Posted March 29, 2012 by

Need More Nursing Knowledge? Go Back to School

If you are a nurse who wants to continue with your education and potentially create more opportunities for yourself, then going back to school is a good idea.

Pop quizzes, heavy books and all-nighters – for nurses who want to return to school and get advanced degrees, the glories of the old college days have been replaced by a new online adult learning model. In fact, for nurses who are thinking of going back to school, earning a degree today is much less intimidating and a lot more flexible than most think.

American Sentinel University profiles ideas and tips to inspire mid-career nurses to go back to school and earn an advanced online nursing degree in a new nursing blog series: ‘Nurses, You Can Go Back to School Again,’.

The blog series helps dispel the myths and fears that nurses have about the higher education process and discusses the importance of getting an advanced nursing degree to provide better patient care, career advancement, job security and help nurses be the very best that they can be.

“Nursing has changed dramatically in the past few years and many nurses might not be up to date with new health care legislation, payer policies, the importance of Magnet® recognition, evidence-based practice and updated literature,” says Joy Green-Hadden, DNP, APRN, assistant dean for graduate studies at American Sentinel University. “Nurses with advanced degrees will benefit from greater career opportunities that would otherwise not be available to them, not to mention improved professional fulfillment.”

“When nurses return to school, they often realize how uncomfortable their comfort zone had been,” says Hadden. She notes it’s natural for an RN at any age to fear going back to school. Many nurses are afraid of not having the aptitude to succeed or fear they will be overwhelmed.

“The most common reason not to go back to school is fear of failure,” Hadden points out. She says that many feel like, ‘I just know that I can’t do that.’ It’s important, Hadden notes, for nurses to realize they already have the foundation to get an advanced degree and they just aren’t building on it.

Here are some other reasons why nurses may not want to go back to school:

  • “I haven’t written a paper in years.”
  • “I don’t have time to go back to school.”
  • “I just know that I can’t do it.”

Hadden says that employers and family members can be very encouraging when a family member goes back to school. “Earning an advanced degree sets a wonderful example for the student’s children and instills that education is truly important. It also shows managers just how dedicated you are as a nurse to bettering patient outcomes.”

She adds that nurses who are inflexible and resist change are not going to advance their level of patient care or their nursing careers.

For more information on how RNs can go back to school, go to the ‘Nurses, You Can Go Back to School Again’ blog series at

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