Dilemma Solved

Entry-level MSN it is. After a lot of research, I have come to the conclusion that three years in an intensive program will get me on the right track to gaining the clinical skills I need to be an effective nurse. All three of the programs to which I applied encourage you to work part-time as an RN once you pass your boards and begin the graduate-level work. So it’s not like I’ll only be in school without working too. I’ll be learning in the classroom and on the floor. My courses at Davidson gave me the critical-thinking skills and leadership experience I need to succeed in an advanced practice role, and navigating my nursing prereqs successfully has shown me that not only can I do this, but I am utterly fascinated by what I am learning. So there you have it.

Besides, I’m already investigating what I’ll be doing beyond my MSN (I’m a nerd like that). The DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice – at University of Washington is looking mighty appealing. It’s the same level as a Ph.D., but focusing more on the clinical and patient care aspects than research. From what I’ve read, doctorate-level nurses will be where it’s at in a few years. Just call me Doctor Nurse Teeny. I might as well accept that I’m going to be in school until I’m old and gray.

In other news, the ABS program I was considering at OHSU is out. I’m not even bothering to apply. For one thing, their application fee is $120. Ri-freakin-diculous! For another, their latest NCLEX pass rate was 80%. Compared to 95% and above at the other three. And then there is the little matter of a BIO 101 prerequisite I can’t seem to weasel my way out of. Another school didn’t just waive that requirement for me, they OFFERED to do so. They brought it up! ‘Guess they figured that if I can handle Microbiology and Pathophysiology, I know my Bio. No such luck with OHSU. That would mean having to take a class next semester rather than giving myself some time to learn a little Spanish, freshen up on my prereq course content, and just plain chill out for a few months before diving into the deep end.

This is all assuming I get into one of the three programs, of course. Otherwise it’s back to Durham for 16 months. You can’t go wrong with a BSN from Duke but I’m not about to move 3,000 miles back if I can help it. Methinks that ship has sailed…

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