View Full Version : why should i go back to school?

eileen callahan
03-07-2008, 03:57 PM
I have thinking of returning to school for my masters in nursing, but not sure this is for me. Does anyone have any words of wisdom....:nurse:

Mr Ian
03-08-2008, 06:35 AM
What do you want to do it for?

I want to do it because I can't seem to advance unless I have a piece of paper that says I know what I'm talking about - tho I've met plenty of nurses with a masters who know jack.

03-08-2008, 02:37 PM
Mr. Ian has a point. What do you want to do? Do you want a more clinically advanced degree that will allow you to have a more independent practice (i.e. NP)? Do you want an advanced clinical degree that focuses more on systems level/education (i.e. CNS)? Another big difference is level of specialization. CNS tends to be very specific, i.e. cardiac, oncology, critical care, etc. With an NP, the most general is an FNP, although some places offer peds, adult and gero programs as well as Pysch/MH and midwifery/women's health. Also look at the scope of practice where you life. In Oregon, for example, you do not have to practice under an MD, and prescribing privileges are very liberal. Other states are more restrictive.

Do you want to teach in an academic setting?(there are a masters in nursing education out there -- don't know how many, but OHSU ( started one recently with either a focus on cummunity health (, and even has funding for folks wanting to go that path or gerontological nursing (

There are "generic" MSN programs, which may be helpful if you're trying to move up w/i a system (sounds like what Mr. Ian is talking about) and these tend to be shorter programs, generally without any clincials, and other specialized things like nursing informatics, health administration, etc.

I'd take stock of several things: first of all, do you want/need to stay where you are? then check out what local unis offer (and the reputation of their programs). If you think distance learning fits your style, then see what's available on-line. And above all, figure out why you're doing this, where your interests lie, how much time you're willing to commit...and then I'd do some informational interviewing of people who have those degrees/are doing those jobs, and also attend informational meetings at schools you may be interested in if possible (and talk to grads).

Good luck w/your decision!

03-08-2008, 09:47 PM
Hi, Eileen, and welcome to Nursing Voices.

How about earning a masters degree for the sheer pleasure of learning? While expensive, the investment can be returned many times over in terms of personal satisfaction, and carries with it the high potential for increased knowledge and insigsht.

An engineering friend of mine once expressed dismay at the money he had spent to gain/maintain certification as an EMT and at the money he was loosing by volunteering as a paramedic instead of spending those hours at his "day job." The difference between what he could have been earning through his "day job" and the pittance volunteer EMTs were paid was staggering. He loved being an engineer and he loved volunteering.

I asked him if he liked to ski. He said he did and that he used to spend long winter weeks skiing in marvelous places throughout the USA and abroad. He then stated his skiing had been an expensive hobby, but one he had enjoyed immensely.

"Looks like you have found a new hobby," I replied.

The shocked look on his face was priceless. Then he lit up! "Yeah!" he exclaimed. "I have, haven't i? Thanks!!"

He walked away a happy man, content to have finally found "justification" for his volunteering.

I hope you find a similar justification for continuing your education - both within and outside the walls of academia.


03-09-2008, 04:12 AM
Welcome Eileen,

There is something in all that is mentioned above. Even if the Masters is with an end in mind (i.e. NP qualification, teaching etc) the sheer extent of the literature you need to be able to read, the critical analysis you need to make of your working environment and the literature mean that you need to actually like what you are doing. Studying is fun, interesting, exciting and fulfilling, but it is also frustrating; where does the time come from to do everything, full of sacrafices that you have to make to the cause of getting that qualification. But for me it was worth it. Good luck.

03-09-2008, 02:52 PM
While I applaud what Joy says, I also want to echo what Julie states.

For one thing, graduate school is expensive, a lot more expensive than undergraduate programs. Also, if you want to be a matriculated student, there are hurdles you have to cross: usually you have to take the GRE, generally you have to go through an application process that includes some thoughtful writing. You can take classes as a non-matriculated student and that allows one to see if grad school really is a good fit. It is different than undergrad work, (and trust me, doctoral programs are another whole kettle of fish, particularly in terms of the amount of self-structured work you have to do, but I digress)and it's not necessarily for everyone.

I am not saying this to try and discourage you from exploring this path, but I think it's a good idea to have done some self-reflection before embarking on this path whole hog about what you think you're doing and why. There's lots of ways to gain more education/knowledge, etc. Grad school can be a good path, but realize it's not the only one.

03-11-2008, 10:20 PM
You should go back to school! I did it and it's amazing.

Now, I'm in a different boat - going back for my BSN after 30 years, and I plan to teach and or do research with a goal of a PhD.

I'm enthusiastic, but I thrive on learning and I'm able to do it online which is really up my alley.

I found myself re-energized about the profession by going back to school.

Yeah, it's costly and I'm working the extra time to get the tuition, but it's worth it!!!!

04-17-2008, 11:46 AM
Actually, what everyone said...

I just finished my BSN, and am starting on an MSN with a focus on education. One of the primary readons I am doing it is I relized how much I enjoy "learning". It sounds almos silly, but there is something to be said for the feeling that learning something new, or making a mental connection, gives me....

04-07-2011, 04:14 AM
Hi dude,
After completing Your MSN you can take LPN (LVN) Programs then LPN To RN Programs and after that you have to take CNA.

Do you know what is the salary of CNA certified nursing assistant salary ( completed person??
A CNA annual salary may be anything between $19,500 to $29,000, depending on the location, the work experience, etc. The median salary is around $26,300, which means just a little over $2,100 per month.
Comparing these figures to that of the expected salary of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), gives you a sense of the frustration CNAs may experience. The median annual salary of a Licensed Practical Nurse is around $43,000. Of course, an LPN had a longer training: around 2 years, as compared to a few weeks training for a certified nursing assistant, and holds more responsibility. But the LPNs job does seem easier when looking from a nurse assistant's perspective.


04-07-2011, 04:18 AM

05-25-2012, 05:14 AM
What do you do? Will further studies help you better your career? If it will benefit you, take masters. If it doesn't, then you don't have to.

12-23-2012, 10:37 PM
Same here Eileen, I also have thoughts of going back to school, but I also have worries if I will be able to balance it with work. I know I really have to make sacrifices especially financially If I have to go back to school but I also want to seek career advancement and one way of doing that is by getting my masters!

11-19-2018, 03:35 PM