MA or MS...PhD or PsyD....????

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by nicole katherine, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. nicole katherine

    nicole katherine New Member

    I am so utterly confused...! I am currently an LPN working at a great facility as a methadone dosing nurse. They have just announced a program with Ashford University that will allow employees to go to school tuition-free. I have my Bachelor's of Art in Psychology and French, always intended on going back to get my master's and do social work but I started working as a psychiatric technician and loved working on the floor with the patients. Fast forward 15 years and I planned to move from NY to FL...knowing the big salary difference I did a 13 month LPN program. So now I want to take advantage of this opportunity to get my Master's but don't know which one. Ashford only offers MA in psychology and PsyD. I'm really interested in research, solving problems, writing, not so much doing therapy...I've moved away from that. My initial goal for the last 4 years was to do an LPN to RN bridge program but they are hard to find and because I already have a bachelor's no employer will pay for another bachelor's degree...the other alternative is to get an associate's RN but that just seems backwards to me as the next step would be nurse practitioner (Master of Science) and you need the bachelor's....! Any advice????
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Idk if a bachelors in nursing is required for an MSN. I always see an unencumbered RN license as the requirement. I think an associate degree would qualify you once you're an RN.

    In most cases you'll need a CSWE BSW to complete an MSW in 2 years (advanced standing). Otherwise, you can do the MSW in 3 years.

    While the Psy.D. is more a practitioner's degree, you could still decide to do research. The Psy.D. from Ashford prob wouldn't allow you to practice as a clinical psychologists in most states anyway because it's not APA accredited.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    If you want to climb the Nursing ladder you need an RN. If you want to do therapy then you'll need a Masters that will make you eligible for licensure in your state. Get the Masters and then if you've still got some gas in your tank you can consider a doctoral degree. Be certain that you understand the requirements for licensure where you live/work.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry, but the fact is that most states do not require APA accreditation for licensure (at last count it was only 19).
    sanantone likes this.
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Did you change your mind about doing social work because an MSW is not a research degree? Social workers do social work and/or therapy if they receive additional training to become Licensed Clinical Social Workers. When people consider becoming social workers, they're usually also considering becoming licensed professional/mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, or psychologists.

    If the program does not require a thesis or dissertation, then it's not a research degree. Even though a PsyD is a clinical degree, most of them require a dissertation or research project. I haven't looked closely at Ashford's PsyD, but if you ever want to become a licensed psychologist, you should make sure that Ashford's program meets state requirements. If you want to get hired by a university or research firm as a researcher, then Ashford is probably not going to cut it.

    Too bad your employer has a deal with Ashford because its parent company is unstable.
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Excelsior has an LVN to RN bridge program, but they've been sued multiple times over the terrible design of the program. There are no clinicals, so many states will either not accept the program or will require additional work experience. Excelsior students are now waiting a year to do their CPNE, which is a skills demonstration test you need to pass before graduating. The failure rate is high.

    There are a couple of community colleges that have distance LVN to RN programs. You can bridge from an RN to MSN if you have an unrelated bachelor's degree, but the MSN program will take longer since you have to make up for the classes you didn't take in a BSN program.

    University of Texas at Austin has an alternate-entry PhD in Nursing for those who aren't RNs, but it's not online.
  7. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Ashford's tuition is pretty high. I would suggest checking out California Southern University for their Masters and PsyD if you decide to go that route. PsyD tuition is less than half what Ashford charges.
  8. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The OP can go to Ashford tuition-free.
    JBjunior likes this.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I didn't know that. The way people talk about APA accredited doctoral degree, you would think it's the major that requires it.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Even people who live in states that require APA accreditation for licensure at the doctoral level will frequently become licensed at the Masters level and add the non-APA doctoral degree on top. In only a small percentage of cases does it really matter. For example, I've heard that you need an APA accredited doctoral degree to work as a Psychologist at the Veterans Administration. It may be true but the number of people who are really affected by this is quite small.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  11. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    True. My bad. Would still probably choose Calsouthern as it appears better developed.
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    If I had to pay out of pocket or take out loans, I wouldn't choose either one. There are better schools that are about the same cost as CalSouthern. Otherwise, I'd take the free school.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  13. Graves

    Graves Member

    True. But most states require doctoral programs to be of a similar nature to APA-accredited programs and regionally accredited. That includes similar credit hours, clinical hours, internship, and post-doc experience. A person with a non APA-accredited degree is almost always going to be a lower priority than one in an accredited program. There can also be issues with billing/insurance.

    Some of the accredited programs aren't even considered good in the more prestigious internships/post-docs as well, and that means non-accredited student applications are generally dead on arrival. Psychology is suffering from a shortage of internships, and APA-accredited graduates are the priority. APA accreditation isn't an inherently high standard. It's based on the ideas of what psychologists in the field consider to be a minimum level of experience to make competent practitioners. It should be thought of as mid-level at most.

    Some do thrive in private practice though. It's possible, but also unlikely.
  14. copper

    copper Active Member

    You are wrong about going "backwards"! As an LPN, you should consider the RN at the associates or bachelors level! There are a few graduate nursing programs that accept RN's with a bachelors in another field. These schools will most likely require a bridge pathway to fill the gaps. The RN license is such a powerful license to obtain in that it opens many doors and you will not regret it! There are so many opportunities with an RN! Psych NP, CRNA, Nurse Anesthetist, Administrator, Midwife, DNP executive, the list goes on! I think you will get much greater utility and opportunities with the RN.

    If I were in your shoes I would challenge the RN through Excelsior College at the ASN level or some other LPN to RN program, then apply for an RN to MSN program such as Frontier University with a NP specialty of psychiatric NP. If after the RN, you still don't want to go to NP school then go to a MA in Psych and PsyD. Don't give up on your nursing track so easily! Even if you have to earn another Bachelors as a Nurse, so what! A Psych NP is making a six digit income and are in great demand. Not sure what MA psych or PsyDs make but I know Psych NPs are doing well!

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