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Two Years In, Wants Leadership Role in Future

Nurse Beth   (349 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

Some background: I'm an RN with my BSN and 2 years of ambulatory experience in pediatrics. I've recently also become certified as a pediatric nurse (CPN). I've been doing my best to learn as much as possible in a short time and see myself in a leadership position in the future.

My question is, my employer offers tuition assistance up to $3,000 per year. I'd like to take advantage of this job perk but many master's programs are much more expensive and I'm unfortunately not in a position to pay much out of pocket or increase my debt load. 

My local technical college offers an associates degree in health care management. With the credits already obtained from my BSN I could complete this degree in only a few semesters. The tuition would also be substantially cheaper and most likely covered/reimbursed by my employer. 

I know that there are some nurse supervisor/management positions do not require any additional education but just clinical/leadership experience but I figured it certainly wouldn't hurt.

My question is if it looks bad/less than ideal to obtain an associate's degree vs master's when you already have a bachelor's or any additional thoughts you may have.


 Dear Sees Myself in Leadership,

Congrats on earning your peds certificate (CPN)! 

Getting an associates degree in health management is not going to move you towards your goal. You would gain some knowledge, but a Masters degree adds legitimacy to your credentials far more than an associate's degree.

As you said, it's not necessary to have a Masters degree to be eligible for a supervisory position. At two years in, you would still benefit by more time at the bedside. Two years is a minimum requirement for many supervisory roles, and gaining more clinical experience is a plus for you moving forward.

When you are ready, consider applying for a charge nurse position to start developing leadership skills and experience. 

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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