Grad School Isn't the “Next Step” in Nursing (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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    00:01 Towards the end of your nursing program, it's quite likely that all of the sudden your faculty will start using phrases like "your next step" for your career, and they will often be talking about grad school.

    00:13 Never mind that you have not even graduated from nursing school yet, or you have no idea where you will be working or anything like that.

    00:22 This will just be thrown around more and more as you close in on graduation, leaving you feeling kind of like, "Well, jeez, maybe this degree wasn't enough because apparently I need to go back and take the next step".

    00:33 At least I might be projecting because this is how I always felt.

    00:37 I was always told that I should start considering grad school right away because if I didn't, I would never go back.

    00:44 Which scared me, particularly because I had absolutely no desire to go back to grad school ever, which made me feel like my career was heading absolutely nowhere.

    00:53 And I was lazy for not just jumping right back in, taking advantage of my momentum.

    00:58 And all the time before I even had graduated from my nursing program and I was like, "Is this not enough?" And it was a spiral.

    01:04 And it wasn't until a very long time later when I was indeed in grad school, ironically, but not because I felt like I had to, by the way, and I was paying for my insane tuition.

    01:17 And I realized, wait, they didn't care if I "advanced my degree", "taking the next step" into nursing.

    01:24 They wanted my tuition because this is a large amount of money that I am pouring into the school year after year.

    01:32 And honestly, it doesn't necessarily always have a huge effort on their end.

    01:36 And so today I want you to remember why they are telling you to start thinking about the next step at their school.

    01:43 So that instead of feeling pressured like I did, you realize, "Oh, this is probably something that the school, someone higher up in the school, told them that they have to say to make them more money".

    01:52 Because grad school is not the next step for so many people. There are so many steps within nursing that never involve grad school.

    02:03 And grad school is super specific, and that means that it's quite unlikely that you will know exactly what you want to do a lot more learning in until you actually get out there in the nursing world and experience it.

    02:15 So before we talk more about grad school in this final section, I just want you to know if you never do another ounce of school in your life, your career is just as valid as someone who chose to go back to grad school.

    02:29 You are no less valuable, less important or less awesome of a human.

    02:33 If you decide that your nursing degree and career is your final destination and you'll explore within that playground.

    02:39 Heck. You are not a less valuable human if you get out of nursing school and decide, never mind, this entire career wasn't for me at all. You are not defined by your job, your degrees, or any of that. And never, ever let people try to convince you otherwise with all the junk mail you're going to be getting in the near future, encouraging you to "advance your career" as if your career is not enough as it is.

    03:07 I will now get off of my soapbox, but this obviously bothers me.

    03:11 Because it feels really predatory and yucky and it leads to a lot of people doing more school without having a clear purpose.

    03:19 You know, they did it because it was the "next step" and there are so many other next steps. But if you do want to look into grad school, at some point, the next section lays out what those options are.

    03:31 Deep breath.

    03:32 I feel like I need to take a break or chill out or something after that section because obviously I have feelings about it.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Grad School Isn't the “Next Step” in Nursing (RN) by Elizabeth Russ, FNP is from the course Graduate Nursing Degrees (RN).

    Author of lecture Grad School Isn't the “Next Step” in Nursing (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ, FNP

    Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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