Career Paths: Should You Become a Nurse or a Social Worker?

There are many options to choose from when starting a new journey in college. There are several options and various kinds of nursing degrees and social worker degrees. The most common nursing degrees are CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), or an RN (Registered Nurse). The most common Social Worker degrees depend on how long you go to college. For example, an ASW is an Associate’s in Social Work and a BSW is a Bachelor’s in Social Work. Both of these fields are great for someone who loves to help other people. Should you become a nurse or a social worker?

Career Paths: Should You Become a Nurse or a Social Worker?
[ image: by bongkarn thanyakij ]

Reasons to Pursue a Nursing Degree

There are some reasons people may decide to choose a nursing degree. Some would prefer to see one patient at a time. Social workers tend to deal with that on a daily basis. Also, social workers have more paperwork to do. There are more options in schooling when it comes to nursing. There are different degrees from a Nursing School and also different career choices. When it comes to costs of school, nursing is less expensive than social work. A nurse has more flexibility with scheduling than a social worker.

Reasons to Pursue a Social Worker Degree

There are some reasons people may decide to choose a social worker degree. Some people like social justice and helping other people. Social workers also get to improve other people’s lives and their communities. If someone likes helping people through tough situations, fighting for justice, working in a diverse environment, and a career that is meaningful, social work may be the right path for that person. Social work requires making life-changing decisions and isn’t for everyone. Social workers set a great example for communities.

Nurses and Social Workers

Both of these certifications require helping other people and saving lives. Both nurses and social workers assess and treat patients. They typically work with patients who are struggling physically or mentally. A nursing degree can help someone understand biological issues with a person. A social worker degree can help someone understand a patient's social and psychological issues. Having both a nursing degree and a social worker degree may boost your chance of getting noticed by an employer. Nursing school usually lasts for only two years, while a social worker degree typically takes four years.

The Different Paths of Nursing and Social Work

The lowest degree for a nurse is a diploma in practical nursing. The highest degree a nurse can receive is a post-master’s certificate in nursing. Some well-known nursing schools are PIMA Medical Insitute, Harvard, The University of Washington, The University of California, and more. The lowest degree for a social worker is a BSW (Bachelor’s of Social Work). The highest degree a social worker can earn is a PhD in social work. Some well-known social work schools are The University of Denver, The University of Texas, Fordham University, Boston University, and more.

Choosing a career path is a personal and tough decision. Sometimes nurses and social workers work together in hospitals. They are very different career paths, and both serve their community. Nursing school takes a shorter amount of time than obtaining a social work degree. Either way, each program has its pros and cons. They are both good career paths to choose.

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