Do I Need A Higher Education?


Are you at a point in your career where you feel like you want to get ahead? You ask yourself do I need higher education to make that climb.  You probably have a litany of excuses why going back to school just doesn’t fit into your life or budget. Here’s are a few tips to overcome the three most common hurdles:

Obstacle #1: You don’t have the money.

 You haven’t been in school for a while so be prepared for tuition sticker shock. If getting an advanced degree means cutting your hours at work, it can mean a double whammy. the loss of wages added to the high price of higher education may be enough to close the book on school.

Workaround: Plan ahead and apply yourself.

Do a little research to find plenty of nurse-specific programs to help defray costs. Look for which scholarships, grants, and loans have forgiveness plans you may be eligible to apply for.  Some hospitals and healthcare organizations offer tuition assistance and flexible work schedules as incentives for employees to pursue an advanced degree.

Obstacle #2: You don’t have the time.

You have to work and care for your family which leaves you with little time. Where will you find the time to go to classes and study?

Workaround: Be flexible.

Make time.  Delegate responsibilities to others.  Prioritize, learn to say no, and make sure you leave time for sleep, nutrition and/or exercise. If you can’t manage to get it organized, you may need to delay for a while.  Take the time to get everything in order.  Save money, research schools, and scholarships and pull together information that will make it easier to get back into school.

Obstacle #3: You don’t have the confidence.

Are hearing the inner voices are saying, “You’re too old to learn; studying was never your strong suit; your computer skills are lacking”?  Maybe it’s a steady drumbeat from family, friends or coworkers: “Why bother?” … “It will be too hard” … “It’s a waste of money.”

Workaround: Find educational role models.

Talk to nurses who’ve overcome similar challenges on their way to advanced degrees; they can help you separate legitimate concerns from those triggered by fear, and provide a dose of moral support. As for the naysayers, cut their negative comments off at the pass by letting them know how much you’d appreciate their support. Finally, since nothing succeeds like success, consider easing back into school with one course per semester—starting with one that plays to your strengths.

Need a reason to earn an advanced degree? We’ll give you five.

  1. More career options
  2. Higher Pay
  3. Personal reward
  4. Intellectual growth
  5. Greater job stability


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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a Registered Nurse and retired US Army Reserve Nurse Major. She has more than 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career, she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and to South Korea. She was trained as an Army Medic during the Vietnam era and later as an OR tec. She went on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and then completed her nursing training as a Registered Nurse. She was then commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and work in other medical facilities. During her career, she had the opportunity to work in several specialties to include, OR, Occupational Health, Hospice, Sexual Assault Team, Forensic/ Correctional Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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