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Worth it to go back for a BSN?

Pre-Nursing   (3,232 Views 24 Comments)
by lucylooo lucylooo (Member) Member

1,756 Profile Views; 17 Posts

Hello all! I have a MPH degree and I am thinking about going back for a BSN. If I do, my fiance and I will struggle financially for a couple of years. I'm nervous about making the decision because I don't want to go into debt if I end up not liking it. How did you all know you wanted to become a nurse?

I know the demand for nurses is high in my state - Florida. Everyone I know who graduates in my area gets a job right away. But I don't know what salaries they are making.

I currently make a little over $40,000 as a research analyst. If I go into debt to go back for my BSN, what type of wage should I expect when I get out? Do you all think it would be worth it? Besides the money factors, I think I would like doing clinical work more than the research I am doing now. Thanks all!

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AlaBro2010 has 3 years experience and specializes in Public Health, Women's Health.

265 Posts; 6,222 Profile Views

Hello all! I have a MPH degree and I am thinking about going back for a BSN. If I do, my fiance and I will struggle financially for a couple of years. I'm nervous about making the decision because I don't want to go into debt if I end up not liking it. How did you all know you wanted to become a nurse?

I know the demand for nurses is high in my state - Florida. Everyone I know who graduates in my area gets a job right away. But I don't know what salaries they are making.

I currently make a little over $40,000 as a research analyst. If I go into debt to go back for my BSN, what type of wage should I expect when I get out? Do you all think it would be worth it? Besides the money factors, I think I would like doing clinical work more than the research I am doing now. Thanks all!

I knew I wanted to be a nurse because I love interacting with patients and found the knowledge/skills needed interesting. Although demand for nurses is high in FL it's for experienced nurses not new grads. I don't mean to burst your bubble or anything like that but consider your friends lucky that have a job. I know of many new nurses who do not have a nursing job. I do in FL but that's because I was more than happy to start in non hospital nursing (work at a clinic) and commute 35-50 minutes. Search on this website and you will find many new grads struggling to get a job. I think it depends on if you are happy at your current job or need a change, and whether nursing is something you'd really like to do. Try volunteering and see, that's how I knew for sure. On the salary, I make "pretty good" money (subjective but Im fine with it). After taxes it's less than 30,000 a year. I love nursing and helping my patients and I am not trying to scare you but prepare you if this is your goal. I wouldn't trade it .

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Stephalump has 2 years experience and specializes in Forensic Psych.

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Mmm, of course the stating wage varies a bit by where you live, but you can generally expect to start out making somewhere between $20-24/hr as a new grad. I've seen less and I've seen more, but the majority seen to fall into that range (places like CA and NY pay more due to high cost of living).

I don't think that pay increase would be enough to compensate for the added stress and pressure of the job, especially once you add in debt and struggling to get through school. Not saying you shouldn't pursue nursing, but I'd dig into it and REALLY make sure it's the best way to get into a job you'll like more. I'd look into the job market a bit more, though. The demand right now is for nurses with experience, not new grads. I know plenty of unemployed nurses and there are plenty here on tho site in your state!

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17 Posts; 1,756 Profile Views

Belle and Steph- Thank you both for the advice. I will definitely look into the market more. I didn't realize the demand was only for experienced nurses. I do think once I managed to get in somewhere and get some experiences, the job prospects would be better than they are with my MPH degree. But it is a lot of debt and stress. I'm afraid to make the wrong decision! For my area, the only options are working at the county health departments and state agencies and the jobs are scarce and rarely get raises.... have you heard of Infection Preventionist jobs? I saw one posted at my local hospital. It seems like it would be a great merge between public health and nursing.

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Devon Rex has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN and specializes in Rehab, Ortho-Spine, Med-Surg, & Psych.

545 Posts; 7,917 Profile Views

Hello,

If you are not an RN yet, your studies will take more than a couple of years. I would definitely check with your local university to find out exactly how many classes you'd need to take and how long it would take you... just so you can make a realistic projection of budgeting.

As others have mentioned before, the high demand is mostly of experienced nurses. New graduates takes a little longer to find a job. Doctor's offices and clinics are more liekly to hire without experience... they pay less than hospitals too.

The difference in pay between an "RN with a ASN" and an "RN with a BSN" is about $1/hour. Starting wages can be higher or lower than what you make right now. It goes up in time as you get more experience and certain specialties pay higher.

Stress??? You can count on stress in nursing school!

My advice, go for it if it is within you, if it is your calling. Don't do it just for the money because you'll waste your time, money, and will end up miserable.

Sorry my post is not very positive... just a dose of reality.

Nursing is a wonderful career, but so are other careers. Do what you feel empowers you to be your best!

Good luck!

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292 Posts; 5,259 Profile Views

An idea that might be worth looking into for your situation is getting a CNA job. You don't have to invest a lot of money in getting certified and once you get a job, you can see all the things a nurse does on a day-to-day basis. If you enjoy it, you could keep your CNA job throughout nursing school, and most likely, the place you work at will hire you as a RN because you already work there as a CNA. You're one of their own. If you don't like it, you haven't lost much and can look for something else without being 30,000 in the hole. Another idea would be to shadow a nurse, which is a good option, but you only go for one day so you might not fully see all what a nurse does everyday.

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505 Posts; 7,127 Profile Views

S. Florida...I was told starting $23 or so in local hospitals...and if you can get a scholarship your chances of a job are much greater. The state colleges are lower then private universities.

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17 Posts; 1,756 Profile Views

Devon Rex- Thank you for your advice. I feel like there isn't much I can do with just the MPH degree, and I think it would be great to gradually move up in nursing. It just all depends if it's worth me being in school for three more years and racking up debt. But I just feel besides money, the career could be so rewarding, and I would be proud to say that I am a nurse. I'm a research analyst at a nonprofit now and there's no where to really move up unless I want to stay in the same company in the same city and we want to move to Southwest Florida.

Mchel- Thanks for the advice. It seems like the starting salary would be the same or a little higher than what I'm making now. But the opportunities to move up are greater. I feel like I don't have that with my current job.

SUNFLOWER- this is a great suggestion!! What do I need to do to get certified to be a CNA? Do you think I could do that while doing my pre-reqs for nursing school? It does seem like experience like that would be helpful to getting a job.

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PatMac10,RN has 6 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Education, CVICU, Float Pool.

1 Article; 1,161 Posts; 19,260 Profile Views

Devon Rex- Thank you for your advice. I feel like there isn't much I can do with just the MPH degree, and I think it would be great to gradually move up in nursing. It just all depends if it's worth me being in school for three more years and racking up debt. But I just feel besides money, the career could be so rewarding, and I would be proud to say that I am a nurse. I'm a research analyst at a nonprofit now and there's no where to really move up unless I want to stay in the same company in the same city and we want to move to Southwest Florida.

Mchel- Thanks for the advice. It seems like the starting salary would be the same or a little higher than what I'm making now. But the opportunities to move up are greater. I feel like I don't have that with my current job.

SUNFLOWER- this is a great suggestion!! What do I need to do to get certified to be a CNA? Do you think I could do that while doing my pre-reqs for nursing school? It does seem like experience like that would be helpful to getting a job.

Lucyloo,

If you have an MPH I'm pretty sure you have a good amount of the prereqs, mostly. What is your undergrad in? Nursing can be a field where the employment opportunities are wide open, of course it's according to your area. Maybe you could do an ABSN (accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program which are typically 16-18 months in length. Those programs are designed for people who have previous Bachelors or Masters degrees. It is my understanding that, like you said, they are often times more expensive. You will have to weigh the risks and benefits here.

If your not sure about nursing look into other options as well, like another poster suggested. Im sure PA (which is expensive too) school could be an option. Your earnings after graduation could potentially off set the cost after working a while. There is Pharm school, again expensive and potentially lengthy, but your earnings could off set your cost for education quickly. Many things. Scour the Internet for some Ideas. Shadow a nurse multiple times and in different settings. Get your CNA. Shadow various healthcare professionals to get a good idea.

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Devon Rex has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN and specializes in Rehab, Ortho-Spine, Med-Surg, & Psych.

545 Posts; 7,917 Profile Views

Lucyloo,

I must caution you that CNA duties are a world apart from what an RN does. Many assistants and LPNs (I'm going to tick some people off now)... think and complain all RNs do is to push meds while they do the dirty work. Well, if that's the impression you have when walking into nursing school, then you're in for a big surprise.

The vast majority of what an RN does happens in the brain. Yes, the brain! RNs have to use critical thinking skills and act on a moment's notice when they observe something is not right. The RN learns to assess patients for physical as well as mental abnormalities. The RN learns to develop a plan of care which would involve implementing such care and evaluating the outcomes. The RN must learn pharmacology to be able to educate the patient (and family members) about the medications you are giving to them. You need to learn the side effects and contraindications of those medications to avoid errors and/or overdoses. The RN must be able to communicate with physicians by speaking with the correct medical terminology and be able to read physician orders which many come with special characters and abbreviations. The RN must learn a wide arrange of diseases and their disease process to be able to anticipate patient's needs... and when a patient has multiple diseases or onditions, priorities shift. No one person is identical to another, so mental flexibility is imperative. RNs must be proactive, not reactive. RNs also delegate a lot of work to others, but they are still held accountable for the outcome of those delegations. The responsibility is huge! Once you get the education and the licence, you WILL FEEL the magnitude of the responsibility and seriousness of becoming a nurse. People look up to you for guidance (family, friends, patients) and expect you to know the answers. It is stressful and humbling at the same time.

CNAs assist RNs and LPNs by helping patients with their daily living activities, such as bathing, eating, ambulating, some take blood glucose levels (depends on facility), empty and record amount of output (urine) and other similar duties as assigned. CNAs are not allowed to do anything of what I've described in the above paragraph.

If you just want to get your feet wet and have a taste of the environment, then go for it. But, don't pursue a CNA education thinking is similar to what the RN does.

Best advice is to research the duties and scope of practice of all positions within nursing (google). Choose according to your goals and situation.

God bless you, and may He guide you to the right path for you!

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Spika RN specializes in Oncology.

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I would like to add something that Devon said, I started as a CNA to get an idea what nurses do and comfortable with patient care, you can learn alot as a CNA but man when I became a nurse still was a shock

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Devon Rex has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN and specializes in Rehab, Ortho-Spine, Med-Surg, & Psych.

545 Posts; 7,917 Profile Views

That's the point I was trying to make. No disrespect to CNAs... they do a valuable job.

:)

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