute rehab unit which is so disorganized it's crazy. No unit manager and no permanent desk nurse. Plus Im unfortunately letting complaintive (sp?) residents and their families get to me. Everyone is supportive at my job about returning to school despite my real lack of time in the field but some say I need to get in a hospital (I wish I could). So I would say go for your masters while working especially since you are single with no kids....I am as well and I feel like as soon as I start the family thing the chances may not be there (not always the case but I can see it happening to me because I support my boyfriend who has a spinal cord injury). I know so many lpn's at my facility who practice like RNs and are so full of experience and knowledge youd think they had a master degree...and say that once they had a family it was too much to go back to school...so I say do it while you can...I can completely understand where you are coming from though...I could have posted the same discussion! Goodluck and go for it!

PostOpPrincess, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

I think education is very important. You might as well got for it--you've already addressed the only caveat--which is a master's without experience. But if you have it on your resume that you worked the whole time, you should'nt have trouble finding a job.

We have several NP postings that can't get filled. We hire the DE-NPs for non-clinical positions (positions that clinical people would find boring) so getting experience will not hinder you in the least...

Maybe they're just jealous. You know, like the frogs in the butter churn? Or is it the crabs in the bucket?

Go ahead and do it. I think you won't regret doing it but you might regret not having done it.

ChicagoPeds

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I agree with all of the previous posts.... I started working on my Masters after having about 6 months of experience as an RN. I will be graduating in mid-2011. My thought was that in 3 years from when I originally made the decision to go back to school, I could either have my masters or not. Hmmmm...hard choice. It was also easier for me to jump back into school instead of waiting a few years (I was worried that once I was out in the field, I would not want to bother with all the studying/papers/etc). The program I am in has me taking 1 to 2 classes for 2/3's of the program...not bad. Plus all the info you are getting during your grad program helps your to become an even better/well-rounded nurse.

The other reason was that I eventually do want to teach as well...so this is my back-up plan. By the time I get to the place where I am tired of doing bedside nursing, I will have another door waiting for me to open... Not bad.

Good luck with your program! Im sure you will do well... :yeah: