I am considering going for my MSN. I always thought nursing had many avenues to pursue, but it seems the majority of programs are focused on preparing Nurse Practitioners for the workforce. I don’t envision myself as becoming one. I am aware of the importance of higher education but feel undecided about what to do in pursuing further nursing education. Should I get certified in a specialty or wait to see if any new masters degree programs
Wants More MSN Options
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Wants More MSN Options,
Im not sure where or how youre looking for programs but you have many more MSN options than you seem to realize. Advanced practice tracks are only one option and certainly not right for all nurses. There also are many non-advanced practice MSNs with a focus in administration, education, healthcare information technology and even dual MSN/MBA degrees.
Depending on your career goals, you dont necessarily need to get a masters degree in nursing. Unless you want to teach nursing or work primarily in a clinical setting especially the hospital, you have other options. Many nurses, including myself have masters degrees in communication, public health, healthcare management, journalism, education, etc.
Whether to pursue clinical certification also depends on your career goals. If you plan to stay in the clinical setting for the next five years or so, certification could be advantageous on several levels. It would certainly challenge you to take your clinical practice to the next level. Some employers recognize/require certification as part of a clinical ladder program.
Read How to get back to school, (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Get-Back-to-School) for some additional ideas and tips on choosing a major. Its always easy to find excuses to delay going back to school.
Waiting for new masters degree options to come along doesnt seem like a good plan since it has no time limit and no guarantees. Broaden your search, including talking to other nurses who already have graduate degrees. Find some options of interest to you and move forward.