Careers: Nursing/nursing career


I have 22 yrs experience in critical care---icu,er and pacu all bedside.
I am 42 yrs. old and want to move on.
i am still at a crossroad whether i go back to school or not.
If i do,was leaning towards masters in education--is there growth in education? or nurse practitioner?

Hello Susan,

Congratulations on your successful nursing career so far.   You did not specify whether you are an ADN OR BSN degreed RN. Or whether you obtained your CCRN or ER certifications.

Basically, education is a highly regarded career that is the first one to be put on the back burner when dollar times get tough in the hospital setting.  Teaching at the college level would require a Master degree and, preferably a PH.D. for the higher institutions.  You also have the issue of getting on a tenure tract and will require that at you are published and have checked other boxes of higher education.

The educational tract also can land you in the world of Nurse Educator for private suppliers, such as drug companies, medical equipment companies, or instruments, implants and procedures.  Pay varies with the corporations and often travel is required.

NPs are hands on, have their patient loads and autonomy in patient care.  The salaries depend on where you work.  Different states, settings, such as hospital or private practice groups as well as your specialty all determine your salary.

Your two choices are on opposite sides of the spectrum.  One includes direct patient care and the other most likely will take you away from that.  I am not sure if that is the meaning of "moving on" is for you.

You also need to consider if you want to end up in a supervisory/managerial position or not.  With the achievement of higher degrees, this is often a tract you are expected to take

I suggest you make a three column list which includes, money, hands on (or not), travel, in (or out) of the hospital setting, who you wish to educate and what you want to educate and what area(s) you would want to practice in if you become an NP.  Then, column two and three (and maybe more) would list each area and what they have to offer.

When you see it, side by side, on a chart of sorts, perhaps it will peak your interests and desires to one area or another.

I don't think I have been a huge help to you, but hopefully I have given you some ideas.  I would also suggest you ask every nurse on this website the same question and see what comes back.   If you are unsure of one or more items, go speak to persons that are currently working in the field(s) and ask them specific questions which you are unclear about.

Last but not least, remember that you need to work at what you love and are gifted in to be fulfilled in life.  We spend too many hours and years at work.  Make sure you love your job!

The beat of luck to you and feel free to contact me again at any time.

Best regards,


Careers: Nursing

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Irma G., RN, CNOR(e), DABFN, fellow ACFEI


I am an experienced forensic nurse examiner and have done cases relating to domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse in the state of California. I've consulted nationally and internationally, for the Undersecretary of Health (Veterans Administration) and for the region of Novgorod, Russia (300,000 people)in a forensic capacity. I can answer question having to do with forensic nursing, operating room nursing (scrub & circulate), intensive care and aeromedical flight nursing. I also have vast military nursing experience in peace time and war time and have over 18 years in VA Hospital experience. I have lectured on forensic awareness, domestic violence and sexual assault. I have experience as a nurse manager and preceptor. I have developed new grad programs for ICU and managed them successfully. I have been a patient advocate & consultant, answering questions in plain English, to unravel and gap the patient-doctor relationship and the mystery of the medical world "lingo".


forensic nursing, expert witness, forensic nurse examiner, operating room, intensive care, aeromedical flight nursing (fixed wing), military nursing, elder abuse, veteran hospital nursing

IAFN (International Association of Forensic Nursing), ACFEI, AORN (Association of Operating Room Nurses), Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing,CHIA (California Homicide Investigators Association)

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Registered Nurse licensed in Arizona & California. ADN - Phoenix College of Nursing. BSN - University of Phoenix. CNOR(e) - Certified Nationally - Operating Room. DABFN - Diplomate, American Board of Forensic Nursing. fellow, ACFEI - American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.

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