Trying to take the APRN plunge... looking for a little push.

Nurses Career Support


I have been and L&D and SCN RN for the almost 8 yrs now. I got my BSN because I became a RN with the goal of becoming a midwife. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE all aspects maternal-neonatal nursing. I also know in my heart, and with my experience, that the schedule of a CNM is not for me and my family.

Since my APRN dreams have shifted away from midwifery, I am trying to decide if FNP is right for me. I really don't know if I have a "passion" for outpatient NP work, like I do for L&D now. Also, more than clinical practice, I would love to be an educator.

Should I "suck it up" and complete a FNP program, get practical experience and go back to get postMasters cert in education? Is there any way to complete a practitioner and educator program concurrently? And do I even WANT to put myself through that? (I'd like to add that I'm 29 and have four kids under the age of 7, and financially MUST work at least 24hrs/week while doing any kind of school work.) I find myself in a position where I feel like I've become so comfortable in my current work life, that I'm really scared to make the "wrong" investment in my career, and then wishing I had never left my "nest"- unfortunately, it isn't unusual where I work to hear APRNs claim that they wish they had never gone back to school :(

I would appreciate hearing from NPs and educators, as well as current MSN students in either track. What does your work life balance look like? What do you wish you had known about your chosen path before you started?



Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Wow! You are one busy lady - 4 kids... It tires me out just thinking about what your day is like - LOL.

Have you considered pursuing an MSN-Edu rather than NP? Also, if you are interested in a career in workplace (non-academic) nursing education, I would advise you to begin accumulating some relevant experiences in that area... maybe teaching NRP or FHM? It is pretty much impossible to just jump into a workplace education job without any experience. MSN is normally required for leadership positions in workplace education.

I have quite a few NP colleagues who became disillusioned with that role and now work as managers or educators. Best of luck to you!

Specializes in L&D, SCN.

Thanks for responding! I have been teaching childbirth and baby care basics classes for patients for the last 5 years and love it. I just wished it payed more. I am currently teaching a couple of classes/month, in addition to working on the floor. I am considered PRN staff, because I need the flexibility of schedule, but end up working 48-60 hrs per pay period (including call) to pay the bills, and all that adulthood nonsense. Since I am not a benefits-eligible employee, I do not qualify for my hospital's tuition reimbursement program (such as it is, blech!). My need for a more flexible schedule has kept me from precepting both new hire orientees and nursing school students- and I totally understand that preceptorship involves a prearranged time commitment, so I'm not mad about it. Maybe just a little wistful and eager for my momlife to allow me to advance in my worklife :)

I just found a couple of job postings in my area (we are swimming in nursing schools) for clinical adjunct instructors and have begun the process of dusting of ye olde resume/requesting references... fingers-crossed that their needs match mine!

As far as school goes... sigh. I feel like have been shopping around grad schools since my senior year as a BSN student. I AM VERY interested in Georgetown U's MSNEd online program. The biggest issue (my husband and) I have with MSNEd degrees, regardless of where I obtain it, is the financial cost vs. benefit breakdown: 1. I will have to take out loans to cover the cost, 2. I'll also probably at some point before graduation, need to cut back my work hours- I have no delusions that I'll continue to fill my life with commitments without something having to take a backseat; 3. in order to then advance as a teacher (say for faculty beyond adjunct), chances are I'll be taking out MORE MONEY to complete a PhD or DNP; and last but MOST important- I can't look at my husband and say that any of those things will allow me to make more money to help support the growing needs of a family with 4 kids! Will I, personally, feel more fulfilled in my career? I have very little doubt. But at what cost to my family-life?

Sooo... I am entertaining the thought that the increase in salary as a NP, should I go that route, would help pay of loans better than any teaching job might, and thus EVENTUALLY (because, I realize I'm talking a very long term plan here) help finance returning to school for a degree with an education concentration. Talk about having a first-world-educated-women-with-too-many-options problems, am I right?

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