Taking the Next Step...Already?
In my undergraduate nursing program it was essentially ingrained in the student body that we should all pursue an advanced degree at some point in our careers and sooner rather than later. Last year at this time all of this was far off my radar. All I wanted was to be gainfully employed. I knew that at some point I would want to pursue an advanced degree but I knew neither of in what area I wanted that degree as well as when I would want to do it.
Needless to say, that has changed. After only six months in my job I am pretty sure I am ready to begin taking classes toward a nurse practitioner degree. In what area and why now, you ask? Well, in adult health and not acute care, because I see myself working in an outpatient cardiology clinic or lung clinic both of which I feel would be appropriate branches from the type of acute floor I am on currently. I do not want to be in the hospital setting forever, but I am thoroughly enjoying what I am doing right now and I believe it is the best possible environment to establish strong foundations in various clinical areas.
As far as why now...now because I am ready to be back in the class room. I am ready to start learning again. I want to take it slow, one class per semester, but I know I need to start now before the external aspects of life begin to take more control.
I absolutely do not want to be the type of NP in which it is vividly apparent that he or she did not spend enough time on the floor, did not gain enough experience as an RN and does not have exceptionally strong skills as a foundation. That is why I am taking it slow and going to continue working while I go to school. Also as I mentioned, I am very happy with what I am doing right now on my unit. I love the type of patients we have and I love the people I work with. I am not ready to give that up yet especially while I still have the energy to be doing it.
The next step is both exciting and scary. I am going to be working full time and going to school all while trying to maintain a personal life. I know there are so many people out there that have done it and are doing it now, so I know I can be successful too. Until then...let the applications roll.