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Careers: Nursing/NP vs Nurse administrator - best career prospect?


Dear Alex,
I have 5 yrs experience as an ER RN. I also hold both a ADN and BSN degrees. I am USA trained. I am in the process of pursuing my masters but am having a difficult time deciding on whether to do the FNP or Nurse administrator tracks. I have actually obtained admission to start an onlne MSN/MBA track next month.
I really don't want to be a beside nurse forever  and, being in my forties now, will like to be a  nurse manager or ADN someday hence my interest in administration ( or even run my own business some day). However I notice that the trend these days is for nurses to do the NP program; and it has me wondering what others know that i don't. My concern is that I do not want to find out later in life  when it will be too late,that I should have joined the bandwagon and done it(FNP) after it gets very well grounded and lucrative. I have 2 kids, one of whom is college bound next year and  the other in 3 yrs  so I do not have too much time to spend on education on myself since I intend to help my kids with college tuition. I like administration but I wonder if there are enough opportunities in it, especially for a foreigner like myself. In short, I dont want to spend money/efforts/time on a degree that will not be worth the time/efforts/money as I am not that rich nor young. Pls advice.
Secondly, are there grants anywhere for graduate nursing? The few I hear about are  only for education and FNP.
Thank you very much,, any advice will be very appreciated.

Hi Abby

I always believe that you should choose the education that will suit you best in your long term goals. In my opinion, if you do not have an interest in being a Nurse Practitioner why would you pursue that education?

However, my opinion is not always right... so my best recommendation to you would be to seek advice from someone who hires into these positions. Speak to your HR department, or even your Director of Nursing and ask what qualifications they would prefer in an applicant.

Coincidentally, I am also looking at a Masters Degree, but have no interest in becoming a Nurse Practitioner... so a Masters Degree with a Nurse Leadership component is what I am researching.

Please let me know what you find out.

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Alex Woodruff, RN MSN CCRN


My expertise is in Pediatric Critical Care - both PICU and Congenital Cardiac ICU. I provide care for the most critically ill children and I am a strong believer in family centered care. I have worked in this field for 19 years in the UK and the USA. Prior to ICU work I staffed in pediatric orthopedics, spinal surgery and general surgery. I am happy to answer questions pertaining to any area of pediatric nursing. I will also answer questions about nursing in the USA (as a foreign nurse) and will happily give readers the perspective of a male nurse in a predominantly female workplace.


I have worked in pediatrics for the last 19 years. I have a strong intensive care background and a large amount of experience as a member of a Pediatric Retrieval (Transport) Team, an in-house rapid response team, a Clinical Lead/Charge Nurse and a pediatric CVVH practitioner. I value mentoring and preceptorship and am active in this area. I can offer the viewpoint of a nurse who has travelled internationally with my career. I am currently a clinical manager for a pediatric CVICU and a cardiac intermediate care unit.

Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

MSN with Specific Focus on Systems Leadership (Grand Canyon University), BSc Paediatric Intensive Care Nursing (London South Bank University), Dip HE Paediatric Nursing (London South Bank University), ENB 415 - Paediatric Critical Care, Renal Replacement Therapy Course (London South Bank), Paediatric Emergency Transport (London South Bank). Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) - American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) - American Heart Association CCRN (Pediatric) Certification - American Association of Critical Care Nurses

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau

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