career advice WOCN or RN to BSN

  1. Hello,

    I am a new ADN grad who has worked the last year at a great metro hospital as a Med/Surg nurse. This is a second career to me. I had previously worked in insurance claims and have a bachelor's and master's degree in business administration.

    I've been told that despite my MBA, I will never leave the "bedside" without a BSN---so, I'm considering going back to school for it. Actually, I've already signed up to start this Fall, but I'm not excited about it. I love being a bedside nurse but would like to keep my future career options open.

    Anyway, today I attended a WOCN conference and found it very interesting and useful. I spoke with our hospital's WOCN and did some research on and realized I could get my certification in WOCN using my work experience and unrelated bachelor's degree in less time and for less money then a BSN. I think I could be really good as a WOCN (I don't mind the gross stuff and smells. I'm compassionate, patient, good at critical thinking and like results.)

    My gut is telling me to go for the WOCN because it interests me more than pursuing an RN to BSN program, but my brain is telling me that WOCN certification may not get me anywhere in my career. I'm told the RN to BSN program is mostly theory classes and community nursing. I appreciate that there may be some useful info in these classes, but I think I can benefit more on a day-to-day basis with what I could learn from obtaining my WOCN certification.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Do I do what appeals to me, or what I think I should do?

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    About LivewellRN

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 16; Likes: 4


  3. by   jerseyRN
    I went right to your post because my situation is somewhat similar. I am also a second career nurse (bachelor's in journalism), diploma school grad, working the last 7 years in hospice. I can't get excited about going back for a second bachelor's, and not just what it would get me anyway. I am 50.... like being at the bedside... don't see myself in nursing management, yuck.

    I've had the pleasure to work with the WOCN at one of the nursing homes where I have hospice patients. She's been a great mentor and I can see what a difference her skills and training (also she has the kindest personality) bring to the residents. She helps heal wounds, but also inservices the staff and as a result there are fewer pressure ulcers and skin issues at this place than other NHs I visit.

    On the business side, she has the NH job and prior to that was a wound specialist at a medical center. Also she sees ostomy clients for a GI doc.

    Also met another WOCN who works for Convatec... inservices nurses on wound care and Convatec products... M-F 9a-5p.

    So it seems to be a certification you can do a lot with. Truthfully after 7 years in hospice, it excites me to think of being part of patients healing and getting well! Wow!

    I'm researching online programs now. Leaning toward webWOC.

    Good luck to us both!
  4. by   LivewellRN
    Thank you for the info. It's good to hear from others who feel the same way. Tamara
  5. by   deemalt
    I could be wrong about this but I thought that you needed your BSN in order to get the WOCN certification.
  6. by   jerseyRN
    For programs I've been looking at, you need a bachelor's, but not necessarily in nursing.

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