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Is it better for me to continue my education by earning a master's degree in nursing at the same university I obtain my bachelors from? Or should I Iook at other schools to further my education?

I am asking this question because I am not sure if I should continue my education before locking at an an employer or should I explore my options at other schools and earn an advanced degree in nursing. I want to begin to use my degree and begin my career as a nurse but not sure if it is worth the wait in hopes of earning a higher salary. #nursing, #registered-nursing , #nurseanesthetist. #nurse #grad-school #graduate-school #colege #masters #healthcare #hospital-and-healthcare

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A’s Answer

To answer the first part of your question, I don't believe it is frowned upon to get a master's degree from the school you receive your bachelor's degree from.

As far going back to school right away or working as a nurse first, I have some insight. First, depending on the master's program you are applying to, they sometimes want you to have related experience as an RN before you go on to a master's degree/advanced practice nursing. Nurse anesthesia school is one program that normally requires you have 1-2 years or experience in the ICU (intensive care unit) before applying. Also, some facilities will pay for at least part of your tuition in advance practice school.

As an RN hoping to go back to graduate school to get a master's degree soon, I can say from personal experience that working on the floor before you further your education can be very valuable. Nursing school for a bachelor's degree prepares you for many things. However, working consistently in one area really improves your skills at working in the healthcare environment in a way that school can't really prepare you for. Additionally, working on the floor gives you a better perspective on healthcare in general.

With regards to this better perspective, I started out in nursing wanting to become an ICU nurse and going to nurse anesthesia school. Through experience on a cardiac surgery step down floor, I found that definitely wasn't the right path for me, and switched to working on a cancer floor. Now I am preparing to get an advanced degree in something that I didn't even know existed when I was in nursing school!

Nursing is fantastic because there are so many different areas that you can practice in, and no matter where you are you will impact peoples' lives. I think what is important when you are in school and starting out is being open minded to the opportunities that are out there, having a drive to learn, and a drive to help people. Of course, if you have something that you are set on doing and feel ready to go to school for it, go for it!

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Aaron’s Answer

Having attended many years of nursing school from 3 different institutions, I can tell you that it ultimately does not matter whether you choose to obtain your MSN from the university where you completed your BSN or if you decide to go through another school.

There can be some advantages to getting your MSN from the same university where you obtained your BSN. For example, when I applied for graduate school through the University of Texas at Arlington, I did not have to take the GRE because I had completed by BSN through UTA Arlington.

It's also important to think about what it is you want to accomplish with a MSN - there are several pathways you can take with that degree. Some nurses choose to get a general MSN on its own for no other reason than to have a higher level of education. Some choose a MSN/MBA dual program with plans to focus more on leadership/management. Others focus the MSN on education and obtain a teaching certificate while completing the MSN. Others, like myself, focus on advanced nursing practice to become nurse practitioners. Depending on the specialty that you are interested in, you will need to find out if the graduate program you are looking into offers the nurse practitioner specialty track that you are interested in. For example, UTA Arlington has a psych/mental health nurse practitioner program whereas Texas Women's University does not offer that specialty track for nurse practitioners.

Aaron recommends the following next steps:

Ask MSN prepared nurses that are doing your ideal job where they went to school and what they thought about the school they attended
Determine what your ultimate goal is after obtaining a Masters degree in Nursing