Professional Growth: Thinking of going back to school? Just do it!
Linda S. Smith DSN, MS, RN, CLNC

March 2011 
Volume 41  Number 3
Pages 52 - 55
  PDF Version Available!

YOU MAY HAVE THOUGHT of returning to school for an additional nursing degree or certificate but put off doing it. Now's the time to turn those thoughts into real benefits for yourself and your family.I speak from personal experience. When I returned to school to obtain my baccalaureate degree after years away from school, I had two children and a full-time job. I discovered a new goal that, at an earlier time in my life, would have been impossible to attain. Doors opened for me that had once been tightly closed. Surprisingly, I also enjoyed a renewed love for the profession I'd chosen. The career burnout I'd been experiencing completely disappeared.If you've been thinking about returning to school, my advice is, "Do it." Whether "it" means a short certification course or a full-time degree program, the experience will be eye-opening, fulfilling, and wonderfully rewarding. Let's look at the reasons why you'll benefit, then explore how to choose a school and prepare for success.When times are tough, one clear solution to your own economic recovery is education. Nursing is a career field that continues to demonstrate long-term demand. Seek out quality nursing education courses and programs that are accessible, career focused, and relevant to your learning objectives. Meeting those objectives will boost your sense of personal and career satisfaction.Additional nursing education or certification may also improve job security for yourself and long-term stability for your family. Another nursing degree may even land you a better paying position.According to nurses who've done it, the benefits and rewards they experienced when they returned to school include improved career opportunities, changed perspectives, personal satisfaction, and professional growth and confidence.1-3Challenges for those who returned to school were related to time and money and included the difficulties of juggling school with employment and other responsibilities, family concerns and obligations, personal

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