There are two major reasons someone may choose to go back to nursing school: obtaining an advanced degree or cross-training in a different specialty. Considering the price tag that comes with completing a nursing program, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. If you've considered going back to nursing school but aren't sure whether it's the right move, here are 7 ways furthering your education can benefit you.
7 Reasons Why You Should Go Back To Nursing School
1. Open new professional doors
Nurses are in high demand, so there is rarely a shortage of nursing positions available. However, the best nursing jobs are often overwhelmed with applicants. Whether you choose to pursue an advanced degree or obtain a degree in a different specialty, the additional education can help your resume stand out against the competition. This also increases the potential for advancing within your current company. Additional credentials qualify you for additional responsibilities, making you an ideal candidate when a promotion becomes available.
2. Command a higher salary
Going back to nursing school allows you to acquire new skills and perform duties that involve greater complexity. With more to offer an employer, nurses who continue their education have more negotiating power
over their salary. Obtaining a higher-level degree hones your skill-set, while cross-training lets you work in more than one specialty. If you choose to cross-train in related subjects, the knowledge from both specialties can be used together to improve your performance and abilities. In any of these scenarios, your additional training is valuable to your employer and should be reflected on your paycheck.
3. Earn the respect of your colleagues and patients
Your years of nursing experience are often a good indicator of your skills in the eyes of your coworkers. Still, there's no denying the measure of additional credibility that comes with the letters at the end of your title. This is especially true when working with professionals from other facilities who may not be aware of your extensive career. Earning the right to change the RN to an LPN can automatically increase the perception of your authority to those you work with. Patients, as well, can be sensitive to titles and maybe more cooperative if they have reason to believe you are ranked higher.
4. Offer more to your patients
Whenever you continue your education, you ensure your patients get better care due to your increased knowledge base. Advanced degrees require a more thorough understanding of your role and duties, while cross-training offers a different perspective that can sometimes be helpful in complex situations.
5. Prevent nurse burnout
Nurse burnout is a major issue in the industry and can often lead to a lowered standard of care for your patients. RNs who suffer from burnout are more prone to making critical errors and may lose patience with their charges. A great way to combat this is to go back to nursing school and change the dynamic of your role. With a new specialty, you can reignite your passion
6. Pursue your professional passion
Sometimes it can take years to find out where your talent lies and what area of nursing speaks to you. If you've discovered a specialty
you enjoy or found to be particularly motivating, pursuing the training you need can help you take your career to new heights. Nothing boosts a career faster than directing it toward your passion.
7. Have greater autonomy
Earning an advanced degree comes with increased professional trust. Your employer will know you've received the training to handle more complicated cases and be less inclined to look over your shoulder as you work. If you decide to take your education all the way and become a nurse practitioner, you even have the opportunity to work independently and see patients as primary caregivers.
Choosing to go back to nursing school is a major life decision but comes with several benefits to your career trajectory and job satisfaction. Whether you want to continue your education or add a second specialty simply, your extra efforts are likely to have a positive impact.