5 Things to Consider Before Going Back to Nursing School
By Mariam Yazdi
Deciding if you should go back to school for a higher nursing degree – whether it’s a masters in nursing science or nurse practitioner – is a personal decision that includes so many different factors including,
- Your financial picture
- Your family situation
- How much experience you have or feel you need
You probably won’t be able to find the answers to all your questions in an article. But from a professional standpoint, there are certain factors that are good to meditate on in order to make a decision that fits you best.
1. Don't Let Pure Frustration Of Your Current Job Be Your Only Reason For Going Back To School
This can be tricky because the long hours and heavy work of the bedside can push people to change their working environment and practicing ability. It's not a bad reason to go back to school, but it shouldn't be the only reason. Be aware of how you're feeling and if you're simply trying to escape (if that's the case, try travel nursing, it's an excellent outlet!)
2. What Are You Curious About?
Instead of being pushed by frustration, try to be led by curiosity when it comes to choosing the next turn in your career. Maybe you feel curious about research and adding to the body of nursing theories. Maybe you feel curious about how to manage anesthesia. Wherever your curiosity lies, begin there.
3. Do Some Job Shadowing
Getting second-hand experience from a practitioner who is working in a position that you are interested in (and even if you’re not interested in it!) is a good place to start. You can get a little taste of what the lifestyle and day to day operations are like prior to making the full commitment. It’s also an excellent way to get candid feedback on the intricacies of the work.
4. “Because Everyone Else Is Doing It” Doesn’t Always Lead To Job Satisfaction
I’ve definitely felt this pressure as many of my peers are in the works of getting their advanced degrees. But again, going back to school is as much a personal decision as it is a professional one, and a healthy source of motivation doesn’t always come from comparison.
5. Try One Job Change Before Making The Jump
If you are still unsure if you want to dive into school again, give your current degree one more opportunity to show you what you can do besides the bedside. Try at least one job (two is better) that’s completely different from what you’re doing now.
If you’re at the bedside, try home health. Or case management. Or product sales. (or travel nursing!!) Even if you just do it PRN, giving yourself a bit more exposure to the entire field will help you make a well-rounded decision.