I am a big fan of your work, especially your books. I need your input on my situation. My journey in to the nursing profession started as an LVN/LPN, I have about two years of experience in long-term care and school-related healthcare settings. I transitioned to an LVN-to-RN program, followed by an RN-to-BSN program. I am about to complete the BSN in May. I do not have any loans as I received scholarships.
I have been trying to enter the workforce since getting my RN license. It is very difficult to land an RN job. At the same time, I was given the opportunity to start an MSN program in the fall. I am pre-conditionally accepted pending my BSN degree, but I do not have the funds to do it.
With the complexity of the job market and difficulty landing an RN job, is it worth it to take loans and continue the MSN degree? Especially considering the APRN roles are moving towards DNP degrees?
Wonders If Student Loans Are Worth It
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Wonders If Student Loans Are Worth It,
Regarding your job prospects, it is a challenging time for new nurses to find work, especially in the hospital. See where to look for work and what you need to do to conduct a proactive job search by reading New nurse, new job strategies (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies).
As far as continuing on for your masters degree, it is certainly a good idea if you can manage it. There is scholarship money available for graduate school, too, so aggressively go after it. Read Master the scholarship game
(www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Scholarship-Game) for tips, information and resources. Where there is a will there is always a way. I had no money to return to school when I entered a graduate program but managed to finance most of my education through scholarships. You can do the same thing if you put your mind to it.
You can get an MSN with an emphasis in education, administration, informatics and so on or a duel MSN/MBA without becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. Your question about whether an MSN is worth it considering APRN roles are moving toward DNP degrees is only relevant if becoming an APRN is your goal.
The vast majority of advanced practice nurses are doing very well for themselves with masters degrees. There is no national mandate for APRNs to obtain doctoral degrees.