I got my ADN in 1974 and am 60 years old. I am enrolled in an online RN-to-BSN program and am considering going on for my MSN. I don’t plan on retiring any time soon, but I do want to make a sound financial decision about cost versus benefits. I am an inpatient nurse case manager and have an entrepreneurial spirit and experience. Will an MSN greatly enhance opportunities at this stage in my career and is leadership or education more advantageous?
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Young Spirit,
Based on today’s life expectancy and how long many are opting to stay in the job market, at the relatively young age of 60, pursuing a master’s degree makes perfect practical sense. Education keeps you young.
An MSN or master’s degree in almost any major can potentially enhance your career. While it is not always possible to make a direct correlation between an advanced degree and job advancement ahead of time, higher education typically puts you on a higher trajectory and unquestionably makes you more marketable for a leadership, business, education or almost any role as well. It also tends to further boost your personal and career confidence. In terms of which major or focus to choose, one is not more advantageous than the other. Choose the one with course work and curriculum most interesting and exciting to you. Read “How to get back to school” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Get-Back-to-School).
A degree alone will not get you where you want to go in terms of salary or position. When you elevate your credentials, you also have to elevate your image (this includes your online presence), your network, your self-marketing efforts, skills and goals.
Know there is scholarship money available for all majors, and take advantage of it. Read “Master the scholarship game” for tips on how to do so. (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Scholarship-Game).