You did it!
Classes, caffeine-riddled nights of cramming for exams, and clinical rotations are a thing of the past.
That BSN is firmly in your grasp.
As you stand on the threshold of your nursing career, the NCLEX before you, pondering the job situation for nursing graduates, the last thing on your mind is more education.
But right now is exactly when you should think about that very thing.
Long-term goals for a nursing career should include options for an advanced degree.
Thinking about it now, when you are just starting out, gives you a couple of advantages.
First, it gives you time to really check out different programs while you are gaining that most important asset: experience. When it’s time to come back into the classroom, that experience will be invaluable.
From here on, when you take a nursing class, the material will have meaning because you can decide whether or not to apply it to your own practice, and you will be contributing your own nursing perspective to the conversation – something no one else can provide. You’ll find yourself learning from, and contributing to, your fellow colleagues, with professors acting as facilitators of learning as opposed to “teachers.”
Second, by keeping the idea of an advanced degree as part of your career goal, you will naturally begin to work toward that goal. While it is never too late to obtain the degree, I would advise not waiting decades into your career. An advanced degree gives you options and mobility. Healthcare is changing; it is moving away from the classic hospital bedside and nursing roles will be changing dramatically in the next few years. An advanced degree will keep you ready for whatever changes healthcare reform requires of our profession.
Graduation is really just the beginning of a career of continuous education. Stay ahead of the curve and make an advanced degree part of your career plan.
Welcome to the profession!