Thinking of going back to school for my masters...questions!

  1. Hello everyone!

    So, I've wanted to go back to school for a while, to get my masters degree. I already have my RN, BSN.

    However, I'm still relatively new to Texas and did not go to nursing school here. Which schools would provide the best education while allowing me to go to school on a part time basis? Ie, 1-2 classes a semester.

    We are moving soon down to the pearland area, and I dont mind driving into the med center for school.

    My work will pay 85% of my classes, assuming I get a B or better, which I think i can pull off. Therefore, the cost would mainly be covered.

    I work 3 days a week full time, and I do have a PRN job which I can stop working at. Therefore, I can probably take classes one day a week and have it be manageable.

    Can someone give me ideas on the best nursing school to obtain my masters from??

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    About TexasPediRN

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 983; Likes: 297
    Specialty: Pediatrics Only


  3. by   llg
    I don't know the schools in Texas, so I can't comment on that. However, I do a lot about graduate school in general. Different school have different focus areas in their graduate programs. The "best" school overall might be weak in your particular area of interest. And a "weaker" school might have a particularly strong faculty member and a great program in the specialty and role function that you are intested in.

    Therefore, the first step in choosing a school is to know yourself well (strengths, talents, etc.) and to identify the career path that you want to prepare for in graduate school. Then look for a school that will give you the education you will need to succeed on that career path. The "best" school for you is the one that will help you meet your goals -- and that might not be the same school that is best for someone else's career goals.

    So ... what are your career goals? Exactly what are you hoping to learn in school? What types of roles do you want to prepare yourself for?
  4. by   TexasPediRN
    llg- well said. However, I didnt want to give too much information away about myself and what I would like to do as I'm sure others that I know read this board.

    I'm looking to do pediatrics, without a doubt. Now I am confused about which route to take on how to get there and I do plan on meeting with an advisor at one of the schools so that I can sit down with someone and talk and see the classes that I will need to take. I'm really looking for good schools down here though, as I do not know much about any of them.

    I have really decided if I want my NP yet, but I just want to go back to school. I love school, I enjoy learning. I also enjoy teaching, so if I go back and then somehow I can have students of my own for clinicals, I would be in heaven!

    So I guess my answer is vague..I know the specialty I want (pedi), but im not sure how I want to go about getting there. I dont fully understand what each program entails, which is another reason I'd like to sit down with an advisor at the school and talk about my options.
  5. by   carachel2
    I go to UT Arlington. They are very flexible and allow students to take a full course load, 2 at a time or just one a time. If you take one at a time it will take you four years pretty much. Two at a time takes right at three years.

    As far as working and what is *doable* as far as classes, you really have to know yourself and your ultimate goal. I attend school with students who are THE breadwinners and their goal is to get in and get out in the least amount of time possible. Their lives are *crazy* and school, work and study, work and school. But hey, the gig will be up in two years and I'll still be plodding along.

    Two classes at a time is more doable, but some of those students have cut their work hours if possible down to just two 12 hr shifts. I think most of us have found that with the initial coures such as patho, pharm, theory, research,etc. it was no huge deal to take two at a time and work full-time.

    HOWEVER, when you start your first clinical class it all changes. We have 48-54 hours required in clinical just with this one class (Advanced Assessment). That combined with one whole class day a week (9-4) PLUS finding time to read, study and write papers and SOAP notes AND take online quizzes...makes it more than it seems. A lot of people have been taken off guard by this after plodding along working full-time and managing their internet courses just fine.

    Everyone has a different take on how they need to proceed with school. For me, I am in no rush. I am not the primary breadwinner, I have a family and do NOT want to graduate in debt, stressed out and out of shape. I take 1-2 classes at a time, work about 12-18 hrs per week and have time for a life, for my family and to take care of myself.

    DO be aware that it is a different kind of "hard" than your coursework for your BSN. The critical thinking and the level at which they want you to process the information is above and beyond what you encountered in undergrad.

    UTA has a great pediatric NP program.